On November 23rd the U.S. Global Change Research Program published the Fourth National Climate Assessment report. Volume II of the report details a dire future for the Great Lakes Region, Northeast Ohio, and specifically Lake Erie.
Some of the major takeaways as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's James McCarthy in a December 2nd article titled "Future of Lake Erie looks dire in report" include:
- more severe storms
- increased lake effect snow
- increased rain quantities
- larger and longer lasting dead zones (i.e. oxygen depleted) within Lake Erie
- changing fishery patterns
- decreased agricultural productivity
- changing forest communities
When one thinks about the wide-ranging and varied impacts forecasted for our region it is clear that a focused effort is needed to adapt our way of life to the already changed and changing climate. Be it the economic impacts of increased food prices, utility rates, or limited recreational opportunities it seems like everyone will feel the effects.
I encourage all who are reading this blog to read the Fourth National Climate Assessment report and seek balanced analysis from reputable sources; then think of the different ways that you can make a difference. The Cleveland Office of Sustainability has many resources and ideas on how to begin making small changes.
Blog Author: Brent Eysenbach, Stormwater Program Manager