National Climate Assessment
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) assesses the science of climate change and variability and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. The Great Lakes region spans large sections of the Midwest and Northeast NCA regions. GLISA has contributed substantially to both the Third NCA (NCA3) in 2014 and the Fourth NCA (NCA4) in 2018 and this page details that work and links to the assessments themselves.
Fourth National Climate Assessment
Volume 1 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), The Climate Science Special Report, was released in November 2017.
At the request of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), GLISA contributed to NCA4 by serving as co-authors on the Midwest chapter in NCA4 Volume II, Climate Change Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation (published December 2018). GLISA Co-director Maria Carmen Lemos and Program Manager Jenna Jorns are co-authors, and Graduate Student Research Assistant Katherine Browne is a technical contributor. The GLISA team also co-led a Great Lakes case study in the Midwest chapter.
In addition, GLISA co-hosted a satellite location of the Midwest Regional Engagement Workshop on March 1, 2017 at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, MI. For opportunities to connect and participate in the NCA process, please visit the USGCRP website.
Third National Climate Assessment
Former GLISA Co-director, Don Scavia, was a convening lead author for the Midwest Regional Chapter. The cultural and climatic influence of the Great Lakes are not constrained by political boundaries, however, and findings from both the Northeast and Midwest regions should be considered when evaluating the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes region.
Intense rainstorms, floods, and heat waves will become more common in the Great Lakes region due to climate change in the coming decades. While ice-cover declines will lengthen the commercial navigation season on the lakes, warmer lake temperatures will increase risks from invasive species, and could threaten water quality.
Third National Climate Assessment: Midwest Region
Extreme heat, heavy downpours, and flooding will affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and other sectors in the Midwest. Climate change will also exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes.
Third National Climate Assessment: Northeast Region
Heat waves, heavy downpours, and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. Many states and cities are beginning to incorporate climate change into their planning.
Midwest Technical Input Report White Papers
At the request of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, GLISA and the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment formed a Midwest regional team to provide technical input to the Third National Climate Assessment. The following white papers comprised the chapters of the report, focusing on the potential impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation options to climate variability and change across many sectors. The white papers were subject to review by at least two external reviewers and revised to reflect reviewer comments.
AUTHOR(S): Jeff Andresen, Steve Hilberg, and Ken Kunkel
Temperatures are projected to increase in the Great Lakes region throughout the coming century, and most models project an increase in precipitation during winter whereas the sign of the projected change in precipitation for summer is uncertain.
AUTHOR(S): Julie Winkler, Ray Arritt, and Sara Pryor
Increased evapotranspiration effectively competes with increased precipitation to determine Great Lakes lake levels. While most studies have projected declines in lake levels, one recent study has projected lake levels will rise in the future.
AUTHOR(S): Brent Lofgren and Drew Gronewold
Changes in temperature and precipitation will directly impact forest ecosystems, and will indirectly amplify existing stressors to forests and the ecosystem services they provide.
AUTHOR(S): Stephen D. Handler, Christopher W. Swanston, Patricia R. Butler, Leslie A. Brandt, Maria K. Janowiak, Matthew D. Powers, and P. Danielle Shannon
AUTHOR(S): Kim Hall
AUTHOR(S): John Posey
Both climate change and climate change policy are intrinsically important to the energy sector. Climate change policies are already affecting planning and investment decisions as utilities comply with regulations related to climate change.
AUTHOR(S): Janice A. Beecher and Jason A. Kalmbach
Some crops may see increased yields in the near future due to a longer growing season and increased carbon dioxide concentrations, while others will suffer from increases in nighttime temperatures and changes in temperature and precipitation seasonality.
AUTHOR(S): Jerry Hatfield
Warm weather recreation and tourism activities may see potential opportunities for growth, while winter and autumn tourism and recreation will suffer as the winter season shortens and temperatures increase.
Tourism and Recreation
AUTHOR(S): Sarah Nicholls
Climate stressors on the Great Lakes and nearshore coastal systems include changing water level regimes, changing storm patterns and precipitation, and altered thermal regimes, which have the potential to significantly alter the physical integrity of these systems.
AUTHOR(S): Scudder Mackey