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GLIN==> Climate Change/Great Lakes

 From Alden Meyer at Union of Concerned Scientists

Dear Colleagues -

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the Union of
Concerned Scientists (UCS) proudly announce the release of
the new report Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes
Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems.  The
report combines the most advanced models of the Earth's
climate system with 100 years of historical climate data for
the region to produce the latest, most reliable projections
of future climate in the Great Lakes region. The report, a
range of regional summaries, and additional technical
background materials can be downloaded free online from
<http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes >.

The report is designed to provide the region's residents and
policymakers with the most up-to-date scientific assessment
of the likely impacts of these climatic changes on the
region's diverse natural and managed ecosystems and the
goods and services they provide. Sponsored by UCS and ESA,
the study was written by a team of leading scientists from
the University of Illinois, University of Michigan,
University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, and the
University of Wisconsin.

Report authors project that in general the climate of the
Great Lakes region will grow warmer and probably drier over
the next 100 years. By the end of the century, temperatures
will likely warm by 5 to 12F (3 to 7C) in winter, and 5 to
20F (3 to 11C) in summer. Relative to today's seasonal
patterns, spring and fall may be wetter and winter and
summer drier across the region. The frequency of heavy
rainstorms will almost certainly continue to increase and may
double by 2100.

Likely impacts of such a warming include an increased
frequency and intensity of heat waves, infrastructure
damages from more frequent flooding, growing heat stress on
livestock and a mix of benefits and disadvantages for crops,
eventual loss of boreal forests from the region, and drying
up of wetlands and headwater streams in summer. Increasing
temperatures may also extend the warm-weather recreation
season and reduce cold-related mortality in some areas, but
at the expense of reduced winter recreation - so much a part
of people's way of life - such as skiing or ice fishing, and
greater heat-related mortality in summer, especially in
cities. Key impacts on ecosystems throughout the region

* Changes in the regional and seasonal distribution of
precipitation, which may result in wetter periods during the
planting and harvesting seasons, but a dwindling water
supply especially during the hot summer months, when
rainfall can't compensate for the drying effect of a warmer
climate. Reduced water supply could lead to increased
competition over water resources for irrigation, drinking,
and other human uses.

* The distribution of forests is likely to change as warmer
temperatures cause the extent of boreal forests to shrink
and many forest species to move northward.  The geographic
ranges of certain forest pest species, such as the gypsy
moth, are also likely to expand.

*The levels of the Great Lakes and smaller inland lakes are
likely to drop on average, while increasing water
temperatures will likely lead to additional changes in lake
and stream ecosystems. Warmer water temperatures and lower
oxygen levels are likely to lead to higher contaminant
concentrations in the aquatic food chain.

* Higher air temperatures make heat waves more likely.
Together with growing air pollution, especially in cities,
existing problems with ground level ozone will be
exacerbated and contribute to an increasing risk of asthma
and other respiratory diseases.

The authors emphasize that although a changing climate will
exacerbate development pressures on the environment already
evident in the Great Lakes region, many of the climate
impacts are not inevitable. A range of actions can be taken
now to forestall many of the most severe impacts with a
three-pronged approach: reducing emissions of heat-trapping
gases, minimizing human pressures on the environment, and
managing the impacts of a changing climate.  Together these
three approaches can be considered prudent and responsible
approaches to ensuring environmental stewardship of the
region's invaluable ecological resources.

We hope you find this report a useful and timely guide to
understanding climate change in the Great Lakes region. You
can download a pdf copy of the report, along with state-
specific supplementary materials, at
< http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes >. You may also order a
hard copy from the Union of Concerned Scientists at
< http://www.ucsusa.org/>

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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sent two men in to kill Saddam Hussein. Why did we have to kill so many 
people? There were so many deaths today."
The organization [Red Cross] also discovered that the number of casualties 
in Baghdad is so high that accurate statistics were impossible to maintain.

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