The Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes

The Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes

Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region, as well as on the more than thirty-four million people who live in their basin, a report from the  finds. The report,  (74 pages, PDF), found that in addition to the human toll over the past two centuries in the form of habitat loss and fragmentation, the influx of invasive species, and polluted air, water, and lake sediments, the effects of climate change is further stressing these ecosystems. Among other things, the report examines the interrelated effects of and impact on rising air temperature; heavy precipitation and flooding; extreme weather; intensive agriculture; water quality and consumption; lake ecology; fish and wildlife; shipping, power generation, and shorelines; and recreation and beach closures. "We should not and cannot take the vast natural resources of the Great Lakes for granted," the report's authors write, noting that public support for protecting the Great Lakes is strong across the region. "Allowing the Great Lakes to be degraded through human activities, including climate change, is not an option."