Great Lakes Region and Climate Change, USA and Canada45.8N 85.8W
The Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada is a land of striking glacial legacies: spectacular lakes, vast wetlands, fertile southern soils, and rugged northern terrain forested in spruce and fir. It is also home to 60 million people whose actions can profoundly affect the region’s ecological bounty and the life-sustaining benefits it provides.
Now that the world is entering a period of unusually rapid climate change, driven largely by human activities that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the responsibility for safeguarding our natural heritage is becoming urgent. Growing evidence suggests that the climate of the Great Lakes region is already changing: winters are getting shorter, annual average temperatures are growing warmer, and extreme heat events are occurring more frequently. The duration of lake ice cover is decreasing as air and water temperatures rise. Heavy precipitation events, both rain and snow, are becoming more common (click here for more information).