Michiganders are having a hot summer and the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reports global land and ocean surface temperatures in the first half of 2010 were the warmest January-June on record!
Keep in mind that scientists predict that, without changes in energy policy to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, we can expect many more days more akin to gulf coast weather than north country weather. Summer air temperatures could rise by 7 – 13 degrees F, and extreme heat will be more common.
Additionally, we’ve seen one of the wettest years with some intense storms. This year we don’t seem to get showers but deluges….big storms.
Besides just making this a less comfortable place to live and the incidence of flooding on the rise, it will also impact the watershed. For instance, the warmer air will increase evaporation and water temperatures will rise. For our lake systems, this dynamic increases the risk of anaerobic “dead zones” that kill fish and other aquatic organisms. Fish populations are expected to change as cold-water species give way to warmwater species, and non-native species expand their territory while native species, which are adapted to a narrower range of conditions, decline. As a result, Michigan will be far less diverse ecologically.
To find out more about climate change and our watershed, take a look at our special climate change newsletter issue.
What can you do?
This week’s announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate will not consider a comprehensive climate bill in the immediate future is disheartening. Please call your senators’ Michigan offices today to urge them that this crisis will not wait.
- Debbie Stabenow – (517) 203-1760
- Carl Levin – (313) 226-6020
… And deliver these simple messages:
- My name is _________, and I’m from ______ and I’m calling today to urge [YOUR SENATOR] to work to pass climate and energy legislation.
- The devastation continuing to unfold in the Gulf and now in the Kalamazoo River is a daily reminder that we must end our dependency on oil and move to a new, cleaner energy future.
- Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to human communities, wildlife habitat, and the natural resources we all rely on for clean air and water, and recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, boating and wildlife watching.
- Please pass comprehensive climate legislation that caps carbon emissions, protects wildlife from the impacts of climate change and prohibits any new drilling off our coasts.