Impacts of Climate Change in the Midwest By: Allyson Steinke, Ryan prangler, sophie stafford & Nathan Jones

Agriculture in the Great Plains utilizes more than 80% of the land area. Higher summer temperatures and drought conditions are likely to reduce plant productivity. While warmer temperatures lengthen the growing season, which could increase plant growth or allow for a second planting.
Between 1900 & 2010 the average air temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees fahrenheit. In the summer, precipitation is not projected to rise, which increases the chances of drought conditions. Projected heavier rainfall will end up increasing erosion and nutrient runoff, which could cause detrimental impacts on crops and agricultural soil quality.
Warming waters increase the growth of blue green & toxic algae that reduce water quality. The great lakes are important for drinking water, transportation, commerce, & recreation they contain 84% of NA’s surface freshwater. Freshwater resources along the coast face risks from sea level rise. As the sea rises,saltwater moves into freshwater areas. This may force water managers to seek other sources of fresh water or remove salt from the water.
Rising temperatures also diminish winter ice cover, which may leave shores more vulnerable to waves, increase erosion & flooding, & damage fish habitats. Water quality could suffer in areas experiencing increases in rainfall. Heavy downpours can increase the amount of runoff into rivers & lakes.
Midwestern agricultural lands make up 2/3 of the region's land area and produce 65% of the nation's corn and soybeans. With increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere can activate crop production, and warmer temperatures lengthen the growing season. With extreme heat, it will stress out livestock and cause decline in meat, milk, and egg production. Diseases may increase as the temperature and moisture increase and becomes more favorable for disease spread.
Forests are threatened by more frequent droughts, wildfires, and insect outbreaks. Many tree species are expected to gradually move towards the north. Also with warming waters it will reduce the abundance of cold water species and increase the amount of cool water species. The habitat of many fish species may also be reduced by harmful algal blooms, coastal erosion and flooding, and pollution runoff.
Climate change is expected to negatively change and affect human health because of heat waves that will hurt them. Air pollution is already poor in this region and it is projected to worsen with rising temperatures in the mid west. The mid west is home to 61 million people. Heat sometimes causes stress resulting in deaths.
As climate impacts worsen in the future, agricultural practices, water resources, ecosystems, and even human health will face increased risk that will require new considerations and management strategies. We could set up a system like a rain barrel that collects rainwater, plant trees around your house, invest in solar panels, and even use ethanol instead of unleaded gas for your car. This list could go on forever but we think that most important thing you take from this is that it all begins with you.


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