Climate change could lengthen the growing season, make soil drier and decrease winter snowpack in the Lake Michigan Basin by the turn of the century, among other hydrological effects.
A new U.S. Geological Survey precipitation and runoff model shows that by 2100, maximum daily temperature in the Lake Michigan Basin could increase by as much as seven degrees Fahrenheit, and the minimum daily temperature by as much as eight degrees. A new USGS report published today summarizes the potential hydrological effects of these increases on the basin through 2099. The tools can aid restoration efforts in the basin.
“Warming climate in the Lake Michigan Basin could affect agriculture and crops, recreation, flood and drought risks and ecological processes like fish spawning,” said Daniel Christiansen, a USGS scientist and the lead author of the study. “Our model can help guide water management and restoration decisions related to climate change for the basin.”
Air temperature increases in the Lake Michigan Basin, which includes western and northern Michigan, eastern Wisconsin, northern Indiana and northeastern Illinois, could have numerous effects on water, including:
The models used in the study were based on streamflow, evapotranspiration and sun energy data from 148 USGSstreamgages and 157 NOAA-National Weather Service climate stations throughout the Lake Michigan Basin from 1977 through 2099.