Michigan

Michigan Climate and Energy Facts:

Effects of climate change in Michigan

  • Climate change is likely to increase the frequency of floods in Michigan. Over the last 50 years, average annual precipitation in most of the Midwest has increased by 5 to 10 percent. During the next century, spring rainfall and annual precipitation are likely to increase, and severe rainstorms are likely to intensify. Each of these factors will tend to further increase the risk of flooding.
  • Michigan’s agricultural sector is already being adversely affected by changes in rainfall and average temperature. Severe cold snaps decimated Michigan’s fruit production in 2002, and again in 2012, costing upwards of $60 million of damage to Michigan’s cherry crop. At the same time longer summers are making it possible for some Michigan farmers to practice double-cropping.
  • Risks to the Great Lakes exacerbated by climate change include warmer water temperatures that increase the risk of algae blooms and the likelihood of ‘dead zones’ in the water column, while the higher temperatures facilitate the spread of invasive species. All of these effects are hurting fishing and other water-based industries.
  • Warmer winters are likely to shorten the season for snow and ice-related recreational activities, which would harm local economies in Michigan. Small lakes are freezing later and thawing earlier than a century ago, which shortens the season for ice fishing and ice skating. Since the early 1970s, winter ice coverage in the Great Lakes has decreased by 63 percent.

Michigan benefits from a clean energy economy

Michigan’s opinions and action on climate change

  • A majority of adults in Michigan, 68 percent, understand global warming is happening. Eighty-two percent support funding research into renewable energy resources, and 75 percent support regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
  • Cities and universities in Michigan are committed to the Paris Agreement on combat climate change. East Lansing, Grand Rapids and three other cities, as well as Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan Universities have all signed on to the We Are Still In declaration of continued commitment to the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
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