climate change

The Great Lakes sunk to some of their lowest water levels ever two years ago. People were concerned about the low levels then, but today people are concerned for the opposite reason – water levels are high.

Oak wilt disease discovered in Leelanau County

Nov 6, 2014
Bob Allen

Foresters in Leelanau County are trying to tamp down another outbreak of tree disease. It’s just the latest in a series of problems disrupting forests in northern Michigan and experts are calling for some heavy-duty responses.

Kama Ross spotted the first outbreak of oak wilt disease in Leelanau County just east of Lake Leelanau in Bingham Township. As the forester for three county conservation districts, including Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, she’s seen it before.


Say the words "climate change," and just watch the battle lines form.

On one side, we have those – including the scientific community – who say it is not only coming, it is here and we're going to be challenged by extreme weather as a consequence.

As an article in the New York Times put it this week, “Alaskans stay in Alaska. People in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest: sit tight.” That’s the message from climate change researchers, who are predicting what places in the U.S. will be hit hardest by climate change.

It looks like the Midwest will be all right, relatively speaking.

Matthew Kahn is a professor at the UCLA Institute of Environment. He says that in 80 or 90 years, Detroit could be seeing a huge trend of people moving in – because of climate change.

"If rainfall really stops falling in the Southwest, and we don't come up with ways to allocate water efficiently, you're going to see millions of households and thousands of firms looking across the United States for better, less risky places to live. And the Midwest might compete very well there, just as it has in the past," says Kahn. 

*Listen to our conversation with Matthew Kahn above.

Report says milder winters in U.P. are affecting forests

Sep 23, 2014

The U.S. Forest Service has put out a report on how our warming climate is affecting forests in the U.P.

Stephen Handler is a climate change specialist with the Forest Service. He says, over the past several decades, we’ve been getting more extreme rainstorms in the region.

“So, more rain of two inches at a time, three inches at a time; and we’re seeing our winters, which is our characteristic climatic feature, shrinking, so, getting shorter and getting more variable, or getting less consistent snowpack,” he says.

 


A recent report from the National Audubon Society points to troubling times ahead for our bird population.


Climate change could make some huge changes for birds in North America: About half of our 650 species would be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find totally new places to live or become extinct – all of this in just the next 65 years.


Jonathan Lutz is the executive director of the Michigan Audubon Society. He says in Michigan, about 50 species are vulnerable to the changing climate.

It's a tight race as Democrat Gary Peters fights to succeed Carl Levin in the United States Senate. The latest Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll shows Peters with a six-point lead over Republican challenger Terri Lynn Land.

It has become clear that Congressman Peters has decided to make climate change one of the central issues of his campaign.

Andrew Restuccia reported on the Peters "Green Theme" for Politico.

Restuccia said it’s unusual for political candidates to make climate change one of their campaign focuses, especially in such a tight race, and Michigan in particular.

Pages