There’s no denying that weather patterns are constantly changing in the United States, and within the last couple of weeks this idea has come evident for residents of Michigan. Since we’re surrounded by the Great Lakes, we’ve become known for our diverse ecosystems, rich soil, fresh water, and northern forest. However with all the drastic changes in weather, people are left wondering how this will affect the state of Michigan.
Many people believe our climate change is mainly from humans. On a daily basis humans are burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and drive our cars, which in turn emits gases—principally carbon dioxide—that blanket the planet and trap heat. Ignoring the climate changes that are occurring isn’t an option anymore and action needs to take place in order to avoid extreme outcomes for Michigan. Around the Great Lakes region, motor vehicles and power plants are the leading sources of emissions. We must also focus on helping develop our forests and agriculture to reduce emissions into the atmosphere and help store carbon. The Michigan government also needs to work on developing policies that promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner fossil fuel generation can significantly reduce emissions from these sources. With over 19 million acres of forest lands, Michigan has great opportunities to store carbon in trees and soil. This could also help create biodiversity because with such extreme changes in weather, it alters different species composition. So as we lose wetlands, we lose habitats.
Aside from our atmosphere, it’s important that Michigan focuses on keeping our Great Lakes clean. By reducing the use of nitrogen fertilizers, it would improve the health of our streams and lakes, which in turn who greatly improve our drinking water. The Great Lakes provide 95 percent of the United States’ water supply, so it’s extremely important to make sure we do everything in our power to keep it healthy and clean. No one can deny that there have been significant changes in weather, but it’s never too late for people to start taking action. Even the smallest things can make a huge difference.