The issue of climate change has become a concern for many people recently and it is a topic of great debate. One impact that is not often considered when thinking about the issue of climate change is the effect it may have on the economy. Those studying its potential effects predict a negative economic response to climate change. It is fairly well-known that climate change will yield warmer temperatures and lower water levels. For Michigan in particular this means that the state’s shipping and water resources will be hindered. This could potentially cost Michigan billions of dollars in losses. This economic effect is especially alarming for Michigan as the state is surrounded by the Great Lakes and thus has a lot to lose if problems occurred within its shipping infrastructure. Not only will this cost Michigan money in terms of lost trade but the state will also suffer significantly when it comes to employment for its residents. A decrease in port traffic means a decrease in the need for employees, creating more unemployment for the state and a worsened economy. Experts suggest channel dredging as an option to alleviate the potential issues that may occur in waterways due to climate change. This option, however, is an expensive one. Dredging would cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually when water levels are falling due to climate change.
Climate change in Michigan may also hurt the state’s economy in terms of agriculture. Precipitation will become less frequent but will occur in more intense downpours when it does takes place. Additionally, higher precipitation levels and warming temperatures contribute to soil erosion. These conditions are not ideal for growing crops. Irrigation will become more difficult as more water will be needed but less will be available. Farmers will have to alter the crops they grow to ensure they can survive in these unusual conditions. Even so, money will inevitably be lost due to a high percentage of crop loss. Though it appears that climate change will have a negative impact on our state in the years to come, being aware of these potential problems is the first step in implementing a plan to alleviate them.