Great Lakes and Global Warming

Living in Michigan, the Great Lakes are extremely important. Not only are they a great source for water, food and transportation, but they also are a huge attraction for tourists to come to our state. People love the beautiful lakes for many reasons, including swimming, boating and fishing. In fact, boating produces $35 billion for the United States annually, while fishing, hunting and other wild life activities make $18 billion. Unfortunately, global warming is causing harm to the Great Lakes and the wildlife that depends on them. One thing that global warming is causing, is warmer water temperatures. This makes the water less suitable for the cold water fish that live there, and more suitable for the invasive species, such as zebra mussels. It also can create “dead zones”, places with no oxygen, because of the uncontrolled algae growth. It also harms the economy in the winter for the Great Lake states, seeing as there is less ice on the lakes in the winter for snowmobiling and ice fishing. Another thing that global warming is affecting is the water levels. The lakes are decreasing in water levels, and the could drop 4-5 feet within the century. This would change the internal water cycling, and could also lead to “dead zones”. The habitats by the shoreline would be dramatically altered as well. The moose population in Minnesota is already decreasing because of the warmer temperatures, and if it continues, there may not be a moose population at all in Minnesota. The decrease in water levels will also make the quality of the water go down by exposing polluted sediments. Economically, this would hurt the shipping done on the lakes. Global warming has a lot more effects that could be potentially harming in the long run which is why there have been some movements to try and protect the Great Lakes. Hopefully we can prevent any further damage and begin to reverse what has already happened.

 

http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Great-Lakes.aspx

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/05/28/us-climate-greatlakes-idUSN2832126520080528

Megan Ludwig

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2 responses

  1. It is interesting to find out how environmental factors affect things like the economy. I think your post does a great job of showing how serious this change to the water is by putting it in terms of monetary costs. Sometimes people respond more when talking about money, like, you may not care about the environment but this event will cost our state X number of dollars. Then people start to listen. Nice job!

    -Jordan Burroughs

  2. So the interesting question is global warming actually real? Some say it isnt and some say it is….

    – Dino Vidovic

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