Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Chapter 21 : Midwest. Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II

Authors:

James Angel

Chris Swanson

Barbara Boustead

Kathryn Conlon

Kimberly Hall

Jenna Jorns

Kenneth Kunkel

Maria Lemos

Brent Lofgren

Todd Ontl

John Posey

Kim Stone

Eugene Takle

Dennis Todey

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2018
Publisher:
U.S. Global Change Research Program
DOI:
10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH21
Year:
2018
Date:
Nov-23-2018
URL:
https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/21/

Abstract

  In general, climate change will tend to amplify existing climate-related risks to people, ecosystems, and infrastructure in the Midwest. Direct effects of increased heat stress, flooding, drought, and late spring freezes on natural and managed ecosystems may be multiplied by changes in pests and disease prevalence, increased competition from non-native or opportunistic native species, ecosystem disturbances, land-use change, landscape fragmentation, atmospheric pollutants, and economic shocks such as crop failures or reduced yields due to extreme weather events.

 These added stresses, when taken collectively, are projected to alter the ecosystem and socioeconomic patterns and processes in ways that most people in the region would consider detrimental. Much of the region's fisheries, recreation, tourism, and commerce depend on the Great Lakes and expansive northern forests, which already face pollution and invasive species pressure that will be exacerbated by climate change.