Global warming will make Minnesota look more like Missouri, U of M prof says

Categories: Environment
icemeltingleaves-jennydowning560.jpg
Flickr via Jenny Downing
The White House released the third National Climate Assessment report Tuesday, showing how climate change is touching the entire United States. It's a grim prediction of floods and droughts, rising sea levels and receding forests, and it puts the blame squarely on the human species.

The average temperature in Hibbing, for instance, rose 3.1 degrees between 1991 and 2012 when compared to the period between 1901 and 1960. This might not seen like much, but it freaks out climate scientists.

See also:
MNGOP leader Kurt Daudt suggests today's freezing temps mean global warming is a myth


In the short term, the rise in temperature is a good thing. Warmer weather means longer growing seasons, and rising carbon dioxide will improve the yields of some crops over the next two to three decades.

However, those benefits will be offset by extreme and erratic weather conditions, erosion and declining water quality. In the long term, according to the report, we'll actually see a decrease in agricultural productivity in the Midwest.

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Paul Bolstad
By 2100, you can say goodbye to the moose and the pines of the Boundary Waters, says Paul Bolstad, a professor in the U of M's Department of Forest Resources. "It'll look more like central Missouri."

Bolstad was one of hundreds of academics and researchers to contribute to Tuesday's report, which was intended to drum up support for a new White House climate change regulation coming in June. Bolstad classifies climate change as a "slow-moving disaster" and says Minnesota is "relatively less bad off."

But all of those terrible things that threaten coastal cities come with a cost, which we all end up bearing. Short of carbon taxes, there's only so much individuals can do -- drive less and use the AC less often -- without completely rebuilding homes. Non-polluting energy sources must be taken into consideration as municipalities move ahead.

"It's either pay now or pay later," Bolstad says.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com



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136 comments
Erick Thomas
Erick Thomas

When? Because if I'm not mistake it was colder here this winter than in ALASKA!

Maxine Larson
Maxine Larson

What a Jar??? We'd lose our Minnesota Nice status and become show me.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

@angela half the scientists? First off within the field it is closer to 99.99% actually more than that. And secondly science is not a democracy it doesn't matter what the majority believe. What matters is what they have shown to be true. Which is the climate is warming and it is caused by humans. It has held up to every bit of scrutiny that has been thrown at it. Get out from under that rock you have been loving and maybe try to get more of your scientific information from scientific sources.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Haha wow Shawn must suck at math "the five year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade" are you a moron? Five year mean in a decade? At most that is two data points but could be as low as 1 data point. And you are using that as your metric to judge climate?!? Wow. Another reason why mathematical and scientific illiteracy is a real problem in this country.

Robert Hilstrom
Robert Hilstrom

Many companies that moved to Mexico like to take advantage of their loose regulations. Babies were being born without brains in Brownsville...ever cross that river? Mmmmmmm yucky polluted water!

Robert Hilstrom
Robert Hilstrom

The Rio Grand is heavily polluted water. That was my point..

Erin Sayer
Erin Sayer

And you sound about 80 years old.

JopySchmopy
JopySchmopy

It's also going to rain just about every flipping day.  Melting polar ice caps put more moisture in the air, which means more and more rain.  We get so much weather from the north that the sun is slowly becoming a rare treat in MN.  

Paulis Bruvelis
Paulis Bruvelis

Erin you sound like a Hitler follower 1938. Cognitive dissonance which could lead to Stockholm Syndrome.

Paulis Bruvelis
Paulis Bruvelis

Man made climate change is a Hoax. Inject your Amazon planted aquarium with Co2 watch what happens.

Shawn Spence
Shawn Spence

I really should know better than to expect intelligent discussion here. The earth is in a 3 million+ year *cooling* trend. I guess you blame Asians wanting a decent quality of life for that? Either we'll continue to reverse an extremely short-term trend by geologic time standards and get cooler as has been happening for the last decade, or it will rise back near the levels it was 15 million years ago when this longer-term cooling era began. "James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”'"

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

First off within the scientific method there is literally no such thing as a fact. Secondly science is never wrong, it's humans interpretation that is wrong. But when the principals behind science are applied the things that are false are found and a better understanding is realized. Scientific studies always state how certain they are about something, and what room for error exists. people act like science finding out some people are wrong sometimes is a bad thing. that is actually a good thing, that is how we advance scientific knowledge. In fact one of the criteria that defines a hypothesis is "Is it possible this is wrong? can we design a test that will show if this is wrong?" It is a brilliant system for finding out what is right and what is wrong while always understanding our understanding will never be absolute and all encompassing. Because that would be impossible.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

I like most of your comments but the thing about science is that it can be wrong. What is scientific fact at one time can be different at another. But overall if study after study shows the same thing chances are good that that scientific fact is worthy

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

These comments are hilarious. "This is scientific research is total bullshit!! Look at this link!! this blog with a political agenda, written by someone with no scientific education whatsoever, told me so!!"

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Your argument would be heard better if you weren't trying to counter scientific research with information from a political source.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

No imagination necessary when you have irrefutable data that has been reviewd thousands of times over,has had the same results found by every one who has performed the test, and has held up to every bit of scrutiny that has been thrown at it for decades. There are other factors. And there has yet to be any one or combination of natural factors that has been able to account for climate change. There has yet to be a single study showing another cause that has held up. The only known solar cycles are 11 years according to every institution that monitors solar activity on the planet. warming has been going on for over 100 years (since the industrial revolution) The main reason CO2 has such a large long term effect is it has a very long residence time in the atmosphere. another green house gas water vapor fluctuates greatly from day to day in the atmosphere with a residence time of maybe a handful of days, where as the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is closer to ten years. And if anything this is getting longer as a result of deforestation. If you actually read the studies of climate change you would now they do examine all the factors. They don't go "its C02 lets prove it now" no they notice the phenomenon, and look for answers, it turns out it's CO2.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Thats the cool thing about science. It is true whether you believe it in it or not.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

LOL all top 10 heat records have been set since the year 2000. What world do you live on?

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

google the definition of "seasons," "weather" and "climate." I hope that clears up your confusion.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

"annoying fly to mother nature?" The current mass extinction that is entirely caused by man is eliminating more species quicker than the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs. Humans are much more than an anoying fly on the face of the planet. Also 2 dozen active volcanoes? Is that noteworthy? how often do a volcanos erupt usually? I really don't know. Does that include volcanoes underwater that are always erupting? Do you have any data what soever to back the claim that nature is pumping out more green house gas in a day than civilization does in a year? Also the reason carbon is such a problem is it has a long residence time in the atmosphere. no other green house gas stays in the atmosphere as long, and fluctuations of water vapor for example doesn't have as much of a long term effect as Carbon does. Which is why green house gasses like water vapor have a large effect on weather, but not as much of a long term affect on climate. Also this was actually a very extreme MN winter. I have been here for almost 30 years. It wasn't typical at all. The cold wasn't even a result of normal MN conditions. it was a result of the polar vortex that is always there coming much farther south than it usually is more frequently than it usually does. It wasn't a typical old MN winter at all. Oh and one more thing there actually has been an ongoing research project into the relationship between modern agriculture and the environment at the U of MN for years. The question they are trying to solve is "how do we feed the planet without destroying the environment." this has actually recieved a lot of press, and they have been putting a lot of time and effort into it, as this is a HUGE problem facing humanity.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Haha say it as much as you want Tim, doesn't make it true.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

LOL why would anyone use a political site as a source for scientific news. It is weird how climate deniers politicize this issue.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

LOL heating environment that has started hundred years ago directly correlated to our actions of deforestation and pollution adding green house gasses to the atmosphere only shows a ten year trend? It is one thing to be ignorant it is another to profess intelligence when you are so ill informed. It is also hilarious that you say they predictions are exaggerated when in reality the economic growth in markets around the world was not accounted for and as a result the data is showing the planet warming much faster than predicted. Hell, the northwest passage finally became passable for large ships decades before they thought it would. If anything the predictions were actually under playing the problem. In recent years the data has shown the problem to be much worse than expected.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Thats the point. If we don't adapt to the fact that we are changing the climate, even killing off species than the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs the human race will die off. Even if you don't care about the natural environment, at the rate we are going, WE will become an endangered species. I am sorry you are sick of the human race topic, but most of would like to go on existing.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

No I believe the Colorado River just decided not to flow to the ocean anymore all by itself. It was all "I like mexico I think I am just going to stop here." It has nothing to do with our mismanagement of natural resources.

Ben Bakunin
Ben Bakunin

Yes, Missouri sucks ass. I can't wait to move back to mpls. The climate has been changing since the earth was formed and will continue to change long after we are gone. We are not natures favorites, nor are we going to 'do something about it'. The sun drives climate change far more than we do, and as our magnetic field is considerably weaker than it has been in a long time, quite a lot more solar material and cosmic rays are penetrating our atmosphere and causing 'chaotic' weather. www.suspicious0bservers.org

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

Liberal faggots will fall for anything that that lying nigger Obama tells them. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

So you are telling me earth, a living organism, might have environmental change within a few hundred years? I don't have any doubt things like the Industrial Revolution of centuries ago, and the current pollution of countries like China and India are contributing factors...but the earth is always going to change. We can spend trillions identifying the cause and understanding "when" or "what", but we would be a lot better off if the United Nations, Interpol, etc had any real power against environmental attrocities in many developing nations.  

How many oil spills are we going to accept?

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

"Global Warming" is a complete scam, which is why they now call it Climate Change!  Duh, the climate changes.   Global Warming statistics don't exist.  It's simply a way for the central planners to take away freedom and control your life.   Ask yourself who these folks that conduct "studies" are paid by.     In  all polls Global Warming comes up last in peoples main concerns.     

John Bunch
John Bunch

Even if we shut all our machines off, it would take 50 Years to notice any change in climate. Like blowing your foot off to get rid of a leech.

John Bunch
John Bunch

CO2 is only one factor. The sun, dust, and volcanoes all play a role. People imagine CO2 as the one lever that we can pull to suddenly slow warming. Not so.

Tim Thorn
Tim Thorn

Last year was extreme? Really? How old are you? 12? Last winter was actually the closest thing to a return to what used to be considered a normal winter prior to the last 20 years. Anyone younger than 30 wouldn't have a clue to what a typical MN winter is. We as humans being certainly need to do our part and be good stewards of our planet. There are not many on either side of the political spectrum that are looking at this in a common sense approach. If the scientific data doesn't meet their philosophy or agenda then it is disregarded. Last I knew science was theoretical. Are we doing things to our planet that could have an impact? Sure. But as we're focused on man made carbon and greenhouse gas emissions our own planet is pumping out more in a day than humans do in a year. Bizarre weather? I see no mention of the almost 2 dozen volcanoes that are erupting around the globe as we speak. Our insatiable appetite for meat has produced livestock farms that are pumping out methane by the ton....but our focus is legislative polices that increase costs for businesses which reduces the pay that we get for our labor which therefor leaves us to afford the cheapest car, cheapest clothes and other life necessities made in China; who has doubled their output of pollution over the US...only to provide for our out of control consumption. So yes, there are somethings we could do....but lets think about this. Are we truly concerned about the planet or is our concern more selfish and we're worried about our own existence? I think we're a mere annoying fly to mother nature and if we piss her off too much she'll just do way with us. The planet will be just fine.

Steve Kershner
Steve Kershner

Yeah there is people here denying climate change. Maybe all caps might help you read better.

Tim Thorn
Tim Thorn

As I said, there is no one here denying climate change. Should I type it in all caps for you to make it easier to read?

Gayle Braun
Gayle Braun

Unfortunately the White House released it; therefore no one will believe it, or pay attention.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

Some people fall for ANYTHING! Yawn. Move along - nothing to see, here.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Science is never wrong.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Paranoid and racist...you're quite the catch.  Hmmm who should I listen to on this subject?  Virtually every scientist in the world or a barely literate racist?   

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Drewey You cite think progress, moron! He actually uses science as well.

Every scientist either works for the gov (a large corporation), or a smaller corporation. If I have to explain to you which side pays more/is safer to work for, you're not worth conversing with.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@mingtran @Drewey  the author of that article works for the heartland institute http://heartland.org/james-m-taylor-jd


They are a climate change denial organization funded by among many others the koch brothers

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/17/428111/exposed-the-19-public-corporations-funding-the-climate-denier-think-tank-heartland-institute/


I think the right question is: do you really think everyone is as simple minded as you?

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