From a link to a 2000 report that I posted earlier:
"Observed Climate Trends: Over the 20th century, the northern portion of the
Midwest, including the upper Great Lakes, has warmed by almost 4�F (2�C), while
the southern portion, along the Ohio River valley, has cooled by about 1�F
Annual precipitation has increased, with many of the changes
quite substantial,including as much as 10 to 20% increases over the 20th
Much of the precipitation has resulted from an increased rise in
the number of days with heavy and very heavy precipitation events. There have
been moderate to very large increases in the number of days with excessive
moisture in the easternportion of the basin."
And from a 2009 report also cited:
“Average temperatures in the Midwest have risen in recent decades, with the
largest increases in winter. The length of the frost-free or growing season has
been extended by one week, mainly due to earlier dates for the last spring
Heavy downpours are now twice as frequent as they were a century ago.
Both summer and winter precipitation have been above average for the last three
decades, the wettest period in a century. The Midwest has experienced two
record-breaking floods in the past 15 years. There has also been a decrease in
lake ice, including on the Great Lakes. Since the 1980s, large heat waves have
become more frequent than anytime in the last century, other than the Dust Bowl
years of the 1930s.
The observed patterns of temperature increases and precipitation changes are projected to continue, with larger changes expected under higher emissions scenarios.”
The report identifies several key issues for the Midwest as climate rapidly changes:
•“During the summer, public health and quality of life, especially in cities, will be negatively affected by increasing heat waves, reduced air quality, and increasing insect and waterborne diseases. In the winter, warming will have mixed impacts.”
•“The likely increase in precipitation in winter and spring, more heavy
downpours, and greater evaporation in summer would lead to more periods of both floods and water deficits.”
•“While the longer growing season provides the potential for increased crop yields, increases in heat waves, floods, droughts, insects, and weeds will present increasing challenges to managing crops, livestock, and forests.”
•“Native species are very likely to face increasing threats from rapidly changing climate conditions, pests, diseases, and invasive species moving in from warmer regions.
i have [sic] major implications for tourism and fisheries.”