Report: Minnesota’s Climate Is Changing Before Our Eyes
St Paul (KROC AM News) - Anyone who has been in Minnesota for at least 20 years has experienced climate change firsthand.
That’s the summary of a report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
“The scientific evidence is clear—Minnesota’s climate is already changing rapidly.”
The report cites climate information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, including “ Each of the top ten warmest and wettest years on record have all occurred since 1998.”
The report says Minnesota’s average temperature has increased by nearly 3°F since 1895. During the same period, Minnesota’s precipitation has increased by an average of 3.4 inches. The precipitation increase has been caused in part by the higher frequency of heavy and intense rain events.
According to the report:
“Long-term observation sites have measured dramatic increases, including a 20% increase in the number of one-inch and a 65% increase in the number of three-inch rains. The size of the heaviest annual rainfall also has increased by 13%. Increases in precipitation contribute to flooding, erosion, declining water quality, and negative impacts on transportation, agriculture, human health, and infrastructure. For example, increasing spring rainfalls will reduce planting season workdays due to waterlogged soil, and increase the potential for soil erosion on Minnesota's farms.”
So what will happen if the warmer, wet trend continues?
The report concludes:
“The decades ahead will bring even warmer winters and nights, and even larger rainfalls, along with the likelihood of increased summer heat and the potential for longer dry spells. Mid-century projections indicate that the average annual five-day maximum temperature in Northern Minnesota will increase from 88°F to between 93 - 95°F, depending on how quickly we act to address climate change.”
More information: Minnesota climate trends