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Climate change impacts already underway in the United States are projected to intensify, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment published Friday.

Whether we avoid the most severe effects depends largely on what we do now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, according to the report produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

The program is required to study climate change impacts and major trends — including to agriculture, energy production, land and water use, transportation, human health and welfare, biological diversity and the environment — and report to Congress and the president at least once every four years. The Trump administration is undoing several environmental regulations designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, cars, and oil and gas wells.

Compared with the rest of the United States, the Midwest is expected to see the largest increase in average annual temperature. The average annual five-day maximum temperature for northern Minnesota, currently about 88 degrees, is projected to rise to 95 degrees by 2065, depending on the scenario. Chicago, which rarely reaches 100 degrees, could average many as 60 such days every year by the end of the century.

Air quality — from increased concentrations of ground-level ozone to fine particle pollution and pollen — is projected to decline as a result of climate change and cause an additional 200 to 550 premature deaths in the Midwest each year by 2050.

Extreme temperatures combined with increased rainfall are also projected to reduce agricultural productivity in the Midwest, which churns out 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, to 1980s levels by mid-century. Corn yields are expected to decline for the entire region as temperatures rise, though soybean yields could increase in the upper Midwest.

Production of wild rice, grown by tribes and others in the wetlands of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, is expected to fall as extreme temperatures, climate-related disease and pest outbreaks shift hospitable growing regions farther north.

Meanwhile, increased rainfall from April to June is expected to reduce the spring planting window and increase soil erosion, while wetter conditions at the end of the growing season would promote the growth of mold and fungus.

Flooding on the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers, which flow through the Midwest and can overwhelm sewer system and drinking water sources, is projected to worsen. Infrastructure damage in the Midwest, which contains the most vulnerable bridges in the nation, is projected to rise from $3.3 billion in 2050 to $6 billion per year in 2090.

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Jennifer Lu is the La Crosse Tribune environmental reporter. You can reach her by phone at 608-791-8217 and by email jennifer.lu@lee.net.

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Environmental reporter

(18) comments

Redwall

The data used in this climate change assessment was up to 2017; covering the two terms of the Obama administration, not the Trump years.

So it appears the Obama climate agenda was ineffective.

Yet the journalist fraud that wrote this article takes shots at Trump and ignores Obama. Pathetic.

And you wonder why most people dont believe what the media reports.

FAKE NEWS!

capedcrusader

You wouldn't know what real news is if it hit you over the head.

Cassandra2

Deny the facts and science, but hug your kids and wish them the best, because you're leaving them a world that will be uninhabitable. Well done.

Climatehoax

Do you not comprehend? So far none of the “ gloom” models have come to fruition: we didn’t go into an ice age in the 70’s, the polar ice caps are still intact, the polar bears are thriving, the Great Lakes are rising, when in 2013, the forecast for them was they’ll dry up and we’ll all die of lack of water, NOW we’re to moist. Talk is cheap, having visual evidence is undeniable. Try thinking rather than following blindly.

Climatehoax

Just a few years ago the Great Lakes we’re down 7” the doom and gloom crowd said we were headed towards a devastating water SHORTAGE.

Water Levels of the Great Lakes Are Declining
Normally rising and falling on a 13-year cycle, the lakes are at historically-low levels

Forecast: Great Lakes’ water levels keep rising
Leonard N. Fleming, The Detroit News Published 5:36 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2018
Bryan Mitchell, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Artist in Residence for 2016
(Photo: Bryan Mitchell / Special to Detroit News)

See how STUPID theses predictions ?

capedcrusader

Look, Foxconn alone wants to use 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan. 35% of that water will be lost to evaporation and what percentage remaining will be polluted? I think We DO need to be concerned about the water levels of our Great Lakes. Several western states have intimated they want to divert water from them using pipelines to be used out there. We have come a long way the last few decades in the clean up of the Lakes from the chemical companies and steel companies that almost destroyed them. It's important that we enforce the Great Lakes Compact to ensure that doesn't happen again. The great Lakes are some of the last fresh water reserves in the world. It's too imortant not to take good care of them in all their uses.

Climatehoax

Where have these people been? We were below normal rain fall till it was to late yo help, the last several weeks I’m guessing it’s been below normal temps.

Redwall

Its irresponsible for the tribune to even print this tripe. This article has less depth and analysis than a freshman (high school) writing assignment.

Cassandra2

What's irresponsible is the Tribune allowing whackjob deniers like the Hoaxer to constantly deny facts and reality while pushing an agenda that is dangerous to our civilazation.

Climatehoax

Trying to steal hard working people’s money by selling snake oil is dangerous to our civilization,

Redwall

Terrible writing. A collection of unsupported assertions and anecdotes.

A reduced wild rice crop in northern Wisconsin? Are you kidding?

Maybe the so-called journalist would venture to make a suggestion as to a solution instead of this tedious collection of incomplete thoughts.

mamasboy

There were predictions in the 1970s that said by the year 2000 we would be in an ice age. They were a little off on that one! It's pretty tough to predict the weather from week to week, how do they know what it's going to be doing 60 yrs from now?

capedcrusader

Who made that prediction? You realize that there are people every year that predict the end of the world don't you? Do you realize that it isn't scientists though? Who are you going to listen to? Climatologists or Limbaugh and Jones? Raplin? Trump? Who do you think would know the most about it? A soothsayer? I know Ronald Reagan consulted those but do you?

Redwall

The United Nations SCIENTISTS believe we only have 10 years left due to climate change. Its too late to effect policy change.

Therefore, they want their "reparations" money from the United States now. What a scam.

A Veteran

cape ---I was going to ag school part time in the seventies and they was telling us by the year 2000 we would not be able to grow corn in Wisconsin and they was advising us to grow more small grain because they withstand colder temps.This information was coming from scientist who had created a model---does this sound familiar .The climate has always been CHANGING the question is why.I see in France they are protesting Macron raising the price of gas to pay for his ideas on how to address climate change.His popularity is falling like a dropped rock,it is below Trumps right now.

capedcrusader

They are protesting the price of gas in France because it is $5.54 a gallon. You would be protesting too if it was that high here. BTW, it was heading in that direction when Bush was President.

Climatehoax

I’ve got someswamp land to sell someone as gullible as you in the Sahara Desert, buy now, it’s going fast!

mamasboy

Who made the predictions, Caped? The same whacked out, financial aid seeking scientists who are predicting the horror coming over the next 80 years.

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