J. Drake Hamilton (audio #1)
"Scientists expect that as we greatly increase the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere-and we're doing that by burning more fossil fuels: coal, oil and gasoline-we're greatly accelerating the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. What that means, is that in the next 100 years we're going to see dramatic climate changes in Minnesota. Scientists expect that it's very likely that summers in Minnesota in the year 2100 will be more like Kansas than like Minnesota. For waters this has many implications. Minnesotans treasure our waters. The scientists who are studying river impacts of global climate change point to several likely impacts from these changes.
"First, we can expect that precipitation will fall more as rain than as snow and it's more likely to come as extreme events. This will mean a likelihood of greater flooding of our river systems earlier in the year. Of course with global warming, the temperature of the water itself will increase. And as we've learned, temperature controls the amount of dissolved oxygen available in the water and the species of fish that can live in that water. Once you reach a certain threshold, coldwater species of fish that like the cold water, like high levels of dissolved oxygen, species like trout, will no longer be able to survive in Minnesota lakes and rivers. With global warming we're also likely to see that algal blooms, the blue-green algae, the green algae that scum up our lakes and rivers are likely to last longer into the season and be more dramatic."