“Climate change” two words that are already synonymous with changes in weather patterns across the world, from global warming to increased rainfall and severe storms. But climate change affects different areas in different ways – while some regions will see increased precipitation in the form of snow or rain, others will dry out because of reduced rainfall. And while overall temperatures across the globe are likely to increase, climate change can also be related to an increase in freezing temperatures and severe winter storms. The Great Lakes region is likely to be affected by a number of these phenomena, and adapting to different weather conditions will be important to maintain quality of life in the area.
Researchers at Ohio State University and other institutions are studying the various effects of climate change on weather in the Great Lakes region and beyond, and they are drawing some fascinating conclusions along the way. This area of ChangingClimate.osu.edu aims to introduce the public to their findings, provide information about upcoming public events where researchers speak about their results, and offer additional resources to those wanting to learn more about how local, national and international living conditions are already affected by a changing climate.
Michigan State Climate Change Symposium
Michigan State University's Department of Environmental Science & Policy holds yearly conferences on climate change and its impacts on Michigan and the Great Lakes region. This link provides an overview of the 2010 conference, including links to a number of presentation videos and/or PDFs on topics from the impact of biofuels to the state government's Climate Action Plan. The "Past Events" link on the top right of the webpage also connects interested readers to past years' presentations.
Adults, children and teens can learn more about climate change with an Ohio 4-H “idea starter,” available online for free. Climate Change describes the science of climate, defines a few basic terms, and offers a summary of the likely effects of a changing climate. The material also provides activities for applying new knowledge: Climate vs. Weather, History of Climate, Satellite Data, Predictions of Change, Human Impact, and Polar Regions.
Climatological Aspects of Drought in Ohio
The paper presents a brief history of droughts in Ohio, illustrates the characteristics of moisture and rainfall available during dry periods, and places the severe Ohio droughts of the late 1980s and early 1990s into a larger context. Historical data is analyzed using modern statistical models, and suggests an alternation between very dry and very wet periods, with each period lasting about 2-5 years and generally being associated with temperature extremes.