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How Will Climate Change Impact the Great Lakes?

Climate is the single most important factor in controlling the distribution of the world’s species. Earlier this year, the Environmental Law Policy Center issued an “Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes”. The report says the climate crisis “is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes”. We talk with Dana Infante, Associate Professor at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, who contributed to the report and studies about how fish’s growth rates, location, and survival are threatened by warming lake waters. We’ll find out about how changing nutrient distribution and seasonal currents will affect fish populations.

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Elizabeth Hinker of Chicago, releases a Japanese Wish Lantern during sunset over Lake Michigan from the city's Promontory Point Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Elizabeth Hinker of Chicago, releases a Japanese Wish Lantern during sunset over Lake Michigan from the city’s Promontory Point Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Charles Rex Arbogast

Climate is the single most important factor in controlling the distribution of the world’s species. Earlier this year, the Environmental Law Policy Center issued an “Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes”. The report says the climate crisis “is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes”.

We talk with Dana Infante, Associate Professor at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, who contributed to the report and a scientist about how fish’s growth rates, location, and survival are threatened by warming lake waters. We’ll find out about how changing nutrient distribution and seasonal currents will affect fish populations.

Have a question? Send it to climate@wbez.org, and we’ll ask the experts. Include a voice memo with your name, location and question, and you could be featured on the radio!


See ongoing stories from WBEZ and the Local Media Association, and listen to interviews with experts about climate change topics in our region.

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