Climate Change

In late July 2014, we initiated a survey of residents in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed as part of a larger project exploring implications of climate change in the region and opportunities for adaptation at community and watershed levels. Early scientific and policy discussions about climate change focused largely on gradual warming planet-wide, its causes, and its impacts. In recent years, however, discussions have become more nuanced and reveal a greater understanding of the many ways in which climate change will affect weather patterns generally, as well as many biotic and abiotic resources specifically. Various types of data collected in the Grand Traverse Bay (GTB) region show evidence of changes in the environment driven by shifts in climate conditions and the resulting weather patterns. Our survey asked residents what, if any, changes they have observed in a series of factors influenced by climate such as frequency and duration of rain events, ice cover on lakes, and length of growing season. We also asked a series of questions about perceptions of global warming, more generally. This report provides a summary of those survey results. Analysis of the survey data is underway to explore a number of different questions. These analyses are described briefly at the end of this report. 

Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Survey of Experiences with Climate Change and Global Warming: A Summary