Critical Conversations in Michigan Tourism 2022: Sustainability and Climate Change (Session 1)
November 22, 2022
To view the TED Talk referenced in the session, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ8fw2F_E8Y.
Alright folks, it is 12.5, so let's get going. Thank you so much for being here. My name is Will Cronin. I am with the tourism team of the Michigan State University government and community vitality work group. And thank you so much for being here. As I said, this is critical conversations and Michigan tourism, sustainability and climate change. And this is our second annual kind of critical conversations program. Last year. We did diversity equity and inclusion in tourism and those recordings are available so we'll get that information out to you if you're interested. But this year we're doing sustainability and climate change. We really are trying to bring some, some new and bringing opportunity to you folks, to our stakeholders to learn and discuss about these issues that are emerging in Michigan tourism. So let's go ahead and get going. So next slide, please. So as we begin, let's get to know each other in the chat, please. If you don't mind, share your name where you're from in Michigan or elsewhere. We have a lot of registrants from out-of-state your role and probably the biggest part is what brought you here today. What, what, what piqued your interest? What made you decide to join today and learn more about sustainability and climate change and tourism. We want to find that out, so throw that in the chat. And let's, let's, let's see. Here we go. We've got Jen from noaa, the climate portfolio, coastal management, advocacy for the Great Lakes commission. Sustainability professor focusing on tourism, Dan, one of our one of our teammates, garden supervisor, Superior watershed partnership, want to better understand how climate change is going to impact michigan. Blueberry farmer curious forecasts for climate, interested in for class for climate, Communication's critical issues and minerals and Michigan climate-related issues in Michigan. Alright, great. Tourism and majesty. Awesome. This is great. Lots of folks from a lot of places, a lot of different interests. That's awesome. Alright, well, if you haven't throw that in the chat, but let's jump ahead here. And I'm going to talk briefly about our tourism development team. So as I said, we are part of the broader government and community vitality team at MSU Extension. We have folks all over the state. You can see a list of there. I'm of course up in the Upper Peninsula district won. My colleague Eliot, who will also be will be presenting most of today is in district two and the eastern UP we have folks all over the state. We have folks on campus. Many folks are on the call today and we do lots of different things. So we as I said, we have critical conversations in Michigan tourism. We do our kind of our Keystone program is the first impressions Tourism Program and the contact for that. Any of us could talk to you about it, but the primary context would it be my colleague, Andy Northrop down there and district ten, he's on the call. So then we have lots of other programs that we can bring to you about tourism. But just to give you an idea that there's a lot we do and we're small but mighty. So get in touch if you have questions about tourism and we can all, we're always looking for opportunities to, to be entrepreneurial and respond to emerging issues. Next slide. So our series goal and I talked about this briefly. But the reason we're doing this is we want to give stakeholders and opportunity to learn more about sustainability and climate change in the context of Michigan and the Great Lakes tourism. We want to offer a low stress, supportive environment to discuss these issues and facilitate collaboration. One thing we learned through the pandemic when we were all online all the time, is that oftentimes, it's really helpful for folks as issues emerge to have an opportunity to kind of sit back and learn in a somewhat less structured environment. I'm taking some new information, talk to their peers, and think about solutions. Think about next steps, and think about ways to collaborate. And so that's really part of the objective of this program too. So we'll as much as through all four sessions, we'll have prepared material. We also want to give you folks a chance to talk to each other a little bit, so we'll be doing that at the end of the session today as well. So yeah. I will mention before we get into the meat of today, we have a relatively full room. We have a relatively full agenda, so please do ask questions as you have them, throw them in the chat. As much as possible and we'll, we'll be following that and we'll bring them up as we have opportunity to address them just for, just for simplicity sake. And again, there will be there will be time for Q&A in the prepared portion of the program. So next slide. So our agenda today, we've already done introductions. I am going to talk very briefly about sustainable tourism. Just kind of an overview. Elliott is gonna go, go into depth and detail about climate change in Michigan. We'll do some breakouts and then we'll do a recap, evaluation and adjourn. So we have a pretty full agenda. So let's jump in. And so at this point, sustainable tourism in brief and as I said, brief, because we will get, we have a lot more to talk about sustainability wise in future sessions. A good definition of sustainable tourism, according to the United Nation's World Tourism Organization, were looking at tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts. Addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities. So it's a very holistic concept that it takes into account a broad spectrum of the impacts of tourism. It's not just about generating income, it's not just about jobs. It's about making sure that communities are taking care of, the environment is taken care of. And so this is the framework that we're building the program around. Climate change, of course, is a huge part of that. And we'll talk more about that. But sustainability in general. Again, the framework we're looking at is very holistic, very multifaceted. Next slide, please. Just a little more about sustainable tourism. Again, this is from the UN, WTO, and you can find more information at that link there. Sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. It should respect the social culture, socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserved, they're built and living cultural heritage and traditional values and contribute to intercultural understanding and tolerance. And it should ensure viable long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income earning opportunities and social services to host communities and contributing to poverty alleviation. I think it's fair to say that those of us who work in Michigan tourism have seen probably all of these issues crop up at some point in our communities. So again, full spectrum of impacts. How do we address these? And climate change is a part of that. And a little more, just a little more about climate change. You can jump to the next slide. The Glasgow declaration of climate action and Tourism. This is an agreement that was signed in Glasgow by the members of the UN, WTO. They've committed to cut global tourism related carbon emissions are emissions in general by at least half over the next decade and reach net-zero as soon as possible before 2050. So that's kind of their deadline. Their actions are aligned with five pathways, measure, decarbonize, regenerate, collaborate, and finance. The objective is to define a clear and consistent sector wide message and approach to climate action in the coming decade aligned with wider scientific framework and the urgency to act now outlining pathways and specific actions that will accelerate tourism is ability to transform tourism and achieve net zero as soon as possible and encourage signatories across all sectors of tourism to demonstrate their public support for scaling up the sectors response to the climate emergency. And again, so that link will give you more information on the declaration and a little more of the global work that's being done on the issue. But that's the global context. We want to really start off now with a much more specific to Michigan focus. And I'm going to turn it over to my colleague Eliot, who is going to tell us about climate change in Michigan. Hey everyone, thanks. Well, I appreciate it. I love being a part of the tourism team and getting to share a bunch of different neat works in the tourism space. But really excited to talk about climate change today. I do work for the Sea Grant Program, which is a part of MSU Extension. So that's why I work in the tourism team as well. But I do want to note that I am a climate change generalist when it came to some knowledge. The folks that know the real nitty-gritty details of climate change in Michigan and the Great Lakes region are housed within many different departments at U of M and MSU, and then Lisa and I'll refer to those resources so you can. Dig into the weeds, but I'm here to just give you a very high level overview of what climate change is and what it will look like in the state of Michigan in the next few decades and what it has looked like already. So it will just talk about quickly what climate changes, how the climate will change in Michigan, and how that will change our state and what we can do about it. Alright, so that's a lot, but again, we're going to talk very, very high level here. And again, I do just want to remind you if you have questions at any point, Adam, into the chats. I know a few of you folks on the call here or probably even way more knowledgeable than me and climate change. So if you have extra resources to share or things like that, you can also do that in the chat function. So what does climate change? This comes from our Michigan see your fact sheet. But you can kinda think as climate and weather as two very different things. But completely related. Climate and weather are, is a distinction that you always make them to start when talking about what climate change is. Because we have to talk about what climate is. We're going to talk about climate change. So you can think of whether as the day to day individual atmospheric and other weather-related incidences that happened. It's the high temperature to low temperature. Is it raining? Is it sunny? Is it windy? It's snowing. All these different things that happen in Michigan. Those are the individual experiences day-to-day that make up weather. Climate is essentially then I'll kind of average of that. And you can have many different kinds of climate averages or climates. You can talk about precipitation averages, temperature averages, and they change over time. It's really important to remember these distinctions. And a way to help you remember it is to think about a classroom grades you get, right? So you might do individual assignments and get individual grades and those individual grades on a piece of a worksheet or a test or a quiz. Those are all like individual weather events, right? They tell you what's going on right there in the moment. And then you can think of climate like your report card at the end of the semester, the summation of all those individual events, what they all lead to in the end. I like that as a helpful way. And what's really important there, remember, is that you can be a student who forgets to turn in an assignment and maybe it gets an F or a D on an assignment. But on average you're getting A's most of the time. And so your report card at the end turns out to a they're just wanted to point that out that you can have those extremes in weather. But that's still might not mean that, that the climate is really different. Those are just the extremes of weather. So here's a quick quiz for you. You can pop this into the chat. Is this climate or weather statements that we're going to go through. We'll go from five quick statements, really quick. So if I say today feels so much hotter than yesterday, is that a climate statement or a weather statement? You could put it in the chat or just say it out loud or yellow it across your office, whatever it is fun to you. So we've got a few guesses and we're getting them right here. Yes. This is a weather statement. I'm talking about the temperature of today versus yesterday. We're not talking about averages. We're talking to individual days. That's a weather event. How about number two, we usually have a lot more snow than this in January. Is that a climate statement or a weather statement? I think about that one there. So now we're referencing this month and compared to what is normally occurring in this month? January, this January compared to other January's. Now we're talking climate. Yes. So three of you got that right away there. So that's a climate statement. Another one. Today's high temperature was ten degrees cooler than normal. Alright, so you can put that in the chat too. But if we're comparing it to normal, we're referencing an average. Whenever you're referencing an average, then you're starting to talk about climate as Cindy just put in there. Awesome. So you could do a couple more of these. Feel free to read through, but I think you're starting to get the idea that weather events can be extreme and dramatic, but climate is the average over time. That's what we're really looking at. Another couple of statements here. Heavy thunderstorms are expected to move through the area this evening. That's an individual event. That's a weather statement. I've lived in Lake Huron for six years and I've never experienced when like this. That's more of a climate statement and it's talking about 60 years of observations. So when we talk about Michigan's climate, we have a wide range of climate and this is just the plant hardiness zones. And I think it does a good job of showing that we really do have a wide range of climate, which means we haven't even more wide and wild range of weather in our state. And that's really driven a lot by both our location, distance from the equator, you're about halfway up to the North Pole. And the change from the southern Lower Peninsula to the very tip of the Northern Peninsula is a pretty big climatic change just because you're moving a lot of distance. It's a huge state. But we also have the Great Lakes to add in a lot of whether your ability and this leads to Michigan having a pretty complex and big climate. And that's going to be important. We're going to come back to that later. That complex and a wide range of variation means that predicting things in Michigan can be quite a challenge. And variability is going to be the key there. Alright. Now, we talked a little bit about weather and climate. Let's talk a little bit about what climate changes and to do that really have to start with the baseline of what is the greenhouse effect. So I got a couple of gifts going on here and they're flying all over the place, so sorry about that. But the greenhouse effect is essentially the main driver of climate change in our planet right now. And what that essentially is, is the fact that our atmosphere around our planet acts as essentially a blanket or a heat trap that keeps in heat so that we don't all freeze as we would if we were out in space. What essentially happens is when sunlight comes down, it's in light form radiation. And so you have sunlight will start right here that's coming down to the earth. And when it hits Earth, some of it just bounces right back up. Some sunlight just goes right back up, but the sunlight can pass through our atmosphere. No problem. When it hits her, though it gets converted into heat radiation and that heat radiation just get back out through the atmosphere. So light can pass through the atmosphere, but he can't necessarily pass through the atmosphere. And the reason for that is because there are gases in the atmosphere that will absorb that heat and re-admitted in different directions. So down in the bottom right, you can see greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Although they're not going to trap light, they are going to trap heat. And one, the heat hits those molecules. It's absorbed by those and then re-emitted and some of it's re-emitted back down to earth, some to the side and some back out. But you can probably imagine the thicker that blanket is, the more heat will be trapped inside of our atmosphere. In general, this is a good thing again, I said if we didn't have greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, we'd all think freezing to death right now. But if we look at what's happened to greenhouse gases in the last couple of hundred years. In particular, these are three primary greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide. This is a graph showing that obviously those have gone way, way up as we have burned more and more fossil fuel in this Earth. The Industrial Revolution has really, really been linked to the increase in greenhouse gases of many types, but a lot of attention to carbon dioxide. And so we have a lot more greenhouse gases. That means that blanket around Earth is thicker. Now we have increasing temperatures because of that. You can see here, there's a lot of lines on this graph, so I apologize, overthrow a lot of grass at you, but you'll have this recording later if you wanted to look at them closer. And you can see here is that global temperatures on average have been going up right in parallel step and step with atmospheric CO2. And you can see here that we have atmospheric CO2 that's been directly measured since the 1960s. So we have quite a few years at this point now of just directly measuring CO2. But prior to the time where formal measurement systems were put into place, air was being trapped in bubbles in ice cores. So the glaciers up in the north and south pole, those ice caps actually have air that goes back hundreds and hundreds and sometimes even thousands of years. And we can actually measure how much carbon dioxide was in the air of those bubbles when we take ice cores. So that's one of the ways that we can get earlier ideas prior to just directly measuring CO2. So we can look back even farther and see this trend. But it's a pretty clear one-to-one trend here. Greenhouse gases go up, Earth's temperature goes up. So that's going to change in a nutshell. That's what's going on there. Real fast. But hopefully some of you that was just a refresher. You've got questions, feel free to put them in the chat. Climate change is happening. Greenhouse gases have gone up, Earth's getting warmer. But what does that mean for Michigan specifically, we already talked about the fact that Michigan is highly variable. There's a lot of change in climate from the very southern to the very northern part of Michigan. And of course, we have these giant Great Lakes, the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Amazing amount of freshwater, 20% of the world's surface freshwater. And that's really going to impact how climate change plays out in ways that aren't just necessarily that easy one-to-one. Just everything is getting warmer, temperature goes up because that simple well, it's not exactly that simple because we've got a lot of things effectiveness. Again, I want to say I am not necessarily experts in this. So a lot of folks that are experts work in the greases space. So the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and assessments team is an awesome group of folks that are really helping us know more what's going to happen with climate change, what has happened and what will happen in the future. And this is a great resource. I highly encourage you to check it out. But notice that there's a distinction when we're talking about climate change here. There's what's happened in the past. So that's real data that we have observations and there's what's going to happen in the future. Now when it comes to data, what's happened in the past? That's pretty straightforward. We go out, we use sensors to measure carbon dioxide. We collect ice cores, we put through nominators and lakes. We can measure things. We can average the global surface temperatures now with satellites and things like that, It's really an incredible amount of data that we have. And scientists have been doing their thing since the 1800s, at least in the form of modern Western science the way it is. And it's been documented at MSU. I remember looking at journals from the early 1800s, science articles. The process that we have for science has really been going on for a long time. So we do have a lot of data and that data can help tell us what has already changed. Climate change kinda faces is that a lot of times people want to know what's going to happen next. And that's basically predicting the future. And as you can imagine, imagine predicting the future is an incredibly difficult process. We normally think of science as kinda cut and dry like this or that yes or no support or no support. That's normally analyzing past data. But modeling the future has a lot more variability. But it is a really powerful and thankfully, with the increase in artificial intelligence and really high-powered technologies, we are able to put the data that we have into a computer model and have it generate what algorithm think might happen based on what has happened in the past. And the way that these models work, they tend to break areas. Sometimes it's the whole planet down into grids. And then you put different variables in to those grids. And you can run equations to see what would happen in the future with a lot of different things. One thing that's really important to note about the Great Lakes is that although there's a lot of climate models for the world and for large regions. Climate models don't always get down to the fine scale of something like a state or a handful of states or region. So climate modeling and the Great Lakes is a big need. And thankfully, that's what folks, noah and you've M and other institutions and Lisa are doing is they're running climate models that are specifically for the Great Lakes to help us get some more fine tuned information for what's going to happen in the future. Just want to make that distinction. We've got data from the past and we've got modelling that looks into the future. The data from the past is, can be more clear cut. The models have a lot of variability and different levels of certainty. So there are two different kinds of science. They're going to have different outcomes and different levels of goodness. We can more assured look into the past, less ushered in the future, but we can still learn a lot of important things there. What's going to happen in the future from our models? Alright, so what has happened? Well, first off, it's warmer. That's been documented. We have thermometers all over the place and on average, temperatures are going up. It's undeniable. Temperatures have increased over time since 1951 to 2017. In Michigan, our average temperatures have gone up to 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that might not seem like a lot, but remember this is an average. And so that does have a decent impact and that's what we've already seen. Since 1951. We've seen a 2.32 degree Fahrenheit increase in the Great Lakes region. Now, that's what has happened. What's going to happen next is that it's predicted that those increases based on you. We have data that shows the carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases going up. Temperature is going up high in the future based on projections of greenhouse gases, move forward, we could see a three to six degree Fahrenheit and continued increase by 2,120, 100, we could see up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit increase that significant, right? If you're thinking up here in the UP, nice average summer day, 75 degrees by 2,100, it could be 85 degrees. That's a significant increase. That's a really different overall climate that we're headed towards if actions are taken. So it's warmer, That's pretty documented. Not too hard, but that also then what is the impact of that? Well, it does mean certain things like longer frost-free season. We have now, on average in Michigan or in the Great Lakes region, 16 more days a year that are frost-free. This does mean a longer growing season, and by 2,100, it could be up to 50 more frost-free days, so it's going to be warmer. We're going to see that we're ready. I think if you think back to your childhood versus now seeing longer falls drawn out and warmer summers, extended summers, shorter springs, and falls that are warmer. Now, although this could mean a longer growing season and warmer temperatures, It's important to remember that places like the Lower Peninsula are going to see extreme heats to Lower Peninsula will most likely have five to 15 more days a year above 95 degrees Fahrenheit by 2085. So we're seeing obviously warmer temperatures, but really some more of these extremes too. As I said, there are models that can predict how much further we're going to see temperature increases. But they're not all the same based on different climate scenarios. So yes, we've seen 2.3 degree Fahrenheit increase already. Yes, we are going to see continued increase. But if you remember those ranges, I talked about six to 11 degrees. That's a significant difference. And that's really based on different climate scenarios on how many continued greenhouse gases we pumped into the atmosphere. So the bottom-left shows a high emission scenario. In the top-right map shows a lower emission scenario. Basically the darker color, the higher the temperature increase. You can see that we have different scenarios moving forward. So yes, we know we've got a bit warmer now in Michigan, but we could be headed towards a lot warmer, especially in the Lower Peninsula, if we continue to emit greenhouse gases, the rate we're at or are we could see a mile continual increase based on lower emission scenario. So just wanted you to note that the past is pretty certain. We've seen these changes. The future is less certain based on actions that we choose moving forward. But either way, we're going to continue to see warmth. As we have average temperatures increase. We're going to also air temperatures. We're also going to see water temperature increase. So Lake Superior has already increased. Water temperature is 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit. You notice that significantly more than air temperatures have increased and it's significantly more than any of the other great lakes as well. All of the other great lakes are warming one to two or three degrees as well. And so we are seeing the Great Lakes start to warm up. We can talk more about what that's going to meet in a bit. But one of the things that is a little more complex with that is that the Great Lakes, even our inland lakes, we'll stratify, which means they turn into different temperature layers. And they turn over once temperatures start to warm up in the spring and cool down. And the false meaning that all that water mixes in the summer and the winter. The water is very stratified by different temperature zones. And this has impacts on fisheries. Are a lot of our fish know how to adapt to these stratifications. But it also has impacts for the nutrients that are water which tend to sit in certain areas until those mixing events occur. Well now our mixing events of the spring and the fall or getting farther and farther apart as the summer gets longer and longer. And so we're seeing those mixing events stretched out farther, which will have a lot of ramifications. I'll talk about a little bit more, but overall water temperatures going up, overall air temperature is going up. As our water temperatures go up, this is going to obviously you can start thinking about your community. What is going to change? One of those big tours and drivers in our state is fish in fisheries, not just for recreational fishing, but also for things like white fish that people want to go eat at the restaurants they expect those fishing communities be there. Places like Fish Town and Leland. The Upper Peninsula is just chock full of smoke fish, foot places and a lot of that is whitefish, which has a similar temperature needs the Cisco, these are some of our cold water species. And as you can imagine, if we've already seen a four degree increase in Lake Superior, that we may see even further increases. We're going to get a shift in Michigan and our fisheries from cold water and cool water species, two more cool and warm water species, things like Pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and pan fish. So we have to think about the changes to the fisheries and how that's going to impact as we see that. So I kinda made some broad statements that things are gonna go warmer both in the air and the water. But somebody of you are probably starting to think, you know, the water might be getting warmer, but I remember some years it's pretty recently where ice completely covered the Great Lakes. And I also remember some cold snaps that got us near record low temperatures. And that is totally true and a big part of what's going on is increased variability. So yes, on average, you can't really say that temperatures haven't warmed up. On average. They have. But we're also seeing crazy wild oscillations of temperature as things like the polar vortex get pushed down towards us. So, yes, in general, ice cover on the Great Lakes has gotten less. So with increased water temperatures, we have less ice temperatures or less ice covers. Alright, we have eight to 46 fewer days and ice coverage on the Great Lakes and probably similar to our inland lakes than we did in the early 1970s. The graph here on the right shows kind of averages of what's happening to yearly maximum ice coverage. And on average, the long-term trend is it's going down. But you can notice that there is a ton of variability year to year. And we're going to keep seeing that variability increase as there is climate kinda destabilizes and wild oscillations starts to take place. We will see crazy cold snaps of polar air that come down and frees up a lot of things. So I think this is important to recognize as we think about tourism in this space, a lot of tourism and winter is dependent on ice. I know my community, we hosted a snooze fest out on the ice. You'd have a tent on Lake Huron on the ice and people who have their cars out there. I think it's about five years now. The festival has moved on land because the ice is just not consistent enough. Any more. Ice fishing festivals are running into the same kind of issues. There may be years where there's tons of ice, that's great. But there are definitely more and more years where there's less ice too. So we are seeing these increased temperatures and air and water. But that's also on average. And what it's translating to is increased variability in things like ice coverage. So we're going to start to see more and more wild variability in our Great Lakes region with our weather events. Yes, climate on average is warming, but variability is also increasing. Same thing with snow. We're seeing less snow then before we have fewer ice fishing days, fewer snowmobiling days, fewer skiing day is challenges to winter festivals. Overall, snow is going down. There's a great article recently. The eye five-hundred here up in Soo St. Maria snowmobile race that's dependent on air being cold enough to freeze ice onto the track, they erase on an ice truck that has had to been delayed now a couple of different times. And as climate continues to change, that major tourism event really has to start thinking about how it's going to adapt to that average decrease, but there's also going to be increased variability. Now, one of the interesting things about snow is that temperatures are up, so you'd think less snow, but ice coverage is also less on the Great Lakes. And when we have ice not on the Great Lakes, it gives water a chance to evaporate off the Great Lakes and cause lake effect snow. And so we're actually seeing increased lake effect snow in many regions, um, because of decreased ice, which is kinda counter-intuitive. I think this GIF here does a good job of showing, it shows you 30-year averages, one 1960-1990 and another one 1980-2010. And it shows you the snow changes. And I think one thing to note first off is I can't annotate and let it go at the same time. So one thing to note is that the bands at the bottom, you can see a clear shift, right? And that's lower amounts of snow. So we're getting less and less snow in the South. But if we look up at the snow belt in the Upper Peninsula and in Traverse City to Gaillard region, we can actually see an increase in snow over these decades. And that is largely attributed to more lake effect snow because there is less ice on the Great Lakes. So now you're starting to see some of this complexity, right? Yes, on average, things are warmer waters, warmer, less ice generally, although we still get these crazy polar vortex is and this high variability in ice and snow, generally, yes, less snow but more lake effect snow. So in some regions they're seeing massive snowstorms and a lot more lake effect snow than in previous years. So maybe an increase for awhile in those regions. This shows the overall total snowfall between change in overall snowfall between two different time regions. And you can see this is on a scale of zero to 90 or zero to negative 90 change in percentage of snow. And there's variability in our state. There's a lot of regions in Michigan that have decreased overall, but there are some regions that have increased. Again, they're looking at climate projections into the future. That variability is still gonna be there. We're still going to have wild variability, but we're still going to have overall warming, which means overall, on average, decreased amounts of snow. And the amounts of snow decrease is really dependent again on two different scenarios. The one on the left is a lower emission scenario and the one on the right is a higher emissions scenario. If we do things to occur fossil fuels now, we could still have a future with snow in Michigan, maybe less snow or more variables snow. But if we don't do anything to change, then we may see really hardly any snow left and many parts of the state. So just different different scenarios. I got that reverse higher on the left, lower on the right, really could lead to variable differences in how much now, but we will see increased variability in stone. And probably overall on average less that increase the variability. Isn't just with ice cover, isn't just with snow, it's also with precipitation. Increase in precipitation has been realized in the last 60 years, so 1951-2017. And this is from the lisa of fact sheet, which is a great resource. We've seen a 14% increase in precipitation in the Great Lakes region. And we're probably going to continue to see more increased precipitation, but not in all Caesar's seasons. One interesting aspect is that we're seeing more precipitation in winter and maybe in spring with crazy high-intensity events, we'll get to that in a second. But summers are on average more dry and we're actually seeing more drought in the summer. So yes, overall increased precipitation, but again, increased variability as well. It's not as consistent throughout the year, rather kinda jammed in high events in certain regions and droughts in other times of the year. So just to kind of emphasize that heavy precipitation mean huge rain or snow events have gone up 35% in the Great Lakes since 1951 to 2017. So you're really, we really are seeing an increase in these dramatic events. That is, that is well documented and there is a good chance that those intense events are going to continue into the future. Again, this is two different climate scenarios. If we have increased or if we have a higher emissions scenario, we're going to see even more of these dramatic events if we have quite a little bit less greenhouse gas emissions scenario that we might not see as large of an increase, but we're still seeing overall a huge increase in variability. And in these intense events, these intense events are starting to sink in, in our state. I think we recently had massive flooding in Detroit and a washed out an entire section of expressway. We've seen huge floods and the Saginaw Bay region that have really impacted farms. And our infrastructure is realizing those two. As we have increased intense precipitation and increase intense storm events are infrastructure as being more stressed because our infrastructure works on averages. But now we're working on these extreme ends of things. And so infrastructure is going to be stressed in the future here. One of the other interesting things is when we have less ice cover in the winter, those storm events can be more damaging, particularly in the fall. So if you don't have earlier ice cover, the storm events that are moving across the Great Lakes with open water instead of ice-covered water. And that can lead to huge, huge wave events like record-breaking waves that we just had recently on Lake Superior. And those record breaking waves really get pound our shoreline areas in ways that in more intense ways than they had in the past. Another interesting side effect was sort of a combination of increased precipitation, which means more runoff, especially in those intense events from farms or from paved areas or wherever they may be. Nutrient contamination that has increased precipitation events along with the warmer temperatures in the lakes, in the air are increasing. The number of algal blooms that we see. Algal blooms are caused by a wide variety of factors, but climate change is being linked pretty clearly to an increased number of algal blooms. So again, there's a lot of variability. It's never really easy to just make a blanket statement. When it comes to climate change and the Great Lakes region. We are seeing increased temperatures, increased precipitation, decreased ice and snow, and increased storm algal blooms and overall variability in our Great Lakes region in Michigan. One more area that, that's tied to that, that's been a contentious area in the research for awhile, but there's a growing consensus that are Wat Great Lakes water levels are going to keep fluctuating as they always have, but maybe in greater frequency. So this is a graph that shows water levels variation from average over many, many years for each of our major Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Huron or hydrological be considered the same way. And so their water levels are measured together. You can see that in the past, we have always had major variation. You, Michigan and Huron can swing around a lot. What these graphs don't do super well. But what is starting to be documented is that the swings from the really high to the really low are increasing in frequency. And so we're seeing big swings from our highest water levels to lower water levels more often. And so we'll see maybe even record setting lows and record-setting highs. Great Lakes moving forward over the next several decades as the variability in our water levels increases, this impacts, of course, groundwater and our inland lakes to. But increased variability in water levels is something to expect. Many of our coastal towns rely on Great Lakes for tourism. And that coastal infrastructure is a key part of it, whether it's a walking path around the Great Lakes are out on up here or a bike path. And knowing that the water levels may go beyond our highest extremes that we've seen before is really important when thinking about adapting to climate change. Alright, Eliot, real quick, We have a question in the chat. Yeah. I'll have to get back to that one at the end there. Well, I have to run back to a previous slide and look at specifically what that one is talking about. So I'll take a look at that after we're done here. So how will this change Michigan? And I just wanted to briefly touch on this. We're going to see increased variability. We're going to see increased temperatures. But what does that mean to our population? And I don't think there's any good answers on this. There's a lot of debate. This is a highly contested thing, but it's been said that michigan might be a climate refugee state. Because even though things are gonna be intense in our infrastructure isn't quite ready for a lot of the stuff. We are also situated better than a lot of other places in our country. If we look at e.g. water stress in the US, we have a lot of water, particularly in Michigan. Compared to the west. We have a bounty of freshwater that's going to be a factor moving forward. Compared to areas along ocean coastline. Yes, we're going to see increased variability in our Great Lakes levels. But some of that pales in comparison to the sea level rise and impact that's going to have on major coastal cities. This is a map of population changes along coastal areas. And you can see that since the 1970s, people have been flocking to coastal regions like Florida, Texas, Louisiana, California, Oregon, Washington. And if we look at where places are most likely to experience impacts from climate change. This is a summative map. It's not perfect, but it does show that the ocean coastlines are not necessarily the best place to be if you want to avoid negative impacts from climate change. Whether or not this means Michigan is going to see an increase in population or an increase in tourism. It is an important thing to note that we do avoid some things like particularly hurricanes and some of the ocean flooding that's happening. As well as, you know, we're always been pretty safe from earthquakes, not related to climate change, but there's some thought that Michigan could be a refugee state, or at least a place that relative to the rest of the world, might look pretty nice in the next several decades, even if we have lots of major problems. Again, making a generalization like that is difficult. It's hard to know. Current evidence shows people flocking to these high-risk areas already. So it's not really going to change or not, we don't know. But either way, regardless of what happens to the population change in Michigan, we do know about these climate changes, changes that are going to happen. And we really want to start thinking through the scenarios that could play out in our state moving forward, particularly if we're in that tourism space where it's important to think about your infrastructure. It's important to think about what your assets are moving forward. So I'm going to really quickly share This video is about 10 min. I think we've got time here. Just to kinda get a different perspective. Talking about climate change can be pretty heavy and hard to think about. How is the light at the end of this tunnel or how can I do anything about this? We do have the chance to maybe mitigate still some climate change by decreasing carbon emissions. But there's going to be a lot of adapting to talk about that more in a minute. But I just wanted to throw this TED Talk in here really quick. It's only about 12 min. Sort of shed some light on ways to creatively think about both the challenges and opportunities that are going to come as a result of this. So watch this and then we'll come back and do a little discussion. So I think some interesting points in that and don't necessarily agree with everything he says. But I think that it's a good example of how to think creatively in this new future, this new reality that we may face, that we are facing. We've seen the changes already and we will see more changes moving forward. How can we approach these changes as a tourism industry and the state in a way that's going to mitigate some of the worst things that could possibly happen. How can we be part of the solution and mitigation? But also how can we adapt to do things like provide more intimate experiences and our state? How can we attract more local tourism? How can we integrate stewardship into our tourism? And so I think all of these can be done through the lenses of both mitigation and adaptation in tourism and in climate change. And so basically what mitigation means is to do things now to try to prevent further damage or further intense climate change. So things like switching to sustainable transportation. One instance that comes to mind is there's now in progress a green electric highway from Chicago up the west side of Michigan, all the way up to Traverse City were charging stations will be available to help mitigate you. All those fossil fuels that are being pumped from Chicago. All the tourists come up along Lake Michigan in the summer. There's now an opportunity to not have to use fossil fuels instead to use electricity that could come from alternative energies, although it doesn't all yet, but it's moving that way. But there's also adaptation, right? That's changing things to prepare. And then you have stuff that's sort of a bit of both, right? Like creating, restoring native ecosystems that can actually create more resilience to climate change, but it can also absorbed more greenhouse gases. Now, we can do things that both helped mitigate and adapt. So across that spectrum, there's a lot that we could potentially do. And again, just wanted to think about how is it that we will adapt to these changes? It can be depressing, it can be a little heavy of a wave, but it can also be an opportunity if we think creatively about how we will adapt to these changes, how we will be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. And how we can capitalize on what new assets may arise as a result of climate change. So with that, I'm going to wrap up here. I'm just looking at the chat really quick. Well, I don't know if you want to do Q&A now or wait until after the breakout rooms. Let's just have a couple of questions. So why don't you go ahead and speak to those? Yeah. So one of the questions I had a chance to look at it was about snowfall changes in the UP based on this graph and this isn't an average, right? So it is showing an increase in the 1960s and 1990 30-year chunk versus the 1880s to 2020 year chunk or 2010 year chunk increase in snow and the UP. But I will say this isn't a super fine resolution. If you zoom in. Again, get back to is that increased variability. You might have seen a lot more snow in Holton and in Marquette and in the zoo where they're getting lake effect snow. But down I'm only about 30 min south of the zoo, e.g. halfway between here on superior and in my community, I think we've seen less snow because we're actually too far away to get the lake effect snow down in another community, but farther south and cedar bill, there's even less snow because they may get a little less snow, but they also have warmer attempts, so there's snow is melting faster. So even though you may have more snowfall in some regions of UP, that doesn't necessarily translate to more snowpack. And that snowfall can be very, very regionally specific because lake effect snow can sometimes don't feet and feet of snow in one area and then 10 mi farther south, just about half of that and then another 10 mi south, almost no snow at all. So there's a lot of very specific variability. So I wouldn't take away that there has been more snow in the UP here. I would take away that there's been more variability, more lake effect snow, but not necessarily more snowpack across the hall, sake. I think that many snowmobile yours will tell you there's a lot of variability in where the snow is. The other question came from Ben, hey Ben. Yeah. So a lot of folks say that there is high value and conserving the UP because it has very pristine ecosystems and how it can help us with crime, climate resilience. So basically, when it comes to saving ecosystems from climate change, That's a really tall order and tall task. Many species are gonna get pushed farther north. It's climate change continues. But essentially the more complete and intact an ecosystem is, the more it will be able to be resilient to climate change. So when you take an ecosystem like let's say a forest and you fragment into a whole bunch of really small little chunks like we haven't a lot of the urban areas downstate. You do have forest down there, but they're really little five-acre chunks of forest. They're fragmented and they're not one big, consistent ecosystem, which means that all the populations of plants and animals are a lot smaller in those little fragments. Those fragments aren't connected. So populations of plants, animals can't move as easily. And so they're more at risk from climate change because let's say a population of animals is trying to move a little farther north because it's getting warmer. But they don't have a path. They don't have an avenue to move farther north because there are ecosystems fragmented in the UP. We don't have as many fragmented ecosystems. We have big connected pristine areas. And these are gonna be more resilient to climate change. So when it comes to protecting those areas, that could be really valuable for creating those corridors. Are those protected areas where things have a little bit room to change. Jerry, I can I can show you the source where I got that that snow change map. But again, that map isn't a super fine resolution. So it's important to realize that the increase is in variability. The overall snow amount has gone down as shown here in some areas. In the UP you can see this is 1984-2013 versus 1950, 4.19, 83. You can see that light green in the UP is all areas that have had less snow on average, the darker green as areas that have had a little bit more snow. So a lot of variability in where that is. I think that's it. So I'm going to hand it back to you will, so that we can get to our breakout sessions. Alright, folks. Well, we have a few more minutes. So as I said at the beginning, we really want to allow this webinar series to be an opportunity for you folks to talk to each other as well. We have a lot of a lot of brainpower in the group today. And so we want you to have a chance to discuss some things and begin to, begin to talk about the context in your community, in your area. So I'm going to put you in breakout groups. You could in your breakouts, chat about these questions and I'll put them in the chat once, once you're in your groups. What are those tourism assets that will likely change in your community due to those issues of climate change that Elliot did did such an excellent job of summarizing what which of those assets might decline, which may in fact be enhanced in your community as well. So I also want you to talk about what steps can your community take to prepare to adapt to climate change? And this is, think broadly, think about actions. Think about collaborations, think about research. Any other things your community might be able to do to prepare to adapt going forward. And then lastly, we really want to document what are those questions that you have and what information do you need? So that's for you, for those folks in your group and then also for us because we have three more sessions. And so if we can get some better ideas about questions we want to address, we'll try to do that. In each of your groups. Please choose a scribe and someone to report out. So just somebody to take some simple notes about your discussion and then come up with a couple of key points to share with the group. So I think what I'm gonna do is put us in. I'm going to open three breakouts and assign you randomly. That'll have us groups at about five people, will have about 10 min to do this and then we will maybe a little less than 10 min to have this discussion and then we'll report out and wrap up. So I'm gonna go ahead and break you out. Go right ahead and join your breakout. We'll talk to you soon. So we want to be respectful of everybody's time. We have about 6 min left on our scheduled hour-and-a-half. So very quickly, I'd like to go around each room and just a few of those key points that that you guys discussed. What is there a group that would care to care to go first? I was in group three. We were discussing what is going to change for us. Increase in rain, which does equal the number of beach closures due to E. Coli. Lake levels will be decreasing. More. Erosion occurring, decrease in ice fishing, decrease in the various fish that's available for fishing. Increase in evasive damages done to the lakes, increase in growing season, increase in temperatures will increase tourism and increase in hiking bike, decrease in snowmobiling, increase in ski resorts, being able to make snow, and an increase in second homes for seasonal homes. As far as partnership, everyone should probably partner together to make changes. That is all. Great. Thank you. Thank you. Another group here to report out. I can go for number one because we talked about a lot of the same things actually. Sure. Snow the decline of snowmobiling, really big one, assuming snowfall and not just because the decreased snowfall, but West consistent snowfall to a lesser extent impacting other winter sports. One opportunity I was brought up is potential more agricultural use and even something like greenhouses that maybe are a little more viable with less snow cover. And then just opportunities to attract new residents who are not as averse to snow might like a little bit more moderate temperatures. Then another thing was related to the trails and even ski hills. It's important to plan for these changes in seasonal tourism, but a lot of those facilities, hills and trails can be used all four seasons for different recreational activities. So at least that's there and it makes a little little easier to tolerate some of these changes. Awesome. Thank you, Jerry. Last last group? Yep. Our last group. We talked about all of the above, but especially looking at the Upper Peninsula, that the winter races and draw and snowmobiling will decrease. There might be more Fall opportunities, a longer season for tourism in the fall. And then just some thinking about some creative solutions with possibly thinking about the use of electric buses to mitigate carbon emissions, but to move people around in the UP if that was something people were willing to plan for, as well as we've seen an increase as an asset in the shipping season and cruise ships. We talked a lot about snowmobile decreasing and the growing popularity of a side-by-side. But one of the comments that was made is the thing to consider is infrastructure improvement and maintenance, which is a huge issue. That we have to take a look at the outdated infrastructure of all kinds. Because that will bear the pressure of the climate change as well as increased population, tourism as its, as people are drawn to the area. Well, thank you so much Cindy. I hope this discussion has been helpful for you folks and it's certainly helpful for us as we go about continuing to generate our subsequent sessions here. Because by way of wrapping up, we do have our next session. We're taking the week of Thanksgiving off, but that will be on November 30th, 2022 at noon. The same ZoomInfo, and that will be focusing on winter outdoor recreation.