Learn about our changing climate

Learn About Our Changing Climate

Our Changing Climate

Just as in the rest of the world, the Midwest’s climate is changing. The region has gotten warmer and wetter since 1900, with Michigan seeing average yearly temperature increase by two to three degrees Fahrenheit and average rainfall increase by around five inches. Climate change is shifting seasonal patterns and fueling extreme weather. Climate forecasts show extreme weather patterns will increase through the 21st century. In Michigan, the greatest weather concerns are extreme heat and precipitation events.

Modern society heavily employs processes for transportation, electricity, heating, industry, agriculture, and more that emit greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Such greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere can increase precipitation and worsen storms. Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases can avert some of the worst harms of the climate crisis.

The new MI Healthy Climate Plan commissioned by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer charts a course toward economywide carbon neutrality by 2050.