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New fact sheet highlights dangers of climate change in wake of hottest July on record


LANSING  – Today, the Michigan Climate Action Network released a fact sheet detailing the impacts of climate change on Michigan’s recreational industry and natural resources. July was the hottest month on record globally, which raises concerns over how climate change impacts Michigan ahead of one of the most popular weekends for outdoor recreation.

“This summer’s record-breaking temperatures should sound an alarm for anyone preparing to enjoy outdoor activities this Labor Day Weekend,” said Kate Madigan, director of the Michigan Climate Action Network. “The impacts of climate change are becoming more pronounced each year, and we should be concerned about how rising temperatures will continue to affect Michigan’s Great Lakes, wildlife and outdoor recreation industry.”

“We can protect Michigan’s outdoor heritage … but only if we act now to cut carbon pollution, invest in clean energy, and make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.” – Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director for NWF

Key facts include:

✓ July had the highest average global temperature of any month since record keeping began in 1880.
✓ Temperatures are projected to continue rising at a rate of seven to 12 times faster in the next 40 years.
✓ Since 1991, rainfall has been 30 percent higher than the 1901-1960 average, resulting in more frequent flooding and runoff pollution of waterways.

The fact sheet also cites research by the National Audubon Society finding that more than half of the bird species it studied were in danger of becoming endangered or threatened this century because of climate impacts.

“Many bird species’ ranges are expected to shift northward with a changing climate. Some of our most iconic birds, like bald eagles and common loons, may no longer be able to find suitable habitat in Michigan,” said Rachelle Roake, Conservation Science Coordinator for the Michigan Audubon Society. “Action taken now to reduce emissions and preserve habitat can protect our birds and other wildlife.”

Climate change is also impacting fish, and recreational fishing, which is a nearly $2 billion industry in Michigan. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) report Swimming Upstream: Freshwater Fish in a Warming World documents how climate change is warming our lakes, rivers and streams, and harming iconic species like trout and walleye.

“Warming waters are already causing big problems for fish that rely on cold, clean water,” saidMike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director for NWF. “We can protect Michigan’s outdoor heritage and prized fishing streams, but only if we act now to cut carbon pollution, invest in clean energy, and make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

This Labor Day weekend, thousands of Michigan families will spend time in the great outdoors enjoying Michigan’s natural resources. Climate change-related incidents like extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures raise questions over the future of Michigan’s outdoor recreation and tourism economy. A clean energy future with more renewable energy like wind and solar can reduce dangerous pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change.

For More Information, contact:
Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Communications, (517) 333-1606
Kate Madigan, Michigan Climate Action Network, (231) 633-5353
Rachelle Roake, Michigan Audubon Society, (517) 580-7364
Mike Shriberg, National Wildlife Federation, (734) 887-7107

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