Climate Change

  • This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by MPMc.
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  • #1517
    Peggy Knapp
    Keymaster

    In this forum, write a short reflection on what you think the major effects of climate change will be on Minnesota’s water resources, and what we should do first to minimize disruption. How might the effects of climate change described in this video be seen and felt in Minnesota?

    Write a response to two of your colleagues’ posts. What has someone else written that you can support, or challenge?

    Post your responses by clicking “reply” below. Remember to hit “Submit” before closing this window.

    #1610
    hlhamilton
    Member

    I feel these could be very overwhelming reflections. Water affects EVERYTHING we do and any negative effect to our water resources seems likely to snowball into many areas. To prevent my mind from spiraling out of control at the enormity of the effects of climate change on MN’s water resource I am focusing on water quality especially as it affects recreation. More rain and more intense periods of rain causing the peak in the hydrograph to be sooner and higher means more chance pollutants are carried all the way to our water bodies. More pollutants degrade the quality of our water making it less useful for life including being able to drink it and enjoy it for aesthetics and play.

    I admit one of the reasons I picked this effect of climate change to MN’s water resources is I know there are simple effective ways to mitigate the damage to our water quality. Even before we get to the simple effective ways though, we must educate the general population about how climate change affects water quality. Once they grasp the gravity of the damage the pollutants cause and how that damage could effect many aspects of their lives; they will be more interested in helping with the solutions. A simple effective solution is to interrupt that pollutant rich, rapid intense flow of water down impervious surfaces by directing that flow into a rain garden, buffer zone or similar increased infiltrating area. A rain garden especially when it is filled with native plants slows down water flow and offers the added benefit of filtering the water to help remove pollutants. It means we have to change the paradigm of decades of “green concrete” carefully manicured and pristine. We have to move to more areas even in our front yards that mimic nature, areas that flow without sharp edges, plants that mingle with their neighbor plants creating barriers to rapid water flow. We have to get more people involved and more people to change, which is very hard but it is possible.

    Other effects such as warmer water temps, more rain, less snow will affect water recreation by allowing more algae bloom and by decreasing the time those crazy ice fishing people can be on the lake because lakes will freeze later and melt earlier.

    The more you reflect on the effects of climate change on the world as we know it; the more issues you see developing. I am glad for this kind of program which hopefully will be able to ripple out to others.

    #1635
    MPMc
    Member

    As a communications professional, I had the opportunity to hear Duluth Mayor Don Ness speak to the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators at our Fall Conference in 2013. Don was speaking about handling crisis communications for the 2012 flood. The photos and the stories he shared about the City of Duluth’s aging infrastructure really made me think about the aging infrastructure throughout our state and our country. Attached is a link to an article from MPRs series on climate change in Minnesota that shows how infrastructure is being affected in our state:

    http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/04/climate-change-infrastructure

    #1636
    MPMc
    Member

    This MPR series is too good to not link to again. It should have been a month-long or year-long series instead of just one week. They only were able to touch on the tip of the iceberg.

    Here is the kick off article Climate Change in Minnesota: 23 Signs

    http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/02/climate-change-primer

    #1644
    kvamme25
    Member

    I think the effects of climate change will mean a strain on Minnesota’s water resources. We will need to adapt our water use habits in order to deal with this strain. We will need to find ways to capture and store water to use during dry periods and droughts. We will need to support organic farming methods or teach farmers how to make more effective use of their water. We will need to look at how to get water back into the ground cleanly. Less snow and earlier snow melt (as mentioned in the video) will mean drier springs, which will put more pressure on agriculture and increase irrigation withdrawals. These problems can not be ignored.

    #1645
    Peggy Knapp
    Keymaster

    Great reflection. I was struck by this comment-

    ” we must educate the general population about how climate change affects water quality”

    One of the challenges I struggle with as an educator is “how do we get the attention of people who are more focused on Kim Kardashian than the water they drink?” It’s a HUGE challenge.

    As you noted in your response, we can make small changes, even in our front yards that gradually change our relationship to water. I occasionally see small indications that more people are paying more attention. It helps me keep going!

    #1646
    Peggy Knapp
    Keymaster

    I agree- I have LOVED this series. One of the things we are hoping to promote in this program is to bring this huge horrible problem down to human scale, so we can feel that our efforts will make a positive difference. Humans get discouraged so easily. Change has to seem possible.

    #1667
    MPMc
    Member
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