Impacts of Global Climate Change on Minnesota

map of state of Minnesota using color to show projected temperature changes

People who have lived in Minnesota for a few decades have noticed that winters aren’t what they used to be. Minnesota winters are getting warmer, and scientists have noted that they are warming faster here than in anywhere else in the continental U.S. A recent study shows that summer temperatures are getting warmer, too.

MSI PI Tracy Twine (associate professor, Soil, Water and Climate) and colleagues have published a study about Minnesota’s warming climate in the journal Earth and Space Science. The researchers performed climate projections using the Weather Research Forecasting model on MSI’s supercomputers. These high-resolution projections showed that Minnesota could see considerably warmer temperatures during both winter and summer months by the end of the 21st century. There could also be more spring precipitation and less snow cover. These changes will significantly affect agriculture, infrastructure, water resources, and other parts of the Minnesota economy. The paper can be found on the journal website: High-Resolution Climate Projections Over Minnesota for the 21st Century. A story about this research also appears as a University of Minnesota Research Brief: U of M Study Shows Strong Winter and Summer Warming in Minnesota by 2100. The study’s lead author, Dr. Stefan Liess, presented a poster related to this research at the 2022 MSI Research Exhibition.

Professor Twine uses MSI for various projects that use high-resolution climate modeling.

Image description: Average winter (December–February) MME 2-meter temperature in °∆C for (a) historical simulations and (b)–(d) anomalies of each RCP scenario compared to the historical period. Shading in (b)–(d) indicates statistically significant changes over U.S. land points at the 95% confidence interval. Image and description adapted from S Liess, et al. Earth and Space Science 9, doi: 10.1029/2021EA001893.

posted on November 29, 2022

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