“How climate change is playing out in Minnesota: Some data and consequences in our own backyard”

Dr. Mark Seeley Extension Climatologist Dept of Soil, Water, and Climate University of Minnesota

MN Senate Environment and Energy Committee (Jan 22, 2013)

Topics to be covered
Perceptions of climate behavior related to infrastructure Evidence of vulnerability Data trends in three climate attributes Character change in precipitation Simultaneous extremes Impacts and consequences

Climate Science Fundamentals

Stationary (1)
Cyclical (2)

Variability (3)

Trend Shift (4)

Perceptions of climate behavior are built into the design of our infrastructure (1,3)
Changnon et el

Vulnerability and Consequences Remain Key Societal Issues

Implications for land use, building codes, insurance, and infrastructure
Nearly $1.0 trillion in losses from the past 32 years (current dollars)

RECENT SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE TRENDS IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES

•TEMPERATURE: WARMER WITH SEASONALITY AND DIURNAL CYCLE SHIFTS •DEWPOINTS: CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF TROPICAL-LIKE ATMOSPHERIC WATER VAPOR •MOISTURE: AMPLIFIED PRECIPITATION SIGNAL (VARIABILITY), HIGHER FRACTIONAL THUNDERSTORM CONTRIBUTION

*

Temp trend is upward and more frequently above the 90th percentile

Trends in mean monthly temperatures at Austin, MN 1971-2000 normals vs 1981-2010 normals (F)
Month Min Change January +3.0 February +0.1 March -0.1 April +1.3 May +0.9 June +1.6 July +1.1 August +1.6 September +1.3 October +1.7 November +2.1 December +2.2 Max Change +2.1 +0.2 -0.1 +0.2 -0.8 -0.4 +0.2 +0.4 +0.6 -0.3 +1.7 +1.4 Mean Change +2.5 +0.1 -0.2 +0.7 +0.1 +0.5 +0.7 +1.0 +1.0 +0.7 +1.9 +1.8

Trends in mean monthly temperatures at Willmar 1971-2000 normals vs 1981-2010 normals (F)
Month Min Change January +3.4 February +0.8 March +0.9 April +0.7 May +0.1 June +0.5 July +0.7 August +0.4 September +0.9 October +0.5 November +1.3 December +2.1 Max Change +1.5 +0.9 +1.2 +1.5 -0.1 +0.2 +0.5 +0.7 +1.0 +0.5 +2.3 +1.7 Mean Change +2.9 +0.8 +1.0 +1.1 NC +0.3 +0.6 +0.5 +0.9 +0.5 +1.7 +1.8

Amplified trends in average winter minimum temperatures International Falls, MN
Period of Record 1951 - 1980 1961 - 1990 1971 - 2000 1981 - 2010 1951 - 1980 1961 - 1990 1971 - 2000 1981 - 2010 1951 - 1980 1961 - 1990 1971 – 2000 1981 - 2010 Ave Min Temp in Deg. F Jan -11.0 Jan -8.4 Jan -8.3 Jan -6.6 Feb -4.8 Feb -0.7 Feb -0.6 Feb -1.3 Mar 8.9 Mar 12.3 Mar 12.6 Mar 12.5

RECENT SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE TRENDS IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES

•TEMPERATURE: WARMER WITH SEASONALITY AND DIURNAL CYCLES SHIFTS •DEWPOINTS: SHIFTS IN FREQUENCY OF TROPICAL-LIKE ATMOSPHERIC WATER VAPOR •MOISTURE: AMPLIFIED PRECIPITATION SIGNAL (VARIABILITY), THUNDERSTORM CONTRIBUTION

Trend in dewpoints of 70 F or higher in the Twin Cities
Latitude 45 degrees

Hours with dewpoints of 70 degrees F or higher at Voyageurs National Park
Latitude 48.5 degrees

Frequencies of July tropical dew points (70 F or higher) and associated Heat Index values for the Twin Cities since 1945

Year 1949 1987 1955 1999 1957 2001 1977 1983 1995 2002 2004 2011 2012

Hours with DP of 70 F or greater 223 223 206 192 192 182 160 157 110 305 108 243 186

Range of Heat Index Values (F) 98 - 112 98 - 104 98 - 113 98 – 115 (116*) 99 – 114 98 - 110 100 - 108 102 - 110 98 - 116 98 – 109 98 - 105 98 – 118 (*134) 99 - 117

Historical Minnesota Heat Waves:
Red denotes dewpoint driven

1883, 1894, 1901, 1910, 1917, 1921, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1988, 1995,1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012
(pattern is episodic but increasing in frequency)

RECENT SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE TRENDS IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES

•TEMPERATURE: WARMER WITH SEASONALITY AND DIURNAL CYCLES SHIFTS •DEWPOINTS: SHIFTS IN FREQUENCY OF TROPICAL-LIKE ATMOSPHERIC WATER VAPOR •MOISTURE: AMPLIFIED PRECIPITATION SIGNAL (VARIABILITY), THUNDERSTORM CONTRIBUTION

Change in Annual Precipitation Normals at Willmar, MN
PERIOD 1921-1950 1931-1960 1941-1970 1951-1980 1961-1990 1971-2000 1981-2010 AMOUNT (IN.) 23.01” 24.47” 27.63” 27.71” 28.21” 28.23” 29.46”

28 percent increase since 1921-1950 period

Change in Annual Precipitation “Normals” at Brainerd, MN
PERIOD 1921-1950 1931-1960 1941-1970 1951-1980 1961-1990 1971-2000 1981-2010 AMOUNT (IN.) 23.03” 24.68” 25.59” 26.02” 26.40” 27.55” 28.38”

23 percent increase since 1921-1950 period

Historical recurrence interval of 2 inch rains in northern IA and southern MN is once per year.

Observed 2 inch rainfalls for the period 1991 – 2012 and maximum single day value for various communities:
Location No. 2 in. rains Maximum Value (date)

Rosemount Albert Lea Waseca Winona Zumbrota Winnebago Bricelyn Amboy Hokah

42 39 43 35 43 41 39 36 33

5.80 7.50 5.63 4.95 6.46 8.64 9.22 9.48 15.10

(7/23/1987) (6/15/1978) (9/23/2010) (8/19/2007) (6/27/1998) (9/25/2005) (9/14/2004) (9/23/2010) (8/19/2007)

Shift in Precipitation Recurrence Intervals? Three “1000 year events since 2004 (According to DNRState Climatology Office)

Historic Droughts
(Associated fires)

1829, 1852,

1856

1863-1864, 1871-1872 1894, 1896, 1900, 1910, 1918, 1921-1923

1926, 1929-1934,
1936-1939, 1948, 1954-1956, 1961, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1997, 20052006, 2007 2008 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Climate Singularity
X = 24 counties included in USDA drought disaster declaration of August 7, 2007 Note: adjacent 32 counties were also eligible for assistance X X X X X= Counties included in federal flood disaster declaration of August 20, 2007 and eligible for FEMA assistance X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

X X

X

X

X

X X X X

X X

X

X

MN Counties designated for federal disaster assistance in 2012 All are associated with drought except those with Which designates for flood or severe storm

Some Consequences of Climate Change
Longer growing seasons-change in plant hardiness zones Shorter duration of soil and lake freezing Later fall nitrogen applications (soil temp too high) Change in over winter survival rates of biological organisms Change in fisheries management (stocking, fishing opener, etc) Opportunities for invasive species (insects, pathogens, etc.) Increased number of freeze/thaw cycles (damaged roads) Longer mold and allergen season (health care) Amplified moisture variability-impacts on tile drainage, irrigation, surface and ground water systems-growing list of impaired waters More heat advisories and heat warnings (health care/livestock) Increased risk of soil erosion Work on flood mitigation and storm sewer runoff

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