A Western Michigan University climate change researcher says, unless something is done, Kalamazoo's weather will be similar to Oklahoma's in ten years. He says the Great Lakes region's average annual temperature will increase by 8 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

That bold claim comes from Dr. David Karowe who compiled a variety of predictions about what Michigan and the Great Lakes region will be like in the year 2100 depending on whether nations implement the Paris Agreement on climate change or practice business as usual, which is defined as slowly replacing fossil fuels with smarter energy choices like wind and solar.

Possibly his most stunning prediction concerning Southwest Michigan is Michigan may end up feeling like Oklahoma if global warming isn't slowed down within a decade, says Karowe, who researches global change ecology.

More about what this will mean to Michigan from Karowe's predictions:

• During the last 30 years of the century, two-thirds to 100 percent of all of summers will be hotter than today's hottest summer.
• More lake-effect snowstorms will hit during the next few decades, but 90 percent of winter precipitation will be rain by 2100.
• More severe precipitation events will occur. The likely frequency of a once-in-20-years rain event will be every five years.
• Major biome changes will take place as white pine, trout, and other iconic flora and fauna decline dramatically.

WMU says Karowe researches global change ecology, teaches general ecology at WMU and co-directs the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Michigan Biological Station. In particular, he and the students in his lab are investigating the potential ecological consequences of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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