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Education Scotland is the national body in Scotland for supporting quality and improvement in learning and teaching. Deal sought to keep flood predictor intact The Huron Clinton Metropark Authority recently pulled funding for several stream gages in the Huron River and its tributaries. The Crushing Cost of Climate Change: Why We Must Rethink America’s Infrastructure Investments Our nation’s aging infrastructure crisis coupled with more extreme weather events are adding up to burdensome level of expenses shouldered by states and local municipalities. CHELSEA: Public sounds off about Lyndon Township sand mine proposal The public hearing pertaining to a proposed sand mine in Lyndon Township between the Pinckney and Waterloo Recreation Areas drew hundreds voicing opposition to the project including State Representative Gretchen Driskell. Convicted sewage dumper loses another court challenge  The conviction of a man charged with violating Michigan’s Natural Resources Protection Act, stands after a recent court challenge.
Bucking the conventional feeling this winter, I have been loving all of this snow — this is how every winter should be!  Avid cross country skiers everywhere agree. The article describes the alarming long term trends in snowfall and snowpack worldwide, and it reminds us all that, taken alone, local weather events on any given day or month cannot support or refute global climate change. In the Great Lakes region, the number of days with snow cover has decreased by 5 days per decade, since 1975. Of course, global warming is not just about inconveniencing a bunch of skiers.  Those winter snows provide drinking water for us all and drought protection for farmers and forests. So, next time you curse the snow delaying your morning commute, think about the likely future if current trends continue, and when you eventually get to the office or other workplace, give your Senator or Representative a call. This piece was written by guest blogger Mike Kaminski who worked as a intern at HRWC last summer and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. Resiliency is the capacity for a system to absorb disturbance without shifting into a qualitatively different state.
With increased temperatures and extreme weather events (especially summer drought), tree species that have long been associated with the beauty of the Huron River watershed will begin shifting their population ranges north to accommodate for the change in climate. Many potential consequences could result from the loss of these long established tree species.
Now entering its third year, the Climate Resilient Communities Project has compiled several great resources on improving climate resiliency in the area’s forests and trees.
Winter, without a doubt, is upon us.  And after a major ice storm and the polar vortex hitting our area, the weather and water are making headlines. The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes  And speaking of the Polar Vortex…what is such a thing anyway?  This short video explains the phenomenon for those of us that do not spend our days thinking about jet streams, pressure systems and temperature differentials. EPA’s Top 10 Technology Needs For Water Nutrient, sediment, and bacterial pollution, aging infrastructure, inefficiencies in water use and climate change all strain the nation’s water supply. The Erb Institute, in collaboration with the department of Screen Arts & Cultures, has sponsored a competition to create the best student-produced video aimed at engaging the public in climate change. Public voting for student-produced videos for the Climate Change Communication Challenge is now open!
They challenged U-M students to create a public service announcement that would inspire positive action on climate change. Lots of activity in the policy sphere in this edition of News to Us.  EPA threatens to reclaim control over wetland regulations in Michigan, decease Hamburg Township considers a watercraft-control ordinance and a lovely little butterfly seeks endangered status to protect remaining populations. EPA hearing will give public a voice in whether Michigan should retain regulation of wetlands  On December 11th, medical Michigan residents will be able to provide comment during a public hearing on whether or not the EPA should revoke Michigan’s authority to administer wetland regulations under the Clean Water Act.  Michigan’s administration of the regulations have been under scrutiny as inconsistent with Section 404 of the Act and less protective of wetlands. Officials take aim at lake revelry  Conflict over public uses of Baseline Lake have Hamburg Township officials considering options.  Residents around the lake are complaining of loud and inappropriate behavior on the public lake. Cities adapting to changing climate, seek but more changes coming  The work of HRWC partner, the Graham Sustainability Institute, was highlighted in a story on how cities are adapting to a changing climate.  Ann Arbor is one of several cities in the Great Lakes that are part of the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities program helping support cities considering how to adapt to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns. Michigan cracks down on frogbit crowding out state lakes  A new non-native aquatic plant is invading lakes and other slow moving waters in southeast Michigan.
Overall, the report shows increased certainty pertaining to those trends you hear the most about.  Surface and ocean temperatures are warming, sea level is rising, ice sheets are melting, weather is becoming more extreme and scientists are more confident than ever that humans are the cause of this warming and the resultant impacts (95% certainty, up from 90% in the 2007 report). The hardest hitting statement for me as I was reviewing the report is that “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped”.  With no meaningful effort to curb the release of CO2 into our atmosphere on the global table, it is certain that at the local level, we will need to respond to changes. Future impacts of climate change include heavier storms, which may over tax our stormwater systems. On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a three-pronged strategy to address climate change.  The plan would cut emissions from power plants, fund alternative energy, and help communities enact measures to adapt to rising temperatures that are already occurring as a result of excess greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere by human activities in the last century.
Through the Climate-Resilient Communities project, HRWC has been working with communities and local water managers to adapt and become more resilient to predicted changes in climate in our own watershed, so President Obama’s announcement is welcome.
Through the Saving Water Saves Energy project, HRWC has been raising public awareness of the water-energy nexus and teaching homeowners how water efficiency can actually help reduce the energy that is needed to pump, heat and treat water supplies thereby reducing carbon emissions too. To show your support for federal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consider contacting the White House to express your views.
In response to last year’s dry conditions, and Dexter has made a proactive decision to instate water restrictions for the Village.
WEMU interviewed HRWC Executive Director Laura Rubin for a recent ‘Issues of the Environment’ piece on the risks to the river from underground oil pipelines in the Huron River watershed. I’ve noticed a lot of mosquitos this year while trying to get my garden in the ground.  Have you?
Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, causing a wide range of impacts on society and the environment. Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident.
The report, a€?Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012a€™ finds that higher average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe.
Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused rising damage costs across Europe in recent years.A  While more evidence is needed to discern the part played by climate change in this trend, growing human activity in hazard-prone areas has been a key factor. Some regions will be less able to adapt to climate change than others, in part due to economic disparities across Europe, the report says. Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director said: a€?Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident. The last decade (2002a€“2011) was the warmest on record in Europe, with European land temperature 1.3A° C warmer than the pre-industrial average. Heat waves have increased in frequency and length, causing tens of thousands of deaths over the last decade. While precipitation is decreasing in southern regions, it is increasing in northern Europe, the report says.

Besides heat-related health impacts, other human health effects are also important, the report says. While there may be less water available for agriculture in southern Europe, growing conditions may improve in other areas. The report is intended to show the full extent of climate change impacts across Europe, also informing the European Commissiona€™s European Adaptation Strategy to be published in March 2013. The website Climate-ADAPT includes a large amount of information intended to assist in developing and implementing climate change adaptation. Climate change is already having substantial and widespread impacts around the world, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
As scientists have increased their understanding of the climate system, they have been able to state with increasing certainty that the Eartha€™s climate has changed beyond historic variability, and that humans are the main cause.
Floods in Central Europe have caused deaths and widespread property damage across parts of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. As Europea€™s climate warms, wine producers in Europe may need to change the type of grapes they cultivate or the location of vineyards, even moving production to other areas in some cases. This European Environment Agency (EEA) report presents information on past and projected climate change and related impacts in Europe, based on a range of indicators.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. We use cookies to record some preference settings and to analyse how visitors use our web site. Read about the loss of several key stream gages in the watershed, the proposed Lyndon Township sand mine, Ann Arbor’s new Green Streets policy and several articles on the implications of the severe winter weather we are experiencing. These gages provide river flow measurements used by municipalities and other groups to monitor water levels in the river. This article discusses action at the national level to support critical infrastructure improvements and rebuilding after disasters. Road projects will use engineering and vegetation to infiltrate at least the first inch of rain from storms improving water quality and stream flows, reducing the risk of flooding and minimizing wear and tear on the stormwater system. Concerns about water quality, groundwater wells, wildlife, traffic and noise were among those voiced at the public hearing.  A second hearing is scheduled for March 13th and a petition is circulating for those who oppose the development.
Charges came from an incident where raw sewage was dumped into the Huron River for three days from a property owned by the defendant. The average snow depth has also decreased.  Future projections predict later arrival of winter and earlier arrival of spring resulting in more precipitation falling as rain than snow  (GLISA, Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region). In this case, the system we are talking about is the Huron River watershed’s trees and forests, and the disturbance is climate change. Fall foliage characterized by the vibrant reds and golds of sugar maples and beeches will be replaced by the muted browns and yellows of oaks and hickories better suited to these new weather patterns.
Two years ago, HRWC, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA), and several local environmental leaders from around the watershed formed the Creating Climate Resilient Communities Project: an effort to address local climate change impacts by building resiliency in the watershed.
These include a comprehensive report on the state of climate change and its impacts on the local watershed, fact sheets on key tree species of the area, and a report of popular and emerging management strategies for resilience in forest and tree resources.
Cold Snap Inspires Climate Change Denial, While Scientists See Little Room for Doubt  The Polar Vortex sure did a lot to spark conversation about Global Warming.  This article shares why cold weather and a warmer climate are not mutually exclusive. Recent testing found 19 different drugs in the water used for Ann Arbor’s drinking water, of which, only 8 were filtered out during treatment.  What does this mean for our health and the health of aquatic organisms?  Listen to this report to find out more.
This article shares what the Environmental Protection Agency deems the top ten water issues that could benefit from technological solutions. I am currently working with a terrific group of Washtenaw Community College students and their instructor Matt Zacharias to review and debut a bevy of Huron-related PSAs (coming in January).
Also read about a new aquatic plant invading lakes and how several Great Lakes cities are adapting to climate change. On November 19th there will be a public hearing on the issue and the potential for a local watercraft-control ordinance.
Several confirmed reports have the species taking hold in areas of the lower Huron River watershed near the outlet to Lake Erie. It drove home the importance of the work of HRWC and the communities of the Huron River watershed toward achieving climate resiliency.  Climate resiliency is the ability of communities, both built and natural, to (pun intended) weather the storm.
Further impacts are expected in the future, potentially causing high damage costs, according to the latest assessment published by the European Environment Agency today.
Future climate change is expected to add to this vulnerability, as extreme weather events are expected to become more intense and frequent. Various model projections show that Europe could be 2.5a€“4A° C warmer in the later part of the 21st Century, compared to the 1961a€“1990 average. The projected increase in heat waves could increase the number of related deaths over the next decades, unless societies adapt, the report says. These trends are projected to continue.A  Climate change is projected to increase river flooding, particularly in northern Europe, as higher temperatures intensify the water cycle. Minimum river flows are projected to decrease significantly in summer in southern Europe but also in many other parts of Europe to varying degrees. Record low sea ice was observed in the Arctic in 2007, 2011 and 2012, falling to roughly half the minimum extent seen in the 1980s. Global average sea level has risen by 1.7mm a year in the 20th century, and by 3mm a year in recent decades. For example, plants are flowering earlier in the year, while in freshwater phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms are also appearing earlier. The growing season for several crops in Europe has lengthened and this is projected to continue, alongside the expansion of warm-season crops into more northerly latitudes. However, this must be balanced against higher energy demands for cooling during hotter summers.
Moreover, the EEA will support the strategy with an assessment of a selection of adaptation actions across Europe, to be published in early 2013. Drawing on a larger body of evidence than ever before, it highlights a wide range of risks in vital areas such as food supply, human health and economic development.
This is demonstrated in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Such events are likely to increase in Europe for several reasons including climate change, according to recent assessments from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

This is just one example of how Europea€™s economy and society need to adapt to climate change, as examined in a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Climate change is melting the sea ice in the region at a rate much faster than estimated by earlier projections. The report also assesses the vulnerability of society, human health and ecosystems in Europe and identifies those regions in Europe most at risk from climate change.
The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment. Healthy tree communities enhance stormwater infiltration, filter pollutants picked up by rainwater, keep our rivers and streams cool, and help to preserve the overall health of the Huron.
Even the eastern white pine, the state tree of Michigan, is expected to become more rare in this area. Among the issues the project chose to focus on were resiliency strategies for natural infrastructure (specifically trees) within the watershed. These and many other useful resources have been compiled as a comprehensive toolkit on HRWC’s website. The Michigan DNR is looking for citizen help to identify new locations of this nuisance weed.  The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network has information on the species and how to report sightings. This little butterfly lives in the remaining prairie fens in the watershed with known occurrences in Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties.
When rain events dump more water in shorter periods of time, when summer droughts and heat waves become more common, when shifts in seasonal patterns challenge the balance of nature (e.g.
On the other hand, elements of the plan may open more public land to natural resource extraction. If European societies do not adapt, damage costs are expected to continue to rise, according to the report.
However, it is difficult to discern the influence of climate change in flooding data records for the past. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet has doubled since the 1990s, losing an average of 250 billion tonnes of mass every year between 2005 and 2009. Future projections vary widely, but it is likely that 21st century sea-level rise will be greater than during the 20th century. For example, it allows the tick species Ixodes ricinus to thrive further north, while further warming may make parts of Europe more suitable for disease-carrying mosquitos and sandflies. However the yield is projected to fall for some crops due to heat waves and droughts in central and southern Europe.
Furthermore, the report discusses the principle sources of uncertainty for the indicators and notes how monitoring and scenario development can improve our understanding of climate change, its impacts and related vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, the River’s tree resources may be at risk due to the impacts of climate change and the extreme weather events that are expected to come with it. Loss of municipal services such as enhanced stormwater infiltration, air cleansing, and urban heat island mitigation may occur.
While HRWC does not oppose natural resource extraction across the board, how that extraction is accomplished and to what degree has a wide range of implications for public lands.
Glaciers in the Alps have lost approximately two thirds of their volume since 1850 and these trends are projected to continue. A However sea level rise at European coasts varies, for example due to local land movement. The pollen season is longer and arrives 10 days earlier than 50 years ago, also affecting human health. Since the migration rate of many species is insufficient to keep pace with the speed of climate change, they could be pushed towards extinction in the future. The melting Arctic might impact not only the people living in the region, but also elsewhere in Europe and beyond. Raging bushfires have threatened the suburbs of Sydney; destroying homes and sending thick smoke billowing across the city. With fewer native trees able to survive in the changing climate, we could also observe a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services from our surrounding parks and forests.
Our climate is worsening every year.’ Philip Emanman, social development officer, Kenyan Arid Lands Management ProgrammeIn 2005-06 the Horn of Africa and East Africa were hit by a severe drought that devastated crops. Coastal areas, where the majority of people live and most agricultural land can be found, are increasingly at risk of flooding. As sea levels rise, low-lying islands are now vanishing beneath the waves.'On the island where I live, it is possible to throw a stone from one side to the other. Our Cabinet has been exploring the possibility of buying land in a nearby country in case we become refugees of climate change.' Teleke Lauti, Minister for the Environment, TuvaluIn 2004, Bangladesh was ravaged by its worst floods in six years.
Disease followed the flooding as a lack of clean drinking water led to the spread of diarrhoea and dysentery. More than three quarters of crops were destroyed.Most of Bangladesh is precariously perched just above sea level. This country regularly faces flooding but if, as predicted, the severity and frequency of the floods increases then millions of people will be displaced - losing their homes and livelihoods.Developing nations will be hit hardest by climate change and are the least able to deal with its consequences. In the UK and other developed nations we have the money and resources to help deal with the consequences of climate change.
We spend millions of pounds on flood defence measures to protect our flood-prone cities and coast. Floating homes are now being built in Holland as people adapt to our changing climate.Around the world people are already suffering and dying from the impacts of climate change. The World Health Organisation estimated that climate change was responsible for 150,000 deaths in 2000. It is the developing countries of the world that suffer most while they contributed least to the problem.

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