- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Some communities in Minnesota are already making efforts to adapt to climate change through moves designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota held a conference Thursday to foster a discussion among government officials, academics and others. Participants planned to brainstorm ways the state can adapt to climate change, including the creation of a greater capacity for stormwater and cooling zones for heat waves.

“It took a long time for enough people to understand that there really was an issue,” WRC interim director Faye Sleeper said of global climate change.

Experts have noted increased temperatures and more frequent big rain events in Minnesota, according to Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1x94lRn ). Climate scientists expect those trends to continue.

Some cities are combating changes by using precipitation data to ensure roads and stormwater systems are prepared to handle heavier rainfall. Some forest managers are looking into tree species that are more resilient when the climate changes.

Although farmers have a history of responding to year-to-year weather changes, some are now advocating a more diverse agricultural landscape. That’s one of the best ways to respond to a changing climate, according to U of M researcher Nick Jordan. Experts need to determine which crops best benefit soil by booting organic material, while also allowing farmers to make money, he said.

“We have not had a business model to really move that kind of climate-smart agriculture forward,” Jordan said.

Homeowners can also make changes that will help them and the environment, according to Paul Moss, who oversees climate adaptation efforts at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

“For example, look at planting trees near your home,” Moss said. “Trees can help cool your home when we’re having hot weather. Also, trees can help intercept heavy precipitation and break the fall of the rain as well as absorb and purify the rain.”


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

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