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Along the Great Lakes, It’s Time to Prepare for Extremes

All of this has many lakefront property owners reconsidering their relationship with the lakes they love. Should people living in areas prone to flooding and shoreline erosion pack up and leave? Or should they stay, and at what cost to themselves and taxpayers? How much are communities willing to spend to protect against storms and rising waters?

Some Things Last Longer Than You Think They Will

More discussion of the Great Lakes and climate change from The New York Times:

Last year the five lakes that together hold 20 percent of the fresh surface water on the planet broke 10 high-water records, and more are expected to fall this year. The inundation follows a 15-year span from 1999 to 2014 when the so-called upper lakes of Superior, Michigan and Huron experienced the longest period of low water in recorded history.

The lakes have always been tempestuous neighbors, but today they appear to be entering a new era of volatility that is testing the region as never before. The simple explanation is that the last five years have been the wettest in history in the Great Lakes watershed, which encompasses parts of eight states and two Canadian provinces. But some scientists believe a more complicated dynamic is at work: a warming climate that will continue to cause extreme fluctuations in weather and water levels, threatening havoc for lakeside homeowners, towns and cities, tourism and shipping.

All of this has many lakefront property owners reconsidering their relationship with the lakes they love. Should people living in areas prone to flooding and shoreline erosion pack up and leave? Or should they stay, and at what cost to themselves and taxpayers? How much are communities willing to spend to protect against storms and rising waters?

(click here to continue reading Opinion | Along the Great Lakes, It’s Time to Prepare for Extremes – The New York Times.)

The Midwest might have been complacent about climate change, but less and less as the facts become more obvious.

As an aside, the Great Lakes are just one area on the planet with coasts, what about all the rest? Are we going to start factoring in cost to keep beaches livable? Or?

House - Sarah FitzSimons

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