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Learn About Our Changing Climate

A warm summer sun shining over a rocky outcrop at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Lake Superior is in the background
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Learn About Our Changing Climate

Just as in the rest of the world, the Midwest's climate is changing. The region has gotten warmer and wetter since 1900, with Michigan seeing average yearly temperature increase by two to three degrees Fahrenheit and average rainfall increase by around five inches. Climate change is shifting seasonal patterns and fueling extreme weather. Climate forecasts show extreme weather patterns will increase through the 21st century. In Michigan, the greatest weather concerns are extreme heat and precipitation events.

Modern society heavily employs processes for transportation, electricity, heating, industry, agriculture, and more that emit greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Such greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere can increase precipitation and worsen storms. Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases can avert some of the worst harms of the climate crisis.

The new MI Healthy Climate Plan commissioned by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer charts a course toward economywide carbon neutrality by 2050.

A family strolls along the St. Clair River on Southeast Michigan?s Blue Water River Walk.

MI Healthy Climate Plan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-182 and Executive Directive 2020-10 to create the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The governor's comprehensive plan will protect Michiganders' public health and the environment and help develop new clean energy jobs by putting Michigan on a path toward becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050.
Read the full plan
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Council on Climate Solutions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the council through Executive Order 2020-182 as an advisory body in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The council will advise the governor and the department in implementing the MI Healthy Climate Plan – the state’s action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a carbon neutral economy.
Learn more about the council's work
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Catalyst Communities

This wide-ranging program provides education, training, planning, and technical resources to local public officials as they deploy strategies to mitigate climate and prepare for the impact of climate change on emergency response and public health. The program aims to provide a range of options to meet communities wherever they are, regardless of geography, population size, or pre-existing knowledge.
Get the resources