Imagining a Changed Quetico

An increase in the severity of weather in the Quetico and Atikokan region is likely to change the area’s forests, researchers say.

The Atikokan Progress has the full story HERE.

Incidents of high winds, drought, forest fires, high humidity, heavy rainfall, and severe storms are increasing in the region according to Thunder Bay meteorologist and climate change researcher Graham Saunders. The events jibe with the predicted effects of climate change in the region. Mean temperatures in Atikokan have increased more than a degree Celsius in the last decade, according to the story.

University of Minnesota forest ecologist Lee Frelich, who observes central North America warming at a greater rate than the coasts, says the changing climate will bring changes to the forest as well. Warmer and drier conditions, one scenario for the region, would promote more prairie-like vegetation, while warmer and wetter conditions would prompt a more temperate mix of forest species, including deciduous trees and prairie openings.

The Progress story is the first of a two-part series on climate change in the area. The paper’s next installment will examine the effects of climate change on the moose and fish populations of the Quetico region.

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