Adapting to a changing climate

Minnesota's climate already is changing rapidly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Temperatures are increasing – especially in winter – and larger, more frequent extreme precipitation events are occurring.

Substantial warming during winter and at night, increased precipitation, and heavier downpours already have damaged buildings and infrastructure, limited recreational opportunities, altered our growing seasons, impacted natural resources, and affected the conditions of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and our groundwater aquifers that provide water for drinking and irrigation.

The decades ahead will bring even warmer winters and nights, and even larger rainfalls, along with the likelihood of increased summer heat and the potential for longer dry spells.

Climate adaptation is about developing and implementing strategies, initiatives, and actions to help human and natural systems cope with and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation is a form of risk management. Many important climate-influenced effects have already changed. They will continue to change in the decades ahead even if greenhouse gas emissions were to stop immediately.

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