Federal funding extends Great Lakes climate research at U-M, MSU


Researchers at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have been awarded $3.65 million from the federal government to continue the study of climate change adaptation and climate variability in the Great Lakes region for another five years.

Funding for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments program, known as GLISA, will be provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. GLISA is a collaboration between U-M and MSU researchers.

The program will continue to support physical and social-science research to better understand the regional impacts of climate change, to expand on the usability of climate information, and to increase knowledge about how that information is disseminated.

“Through our continued social and physical science programs, we will be able to foster climate adaptation knowledge, and develop and deliver usable products for our stakeholders across the region,” said Maria Carmen Lemos, GLISA co-director and a professor of natural resources and environment at U-M.

During the last five years, GLISA helped more than 50 nongovernmental, tribal, academic and municipal entities. The growing regional network of GLISA researchers, partners and stakeholders is building capacity and resilience to the threats posed by climate change through the program’s tools and expertise.

“Promoting the use of scientific information about climate, customized for specific regions or sectors, is very useful,” said GLISA co-director and state climatologist Jeffrey Andresen of MSU. “Through building these tailored resources collaboratively, our partners are able to readily apply this climate information into their decision making.”

GLISA researchers contributed technical papers to the latest U.S. National Climate Assessment, and former GLISA co-director Don Scavia co-authored the Midwest chapter of that influential report. GLISA researchers also prepared a synthesis report for the Great Lakes region using information from the national assessment.

GLISA supported the development of two Web-based decision-support tools:

• The Great Lakes Atlas provides climate information through the lens of economic, infrastructure and social vulnerabilities for 225 counties in eight states.

• The Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool allows users to view historic and projected climate trends at locally relevant scales. The tool includes a searchable database with more than 550 municipal adaptation strategies.

 GLISA also uses local and regional climate data to provide partners with information on current climate trends and changes over the past 60 years.

GLISA is one of 11 regional integrated sciences and assessments centers funded by NOAA. It is housed at the U-M Climate Center, which is part of the Graham Sustainability Institute.


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