Investigating climate change

By Andy Balaskovitz

MSU lands $750,000 grant to study effects of climate change and extreme weather events on watersheds

Monday, Aug. 27 — Forget about whether climate change is real or even man-made — the scientific community largely agrees that it is. Maybe we should discuss what would happen to ecosystems as a result of a changing climate and more intense weather events.

Researchers at Michigan State University will have a chance to investigate those potential effects as it relates to watersheds as part of a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA announced today a two-year, $750,000 grant for four researchers who will look into how watersheds may be vulnerable to climate change, extreme weather events and algal blooms.

“Climate change is projected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events along with temperature,” the project description says. “Increases in water temperature with greater frequency and intensity of floods and droughts are a perfect storm for exacerbating problems in water quality.”

Researchers will model the relationships between changes in water quality and extreme events under various scenarios with the goal of developing long-term management practices, according to the EPA’s website.

MSU researchers leading the project are Jan Stevenson of the MSU Center for Water Sciences; David Hyndman, professor of geological sciences; and geography professors Nathan Moore and Jiaguo Qi.