MSU Geographer Jeff Andresen Discusses Climate Change on MSU Today

October 6, 2021

Jeff Andresen, MSU Geography Professor and State Climatologist for MichiganJeff Andresen, Geography professor and state climatologist, joined Russ White for a conversation on Climate Change during a recent episode of MSU Today on WKAR. Listen as Jeff discusses seasonal differences occurring in Michigan, the rise in extreme weather events we’re seeing, the latest climate assessment from the IPCC, and climate change’s impact on agriculture and the Great Lakes. He also talks about the difference between weather and climate and describes his role as state climatologist.

“One thing is unequivocal,” says Andresen. “That's the word that's used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the world's getting warmer. Michigan and the Great Lakes are also getting warmer. And perhaps more significant is it's getting wetter here locally. That's a regional trend; there are regional differences around the world. But globally, temperatures have warmed up a little over one degree Celsius. So a couple degrees Fahrenheit over the last century or so. It's a rapid increase relative to what we know about the Earth's geologic history.

Andresen explains why some of the changes have been positive while others have been negative. “The stakes are very, very high and time is an important part of this. The good news and the glass-is-half-full view is that humans have been very good at coping and adapting with changes in the long term throughout history. There's no question we can do it again. We have the right stuff to do this, but decisions have to be made and really have to be followed. That isn't so easy sometimes, but this issue is not going away. And as we've seen recently, it's actually becoming more visible. We have to think about those who come after us and come up with some strategies and solutions to change or to solve the problem.”

Listen at