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Effects of climate warming are here and now

Just thinking of wintertime in Northern Michigan can make some people shiver, but the region's days as one of the nation's premier iceboxes may be numbered.

Warmer temperatures, less snow and less lake ice in recent decades have made Michigan's winter tourism industry one of the early victims of a changing climate.

Ski-resort operators say the average length of the winter season has shrunk one to two weeks. "We're fortunate we can make snow," said Jim MacInnes, president of the Crystal Mountain ski resort near Cadillac. "Whether this is just an anomaly or a long-term trend it's hard for me to know, but I do believe global warming is a real issue."

Michigan is not alone. Rather than a distant theoretical possibility, most scientists agree that global warming in the United States is a here-and-now reality. From the drought-parched Rocky Mountains to Florida's beaches to the hardwood forests of New England, early signs of climate change are virtually everywhere.   more...


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