Here's what that gov't climate change report means for MN

Sen. Tina Smith is drawing attention to what could happen in the midwest.
Publish date:

While pundits and social media users debate the federal government's new climate change report (as well as the controversial timing of its release), one of Minnesota's senators is drawing attention to the dire consequences her home state could suffer under a changing environment.

Released Friday, the "Fourth National Climate Assessment" predicts "growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth" in the U.S. due to rising temperatures and sea levels.

Saving a lot of time and effort for anyone who might be curious about what it all means for Minnesota, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith went through the report, "pulled together a few sections" about Minnesota and the midwest, and posted her work on social media:

The findings

The section of the report Smith shared primarily concerns agriculture and public health, with major consequences for each "if we don't take action to address climate change for our environment, families, & economy," the Democratic senator writes.

"Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances," the highlighted section of the report says. 

It also warns that corn is especially "vulnerable," which is ominous for Minnesota as the state is a major corn producer (and 1st in the U.S. for sweet corn, according to AgMag). 

As for public health, Smith's excerpts point to shortened lifespans for many.

"The Midwest is projected to have the largest increase in extreme temperature-related premature deaths" according to at least one prediction model, the report notes.

That could mean "2,000 additional premature deaths per year" due to the heat alone by the year 2090.

Such deaths would in part be the result of worsening air pollution – "most importantly ground-level ozone" – brought on by rising temperatures.

These deaths would have an economic impact as well, with the report projecting they'll ultimately cost the region $10 billion in lost productivity and other expenses.

"We talk about working for a better future," Smith writes in a Facebook post, "and if we want our environment, our families, and the economy to flourish—we need to act."

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.