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Bolstad can’t say exactly when Minnesota will look radically different. But if climate change continues, he expects the state to eventually look more like central Missouri or Illinois. Aspen and spruce will give way to oaks. Trout will be replaced by more bass. Water could be a problem, but probably not for a long time.
Studies like the one released last week are essential to helping us plan for the future, Bolstad said. It will determine everything from whether we need to increase the size of culverts, or put a flood wall around Miami or calculate whether we need to increase subsidies for poor people who can’t afford rising energy prices.
Despite the sometimes grim nature of his science findings, Bolstad remains cautiously optimistic. He thinks changes by individuals (yep, he drives a Prius) and both local and national government bodies can all make a difference.
“I think people will adjust when they have to,” said Bolstad. “It’s a shame there will be a lot of damage before then. I don’t lose sleep over it, but it could be better.”
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