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Published on May 15, 2024
University of Minnesota Unveils MN CliMAT, A Granular Look at the State's Climate FutureSource: User:Bsstu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Minnesotans now have a powerful new window into their climate future thanks to a tool launched by the University of Minnesota, offering them a hyper-localized glimpse of how the climate could change right in their own backyards. The MN CliMAT, a user-friendly online instrument, dishes out climate predictions at an unprecedented 2.5-mile scale, letting users scope out potential climate shifts down to the dime, whether it's rising temperatures or changing precipitation patterns, as reported by the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, paired with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, has unveiled detailed projections about an array of climate variables, from average warmth to lake chill, in their spanking new tool, and it's all free to access. They’ve whipped out maps to show Minnesotans what they're up against, comparing past climate data with future simulations under a scenario of high emissions. These maps feature side-by-side visual contrasts that lay bare the projected uptick in blazing hot days and shifts in rainfall, the kind of intel that can make or break long-term planning.

"These data are critical for understanding our local climate risks and what future we need to prepare for," touted Heidi Roop, director at the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, in a statement that emphasizes the vital role such information plays in community decision-making processes, as per the University of Minnesota. It seems every Tom, Dick, and Harry from engineers to Joe Schmo homeowners is jumping at the chance to base their plans on this data, all eager to make their mark against the drumbeat of impending climate change.

But it's not just armchair predictions, the MN CliMAT is practical, and it has been designed with real-world users in mind, providing actionable information for industries across the spectrum. Farmers can now pinpoint future soil wetness to hedge their bets with resilience strategies, while tourism honchos and anglers could tap into projections on lake temperatures and ice cover that could redefine Minnesota's lush ecosystem and recreational activities. In keeping with the promise to not just drop a toolbox but also teach how to wield the tools, MN CliMAT’s creators are rolling out webinars and workshops to spread the word and know-how across the state.

The gears behind MN CliMAT are greased by support from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, University of Minnesota Extension, and the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program—all fueled by cash from the deep pockets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership is at the forefront of climate adaptation and resilience in the Midwest, rallying troops from governments, the private sector, non-profits, and community groups to storm the beaches of climate uncertainty, ensuring that Minnesota isn't caught off guard as Mother Nature turns up the heat. For more information on the MN CliMAT, Minnesotans can visit the tool's website.