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What is the best state to live during all this climate change? I think it is Minnesota. I base this ranking on food, water and community. I base it on avoiding permanent flooding, tornadoes and toxicity. If you disagree, then you can make your case in the comments. I make my case after the fold.

Minnesota is the most livable state during climate change. Now of course, all of this depends on what you value. Here are my criteria:

1) Food -The ability to grow food is important. While Minnesota will be impacted by storms, hail, drought and higher temperatures, it starts with so much more growing capacity that I think Minnesota will always be able to feed its own state. Food is so important that I gave it double weight in the ranking.

2) Water -Having enough water is essential for drinking, growing food and business. Minnesota is ranked 38th among the states. If Minnesota is careful with its water, it should have enough.

3)Avoid Permanent Flooding - The middle expectation for sea level rise is 3.3 feet. I ruled out any coastal state impacted by sea level rise. Even if only a portion of the state is affected, I expected the economic costs and social turmoil will impact the whole state. Hurricanes are also a risk for these same states.

4) Avoid Toxicity -Toxic Environmental conditions are difficult to evaluate. I did my ranking based on total environmental releases. However, Montana is affected by shale activities just north in Canada so this ranking may have put Montana too high in the scoring.

5) Avoid Tornadoes - Tornadoes have gotten so harsh in Tornado Alley, that I think it would be too dangerous to live in these areas.

6) Community - Some communities work together, plan ahead, and protect civil rights. I would never want to be a black person in Florida for example. I used the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index with a double weight.

Based on the above criteria, here are the top states, with Minnesota ranked number one.

Minnesota

Now after a winter that includes months of driving on glare ice, many people will challenge whether this is a good place to live. I prefer to think of our winters as keeping the riff-raff out. The winters keep pests down like ticks, mosquitoes and food pests. That is important. I would take a winter over much hotter summers.

Even though, Minnesota comes out on top, it still will be very hard to live through climate change. We will have to change to manage water better, adapt to different growing conditions. We will have actively adapt. More hail, flooding, drought, storms and extreme temperatures will challenge us. At the same time, the price of everything will go higher. We will have to learn to get by on much less.

The Abandon Coastal States Assumption

The assumption that I have made is that coastal states will no longer be the wonderful places to live that they previously were. I really don't expect people to stop living in these states. I do expect that living there will get more expensive. The climate issues will drag on the people and the community. Notice how even the US is taking longer and longer to come back from every disaster. One day we will just abandon areas.

More on how ranking were calculated

Normal Rankings were redone so 1 is good and 50 is bad. So the state with the most tornadoes, Oklahoma, changes from 1 to 50.

Some rankings have non-states in the rankings like District of Columbia. These were removed and the numbers adjusted.

Ruling out states affected by 3.3 feet of sea rise was done by giving 200 points to any state impacted by coastal flooding.

Two indices are double weighted, food and happiness.

I am using the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) to reflect the quality of community. It is called the measure of happiness in the table. WBI is an average of six sub-indices: Life Evaluation, Physical Health, Emotional Health, Healthy Behavior, Work Environment and Basic Access.

Here is the whole table with calculations.

A couple of states may be unfairly ranked. Alaska is ranked the worse, however it is the state that may change the most. From climate change, it could be that new crops will grow there.

Originally posted to MN Progressive Project on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One day we will abandon areas? (6+ / 0-)

    That's already happened. Not all of New Orleans was repopulated.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:29:28 PM PST

  •  It'll Be a While Till You Pump Lake Superior Dry (6+ / 0-)

    But the polar vortex phenomenon can't be fun.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:44:41 PM PST

  •  Alaska is ranked worst because... (7+ / 0-)

    you arbitrarily assign a 200 pt ding to all coastal states, completely ignoring that 3.3 coastal flooding would have far reaching effects on all 50 states especially states that rely on river/lake traffic for transportation of goods---

    I can see you put a lot of time into getting this diary together, but scientifically there are some major flaws in the categories you think are important and how to weight their importance.

    Basically you cut your list in half by eliminating all coastal states even though many of those states will still have a lot more arable land and population than Minnesota (e.g., Texas and California), even after catastrophic flooding events - most coastal states will still have the infrastructure to adapt to catastrophic climate change better than more geographically isolated states like Minnesota. By doing this one column completely different than the other columns you propel Minnesota's ranking to the top of your list---

    Your analysis seems more like a testament to your own confirmation bias-- than a serious study of climate change. I have very little concrete idea about what will happen over the next 100 yrs., and would hesitate before I argue that Minnesota will be the coolest corner of hell in the future.

    Truth is ever changing while dogma remains trapped in certainty.

    by tharu1 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:21:51 PM PST

    •  indeed (3+ / 0-)

      Most coastal states occupy a lot more than just a coast.

      •  Yes... (6+ / 0-)

        ...I'd say this is a worthy first attempt at such an algorithm: what states are best situated to survive global warming? But the analysis needs to be much, much more thorough.

        Judging the coast of Maine to be no different from the coast of Louisiana or Florida, for example, simply means that you haven't bothered to go beyond the simple fact of a coast.  The gradient of the upland--how much horizontal distance will be lost for every vertical meter of sea level rise--tells a much more realistic story of coastal zone impact.

        As for considerations like drinking water, this becomes more problematic. Is the diarist basing access to water on current precipitation (it makes a better impression to spell the word correctly) patterns, or is he/she taking into account projections of future patterns? Because some areas (like the southwest) are modeled to become drier still, while other areas (the northeast) are modeled to become far more wet.

        Basically, the rationale behind many of these rankings is unclear and highly questionable. The diarist could improve and better describe the methodology.  (And I can't fault the diarist for picking his/her own state as the best place to be...I'm partial to my region of New England.) But as a first draft, this is a good go.

        •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tharu1

          I was originally looking for drinking water and a water vs usage  ( a gap) measure. I was hoping that people would suggest better measures.

          •  Worth Thinking On. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Grace Kelly

            Depending on how sophisticated you want to get with this--maybe you were just going through a quickie thought experiment, I don't know--but there are some pretty good groundwater resource and precipitation maps available from the likes of the USGS and the NWS (a division of NOAA). I think you outlined some pretty good categories for evaluating different areas, and maybe to a zeroth approximation, your analysis is a good start.  Frankly, my less detailed analysis of such things has gone: (1) will it be submerged? (2) is it arable? and (3) will rainfall decrease, hold steady, or increase?

    •  New York (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      The classic case of this is New York. Most of New York State will be in good shape. However New York city is going to be majorly hit. Is the state government going to spend on New York or not spend on New York? Therefore I think the ability of New York as a state is going to economically crippled by its coastal status.

      •  NYC. Yes, but there is also this 120-mile-long (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Grace Kelly, FarWestGirl

        Piece of earth known as Long Island that contains about 2 million people. I live on the East End which is scheduled to go under water by turn of the century if all goes according to the average sea level prediction.

        Where will the new Hamptons be located? Inquiring minds want to know.

      •  NYC becomes the new Venice on the Hudson (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Grace Kelly, FarWestGirl

        Take your vacation snorkeling on The Hamptons Reef.

      •  By contrast a state like Oregon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, Cvstos

        has coast but not a lot of low lying coastal areas, has significant arable land, and generally can be expected to get enough rainfall to create some sort of crop. It will always have a port via the Columbia River.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:57:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

        But if you break NY into regions some will fare a lot better than others.

        As other posters have mentioned, with anything more than a 1-2 meter sea level rise, lots of LI will be sleeping with the fishes. Manhattan and the Bronx will still be above water, but it those areas will be a will be a lot more vulnerable to storms and storm surges.

        For LI and NYC the infrastructure costs required to guard against that will be enormous. But, arguably, the extra costs of retrofitting could be considered as part of upgrades and improvements to existing structures. So, over 50-60 years, the cost of improvements might not be that terrible. (Ignoring, of course, all the other hideous effects of global warming.)

        Going north and west from the crowded, expensive and dirty bits of the state, arguably the Southern Tier, the Adironacks, and the Catskill regions will dry out a bit, although some models showing the region becoming a bit wetter. Assuming that fracking isn't allowed to mess up the aquifers and no huge surge in population, that region ought to be more or less as sustainable as it is now.

        The Hudson River Valley (Westchester County to approximately Saratoga Springs) will mostly be unaffected, since it gets the run-off from Lake George and Lake Champlain as well as much of the runoff from most of Vermont's Green Mountains. It's also too elevated to be affected by sea rise and too far inland to be affected by (most) coastal storms.

        The Hudson Valley has fairly steep banks, so any storm surges will be pretty well contained, although some remedial work will be needed in the lower Hudson region. Things only get bad with the "OMFG Antarctica Melts!" scenario where you have a 30-60 m sea rise. And, if that happens, we're dead already from all the other nasty effects of runaway global warming.

        The "I-90 corridor" (roughly Utica to Chataqua, covering Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo) has the same benefits as apply to any other Great Lakes state - assuming that Canada and states "upstream" don't take all the water first. Even then the region's aquifers are in pretty good shape (at least as regards quantity of water).

        About that hope-y, change-y thing. It was going great until the Republicans fucked it up.

        by Permanent Republican Minority on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:25:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Confirmation Bias (5+ / 0-)

      There is a bit of humor in all this. The idea is to provoke a discussion.

    •  Indeed (5+ / 0-)

      I could probably come up with a similar table that "proved" Washington was the best state to weather climate change based on things like the current variation in climate, high to low, which I would extrapolate to continue as the planet warms. Such a table would downplay the effect of coastal flooding and completely ignore other potential disasters like volcanic activity and potential megathrust earthquakes.

      Someone from Montana or Vermont or even West Virginia could do the same. It's all in the criteria you choose and how you weight them.

      So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

      by Omir the Storyteller on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:18:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I was hoping (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snacksandpop

        Washington has some advantages and perhaps a good argument could be made that Washington can handle a 3 foot rise?

      •  Coastal Washington would probably do OK (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Grace Kelly

        As would the rest of "Cascadia." The coasts are steep enough in most cases that anything other than a catastrophic sea rise could be shrugged off, except around parts of Seattle.

        But, inland Washington and Oregon would be screwed. They're dry enough already and increased temperatures and drier weather expected for that part of the world would probably finish them off as viable farmland.

        I really don't understand the diarist's contention that Nebraska is #2 on the list. That state is literally dry toast if climate change keeps up. All its water comes from runoff from the Rocky Mountains and it's been abusing its aquifers for years. Add to the fact that just about every climate change model indicates much hotter and drier weather for the Northern Great Plains and it's set to become uninhabitable desert.

        Eastern Colorado is already drying out the that point, and as things get even drier, I don't see Colorado letting any more water from the Platte River flow downstream that it has to by law. That means that Nebraska becomes "Omaha plus desert" with Omaha being seriously stressed if the flow of water from the Missouri is compromised.

        Eyeballing it, I'd suggest that the state with the least risk of drought, the least problems with refugees from flooded cities, the least risk from severe storm systems, and little need to upgrade infrastructure to deal with weather is Michigan.

        About that hope-y, change-y thing. It was going great until the Republicans fucked it up.

        by Permanent Republican Minority on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:44:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How well Eastern Washington fares (0+ / 0-)

          probably depends on large part on how well the sources and tributaries of the Columbia-Yakima-Snake-Willamette river system hold up, since everything on the dry side of the state pretty much depends on the Columbia. There's probably an aquifer involved, but I don't remember any of my state geology from when I was a kid so I don't know any of the details.

          Part of the reason I like Washington's chances is that our winters don't tend to be extremely cold and our summers tend not to be extremely hot, and it seems like that trend would continue as the planet warms. But I'm neither a meteorologist nor a climatologist, so I could easily be wrong.

          So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

          by Omir the Storyteller on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:47:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nebraska has the worst score in preciptation (0+ / 0-)

          Your analysis seems correct. The measures look at the current situation, not the future.

          Thanks for your thoughts!

    •  New York's ranking is even weirder. (3+ / 0-)

      It's as if they only considered Long Island and New York City in their calculations. I mean, I don't think Syracuse or Ithaca is going to be at any risk of coastal flooding.

  •  I think Michigan should be ranked higher (10+ / 0-)

    If there was ever a state that had a chance to keep crops well irrigated, it is a state that is almost completely surrounded by fresh water.  Our weather is modified by the lakes as well.  So it's not quite as cold when the polar vortexes hit than the states not surrounded by water.

    Besides, we know how to make stuff and could be relatively self sufficient if needed.

  •  I'll take my chances on Oregon (5+ / 0-)

    The If the alternative is living in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Vermont, I'll run screaming forever from the UNited states

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:30:07 PM PST

  •  lol. There's this little state called... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tharu1, The Grace Kelly, FarWestGirl

    VERMONT that I think beats MN in most of these areas. But fun idea for a diary!

    "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

    by Wheever on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:39:05 PM PST

  •  One key factor is missing... (3+ / 0-)

    Energy availability. Whether it's wind, solar, coal, oil, etc. - is the state capable of providing enough for itself? Can it produce enough of something else to trade with others for energy as the climate changes?

    The United States for All Americans

    by TakeSake on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:53:18 PM PST

  •  Ha Ha Ha! (6+ / 0-)

    The Minnesota State Bird - The Mosquito.

    There are two driving seasons in Minnesota: Winter and Construction.

    Minnesota doesn't get as much snow as Upstate NY or Upper Michigan, but global warming would increase its snowfall.

    No flooding: Tell that to people living on the Mississippi River.

    No tornadoes? Tornado alley extends just north of the Twin Cities area, and global warming would expand the alley closer to the Canadian border. Currently, Southern Minnesota if a very active area for tornadoes. On a per square mile basis, Southern Minnesota is probably in the top ten for tornadoes.

    Minnesota depends a lot of it lakes, rivers and streams. Global warming would definitely lower surface water levels.

    •  Yes, we have issues. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Intheknow

      Make your case for a better place to be!

    •  actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Grace Kelly

      Actually the two seasons are winter and infrastructure improvement (now that the Republicans are no longer in charge).

      There is occasional flooding along the rivers. Mississippi, Minnesota, and Red River are the main culprits. And there is the occasional tornado.

    •  extremes: (0+ / 0-)

      Another factor that the diarist seemed to downplay. Everyone knows that the coldest winter temps in the nation are often (usually?) in Duluth.

      But the hottest, muggiest summer weather I have experienced in the US was in Minnesauna in August 2002. Six weeks earlier I was also there and it was still bone-chilling cold. SIX WEEKS EARLIER; in MID-JUNE!

      Of course locals sad "that never happens" but that is what everyone, everywhere is saying about weather today.

      Climate upheaval means chaos is the new normal. Wet, temperate areas like Oregon are clearly preferable in a world where extreme temps combined with power outages during mini ice age winters will cull large chunks of the populace in colder places.

      Global warming & smoking cigarettes = Nothing to worry about? Those who deny climate science are ignorant, evil or worse. Google Fred Singer.

      by LaughingPlanet on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:20:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No- Minnesota is a frozen wasteland- stay away (13+ / 0-)

    Grace- shush. Remember, the first rule of Minnesota being a great place to live is you don't tell others this is a great place to love.

    No, nothing to do here except ice fishing. No great theater, no great outdoors activities, no great (eh) sporting events, no great schools, no great restaurants.

    All we have is blizzards 11 months of the year, then mosquitos the other month of summer.

  •  From my perch in Bremerton... (3+ / 0-)

    ...about 150 feet above the shipyard, I'm imagining the impact of 3.3 feet sea level rise on Puget Sound.  The closed-down strip joint in Gorst might be impacted because it is right by the water but the rest of the waterfront gets a little closer to the beach.  The shipyard has to shorten its mooring lines a bit.  Bainbridge islanders lose some docks and seawalls.  The good clam beaches need a seriously low tide, or clammers learn to scuba dive.  Life on Blake Island definitely sucks, along with some of the San Juans.

    Alas, I end up 146.6 feet above sea level and thus miss out on the boom in new beachfront property.

    The real problem might come from increased rainfall or increased snowfall that melts faster.  Life in the Chehalis Valley could get soggier.  Eastern Washington stays dry but gets more extreme weather swings...which makes it the most western part of the Midwest.

    Who knows?  Maybe the state population dials back a bit as people flee toward Michigan and overwhelm its resources.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:26:21 PM PST

  •  A humorous yet serious diary (6+ / 0-)

    A lot of people are doing this for real. I have attempted to do it for myself and have given up.

    Aside from the obvious inundation of low-lying coastal flood plains at various levels, everything else is dependent on too many unknown X factors.

    Even inland high altitude places can be prone to flooding of creeks, rivers lakes and streams which exist anywhere. Every place is subject to drought.

    After long term serious consideration I think that no place can be considered "safe"

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:24:50 PM PST

  •  As a life long Minnesotan who recently moved South (10+ / 0-)

    One of the biggest things I miss in Minnesota is the parks and trails. In the Twin Cities, you can get on a bicycle and
    literally ride for sixty miles, all on bike trails by riding in any direction.  There are state parks and trails crossing most of the state. There are local parks seemingly every 1/2 mile.

    Here in North Carolina, there are few sidewalks and most of the roads are narrow with no shoulders. I see news reports of pedestrian hit by vehicles almost daily. Last night, there were two incidents alone. In my new town there is no such thing as walking or riding a bike to school. There are no sidewalks to bike or walk to local parks. You have to drive to school or a park.

    In North Carolina, they have no trespassing signs on school property next to the playgrounds where kids might want to play after school or on the weekends.

    They close many parks for 2 days a week in North Carolina. Further, if you are an early morning runner and want to run at a park at 6:00 to avoid the heat, you are out of luck for parks only open at 8:00 AM.

    As a youth coach I see where childhood obesity is epidemic. I work with 6 year olds over 150 lbs!
    Just sad.....

  •  Copper mine in the Boundry waters, that could (5+ / 0-)

    make Minnesota a little less attractive, not climate change but we have really good water, now.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:12:31 PM PST

  •  I'd ding coastal states especially hard just on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    general principles.

    I think there might be a few changes to places that are unpredicted.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:42:10 PM PST

  •  Not every coastal state (3+ / 0-)

    will be affected equally by sea level rise. For California, yes there will be a large economic hit, and perhaps 2-3% of the population are now living in areas that will be below sea level. The agricultural areas are mostly further inland. However, water availability is already a serious problem. I think toxicity and "happiness" are weighted more heavily than I would weigh them, but your overall conclusion may still be correct.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:58:47 PM PST

  •  shhhh Don't tell anybody. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

    by dskoe on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:34:40 PM PST

  •  Being able to grow food doesn't mean anything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly, Yoshimi

    if you can't keep it.  After all, wouldn't the middle east likewise be a great place to live because there is so much oil?

    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

    by ban48 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:43:05 AM PST

  •  So are you ready for the Floridian refugees? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    (and they'll bring their crazy with them!)

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:58:44 AM PST

  •  Ex-Pat Cheesehead here (0+ / 0-)

    Now living in NJ, working in NYC.

    In the (hopefully distant) future, I stand to inheret my father's half of the family farm in Renville Co. MN.

    For years I had assumed I would sell the land off, but now I'm starting to consider other options.

    We'll see....

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

    by ARS on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:46:56 AM PST

    •  Chuckle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ARS

      I did not really expect to change actions, merely to start a good discussion. I do think that Minnesota is a good place for any investment. Did you know that there is much discussion about Minnesotans' tendency to come back home after many years of living elsewhere?

    •  Keep the land (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Grace Kelly, ARS

      Even if you never move here, the land's value will appreciate. My dad started buying up land in the north of our state and bought a square mile in South Dakota (it took about 20 years to wait for all of the farmers to retire and sell their property to him, piece by piece). He strategically introduces specific plants (either because they are rare or attract rare native wildlife), and gets subsidies for improving the land. Enough to make what he pays to maintain it worth it.

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:55:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My Dad & his sister... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bull8807

        ...currently rent out all the tillable land to the neighbors, who have been family friends since before Minnesota was a state.

        One of my cousins is living in the buildings, maintaining them and using the tractor garage to restore antique cars.

        Honestly, I'm not sure if the house & out buildings are on my dad's half or my aunt's.

        Farm land is becoming more & more valuable - Dad's point of view was that if I'm not going to do anything with the land, I should sell it before it appreciates too much to avoid getting hit with big real estate capital gains taxes.

        As I said earlier - hopefully, I'll have many more years to consider any options before I am forced to make a decision.

        "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

        by ARS on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:07:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You need to reconsider (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly, LaughingPlanet

    tornadoes, I believe the "alley"will be shifted northward by climate change.

    •  That is a good consideration (0+ / 0-)

      Best info that I found says that the area and intensity increases but that the center stays the same. That is a good consideration. Perhaps the mapping over years can show if the center moves north.

    •  Some natural protection of our most populous areas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Grace Kelly

      exists in the river valleys where the Minnesota and Mississippi join up, thanks to the glaciers. The twin cities are situated in this valley, which offers some protection from extreme weather. Tornadoes actually are common west of the metro, but like the blizzards they tend to bypass the major population centers. This area was strategically chosen as a hub first for the fur and timber trade, and then for flour trade from the beginning for this reason. And we weren't the first ones to see the benefits of settling the area; the Anishinaabe (literal translation: "the original people") found it first.

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:02:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have basements (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Grace Kelly, chicagobleu

      This is a crucial aspect of the tornado conversation. Basements are not as common further south, but every building in Minnesota has a basement, aside from trailer homes (which again are less common here, it's just too cold in the winter for most people to live in a trailer home). This is the #1 predictor of surviving an F5/EF5 tornado. Damage to above-ground property will be expensive to deal with, but in terms of loss of life, we're decently equipped to survive. Really, anywhere above that sea level rise prediction should have homes built below ground from now on. Below-ground homes address so many issues that will come up, from extreme temperature swings to hail/wind damage. The first Europeans here all survived the crazy winters thanks to sod houses built into hills.

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:03:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watersheds (5+ / 0-)

    I think with water, which is usually overlooked in general, the biggest missed comment is that MN has 3 major watersheds.   Red River, Great Lakes, and Mississippi.  
    Of course we have all of the lakes, but not many states have 3 separate Biomes and 3 watersheds/basins.  
    We could damn up the Mississippi and MN would have plenty of water.  
    The polar vortex of the winter here may keep invasive species at bay as well.  This particularly cold winter already wiped out about 80% of the invading ash borer beetle which has been making inroads in the last 5 years or so.

    I would take tornados off the list.  MN led the country in tornadoes just a few years ago, which supports the alley moving north.  Plus, more damage/danger comes from wind, lighting, flash flooding, hail than tornados per capita.    

  •  What's the problem with tornados? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    I'd be more concerned with a shorter growing season if Minnesota has longer winters. Starvation is harder to outrun than a tornado.

    •  Climate Change Shortens Winters (0+ / 0-)

      Minnesota now has a longer growing season. The problem is that we also have a false spring before a big cold snap. We also have a fast warmup where sometimes we have blooming apple trees before the bees are out. Bees may turn out to be more critical than global warming.

    •  Foraging (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Grace Kelly

      Year-round subsistence foraging is possible. Yep, even right now, we have tons of edible plants and tubers sitting under the snow. You just have to know where to look. Whenever governments and societies collapse, so does the food system. The people who survive are the ones who either know already or can figure out how to forage. I recently bought several books on foraging in this region, they are fantastic!

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:05:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  California (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    ...will do just fine.  Unlike the East Coast, most of the CA coastal shore is steep and uplands are just a few feet inland.  Managing flooding around Sacramento/San Joaquin river delta will be a challenge.

    East Coast is toast with a 1 meter sea level rise--huge infrastructure stretching miles inland will be affected.  Gulf Coast and Florida would also be in deep doo-doo.

    Much of coastal Alaska is rising from post-glacial rebound--much faster than the sea is rising at present, so your assumption about Alaska coast is misinformed.  Models I've seen say Alaska will get warmer and wetter, with a longer growing season, potentially increasing agricultural opportunities.

    I live on central CA coast (about 150 feet elevation, FWIW) and would not swap our climate for MN for love nor money.  As for drought, desalination is the future.

    Obama is still my guy.

    by AKguy on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:45:30 AM PST

    •  Sounds like you have a plan for CA, Woohoo! (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, the numbers crunched to make Alaska worse than I think its prospects are. They are current numbers. I think Alaska has potential not seen in current numbers. However I do think the Florida is doomed under any scenario.

  •  We have plenty of water in Minnesota (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Grace Kelly

    Only problem is it's ice for 1/2 the year.

    I saw some squirrels eating snow the other day.

     It's too cold for me to do that.

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:31:21 AM PST

  •  Climate Change (0+ / 0-)

    When Minnesota's climate changes with the world's, the plant and animal species won't keep up with the rate of change. That is the catastrophe.

    Then there's the question of how flooding rains, tornado winds and other climate extremes will affect Minnesota.

    This diary is deeply superficial.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:19:36 PM PST

    •  So tell me about your state (0+ / 0-)

      The point of this discussion is to discover if people have considered how their state will fare. So what would your analysis be? "Superficial" is fighting words. Come on, put up a plan.

      No plant and animal species will keep up with the rate of change unless humans help adaptation. That is part of the point of being ready.

      I think you underestimate Minnesota. It already has temperature ranges from -25 to 110. I think the plant and animal species are robust.

      •  It's Fiction (0+ / 0-)

        "Superficial" is a summary of what I had just explained in detail.

        I already pointed out that more than just temperature, like wind and precipitation, are part of the climate change. I think you overestimate your ability to estimate how species will go extinct - and take others with them. I think you have even less ability to explore how humans will "help adaptation".

        The point of this diary is to consider without any expertise or evidently any real research what will happen to Minnesota as its climate changes. It's fiction. And your resistance to recognizing its limits even when they're pointed out to you is arrogance.

        I at least have the understanding that I'm not qualified to speculate about either Minnesota's livability amidst climate change, or others, including my own.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:44:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          You obviously don't know me. I think you are attacking for no reason. If you don't like the ideas then why are you hanging out here. Just to say negative things?

          •  I Called BS (0+ / 0-)

            I don't have to know you. I know what you posted. That is what I am criticizing. Why are you trying to make this into more than that?

            I'm in the climate change prevention business. I cut NYC building energy consumption by double digits. I read your diary in good faith, but it was a waste of time. For me, and for anyone else reading it for anything but fiction - which it's not being billed as. Not all comments worth making are praise.

            But you're not taking the criticism well, and there's no more point explaining what criticism on public comments are like. Goodbye.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:28:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's better than sitting around doing nothing (0+ / 0-)

          which is what most people are doing. Minnesotans like to prepare, even when we don't have a clear picture of what might happen. It makes us feel better, because it's part of the natural order of things here to plan year-round what needs to be done and saved up before winter. We are the only state in the country with a regular weekly climate change radio show, so we objectively do  know more than the rest of you about how climate change will impact us locally, because we hear from experts all the time. These are conversations that need to happen. Lay people are allowed to have discussions too. This is a problem that will affect all of us personally, not something we can just shrug over and leave to the scientists (obviously that's worked so well up until now). Using what knowledge we have to try to mitigate what is coming is not pointless.

          Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

          by bull8807 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:06:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The big problem is how the rapid (0+ / 0-)

        Climate changes are very unpredictable.

        In the Seventies we were told that we were definitely entering a mini-Ice Age. Green Peace was one of the first orgs to state for North Americans that the weather was  going to become warmers, and there would be more catastrophic weather events.

        Around year 2000, we were told, again by experts, that it would be Antarctica that would be impacted before  the Arctic would be. That proved to be false. Of course various types of topographic radar devices could have been involved in heating up the Arctic - the Powers that Be, especially Big Energy companies would prefer there was no ice at the poles to make  their capture of oil and other resources a cheaper and easier done deal. So there were two reasons to melt the North Pole's ice - one for detection reasons, and two, for the purpose of eliminating the ice shielding that area of the world and replacing it with water. (My remarks are ot at all far fetched - it is known that Dick Cheney's company, Halliburton, used certain types of topographic scanning devices to look for oil in solid rock.)

        Computer model that was formulated by grad students back in the 1970's showed the world something quite interesting - once the jet stream(JS) stops entirely, then whatever weather is over your area of the globe is what you will experience for the next few months, if not years. So if the jet stream stops when it is 100 degrees and sunny, that won't alter if the JS stops entirely. Places with warm weather will retain that weather; places with cold weather will retain that.

        Then viruses and bacterial diseases will begin to proliferate, as the jet stream has always been one way that nature herself kept disease at bay. If the jet stream does more than merely stagnate, once it stops for good, then plagues will erupt and all bets are off in terms of human race.

        I really don't think you can run and hide from the Global Changes. (Other than not buying any ocean front property any time soon.)

  •  Sorry, but childhood memories of MN make me (0+ / 0-)

    Think that only people used to it could get used to it.

    I remember all too well mosquitoes the size of airplanes, also much fog, drizzle, rain and cold all through June, and then when summer hits, it is more humid than Hades.

    And then winters where the mercury dips well below zero, and stays there, with lots of snow and ice.

    The people are pretty great though.

    •  You do know us (0+ / 0-)

      The mosquitoes carry off small dogs occasionally.

      The squirrels are so mean that they chase the dogs.

      The winter is so cold, that you only see peoples eyes through all the bundled clothes.

      Driving in the snow is so tough that cars come with optional ice blades.

      It gets so hot in summer that we don't light the grills, we just put the hot dogs and they cook.

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