Final Report: Building Resiliency in the Face of Risk June 14th, 2017, Illinois State Library, Springfield, Illinois

Prairie Research Institute

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Daily weather records have been collected across Illinois since the mid-to-late 1800s. Analysis of the quality-controlled and bias-corrected data shows distinct trends in Illinois’ climate. The state has become warmer and wetter over the last approximately 150 years. During that time, the climate has experience colder than normal years and warmer than normal years, as well as drier than normal years and wetter than normal years. However, the overall trend is unconvincingly in a warmer and wetter direction, with the most recent decades experiencing the most extreme events. The National Climate Assessment, and associated State Summaries show that high-impact weather and climate events are generating more severe impacts to ecosystems, infrastructure, human health, energy demand, water supply, and water quality than during prior years.The global climate system is highly complex. It is comprised of five “spheres” that interact with each other across all spatial (feet to thousands of miles) and temporal scales(seconds to centuries). These spheres include the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere, the atmosphere, and the cryosphere. Each sphere is linked to one or more other spheres. Thus, the climate system and the changes it experiences cannot be viewed individually, but must be viewed holistically.On June 14th, 2017, stakeholders from Illinois government agencies, private organizations, and businesses convened with scientists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to discuss current observations and understandings of Illinois’ climate, and the future impact of a changing climate on human health, biota and ecosystems, insects and pests, ground water, surface water, flooding hazards, and community resiliency in Illinois. The meeting featured scientist with focused specialties from the variety of climate system “spheres.” The climate spheres and associated scientist included: 1) atmosphere: Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Climatologist Olivia Kellner, and Engineer Kevin OBrien; 2) biosphere: Senior Wildlife Ecologist TJ Benson and Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator Kelly Estes; 3) lithosphere: Engineer Kevin OBrien and Groundwater Geochemist Walt Kelly; and 4) hydrosphere: Groundwater Geochemist Walt Kelly, Principal Engineer of Water Resources Data and Information Sally McConkey, Fluvial Geomorphologist Laura Keefer, Water Supply Hydrologist Jason Zhang, and Hydrologist Momcilo Markus. Laura Kammin, Outreach Program Leader at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant presented on building climate resiliency across Illinois using PRI scientists and resource
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPrairie Research Institute
StatePublished - 2017




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