<Ojibwe Lifeway: Respecting Our Culture (“biboon”-winter)

INVESTIGATE THE SCIENCE

A warming climate means changes for wildlife in Wisconsin and across the Ceded territories are lands transferred from tribes to the federal covernment by treaty. Ceded Territory of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, especially for species like the American marten that are already living in the southern limit of their range . It also means changes in cultural practices we enjoy that rely on colder, snowy winter conditions like skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing. Now that you have learned about the importance of the Marten to the Ojibwe and explored place-based evidence observations from people of how climate change is affecting both wildlife and people who rely on winter, it is time investigate what scientific research is telling us about how the climate is changing. Use the Climate Change Toolkit to investigate the science! Use the Investigate the Science Activity Guide to focus your explorations.

CLIMATE CHANGE TOOLKIT

Browse this toolkit to find maps showing historic and projected climate trends for key environment variables affecting the sustainability of the American marten. Choose the geographical area you are interested in investigating and explore the climate change maps and tools.
Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Climate Change Historic Trends and Future Projections

Wisconsin’s Climate Change Historic Trends and Future Projections
This slide show tool lets you to investigate actual changes in climate variables that have already occurred between 1950-2006, and explore how these variables are expected to change based on climate models from 1980-2055.

Start by establishing a “baseline” for your investigations by researching actual changes in climate that have been documented by reviewing each of the “historic trends”.

Next compare at the “future projections” for each of the environmental variables. The projections on these maps are based on a scenario where in the future our society will continued to use fossil fuels at about the same rate as we do today. Scientists call this the “A1B” climate change scenario.

How has Wisconsin's climate changed in the past?

CLUE: From 1950 to 2006, the average annual temperature in Wisconsin warmed about 1.1 degrees F. The northwestern part of Wisconsin warmed a bit more than the rest of the state. Winter temperatures have risen most significantly. Statewide, winter temperatures have increased 2.5°F. In northwestern Wisconsin the increase has been even greater at 3.5-4.5°F. Summer and autumn temperatures in Wisconsin have changed the least.

Precipitation patterns have also changed. Wisconsin as a whole has become wetter. From 1950 to 2006, Wisconsin’s annual precipitation increased by 3.1 inches. Most of the increase has been concentrated in southern and western Wisconsin. By the end of this 57-year period, the increase in this part of Wisconsin has ranged from + 3 to +7 inches per year. Northern Wisconsin has become drier, annually averaging 1-2 inches less precipitation over that period.

Wisconsin Climate Change Time Traveler - What’s the future for Wisconsin’s climate?

Wisconsin Climate Change Time Traveler - What’s the future for Wisconsin’s climate?
The Wisconsin Climate Time Traveler Mapping Tool lets you manipulate climate change variables, time periods, and a variety of climate “scenarios” to investigate climate impacts under these climate futures:
  • A2 Scenario- This model is characterized by a future with intensive fossil fuel use and high carbon emissions, higher than today’s rate.
  • A1B Scenario- This model uses a middle level rate of fossil fuel use where future carbon emissions remain similar to what we are experiencing today.
  • B1 Scenario- This model is characterized by a future with lower fossil fuel use and lower carbon emissions than today’s rates.
Using this tool, you can explore how climate trends may affect specific climate variables such as temperature, precipitation, temperatures extremes, and days over 90-degrees under each climate scenario.

Scientists have developed over 40 climate change scenarios of what the climate might be like in the future based on possible future levels of greenhouse gas pollution, fossil fuel use, and other driving forces.

What do future projections of climate change suggest for Wisconsin’s environment, economies, and people?

CLUE: Analyze potential climate change impacts under each of these scenarios on the key environmental variables and habitat conditions that are critical to the sustainability of plants, animals that support cultural and economic practices important to our communities.
Ceded Territory of the lake superior ojibwe

INVESTIGATE CEDED TERRITORY CLIMATE CHANGE

The maps in this section were created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Open this section of the Climate Change Toolkit to discover how climate may be changing within the Ceded territories are lands transferred from tribes to the federal covernment by treaty.Ceded Territory of the Lake Superior Ojibwe and Upper Great Lakes.

Investigate maps that show historic climate trends that have been already been documented. Discover how climate variables like temperature and precipitation are projected to change. All climate projection maps are based on the A1B scenario which projects a climate future where the rate of fossil fuel use and carbon emissions remain similar to what we are experiencing today.

By Treaty with the US government, the Ojibwe people retain rights to hunt, fish, and gather in the Ceded Territory. Sustainability of plant and animals are important to maintaining Treaty Rights and Ojibwe cultural practices.

How could climate change affect the sustainability of species that are essential to supporting Treaty Rights and Ojibwe cultural practices? How could these changes in climate affect the cultural practices you enjoy, or people and economies?

TIP: Tip on using NASA Climate Maps
Each NASA climate map uses a different range of variables and colors to show the range of change. Read each map legend carefully to understand the range of variables that each color represents.

NASA historic climate maps and climate project maps cover slightly different time periods than other maps in the toolkit. NASA maps are based on the A2 climate scenario which projects a moderate rate of C02 increase.

HISTORIC CHANGE IN ANNUAL MEAN DAILY TEMPERATURE

PROJECTED CHANGES IN MEAN ANNUAL TEMPERTURE AVERAGE (TAVG)

Average annual mean temperatures across the Ceded Territory are expected to increase between 3-4° F by 2045. Warming is expected throughout the region, but the greatest increase in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Look at the seasonal maps. Across the region, the warming is expected across all seasons, but is projected to be most significant during summer, fall and winter seasons.

Warmer winters mean more precipitation falling as rain or ice rather than snow, and less ice cover on lakes.

How would warming temperatures affect the sustainability of species and cultural activities that depend on cool temperate summers and cold snowy winters?

HISTORIC CHANGE IN ANNUAL PRECIPITATION (1980-2010)

HISTORIC CHANGE IN ANNUAL PRECIPITATION

Recorded trends in precipitation (falling as rain and snow) varied greatly across the Ceded Territory. The northern and western parts of the region tended to be drier, with some counties experiencing a decrease of as much as 6.5-inches in annual precipitation during this period.

Other counties in the south and east received as much as 8- inches more annual precipitation over the same time. Increased precipitation can saturate soils leading to flooding.

Drought is closely tied to precipitation and temperature. Compare this map with the Historic Annual Temperature seasonal maps. Which areas experienced higher temperatures and lower precipitation leading to drought conditions?

CEDED TERRITORY CLIMATE CHANGE TIME TRAVELER

What’s the Ceded Territory’s Climate Future?
Climate Change Projections (1995-2045)

PROJECTED CHANGES IN MEAN ANNUAL TEMPERTURE AVERAGE (TAVG)

Average annual mean temperatures across the Ceded Territory are expected to increase between 3-4° F by 2045. Warming is expected throughout the region, but the greatest increase in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Look at the seasonal maps. Across the region, the warming is expected across all seasons, but is projected to be most significant during summer, fall and winter seasons.

Warmer winters mean more precipitation falling as rain or ice rather than snow, and less ice cover on lakes.

How would warming temperatures affect the sustainability of species and cultural activities that depend on cool temperate summers and cold snowy winters?
PROJECTED CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF VERY HOT DAYS

By 2045, the frequency of very hot days above 90° F is expected to increase across the region. The greatest change is projected in northwest Wisconsin and northern Minnesota where the frequency of very hot days may increase by 13 days.

Temperature is closely tied to drought. High temperatures causes stress on plants, animals, and people.
PROJECTED CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF VERY COLD DAYS

Winter is expected to be warmer by mid-century with the frequency of very cold days (below 0° F) decreasing throughout the Ceded Territory. The greatest decrease is projected to occur in northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota where the frequency of very cold days is expected to decrease by 9 to 11 days.

Cold days are needed for many cultural activities including maple syrup production, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and skiing. The change in the frequency of cold days is projected to be less of an impact in the eastern section of the Ceded Territory.
United States
How could these changes in climate impact the sustainability of the American marten?

Climate Variables Affecting the Sustainability of American Marten
(these trends are based on the A1B Scenario)

Temperature

Temperature
Wisconsin is projected to warm by 4-9°F by the middle of this century. Northern Wisconsin is projected to warm the most. What is the potential impact of these changes on the American marten?

CLUE: Rising summer temperatures means more than just hot weather. Higher temperatures mean greater loss of soil moisture through The process where water becomes vapor and enters the atmosphere evaporation and The loss of water from the soil both by evaporation and by transpiration which the loss of water from the plants through their leaves into the atmosphere evapotranspiration . This creates drought conditions, increased chance of fire, and greater pest outbreaks.

Forest habitats preferred by martens are characterized by trees and plant species adapted to cool temperatures, moist soils and low The loss of water from the soil both by evaporation and by transpiration which the loss of water from the plants through their leaves into the atmosphere evapotranspiration .

A warming climate also means changes in the growing season. As trees will need more moisture from the soil for a longer amount of time, the amount of water they use through The loss of water from the soil both by evaporation and by transpiration which the loss of water from the plants through their leaves into the atmosphere evapotranspiration will increase. This will reduce the amount of moisture available in the soil. A longer growing season will benefit some tree species and encourage new tree species to establish themselves. Other trees not adapted to higher temperatures and less soil moisture may suffer die-back or may die. Tree species, already at the southern edge of their A geographical area where an animal normally lives range , may eventually disappear.

The US Forest Service’s Climate Change Tree Atlas has identified 12 Wisconsin forest species that are projected to suffer large decline in suitable habitat, especially under high emission A description of a possible future state of the world under different levels of carbon emissions climate change scenarios . Fifty percent of these species are trees that contribute to the American marten’s preferred habitats including balsam fir, white cedar, yellow birch, sugar maple, hemlock, and white spruce which provide critical habitat for American Marten

Warming Winters

Warming Winters
The warming is projected to be largest in winter, with projected increases of 5-11°F by the mid-21st century across Wisconsin, with the greatest warming across northwest Wisconsin. Winter precipitation is expected to increase by 25% by 2050, with more falling as freezing rain due to increased winter temperatures. What is the potential impact of these changes on the American marten?

CLUE: Longer periods of warmer winter weather, either due to early spring warm-up or warmer late falls, would mean less snow cover. Warmer winter temperatures also mean more precipitation falling as rain or sleet.

Reduced snow cover could threaten wildlife, like the American Marten, that depend on snow cover for winter survival. Climate projections indicate that snow cover will drop by about 40% in northern Wisconsin over the next 50 years. Some species, like the American marten, rely on areas under the snow for insulation from cold winter temperatures. In areas where they co-exist with fishers, changes in the amount and composition of the snowpack could put martens at a competitive disadvantage.

Changing Precipitation

Changing Precipitation
Projections of what the future will be for precipitation varies on the distribution of rain by season and the amount of this change. Most climate models project that northern Wisconsin will experience an increase in late winter and early spring precipitation, but a trend toward less rain in late summer and early autumn. What is the potential impact of these changes on the American marten?

CLUE: Precipitation amounts can affect the sustainability of tree species, like hemlock, spruce, and yellow birch that prefer moist soils. These trees provide the critical habitat features needed by the American marten.

Drought

Drought
By 2050, the frequency of very hot 90-degree days in northern Wisconsin is expected to increase from the 5 days per year currently experienced to 12 days per year. The warming is projected to be largest in winter, with projected increases of 5-11°F by the mid-21st century across Wisconsin, with the greatest warming across northwest Wisconsin. What is the potential impact of these changes on the American marten?

CLUE: Increases in the length and severity of late summer droughts will have the most widespread effects on tree species. This will affect ecosystems and habitats that support wildlife.

Drought is closely linked to temperature and rainfall amounts. While northern Wisconsin is expected to have more heavy rainfall events, little change in the total amount of summer rain is predicted, but temperatures will be much warmer. Climate models suggest more frequent, localized periods of extreme drought which will dry up forest soils. Trees that require moist soils, like many that comprise the forest type used by martens, could struggle to survive under drought conditions.

Stressed trees are also more susceptible to attacks from pests and disease. As susceptible trees die, greater amounts of deadwood will accumulate. Although American marten prefer habitats with lots of woody debris on the forest floor, higher temperatures and drier conditions would increase the risk of forest fires in these areas which could destroy their habitat.

Activity Guide

Is Wisconsin’s Climate Changing?

How Is the Climate Changing?
Establish a “baseline” for your climate investigations. Go to the Climate Change Toolkit and click on the geographical area you want to investigate. Find the climate maps the show "historic" climate trends.  Use the maps to analyze different climate trends scientists have documented. Over what time period were these changes observed?  These are called "historic" changes because they are based on actual records or observations, not projections. 

What geographical area are you investigating? 

____________________________________________
Establish a “baseline” for your climate investigations. Click on the Historic Trends and Future Projections Climate Change Maps in the Toolkit to open this application. Start by analyzing the “Historic Trends” for each of the climate change variables. These maps show changes that scientists have documented for Wisconsin from 1950 to 2006. These are sometimes called “observed” changes because they are based on actual records or observations.

List four historic, observed trends in Wisconsin’s climate from 1950-2006:

1.

2.

3.

4.

Get Wild About Climate Change!

Once again use the Historic Trends and Future Projections Climate Change Maps, but this time scroll through the climate change variables listed in “Future Projections” category. For each climate variable, toggle between “Historic Trends” and “Future Projections” to compare and contrast climate change that has actually occurred against what climate models project will be the future trend. Be sure to investigate the other future climate change projected trend maps in the Toolkit. Focus on key environmental characteristics needed by American marten to survive. Projected climate changes on these maps are based on a scenario where in the future our society will continue to use fossil fuels at about the same rate as we do today. Scientists call this the “A1B” climate change scenario.

What is the difference between the historic or “observed” climate trend and “projected” climate change for each of the climate variables below? How could these changes affect Wisconsin’s American marten? Use the table below to guide your investigation. If you cannot find a historic trend for a variable, leave that space blank.

Now open the Interactive Climate Change Mapping Tool. This application lets you be a climate change “time traveler” and explore changes in specific climate variables under three different climate futures for Wisconsin. By manipulating the tool, you can compare and contrast projected changes for a variety of climate variables, in different seasons, and through different time periods.

As you analyze potential climate change impacts under each of these scenarios, review the habitat conditions that are critical to the sustainability of the American marten. How are these climate variables projected to change under each scenario (A1, A1B and B2)? What changes are projected to occur over each of the time periods from 1980 to 2055 (called “mid- 21st century”) and 1980 to 2090 (called “late 21st century)? What seasonal climate change trends are projected? How do these changes compare to “observed historic trends” in climate change that occurred from 1950-2006? Is the impact of climate change on each variable expected to be higher, lower, or about the same as what historically occurred?

  • Which climate scenario (A2, A1B, or B2) would have the greatest impact on climate variables that affect the sustainability of American marten and why?
  • Which climate scenario would have the least impact on the climate variables that affect the sustainability of American marten and why?
  • What do these models suggest for the sustainability of Wisconsin’s American Marten populations?
  • Some species will “win” and others will “lose” as the climate warms. Identify three Wisconsin wildlife species that could benefit from a warming climate and three species that could be harmed. Give an example of how a climate change trend could benefit or harm each species listed.

Develop your own hypothesis.

Now that you’ve investigated place-based evidence of climate change impacts and scientific research on climate trends affecting American marten--what do you think? Do culture and science agree that climate change is affecting this species now? How will climate change affect Marten in the future?

Write down your hypothesis… If climate change is occurring, then how might it affect American marten? Write down your hypothesis.

____________________________________________
_____________________________________________

Test IT!

Develop an experiment or investigation of your own to test your hypothesis. Consider what other factors or variables could be causing the results you are observing.

Here are some ideas for investigations you can conduct to test your hypothesis:

Does your research support your hypothesis?

Will current or future climate change impact the sustainability of American marten?

List three pieces of evidence you’ve gathered that supports (or does not support) your hypothesis:

1.

2.

3.

If your research did not support your hypothesis, create a new hypothesis based on your observations and re-test it.

What is Your Conclusion?

What do these climate changes suggest for the sustainability of wildlife species, like the American marten, that rely on environmental conditions and habitats shaped by cold winters with deeper snow?

How do these climate changes affect Wisconsin’s communities and businesses that rely on cold, snowy winter weather?

How could these same climate change trends affect your lifestyle and cultural practices you enjoy such as ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, or other recreational activities, hobbies, or customs?