<Ojibwe Lifeway: Wild Rice Harvesting (“dagwaagin”-fall)

INVESTIGATE THE SCIENCE

Warming temperatures can stress out manoomin. Now that you have learned about the importance of wild rice to the Lake Superior Ojibwe and explored Evidence that you can see, feel, or experience based on what you observe around you. place-based evidence of how climate change is affecting manoomin, it is time investigate what scientific research is telling us about how the climate is changing. How could these changes affect the sustainability of manoomin? How could these changes affect cultural practices and activities you enjoy?  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 manoomin. 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. “Projected climate changes” on these maps are based on the A1B climate change scenario where in the future our society will continue to use fossil fuels at about the same rate as we do today.

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 to2006, 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?

Wisconsin Climate Change Time Traveler- What's the Future for Wisconsin?
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 manoomin?

Climate Variables Affecting the Sustainability of Manoomin
(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. Compare this for projected annual temperature change across the Ceded Territory. What is the potential impact of these changes on manoomin?

CLUE: Manoomin is a northern hardy plant, located at the southern edge of its A geographical area where an animal normally lives range in the Great Lakes and northern Wisconsin. Warming temperatures, together with higher humidity, contribute to wild rice fungal diseases, higher populations of damaging insects, and reduced germination rates

Changing Great Lake Levels

Changing Great Lake Levels
Lake Superior’s water level is expected to fall 0.8-1.4 feet by 2100. Warmer temperatures, combined with reduced ice cover over this large water body, will allow greater amounts of water to evaporate from Lake Superior throughout the year. This water loss is expected to eventually exceed any increases in precipitation that may occur. What is the potential impact of these changes on manoomin?

CLUE: Changing lake levels is a balancing act between temperature and precipitation. Higher temperatures cause a greater loss of water from the lake through evaporation and what is taken up by plants and released into the atmosphere. If that loss is greater than the input of water into the lake from precipitation (both rain and snow) and groundwater recharge—lake levels will drop.

Because they are smaller and contain less water, water level fluctuations on inland lakes can be even more dramatic.

Manoomin is sensitive to fluctuations in the water level where it grows. Too little water and the plant will dry out, too much and it will drown, especially when the plant is in the critical “floating leaf” stage of growth.

Heavy Rainfall Events

Heavy Rainfall Events
Usually heavy rainfall events of 2 or more inches of rain are recorded about 12 times per decade in Wisconsin. By the mid-21st century, Wisconsin may receive 2-3 times more of these extreme rainfall events per decade, or roughly a 25% increase in their frequency. What is the potential impact of these changes on manoomin?

CLUE: Intense storm events can damage manoomin by uprooting plants or drowning them. Intense rain also erodes soil into the lakes and streams which can smother manoomin in a layer of sediment or cloud the water reducing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize properly.

Storms and Wind

Storms and Wind
This issue is closely linked with increased temperatures and rainfall. Higher temperatures lead to increased evaporation and changes in weather pattern. Extreme weather events are expected to increase. What is the potential impact of these changes on manoomin?

CLUE: Increased storm events would increase wave action and erosion in Lake Superior coastal wetland areas and damage manoomin habitat such as the Bad River- Kakagon Sloughs.

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 change in frequency of very hot days is expected to increase in the northwestern portion of the Ceded Territory. What is the potential impact of these changes on manoomin?

CLUE: This issue 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.

The combination of temperature rise and precipitation decreases in northern Wisconsin would result in droughts that dry out in manoomin habitat in Great Lakes coastal wetlands and inland lakes. Drought also exposes wetland soils to colonization by invasive plants that can crowd out manoomin.

Activity Guide

How Is Wisconsin's Climate Changing?

Establish a “baseline” for your climate investigations. Go to the Climate Change Toolkit and open the  Historic Trends and Future Projections Climate Change Maps for Wisconsin. Analyze the general climate change trends scientists have documented for Wisconsin from 1950 to 2006. These are called "observed" or "historic" changes because they are based on actual records or observations, not projections.

How has Wisconsin's climate changed? List 3 historic trends (such a changes in annual temperature, seasonal temperatures, precipitation) and list the time period over which these changes occurred. 

1.

2.

3.


What Could Stress Out Manoomin in the Future?

Use the Climate Toolkit mapping tools to evaluate how different climate variables may change in the future and how these changes could affect the sustainability of manoomin. These are called “projected” changes because they are based on scientific climate models.

Select a geographical area to investigate future climate change. You can choose from Wisconsin, the Ceded Territory, or another state. Write down the area you have selected: 

____________________________________________

If you are investigating Wisconsin climate change, select this Toolkit option and open the Wisconsin Historic Trends and Future Projections mapping tool. Browse the "future projections" maps. Wisconsin future climate projection maps cover a 75-year period between 1980-2055. These projections 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 climate model the “A1B” climate change scenario.

If you are investigating climate change in the Ceded Territory, select that Toolkit option. Browse the Ceded Territory Future Projection maps.  Ceded Territory maps project future changes in climate during a 50-year time period from 1995-2045. These projections are based on a future where there is moderate increases in carbon emissions. These maps are based on the “A2” climate change scenario.

Use the table below to record how each of the key environmental variables that affect the sustainability of manoomin are projected to change. Write down how impacts to manoomin for each of these projected changes.
   
                          Projected                        Impacts to
                 
     climate trend                     Manooomin

Temperature

Precipitation

Humidity

Changing Water
Levels

Storms & Wind


BONUS QUESTIONS:
It's all connected...What impact could projected changes in climate have on the potential for invasive plant species to compete with mannomin? 

What impact could projected change in climate have on the potential for plant diseases that could threaten the health of manoomin?

Be a Climate Change Time Traveler

Explore a range of climate futures for Wisconsin. Manipulate the Interactive Climate Change Mapping Tool to compare and contrast what might happen to Wisconsin’s climate under three different climate futures based on the A2, A1B, and the B2 Scenarios, over two different time periods from mid-century (1980-2055) and late century (1980-2090). These are called “projected changes” because they are based on climate models. This Mapping Tool also includes “observed” climate changes based on climate trends that have been documented between 1950-2006 to provide baseline information on climate changes that have already occurred.

Analyze potential climate change impacts under each of these scenarios on the environmental variables that are critical to the sustainability of manoomin. How are these variables projected to change under each scenario, and each time period? How do these changes compare to “observed historic trends” in climate change that occurred from 1950-2006?

  • Which climate scenario would have the greatest negative impact on manoomin and why?
  • What climate change scenario offers the best outcome for sustaining manoomin and why?
  • What do these models suggest for the sustainability of manoomin in the future?

Develop your own hypothesis.

Now that you’ve investigated place-based evidence of climate change impacts on manoomin and climate change trends using scientific research, what do you think? Do culture and science agree that climate change is affecting manoomin now? Will climate change be affecting manoomin in the future?

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


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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 of investigations you can conduct to test your hypothesis:

Does your research support your hypothesis?

Will current or future climate change impact the sustainability of manoomin?

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 climatic changes suggest for the sustainability of manoomin and the Ojibwe cultural practice of wild ricing?

How could these same climate change trends affect your lifestyle and cultural practices you enjoy such as recreation, hobbies, foods, or customs?