Most of the cities in Michigan will be dealing with harsh consequences of climate change, and vulnerable groups who are disproportionately affected by it will continue to do so now and into the future, according to a new study.
University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers looked at future temperature projections, tree canopy and hard surface data, as well as location of vulnerable populations, to create heat vulnerability maps for the state.
The maps — available online as an interactive tool, The Mi-Environmental Project — will help policymakers and community organizations focus their efforts on strategies that help cushion the blow of changing climate, said Dr. Trish Koman, research investigator at Michigan Public Health and first author of the study published in Health and Place.
“Climate change often feels very far away. Some people think it’s in the future and that it’s something happening to other people in other parts of the world,” she said. “Having a map of your own state and your own community can make that information seem closer to you because you can see areas you know that are having special vulnerabilities.
In addition to Dr. Koman, authors included Gabriela Mentz, Marie O’Neill, and Amy Schultz, all of Michigan Public Health; Natalie Samson of University of Michigan Dearborn’s Department of Health & Human Services; Frank Romo and Peter Swinton of University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Michael Battaglia of the Michigan Tech Research Institute; and Kimberly Hill-Knott and Guy Williams of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 15