Illinois’ climatologist, Trent Ford, said the effects of climate change are becoming evident throughout the state.
Ford said the primary effect of climate change present in Illinois is greater amounts of precipitation. The increase in rain and snowfall may have wide ranging effects on northern Illinois, particularly on the region's agriculture.
“The soil and the land can only take in so much of that water before the rest of it runs off," he said. "And that creates an increased potential for flooding, backing up of these major tributaries to large rivers, which creates inland flooding, but also creates issues related to erosion.”
Ford said agricultural runoff in streams and rivers could lead to harmful algal blooms in local water sources. This rain-induced erosion may also harm crop production as it removes nutrient rich topsoil.
Ford encouraged Illinois residents to reach out to his office with any questions. Contact information can be found on the state climatology website.