: Record-setting heat waves are becoming more frequent due to climate change. Image: JJ Gouin/Adobe Stock

Heat waves are a sign of ‘creeping changes’ in climate, expert says

By Elinor Epperson

There’s no easy way to say it: The heat is only getting worse. Extreme heat events in the Great Lakes region will only become more frequent as climate change warms the oceans, lakes and air, a University of Michigan climate expert said. And the earlier that heat waves start each season, the more there may be in the months to come. Richard Rood is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. He said extreme weather will change what feels “normal” for each season.

Michigan program helps hobbyists safely rehome aquatic flora and fauna

By Elinor Epperson

Don’t flush that unwanted goldfish – find it a new home instead. Home aquariums and water gardening are two of the many routes invasive species take to enter Michigan habitats. A Michigan State University Extension program provides educational materials and resources for rehoming unwanted aquatic pets. Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes (RIPPLE) works with hobbyists, retailers and gardeners to minimize the release of invasive species into the wild. Most people may not give much thought to letting one or two pets go for a variety of reasons – financial, lifestyle changes or change of seasons, for example – but Paige Filice, the program’s primary coordinator, said those numbers add up.

Image: A Michigan Department of Natural Resources technician collects a red swamp crayfish from a retention pond in Novi in August 2022. Matthew Clara/ DNR

Michigan trying new approaches against invasive crayfish

By Elinor Epperson

Researchers are exploring new techniques to remove an invasive crayfish from Michigan waters. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been fighting an invasion of red swamp crayfish since they first appeared in the state in 2017. Aggressive attempts to trap and remove the crustacean haven’t worked. Kathleen Quebedeaux, a fisheries biologist with the DNR, said eradicating the invader will require a variety of approaches. “In order to have a more efficient means of achieving eradication, we need other tools in our toolbox,” she said.

Ohio roads reflect tumultuous winter weather

Winters keep the Ohio Department of Transportation so busy, they have a well-circulated joke about it: “If we’re not plowing, we’re patching,” said Matt Bruning, press secretary for the department. 

The state maintains more than 43,000 miles of highway pavement that forms potholes as winter temperatures quickly rise and drop.