Global warming, or more precisely global climate change, has become a major issue in the last few decades. Climate change in Illinois, the nation, and the world has had and will continue to have direct and indirect impacts on Illinois.
What about Illinois? We know the climate in Illinois has changed in the past due to natural forces such as changes in the amount of solar radiation, ocean circulation, and volcanoes. Humans can impact climate on a local, regional, or global scale, through changes in greenhouse gasses, aerosols (small particles in the air such as dust or sulfates from coal burning), and land use changes (change from prairie to agriculture to cities). Therefore, climate change is the result of complex interactions between natural and human-induced forces and remains a challenge for understanding future climate change.
The Water Survey is dedicated to monitoring and understanding climate change in Illinois. This site provides some insights on climate change in Illinois and how it relates to the U.S. and the world. A more extensive discussion of the past climate and possible scenarios of the future climate of Illinois can be found on the Illinois Water Supply Planning web page.
Here are two great interactive resources for plotting time series of temperature and precipitation for Illinois or elsewhere
The National Climatic Data Center tracks US temperature and precipitation trends.
These external links do no imply an official endorsement by the Water Survey and may not reflect the views of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois, or the State of Illinois. See this disclaimer for our full policy on external links.