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Pawlenty and Steger partner for the environment

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Arctic explorer Will Steger are joining together against global climate change in Minnesota. They announced their partnership on Monday “after participating in a panel discussion on the impact of climate change on Lake superior’s economy, natural systems and tourism,? according to the Pioneer Press.

Pawlenty also said Monday that he hopes to join Steger on his trip to the Canadian Arctic this spring to observe the ice sheets Steger has noticed shrinking. Pawlenty hasn’t made any promises to join the expedition because of potential conflicts with the upcoming legislative session.

The “Making a Great Lake Superior? conference included discussion of “pollution, invasive species and shoreline development,? according to the Star Tribune. Those topics all have good news and comment from Prof. Deborah Swackhamer of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment said that there has been a decline in concentrations of “legacy contaminates? like DDT and PCBs.

Climate change has affected the lake, however, as ice cover on the lake is decreased and the “average summer water temperature is increasing 2 degrees a decade,? said Prof. Jay Austin of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory. According to the Star Tribune, Austin said that effects of these changes could mean more evaporation on the lake “and a drop in average water level.?

The Pioneer Press reports that both Pawlenty and Steger have plans to tour Lake Superior and also look at climate change’s effects on Minnesota’s northern forests.