While annual USA precipitation increased 4 per cent between 1901 and 2015, it jumped almost 10 per cent in the Great Lakes region, with much of the increase due to unusually large storms, the report said.
As the report concludes: "We should not and can not take the vast natural resources of the Great Lakes for granted". It was called the most comprehensive assessment of climate impact on the region ever compiled. During the same periods, the mean temperature for the remainder of the contiguous US rose 0.7 degrees.
The changing climate is impacting snowfall, ice cover - both how much and how long it lasts - and rainfall as well as water levels and storm damage around the lakes.
The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the USA, which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather such as heat waves and drought, according to a scientific report.
Drinking water quality will be degraded by more releases of untreated sewage during heavy storms and runoff of nutrients that feed harmful algae blooms, some toxic.
Bacteria levels in the Great Lakes have increased, as the water warms earlier in the spring. While such blooms are common on Lake Erie and portions of Lakes Huron and MI, they've also begun showing up in deep, frigid Lake Superior - an unprecedented development, said Lucinda Johnson of the University of Minnesota at Duluth.
Agriculture in the Great Lakes basin will see significant impacts. Changes in seasonal precipitation are already affecting farmers in Midwestern states, with planting delays caused by spring flooding and excessively wet soil. Even with increased water management, it is projected that crop yields for both soybean and corn will decrease by 10-30 percent by the end of the century.
Beaches, dunes and shorelines will be more vulnerable to coastal erosion because of more and more severe storms.
The report comes on the heels of an Associated Press investigative report released this week that found the US has experienced more than twice as many hot weather records than cold weather records in recent decades.
The annual mean air temperature in the region, which includes portions of the U.S. Midwest, Northeast and southern Canada, rose 1.6 degrees from 1901-60 and 1985-2016, according to the report commissioned by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center.
"Climate change is already affecting the climate of the Great Lakes region and the physical behaviour of the Great Lakes themselves", said Don Weubbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of IL and former assistant director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Obama administration.
"Climate change is now adding more challenges and another layer of stress", Wuebbles said. "This report paints a stark picture of changes in store for the lakes as a result of our changing climate".
Officials said they will share the report with officials in each state and provincial government and with members of Congress but held out little hope the Trump administration would help implement solutions.