TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan expert says climate change is likely to cause bigger storms in the Great Lakes region over the next century, which could worsen the problem of harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie.

Donald Scavia spoke Wednesday during a conference in Cleveland for Great Lakes scientists and advocates.

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Scavia said heavy rainstorms have become more common around the lakes the past two decades. They’ve been particularly severe in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio, where runoff from farms and municipal sewer systems carries nutrients that feed algae blooms into Lake Erie.

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Scavia said the modern technique of planting crops without tilling helps prevent erosion but also leaves high concentrations of phosphorus from fertilizer in the upper soil, making it easier to wash into the lake during intense storms.

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