Indiana Dunes State Park
Indiana Dunes State Park, on the southern tip of Lake Michigan (Photo credit: Roy Luck / Flikr)

Tourism could take a hit as the climate changes. Ski slopes may get less snow, and beaches will face more extreme storms.

But Jonathon Day of Purdue University says tourism in the middle of the country will also need to adapt. Take his state, Indiana.

Day: “The tourism industry is really important to Indiana. For the state it’s worth about 12 billion dollars.”

Some visitors come to cool off at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Others head to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 auto race, or go hiking in Hoosier National Forest.

But global warming could make some of Indiana’s outdoor attractions less appealing. By the middle of the century …

'We're going to see an increase of 50 to 80 extra days of hot to extremely hot weather.' Click To Tweet

Day: “We’re going to see an increase of 50 to 80 extra days of hot to extremely hot weather.”

The Indy 500 has already been affected. Last year, temperatures at the race topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit. About 200 people were treated for heat-related illness.

Day says some places can help visitors cool off by building shade structures. But others may need to market themselves as spring break getaways instead of summer retreats.

Day: “They need to be prepared and they need to be aware that the changes are coming so that they can start to plan for the future.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Jobs & Economy