Senator-elect Ron Johnson has said publically that he doesn’t believe in global warming and climate change is the result of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. He’s been quoted as saying he believes climate change has something to do with sunspots. For an excellent resource on the science of climate change check out the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).
WICCI’s mission is to:
Assess and anticipate climate change impacts.
Evaluate potential effects of climate change.
Develop and recommend strategies to adapt to climate changes.
The purpose of the initiative is to take an interdisciplinary approach to study and document the changes in Wisconsin’s climate. The organization has three components. First there is the Science Council which is a group of scientist from many disciplines along with representatives from federal and state agencies and universities. The Council has fifteen working groups, including: Wisconsin Climate, Adaptation, Agriculture, Central Sands Hydrology, Coastal Communities, Coldwater Fish and Fisheries, Forestry, Green Bay, Human Health, Milwaukee, Plants and Natural Communities, Soil Conservation, Stormwater, Water Resources and Wildlife.
The second component is the Advisory Committee. The Committee is composed of the stakeholders from agriculture, forestry, public health and conservation and environmental organizations.
The third component is the Outreach and Operations Unit. The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, part of the UW-Madison, provides administrative and outreach support to WICCI and the Outreach Advisory Committee. The committee includes communication experts from the UW Extension, Uw-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Based on climate change models developed by WICCI, Wisconsin’s climate is expected to warm by 4-9 degrees F by 2050. Northern Wisconsin will experience the most warming while along Lake Michigan there will be less warming due to the affect of the lake. In addition, precipitation is expected to increase 20% in the next 40 years. This could even mean rain during mid-winter, in southern Wisconsin we will likely experience freezing rain rather than snow.
WICCI is also developing plans on how to adapt to these anticipated climate changes. Some of the plans include heat emergency plans for urban populations, redesigning stormwater systems to accommodate more water in storm sewers and planting trees that can handle a warmer growing season.
Here are contacts you may use to learn more about WICCI:
General inquiries: Alison Coulson, Program Manager, phone-608.263.9289 or e-mail- acoulson.wisc.edu
Science Council: Richard Lathrop, Science Council Co-Chair, phone-608.261.7593 or e-mail- rlathron.wisc.edu
John J. Magnuson, Science Council Co-Chair, phone-608.262.3010 or e-mail-jjmagnus.wisc.edu
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