WICCI report looks at impact of climate trends - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

WICCI report looks at impact of climate trends

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By Colby Robertson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- A new report released Tuesday show's the states average temperatures will increase by 6 or 7 degrees in the next few decades.

It's a warming trend experts say will have an impact on our daily lives. A group of over 200 Wisconsin scientists have worked on this report for nearly three years.

Tuesday, WICCI, the Wisconsin Initiative on climate change impacts released the first report at a workshop in Madison. It's based on historical data and projections on what they believe will happen in the future.

Wisconsin's climate is changing. The data is right here in the report Wisconsin's Changing Climate. It shows the average temperature in Wisconsin will increase 6 or 7 degrees by mid-century.

Lewis Gilbert, Associate Director for Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW Madison, says, "This report is focused on what decision makers and what people in the state of Wisconsin can do to reduce their risks related to changes in climate."

Experts fear this climate change will have a direct impact on Wisconsin's natural resources. This cartoon video produced by Climate Wisconsin and shown at the workshop attempts to summarize the issue.

"The way we live is based on the climate we live in. Warmer winters means less ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. All vital parts of our culture and economy."

Fishermen may also see an impact. Scientists predict an increase in summer temps will have a direct impact on brook trout.

Gilbert says, "Cold water streams are likely to warm so that presents a risk that we'll lose cold water fisheries so trout fishing is likely to feel an impact."

The projections based on this report also suggest more intense rainfall events leading to more flooding like we saw this past summer. These are events they can't necessarily prevent the hope is that they can develop strategies and adapt to the changes in climate.

UW Madison Associate Professor Daniel Vimont says, "Climate change has occurred in our state and it will continue to occur. The question we're asking is how we can better adapt to better manage our natural and economic resources in our state given that inevitable climate change."

Click here to read the entire report.

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