January 23, 2013
UW-Madison climate scientist Dan Vimont recently spoke with Steven Elbow of The Capital Times about his work with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).
WICCI is a statewide collaboration among scientists and stakeholders launched in 2007 by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Vimont, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and faculty affiliate of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, co-chairs the group’s Science Council.
In 2011, WICCI released the report "Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation," the first comprehensive survey of climate impacts in the state.
“We’re thinking about the problem, and we’re trying to make sure that Wisconsin is prepared,” Vimont tells Elbow in the Capital Times Q&A.
The WICCI report, intended for public officials, resource managers, business owners, farmers and other decision-makers, proposes a multitude of measures to help protect and enhance Wisconsin's natural resources, economic vitality and public well-being as the state's climate becomes warmer and wetter.
UW-Madison scientists have projected that Wisconsin's average temperature is likely to rise 4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-century and that more total precipitation and more intense storms are highly probable in many parts of the state.
“We should be considering climate change in our long-term planning,” Vimont continues. “As we think about our community plans and vulnerability assessments, we should at least be thinking about the effects of climate change. Second, we should look for win-win scenarios, like preserving wetlands, that could help buffer the effects of both short-term climate variations and long-term climate change.”