Images via U.S. Department of Agriculture

Series: Climate Science And Wisconsin

Climate science is complex. Because changes to the global climate span continents and develop over decades, their effects on individual places and weather events are difficult to pinpoint. But with an ever growing body of historical climate data and sophisticated computer modeling, scientists can forecast how climate change is unfolding — and likely continue to play out — in places like Wisconsin with increasing confidence. In coming decades communities around the state are projected to continue experiencing warmer and more extreme weather. These effects are increasingly being recognized, with winter and nighttime temperatures rising, and heavier rainstorms occurring with increasing regularity. From the environment to human health to the economy, gauging the impacts of a changing climate is an urgent scientific endeavor with implications for every Wisconsinite.
 
Tracking global croplands and how they are changing is a massive, pressing and complex undertaking made possible by advances in remote sensing and computing.
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Research by the UW-Madison Center for Limnology collecting 30 years of data points to long-term impacts of climate change on mercury levels in lakes and fish in Wisconsin. WPR reporter Sarah Whites-Kodischek describes how scientists came across these findings.
As recently as 2013, water levels on most of the Great Lakes were very low. But since 2014 the issue has been too much water, not too little.
In a world with a changing climate, just how accurate are hardiness zone maps, and how do their makers continue to ensure these tools are as useful as possible?
Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to a 2019 climate change study. What does that mean to the Great Lakes?
By the time children born in the 2010s reach retirement age, many Wisconsin communities may feel something like late-20th-century Kansas City or Philadelphia, at least in terms of seasonal temperatures and precipitation.
Wisconsin's meteorological winter begins every year on Dec. 1, but bonafide winter weather didn't arrive in the 2018-2019 season until mid-January.
Very little is known about the smallest tributaries that flow into Lake Superior.
While efforts after August 2018 storms focused on cleaning up and limiting flooding, Madison will need to address its vulnerability to extreme rainfall if it wants to prepare for the future.
After yet another summer of dangerous and destructive flooding, from Ino to Madison to Coon Valley, Wisconsinites seem more ready than ever to discuss how climate change is affecting the state.