From an article by Larry Bivins in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune:
WASHINGTON — The record-setting heat during the summer of 1988 could become the norm in Wisconsin if steps aren’t taken to curb emissions that cause global warming, according to a new report.
Hotter summers and increased flooding caused by heavier rainfall are among the extreme consequences the Union of Concerned Scientists found in a study of the impact of climate change on the Badger State.
Wisconsin also would experience long droughts, more smog-filled days, a possible increase in crop-destroying pests and up to a two-foot drop in the Great Lakes water levels.
The Wisconsin report is part of an ongoing effort by the advocacy group to examine how climate change would affect different regions.
“Over the past 50 years, we’ve seen higher average annual temperatures, more frequent downpours, longer growing seasons and fewer cold snaps,” said Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University and a co-author of the report.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit group of scientists and citizens that advocate for the environment. Its latest report is based on research and new data consistent with a study released in June by a consortium of 13 federal agencies.
The report assesses the impact of global warming on Wisconsin using two scenarios: one based on nothing being done to lower emissions, the other based on lower emissions resulting from an increased use of clean energy sources. The authors compared each scenario with a baseline period of 1961 to 1990.
“A comprehensive climate and energy approach — combining a cap on emissions with policies that encourage renewable electricity, energy efficiency and cleaner transportation choices — can reduce emissions 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 56 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 while saving consumers and businesses money,” the report said.