Global warming hotline also unveiled
(Vernon County/WI) Clean Wisconsin today released its report on global warming, Global Warming Arrives in Wisconsin, as farmers and others continue to recover in this county declared a federal disaster area.
In early August, a state of emergency was declared in the western part of the state due to extreme drought conditions. Within a week’s time the area was deluged with record-setting rains leading to designation as federally declared disaster area.
“These extreme weather patterns are what climatologists tell us will result if predicted climate changes due to global warming are realized. You only have to look around you to see firsthand the impacts that can result from such extreme weather occurrences,” said Ryan Schryver, Global Warming Specialist, for Clean Wisconsin.
Up to 30% of the corn crop is reported to have been affected by the recent rains in the western part of the state, and Vernon County has suffered over $40 million in damages to crops and infrastructure.
“As farmers, we rely on the weather for our livelihoods, so it follows that climate change has an enormous impact on our ability to compete in the marketplace,” said Adrienne Joseph, spokeswoman for Wisconsin Farmer’s Union. “The report released today is detailed and timely – and it brings home the point if left unaddressed, global warming impacts will devastate our rich agricultural legacy and will change the very land on which we’re standing.”
The global warming report draws on the work of respected climate sources to help throw the spotlight on what global warming will mean to Wisconsin – to its farmers, its tourism industry, its northern forests and fisheries.
In addition to agricultural impacts, the report documents other potential global warming impacts anticipated for Wisconsin later in this century, including:
· A major drop in Great Lakes water levels, costing the shipping industry and port municipalities millions of dollars.
· Elimination of half or more of all inland cold water fish habitat including book trout habitat.
· Higher crop losses due to more frequent and severe droughts and storms; insect pests and heat stress on livestock will depress farm income, particularly for family farms.
· Major reduction, if not complete loss of characteristic northern forest including boreal, hemlock and sugar maple forests.
· An increase in mosquito and tick borne diseases such as Lyme disease.
· Major loss in winter tourism revenues as the period of safe ice cover on Wisconsin lakes diminishes or disappears completely.
The report states that economic impacts could be severe, but by taking quick action many of the consequences can be minimized. The Governor’s Global Warming Task Force is currently working on recommendations to address global warming in Wisconsin.
“Modeling completed for the Illinois climate change advisory group revealed policy changes that could be made to reduce global warming emissions, while increasing jobs and economic activity – while reducing energy bills,” said Schryver.
Global Warming Hotline Activated
Clean Wisconsin also announced today the activation of its Global Warming Hotline, 1-800-WIS WARM (800-947-9276) as a tool to collect additional information about global warming impacts in Wisconsin.
“All global warming impacts are not as pronounced as drought or flood,” said Schryver. “Citizens can help by calling the hotline to submit their observations of more subtle global warming impacts such as a shift in a bird’s migration or when a plant emerges in spring.”
The information submitted to the Global Warming Hotline will help generate solutions by driving research and filling in existing data sets.
The report, Global Warming Arrives in Wisconsin, can be found at www.cleanwisconsin.org under the Publications tab. The Global Warming Hotline number is 1-800-WIS-WARM (800-947-9276).
Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin’s clean water and air, and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable. Phone: 608-251-7020, Fax: 608-251-1655, Website: www.cleanwisconsin.org
Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities and all citizens through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors and civic engagement.
Phone: 715-723-5561, Fax: 715-723-7011, Website: www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com