Global climate models indicate that climate change will have significant impacts on mid-latitude regions such as the Upper Midwest, but little is known about specific effects on Wisconsin's environment, economy, and human health, or how to address potential threats or opportunities. Effective responses will require the best available science and meaningful participation of public and private stakeholders.
The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) assesses and anticipates climate change impacts on specific Wisconsin natural resources, ecosystems and regions; evaluates potential effects on industry, agriculture, tourism and other human activities; and develops and recommends adaptation strategies that can be implemented by businesses, farmers, public health officials, municipalities, resource managers and other stakeholders. WICCI represents a partnership between:
- The University of Wisconsin,
- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR),
- Other state agencies and institutions.
It combines cutting-edge climate modeling capabilities with field expertise to assess impacts at focused and relevant measures of time and space. It fosters collaboration among units across the UW System; and with agencies and institutions across the state. It develops practical information that can be used at all levels of decision making, both public and private. It is driven by stakeholder input to ensure that WICCI assessments meet the informational needs of Wisconsin citizens, businesses and institutions.
Unlike the Governor's Global Warming Task Force, which targets mitigation of greenhouse gases - how we affect the climate - WICCI focuses solely on the impacts of climate change - how the climate affects us.
The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts was formed in response to questions raised by a bipartisan committee of state legislators who wanted to know how climate change could impact their districts and constituents. More than 40 scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other agencies and institutions met in June 2007 to explore ways to identify and measure the impacts of climate change and variability at local and regional scales. The group also discussed the development of adaptation strategies for Wisconsin ecosystem and natural resource management, agriculture, business, human health and other vital components of our quality of life. WICCI represents the outgrowth of those efforts.