Wednesday, January 9, 2019

About WI trout, floods, stink bugs and science. And Gov. Evers.

People who saw the news today about a US surge in the release of air pollutants tied to climate change understand that this means accelerating health and safety risks to everyday life for everyday people right here in Wisconsin.

All made worse by Walker's official climate change information scrubbing - - called into question at the time by UW scientists - - 
Purging DNR’s Website Doesn’t Change Climate Facts
- - and his intentional big business servitude that targeted Wisconsin clean air, fresh water, wildlife and open space for eight long years.

It's reassuring that new WI Gov. Tony Evers' and DNR-Secretary designee Preston Cole's have committed to policy-making science, given the impacts a warming climate is likely already having, or will unload, on Wisconsin - - from risks to walleye stocks to repetitive flood damage and costs to the stink bugs' repulsive early wake-up calland more.

I found this 2013 posting from the UW Sea Grant Institute valuable, relevant, predictive and ominous, especially because its down-to-earth conclusions refute Trump's idiocy that climate change is a Chinese invention and corrects the right's continuing, high-profile obfuscation.

For example, think about the loss of half of the state's 2,700 trout streams.
fall trout fishing
WI angler, trout. DNR photo:
And there are plenty more non-partisan projections in the posting to mull over.

Have a read, in part, below and check out the Sea Grant's very comprehensive site for more materials:
On the plus side, a warming climate during the first half of this century could mean lower winter heating costs, a longer frost-free growing season and better yields of some crops. It is also expected to improve forest growth, and enlarge resident populations of birds, warmwater fishes, reptiles and small mammals, especially nuisance animals like mice, bats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons and opossums. Waterborne commerce will enjoy longer ice-free shipping seasons on the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River. Winter recreation may suffer, but summer recreation could enjoy a boom. 
On the minus side, as the climate continues to warm, it will bring higher summer cooling costs, more frequent ozone alerts, and longer, more intense heat waves. Over time, the benefits of a warming climate for agriculture will likely be outweighed by the adverse effects of declining soil moisture and more frequent droughts, severe storm and erosion damage, and a northward invasion of various warm-climate crop and livestock pests and pathogens. 
The need to irrigate crops and greater urban demands for water will strain groundwater supplies in some areas. Warmer, damp conditions will cause populations of disease-carrying insects to swell and spread, and outbreaks of infectious diseases like West Nile virus may increase. 
Greater evaporation due to generally warmer temperatures and less winter ice cover are expected to cause Great Lakes water levels to decline several feet, threatening coastal drinking water supply systems as well as waterborne commerce, and causing shipping, dredging and harbor maintenance costs to rise. Barge and train traffic through the Upper Mississippi River Valley could be interrupted alternately by low summer-autumn stream flows and winter-spring floods. Warmer water temperatures and increased stormwater runoff will reduce the water quality of many inland lakes and rivers as well as Great Lakes coastal waters. 
Longer, hotter, drier summers and increasing evaporation will result in warmer and shallower rivers, shrinking wetlands, and dried-up streams, flowages and wild rice beds. Algal blooms will create anoxic conditions for aquatic life in ponds and many lakes. These conditions will reduce the amount of suitable habitat available for trout and other cold-water fishes, amphibians and waterfowl. 
A two-degree rise in temperature could wipe out half of Wisconsin’s 2,700 trout streams. Hot dry conditions, coupled with more frequent thunderstorms and lightning, will increase the chance of forest fires. Red pine, aspen and spruce trees will disappear from our northern forests.


Anonymous said...

Wow. This is nuts. I expected better from Sea Grant. Climate change will be catastrophic in many parts of the world. Food and water shortages are likely as is mass migration from places that will not be habitable. Governments are going to topple. New research shows that significant climate change can happen in a very short time.

James Rowen said...

Well, I guess I should have called attention to the 2013 date on the information. I was trying to make the point that what Walker & Co. had done was to ignore well-established facts. I'm sure the Sea Grant staff is immersed in the bigger climate change picture and fresh data and conclusions which I linked at the top.

And the Sea Grant does have a specific focus, as it spells out elsewhere on its website:
Wisconsin Sea Grant is a statewide program of basic and applied research, education, and outreach and technology transfer dedicated to the stewardship and sustainable use of the nation's Great Lakes and ocean resources.

Headquartered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the institute is housed in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education's Aquatic Sciences Center. Wisconsin Sea Grant is part of a national network of 33 university-based programs funded through the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , U.S. Department of Commerce, and through matching contributions from participating states and the private sector.

Anonymous said...

It's both siderism taken to an extreme. On the plus side, summers will be longer. On the minus side, we're going to spend more on air conditioning. It's really sort of silly. I guess they didn't want to bum people out too much.