Environmental Study in Conflict

By: Brian Sikma

A new study is out decrying Wisconsin’s response to global warming. Wisconsin is one of less than ten states that have taken steps to plan to reduce man-made and man-assisted contributors to global warming. Lately, the state has left those plans gathering dust on a shelf – which may not be bad thing.

As reported in the Oshkosh Northwestern, the new national study critical of Wisconsin’s failure as of late to move from the planning stage to the acting stage on global warming identified several potential trouble spots for the state.  Among them are these three successive points that when take together are quite a gem:

– Reductions in snowfall, along with increased snowmelt from rising temperatures, are likely to reduce snow depth by mid-century, the study concluded.

– All of that is likely to lead to greater evaporation from Wisconsin water bodies and could mean the increased likelihood of more seasonal droughts.

– Increases in the intensity and frequency of heavy rain events could mean more flooding, and warmer water in lakes, rivers and streams could encourage the growth of nonnative species.

Catch that? The second point alarmingly notes that “more seasonal drought” could be on its way and the third point speaks of the “frequency of heavy rain events.” Sure, you can have both at different times of the year, but just how bad either one would be is hard to gauge when the study makes two somewhat unspecific opposite claims.

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