This page provides an overview of the steps Wisconsin is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) was established in 2007 to assess projected climate change impacts on Wisconsin and to develop statewide climate adaptation and preparedness strategies. WICCI is a collaborative network of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and other state agencies and institutions. It also engages citizens, private and public decision-makers, and scientists from Wisconsin and beyond.
In 2011, WICCI released a report titled Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation. WICCI coordinated working groups to develop sector-based impact assessments and adaptation strategies. These working groups included: Agriculture, Central Sands Hydrology, Coastal Communities, Coldwater Fish and Fisheries, Forestry, Human Health, Plants and Natural Communities, Soil Conservation, Stormwater, Water Resources, and Wildlife. Additional working groups focused on two Wisconsin cities: Green Bay and Milwaukee.
In addition to WICCI, a Climate Change Response Framework Project was developed in Wisconsin in 2009 to provide climate change impact information and resources to land managers in the northern region of the state. This project was expanded in 2011 to become the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework. The Northwoods project involves 64 million acres across the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province within northern Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. As part of the project, more than 40 scientists and natural resource professionals collaborated to assess the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. This group developed a Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis to evaluate key ecosystem vulnerabilities in the region under a range of future climate scenarios.
In 2013, Wisconsin’s Dane County established a Climate Change Action Council to assess and prepare for local climate impacts. The Council ultimately developed the Dane County Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Plan, which identifies potential vulnerabilities to climate change and provides sector-based adaptation strategies. The plan includes vulnerabilities and adaptation actions related to public health, public safety and emergency management, infrastructure and facilities, and Dane County lakes.
Wisconsin's statewide adaptation planning is in progress. Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed by the state and localities to help communities prepare for climate change, are highlighted below.
(Research last updated June 30, 2014.)
The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
|Resource Name||Sector(s) Covered||Date|
|State of Wisconsin Hazard Mitigation Plan||Emergency preparedness||December 2016|
|Dane County, Wisconsin Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Plan||October 2013|
|Milwaukee, Wisconsin Regional Green Infrastructure Plan||June 2013|
|City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin All Hazards Mitigation Plan||June 2012|
|Resource Name||Resource Category||Date|
|Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation||Planning||2011|
|Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) - Regional Models||Data and tools|