The Earth’s climate is changing faster now than at any time in the history of modern civilization. More than half of the 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8°F) increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature has happened in the past three decades, with emissions resulting from human activity as the primary cause. The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, and the last three years have been the warmest years on record for the globe.
This trend is expected to continue. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the average global temperature is expect to continue rising 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade, reaching 1.5 degrees between 2030 and 2052.
The impacts of this change are already being felt here in Dane County. Last summer’s historic flooding had a major impact on our communities and resulted in millions of dollars of damage. Climate change is expected to bring more frequent severe storms and extreme temperatures, such events will become more common, resulting in increased damage to infrastructure, threats to our lakes and waterways, challenges to agriculture, and negative health effects for both urban and rural residents of Dane County.
"We cannot wait for the state and federal government to step up, we must lead the effort to address climate change."