Two terms dominate the discussion of climate change and how to deal with it. One is mitigation – taking action to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in an effort to reduce global warming. The other is adaptation, which involves identifying and preparing for the potential impacts of climate change likely to occur even as we work to mitigate it.

The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts focuses on adaptation, and its Working Groups are the key components in those efforts. Each Working Group focuses on a particular issue, activity, ecosystem or geographic area to identify potential vulnerabilities and impacts, and to develop recommendations to increase resilience in the face of change.

Green HouseA few possible examples of adaptive measures could include redesigning stormwater management systems to handle increasing volumes of stormwater; planting species of trees more suited for longer, warmer growing seasons; planting vegetation to provide more shade for coldwater trout streams; and developing heat emergency action plans to assist vulnerable urban populations during heat waves.

Some adaptation efforts will be reactive, handling situations as they arise. But WICCI strives to be pro-active, anticipating challenges and preparing for them ahead of time. Effective planning and preparation could help save wildlife, property, money and even lives.

Visit the adaptation science page to learn more about how these topics are addressed.