Letter: DNR must recognize climate change

Terry Hansen, letter to the editor for the Stevens Point Journal

EDITOR: Kudos to state Rep. Katrina Shankland for proposing a bill that would require the Department of Natural Resources to include information about human-caused climate change on its website and in its magazine.

In June 2016, 31 leading U.S. scientific organizations, including the American Meteorological Society, sent a letter to Congress calling for climate action and stating that climate change impacts in the U.S. include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, water scarcity, heat waves,and wildfires. The American Association for the Advancement of Science states that the letter "reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change."

Warmer air holds more water, and according to the National Climate Assessment, heavy precipitation events increased by 37 percent in the upper Midwest from 1958- 2012. Record rainfall and flooding in Northern Wisconsin this past July and in Western Wisconsin in September caused millions of dollars in infrastructure damage as well as two fatalities.

In the aftermath of the flooding in Western Wisconsin, friends from my hometown of Sparta commented that it was the first time they had seen school called off because of rain.

Climate impacts are expected to increase substantially in the coming decades. To deal with climate-driven threats, we first must recognize them. Thank you, Representative Shankland, for insisting that the DNR's website and magazine represent the best available science.

Terry Hansen,

Oak Creek