Drought conditions in our state have resulted in Gov. Scott Walker declaring a state of emergency in 42 counties.
Today’s Journal Sentinel reports:
“The forecast for southeastern Wisconsin calls for sunny skies this week with gradually increasing high temperatures from 82 on Tuesday, 86 on Wednesday and 89 on Thursday before highs expected in the low to mid-90s Friday through Monday.”
The newspaper also informs us---- “The governor's state of emergency declaration means the state Department of Natural Resources can expedite requests from farmers to divert water from streams and lakes for irrigation. The DNR must inspect the water bodies within 72 hours of the request, instead of the normal 30 days, to ensure fish and aquatic wildlife would not be harmed.
But relatively few farmers have the irrigation equipment to divert water from lakes and streams. The last time the state allowed that - in August 2009 - only five applications were received, said Donna Gilson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.”
New Berlin currently has a water use restriction: Due to extremely dry conditions and unusually high temperatures, there's been a higher than normal water use for lawn sprinkling. So, the City of New Berlin issued a lawn sprinkling schedule yesterday for New Berlin Water Utility customers--effective immediately and until further notice:
Water only from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Even calendar dates or Odd calendar dates, depending on your address. (i.e. If your address is 16450, please water on even calendar dates - July 10th, 12th, 14th etc.)
An article posted today on TIME is called Now Do You Believe In Global Warming?
It begins by telling us that Sen. James Inhofe ( Republican Congressman from Oklahoma) happily used the snowy 2010 winter as evidence that man-made climate change did not really exist. That year, a blizzard occurred in February. Inhofe’s grandchildren built a snowpacked igloo in Washington after one major storm and stuck a sign in it: “Al Gore’s New Home”.
Fast forward a year and a half. Over the past few weeks, just about every part of the country except the Pacific Northwest has experienced unusually high temperatures. To environmentalists, the summer of 2012 is climate change in action.
“More than 2 million acres have been burned in massive wildfires in much of the West, more than 110 million people were living under extreme heat advisories at the end of June and more than two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought. Last month, 3,215 daily high temperature records were set nationwide — and that's nothing compared to the 15,000 set in March. The 12 months ending in May were the warmest 12 continuous months on record in the U.S. "What we see now is what global warming really looks like," says Michael Oppenheimer, a climate expert and a professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. "The heat, the fires, these kinds of environmental disasters."
“ This isn't to say that climate change is directly causing the extreme heat that's been suffocating much of the U.S. this summer. Fingerprinting a single extreme weather event as evidence of global warming — be it a heat wave, a major storm, a drought or a flood — take years of intensive study, though researchers are beginning to make those connections. A 2011 study in Nature made waves by linking rising instances of extreme precipitation in the second half of the 20th century to man-made global warming — the kind of large-scale survey that needs to be done to make the climate change case authoritatively. The sheer number of factors that influence individual weather events is immense. But we do have a pretty good idea of what climate change will look like in the years to come — if it continues uninterrupted — and it will look a lot like this summer, this spring and this winter. "The frequency of hot days and hot periods has already increased and will increase further," says Oppenheimer. "What we're seeing fits into the pattern you would expect."
You may also be interested in an article posted today on CNN titled: Extreme Weather: Get Ready To See More Of It, Scientists Say.