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Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin

Water Resources Working Group

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  • This article examines how climate change is impacting surface water temperatures, aquatic ecosystems, and precipitation patterns in Wisconsin and provides many solutions and strategies for mitigating these impacts.
  • Students will learn about rising water temperatures, the effects of warmer water on cold-water fish, and increases in extreme precipitation that threaten human health and safety.
Teaching Tips


  • This article provides many local stories and additional resources to extend learning.
  • This article touches on environmental justice issues.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with what climate change is and how humans are contributing to it.
  • Students should know the following terms: phosphorus loading, algal blooms, invasive species, dissolved oxygen, and evapotranspiration.


  • For this article, teachers could go over the main idea of each paragraph in order to ensure comprehension.
  • Teachers could have students read this article at home to prepare for an in-class discussion on how climate change is impacting human populations.
  • Before reading the article, the teacher could ask questions about climate change's impact on water resources in order to gauge misconceptions and prior knowledge.
  • Students could use this article for an argumentative essay on how climate change poses an existential threat to human life and what should be done to fight it.
Scientist Notes
This resource highlights the work of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts’ (WICCI) Water Resources Working Group to understand the effects of climate change on Wisconsin’s water resources and to develop adaptation strategies for the future. The resource starts with a list of pressing issues, each accompanied by a poignant photo. Recommended strategies are listed and climate justice issues are addressed. The greatest value in this resource is found in the linked stories from the 2021 WICCI Assessment Report and the additional resources linked. These stories provide faces to climate change risks, and the linked resources provide great source material for independent study. This resource is clear, well sourced and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.12.3 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.
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