Pages from weather_we_dont_recognizeOn May 5, Island Press and the National Wildlife Federation released a report, Weather We Don’t Recognize, which provides understandable, science-based explanations about how climatic conditions in the Midwest are changing. It also explores the effects climate change is anticipated to have on human and natural communities.

With its accessible approach to the complex topic of climate change, the report is targeted toward elected officials, public employees, local activists, and concerned citizens. Weather We Don’t Recognize offers ideas about how to respond to warmer, wetter, and weirder weather by presenting solutions that have already been put into practice. In particular, the report focuses on green infrastructure solutions. Public agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout the Midwest are integrating land protection and restoration into their efforts to minimize the region’s vulnerabilities to climate-related damage.

Case studies profile how local governments and community leaders are addressing the costs, dangers, and opportunities stemming from unpredictable weather.

Examples of nature-based solutions that are saving local governments money and making citizens safer include:

  • Cleveland, Ohio’s initiatives to replace its aged and damaged urban trees and to develop local food systems,
  • Washtenaw County, Michigan’s new development criteria aimed at reducing flooding and improving water quality, and
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s strategy to handle 2.8 million m3 (740 million gal) of rainwater with green infrastructure to prevent sewer backups and pollution of Lake Michigan.