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University of Wisconsin–Madison
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The Wisconsin Idea in Action

Health Impact Assessment of Climate Change in Wisconsin

The overall goal of this research project is to develop predictive models of climate change-related precipitation variability that pose environmental health risks at a statewide scale. The downscaled climate models analyzed by our project will be used to identify the magnitude and frequency of heavy precipitation in Wisconsin resulting from climate change, as well as areas within Wisconsin that will most likely be impacted by extreme weather-related events. The research team involves staff affiliated with USGS, Great Lakes WATER Institute, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Center for Climate Research at UW-Madison, and the Departments of Statistics and Population Health Sciences at UW-Madison.


Our project team has developed statistically and dynamically downscaled climate models for Wisconsin. These provide climate data on a 50 km x 50 km horizontal resolution, compared to the 300 km x 300 km scale of global climate models. While the current focus of this analysis is the relationship between gastrointestinal illness and rainfall, the climate models contain other variables such as surface air temperature and humidity, which could be applied in future analyses evaluating the health impacts of heat waves. The project has also served to connect UW-Madison researchers and public health practitioners at the WI Department of Health Services (DHS). Staff on this team have become familiar with the public health data resources at DHS.

Focus Areas

Project Leader

Jonathan Patz
Group Leader

Department of Population Health Sciences; Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
School or College
Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

This project was last updated on Mar 29, 2012. Do you have an update for this project? Find out how to contribute.