Lawns contribute to climate change. When most people think of climate change, they think of higher temperatures, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels. Global warming also causes other problems that are not talked about as much.
In addition to driving temperatures up, global warming changes precipitation patterns. Because warming causes air and moisture to circulate around the globe differently, more rain is brought to some areas, while other areas are left drier than normal. Wisconsin’s annual precipitation is expected to remain about the same over the coming decades. However, instead of arriving in the form of frequent rainy days, it is likely to be concentrated into occasional downpours. This means that Wisconsin will experience long dry periods punctuated by flooding.
Higher temperatures bring higher crime rates. While cold weather lowers crime by keeping people indoors, hot weather increases opportunities for crime. Studies suggest that heat also contributes to aggression, making people more likely to commit a crime. This holds true even for people who are used to hot weather.
Changing climate allows insects like mosquitoes to move from traditionally-hot places to newly-warm areas, bringing tropical diseases with them. West Nile virus has already spread all the way to Canada. Other tropical diseases, like malaria and dengue fever, are beginning to arrive in the United States.
Anything we can do to slow climate change will help prevent these negative changes in our community.