Everyone knows that climate change exists. We experience it every season. No need to tell you about what happens outdoors around here in winter, or about the changes in the indoor environment, with its aridity-induced chapped skin, nosebleeds and hacking coughs.
But there are still those folks who don't believe that we can actually witness long-term climate change. It happens over centuries, they say, not decades. There are, however, informed people who not only believe it is happening, but are charting the changes. Such folk inform our cover story this week, "Global Warming Hits Madison!," by first-time contributor Denise Thornton.
According to these experts, changes are already under way, including rising temperatures, more encroachment of non-native species, an extended growing season and increased and more erratic rainfall. You may not be convinced by these phenomena, but the vast majority of researchers are, as Thornton amply documents.
Denise Thornton is a UW journalism grad who started her career at the Wisconsin State Journal and has worked at the South Bend Tribune and the Lake County bureau of the Chicago Tribune. She has also contributed to a number of magazines and written two books for the young adult series It Happened to Me. She and her husband returned to Madison a few years ago, and she works now as a freelance writer. She also writes a blog, Digging in the Driftless (digginginthedriftless.wordpress.com), about an area of Wisconsin she and her husband hope to live in some day.
We are happy she has decided to work in Madison for a while and hope she continues to write for us.
P.S. Don't forget about the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest on Jan. 30 at the Alliant Energy Center. All beer drinkers and cheese eaters welcome. You'll find details in the ad on the back cover.