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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Wisconsin’s increased flooding in recent years has been caused by a combination of climate change and other factors, including natural variation.

A warmer climate has increased the number of extreme precipitation events, which has in turn led to more flooding. The past decade has been the “warmest and wettest on record for Wisconsin,” said a climate expert from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

While some Wisconsin areas may have experienced flooding regularly in the past, floods in recent years have intensified in part because of climate change.

Southwest Wisconsin’s Kickapoo River watershed, for example, faced flooding at various points in the last century, but the scale of three major floods in the last decade prompted several building relocations of towns in the area.

Effects of increased flooding are felt both economically — with weakened tourism growth and interruptions of services around the Mississippi River — and ecologically — with more prevalent harmful algal blooms.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts: Report to the governor’s task force on climate change

Wisconsin Public Radio: Global warming is happening more rapidly. Wisconsin is already feeling it.

SDGS for All: When climate change dishes up a ‘toxic stew’

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts: Stories from the flood

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.