Federal agencies released their plans for adapting to climate change in February. The European Commission approved its adaptation strategy in April. New York unveiled a $19.5 billion plan in June, prompted by Hurricane Sandy to join the likes of London, Chicago, and Quito, Ecuador.

But climate adaptation isn’t just for the big players. Today, Dane County, Wis., which has a population of 500,000, will propose a budget that includes nearly $1 million worth of climate-adaptation spending — aimed at everything from new storm water infrastructure to sand bags and other emergency equipment.

A storm over Madison

Richard HurdA summer storm over Wisconsin’s capital, Madison, which is in Dane County.

“We’re looking at warmer and wetter weather and preparing for the potential challenges,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi told The Cap Times:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Dane County may have already experienced what a warmer Wisconsin could look like. Last year saw a summer drought, a winter of few but major snow events, a quick spring meltdown and then summer thunderstorms that brought flooding.

UW-Madison climate scientists are now predicting that by 2050, statewide annual average temperatures are likely to warm by 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, with three or more weeks per summer where temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

The state is also likely to see a trend toward more precipitation overall continue, with the most probable increases in winter, spring and fall. Soil erosion rates could double by 2050 from 1990 levels. …

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

In addition to replacing traditional County Sheriff cruisers with 4-wheel drive SUVs, the county is looking at converting Parks Department vehicles to “blizzard busters” by adding tractor-treads. They also plan to connect parks rangers with public safety officials via an improved radio system.

“Last year we had motorists stranded on the road we couldn’t reach,” said Parisi.

Way to take climate change in your stride, Dane County.