The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has begun laying the foundation for its study of climate change in Nebraska, and work will get under way next year, said Don Wilhite, UNL climatologist overseeing the project.
The university study grew out of a skirmishes over a proposed State of Nebraska climate study.
Gov. Dave Heineman on Tuesday put an end to the state study by pulling the $44,000 in funding, saying it would have duplicated the university’s work.
Rather than conduct original research, the university’s study will pull together the latest research relevant to Nebraska.
Wilhite said he has found the individual he will hire to gather research. Now he is identifying a leadership team and the group of university and state scientists who will analyze the studies that are gathered.
Some of the reports that will be used in the study won’t be completed until the first of the year. For that reason, the university won’t start until January, he said.
Wilhite said the university will hold meetings to get public feedback on the study’s findings. The study is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2014.
State Sen. Ken Haar, who proposed the ill-fated state study, said he’s looking forward to the university’s findings because they will be scientifically robust.
Even though his study has been shelved, Haar said, some good has come of the effort. Nebraskans have had a more candid conversation about climate change.