Midwest Expected to Have Most Temperature Rise from Climate Change
August 31, 2009
Doyle Rice of USA Today reported that the Midwest will see the most temperature rise within decades from climate change. This according to analysis by The Nature Conservancy and two US universities of UN climate data. If greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue rising at their current rate, within the next 40 years avg. temperatures are expected to be five degrees higher across much of the US, with the greatest increases in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.
“The surprise was that the biggest changes were in the Heartland and the Great Plains,” said Jonathan Hoekstra, director of the climate change program at The Nature Conservancy. So far, he said the western US has been the area that has seen the most warming.
“In many states across the country, the weather and landscapes could be nearly unrecognizable in 100 years,” he added. By 2100, states such as Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota could see average temperature increases of more than 10 degrees.
The analysis was based on data from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was produced in conjunction with the University of Washington and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Some impacts Midwesterners could see by 2100 include significant declines in the dairy industry because dairy cow productivity decreases above 77°F. Also, the US’ $200 billion agriculture industry would face drier soil and shifting crop production patterns.