Climatologist says weather extremes are from climate change and it could get worse
A state climatologist says weather extremes across the Corn Belt are a result of climate change.
Nebraska’s Martha Shulski tells Brownfield those events will speed up over the next several decades. “We’re warming at an accelerating rate. We’re getting more heavy precipitation events and the frequency of extremes are getting faster.”
She says weather patterns will alternate back-and-forth in quick succession and that could create significant issues for agriculture. “Wetter during the winter and spring and drier and hotter during the summer. It’s shifting precipitation to the colder time of year when we need it during the summer and we’re not able to get it. When we do get precipitation, it will likely come in heavier rainfall events.”
Shulski says one example is the 2019 bomb cyclone and flood, this year’s historic drought and wildfires and massive hailstorms.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHague tells Brownfield climate change isn’t new to agriculture. “We have a little different language in agriculture. We talk about weather a little bit more. We’ve been dealing with uncertainty with weather every year, crazy stories that we’ve had to adapt to. But, this a global conversation so agriculture needs to be in it.”
Both were panelists at an event Wednesday night called “Weathering Uncertainty: Our Connections to Climate” hosted by Humanities of Nebraska at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.