On Nature: Climate Predictions Happening

On Nature: David Voigts

The world’s climate is changing, caused by an atmosphere warmed by the increased amount of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Atmospheric scientists have warned for many years that this warming would have serious consequences, and now, according to the book “A Global Warming Primer,” their predictions are happening.

One prediction of great interest – especially to farmers – was the anticipated increase in extreme weather. While no weather event can be tied to climate change directly, the effects of climate change are shown in the overall trends. We are experiencing more heat waves with higher temperatures, more storms with greater amounts of rain and flooding, and more periods of intense drought that last longer.

Severe winter storms and very cold weather are also increasing. This is probably caused by an arctic that is warming rapidly, especially in the winter. As a result, winter atmospheric temperatures north and south of the jet stream are less different than they once were. This causes the jet stream to be weak and wavy, which can allow the cold arctic air to move to lower latitudes.

We can expect extreme weather events to continue to worsen if we don’t act. Let’s do it.

David Voigts is a retired ecologist and the current Conservation Chair for the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society. He is a Tama County native, graduating from Dinsdale High School, and lives in rural Jesup on his wife’s family farm.