Katelyn Weisbrod | August 9, 2017
Iowa has experienced a serious increase in humidity since 1971, according to leading climate scientists in the state.
This increase of 8 percent to 23 percent, varying for different cities across the state, can be attributed to climate change.
“Absolute humidity, which is typically measured by dew point temperature, has increased statewide from 1971 to 2017. Measurements show Dubuque had the largest increase in humidity, a springtime increase of 23 percent,” said Gene Takle, director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University.
The 2017 Iowa Climate Statement, which was released by the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research today, describes the impact this high humidity has on people, animals, crops, and infrastructure. The statement was signed by 190 science faculty and researchers from 39 Iowa colleges and universities.
These impacts are far greater than just discomfort. High humidity leads to hazardous health conditions for workers, worsened asthma conditions, higher costs of air conditioning, more waterlogged soil, and stress on crops, livestock, and pets.
The statement calls Iowans to recognize the damaging effects of increased humidity, and to understand more must be done to mitigate the effects of climate change.