This article, by Jerry Schnoor, also appeared in the January 17, 2011 edition of the Daily Iowan.
By Jerry Schnoor
How much has the climate changed in Iowa over recent decades? What are the impacts on the State’s agriculture, water resources, wildlife, public health and the economy? These questions served as the impetus for a new report released this month, requested by the Iowa Legislature, and produced by a small group of faculty and staff working together from the regents’ institutions in Iowa.
Gene Takle, a professor of atmospheric science at Iowa State University, analyzed the primary data and found that today’s Iowans are experiencing a wetter, milder climate. We are living with more temperate winters, a longer growing season, warmer summer nights, increased humidity, greater precipitation (especially in April-July), and more intense rainfall events.