On the heels of the release of their report to the governor on how climate change affects Iowans, Laura Jackson, Jerry Schnoor and Gene Takle penned a great column in today’s Des Moines Register summarizing their findings and calling for Iowans to act on climate change. Check it out.
Check out the Des Moines Register’s online coverage of climate change in Iowa. The Register’s research looks at the future impact on communities, weather and agriculture across the state. Here are some of the findings that the infographic showcases:
By the year 2090, a major flood could happen every ten years, according to projections from the National Wildlife Federation.
Crop productivity could decrease because of severe storms, floods and high heat.
The average annual temperature in Iowa could increase more than the global average during the next 90 years…
The Register’s findings are based on the research of Iowa State University Professor Gene Takle and other researchers contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report as well as other reports.
If you have yet to read it, be sure to check out Richard Doak’s outstanding editorial in last Sunday’s Des Moines Register. In it he convincingly argues that, like it or not, we are now knee-deep in the unpredictable, hardship-ridden reality of “post-climate change Iowa,” and local and state policymakers need to address it.
Doak, a retired Register editor who lectures at Simpson College and Iowa State University, suggests a wide range of proactive measures we could take to mitigate some of the disastrous effects of Iowa’s changing climate, including restoring wetlands and “getting out of the way” of flood waters by limiting development in flood zones.
The warm, soggy summer of 2010 in all likelihood is not an aberration. It is the new normal.
Henceforth, more summers will be like 2010 than not. And, if climate change is just in its early stages, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Iowa is working to help people cope with the floods of 2010, even as others are still recovering from floods and tornadoes of 2008. Helping neighbors is the first priority, but this should also be an occasion for long-range thinking about how to mitigate future disasters.
What adjustments should our state be making to live in a new climate era where the abnormal has become normal?
It’s a question the state’s would-be leaders should be discussing in this election year.