Dramatic effects of climate change could be ahead for the state, according to a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln climate study.
One of the lead authors, Dr. Don Wilhite with the UNL School of Natural Resources and founder of the National Drought Mitigation Center, indicates that predicted temperature changes of four to nine degrees by the end of the century would have a large impact on agriculture–both in Nebraska and worldwide.
“It will make a big difference. Not only in terms of temperature increase, but in the increase in the number of days of over 100 degree days,” Wilhite says. “Days over 100 degrees put a lot of stress on crops, stress on livestock, and a lot on humans.”
Dr. Wilhite adds they see the possibilities of more drought. Dr. Wilhite says the human factor in all of this is significant with greenhouse gases and their concentration in the atmosphere.
“The natural forces in our climate are things that occur over periods of thousands of years, where as the types of changes that we’re facing in the next 70 to 100 years are largely due to the increase in greenhouse gases,” Wilhite notes.
UNL officials compiled an independent study after refusing to participate in a legislative proposed study that prevented looking at the influence of humans on the environment.