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Climate Change in Kansas

This paper was conduced by the Center of Integrative Environmental Research. One important this to point out, there is a difference between weather and climate as shown here in “Wizard of Oz”:

Wizard of Oz

Despite this aside, there are serious issues to be considered:

1. Climate Change will change precipitation patterns: As a majority of Kansas relies on agriculture this is a very important issue. Rainwater in Western Kansas has only changed from -5% to 5% from 1900 to 2000, but has increased by 10% to 20%. In the west, groundwater will continued to be drained, leading to groundwater depletion while in the east, more flooding from can be expected from the Kansas River.

2. Warmer winters, and cooler summers: Kansas is unique as the state received its North winds from Canada and the Arctic, while it gains its Southern winds from the Gulf of Mexico. This effect already leads to our tornadoes and our crazy weather. Overall, Winter temperatures have increased by 2.3F, and summer temperatures have only increased by 0.3F. The main issues here are crop plantings and times of harvest will shift slightly.

3. Dairy and meat farming:

Only if there is both increased temperatures and decreased rainfall will pasture land deteriorate, livestock will gain less weight, dairy cows would produce less milk. It is estimated that Kansas could lose up to $31 to $62 per year by the end of the century(this is CIER’s calculation)

4. Increase in Air Pollutants:

Already in Eastern Kansas, there are issues with health and respiratory related diseases. With increased temperatures, more ozone would accumulate around urban centers and lead to more health problems with Ozone and smog. Ozone is good up in the air, not on the ground.

These are the major points. State economies are often bound together, so what happens in Kansas could affect meat prices in New York. CIER did say that severe storms would increase, but being a 6th generation Kansan, I can say for certain that we have enough severe storms as is.

How Climate Change will effect Kansas Economies