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Home / Science / Intensive agriculture changed the summer weather in the Midwest, according to the study

Intensive agriculture changed the summer weather in the Midwest, according to the study



A cornfield, silo and stable complex can be seen in Richland County, Ohio.

(Jeff Greenberg / UIG on Getty Images)

  • The summers in the Midwest became cooler and the rains rose in the second half of the 20th century
  • With increasing crop production, more moisture is being pumped into the atmosphere contributes to the cooling of the temperatures and to the increase of the precipitation.

Intensive agricultural practices that began in the second half of the 20th century changed the summer weather in the Midwest, a study found.

According to the 201

7 study published in Geophysical Research Letters, the summer in the Midwest became cooler and the rain increased in the second half of the 20th century. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dartmouth University attribute the weather changes to a dramatic increase in crop yields of soybeans and corn.

The study finds that average summer temperatures have fallen by as much as 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit and precipitation has risen by 15 percent in the second half of the century.

Elfatih Eltahir, co-author of the newspaper and the Breene M. Kerr professor of Hydrology and Climate at MIT, stated in a February press release that the impact is "significant but low" .

(MORE: Poland's bizarre involvement in climate conferences leads to controversy )

According to the study, the plants "breathe" carbon dioxide, which is needed for photosynthesis by tiny pores, called stomata, are opened up, and every time the pores open, moisture is lost to the atmosphere.

Increased crop yields, resulting from denser plants with greater leaf weight, added more moisture to the atmosphere temperatures cooled and precipitation increased.

The annual yield of corn quadrupled between 1950 and 2009, and soybeans doubled thanks to improved seeds, fertilizers and other processes.

Average summer temperatures are shown on this map with higher temperatures Average temperatures in red, average in bla The analysis shows a very strong correlation between areas with increased crop production, higher rainfall and lower temperatures.

(MIT)

"For some time now we have" I was interested in how changes in land use can affect the climate, "Eltahir said an independent problem of carbon dioxide emissions. "

The scientists say that models used in the study showed" a small increase in precipitation, a drop in temperature and an increase in humidity. "Climate data confirmed their findings.

The researchers say the Research could provide local geoengineering techniques that could help reduce the impact of global warming at the regional level.

On the negative side, the cooling effect of intensification in the second half of the 20th century could reduce the actual impact of global warming have been "masked" over the past few decades.

Eltahir says the team expects no further weather in the Midwest, pointing out that intensification is a "20. – Century phenomenon, and we expect nothing similar in the 21st century.

Roger Pielke sen., A senior scientist at CIRES at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who was not involved in this work, called the study "excellent" and "really important."

"The direction of climate The scientific community has not yet accepted that the management of land at regional and local level is at least as important as the addition. He added: "Professor Eltahir has been one of the pioneers in improving our knowledge on this scientifically and socially important issue."


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