Climate Boundary Shifting East Due to Global Warming

The 100th meridian west (solid line) has long been considered the divide between the relatively moist eastern U.S., and the more arid West. Climate change may already have started shifting the divide eastward (dotted line). ( Columbia University )

Agriculture on the Great Plains in the coming decades may be adversely affected by a shifting of the climate boundary observed along the 100th meridian due to global warming. That’s the conclusion of new research published under lead author Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University.

The climate boundary that runs longitudinally along the 100th meridian through North America visibly separates the humid eastern part of the continent from the more arid western plains. Geologist and explorers observed the climate boundary nearly 150 years ago, and now Seager says that boundary may be shifting as much as 140 miles eastward.

In a statement, the researchers say the climate boundary is reflected by population and agriculture on opposite sides. Studying rainfall and temperature data since 1980, Seager and his colleagues found this climatic boundary has already shifted east about 140 miles so that it now sits closer to the 98th meridian. And it will continue to move east as warming global temperatures increase evaporation from the soil and change precipitation patterns.

The researchers believe the eastward movement of the climate boundary will almost certainly continue in the coming decades, expanding the arid climate of the western plains into what we call the Midwest. The implications for farming and other pursuits could be huge.

According to the press release by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, “Seager predicts that as drying progresses, farms further and further east will have to consolidate and become larger in order to remain viable. Unless farmers turn to irrigation or otherwise adapt, they will have to turn from corn to wheat or some other more suitable crop. Large expanses of cropland may fail altogether, and have to be converted to western-style grazing range. Water supplies could become a problem for urban areas.”

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Submitted by Chet on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 07:33

So what? Man-made climate change is Marxist lies. Nature is never static. Changes are ever present. I am 79 years old and am experiencing climate events like we had in the 50's and early 60's.
Oh and the commie fool from Columbia says the "dry line" moved east 140 miles? I would wager that if these global elitists could be honest, that dry line has moved back and forth 100 or so miles every 20 years or so.
Why don't we talk about unicorn farts now?

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:03

You know there was this guy one time who said, you know due to scientific observations I am pretty positive the world is round. And I’m pretty sure some old guy in the corner said, “I’m 79 years old and I have traveled all over and everywhere I’ve been was flat. So your crazy. You commie”

Just a thought.

Also, even the scientists who disputed climate change in the beginning have yielded. In the scientific community, climate change is understood to be obviously taking place. We just argue the scope of it, and how to affect its change.

In reply to by Chet (not verified)

Submitted by bob on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:26

"Also, even the scientists who disputed climate change in the beginning have yielded" So not true, in fact, the opposite is true, more and more speculation by scientists have been coming forth.

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by barrmfarm@gmail.com on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:39

This is ridiculous and should hardly be considered serious science. Really? They studied precipitation over a period of less then 40 years, ("since 1980"), and have concluded global warming is moving the climate boundary? What about the science that says there has been no global warming for the last 19 years? Honestly, when scientists can't accurately predict the weather a week in advance, why should I listen to them about their predictions of "the coming decades" in advance? A record of weather over less then 30 years, (considering the millions of years scientists say the earth has existed), is akin to standing in lake Erie, peeing your pants and then exclaiming the lake is obviously warming.

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:57

You are just parroting the reaction of when “global warming” research first surfaced to the public. If you will do some light reading you will see that scientists are no longer arguing against the reality of climate change. It is an undisputed fact. What they are arguing now is how to best combat it.

In reply to by barrmfarm@gmail.com (not verified)

Submitted by Tired of the fake science on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 10:16

Sorry, but the old "everybody says so" argument doesn't work in the adult world. And no serious "scientist" is talking about "how to combat it". That is naive and childish arrogance. Much of science is still not convinced of the cause of what appears to be a change in what we've become accustomed to in our climate. Much less are they trying to "combat it".

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:05

The collective body of academic research is not “everybody says so”, so much as it is “science says so”. You know science, the ones that brought you gravity, geometry, the ones who put man on the moon.
If you actually think that
1)most scientists don’t agree climate change is happening. Then you need to turn off your news stations and read some actual academic papers.
And
2) that they aren’t trying to combat it: then maybe google Paris climate accords and again, read some academic papers

Google scholar can get you lots of freebies and you can learn a lot just from abstracts. If you want to go above and beyond pay a few bucks to get subscribed to academic journals. Feel free to use a dictionary if the language is dense. Just take a breath and learn. Don’t just repeat what some journalist has crapped out his word hole.

In reply to by Tired of the f… (not verified)

Submitted by bob on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:37

Sorry but the fact remains much of the support for global warming was done by asking for different scientific organizations that represented many members to validate the theory. There was considerable push back as it was a political position taken, not a validation of an actual study of the data. Here is a thought that you need to understand. It is completely impossible to forensically ascertain temperature from thousands of years ago to the number required for it to have any relevance. Those temperatures are estimates that have a margin of error of more than several degrees while we are talking about temperature variants in the thousandths of degrees. That makes us rely on less than two hundred years of data to extrapolate the history of something 4 billion years old.

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by Janet Martin on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:33

Gosh--when I had geology courses during the 60s, one of the things I learned about interglacial periods is that they were identified by the disappearance of glacial and polar ice. They also lasted fairly long times and the 10,000 years since the retreat of the last ice age is a blink in geological time. I'm not convinced that what we are experiencing today is a man made phenomenon, but neither am I going on in a la-di-da fashion. I have a small carbon footprint, especially when compared to elitists who live in 3000 sq ft homes air-conditioned and heated to the max, drive gas guzzling SUVs and fly around in private aircraft. The real solution to a man made problem is to reduce the global population and I don't see anyone talking about that!

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:09

Ha, you’re absolutely right. Global population is the overriding mitigating factor. The carrying capacity for the earth is in the neighborhood of 10 billion. Understanding that and understanding how quickly the current population is approaching that number is frightening. That means that even if we were to immediately adopt environmentally conscious use of fossil fuels, energy production, and agricultural practices.... the pack of lemmings is still headed towards the cliff.
Control of population is about as popular a proposition as stopping coal power production, and stopping monoculture grain production/feedlots.

In reply to by Janet Martin (not verified)

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:50

Just keep building feedlots..... 🤦‍♂️

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:25

This article isn’t describing a shift in precipitation. It’s talking about the climate as a whole. It has to do with how much water hangs out there as much as how much falls there. As we continue to destroy the topsoil with monoculture ag, as global climate change occurs, and as we empty the underground water reservoirs, less water is staying in this area. That is why the area is constantly in drought regardless of how much precipitation is occurring.

In reply to by Steve Case (not verified)

Submitted by craigermt on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:24

So what is your explanation for the desert areas of Africa that didn't used to be desert areas but have been for hundreds of years now?

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by Ribbit on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:40

Is this somehow related to what we are talking about?

Also, the question is very broad so I’m not sure how to respond anyway. As hard as it is to admit to myself sometimes. I don’t know everything about everything. 😜

In reply to by craigermt (not verified)

Submitted by craigermt on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 14:11

And there lies the problem, so many can explain what is happening yet not explain why. Areas of Africa were once lush and had plenty of water and now don't. They can't explain it, it was before man made "climate change" and yet it stilled happened so there is a reason other than your what all your "serious scientists" can come up with on why it happened. Just because current theories and publish or perish academics produce scenarios you agree with do not make them right.

In reply to by Ribbit (not verified)

Submitted by bob on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:47

exactly right. You are one of the few who understands. If you have a theory and wish it to be accepted as fact you must have answers not just simply answer "because i say so". Climate change at best is only a theory and if it was more than that there would be more answers. Such as Greenland once being, green. Instead of glaciers. Now that the glaciers are melting it is suddenly "historic". Sorry but the glaciers didn't exist one thousand years ago. The vikings had settlements there for many generations. That is a fact backed by large amounts of physical evidence and carbon dating. They raised sheep and cattle amongst other livestock. But the climate change mafia actually tried to explain the settlements as a gross exaggeration that was akin to a bait & switch travel brochure for the Vikings. That it never actually supported any livestock etc etc despite the many archealogical digs that disproved their theory.

In reply to by craigermt (not verified)

Submitted by Joe R Itle on Tue, 04/17/2018 - 16:32

Please read "The Weather Chronicles" by Joe Bastardi. It is the best read possible to explain climate change by a real weather expert who is not politically correct and knows the system by real data.

Submitted by Bob on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:54

i can make up propaganda too, i can claim that i know actual temperatures from thousands of years ago but it would be a lie. You simply cannot estimate forensically a temperature that is close enough to be valuable. Climate change is measured in thousandths of degree's and all the historical data has a margin of error well beyond that. Think of it this way. If i take an ice core sample and say that because of the bacteria present, the density of the ice i can pinpoint the temperature of a given ten year period to be 34-37 degrees that data is completely useless when you theory is based on the same area having a temperature rise of one degree in a period of 50 years.

In reply to by Joe R Itle (not verified)

Submitted by Al on Fri, 04/20/2018 - 08:55

For whatever reason, off the cuff promotion of farm consolidation is not without risk, there are other options (as well as present and past examples) of what might work to address current and future dangers to our most vital (and envied) industry. A few examples of concern about running down the farm consolidation road involve disease threats (human-animal-plant) and other farm management practices that are magnified on large operations.

Submitted by Grant on Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:27

Hey do you guys remember the seventies when "all the real scientists" had factually determined with "real science" that because people used too much hairspray and rattle can paint we were going to be in an ice age by 2000. They globe was clearly cooling and we were all gonna die......