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U.S. corn states have actually experienced slightly cooler summers since the mid-20th Century, according to a new study documenting how the regions bucked the overall global warming trend.
Scientists with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found the intensification of agriculture operations actually cooled Midwest regions from 1950 to 2009, showing the importance of local land-use in climatic changes.
Century - US - Climate - Change - Changes
“During the 20th century, the midwestern U.S. experienced regional climate change that’s more consistent with what we’d expect from land-use changes as opposed to other forcings,” MIT hydrologist Elfatih Eltahir said in a statement.
Eltahir said they found “substantial changes in regional patterns of temperature and rainfall” due to the intensification of agriculture operations. Each time crops breathe in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, they release some moisture.
Study - University - Colorado - Scientist - Roger
The study was promoted by University of Colorado scientist Roger Pielke, Sr., who’s long been pushing for “consensus” scientists to recognize that land-use changes can exert strong influence on regional temperatures. Pielke was not involved in the research.
“This is a really important, excellent study,” Pielke said in a statement. “The leadership of the climate science community has not yet accepted that human land management is at least as important on regional and local climate as the addition of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by human activities.”
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