Nancy's Almanac, Oct. 17, 2013: Not a pretty forecast -
Published Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 10:21 am
Nancy's Almanac, Oct. 17, 2013: Not a pretty forecast

Our warming world will increasingly stress Nebraska's natural resources as it brings hotter weather to the region, according to a scientist at this week's water symposium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

If carbon emissions continue at the current pace, Nebraska could see as many as 25 to 30 days more per year with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, said Shannon McNeeley of the North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University.

McNeeley is co-author of a chapter that will be included in the National Climate Assessment Report to Congress. The periodic report updates Congress on the latest climate research.

Nebraska already has seen drought affect its ability to irrigate.

So far, climate change has been a boon to farming, extending the growing season and expanding the regions in which crops are viable. Corn, once a rare sight in the Dakotas, is increasingly being grown there.

However, climate and agriculture experts expect the benefits of these changes to decrease and instead be following by increasingly negative conditions.

McNeeley said water resources in Nebraska will increasingly be stressed by a further lengthening of the growing cycle and alterations in rainfall patterns.

Also affecting irrigation will be a change in the timing of snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains. As snowmelt runs off sooner, the flush of water through the Platte River system may not correspond to irrigation needs.

An additional problem: societal resources probably won't be nimble enough and cohesive enough to provide farmers and ranchers with the help they're accustomed to getting.

These weakened fundamentals already are obvious in the national arena: lack of money, lack of leadership, fragmented lines of authority, political polarization and lack of confidence in science.

McNeeley spoke at a symposium on the likely effects of climate change on the Great Plains. It was followed by a Water Law Conference.

The events were cosponsored by the Nebraska Water Center, part of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at UNL; the College of Law; the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association; and the U.S. Geological Survey's Nebraska Water Science Center.

For more information on the National Climate Assessment:

For more on McNeeley:

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Contact the writer: Nancy Gaarder    |   402-444-1102    |  

Nancy writes about weather, including a blog, Nancy's Almanac. She enjoys explaining the science behind weather and making weather stories relevant in daily life.

Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
City Council OKs redevelopment plan for north downtown project
Finally. Spring expected to return, stick around. No, really: Warmer-than-average weather in forecast
Home alone: When burglar broke in, 12-year-old locked herself in bathroom, called 911
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Police's new gang intervention specialist knows firsthand about getting involved with wrong crowd
Ben Sasse raises more money than U.S. Senate foes Shane Osborn and Sid Dinsdale
Teen who worked as a cook is killed in shooting at Benson's Gallagher Park
Sweet deal on suite use has MECA board looking at written rules
Inmate accused of partially tearing off another's testicles charged with assault
Crew working to disassemble International Nutrition plant
Lawyer: Man had right to hand out religious fliers outside Pinnacle Bank Arena
Firefighters put out duplex blaze in N.W. Omaha
Woodmen request would take nearly $40M in valuation from tax rolls
Coffee with a Cop set for Thursday in Benson
In TV ad, Shane Osborn says Ben Sasse 'beholden to Washington'
Douglas County offices accepting credit, debit cards
Parched Omaha soil soaks up record precipitation
Engineering student harnesses girl power, starts engineering-science club at Gomez Elementary
WB Dodge Street lane closed
Ex-Omaha Mayor Hal Daub endorses Shane Osborn for U.S. Senate seat
New Doane College program promises free tuition for first class
No more last-minute hiring of Omaha Public Schools teachers
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
< >
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: What do the moon, Colorado senators have in common?
How about that "blood red" moon Monday? It was as red as the eyes of a Colorado legislator.
Breaking Brad: Hey, Republicans, are you ready to be audited?
A quick list of audit red flags: 3) You fail to sign your return. 2) You fail to report income. 1) You are a registered Republican.
Breaking Brad: Next year, Bo Pelini brings a mountain lion to the spring game
Before the spring game, Bo Pelini carried a cat onto the field. With Bo's personality, it'd have been more appropriate for him to carry a mountain lion.
Breaking Brad: Bo Pelini's cat lets spring game intro go to its head
Coach Bo Pelini took the field before the spring game holding a cat aloft. Typical cat. He was undoubtedly thinking, “Sixty thousand people, all cheering for me!”
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Shoreline Golf Club
$40 for 2 Players, 18 Holes of Golf with Cart ($85 Value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »