Nancy's Almanac, Oct. 17, 2013: Not a pretty forecast - Omaha.com
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: http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment

For more on McNeeley: http://revampclimate.colostate.edu/people

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Contact the writer: Nancy Gaarder

nancy.gaarder@owh.com    |   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.

Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
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: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
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.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com'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 »