2012 Iowa Scientists: Drought Consistent with Climate Change

Monday, November 19, 2012

Iowans can expect more extreme weather like the 2012 drought thanks to changes in the climate caused by greenhouse gases.  That’s according to a statewide group of Iowa scientists who believe that Iowans should act now to reduce economic costs due to climate change.

“In a warmer climate, wet years get wetter and dry years get dryer.  And dry years get hotter -- that is precisely what happened in Iowa this year, “ said Chris Anderson, Research Assistant Professor, Climate Science Program at Iowa State University.

The IOWA CLIMATE STATEMENT: The Drought of 2012 was released by one hundred and thirty-eight science faculty and research staff from 27 Iowa colleges and universities.  This year’s statement focuses on the prospects for future Iowa extreme weather events like the 2012 drought and the extreme flooding that preceded it.

“Iowans are living with climate change now and it is already costing us money,” Dave Courard-Hauri, Chair, Environmental Science and Policy Program at Drake University.  “Iowans can be a part of the solution, creating jobs and growing our economy in the process.”

The strong support for the statement represents the growing consensus among Iowa science faculty and research staff that action is needed now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement mitigation strategies.

“We have confidence in recent findings that climate change is real and having an impact on the Iowa economy and on our natural resources,” said Jerry Schnoor, Co-Director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa.

“The climate likely will continue to warm due to increasing global emissions and accumulation of greenhouse gases.  There is solid evidence that extreme high temperatures are occurring disproportionately more than extreme low temperatures.”

The complete statement and supporting information can be found at www.cgrer.uiowa.edu/

The lead authors of the Updated: Iowa Climate Statement: The Drought of 2012 include:

Gene Takle, Director, Climate Science Program, Professor of Agronomy, Professor of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University.

Jerald Schnoor, Co-Director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, University of Iowa.

Christopher J. Anderson,  Research Assistant Professor, Climate Science Program, Iowa State University.

Greg Carmichael, Co-Director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, University of Iowa.

Neil Bernstein, Chair, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Mount Mercy University.

David Courard-Hauri, Chair, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Drake University.

For more information on climate change in Iowa visit:

Assessment of Potential Impacts of Climate Changes on Iowa Using Current Trends and Future Projections - Eugene S. Takle Director, Climate Science Program -- http://climate.engineering.iastate.edu/Document/Climate_Changes_for_Iowa_18.pdf

Iowa Department of Natural Resources website with climate change links -- http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/ClimateChange/ClimateChangeAdvisoryCo.aspx

Climate Change Impacts on Iowa 2010 -- http://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/air/environment/climatechange/executive_summary.pdf?amp;tabid=1077

Climate Change Advisory Council Final Report – December 2008 -- http://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/air/environment/climatechange/final_part1.pdf?amp;tabid=1077