Federal climate report projects substantial impact on Midwest ag - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Federal climate report projects substantial impact on Midwest agriculture

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WSIL -- A new 1,600 page federal report on climate change contains dire warnings for the future of the United States, and says rising temperatures will have a major impact on the agricultural economy in the Midwest.

The 2018 National Climate Assessment projects that over the next century farmers in the region will face even warmer, wetter conditions, with heat wilting crops and moisture diminishing the the quality of stored grains.

The White House released the report last week, which projects without major technological advances in agriculture, climate change could reduce the Midwest's agricultural economy to levels last seen in the 1980s. 

Under both a lower scenario and a higher scenario, the report projects the average annual five day maximum temperatures will increase significantly. 

The model shows the average for southern Missouri is 97 degrees, but by mid-century it will jump to between 102 and 103 degrees. 

That's higher than the temperature for failure in corn reproduction and soybean growth.

Projections estimate that by the mid-century, corn and soybean yields could decrease by more than 25 percent. 

Despite being authored by 300 scientists from around the nation and vetted by more than a dozen government agencies, President Donald Trump said he doesn't believe the report's findings. 

"I've seen it, I read some of it and it's fine," Trump said. "I don't believe it. No, I don't believe it."

The report also credits worsening natural disasters to climate change.

Over the last few years the U.S. has faced record breaking damage from natural disasters, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015.

The report also estimates by the end of the 21st century climate change could cost the United States economy $500,000,000 per year. 

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