Spencer, IA: (Dec. 16, 2013) – Though some point to recent drought, tornadoes and severe weather as signs of climate change, a climate expert from Iowa State University says such events are more likely due to “bad luck.”
Chris Anderson is assistant director of the ISU climate science program. He was part of a symposium in Des Moines last week that focused on extreme weather and its economic impact on Iowa. Anderson says heavy Iowa rain events have become more frequent in Iowa and the state is in the middle of a 10-to-20 year wet cycle. Anderson says the change in rainfall in the Midwest is the primary signal of climate change.
Anderson says that, rather than focusing on causes, he said climate scientists should work to get the message out for the need to adapt.
As to the economic consequences, Anderson pointed to data showing that Iowa corn crop losses attributed to floods totaled $269 million from 2000 to 2004. From 2008 to 2012, such losses totaled $2.2 billion, nearly ten times as much, according to Anderson.