Message of Climate Change Meetings Disturbing

Kansas Viewpoint

Outlook for Kansas is Uncertain in Many Ways, Sure in One

Published on: February 5, 2010
Climate specialists speaking in Wichita and Hays this week said many things are uncertain about what will happen to Kansas as the Earth's temperature continues to rise.

Nobody knows if there will be more rain or less rain, or about the same rain, which on the surface sounds reassuring.

But the reality is, no matter what happens with precipitation, the result of higher temperatures and higher carbon dioxide in the air equals more, lusher, richer plant growth. And that sounds great. Except it also means more transevaporation -- more use of water by plants -- and that in turn means that sustaining growth requires more water.

More water is something Kansas doesn't have. In fact, we desperately need crops that require LESS water.

So what can we do?

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