Midwest flooding is drowning corn and soy crops. Is climate change to blame?
This year's constant deluge of rain has led some to wonder if farmers are finally feeling the predicted impacts of a warming world.
Seen from above, the Midwestern U.S. looks more like a marsh than the fertile fields that grow some of the nation’s most lucrative crops. That’s because this spring has been one of the rainiest on record for the region. As a result, many farmers have been forced to leave their fields empty.
And though it’s difficult to link one single weather event to climate change, climate scientists say the devasting rains falling over the Midwest are exactly in line with what they’ve been predicting.
“Overall, it’s climate change,” says Donald Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “We expect an increase in total precipitation in the Midwest, especially in winter and spring, with more coming as larger events.”