Guest Post By Laura Lengnick
May 15, 2014
An unprecedented July heat wave in California in 2006 causes the death of 70,000 poultry and more than 25,000 dairy cows. Farmers across the Southeast suffer widespread losses during severe drought conditions in 2007. High rainfall in June 2008 causes massive flooding throughout the Midwest. Arkansas and Louisiana farmers sustain crop losses of over $1 billion dollars during Mississippi River flooding in the spring and summer of 2011. A late spring freeze following an unusually warm spring makes 2012 the worst year ever recorded for Michigan fruit growers. Record high beef prices in 2013 follow historic drought in Texas cattle country. In spring 2014, for the first time in the state’s history, California vegetable and fruit growers learn that they will get no water from Federal or State water projects as water supplies dwindle due to warmer winters and a continuing drought. Is this normal weather variability, or are we experiencing a taste of the game changing power of climate change?