Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Global Warming: not just a warm feeling...

Climate change effects aren't limited to increases in ambient air temps... check out this graph. It's something I am pulling together for work... but the larger body of research on this has been compiled by USGS and others. Stream flows are increasing in the midwest. The big debate is how much of the increase can be attributed to climate (precip increases)... and how much to land use changes (it's some of both). As a society though, we in the midwest are doing a great job of covering both bases - converting more and more land to corn, and also pumping more and more CO2 into the atmosphere. Good job everyone!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Heinz Stefan will be presenting in Rochester on March 5th. He's done extensive study on climate change and its effects on water quality in MN. I'm very much looking forward to his presentation.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I've seen his presentation and worked with him a bit... He's a great guy, who loves his data. Make sure you get to that event.

11:19 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

Had a chance this weekend to talk with my sister Kristy about her views on the corn/ ethonol issues which you've been bringing up more & more lately.
I was curious given her position with the Ag.Department for the U, and given she spends much of her time working with crops, etc.
She's pretty knowlegable in the farming and agriculture subject matter area.
I was glad to hear that she agreed 100% with what you've been saying - that ethonol is NOT the answer - and she had several more facts to add concerning corn crops and what the emit, etc. She said prarie grasses, (I believe she even menitoned wheat crops?) are far more where we should be looking - and went into that and more in good informative detail.
Anyway, just thought I'd let you know you're stirring up some good conversation! And I guess, if anything - conversation leads to spreading awareness.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Corroboration from the U of MN ag experiment stations... nice! I'm glad to hear that you talked with her about it. I can't tell you how happy I am to see that the science and the discussion are spreading across the state - even into the legislature.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Interesting post. Would be interested in what you have come up with so far in your research. Here is a link to a brief bit I've worked on down here (Central IN) concerning this very issue. Small world.


Not sure if I'm off base on my analysis, but seems "in the ballpark" to me. Thoughts?


P.S. Just linked in via a CAG board post

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, not trying to be a pain here, but looks like the full link in above post won't fully copy. You can access from main page of www.iscconservation.org by clicking:

Articles > "Historical Overview of White River Flows" (scroll down to find) > Read more


8:08 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...


Here is where I looked:

That is an interesting graph... It may be helpful to plot historical mean annual flow or historical mean monthly flow (for a particular month) instead of a year's hydrograph on top of the long term mean or median. It does like the period you plotted is riding higher... but over time that median becomes a pretty smooth line due to the timing of events over the 58 year period.

I went here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv?site_no=03347000

and found a pretty good flow history back to 1930s for White River at Muncie. I quickly plotted the May and November data and didn't see the trends I saw in the Zumbro... which is interesting.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool, thanks for the feedback. That particular graph on the articles page is "flawed" in theory for the exact reason you point out. A friend posted it, but it started a thinking process to figure out if his assumption (higher flows over time for siimilar rainfall, i.e., faster runoff) was correct despite the flawed graph he was using.

If you will go back to that particular graph and look to the bottom right corner immediately across from the "Posted on 15 May 2006" comment on the bottom left, there will be a clickable link entitled "read more". Click that link and you'll see all the other graphs/data I compiled to answer the question (the full article).

Thanks again...


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