Climate Change and Nebraska: What Does Our Future Hold?

Climate change will impact Urban and Rural areas, Agriculture, and Public Health – Can we anticipate the changes that are coming?

Climate change is real, and it is happening now. The change will affect every aspect of who we are and what we do. Quoting Omaha World-Herald columnist Erin Grace: “Climate change is here, so let's talk.” (August 8, 2012, OWH) Understanding what is happening, and how it will affect our home state, is vitally important.

“Climate change can’t be ignored any longer. We need to understand the effects of climate change so that we can make necessary changes, both to attempt to mitigate its effects, but also to adapt to the changes we will endure,” said Steve Andrews, Missouri Valley Sierra Club Chair.

Two educational events - one in Lincoln and one in Omaha - are scheduled for students and the general public to learn more from scientists about how climate change will affect Nebraska in the immediate (25 years) and long term (50 to 100 years) future.

Lincoln Forum: Sat. October 6th, 9:00 am to Noon, Hardin Hall Auditorium, on UNL’s East Campus at 33rd and Holdredge Streets. (Speakers: Dr. Robert Oglesby, Dr. Song Feng, Dr. Andrew Jameton and Dr. Adam Liska)

Omaha Forum: Sat. October 20th, 9:00 am to Noon, First United Methodist Church, 69th and Cass Streets, in Cary Hall. (Speakers: Dr. Martha Shulski, Dr. Song Feng, Dr. Andrew Jameton and Dr. Adam Liska)

In Lincoln the speakers and presenters include:

Dr. Robert Oglesby, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will present an overview of climate change and the effects on the Nebraska region into the future.

Dr. Song Feng, School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and will present models that predict the effects of climate change on the occurrence of drought in this region which show that the frequency of long-duration drought will increase. In general, drought intensity under higher carbon emission scenarios is greater than a low emission scenario. The increase of drought frequency and intensity will likely cause unexpected impact on future water resources and food security in the Great Plains.

Dr. Andrew Jameton, College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, will present on the public health concerns, which will be significant, due to climate change. His overview of public health concerns will concentrate on Nebraska and the High Plains.

Dr. Adam Liska, Department of Agronomy & Horticulture at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will present on the consequences of climate change including effects on energy and agriculture.

Sponsoring Organizations: the MO Valley Sierra Club, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters, and the Izaak Walton League.

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