The terrible drought that is wringing the life out of crops over a large swath of the country, especially in the Midwest, has understandably been in the news. There have been warnings about rising food prices, and the cost to taxpayers for disaster relief to farmers and big insurance companies that are subsidized by the federal government. And as with rising energy prices in the past, rising food prices could be another unwanted burden on a fragile U.S. economy. Read More
July 31st, 2012
July 30th, 2012
We all need water. So when supplies dry up in the scorching heat of a summer like this one, we all — households, cities, farmers, industry, wildlife — can feel the strain. Among water users, power plants are some of those most dependent on a reliable supply. And when they can’t get enough, the plants and their customers can get caught in the squeeze. Read More
July 27th, 2012
The drought ravaging U.S. corn crops this summer may remind some of the horrific Texas region droughts of the 1950s. Yet scientists studying those droughts found that today’s droughts in the region are more likely to be much hotter. This double whammy of drought combined with higher temperatures can turbo charge evaporation rates, which dries out soils even more and wreaks havoc with crops and livestock that can suffer immensely in the scorching heat without irrigation or other mitigation efforts.
July 25th, 2012
We’re in the midst of an epic drought, the worst drought the country has experienced in the last half century. Twenty nine states across the West, Midwest and Great Plains are experiencing drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
This post is the first in a series on the 2012 Drought in America and highlights its far-reaching impacts on U.S. agriculture. Stay tuned in the coming days as UCS experts on climate science, economics, agriculture, energy and biofuels explore the wide-ranging implications of this historic event. Read More