As the New Year approaches let's take a moment to reflect on the Iowans who endured the extreme weather fluctuations due to the consequences of climate change.
Climate change ushered in even more erratic and severe weather events than ever before. Iowa’s weather drastically changed in 2019, from flooded fields to early freezes Iowans tolerated several extreme weather changes throughout the year.
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Last year saw rising greenhouse gases due to the rollback of methane emission, which have contributed to a decline in Iowa’s air quality. It also brought a rise in temperatures which contributed to heavy rainfall and prolonged wet periods which delayed spring planting and the fall harvest.
Iowa hunters and anglers also saw dramatic shifts in Iowa’s outdoor sport seasons as several of Iowa’s state the local parks endured postponement due to record flooding. Several of Iowa’s parks were shut down due to flooding and 2020 is looking to be no different. Climate change has put agriculture on shaky grounds as crop and livestock production have suffered greatly due to prolonged flood disasters. As we enter into January the Mississippi River and the Missouri River are still at high levels, signaling that flooding could be a potential spring problem.
In 2020 let's encourage lawmakers look at conservation and wetland protections as avenues of flood mitigation. Prairie strips and wetland protections will help protect Iowans from flooding and will help defend Iowa wildlife. Iowans suffered greatly from record flooding in 2019 and I urge all Iowans to take flooding seriously in 2020.
Preston Harms, Nashua