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Humans Affect Climate with Corn

To counter charges that the Russians infiltrated the NRA to win Putin more cred in the U.S., expect Donald Trump to launch a Twitter-tirade against the Aberdeen American News for falling for that Chinese hoax about human-induced climate change:

It might be surprising that one of the leading crops in the region is another reason it can get more humid than some would expect in northeastern South Dakota.

“Long term, we have seen an increase in humidity because there’s more corn in the region,” said Laura Edwards, state climatologist.

Historically, she said, South Dakota farmers more often grew wheat, which has different water patterns than corn. With the change in crops, there’s simultaneously been an increase of moisture in the air because corn releases water into the atmosphere through the process of evapotranspiration, Edwards said.

This happens across the region into Nebraska, Edwards said. So the crop theory does hold some water [Emma Gallagher, “Corn Is Among Culprits When Humidity Sets In,” Aberdeen American News, 2018.07.22].

Maybe that’s why the Trump Administration hates ethanol: growing more corn makes it feel more humid, which makes it feel warmer, which makes it easier for people to believe global warming is happening, which makes it harder for Trump to keep denying and erasing science.

Faintly Related: Don’t forget: human-induced climate change could make Siberia a comfier place for agriculture and industry and help Russia regain superpower status.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-07-23 10:24

    Going back to my days in ecological research, I remember that appreciable differences in evapotranspiration across a spectrum of plant assemblages found in local areas is not generally found. I checked some recent research on this, and found the following study:

    This study indicates, at least in a particular locale in Michigan, that evapotranspiration from various plant assemblages, including native prairie, various perennial plants being considered from biomass production, and corn, which is an annual plant, did not statistically differ.

    People might think corn is transpiring more because it has much more biomass. In reality corn has been artificially selected for high water use efficiency.

    What has changed, generally, in the corn belt is that it has become warmer. Warmer air can hold more water.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-07-23 10:28

    Wheat, of course, has a vastly different growing season than corn or native grasses. That would make a difference.

  3. Donald Pay 2018-07-23 10:30

    There is also a difference in carboxylation between wheat and corn/prairie grasses.

  4. Anne Beal 2018-07-23 11:10

    So during the Cretaceous period, what turned the entire MO river basin into an inland sea?
    Will we all be underwater again?

    It doesn’t have anything to do with the earth’s precession orbital cycles which , according to the History Channell, turns the SaharaDesert into a tropical rainforest and back into a desert in 26,000 year cycles, does it? It’s just Corn?

  5. Daniel Buresh 2018-07-23 11:25

    Anne, Human effects on climate change are not even up for debate. Scientists don’t deny the gradual change of our climate through natural forces. It’s the speed at which it is happening that is alarming. Humans suck at addressing issues that don’t happen instantly. This is why we probably won’t address the issues until it is too late and we watch mass extinction happening on a scale the likes of what hasn’t been seen for thousands of years. Earth will survive, we will not.

  6. leslie 2018-07-23 18:00

    For those still tethered to reality, we will survive by electing Billie and Tim, taking the house majority, and Corey and other Dems and Progs. Many of the 33 red states will turn, we may also take the senate, remedy packed courts, gerrymandered districts, update the E-College, reverse citizen united, reinstate anti-trust, unions, protect workers and safety nets, protect fact based media, act on climate change, having wised-up to the billionaire manipulated Republican scorched earth viciousness Thune has been groomed to assume. A superbly educated voting public’s trust will be restored. Generations will remember the tailspin the GOP put the nation and world in….

  7. mike from iowa 2018-07-23 18:38

    Ms Beal, when Yellowstone’s super duper volcano blows you won’t even need to plan your next debutante’s ball. Just get out yer favorite BB-Q sauce and apply liberally.

  8. Adam 2018-07-24 01:32

    In 2018, it takes a REAL tard to deny the human influence in climate change. If the cap fits, let them wear it.

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