Study: massive U.S. agriculture in the midwest has a climate cooling effect

Correlation, yes. Causation? Not proven in this study.

Watts Up With That?

From MIT: Intensive agriculture influences U.S. regional summer climate, study finds

An increase in corn and soybean production in the Midwest may have led to cooler, wetter summers there.

Scientists agree that changes in land use such as deforestation, and not just greenhouse gas emissions, can play a significant role altering the world’s climate systems. Now, a new study by researchers at MIT and Dartmouth College reveals how another type of  land use, intensive agriculture, can impact regional climate.

The researchers show that in the last half of the 20th century, the midwestern U.S. went through an intensification of agricultural practices that led to dramatic increases in production of corn and soybeans. And, over the same period in that region, summers were significantly cooler and had greater rainfall than during the previous half-century. This effect, with regional cooling in a time of overall global warming, may have masked part of…

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