Monday, December 29, 2014

Dakotas, Prairie pothole region at risk to GOP

The woman in Harvey Dunn’s masterpiece holds a piece of climate change in her hand – and maybe even a key to understanding a proposed new name for an epoch in Earth’s history. But the woman is a product of the industrial revolution, and that scissors she holds for cutting flowers is made of steel from a plant in the East that’s fired by coal; so with the stove pipe jutting from the house. The dress she wears, the clothing her children wear, that’s made of cotton in a mill that may be powered by coal. South Dakota State Climatologist Dennis Todey Looking backward to see ahead added that it is more than just climate change that is wrapped up in that discussion of whether to call a new age the Anthropocene. “I think this even includes human issues with climate change, but land use changes and conversion of wild lands to agricultural and a much more ‘managed’ state,” Todey said. [Lance Nixon, Pierre Capital Journal]
SDSU scientists Bruce Millett and W. Carter Johnson, working with Glenn Guntenspergen of the U.S. Geological Survey, tracked 95 years of weather data from 18 weather stations throughout the region. They published that far-reaching study, “Climate trends in the North American prairie pothole region 1906-2000” in 2009 in the journal Climatic Change and have continued to research the topic since then. They chose the 18 weather stations for the completeness of the weather records available at those locations and because the 18 sites are well distributed across smaller ecoregions within the Prairie Pothole Region, or PPR. “Drainage of wetlands in the wetter, eastern PPR has lowered the potential of the PPR to produce waterfowl in a warmer greenhouse climate,” the scientists wrote in their study. [Nixon, SDSU scientists: Climate change may limit size of nation’s “duck factory”]
South Dakota's legislature is dominated by Republicans who ignore the effects of the Anthropocene and lobbyists are lining up to stuff their pockets with cash.

South Dakota Democrats are concerned about climate change and debated language at the state convention in Yankton.

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