Climate change may trigger images of polar bears falling off melting ice slabs in the Arctic, but the changes are relevant for Ohio farmers as well.
Winters in Ohio are warming quicker than summers are, while summer nighttime lows are increasing faster than daytime highs, said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University.
“Although it is warmer now on average, daytime highs in the summer are not as extreme as they were in the 1930s and 1950s when Ohio experienced prolonged droughts,” Wilson pointed out.
However, at night in the summer, the weather isn’t cooling off as much as it had been for decades, he said. Along with that, the amount of rainfall in Ohio has increased, and extreme rain events are far more common, Wilson said.
With more water in the atmosphere and rising temperatures, weather prediction models anticipate Ohio’s climate by the end of this century to be 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer year round with more humidity and less snowfall, Wilson said.
“Our winters could very well be like those in coastal Virginia,” Wilson said. “Except we won’t have the ocean breezes.”
Wilson has studied the past 120 years of weather patterns in Ohio and worldwide. He will offer his insights into local climate trends at 1 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio. Joining Wilson in the talk will be Jason Cervenec. Cervenec and Wilson both work for Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. There Wilson is a senior research associate, and Cervenec is the education and outreach director.
Additional information about this program can be found at https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/with-changing-climate-farmers-should-prepare. Thank you to Alayna DeMartini for writing this article.