Based on the extreme weather conditions seen throughout Colorado over the past two years, it is clear climate change is no myth. Wildfires, droughts and floods spread widely across a the state, from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins, and proved that no matter where you live, you may be just as vulnerable to natural disasters.
An article series by the Kitsap Sun breaks down what various parts of the US are seeing. Coloradans are working to put action plans in place but, like many of the other states, we are unable to predict the exact conditions a warmer climate will cause so planning is difficult.
One thing that will matter for the agriculture of the state is whether the changes will lead to a wetter or drier climate. With 83 percent of water currently used for agriculture, less water could cause big problems. In addition, studies show that Colorado has seen an increase in average temperatures both in the summer and winter months which means change in evaporation, soil moisture, and snow-melt runoff. It seems that no matter what changes occur, management of the water supply will be a hurdle and very important.
In addition to the current studies, assessments, and projects at a state level, Fort Collins was recently selected as one of seven regional ‘climate hubs’ by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their main function will be to serve as the center for climate change information and outreach for the Northern Plains Region. The will work to mitigate increasing risks to the agricultural field, translating science and research to give farmers, ranchers and landowners ways to adjust or adapt their resource management.
The goal of all of this is to be as prepared for the future as possible. We at Environmental Logistics understand the importance of water and agriculture and hope individuals take initiative to educate themselves on these issues that may affect their own back yard sooner than they think.