Fall 2019 Logan County
Farm Outlook Magazine

Climate expectations for Logan County
By Jim Youngquist

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[November 06, 2019] 

2006 -- In an aggressive climate statement, Former Vice President Al Gore predicted that the north polar ice cap would completely melt because of "Global Warming."

2017 -- UN General Assembly President Marla Fernanda Espinosa stressed that we have only eleven years left to avert a total climate disaster, predicting the end of the world.

March 2019 -- U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez presented a bill for legislation called the "Green New Deal," a bold and costly plan to stem the twelve year countdown to the environmental destruction of the planet.

September 2019 -- Sixteen-year-old Swedish student and activist Greta Thunberg presented a moving speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, lighting a firestorm of student protests across the world to turn the climate change destruction around, with students shouting "Do Something!" Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Climate change is in the news and in the minds of people these days as the barrage of Climate News and scientific climate models has come at an increased pace, and has in recent months induced climate panic and even desperation in some people.

The current climate change model predicts an increase of extreme weather across the globe, rising sea levels, dwindling food sources, erratic earth heating and cooling, the disappearance of animal species, and in a short time even the eradication of human civilization itself.

Most scientists across the world say that they believe the extreme climate predictions and their models and the data support the approaching climate apocalypse.

Other climate scientists and skeptics say that the conclusions are all wrong and the data is distorted to support these beliefs and that these extreme views are unwarranted. These pleas for calm sensibility are being largely ignored, and the majority of people now believe that a climate disaster is imminent.



Since farming is completely dependent on weather, and recent weather prevented timely planting and in many areas totally prevented planting, a look at the climate of Logan County is warranted to attempt to predict if this is a trend, and determine if other weather changes will continue to interrupt Logan County agriculture. For this purpose, an informed source right here in the county was contacted at the Lincoln's National Weather Service Station, Senior Meteorologist Ed Shimon.

While most apocalyptic climate scenarios are presented as future anecdotal disaster stories, Shimon said that climate studies are actually the careful collection of weather variables and data that has already gone past. Climate is about the past. Weather is about right now. And forecasting is about the future.

In climate studies, things like daily normal temperature, normal rainfall, normal wind speeds and directions are gathered. Included is information about the biggest weather causer, the sun. Charting the energy being put out by the sun and conditions of solar storms forms the backdrop for future weather expectations.

Shimon said that the sun has been taking a holiday for about the last eleven years, with a minimum of solar storms. Solar storms put out more radiation and that results in warming trends here on the earth. Other sources say that since we have had little solar storm activity, the weather data says that the total warming of the planet over the last eight years is only .04 degrees, likely the result of growing urban paved areas instead of other causes.

All this weather data has been collected for only about the last 200 years, a short time in the long history of our planet. It is charted in 30 year segments. Extreme weather data is also gathered and charted, and the purpose of all of this is to have comparison data of what has happened in the past. And on this data meteorologists can form the framework for future weather forecasts and predictions. Shimon said that the expectation of future weather is predicted by the weather trends we have had in the past.

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A look over the climate data from the last thirty years shows that we have had much the same weather as we have currently.

The average rainfall over that period has been 33.5 inches per year. There have been some years when we have had less and some years, like this one, when we have had significantly more.

The cycle of dry late summer months has been with us for the last thirty years, with some years approaching or experiencing drought conditions.

Average temperature during the growing season has also been similar month for month.

Wind speeds and directions have also been similar.

Along with the normal data is also extreme weather data, like the winter storm of 1978 in which we got unseasonal (and unbelievable) snowfall and cold, and the cold this last January when the temperature in Congerville, IL reached a near record -36 degrees. Meteorologist Ed Shimon said that periodic extreme weather episodes are expected.

When asked if the extreme apocalyptic future climate predictions had any validity, Shimon remarked that "the earth is pretty resilient and can take a lot of abuse." What we have had in weather is likely to be what we will have in weather, with some seasonal variances.
And when asked, Shimon said the data didn't predict any real climatic change, seasonal shifts, or apocalyptic climate emergencies currently, or on the horizon for Logan County.

What we have had in the past is likely to be what we will have in the future.

And that's real climate science!


Read all the articles in our new
2019 Fall Farm Outlook Magazine

Introduction - The year that almost wasn't 4
Pictorial - The year that almost wasn't 7
Climate expectations for Logan County 13
Growing Hemp:  Profitable but challenging 17
The impact of Trump Bucks, Donny Dollars 24
Putting obstacles in the way of pests 27
Is horticulture a viable option for small farms in Logan County 32
Local farmer gets a piece of the pie - pumpkin pie 38
Farm Businesses qualify for low interest loans 42
Farm safety tips 44


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