Scientist say a climate boundary separating the east and west United States discovered more than 100 years ago has shifted 140 miles east. In a report published by Columbia University, scientist say global warming has pushed the boundary east, and could have significant implications on farming in the region. Scientist say that due to global-scale wind patterns, to the west of the boundary, rainfall drops off sharply. East of the line, rainfall picks up sharply. The boundary was first discovered in the late 1800’s along the 100th meridian and has moved closer to the 98th meridian to cut through east-central Texas, along the western borders of Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa, before shifting northwest through North Dakota.
A researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute predicts that as the drying progresses, unless farmers turn to irrigation or otherwise adapt, they will have to turn from corn to wheat or some other more suitable crop. The researchers argue that the boundary divide will continue to move east due to global warming.
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