100th Meridian shifts east with rise of greenhouse gases
Columbia University

YOU ARE HERE, but your climate moved

A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory projects that the zone separating arid western and less arid eastern portions of North America will shift eastward in the coming decades, leading to changes in farm size, choice of crop and amount of rangeland in the east-central corridor of the U.S.  The authors’ hope is that their results “may be able to inform policy that can aid adaptation to changing conditions and avoid the negative effects of surprises followed by crises and social and economic disruption.” A readable summary of the study is online.

Monthly webinars offer regional summaries and outlooks
Lienemann
Better than a magic CLIM8 ball
Trying to easily access the latest drought and climate outlooks for your area?  A panel of drought experts will convene on Monday, April 23 for a webinar on the drought encroaching in the Southern Plains. To sign up for that webinar, find a drought webinar for your region that covers everything from a summary of past and current conditions to ongoing and potential impacts across economic sectors, or view a previous webinar, scroll through the new webinars page on the NIDIS website.
Soil health and drought resilience

Let’s stop treating our soil like dirt

— and make it more resilient to drought

Analyzing studies on soil health and ag practices in Iowa, researcher Andrea Basche found that “by shifting the most-erodible or least-profitable regions of Iowa to systems using perennial and cover crops, farmers could reduce rainfall runoff by up to 20 percent in flood events and make as much as 16 percent more water available to crops in droughts.”  The 2017 crop yields on a conservation demonstration farm in drought-ravaged North Dakota may provide the proof.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/magazine/dirt-save-earth-carbon-farming-climate-change.html

Soybeans come up in a rye cover crop.

Photo by Lander Legge for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

And while we’re at it, let’s use soil to save our air

Healthy soil is more resilient to drought and flooding. Turns out, managing soil health in crop and grazing land may also be one step toward mitigating climate change. Farmers in Kansas, conservation-minded pasture managers in northern California, and a slew of scientists, offer strategies for “a whole new way of thinking about how to tend the land.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Explaining where nearly 2 million
tons of beef went
in 2016

As part of their Success Stories series, NOAA-NCEI has produced an infographic on the contributions of the livestock industry to the U.S. economy showing how farmers and federal agencies use the U.S. Drought Monitor to make informed management decisions.
 
ASKING YOU
What is the best drought planning resource you've seen lately? Let us know so that we can share it in an upcoming issue of DRY HORIZONS.
OUR PARTNERSHIP
The Drought Risk Management Resource Center conducts and applies research to improve drought resilience across the United States. It is a partnership between the National Integrated Drought Information System and the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NIDIS supports the DRMRC through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sectoral Applications Research Program.
NIDIS
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