UN Report Warns Of More Serious Floods

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April 1, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting —  The Midwest is likely to experience more flash floods because of climate change. That’s one of the takeaways from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that was released Monday.  Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports, that could affect how cities think about their infrastructure and how farmers manage their crops.

Research indicates Indiana and other Midwestern states may not see more rainfall—it will just come in shorter, more intense bursts.

Otto Doering is the director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center and says that could create serious flooding problems if cities don’t have adequate stormwater and drainage systems.

“The giant concrete or asphalt around Walmart is going to have to be planned much more carefully or it’s going to overload the sewage system.”

It could also create problems for farmers. Less frequent rain isn’t good for crops and heavier rains mean more erosion. Greene County farmer Daniel Warland says he’s already taking steps to improve his soil and prevent erosion.

Warland2- “First of all we no till and then we use cover crops on about half of our land and then we’ve got waterways.”

While those practices would help minimize the effects of climate change, Warland says they’re also just good farming practices as long as farmers are willing to make the investment.

[Photo: Munster flooding, September 2008, from FEMA]


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