Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

the Torch

The student voice of Wichita High School South

Climate Change in Kansas

4 min read

Anyone who lives in Kansas knows that the weather is always crazy. While it is expected, the unexpected weather means obvious signs of climate change are brushed off as “crazy Kansas weather”, but that isn’t the case.

Climate change is affecting Kansans in more ways than they even realize. Soil, rainfall, and when the seasons change are some of the most noticeable differences.

With the rising heat and the constantly changing amount of rainfall, the soil that Kansans rely on for their farms is drying up. If the ground dries too far, it won’t be possible to grow crops. This would affect farming families, the economy, and people all across the country who rely on Kansas crops. The farming families would be losing their income, not to mention the psychological toll the stress and losses would take on them. Agriculture is the leading economical industry in Kansas; without soil that is good for farming, the state would be losing more than just some dirt.

Rainfall has become more severe during the rainy season, but droughts are also more likely. In the summer, it is hotter with less rainfall which means a drought is more likely and it will decrease the water supply for the state. During the rainy season, thunderstorms are becoming more prominent. Crops are drowning and bodies of water are overflowing. Flooding is becoming more of a threat to cities in Kansas because of the hilly landscape; some areas are at a lower elevation than others.

Something that has been particularly noticeable was an apparently longer summer. Three weeks into September, Wichita was still feeling ninety-something degree weather. While an extended summer is being experienced throughout the entire United States, this can be particularly harmful to Kansas because of its crop schedules. The past few years have already seen less snowfall than before and this will only continue to decrease as climate change continues.

Read more about how climate change is impacting Kansas at https://www.kansasforests.org/resources/resources_docs/climate-change-ks%202016.pdf

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