Climate Change and it’s effects on Missouri.
By - WolfOfWankStreet
I could not agree with that less.
I've lived in Missouri for most of my life.
In the winter we used to have snow kids could build a snow fort with. Now we get snow every third year or so and it's gone the next day.
Every spring, at least here in Central Missouri, we turn into a swamp. We get so much rain it floods fields to the point where we can't cut hay. That didn't happen 20 years ago with this kind of regularity.
In the last 20 years we've had two major floods that closed entire areas of Missouri for weeks. We haven't had one in a little while, granted, but I don't remember having any when I was a kid.
Missouri's weather has always been random, but the swings are getting more extreme. We are getting warmer and that will affect the weather and the flooding over the next 20 years.
For me it's seemed that the seasons are "shifting" later into the year, almost. It stays colder longer into spring and stays hotter into fall; and winter and summer just become more of mess with inclement weather since temperatures aren't what they should be.
I'm no meteorologist, just what I think I've observed.
The spring/fall seasons seem shorter, too. We'll switch from summer (highs in the upper 80's) to winter (highs in the 40's and 50's) in a manner of a 4-5 weeks. We used to have 2-3 solid months of windows-open weather between the more extreme seasons....
Agreed, should've added that - with that "season shift", spring and fall seem to be getting "pushed out".
I noticed it, too. Exactly as you described it.
I’ve left town before for 2 weeks in the spring and fall and missed the entire season. I left once and it was sleeting the last week of April after a cold “spring” and came home 2 weeks into May and it was 90 and that was summer. Then that fall it was the same but in reverse. The next year I was convinced it would be normal again and now I don’t remember a normal year since.
I too have noticed the time shift in seasonal weather. I grew up thinking June was the middle of summer. Now, it only gets really hot after June, and likewise with January in the winter.
I can certainly see how an argument could be made for those "observations" but it can't be technically true as the seasons are controlled by the angle of the sun and that is not changing, at least its not changing enough to mess with the seasons yet. That's a nightmare we can put off to the future.
However, because there is more energy in the climate then there was 30 years ago the climate we experience is exactly how you describe it. The moisture that used to give us snowbanks now gives us floods because it comes two months later than it used to. I know it's more complex than that but that's the gist of it.
The seasons aren't controlled by the angle of the sun so much as the angle of the sun contributed to temperature change and helps change other environmental factors. But This planet is getting so hot that the sun angle is only gonna change it from warm to hot eventually. Winter will be a low of 60-65 f, while summer will be a blistering 110+ nearly everyday. and this is a conservatives estimate. We will be dealing with mass floods and serious droughts. Trees will be uprooted from weak soil and dirt, and levees will break. Everything we know about mother nature is going to vastly change over the next 10 years!
That makes sense. I knew there's a more complex explanation for it (overall climate change affecting seasonal whether patterns, etc.), but "shifting seasons" seemed to be the easiest way to describe it.
More energy in the system is the key. We’ll see extremes on both ends as it shifts around (sometimes violently).
I'm 63 and agree. The climate has changed in Missouri since I was 10. It's blatantly obvious to me.
I agree, but I’d say the flooding issues are mostly due to poor river management rather than atmospheric climate change. Droughts are certainly becoming more frequent though.
In 2019 we had a very cold winter, lots of snow up north stayed on the ground. Then in March we had a blizzard, 3 feet of snow in many places. Then the temperature rose 60° pretty much overnight and 1 1/2 inches of rain fell. Pretty sure the rivers could've been managed by a genius and they still would've overflowed under that.
Thing is that’s supposed to be normal. If we were not screwing with the river it would flood regularly but it would be much less severe.
Black Avatars Matter
How do manage a river to carry more volume than it can possibly hold? Look at the hills along the rivers, the forests that have been cleared, turned into pasture for cows. You don't have the trees and inches of decaying leaves on the ground that hold water like a sponge....so when we get these insane spring rains, it's all the worse
Yeah, the Arctic Blasts seem new to me, too. I don't remember having to worry about frostbite just from being outside before...
Forgot about those yeah, that was not a thing when I was a kid.
I remember once in high school I refused to go in because it was so cold at 5:50 when I would have to leave the house. School ended up canceled by the time normal classes were scheduled and all those kids had to figure out how to get home. It was quite memorable because it was just the once and now I can remember it happening regularly, but I also have a lung condition that gets triggered on those arctic blasts and went to Kirksville for college so I really got it there.
The only thing I disagree here is your perspective. The entire planet is experiencing climate change. What you've described inside of Missouri pales in comparison to the entire population displacements other parts of the world are experiencing. There will be many, highly populated places on the planet fighting for water here soon due to extreme drought and desertification of entire regions. Missouri's extra rain is a nuisance at worst and a blessing long-term.
So you’re saying we’re not experiencing climate change because we are not number one? I mean the flooding was pretty drastic and disruptive. Sure we are affected less but I don’t see how that affects anything I said. We are still affected. We are not in a “safe zone”, there are no “safe zones”
>So you’re saying we’re not experiencing climate change because we are not number one?
Boy, that is some selective reading. My second sentence acknowledges climate change world-wide, no one is going to be spared completely. Safe is subjective and relative to what one considers to be dangerous. Access to clean water, rising sea levels and temperature spikes are likely going to be the top 3 factors that destroy entire regions and kill who knows how many people, millions? So in that lens, yes humidity and extra flooding is a much safer tradeoff compared to the former.
> What you've described inside of Missouri pales in comparison to the entire population
Its literally what you said.
If the west turns into a desert then all those people are gonna look for somewhere to live. I am pretty sure that will affect us in a bad way.
There is an island in the pacific that is going to completely disappear. I guess the rest of the world is just complaining about nothing by comparison. What babies.
Ugh.... I just cannot continue the conversation here... Best of luck.
More than a nuisance when people drown, bridges are wiped out, and there is millions of dollars in damaged to people's property... only a bIessing if you can capture that water and save it for the drought. I do agree that other regions have it much worse and I'm thankful to be here and not there
Just like everything else, the current problems will only get more frequent and more intense. If you live in flood-prone areas, you'll likely have to contend with more floods and higher levels.
Length of drought will also potentially increase, putting a strain on farmers, lakes, streams, etc.
Tornadoes are pretty random but will occur more frequently which will naturally lead to more overall high intensity tornadoes.
Same goes for winter storms as well.
Missouri is probably highly unlikely to have an increased level of fire danger anytime soon. At least in terms of the West coast, if that's what you're asking. We aren't really comparable in that regard.
Also: don't think others don't notice this. Population migration toward the interior of the country will only increase in the coming years as people in coastal areas decide their current places of living are no longer viable. I still remember 8 or 10 new families moving into my school district from Louisiana shortly after Katrina.
I moved back from Florida to Missouri to raise my family, I can’t say climate change was the top reason but it was a factor that helped the decision.
I used to live in Florida for a couple of years and it was only because of my job. I was glad to move back and it wasn’t because of climate. I really liked it there but the cost of living was unnecessary and I had too much easy access to a lot of stuff I didn’t need. My brother still lives there but that’s where he made his career and family. He hates Saint Louis because of emotional and climate reasons.
It’s ok, you’re allowed to say cocaine here :)
Lol, I’ve never taken coke because of heart issues but it was men, liquor, and lots of pot. Partying too and staying out till the sun comes up. It was fun but I felt that like I was about to get lost in a world that that I would not be able to handle. I felt as if that harder stuff could come into play if I kept going.
Oh yeah we had Louisiana expats, too! So long ago…
I’ve said this to everyone in this thread by now but I don’t think scientists know if tornadoes will get worse? I’m basing this on things I’ve read but I (truthfully) have a disorder that fucks with my memory sometimes so maybe I’m wrong 🤷🏻♀️
They won't get worse per se. I mean, an EF5 tornado already pretty much reduces everything under it to bare earth.
The storms that create the conditions that spawn them will only become more frequent and more intense, so naturally the number of spawned tornadoes will only become more frequent and more intense.
We will likely just see an increase in total number of tornadoes, which will naturally lead to an increase in the potential for devastating tornadoes.
Like I said in my first post, tornadoes are pretty random but just imagine Joplin occurring every couple of years. Or eventually once a year.
As frightening as these demon twisters are I’ll take them over catastrophic fires and floods only because they have what… a 20 minute average runtime? Plus, you can put drive them. I’m not downplaying how terrible they are I’m just rating the worst things about climate change and that one seems to be slightly lower on the list.
Don’t forget water shortages out west driving people our way. They all want our precious water from the Great Lakes
I’ve specifically noticed the lack of tornadoes in recent years. I moved, reserved space and stocked an emergency shelter and I’ve only sat in it twice and was never really at risk, I just wanted to use it. It’s bizarre for me because back in 2012 I remember being in my basement half a dozen times that spring alone.
All that plus the supply chain issues that will effect everyone. It'll start with things like coffee becoming rare and expensive and progress from there. Were all going to have to learn to consume less, both in terms of quantity and variety.
I think the Midwest *should* probably consume a little less (if you get my drift) but rationing coffee? That’s a hard pill to swallow.
As someone who drinks multiple cups a day I see headaches in my future, I just doubt it can be avoided.
It will undoubtedly be the worst thing to come out of global warming.
> Missouri is probably highly unlikely to have an increased level of fire danger anytime soon.
Yea we do occasionally get those red flags warning, at least in the KC area. Guess those will become even more regular and we'll start to see a real uptick in (large) wildfires.
Came here from So. California because there is water here. Lived in San Diego for 16 years. During the last 6 years the drought was a big issue, causing mandated water conservation. But with that came increased rates for water because the utility needed the money to replace frequently breaking water mains that are more than 50 years old. We were paying as much or more for water even though we were using half as much. Then about 6 months before moving the local electric utility was getting ready to raise rates by 18%. I could not have packed up my stuff any faster.
Man, I lived in LA in 2016 and I feel like right when I left is when the whole place started falling apart. COVID, fires, droughts and of course the lovely riots.
This [NY Times article](https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/15/magazine/climate-crisis-migration-america.html) goes into changes that we could see in 2040-2100. Not just wildfires, etc, but crop failures due to aquifers that are no longer available as well as heat and humidity levels going up. My largest concern for my retirement age and the next 30 years is what Missouri and the Mississippi basin will feel like each day in 2050. Humidity and temp levels you see in Louisiana today could very well stretch all the way up the Mississippi to Wisconsin. Not a pleasant thought.
Some areas of the country could see continual increases in rainfall that can cause infrastructure failures in things like dams. Leaving destruction downstream and a loss of hydroelectric power for the affected region.
It’s a lot of doom and gloom for sure, but don’t live within 100 feet of a stream or lake to say nothing of not living on a flood plain.
I’m actually moving very soon to somewhereelseinMO and a major concern for me is to be as far away from bodies I’d water as possible.
Seems we share the same worry. Other then being on fire I’m really worried about the extent of climate change happening when I’m in my 60s. At 35 I can at least relocate easier or swim but if I’m borderline elderly then that’s a whole other host of problems that don’t mesh well with an apocalypse.
Hello - ecologist/environmental science teacher here!
As some have commented already, we do have flooding that is becoming more frequent and severe, especially because we seem to vacillate a LOT between semi-droughts (not severe enough yet to cause water table problems, but definitely affects soil retention) and then "[rain bombs](https://www.getaway.co.za/travel-news/rain-bombs-captured-in-all-their-beauty/)". When this happens the soil is often too dry to absorb all the rain, thanks to good ol' MO clay, so it runs off and causes flash floods.
We're experiencing *much* less severe winters, which is necessary to kill off a lot of our pest species. Thus, tick and mosquito seasons have gotten worse. I'm only 30, but distinctly remember sledding down hills in winter and that just doesn't really exist anymore.
Non-native animals are moving into our state, affecting not only humanity (disease-carrying mosquitoes) but also our native plant and animal species which are necessary for the continued functions of our forests and plains. For example: armadillos are moving north from Texas (you've probably seen dead ones on the highway if you're in southern MO), and they eat basically anything small and soil-bound, including salamanders. [Salamanders have been linked to slowed climate change because they primarily eat insects that breakdown leaf-litter](https://www.fs.fed.us/research/highlights/highlights_display.php?in_high_id=683).
Finally, climate change is a global problem. Missouri is uniquely located in the United States, and frequently is affected by both northern and southern weather patterns. As hurricanes become more frequent and severe in the Atlantic Ocean, that will affect southern MO; as severe weather fronts move east from Canada/the Rocky Mountains, that will affect northern MO. While it's true that we may not see as severe of issues as our forests frequently burning down/cities flooding for days or weeks, we are still experiencing extreme climate change. Across the state, temperatures have risen 0.5 - 1 Celsius (0.9-1.8 F), and this is with all of the water in the state acting like a thermal insulator.
All-in-all: *nowhere is less doomed*. If we aren't all killed by fire, flooding, tornadoes, disease...then we will see an influx of people into our state who have nowhere else to go; putting strain on our natural resources. The future of climate change isn't just environmental upheaval, but also political and social.
[Here is a handy page discussing all of the changes we're likely to see in the next 30-80 years.](https://statesatrisk.org/missouri/all)
Well said. Thank you.
You are the best. Thank you so much!🥇
This is my job and passion! Glad to have helped spread information :)
Glad to have people like you around my dear!
Armadillos are pushing at least as far north as i70 this past summer
One thing I really regretted in my undergrad/grad was that I didn't pay more attention when driving from college back home to all the armadillo corpses on the highway. Now I just have to rely on my own flimsy memory to determine whether I really did notice them creeping northward so rapidly in that 6 year span...
>Are we at least a little less doomed?
Probably not. Its Climate Change & **Global W**arming. Everywhere is going to feel its effects. There may be a period of time where weather in Missouri feels better than it had been, but probably at the expense of other places being really crummy. But its pretty inevitable that we're going to experience more extreme summers; more extreme winters; drastic changes in precipitation, either getting far more than normal or far less, and more at once instead of it being more spread out; and more extreme storms, in our area it will probably mean more extreme naders.
I read that the science is out on naters but I’m happy to re investigate!
So yes I expect a more hellish landscape but will it be the least scary out of all the scary things? I mean, my hope for things getting better is at a steady 0% but I just want someone to tell me my house won’t **literally** be up in flames or under water.
(speaking from a minor in earth sciences, with some courses on hydrology and environmental hazards)
We are in relatively good shape here as far as most disasters are concerned. You can take it as a good sign (I think, unless you think the government is completely inept), that large amounts of military and government records are kept around Kansas City. Like many have said, flooding on the Missouri and tornadoes are the biggest concerns, and those can be planned for in both where and how strong you make your structures.
Getting a sense of how likely your location HAS BEEN to flood, can give you a sense of how likely it WILL BE to flood in the future. you can use this tool https://stn.wim.usgs.gov/FEV/ to look at specific flood events in the past, and see if they came close to your property. (you really gotta know what you're looking for though). FEMA also has a map of flood hazards around the country, https://hazards-fema.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8b0adb51996444d4879338b5529aa9cd. Gotta remeber though, that with climate chaos, any predictability of "100 year" flood planes goes out the window. Also bear in mind that for many parts of the country, flood data has only been collected for a little more than 100 years, meaning that this periodicity is based on very little data.
Tornadoes are the result of rapid changes in the atmosphere, and thats about as far as my knowledge goes. So the question then would be, with global warming do we expect more rapid changes, or less? I don't know the answer to that.
One thing I am concerned about is having more extreme and prolonged heat and cold that our infrastructures cannot handle. Thank goodness we aren't like Texas up here, but I think its definitely something to consider when bills come up to fund infrastructure improvements, and weatherproofing, etc.
Then I would ask someone that’s more qualified than random dudes on Reddit.
Yeah your like the third person to get on me about this. What’s wrong with casual conversation with strangers online? I know how to fact check when somebody pontificates on the future of this state.
I really hope my grammar was correct because I like that word.
Oh I’m shivering in my booties about it **all**. Trust me. But being on fire scares me the most. 🤷🏻♀️
It will get 1 degree fahrenheit hotter average temp per decade out to at least 2060, 8f hotter over 1880 averages.
Yea this is the latest in a year I finally could use a hoodie.
It just got cool *yesterday* I think. I’ve noticed the weather changes for a decade now or more but this year is really freaking me out.
I was just saying that to someone yesterday, we always have hot summers and often have hot Septembers but I can't remember the last time we had a real BREAK in the heat. Usually we have a couple of cooler periods where I can open the windows to let the house air out, but we really just didn't have that this summer.
It was one heat wave after the next, literally. My iwatch was constantly going off, warning about how damn hot it is and to be safe. Don’t remember ever getting warnings about this.
This won't happen "all of a sudden". Climate change is happening fast but you probably won't notice it year to year. MO has had hot Septembers/Octobers way back in the 90s as it is today, but like others, the temps may go up and down but mostly I'd worry about extreme weather. MO can handle extreme cold and heat because we're a pretty "wet" state in terms of rivers, lakes and streams. However, can we handle massive blizzards? F3-5 tornados every spring? Drought that's affecting our major rivers like the MO River or MS River? Probably not.
The only thing you can do to help is to vote with your voice. Vote for politicians who take climate change seriously and want to do what they can to limit it's affects. Vote with your wallet. Buy carbon neutral or carbon negative products and services if you can. Our way of life mean you'll be putting out a lot of carbon, but we can do small parts to make it better.
Honestly I think the safest bet for climate change is gonna be Michigan.
It believe that the over the next 100 years it’s projected that STL will have a climate identical to southern Oklahoma. Expect the tornadoes and flooding to get much worse.
I say Michigan because I’m assuming that it’ll have a climate similar to where STL is right now, over the next 100 years, plus fewer tornadoes, no worries of hurricanes, few forest fires, no fault lines, and five large bodies of viable water for consumption.
I very much expect for Detroit to become revitalized completely in the next century. Better strike now while the iron is hot.
Also, the presence of a huge lake to regulate temperatures is a plus. You’re onto something. Chicago and - I hate to say it- Cleveland might be more desirable. Or even Ashtabula. At least it has a cool name…
Chicago actually isn't a great idea given that the canal they created to drain water in the city requires the water level in Lake Michigan (iirc) to be lower than the water level in the canal or it won't drain. They've had some major problems with this in the last few months and the last several years.
Interesting! So the lake level is rising? And the Cubs suck?
If you have an NYT sub or a VPN, [this was a pretty good piece about it. ](https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/07/07/climate/chicago-river-lake-michigan.html)
You know, I thought about Chicago too. My biggest issue there is just the fact that it’s already so crowded and expensive, and their existing infrastructure isn’t built to withstand a big influx of folks. Whereas Detroit has plenty (unfortunately) of empty space to expand into. If anything, I can see the wealthy fleeing to Chicago, and the rest of us get Detroit and Cleveland
Yeah definitely, Chicago doesn’t have the empty capacity. And it’s less attractive even to rich refugees because it’s already the most expensive city between Denver and the east coast.
I will stay here, sweat and fester in Mississippi floodwater before I move to Cleveland though!
Just moved my kid to Cleveland & have to say I was highly impressed. There is a reason it gets compared to KC. Detroit? I’ll leave that one to you all.
I hate to quibble, but you and u/TheMonkus are really underestimating how abundant/underutilized the housing, road and rail infrastructure, and public space in Chicago are. They have crazily low real estate prices for a city of their size (and *plenty* of places where lots could be built more densely than they currently are), and they have an overbuilt road network for the number of people who live there.
It’s honestly a similar thing to what’s happened in St. Louis, albeit less dramatic: population in Chicago proper peaked in 1950 at 3.62 million, and it’s now sitting at about 2.75 million. Unlike STL, the metro-area population has grown fairly steadily, but a) the metro area is *massive* and incredibly sprawled out, and b) the city itself has plenty of room, which is good since living in cities is much more climate-friendly anyway.
Sure, compared to Detroit it’s a different story—but I just don’t think it’s correct to say that Chicago is “full”, so to speak. And it’s a much more pleasant city than Detroit or Cleveland; just that lakefront alone is enough to make it feel a notch above anywhere else in the middle of the country.
Gentrification in our most desperate hours! Can you imagine how expensive it will be to live there? If I don’t have an inheritance (might not) then I’m pretty much stuck with living in MO. At least I can swim I suppose.
Change has already happened, from growing up as a kid in the 1980s to today, winters are far less snow, and much more ice. We used to get snow all winter long it seemed - today, we have maybe one or two events if we are lucky.
Summers are just incessant heat without any break, whereas we used to get periods of "relief" during the summer.
It amazes me the jokers out there who think that climate change isn't happening - it HAS ALREADY HAPPENED and will only get worse.
Right?? We’re RIGHT NOW experiencing a mass extinction but since we’re sheltered from seeing any animals besides squirrels and blue birds (come to think of it I don’t even see those anymore) people don’t seem to grasp just how bad it is out there.
I was talking about this with my SO a few days ago. He said we don't seem to get hardly any mosquitos compared where he used to live (Arkansas). I remember a lot of mosquitoes as a kid in the 90's. I also remember seeing a lot more toads and frogs every where. My dad worked at the downtown airport and I would chase and catch hundreds of toads that were there. I remember huge bug zappers at the airport because of the bugs. Now there are no zappers at all. I hardly see any bugs or the small animals that eat them. The only places I see them is in the country but even then its much less. There is a huge difference in wildlife in the Kansas City area since the 1990's.
Man I wish I had your luck, my house is swarmed by them in Kansas City.
While it’s true that we’re in the 6th mass extinction event, we humans have actually have been for the past 12,000 years since Holocene era. Here’s an article that may help you explain that: https://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/G204/lectures/204holocene.html
Hope this helps! Also, check out the sub r/ClimateActionPlan if you’re suffering from climate anxiety.
Here's a sneak peek of /r/ClimateActionPlan using the [top posts](https://np.reddit.com/r/ClimateActionPlan/top/?sort=top&t=year) of the year!
\#1: [World’s largest seagrass project proves 'You can actually restore the oceans' | The Current Project shows how seagrass plantings restore ocean water quality](https://thecurrentga.org/2021/07/19/worlds-largest-seagrass-project-proves-you-can-actually-restore-the-oceans/) | [25 comments](https://np.reddit.com/r/ClimateActionPlan/comments/ony8xu/worlds_largest_seagrass_project_proves_you_can/)
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How interesting! And thank you so much for the sub recommendation:)
I remember one winter. Must have been the late 80's possibly 90, that everything turned into a sheet of ice. Now that's every year.
>Summers are just incessant heat without any break, whereas we used to get periods of "relief" during the summer.
Summer this year was pretty damn nice. More "relief" than heat.
The High Plains Aquifer is in a bit of a spot, which as droughts get more severe will drastically limit how much agriculture can be done in the Midwest in general.
Oh I’m sure we’ll go broke and the food will get more expensive and we’ll be living in a dystopian nightmare but I just don’t want to be on fire.
That’s totally fair. I feel a lot of situations are more manageable if you’re also not on fire.
It’s not the most efficient way to operate.
Number one is don't buy a house in a flood plain. If you already own one there, sell it and move to higher ground. I'm an old man, and a farmer, and while the average annual rainfall in Missouri hasn't changed much, what I now see is extended periods of drough followed by torrential rainfall.
We had both in farm country this year. 11" rainfall in about 8 hours followed by six weeks of the summer with zero rainfall. Then when it did rain, it was only .10" or .20". As I learned decades ago, climate change doesn't mean Missouri will be just like Arkansas when it comes to weather. It means that the weather will be more radical. Stronger storms more often, heavy rains, extended droughts, some mild winter weather mixed with more polar vortexes and extended periods of well below normal temperatures.
I don't think most climate change deniers understand what it means. Let's say the average annual temperature goes up by three or four degrees, that doesn't sound real bad at all.
But, when every summer is two or three months of drought and 110 degree highs and 85 degree lows at night, followed by a winter with a month of below zero weather, sure, it'll all average out. Same goes for rainfall. We might still get our annual 40 to 45 inches every year, but when it's a three month drought followed by 14" in 24 hours that's going to mess up a lot of things.
I grew up on a farm here. I still own some of it. I recall maybe once in 20 years our corn crop getting blown down by strong storms and maybe once in 10 years getting damaging hail during the 60's and 70's. In the last six years I've had a hail damaged crop, and twice had the corn crop blown down.
I think the problem with climate change and those trying to ignore it is that it slowly creeps up on you. You don't really notice that the weather is more radical. Those of us that are old and that make a living off of something that depends on typical mild Missouri weather see it pretty clearly.
Now comes the guy that'll tell me, "oh yeah, we had a 15" rainfall in 1934." Sure buddy, but can you find a record for this county that shows three rainfall events producing 8" or more of rain in a five year period?
And to answer your "are we turning to ash?" question. I worry about the Ozarks. They typically get more rainfall than the rest of the state which is part of why things are so lush down there considering the poor soil. But they are getting more and longer droughts. Relatives down there say now it gets too dry every summer. When that gets worse, I reckon we'll begin to see wildfires there.
EDIT: I have now read all the comments and I see I'm pretty much saying the same thing everyone else is. Apparently Missouri Redditors are quite aware of what's going on.
We need to be more aware of what climate change will do to farmers. Food shortages are another type of disaster that’s potentially on the table.
I think you have a very valuable perspective and I'm glad you're out there sharing it. Voices like yours will do a lot more to get people to start preparing for what's coming than a scientist or talking head on the news.
>I think the problem with climate change and those trying to ignore it is that it slowly creeps up on you. You don't really notice that the weather is more radical.
There's an interesting theory that people define their intuitive "normal" by as little as the past 5 years. It makes it hard to get people to acknowledge long term trends. When we get a drought people just say that's normal since it also happened three years ago, and to stop being alarmist.
Yes. Climate change was a big focus of my law education, and one thing that stood out is the way in which Missouri seems to be insulated from most of the worst effects. We'll see hotter summers and more droughts and floods, but nothing like our neighbors and the rest of the world. We also have enough sources of water that we likely won't face the kinds of shortages that the West will, and our legal system, based on regulated riparianism, is likely to provide a decent mechanism for resolving future issues.
One thing that's pretty fascinating is that Missouri's varied weather makes actually tracking changes much harder. There's a website (linked below) that allows you to visualize the temperature shifts of a lot of states over time, and the most notable thing about Missouri is that the trend here is heavily masked by our high variation in weather year to year.
National striping: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/climate-stripes-graphics-show-us-trends-state-and-county
Missouri's strip: https://ncics.org/pub/jared/stripes/results\_states/23-tavg.png
I think the most significant change we would see early on is volume of water in the Missouri River. It's fed by snowpack from the Rocky Mountains, and we share it with about 7 other states before it gets to us. As things warm up there will be less runoff from the mountains. This is already happening with the Colorado River.
I think it will play out like this. As the runoff from the mountains lessens the competition between states for water will increase. Currently there are a series of dams north of us that control the volume of water that flows south. These dams will have to ration water flow. It's happened before, really recently too. Here in St. Joseph, we've had to install deeper pipes into the river to get our water, because of droughts up north. The dams up north released less water, so the river got so low that it was lower that the pipes we had to pump water. No one is really talking about conserving water, so I think in the next 20 or so years that's going to be the big impact. It's not only going to affect residential use, but it's going to affect big commercial agricultural use as well.
Not to nitpick, but St Joseph's water source are wells drilled near Amazonia. They made that switch after the flood of '93, coupled with having to previously extend the intake further into the river.
1. Missouri’s economy is very dependent on commodity agriculture (corn, soybeans, etc). What will happen when it no longer possible to obtain the yields we are used to due to it getting hotter and rain patterns changing.
2. When the rise in sea levels forces millions of people to retreat inland, where do you think they will go?
3. Climate change is a world wide phenomenon. We in Missouri rely on being able to count on things continuing as they have for generations throughout the world. What happens when we can no longer count on those things? How well will we adapt, especially when our population is increasing due to coastal refugees?
Climate change is happening now, and, while these very early stages seem endurable with some minor adjustments, it is going to get much, much, much worse. My grandchildren’s grandchildren are going to live in a very different world. There is no place on earth that will escape the effects. I will not live long enough to see the worst of it (I’m 74), but if you are 50 or younger, you will.
I’m 35 so things will probably be really kicking off right as I’m too old to deal with it. Something as catastrophic as climate change requires a person to have good mobility, endurance, be able to operate cognitively, be prepared to move on a moments notice…. swim! Being healthy and young during the beginnings of a possible extinction event is a benefit. Desperate people can commit horrible acts and if we have droves of them coming to this state that is also suffering, well…. I’d like to at least be able to protect myself. I don’t see that happening when I’m older with lots of medical issues (bad genetics).
That’s just something I think about.
Feels like we skip a season every year now
I can tell you what's happened in the last 20 years, if that's any indication of the next 20:
- warmer winters
- fewer snowfalls
- heavy snowfalls of a foot or more are almost non-existent
- hotter summers
- longer droughts
- more unpredictable weather
The biggest climate worry I see ahead for KC is not from fires, but from droughts, especially over winters. I think our average annual temperatures will continue to increase steadily, with any precipitation we get coming all at once in the form of flash flooding, and I see no end in sight.
Don’t forget the New Madrid fault is overdue to shift
An earthquake occurring there has the potential to be the worst disaster the country has experienced. My whole job is centered around planning for it (and the climate issues mentioned in the other comments). So you're right, that would certainly be fun for MO.
Worse for Memphis!
Honestly though, that and tornados are the only thing that keep southeast MO from being a great spot as far as doomsday goes. I know nothing in my hometown, about 25 miles from New Madrid, is prepared for a serious earthquake.
But it could shift anywhere between Iowa and Texas.
Look up new Madrid fault zone its not like California fault line its really small. Its more like a old wives tell at this point and missouri doesnt have alot of tall buildings.
The New Madrid quakes in the early 1800s were/are the strongest east of the Rockies in US history and were likely felt moderately to strongly across 1M sq mi. Of course there weren't a lot of casualties, it was the edge of "frontier country." If I remember right, there was a FEMA report in the mid-2000s that said a serious New Madrid quakes would easily cause the highest economic damage due to a natural disaster in US history and widespread, catastrophic damage throughout much of the Midwest and parts of the South. Calling it "a old wives tell" and acting like the previous quakes and future quakes weren't/aren't a big deal is ludicrous.
I saw a documentary with scientist commentary
25 percent to 45 percent chance over the next 50 years bad as the weatherman.
30 boats sank after going over new madrid falls and 20 ripped off the docks. I read most of the deaths were drownings on the mississipi river.
I had no idea. Thanks for the info. Can you recommend a good website or book about that time period?
I live in missouri so im not sure where i heard it first. I looked it up to refresh my memory.
I appreciate that!
I think the only natural disasters we truly have to worry about are earthquakes and tornadoes . And any earthquakes we’ve ever got are nothing to write home about . Tornadoes on the other hand ..
Edit ::: I’m not a scientist
The deadliest natural disasters in the US are not floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes, but heat waves. Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/16/1037916592/heatwaves-are-the-deadliest-weather-events-but-theyre-rarely-treated-that-way
MO will definitely have more of those to contend with as the world gets hotter.
We have humid heat too . Way worse than dry heat
Yeah, you might want to read about the 1812 earthquake in Missouri.
Like I said , I’m not a scientist and also that was over 100 years ago . Nothing to write home about in the past 100 years 🤷🏻♀️
1812 was over 200 years ago to add to your point, but I think they're referring you to seismologists' predictions that the next "big one" on the New Madrid fault line will be a "really big one". It's not talked about much these days, so maybe the science has changed since I last read up on it.
The research I’ve done about tornadoes and climate change seems to all point to “don’t know”.
I’d think they’d get worse but like you, I’m no scientist :)
Everybody's a lot less doomed than you probably think.
Climate change is very real, and very man-made (I'm not one of those weirdos who still denies this obvious fact), but it's something we can adjust to. Remember, humans have figured out how to live everywhere from the equator to the arctic circle, we're real good at adjusting to different environments.
Practically speaking, we'll have to work out changes to agricultural practices to account for new climate patterns. People might worry about a "dust bowl"-style crisis, but our agricultural science is a whole lot better than it used to be, so we can probably avoid anything like that.
If we do start experiencing more frequent severe weather events, we'll have to spend a little more on our preparation and response infrastructure (i.e. better tornado shelters and warning systems, more snowplows, etc.). It's probably a little early still to tell how exactly Missouri is likely to be affected by such things.
We might have to change how we build some forms of infrastructures, like bridges and highways, if climate change affects the rates at which they degrade.
So far, it doesn't appear that Missouri is likely to get a whole lot more arid, so we probably don't have to worry about wildfires and stuff like they have out west (the problem out there isn't mainly heat; it's lack of rain from an arid climate).
Generally speaking, Missouri's main natural disaster threats are floods and tornadoes, with earthquake risk in there somewhere (I don't know of any firm data on whether anybody thinks climate change will raise the risk of another major New Madrid fault earthquake; that might be impossible to know). We'll just have to see whether these dangers get more frequent or not; it's too early to tell for sure, but it does seem like flooding might be getting more frequent. Buy a house up on a hill.
I’m not a farmer or an expert in agriculture, but my understanding from talking to people smarter than me is that it’s the increase in weather _volatility_ in Missouri that will be most problematic for maintaining yields. Sure, we have strains of corn and soybeans that are much “better” in a lot of ways than what was being grown 50 years ago. But no designer genetics or irrigation practice or soil amendment is going to save your crop if it gets hit with severe winds, or fire, or flooding. The predictability of seasonal patterns is one of the greatest things Missouri agriculture has had going for it for centuries. That’s probably out the window soon, if not already.
I'm sure you're right. Farming will be more difficult due to greater volatility. I'm just saying that an apocalyptic dust bowl scenario is very unlikely.
This summer wasn’t bad compared to other years, regarding temperature. We had our usual hot streaks, but they didn’t last the entire summer. St. Louis summers are always hot.
Ya im wondering where they think this was a super hot summer? I run my own mowing business i have seen way hotter years.
Last 2 summers I don't know if we ever broke 100F ambient (not wet bulb). I remember the temps getting as high as 105F as a teen.
I wondered the same thing. I've lived in MO for over 30 years and I found this summer to be pretty normal to mild, tbh.
You’re asking random redditors?
Okay. I’ll bite. I’ve lived in an area from Callaway to Lafayette counties for the last 45 years, minus a few in the early 90s.
Winters in the 70s and 80s gave us much more snow and ice than we get now.
Summers were stupid hot at times (‘80 and ‘88 come to mind, with serious drought)
This recent stretch of 90 degree weather past Labor Day…I don’t remember that ever happening.
With all that being said, I have no idea.
I think Las Vegas is screwed and won’t admit it. That I’m pretty certain of.
Less doomed, yes, but not immune. It’s unlikely forest fires will ever become as big a problem here due to simple ecological differences, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increase.
Not being coastal is a help…but plenty of rivers to flood.
Missouri has the blessing and curse of being a transition state - where the Great Plains and the great Eastern Hardwood Forest meet. Where the South becomes the North, the East becomes the West. So our ecosystem has always had to put up with ridiculous extremes. This means we will probably deal with a lot of small problems as opposed to a few giant ones.
Is that better? Probably. But it’s not great. As others have pointed out it also likely means climate refugees moving here, which means basically gentrification on a national scale as millionaires from the West Coast (where being a millionaire makes you upper middle class!) buy up land for California peanuts.
Still, we’re doing alright. The West has some great natural beauty but it’s fading fast and people are paying dearly for it.
So as everyone has said, yeah, things will get worse.
However, I think parts of Missouri are better situated than many areas elsewhere in the country.
I live in Springfield which is on a plateau. Our storm water system sucks (though we're trying to improve it), so flooding is the big risk for us going forward. Not to mention the potential earthquake that may come someday.
But compared to many parts of California, or anywhere around the Gulf of Mexico, or the east coast... I think we're a bit more insulated from many of the impacts of climate change. It's going to get hotter and harder, but it's worse elsewhere.
The two big problems facing us is going to be immigration from other parts of the country and knock-on impacts. When Texas power production halted last winter, Springfield had to implement rolling blackouts. What happens elsewhere impacts us. It's good to think through how you can take care of yourself and your family given the upcoming challenges we can expect to face.
I’ve lived in Missouri all of my life and I can see how things have changed since I was a kid! I remember snow so deep you were able to make snow forts with it and have snowball fights, nowadays it might snow a couple inches and then it’s gone by the next day. Missouri is definitely a human state but I don’t remember it ever being as bad as it gets now.
When this conversation came up before I was playing with a simulator for New Orleans and was shocked what could be worse-case scenario.
I've lived in NW MO my entire life, I can recall in my youth summertime high temps in the 90's seemed to be noteworthy, whereas now it's more or less expected. Agriculture irrigation springing up in more areas, and areas you might not expect it. Not quite as humid, relatively, but only because temperature is increasing. Winters appear to be getting warmer, the normal boundary between snow vs sleet/freezing rain seems to trend further north now. Polar vortexes notwithstanding, of course.
I don't imagine that trend will stop anytime soon. So it'll keep getting warmer, we'll likely see more severe weather/climate events as a result.
> So it’s been hot as hell this summer
Nah, we've had a fairly normal Missouri summer. The last few have been surprisingly mild.
> So my question is this! Is Missouri one of the safer places to live as climate change progresses
The answer to this is complex but I think the answer is going to be a more general yes than most with a couple of caveats.
The first is extreme tornadoes and stronger climate shifts from both gulf and jet stream patterns.
Without nerding too hard, the reason we have the clashes and weather we do in the spring and fall here is because hot wet weather pushes up from the gulf of mexico and cold dry air pushes from the rockies and smash into each other with thunderstorms and tornadoes being the result.
The stronger these weather systems, the more extreme cold and extreme hot and powerful storms, which leads us to the 2nd issue: extreme summer/winter.
Remember the extreme cold last year? Couple years back? Ice storms of 2007? That is not likely to slow down with worsening climate change. That weather pattern mentioned above doesn't entirely stop in winter and summer. Extreme cold, summer thunderstorms, extreme muggy heat, etc are all likely to keep getting worse.
That said, I think Missouri is far enough away from the coasts or large bodies of water that bigger, stronger hurricanes will stay just minor rain and fairly nice days after. I think overall we are less likely to see massive flooding, massive drought, water issues, etc than other states.
I think we are less doomed overall because we're such a natural state, but I expect our extremes to get more extreme. I would also suggest that over the next 20 years the best thing you can do is learn to grow your own food. That is not likely to get better and this state, for all of it's faults, is definitely good land to homestead. Supply issues from California's Central Valley are not likely to get better in the following decades.
It’s the intense cold snaps in February that get me. I’m getting tired of it as I grow older.
Now let’s all branch out to other states’ subreddits to pose the same type of question. Report back. It’s like science research.
I love information through a grapevine!
Actually this has been a pretty decent summer fir Missouri. Im not dismissing climate change. Just saying that I have lived through worse summers here in MO. We’ve only had a few weeks of super hot; super high humidity. We could use more rain but overall, well like I said. I’ve seen worse.
Missouri will revert back to what it was a long long time ago.
A swamp.. so, get a boat...
It all depends on when/where the climate wars start. We might be fine here for a bit, but once food and water become scarce....I expect everywhere will be a hell scape. But, we might all be dead before then.
I read somewhere the south will be unlivable and Missouri will be in the comfort zone soon.
If Missouri’s the comfort zone then we’re all fucked. ☹️
Sorry ... 20 years out will be shocking.
Missouri is a very safe state for whats coming..
From what I've heard easterners of the paranoid type are moving here to keep away from falling into the sea....for now we are safe... except for the floods....long as we don't have the fires of the west we should be fine....
I can’t imagine living in a literal hellscape where the sky is orange and there’s pockets of fire surrounding my home while firemen can do nothing to stop it from spreading. What a living nightmare.
You have get out and vote to elect people who believe in climate change and possess the knowledge to at least stop at most reverse some of the damage already incurred. If you don’t do that I genuinely hope you can swim.
We could vote for Jesus Christ himself but even he could be corrupted by that big oil money. I have zero faith in politicians and even if they were pure of heart I don’t see how we could slow this puppy down. Perhaps I’ll build an arch. 🤔
Your lack of faith in politicians is shared by me. Allow me if you will to put more emphasis on my 1st point. Electing leaders who believe climate change is real is a must. No matter how deep the corruption runs if elected leaders can’t even admit it’s real wishful thinking turns into imminent disaster.
See, this shit right here is why I sympathize with Anarcho-communists. I have many doubts in that ideology, but the one thing they have absolutely right is that power can corrupt anyone. It can bring out the worst in even the most morally robust people. We need to find a way to decentralize as much as possible while being realistic about it.
I have a plan for that.
Six Steps to a Human Utopia
Shut up. No one cares about your campaign
Afraid that a little socialism might make your life better?
Mass unionization, higher wages, clean energy, a hospitable environment.
Socialism will make all these a reality.
Yeah, it seems tornado alley is moving north and east a bit each year. Maybe we'll luck out and have fewer of them, bit then again maybe there will be fewer but they'll be stronger or stay on the ground longer.
I remember 20 years ago during the spring and summer how blue the sky used to be and how big and puffy clouds would stretch as far as the eye could see. You could make out stars at night even in the city. And the air felt so clean after returning from a trip to New York.
Now the sky is a lighter blue with yellow haze, the clouds are whispier, you can barely ever see stars at night (in st.louis at least) and the air quality has gotten so bad I've contemplated moving to the country because I have difficulty breathing and allergies like I've never had before.
So in my experience and education. And reading everyone else's replies seems to hold true to what i believe. Basically Mississippi's weather of heat and humidity will stretch up here possibly mid Illinois. Is missouri safe? Maybe, i am on the side of caution that no missouri will not be due to extreme swings and overall hotter temperatures. I can see more famine with drier summers, driving water scarcity and more destructive tornados. Honestly at this rate the safer places will be north towards new England/Canada.
IIRC, the midwest has actually been trending cooler over the last 20 years, unlike other areas. Personally, I've noticed colder snowier winters the last several years compared to how it was in my teens and childhood.
How old are you?
I’m 42 and most people my age and older feel it’s the opposite. I think our summers haven’t really gotten worse though- they’ve always been awful. This one wasn’t bad, maybe a little more humid.
Absolutely the least productive way to get educated is discourse on Reddit.
But carry on. It's very entertaining.
Hey now I do my due diligence outside of here but there’s plenty of good information that can be fact checked outside of Reddit, too.
Climate issues are much like cancer.
When they are no longer profitable
They will no longer be a problem.
Am I speaking to a denialist?
I believe that man has influenced world climate.
I also believe that viable solutions are being avoided due to lack of public support. ie, profitability.
I also believe that viable replacement for oil is a long way into the future.
Just the plastics industries are gobbling up oil at a ridiculous rate. You are holding an example in your hand if by phone..
So you decide.
Am I a denialist?. Is that really a word?
The climate has changed since the first day the earth was formed a bunch of lunatics
At what point do you think the daily activity of 7+ billion humans could possibly have a negative impact on a planet that is 196.9 million mi² and not expanding? Or in the future 10+ billion? Do you deny that space, time, and the physical constraints of this planet are non-factors?
I don’t know how it’s possible to be flippant about this. Even if you deny the “climate change” aspect of the argument as the American Southwest reaches apocalyptic levels of forest fires and drought… what about the destruction of natural wonders already underway?
Do you have no sense of love or connection to human beings beyond your own lifetime? Kids? Grandkids? Anything?
I don’t know what you just said but *iiiiiii* like it!
Thanks but what’s confusing you about my comment? I thought it was pretty straightforward.
Before you edited it you just had the number 196.9 million mi (idk how to make the 2 small) and I didn’t know what that meant :)
It's pretty comical see people drink this Kool aid, we are not going to see much change. Nothing has happend yet here that has not transpired before. If anything things have gotten a milder, this summer was tame.compared to last. We have no drought issues, water is plentiful. Relax and enjoy your life, it's going to take time to change everything.
>It's pretty comical see people drink this Kool aid
...he spluttered as he chugged it.
>It's pretty comical see people drink this Kool aid, we are not going to see much change. Nothing has happend yet here that has not transpired before. If anything things have gotten a milder
It always amuses me to see the typical format of a denialist.
Claim the threat isn't happening and then insist that problem is actually making things better.
Its been hot for longer than normal this year. By this time the trees are starting to change and temps are much cooler. But it still feels pretty summery now. To me winter seems shorter and less harsh. I remember ice storms every two years when I was a kid. I recall new years eve of 1999 was really snowy since I played in it during the new years party. Snow and ice hasn't been much of an issue for at least 5 years here.
Flooding. There was seriously bad floods all over the north of the state a few years ago. I remember because I was trying to go between Kansas City and Hannibal and it took an entire day because big chunks of the highway were underwater. Oddly no one seemed to really notice except for people in those small towns that were affected.
I’m only 21 and I swear the winters are not the same. Also September always used to be this hot? I don’t know.
Edit: To answer your question yeah I think we aren’t going to see as much devastation as the rest of the country but stuff sure is changing. It will get there eventually.
I believe Missouri will become tropical and then a desert
Interesting. Why do you think this?
Missouri is already sub tropical and its trending towards more heat and humidity, but eventually that heat will prove too much to sustain flora. Droughts in Missouri are becoming longer. It may not become a desert but the productivity and life of forests are being threatened.
No place is safe here. The Atlantic conveyor is slowing down much faster than 1st thought. The oceabs can't absorb any more of the earth's heat, the permafrost is mektikg which contains untold amounts of methane which is 30x more efficient at trapping heat than co2. Need I go on?
I lived in Illinois only 600 miles away and man it's a big difference, I wish we had more snow than ice and slush
Yeah I miss all that snow I had when I was a kid, too.
We're definitely affected by climate change here, the amount of snow and the length of winter changing have been the most noticeable to me. However I do think we're going to be one of the less-affected states, being so far from the coasts. I think that housing prices here aren't going to stay cheap as more and more of the west and east coasts end up underwater.
You’re user name I just
The last climate projections I saw for this part of the country biggest difference was that it would be significantly rainier overall (including bigger snowfalls when it is cold enough for snow in winter).
Also depends on how long you are looking out, but the heat will certainly be a factor in summer as well. The general rule of thumb around the globe is that the dry places are going to get drier and the wet places are going to get wetter and almost everywhere is going to get hotter on average (there are regional exceptions, not everywhere is warming at the same pace or even warming at the moment).
Well, it Missouri what do you thinks gonna happen?
Another major problem is that we need to stay below 700ppm carbon dioxide for humans to have fresh air. We are already at 419ppm as of 2021 and we adding an additional 3ppm per year. The basic math shakes out that we have about 200 years of status quo before the air becomes difficult to breath which is obviously an alarming problem.
Lots of dry, brown stalks filling the fields.
The flooding around the rivers is gonna get worse.
And a fuck you, too! 🙃
I doubt it. Climate has been changing since the beginning of time. Its Just the way the world works. Has nothing to do with us.
Scientific data would like a word with you...