Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Projected county-level changes in temperature and precipitation

The USDA Southwest Regional Climate Hub’s recent newsletter noted an online article that may be of use to some of you in looking ahead to planning for the future.  This is especially important if you are considering purchasing land or switching to new crops which may respond differently to climate than what you are growing now.  The article, entitled “County-level climate change information to support decision-making on working lands,” is from Climatic Change and continues a large number of maps showing projected changes in maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation annually and by season for the entire US from the 1971-2000 historical record to the 2040-2069 period.  Obviously the exact changes that we will see depend on many different factors, especially including human behavior, but this can serve as a guide to what the future might hold.

I was especially intrigued by the changes to Southeastern precipitation, which show a decrease in winter precipitation (rain plus snow) and an increase in summer precipitation for most of the Southeast except southern Florida, which will get drier.  You can access the article at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-017-2040-y.  Most of the maps are in the supplemental material. Note that this will not be a quick study since the maps are contained in files that are not easily identified by name. In each file they start with a national map followed by regional maps at higher resolution.