588 Changes in Water Balance in the Corn Belt over the past 30 years

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Cody H. Troop, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD; and D. P. Todey and W. Capehart

Global climate change is having an impact on many different industries and agriculture is one that is very directly affected. As the climate changes so too will farming practices. It is important to know not just what effects climate has on agriculture, but also the feedback that these changes can have on climate. Much recent work has focused on this interaction including work in the Sustainable Corn Project. One prime area for this work is the northern plains where recent cropping changes have converted land from pasture to crops, specifically corn in many places.

To review some of these land surface changes we will be using the NLDAS dataset. Many land surface interaction parameters are not measured or measured in limited areas, but can be reviewed using the NLDAS dataset. The NLDAS reanalysis dataset, with a spatial resolution of 1/8th of a degree over central North America and a 1 hour time step, has a period of record going back through 1979. We will use this data to find changes in the water balance across the Corn Belt with a specific emphasis in the northern plains where corn has encroached on pasture or other crops. Changes in both the timing and magnitude of seasonal potential evapotranspiration (PET) in response to changes in farming practices, and other climate forcings are expected. Preliminary results may show an increase in PET during the summer months.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner