Curiously cool summers in US Midwest linked to crop irrigation

Wheat being harvested in Culver, Kansas

Arin Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Large parts of the US Midwest have seen average temperatures cool slightly since the 1950s, due in part to farmers growing more crops and pumping more water for irrigation. But climate change may eventually overwhelm this “warming hole”, with implications for crop yields in one of the world’s major breadbaskets.

For decades, climate researchers have puzzled over anomalously cool temperatures seen in the US Midwest and Southeast since the late 1950s. Average temperatures in the region saw a small decline, even as global …


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