As fast as I can afford it. I know, I know, global warming is a hoax and GHG's don't matter, but just in case...
Keith Cherkauer, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, ran simulation models that show Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan could see as much as 28 percent more precipitation by the year 2070, with much of that coming in the winter and spring. His projections also show drier summer and fall seasons.
"This was already a difficult spring to plant because of how wet it was. If you were to add another inch or so of rain to that, it would be a problem," said Cherkauer, whose findings were published in the early online version of the Journal of Great Lakes Research. "It could make it difficult to get into fields. There's also a potential for more flooding."
Cherkauer used three different scenarios based on the amount of carbon that could be emitted into the atmosphere in the coming decades. Carbon calculations were based on assumptions including population, technological advancements, the economy and other factors.
Those scenarios were used in two climate projection models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that give climate predictions from the years 1950 through 2099. Cherkauer said in years from 1950 to 2007 where actual climate data differed slightly from projections, the difference was subtracted to give a better projection for the future.
He calculated that winters in the four states could be between 2.7 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by 2077 than today. Summers could be between 3.6 degrees and 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer.
Those projections were then put into the Variable Infiltration Capacity Model -- which simulates how precipitation moves through land surface environments -- to predict stream flow for six rivers: the Chippewa River, Wisconsin River, Illinois River, Wabash River, Grand River and Rock River.
Cherkauer estimates that increased precipitation would result in about a 20 percent increase in peak and mean flows for the Wabash River, for instance.
Daily river flow would be lower during the summer and fall despite an expected increase in thunderstorms and heavy-rain events. Overall precipitation would be down in those seasons, he said, and heavy rains from time to time would still leave prolonged periods without precipitation. [More]
Sarcasm aside, my position follows a classic negotiation technique: when you can't agree, make a bet. I'm betting my son and those who follow will benefit - perhaps immensely - from better drainage of our reclaimed swampy oak savanna given the rainfall projections. If I lose the bet, I'm out several hundred thousand dollars (to date) that maybe have poor return on investment.
If I'm right, those fields will be comparatively more productive.
Other bets could be tillage methods, hybrid selection, and grain systems. To my way of thinking it's not "alarmism" if it's your own money.