On April 20, many parts of Indiana received a blanket of snow and freezing weather warnings. IU researchers said this can be attributed to climate change, and events like this are one of the many consequences Indiana residents could see in the future.
Matthew Houser, a researcher in the Environmental Resilience Institute, is a social scientist who studies the factors shaping people’s climate change attitudes and behaviors in Indiana and the Midwest. He said Indiana farmers will be hit the hardest when dealing with climate change in the near future.
He said climate change will lengthen the growing season for crops in Indiana and has already lengthened it by two weeks since the 1950s. He said since farmers will begin to see earlier springs and experience more harmful frosts. Houser said farmers may plant their crops earlier because of the early warm weather, but then get hit with unexpected cold snaps that kill their produce.
Houser said he is concerned the snow last week could have set back Indiana farmers this year because some of them already began planting their crops, primarily corn.
“When unexpected frosts and snow pop up, they cause lots of damage, and these seemingly abnormal events are forming historically novel climatic conditions for Indiana farmers,” Houser said.