Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2019


Since the industrial revolution, there has been an exponential increase in global fossil fuel use. This excessive use and burning of fossil fuels has caused a significant increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere. These greater concentrations of carbon dioxide have been found to have a correlation to increasing temperatures on earth as a whole as the concentration of carbon dioxide, along with other fossil fuel emissions, continue to also increase. The end result of this cycle is that we have warming on a global scale which leads to a changing climate.

The fact that the climate is changing can be difficult to accept for anyone in the agriculture industry. However, for apple orchards in the southeastern part of Nebraska the changing environment is already becoming a factor in production yields. This is largely due to the fact that Nebraska’s short term weather patterns have historically been extremely variable, and with climate change the weather patterns will only become more variable and inconsistent. As Nebraska moves towards a warmer climate there may be changes in the growing season that may help increase or potentially harm the production of local apple producers of southeast Nebraska.

This research project was done by conducting a literature review over how climate change will impact Nebraska weather patterns and how those weather pattern changes may effect the local apple industry. The effects of climate change are expected to bring even more variability to Nebraska’s already volatile climate. This could lead to unstable futures for those in Nebraska’s apple industry.