We have been bicycling through a landscape that is limited to the earth-tone chromatics roasted by an intense sun.
Seemingly, the nation is currently one large red blotch on the weather map. Mr. Heat Miser, has apparently taken control of the entire United States.
The wind is hot. It feels like riding in a forced convection oven. The air moving over the skin roasts rather than cools. My eyeballs literally dry out, even with more frequent blinking.
According to two farmers we met at different times along the way, the most recent weather history (~past ten years) is radically different than twenty to thirty years ago. The new “normal” weather does not bode well for the future generations.
While crop yields have increased over the last century due to farming techniques, fertilizers and genetic modification of plants, the change in weather is starting to outpace these gains. According to the farmers, Spring arrives about a month to a month and a half earlier, summers are longer by about a month on both ends, and winters are more mild. Additionally, rainfall is about half of what it was in the past, waterways have rapidly decreased or dried up and aquifers are not being replenished. These are not alarmist reactions but matter-of-fact observations by people that make their living off the land and have more horse sense than most.
As water gets dearer, water and water rights have become contentious issues. Cities and municipalities attempting to gain rights to water in communities hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.
Unless new technologies or adopting forward-thinking governmental policies toward water come about, food will get more expensive world-wide. Regional tensions will grow, not only in the USA, but also throughout the world. Forget a nuclear winter, welcome to the the long hot summer.