climate change

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media file photo

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

With that in mind, here are four things you should know about today’s food system:

The new farm bill became law in February

Durrie Bouscaren / IPR

In the period between 2008 and 2012, Iowa experienced a record amount of flooding and variability in rainfall, leading to damage that cost the state billions. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer asks how climate change is impacting extreme weather patterns, the economic impact, and, how we in Iowa can best prepare for the years to come.

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John Pemble / IPR

The 2013 World Food Prize is honoring Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton, and Robert T. Fraley, three scientists whose individual discoveries led to the creation of genetically modified crops. 

Chasing Ice

Mar 6, 2013
Manchester Friends of the Earth /flickr

Melting glaciers and receding ice caps are often cited as evidence of climate change. Today on Talk of Iowa, we talk with a filmmaker who set out to show the world this physical evidence of climate change.  We’ll also talk climate science with Iowa scientists who are studying how our earth is changing.

ninadangelo / flickr

We know that climate change is dramatically and adversely affecting habitats of many endangered species, but it is also skewing the male-to-female ratio of certain animals. Today on River to River, we talk with two Iowa State researchers who study how climate change may halt the sexual reproduction of turtles, lizards and fish due to a lack of males.

Also, we sit down with Chris Brochu, an Associate Professor of Geology at University of Iowa to discuss recent research on the death of the dinosaurs that is making waves in paleontology.

John Pemble / IPR

When Veterans return from active duty, transitioning back to civilian life is challenging. Team Rubicon puts veterans back on the front lines, responding to disaster, and renewing their sense of purpose.

Today on "River to River" we speak with the founders of Team Rubicon, Jacob Wood and William McNulty. They will be at Grinnell College next week to receive the $100,000 Grinnell Prize.

We'll also talk to Regional EPA administrator Karl Brooks. We'll ask him about the President's renewed focus on climate change in his recent State of the Union address.
 

The End of the World

Feb 14, 2013
Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society Blogger / flickr

How will the world end and what can we do to prevent it? "River to River" talks with Paul Wapner, an expert in global environmental politics about the human suffering extreme climate change continues to cause.

Also University of Iowa astrophysicist Steve Spangler joins us to discuss the asteroid that will be whizzing by Earth—at a distance a bit too close for comfort—on Friday.  We’ll ask Spangler about the possibility of a massive asteroid destroying our planet in the near future.

Sarah McCammon / IPR

Over the past several months, we’ve been reporting on lots of problems caused by a lack of rain. And for good reason – the historic drought plaguing Iowa and much of the nation has dried up crops, destroyed landscaping, and killed off fish.

But like with most things, there can be a silver lining.

John Larson makes wine at Snus Hill Winery in Madrid, Iowa. This time of year, he’s not growing grapes – but he is mixing wine in giant, silver tanks.

Fernando Tomás / Wikimedia Commons

There has been a lot of talk about climate change in the news, with some experts saying super storms like Hurricane Sandy could be more frequent on the East Coast. But what’s the future of climate change in the Midwest? Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa Environmental Engineer Jerry Schnoor and others about what we might expect in the Midwest and how we might adapt to the change. Then, Ben talks with state Senator Rob Hogg, a vocal supporter of climate change policies.

Dave Dehetre / Flickr

Are career criminals born or made? Host Ben Kieffer talks with Matt DeLisi, an associate professor of sociology and director of the criminal justice program at Iowa State University, about how a lifetime of events can impact an individual and has the potential to mold them into a repeat offender. Then, Iowa Sate University Psychologist Craig Anderson discusses a study that shows as the average temperature of earth rises, so does the potential for violent tendencies.

Iowa State University

Farmers are already making changes to adjust to global warming. A researcher from Iowa State University meets with agriculture officials, including USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, in Washington, D.C. Thursday.  ISU Climate Science Program Director Dr. Gene Takle is briefing Vilsack and other officials on how to prepare and plan for global warming.  He says climate change actually has some benefits for farmers, at least in the short-term. But he the greatest risk for the industry is unpredictability and wild fluctuations in weather patterns.

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