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Paul Douglas talks climate change with area farmers

Meteorologist Paul Douglas was the guest speaker at the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers annual banquet Saturday. Douglas talked about both climate change and how new, personalized weather technology can help farmers.

Whether one believes in global warming, or thinks there is just a blip in climactic trends, weather has changed over the past several years, meteorologist Paul Douglas told members of the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers Association Saturday night.
The association had its annual meeting and dinner at the Pla-Mor Ballroom Saturday and Douglas, who has been a meteorologist for Twin Cities television stations and the Star Tribune, was the guest speaker.
Douglas, who said he is a born-again Christian and staunch Republican, said he does believe that at least some of the recent climate changes are the result of the warming of the planet’s oceans.
He notes that the global warming theory goes against the political position of many Republicans, but “I’m still concerned about the climate, which makes kind of an albino unicorn.”
Pressed by state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, Douglas acknowledged that there was more than one way to interpret weather trend data.
Gruenhagen cited scientists who discount the theory of global warming.
“I hope they’re right, I really do,” said Douglas. “I hope this is just a fluke, but I don’t think so.”
Douglas pointed to several climactic changes that point to a warming of the planet, including the fact that the famous “corn belt” has crept northward 100 to 150 miles, and “increasingly freakish weather,” and “four separate 1,000-year rains in the last 11 years.”
Douglas also said that as a whole, the planet is in its “359th month in a row of above-average temperatures.”
And weather is having wider extremes with increasingly volatile events coming at more frequent intervals, Douglas said.
Gone are the days of all-day soaking rains; in their place are fierce and quick storms, Douglas said.
“Rain is falling much harder than it did in the days of your parents and grandparents,” Douglas told the group.

For more, see the Feb. 4 print edition of The Chronicle.