Weather Matters with Matthews (09/26/21): How extreme heat and drought affects crops

Weather Wisdom

Hello and welcome back to another episode of “Weather Matters with Matthews.” For this video I will give a little insight on how extreme heat affects crops and give a couple examples of crops that are commonly affected by this. An important relationship to consider when discussing this effect is the temperature-moisture relationship. With higher temperatures and no precipitation, the atmosphere has a higher demand for moisture. Therefore, the hotter it is, the more moisture plants will lose. This can happen in a process called evapotranspiration, where water can evaporate directly from the land surface or indirectly from plants through small pores on their leaves. With less moisture at the surface, drought conditions can happen more frequently. This has been the case for crops during the 21st Century. A decline in corn due to drought conditions has happened in much of the Southeast and Midwest regions, and an extreme decline in soybeans has happened in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In the end, let it be known that water is essential to all forms of life on Earth.

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