“There’s no point in sticking your head into the sand—or into the tilled earth—about this: these changes are going to be happening,” said climate scientist Dr. Richard Seager of Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the study’s lead author.
“In any decision-making, it’s worth thinking that conditions are going to change and it’s going to require some adjustment in how the land is used agriculturally. What’s the best thing to do that will minimize destruction and suffering that will occur?”
Though most contemporary Americans have probably never heard of the 100th Meridian, it’s an environmental reality. In fact, Seager’s team confirmed its existence by examining east-west differences in vegetation, precipitation, temperatures, and atmospheric circulation, as well as human approaches to settlement and agriculture.