NASA funded researchers have discovered a link between the loss of wetlands and more severe freezes in agricultural areas. Wetlands cause a warmer climate because they are less vulnerable to temperature changes over night.
According to NASA press releases, “The study focused on ‘radiation freeze events’ which occur at night, frequently under calm wind conditions and when there is little or no cloud cover. At night, much of the warmth absorbed by the land during the day escapes into the atmosphere, cooling the ground.”
Because the wetlands produce warmer temperatures in their areas, filling in that land is destroying the temperature control nature designed. As the wetlands are filled the land loses its ability to stay warm, and is prone to freezing.
“Water typically doesn’t cool as quickly as the land at night, which may explain why the area freezes more severely when wetlands are converted to croplands the area freezes faster and more severely” explain NASA scientists.
As the wetlands are being domesticated and turned into agricultural fields, they are becoming susceptible to over night freezes and temperature dips. Comparing information gathered by satellite, the temperature change caused by the changing landscape can be directly recorded.
“This study of wetland changes is very important to Florida and the rest of the country. Over the past 150 years, the citrus industry has been moving further south.” NASA scientists explain that as the citrus industry takes over larger expanses of land they are directly influencing the climate of that area.
“As a result more wetlands are being transformed into agricultural lands, and these changes are causing temperatures to change” explains NASA.
Agricultural growers have been taking their crops south because they seek a warmer climate, yet as they move their crops they are taking the created cold weather with them.
“Ironically, as the industry moves further south to avoid freezes, the land changes create the conditions the industry is trying to avoid.”
For more information go to:http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/wetland_freeze.html