A Biomass Future for the North American Great Plains: Toward by Norman J. Rosenberg

By Norman J. Rosenberg

The North American nice Plains is an enormous worldwide breadbasket yet its agriculture is under pressure through drought, warmth, harmful winds, soil erosion and declining flooring water assets. Biomass construction and processing at the Plains could in part restoration a perennial vegetative hide and create employment possibilities. This e-book explores the chance that the ecology and economic climate of the Plains zone, and related areas, would get advantages from the creation of perennial biomass crops.

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Extra info for A Biomass Future for the North American Great Plains: Toward Sustainable Land Use and Mitigation of Greenhouse Warming (Advances in Global Change Research)

Sample text

LAND USE Looking at land use in the US Great Plains states in 2002, interesting differences emerge. 8 million hectares to Texas, the largest, in the “lower 48”- with nearly 70 million hectares (Table 2-4). 2%), with Montana and North Mexico both over 20% forested. By comparison with these mountain states Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas are virtually treeless. 5 million hectares. Land area in crops is on the order of nearly 68 million hectares. North Dakota is the most heavily farmed of the Great Plains States with 64% of its area in crops, followed by Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

These occur after formation of towering cumulus The Physical Environment 15 clouds in summer. The distribution of rainfall from this type of storm is much spottier than from frontal system rainfall events. The annual patterns of precipitation in the Great Plains change with the seasons. The distribution of snow in the north and rain in the south is fairly uniform from east to west in winter, but winter precipitation contributes only a small portion of the annual total. The bulk of the annual precipitation falls during the growing season from April to September.

Air masses, fronts and precipitation Rapid changes in the temperature, humidity, cloudiness, windspeed, and wind direction that occur frequently in the Great Plains are due to the passage of air masses with different characteristics: where two or more air masses meet fronts are formed. Cold dry polar air masses moving south encounter warm moist air masses advancing northward from the Gulf. The lighter maritime air is forced aloft and, cooling as it rises, loses water by precipitation. Thus precipitation decreases with distance from the Gulf.

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