California Heatwave Killing Dairy Cows

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With the California heatwave now 13 days old, the state's dairy industry is poised to continue suffering major losses. According to an article from today's NY Times, roughly 1% of California's dairy herd, or 16,500 cows, have perished in the almost two-week-old heatwave. And for the cows that haven't died, their production is down as much as 10-20% due to the heat. From the article: “It is just a bad, bad situation,” said Larry Collar, the quality assurance manager for California Dairies. “In 25 years in Southern California, this is the most extreme temperatures we have ever seen and the most extreme length of time we have seen.”

It seems like this global warming thing has come on stronger and faster than anyone anticipated. Global warming is a hot-button topic these days, but, except for the talk of melting ice-caps and stronger hurricanes, you don't hear much about the specific consequences such changes in weather will bring. If you think about it though, higher temperatures have a huge impact on agriculture. Plants and animals depend greatly on specific temperature ranges, along with seasonal changes in those temperatures. What would a world without wine and cheese be like? If you haven't already, you should definitely see Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

Link to the full article.

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