Nebraska Climate and Energy Facts:
Nebraska is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
- The northern Great Plains will see an unusual amount of rain and flooding. The National Climate Assessment report says agricultural productivity will likely benefit from increased water availability but that could be offset by fields becoming too wet to plant.
At present, Nebraska experiences about 40 days on average with temperatures rising above 95°F. By mid century, there could be 15 additional such days. Since 1895, Nebraska has witnessed an overall warming of about 1°F.
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln study found that climate change is leading to a shrinking winter, longer frost-free season and faster warming at night -- all of which are hidden stressors to livestock, crops and ecosystems.
Drought is a critical issue for Nebraska as witnessed during 2012 when the agricultural industry suffered millions of dollars of crop losses. Drought will continue to be a serious issue. On the other hand, excessive rainfall could lead to a repeat of the 2011 record rain that led to the flooding of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant located along the Missouri River.
Nebraska’s Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions:
A majority of adults in Nebraska, 58 percent, understand global warming is happening. Seventy-six percent support funding research into renewable energy resources, and 71 percent support regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
A poll of rural Nebraskans reveals that 70 percent of them agree that a lifestyle change is required to reduce energy consumption.
The Clean Power Plan would require Nebraska to cut 40 percent of its power-sector emissionsby 2030. The state is party to the lawsuit against the CPP and has “postponed indefinitely” plans to comply with CPP.
Nebraska is one of the top 10 states in per capita energy consumption because of its energy-heavy industrial sector. It sources three-fifths of its electricity from coal, about a fourth from nuclear and a tenth from renewable sources.
As of 2014, Nebraska ranked 20th in installed wind capacity with 890 MW. It provided 1,000 to 2,000 jobs. There is little solar capacity at present; construction of a utility-scale 5MW solar plant is underway.