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2024 Spring Newsletter

                                      Southern Plains Climate Hub Newsletter - Spring 2024

Southern Plains Climate HubVarious pictures of tractors, planting, cows, diverse people, blue sky

Extreme heat's impacts on farm financial outcomes in Kansas


                                                        Extreme Heat and Kansas Agriculture

An analysis of 40 years of Kansas farm financial data conducted by the Environment Defense Fund, Kansas State University and Cornell University found that over that period for every 1⁰C of warming, net farm income decreased by 66%. The number of days with extreme heat in Kansas increased over the last four decades and is projected to grow by 58% by 2030. Supporting farmers’ adaptation to climate impacts like these is critical. Risk mitigation and climate adaptation strategies are discussed in the report released by the team in January.  


Mean temperature departures from average December 2023-February 2024 U.S. mapWarmer and Wetter Winter Conditions 

Weather data analyzed by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information ranked this winter as the warmest on record for the lower 48 States.  Warmer than average temperatures and above average precipitation occurred across much of the Southern Plains between Dec 2023 and Feb 2024.




                                                   Engaging with Regional Partners and Customers 

Dr. Cibils at the Society for Range Management's annual meeting with the Southern Plains Climate Hub booth2024 Society for Range Management Meeting

Climate Hubs from the Plains, NW, and SW partnered to set up a booth at this year’s SRM conference. We had the honor of visiting with USDA NRCS Chief Terry Cosby (left) who stopped by our booth accompanied by Brenda Simpson (TX NRCS), Dr. Tom Bartlett (SRM), and other NRCS staff. The SPCH hosted a symposium on Climate Adaptation Strategies for Conservation of Ranching and Rangelands of the Great Plains and Southwest’ Close to 100 land managers, scientists and students attended the symposium.


Blaze the Bison and Hub Booth

2024 Kansas Natural Resources Conference 

Over 175 visitors stopped by our booth at the KNRC. Our coordinator (left), Susan Eisenhour, is standing alongside Blaze the Bison from the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange.  The SPCH partnered with the North Central CASC and Oklahoma State University offering a pre-conference workshop on Using Climate Data to Achieve your Natural Resources Objectives.


Hub booth at the OACD State Meeting

86th Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts State Meeting

The Hub set up a booth at this year’s OACD state meeting where we were able to connect with farmers, researchers, policymakers, and conservation educators from across the state of Oklahoma. We asked visitors to vote on whether wildfires, drought, eastern red cedar, or floods were their greatest concern.  Eastern red cedar earned the most votes (21), but drought was right behind with 18 votes, while wildfires (4) and floods (3) ranked lowest in visitors’ ranking of conservation concerns. 


                                                            Content Updates on the SPCH Website

Snapshot of the Hub's main webpageA Hub for Weather and Climate Tools

Over the past few months, SPCH staff have worked hard to update website content featuring links to regional weather and climate resources. We plan to continue to improve our site to transform it into a digital tool shed with links to climate and other online applications that support climate adaptation decisions for agricultural production across Southern Plains. Please check out the website and let us know what you think!  



                                                                           Upcoming Events

South Central Climate Resilience Forum Flyer🚨REGISTER TODAY🚨 

With registration, you get two lunches as well as coffee/tea and snacks. 

Join us for a three-day event in Dallas from April 2nd to 4th to engage in meaningful conversations on climate resilience and adaptation across the south-central U.S. This event is a great opportunity to collectively prepare for the impacts of a warming world and create a more resilient future.

During the event, you will have access to a range of presentations, symposiums, and hands-on workshops, where you can learn about the latest resources, groundbreaking research, and valuable tools to help you navigate the challenges of climate change. Don't miss this chance to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

Be sure to stop by the Climate Hub booth to visit us!

Register here:


Texas teacher workshops flyerTeacher Workshops in Amarillo, Texas

July 29, 2024 - The Science of Ranching - 4th and 5th Grade Teachers in the state of Texas. Learn about regional ranching research investigating technology and heritage breed cattle to make ranching more sustainable. Practice hands-on lessons that you can use in your classroom. Participants receive a $100 stipend and class materials. All lessons aligned to the new TEKS.

July 30, 2024 - Connecting to Climate: Global to Local - Middle and High School Teachers in the state of Texas. Learn about current research exploring the impacts of climate change on water and agriculture in the Southwest. Practice hands-on lessons that help students connect with big issues and explore solutions. Participants receive a $100 stipend and a teaching kit. All lessons aligned to the new TEKS.