Missouri

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Missouri has A land area of 69,709 sq. mi. (180,693 sq. km.), a population of 5,817,211 (2000 est.), and a population density of 80.3 people per sq. mi. (31 people per sq. km.). Although it has historically been a southern state, it is located in the Midwest. As accurate statistics for the weather in Missouri exist from 1893, it has been possible to study changes during the early 20th century, and during the period from the 1970s when climate change was recognized. The climate in Missouri ranges from cold winters to hot and humid summers. As the state has neither large mountains nor coastline, it is heavily influenced in winter by cold Arctic air, and in summer by the hot and humid winds from the Gulf of Mexico.

The prospect of warmer weather, with the probable detrimental effects on agriculture, water supplies, and lifestyle, has caused many in Missouri to reconsider their existing lifestyle. One study in St. Louis projects that, by 2050, there could be as many as 200 people dying from heat-related deaths each summer, a 170 percent rise from the current rate of about 80 deaths per summer. There is also expected to be a decline in forested parts of Missouri by as much as 10-20 percent. Areas with poorer soil are expected to becoming rapidly unusable for agricultural purposes. Declines in the yield of corn and soybeans are probably, as is a fall of up to 30 percent in the amount of hay produced.

There are many industries located in Missouri, which has a heavy input into the aerospace and transportation industries. Many areas are also heavily reli ant on agriculture, with half of the industry involving the raising of cattle for beef and dairy products. With large deposits of limestone, Missouri is heavily involved in the production of Portland cement, and is the state that produces the largest amount of lead. As a result of this, Missouri has much to offer, and potentially much to lose over plans to combat global warming and climate change. The emissions from aircraft are a major factor in greenhouse gas emissions, and the aerospace industry would be one of the first to suffer, should federal U.S. laws be introduced to combat climate change. Cattle emitting methane have also been identified as a major problem, and the production of cement is a major producer of carbon dioxide emissions.

To study the effects of the change in climate in the state, in 1989, the legislature of the State of Missouri ordered the formation of the Commission on Global Climate Change and Ozone Depletion, with its final report published in 1991. A Statewide Energy Study, published in the following year by Missouri's Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority. To try to monitor changes to the climate in the state, which has helped coordinate the projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Missouri Climate Center was established in July 1995, as a section of the Atmospheric Science program of the Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Missouri-Columbia's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

The first focus of the plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was on electricity generation. With some 98 percent having come from coal-fired power plants, the government encouraged greater efficiency in generation, with increased use of renewable energy sources, with wind power, solar thermal energy, and photovoltaic cells and panels. There were also new regulations regarding the building of residential and commercial buildings to encourage changes in design to help with energy efficiency. This saw the introduction of Home Energy Rating Systems and Energy Star labeling. There were also moves to promote fuel-efficiency of automobiles, and to encourage public transport.

In July 2002, John Noller prepared the Missouri Action Options for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, highlighting further methods of helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He built on previous suggestions, including urging for the capture of methane gas from the state's landfills, and encouraging wider use of waste reduction schemes. He also supported making significant reductions in emissions from the transportation sector, with improved driving behavior, vehicle maintenance, and better public fleet management, as well as helping with the use of alternative fuel vehicles.

sEE also: Automobiles; Methane Cycle; Regulation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Environmental Protection Agency, "Climate Change and Missouri," www.epa.gov (cited November 2007); Missouri Department of Natural Resources, www. dnr.mo.gov (cited November 2007).

JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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