Sen. Cotton opposes the “New Green Deal” sponsored by Democratic Progressive AOC:
Heavy precipitation and flooding
June 2010 Arkansas floods
Inland flooding, especially near major rivers, is reported to likely increase due to climate change. The southeast has experienced a 27% increase in precipitation during heavy rainstorms since 1958. This trend is expected to continue as a result of the climate change. The flood risk near the Mississippi River may rise due to increased precipitation and stream flows in the Midwestern watersheds of the Mississippi. Reservoirs and dams managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are used to mitigate flooding, but have been unable to prevent all flooding.
Impact of climate change on water levels
“Droughts pose challenges for water management and river transportation. If the spring is unexpectedly dry, reservoirs may have too little water during summer. During droughts, the Corps of Engineers releases water from dams to maintain navigation on the Arkansas River, where barges carry freight worth more than $4 billion during a typical year”. The Corps of Engineers tries to keep channels at least nine feet deep, as “lower river levels can force barges to carry smaller loads, leading to increased transportation costs. If droughts become more severe, the Corps of Engineers will face this type of problem more often. Droughts can also restrict shipping on the Mississippi River. The drought of 2012 narrowed navigation channels, forced lock closures, and caused dozens of barges to run aground on the river. The resulting impact on navigation cost the region more than $275 million”.
“Changing the atmosphere may have both harmful and beneficial effects on farming. Seventy years from now, Arkansas is likely to have 30 to 60 days per year with temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C), compared with 15 to 30 days today. Hot weather causes cows to eat less and grow more slowly, and it can threaten their health. Even during the next few decades, hotter summers are likely to reduce yields of corn and rice”. However, the EPA also notes that “higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase crop yields, and that fertilizing effect is likely to offset the harmful effects of heat on soybeans and cotton, assuming that adequate water remains available. On farms without irrigation, however, increasingly severe droughts could cause more crop failures.”
More frequent and intense heavy-rainfall events may result in increased soil erosion as well as flooding.
“Higher temperatures and changes in rainfall are unlikely to substantially reduce forest cover in Arkansas, although the composition of those forests may change. More droughts would reduce forest productivity, and climate change is also likely to increase the damage from insects and diseases”, as well as increase the intensity and frequency of forest fires. “But longer growing seasons and increased carbon dioxide concentrations could more than offset the losses from those factors. In northern Arkansas, forests are likely to have more pine and fewer hickory trees.
Climate adaptation and climate action plans
Climate action plans have been developed by the City of Fayetteville and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program released its Simple Planning Tool for Arkansas Climate Hazards in 2018.
Unfortunately, Senator Tom Cotton is NULL AND VOID on climate change in Arkansas, receiving the lowest rating possible from environmentalists (National Environmentalist Scorecard): a score of 0.0%.
Fortunately, Dan Whitfield will address climate change issues for the People of Arkansas as the next U.S. Senator from Arkansas, replacing incumbent warmonger Tom Cotton.