News Source: 
UW Today
July 11, 2012

“Cows are happy in parts of Northern California and not in Florida” is a good way to sum up the findings of new research from the University of Washington, said Yoram Bauman, best known as the “stand-up economist.”

Bauman and colleagues found that the decline in milk production due to climate change will vary across the U.S., since there are significant differences in humidity and how much the temperature swings between night and day across the country. For instance, the humidity and hot nights make the Southeast the most unfriendly place in the country for dairy cows.

Their study combined high-resolution climate data and county-level dairy industry data with a method for figuring out how weather affects milk production. The result is a more detailed report than previous studies and includes a county-by-county assessment -- that will be available to farmers -- of the impact climate change will have on Holstein milk production in the U.S. through 2080.

Bauman, who contributed to the research while teaching for the UW’s Program on the Environment and is now a fellow at the Sightline Institute, will present the findings during this week’s Conference on Climate Change, held on the UW campus.