Decades of agricultural intensification across the midwestern United States (US) have altered regional climates. New research out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dartmouth College found that high plant densities of Midwestern corn and soybeans have increased regional atmospheric moisture over the past half century. Crop intensification means more plant leaf area per acre, increasing rates of plant respiration that release a significant amount of moisture into the air. As a result, aggregate local rainfall and average summertime temperatures have decreased. Compared to the last half century, summer temperatures are half a degree celsius lower than in the previous half century, largely due to concentrated agricultural acreage. This new research highlights the fact that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the only variable influencing the climate, and that global climate models should better account for regional land use changes. Now armed with evidence pointing to agriculture’s significant impact on the climate, Gro Intelligence subscribers can better assess the relationship between crop production and global climatic events.