The underlying principle is uncertainty to the degree and distribution of climate change and variability thus the degree and change to agrarian socioeconomic structure. One thing is certain we will experience short term climate change and variability and this will continue to affect, in subtle ways, the traditional agrarian socioeconomic system we are use to. The need to adapt to natural climatic change and variability is a reality, the ability to adapt to accelerated climatic change and variability due to anthropogenic causes is disconcerting when you consider the lack of precise scientific information . Development of predictive models based on sound scientific data provides the first step in dealing with climatic change and variability, irrespective of its source, natural or man made.
The Northern Great Plains is an area that experiences continental climatic conditions. The very nature of continental climatic conditions suggests patterns of constant and sometimes extreme changes in weather. Long considered the "bread basket" of world due to the predominance of agricultural industry, it is intuitive that changes in climate and greater than normal extremes in variability would affect the socioeconomic structure of this region.
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