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Ag Matters: how the ocean shapes the American West

Deep blue ocean waves.
Berenice Melis

Utah may be far from the ocean, but what happens in the Pacific affects everyone in the state. Changes in the sea surface can cause everything from heat waves to extreme storms in the American West, and rising global temperatures often affect those patterns for the worse.

To understand the future of agriculture, weather and fire risk, scientists are looking to the past. By studying past atmosphere-ocean variations, Earth systems and climate scientists are helping us better understand our future climate — and what we may need to do to adapt.