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John Hoeven is a Climate Change Denier

Sen. John Hoeven
North Dakota

"Well, the science shows that there's warming. There's different opinions of exactly what's causing it."


What climate change means for North Dakota

  • In January 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 16 counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of frosts and freezes, flooding, severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, drought, and weather- related insect and disease damage.
  • Warmer spring temperatures may make ragweed, which can cause hay fever and trigger asthma attacks, bloom earlier. Fargo experienced an 24-day increase in ragweed pollen season between 1995 and 2011.
  • In spring 2011, President Obama declared a major disaster in 39 counties and three Indian tribes due to flooding. The state required more than $336.3 million in federal assistance from recovery. An estimated 12,000 people were forced to evacuate and 4,000 homes and businesses flooded in Minot as the river crested four feet past its previous record high with a flow five times greater than any in the past 30 years.
  • Climate change has increased temperatures across the Great Plains since the 1960s, particularly in the northern states. The hotter, drier conditions are already contributing to water resource stress, particularly in the southern portion of the region. In the coming decades, lack of water will constrain development, stress natural resources, and increase competition for water among communities, agriculture, energy production, and wildlife and natural ecosystems. In 2011, heat and drought contributed to agricultural losses across the Midwest and Great Plains, and the northern Great Plains dealt with significant flooding. Extreme events like floods and droughts are expected to become more common with climate change. Other agricultural impacts of rising temperatures include changes in insect pests and the northward shift of optimal zones for crops. As young adults move out of small, rural communities, the towns are increasingly populated by a vulnerable demographic of very old and very young people, placing them more at risk for health issues than urban communities. Serious health concerns are also associated with severe flooding, projected to increase in the future, including greater incidence of waterborne diseases. Water quantity and quality issues are expected to exacerbate existing economic and social issues for the 65 Native American tribes in the Great Plains, where populations on rural tribal lands have limited capacities to respond to climate change.