For lifelong rancher Susan Straka, 46, the most potent image of climate change isn’t a melting glacier or the rising sea. It’s a burning cow. At the height of a crippling drought last year, an errant spark touched off a vast wildfire near Straka’s ranch in the sand hills 200 miles west of Omaha. Fire consumed more than 300,000 acres of Nebrask’s plains in 2012, including one pasture where Straka and her neighbors failed to reach their cattle in time…The hotter the world’s climate gets, the more energetic its weather tends to become. But Jennifer Francis, a Rutgers University climate researcher, says the link between warmer global temperatures and wilder American weather may be even more direct. To begin with, she says the warming trend is no longer a matter of debate. "We’re at our 340th month in a row of above-average temperatures, in terms of the global mean, which is a pretty mind-boggling statistic," Francis said. "Anybody who’s younger than 28 years old has never seen an average temperature month."
/ / / Your grocery bill could go up because of Nebraska’s weather