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Recent weather extremes could mark end of an 89-year cycle

Formation of Thunderstorm Clouds in Central Iowa. (Photo by Dustin Hoffmann)

There is no doubt that the past couple of years has shown us some wacky weather. Now, there are many arguments about what this all means. Is it temporary? Is it permanent climate change? How long before we see any kind of possible recovery or change? We could discuss these topics at length for days and not even scratch the surface, and that is not the point of this piece.

One thought process of the weather changes has been studied for centuries, and that is long-term weather cycles. They are showing that an end to these volatile years may be coming to an end, but we still must be patient.

Samuel Brenner was a farmer in the mid-1800s. And he discovered that the width of tree rings can tell the history of wet and dry weather cycles. This Brenner Cycle has lined up as a historically accurate record of seasonal weather trends.

Dr. Elwynn Taylor of Iowa State University has been studying the tree ring patterns dating back over four centuries. Recently, he was attending a Canadian crop tour hosted by Moe Agostino, a Canadian Ag Commodity Risk Analyst. They discussed the findings and that there is an 89-year drought cycle that culminates in a six-year sub-set cycle, before starting again. Agostino believes the evidence shows that a six-year cycle began in 2019.

Agostino talks about the correlation between our weather now and the dust bowl of the mid-1930s.

The pattern would suggest that we should see a return to more normal patterns in 2025. That is if the Brenner Cycle is truly valid.

By no means will any finding of this theory prove to be a definitive answer, but it may certainly spark some interesting climate discussions.

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