Georgia Tech: “50 percent of the [USA] warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes rather than greenhouse gases”

http://lcluc.umd.edu/images/Science_Themes/DBrown1.jpg

County-level land-use changes from 1950 to 2000, based on censuses of population, housing, and agriculture. A) change in population density; B) change in land area settled at “exurban densities” (i.e., 1 house per 1 to 40 acres); C) change in percent cropland (Brown et al. 2005).

From a Georgia Tech Press Release:

Reducing Greenhouse Gases May Not Be Enough to Slow Climate Change

Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone publishes a paper in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology that suggests policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Stone’s paper, as the international community meets in Copenhagen in December to develop a new framework for responding to climate change, policymakers need to give serious consideration to broadening the range of management strategies beyond greenhouse gas reductions alone.

“Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases,” said Stone.  “Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole – a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change.  As a result, emissions reduction programs – like the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress – may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming.”

According to Stone’s research, slowing the rate of forest loss around the world, and regenerating forests where lost, could significantly slow the pace of global warming.

“Treaty negotiators should formally recognize land use change as a key driver of warming,” said Stone.  “The role of land use in global warming is the most important climate-related story that has not been widely covered in the media.”

Stone recommends slowing what he terms the “green loss effect” through the planting of millions of trees in urbanized areas and through the protection and regeneration of global forests outside of urbanized regions.  Forested areas provide the combined benefits of directly cooling the atmosphere and of absorbing greenhouse gases, leading to additional cooling.  Green architecture in cities, including green roofs and more highly reflective construction materials, would further contribute to a slowing of warming rates.  Stone envisions local and state governments taking the lead in addressing the land use drivers of climate change, while the federal government takes the lead in implementing carbon reduction initiatives, like cap and trade programs.

“As we look to address the climate change issue from a land use perspective, there is a huge opportunity for local and state governments,” said Stone.  “Presently, local government capacity is largely unharnessed in climate management structures under consideration by the U.S. Congress.  Yet local governments possess extensive powers to manage the land use activities in both the urban and rural areas.”

The Environmental Science and Technology article is available at http://pubs.acs.org/journal/esthag.

For more on land use change in the USA, see this NASA resource

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106 Responses to Georgia Tech: “50 percent of the [USA] warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes rather than greenhouse gases”

  1. Clive says:

    And the other 50 percent because of “bad” weather stations. ☺ ☺

  2. Ed says:

    And another 50% from the ocean…

  3. Fred Lightfoot says:

    And another 50% from volcano’s

  4. And another 50% from the sun

    Umm..that is 200% so far…

  5. Mark Wagner says:

    and 50% from solar/cloud cover changes

  6. Robert E. Phelan says:

    “… the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress – may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming.”

    If the warming is localized, then it’s not “climate” in the sense that it needs to be regulated by international treaty. Plant more trees? There are more trees in New England now than there were in 1776. We’ve managed to pack in more people and cover a lot of space in concrete – and we do lots less farming. The Land Use has changed… but I don’t think directives from Copenhagen or Washington are the way to go.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    And another 50% from the reduction in anthropogenic aerosols due to the Clean Air Act.

  8. ShrNfr says:

    Gee, and I always thought that asphalt had the same transpiration as trees. The latent heat of evaporation should have kept the temperature constant. The CO2 moonbats remind me of the folks who are screaming about water when all the new homes in Reno have swimming pools and lawns.

  9. And another 50% from trees in Yamal…

  10. George E. Smith says:

    Here we go again; more make work for otherwise unemployed “scientists”.

    So who is it that has arrived at the age of reading, and hasn’t learned that cutting down forests and concreting over meadows will change the environment. Well if you stay inside your cave, you will never notice the changes in the environment; so don’t worry about it.

    So how many trees does Professor Stone plan on planting in the spot where his house used to stand; or hasn’t he got around to knocking it down yet?

  11. Frank says:

    Another 50% from the solar cycle…

  12. Andrew says:

    “Half silk, half cotton, half linen. How can you go wrong?” -Jerry

  13. Rod Smith says:

    I notice a new, at least to me, phrase in the next-to-last paragraph.

    “Climate Management.”

  14. Juraj V. says:

    And another 0.4 deg C is NOAA adjustment ☺ ☺ ☺

  15. pcknappenberger says:

    Interestingly (or rather, expectedly), as the climate has warmed in these urbanizing areas (far in excess of that produced by increasing CO2 concentrations), the heat-related mortality has declined there (see Figure 2 of this post for example).

    -Chip Knappenberger

  16. CPT. Charles says:

    “Stone envisions local and state governments taking the lead in addressing the land use drivers of climate change, while the federal government takes the lead in implementing carbon reduction initiatives, like cap and trade programs.”

    There ya go: ‘land use’ regulation, and cap and trade.

    Central Planning uber alles.

    How predictable.

  17. timetochooseagain says:

    “Reducing Greenhouse Gases May Not Be Enough to Slow Climate Change”

    GAG.

    Clive (07:59:42) :
    Ed (08:02:08) :
    Frank (08:43:03) :

    Sounds like you guys have got a little more warming than you need. There is two hundred percent between you! (since you all count the 50% landuse)

  18. G. Karst says:

    50% from land use.
    50% from location error
    50% from aerosol cleanup
    50% from CO2
    50% from Solar cycles
    50% from cosmic ray changes
    50% from orbital changes
    50% from planet attitude (tilt)
    50% from ozone
    50% from water vapor
    50% from Al Gore

    Is it any wonder people are tired of climate mathematics? GK

  19. Stephen Goldstein says:

    I have not and do not expect to read the underlying paper but doesn’t this press release prompt the question as to the existence of global climate change?

    Remember, the warmists asserted that the planet was at risk because the symptoms suggested that the planet was warming.

    But if that trend was an artifact of the combination and averaging of what can now be seen, to a large extent, as the result of land use changes then, perhaps, “global warming” is not an appropriate description of what has happened.

    In other words, does a reduction in agricultural activity in Cobb County Georgia and the resulting warmer weather around Atlanta threaten Arctic ice?

    So, rather than concluding the reduced emissions will not be enough to reverse the climate change, we get to ask on what basis is a warmer Cobb County seen to be a problem?

  20. F. Ross says:

    …and 0.0001% from “natural” causes?

  21. Phil. says:

    Yet in the Northeast US the forests have grown back significantly in the last 50 years! Compare this aerial photograph of Princeton, NJ from 1947 with current Google earth images.
    http://gisserver.princeton.edu:81/navigatorMapViewer.htm?map=819

  22. JohnH says:

    The biggest implication that I can see from this is that if 50% of warming is due to land use changes, then the IPCC’s projection of temp increase by 2100 is wrong because land use changes will not have the large positive feedbacks that are assumed if all warming is due to greenhouse gasses.

  23. DaveE says:

    So that’s it then.

    The only way to save the planet is to get rid of the people!

    DaveE.

  24. Bill Illis says:

    And another 100% from adjustments made to the temperature record by the NOAA/NCDC/Thomas Karl.

  25. Paul Hildebrandt says:

    Yeah, Atlanta is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425722190001&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

  26. Temperature variation is just temperature variation and for the sake of the debate and to help eliminate confusion, all we need to do is concentrate on CO2 only. Nothing else matters.

    So the question becomes:

    How does CO2 trap in heat?

    Answer: It doesn’t.

    No substance traps in heat. Therefore CO2 cannot cause an increase in temperature. Sure if temperature increases due to an increase in the Suns output the gasses such as Oxygen Nitrogen and perhaps CO2 will absorb more of that energy but none of them can trap that energy. That would be impossible. NO SUBSTANCE CAN TRAP IN HEAT.

    For a comprehensive examination of how CO2 does not increase temperature with more than 20,000 words dedicated to the subject get CO2 The Debate Is Not Over, as a free .pdf download here
    http://www.spinonthat.com/CO2.html

  27. Pearland Aggie says:

    50% from land use changes…the other 50% is split between a more active sun and rural surface station dropout. :)

  28. Doug in Seattle says:

    Land use and land cover effects are local and while they would have an effect on local temperature readings, they would not have any significant impact on global temperatures.

    This is just reinforcement for why we should stop using temperature measurements as a metric global heating or cooling. This study doesn’t give any insight that hasn’t already been repeated many times by Roger Pilke, Sr.

  29. rbateman says:

    According to Stone’s research, slowing the rate of forest loss around the world, and regenerating forests where lost, could significantly slow the pace of global warming.

    If this is true, why do the Green Warmists work overtime ruining every attempt at re-forestation in the Pacific Northwest?
    What used to happen: People chained themselves to trees to save the forest
    Whan now happens: People file lawsuits to make sure forest salvage and replanting efforts are stopped dead in their tracks.

    It makes no sense at all, what these fanatics are doing.
    How did we end up with Green Anti-Tree Lawsuits?
    I get what a Tree Hugger is doing.
    I don’t get what a Tree Torter is doing.
    Could someone explain the logic behind preventing forests from being replanted?

  30. J. Peden says:

    Bah, humbug. All I get from this summary is another iteration of the usual obsessive compulsive controllist’s wet dream, with humanity’s technological development as the villian.

    Such people allege they are trying to “save” us, or something equally grandiose, when, if they actually had any ethics, they should have just stuck to repetitively washing their own hands and left the rest of us alone.

    Around here where I live, for example, the noble “land use” controllists – who want to save the large predators, or whatever else they alone decide is “natural” – want to turn the whole county back to “pre-white” conditions. You can’t make this stuff up, but they sure can.

  31. Carbonicus says:

    Changing the earth’s albedo, plastering the surface of the earth with concrete and asphalt, cutting trees increase the urban heat island effect, and this accounts for most of the measured warming since the 1950′s. And that’s before we go back and calculate the UHI bias in the US temp record (thanks for the weather station siting study, AW).

    Duh.

  32. timetochooseagain says:

    G. Karst (09:14:57) : Al Gore causes Cooling not Warming.

    I also second Chip Knappenberger’s point about heat related mortality.

  33. hunter says:

    AGW is looking a lot like the plot of “The Producers”, where the crooked Boradway promoters sold interests in 1000% of their great musical.

  34. TERRY46 says:

    IT’S A CYCLE,IT’S A CYCLE,IT’S A CYCLE,IT’S A CYCLE, IT’S A CYCLE, Do you get the picture now or do I need to repeat.

  35. Paul Vaughan says:

    “Treaty negotiators should formally recognize land use change as a key driver of warming,” said Stone.

    This statement is not credible, but one cannot look sensible suggesting less trees & more pavement is a good idea.

  36. woodNfish says:

    “rbateman (10:04:46) : Whan now happens: People file lawsuits to make sure forest salvage and replanting efforts are stopped dead in their tracks.”

    I was unaware of this. Do you have specific references?

  37. Bruce Cobb says:

    “Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the perceived warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes”…

    There. Fixed.

  38. woodNfish says:

    From the article: “Stone recommends slowing what he terms the “green loss effect” through the planting of millions of trees in urbanized areas and through the protection and regeneration of global forests outside of urbanized regions.”

    You all do know that this means vacating the rights of property owners so the government can take over and save us from ourselves, right?

    We live in truly insane times. It is too often depressing and the fish are no longer biting here in New Hampshire so I can’t go fishing and forget about it for awhile.

  39. Ken Roberts says:

    Have we become but census-takers perched atop a giant petard?

  40. polistra says:

    Well then, we should stop recycling, because recycling slows down the replanting of forests by paper companies.

  41. James Allison says:

    OT seems the NZ climate scientists have learnt a lesson from big Al’s conference with journalists technique. Ian Wishart. Author of Air Con was disconnected during a teleconference call.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3054281/Muted-Wishart-angry-at-scientists

  42. Rob R says:

    re Woodfish

    Make sure those trees are not eucalypts as they seem to cause localised sudden warmings.

    For the list add another 50% for wind driven changes in sea-surface emissivity.

  43. forfismum says:

    50% from land use.
    50% from location error
    50% from aerosol cleanup
    50% from CO2
    50% from Solar cycles
    50% from cosmic ray changes
    50% from orbital changes
    50% from planet attitude (tilt)
    50% from ozone
    50% from water vapor
    50% from Al Gore

    Is this Mann Maths again?

  44. TonyB says:

    Nice article

    Rural Land use (forests, crops etc) and Urban land use (buildings, roads people etc) both make a substantial contribution. I am inclined to think UHI is the biggest factor in temperature rises in the increasingly urbanised ‘global’ temperatures from Giss and Hadley.

    The UHI effect was noted as far back as Ancient Rome. At 1.5 million this was a huge city by the standards of the time. From statements by Pliny the Elder and entreaties to Nero to ‘provide narrow streets with high houses to provide shade’ the Ancient Romans were fully aware of the UHI effect, designed their city accordingly, and there are many records of the great and the good leaving it for the cool of the surrounding country in the summer.

    In my opinion it is UHI we ought be addressing- not co2- assuming UHi is a problem. Many Northern European cities are glad of the extra heat but this would not apply to all urbanisations.

    tonyb.

  45. P Walker says:

    What warming since 1950 ? According to the ” 2009 Shaping Up ” thread , temps have remained relatively flat since 1900 . In the US , at least . As for Atlanta , well the ATL is an urban blister that has spread dramatically across North Georgia for at least forty of the last fifty years . Oh , and Georgia Tech is right in the middle of it .

  46. jmrSudbury says:

    Aren’t the large cities excluded from the record already. They only use rural stations don’t they? “Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole…” So the UHI exists; otherwise, they would not exclude any records. At the same time people say that UHI does not exist…

    Oi!

    Thank God we did not have cities nor farms before 1950!

    John M Reynolds

  47. Indiana Bones says:

    hunter (10:47:44) :

    AGW is looking a lot like the plot of “The Producers”, where the crooked Boradway promoters sold interests in 1000% of their great musical.

    And the play was so terrible – people found it hilarious! Where’s Mr. Brooks when we need him?

  48. Anon says:

    Off topic, admittedly, but here are excerpts from a letter from American Geophysial Union reps to AGU members:
    “I am writing to encourage hundreds of you to participate in a unique opportunity to improve the public’s climate knowledge during the week before and the week of this year’s AGU Fall Meeting.
    As you know, the Copenhagen negotiations (Dec. 7-18) are attracting hundreds of journalists and will result in a proliferation of media articles about climate change. Recently, the American public’s “belief” in climate change has waned (36% think humans are warming the earth according to the Pew Center’s October poll), and December’s media blitz provides an opportunity to reverse the trend.”
    “If you have any questions, feel free to email Stacy Jackson at the email address below. ************@berkeley.edu.”

  49. Pompous Git says:

    Not forgetting the 50% of warming caused by the invisible giant mutant space goat’s methane emissions.

  50. Jim says:

    ***************
    Rod Smith (09:04:59) :

    I notice a new, at least to me, phrase in the next-to-last paragraph.

    “Climate Management.”
    ****************
    I’d call it something more like climate scientist hubris.

  51. John F. Hultquist says:

    woodNfish (11:02:52) :

    rbateman (10:04:46) :

    http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:UorSi_S5PxkJ:www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/media-archive/Lawsuit%2520Filed%2520to%2520Prevent%2520Timber%2520Harvest%2520at%2520Power%2520Fire%2520Site.pdf+harvest+fire+trees&hl=en&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNHlVX2NMd-kml7uG_Dy8cbabHmImg

    Maybe that url won’t work but the title is: Lawsuit filed to prevent timber harvest at Power Fire site

    from Wed. Aug. 17, 2005 of the Ledger Dispatch

    found on Google with phrase — harvest fire trees

    I could only get the quick view.

  52. David S says:

    This guy’s plans would amount to more government control over land use and would take us further down the path to socialism, or maybe I should say communism. He and Al Gore can both go fly a kite. What ever happened to the land of the free?

  53. Pompous Git says:

    jmrSudbury (12:07:47)

    Actually, I believe that the warmists say that UHI is insignificant, rather than non-existent. Since AGW induced temperature change is half the UHI induced temperature change in Hotlanta, then AGW induced temperature change is twice as insignificant as UHI induced temperature change in Hotlanta. For once I’m in agreement with the warmists. AGW is insignificant :-)

  54. robert says:

    And it was just established that the Usa isn’t warming, a few posts back.
    50% of nothing is well very close to zero

  55. The author is at least as qualified as Al Gore, James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt…

    Brian Stone teaches in the areas of urban environmental management and integrated land use and transportation planning. Stone received his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and his Doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    BRIAN STONE, JR.

    None of them have college degrees in Earth or Atmospheric Science.

  56. Tamara says:

    George E. Smith (08:40:25) :

    “So how many trees does Professor Stone plan on planting in the spot where his house used to stand; or hasn’t he got around to knocking it down yet?”

    Rod Smith (09:04:59) :

    “I notice a new, at least to me, phrase in the next-to-last paragraph.

    ‘Climate Management.’”

    And this is how the government begins to control the use of private property. All new development will have to meet certain standards that prevent any contribution to climate change. In the end we’ll all be living cheek-by-jowl with our neighbors in horrible high-rises, eating algae, and wondering what it was like to be free to go for a drive in the country.

  57. Indiana Bones says:

    “Climate Management.”
    ****************
    I’d call it something more like climate scientist hubris.

    You suggest some people cannot admit the natural world is bigger than they are. What may make sense is for conservation to adopt a new area of study called “Land Use.”

  58. John F. Hultquist says:

    Search using just about any city with the words “tree” and “removal” and see what pops up. Try Atlanta for starters. So the tree-police are already among us.

    Seattle is also a place to be very careful about trimming, topping, or removing trees.

  59. Gordon Ford says:

    If land use changes account for 50% of USAs warming and USAs temperature is now back to “Normal” then shouldn’t the real USA temperature by 50 % below normal?

    Check with your local ski hill operator or grain farmer.

    Here in Canada Whistler Ski Area has had its second earliest opening and much of the prairie grain crop was still in the field according to the last crop report.

  60. D. King says:

    DaveE (09:40:28) :

    So that’s it then.

    The only way to save the planet is to get rid of the people!

    Yes, and I’m afraid you’ve been selected to go first, Dave.

    Dave

  61. Ack says:

    Tech needs to be careful, or they will forfeit their government grants, with articles that go against policy.

  62. Allan M says:

    J. Peden (10:18:29) :

    Such people allege they are trying to “save” us, or something equally grandiose, when, if they actually had any ethics, they should have just stuck to repetitively washing their own hands and left the rest of us alone.

    I’ve had 40-odd years now of people trying to save me and liberate me. The trouble is, they always want to save or liberate me so that I can be less than I was before. Strikes me like a poor bargain. Maybe they just want the rest of us to stop trying.

  63. woodNfish says:

    re: John F. Hultquist (12:34:18)

    Hi John,

    I wasn’t asking about harvesting trees, I was asking about lawsuits to stop replanting after the harvest and I am assuming the phrase “forest salvage”, means to save a forest.

  64. woodNfish says:

    The UHI is a local effect and does not extend much past city limits. I don’t think that is the same as “climate”. Where I live Boston has a UHI which effects its local temperatures, but it still experiences the same seasons we do, gets rain and snow and sunshine too. So, I’d call the UHI pretty insignificant even on a local level. However, it is real.

    I live 17 miles outside the closest large city and the temperature drops almost 10 degrees going home after work. In the morning it is always at least 5 degrees cooler.

  65. rbateman says:

    woodNfish (11:02:52) :

    http://www.wildcalifornia.org/pages/page-198
    http://www.redding.com/news/2009/may/10/salvage-logging-costs-pushed-up-by-sour-economy/
    The Greens sit in thier pristine Redwood Forest next to the Pacific Coast, where it is always moist and upwind of the fires. Meanwhile, inland, the place burns down with great regularity and increasing frequency.
    All our communities and the USFS wants to address the issue and remediate it, but nobody can get around the lawsuits.
    Dog chases tail.

  66. rbateman says:

    woodNfish (13:27:41) :

    A Salvage Sale is to take the standind dead trees out as fast as possible after a fire. Bugs & rot mean the clock is ticking. The receipts pay for the restoration (erosion control) and replanting subsequent to the salvage.
    Congress isn’t about to give the USFS extra money for operations.
    Injunctions are a frivolous means to prevent salvage until the timber is worthless.
    You can forget about reforestation.
    The lawsuits are the renewable resouce, not the timber.

  67. Gerry says:

    In the past half-century I’ve been alive, every architect and developer has made every effort to strip every tree and blade of grass from every property project and replace it with blacktop. And everyone wonders why the cities feel hotter????

  68. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I just love this stuff, you can’t make it up. The press release says (emphasis mine):

    “Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes ( usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases,” said Stone. “Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole – a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change. As a result, emissions reduction programs – like the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress – may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming.”

    The US Forest Service says:

    Year, Thousands of Acres of Forest, % Change Since 1953
    1953, 508,855, 0%
    1977, 492,355, -3%
    1987, 486,318, -4%
    1997, 503,664, -1%
    2007, 514,213, 1%

    SOURCE: (2 MB Excel Spreadsheet)

    Yeah, that explains a lot …

  69. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ed wins for “And another 50% from the ocean…”

    I wrote a post back in March 2009 that eventually compared the SST anomalies of U.S. Coastal Waters (HADSST) to Contiguous U.S. Land Surface Temperatures (GISS). Here’s the graph:
    http://s5.tinypic.com/209r3t2.jpg
    And here’s the post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/sst-anomalies-of-us-coastal-waters.html
    So I went back and snipped off the data before 1950, then hit the trend line button. It appears Ed was right. The coastal waters linear trend is about half the linear of the US Contiguous Land Surface Temps:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/21blmkp.jpg

  70. Charles Higley says:

    Why are they ignoring the fact that the globe had cooled to the 1950 temperature from the 1938 era warm period?

    It is ingenuous to start from an arbitrary (low) point and ignore the previous temperature history. To then explain warming with non-natural factors, ignoring natural cycles and factors is an exercise in misdirection, again blaming man for any change.

    Land use changes. Now we have an agenda for curtailing all development and industrial expansion. Forget future permission to add a garage to your house.

  71. Heading Out says:

    The problem with putting high tree densities into suburbia is illustrated every year with the fires that encroach into the communities in California.

    They also make it that much more difficult for Emergency Services to navigate the community after storms.

  72. harryeagar says:

    Willis Eschenbach, you beat me to it. This guy is in Atlanta, right?

    You would think that a land use guy in Atlanta would know that arable peaked in the South in 1860 and has been declining ever since. Millions of southern acres once under the plow returned to forest.

    This new forest, notably around Atlanta, was then cut down for urban expansion.

    Net effect: I haven’t got a clue, but whatever the question is, deforestation is not the answer.

  73. Adam from Kansas says:

    I’d say 50 percent from land use, maybe 10 percent from cleaner air, 5 percent from location error, 25-35 percent from ENSO/SST’s, and the rest split with the other factors.

    How big an impression does UHI and land-use changes make on the temp. record for the northern hemisphere as tens of thousands of square miles in many countries have been paved over, after all quite a bit of the warming is in the NH?

  74. pyromancer76 says:

    1. In the first place there is not enough “warming” for anyone to worry about this century or last. (Earth could use more warming just as our planet could use more CO2.) I think it is time that WUWT and other real science blogs stop using the phrase “global warming” or “climate change” by itself and put “alleged” or “false” or some other qualifier in front of every use, even in peerreviewedarticles. The only exception should be when the authors’ are writing about the transition from “The Little Ice Age”, if this designation does not need to be reexamined.

    2. Second, everyone needs to look at E.M Smith’s investigation of GISSTemp — http://chiefio.wordpress.com – and its pure lies and fabrications. Mr. Smith finds that most of the dirty work originates with Hansen. No scientists should use GISSTemp’s fabrication of “average global temperature” or “global temperature anomalies” until a group of trustworthy scientists find those thermometers (with verification by Anthony Watts and crew) world wide that can be trusted to develop such a measurement.

    3. Third, like other WUWT readers I noticed “climate management” and felt shivers down my spine. Reading Oct 30 “Science Mag” this a.m. I found an editorial by Eric J. Barron, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, email-barron@ucar.edu. He claims that “the U.S. is moving rapidly into AN AGE OF CLIMATE-RELATED DECISIONS INVOLVING mitigation and adaptation….” What does this mean? “It is critical to create A SINGLE, CREDIBLE, AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE (my emphasis) of climate information to support decision-makers.” Maybe he is applying for the job of CLIMATE CZAR!?!

    He seems to want this authority to delve down into the regional and local levels. Could this be maoism (remember Anita Dunn)? Or easterngermanycommunism where the authorities, informed by your neighbors, tell you to toe their line or else? Scientists who want anything left in the U.S. that is not totalitarian-driven science had better speak up and quickly. No city or region or state should imaginatively apply themselves to mitigation or adaptation of climate without Barron’s say-so.

    “Will U.S. cities or states simply pick one climate model as a basis for decisions? Will the information be defensible as the best available? THE LEVEL OF AUTHORITY REQUIRED DICTATES THAT A NATIONAL CLIMATE SERVICE BE ESTABLISHED (my emphasis).”

    “The 2009 WORLD CLIMATE CONFERENCE has called for a GLOBAL APPROACH to climate services [isn't this a wonderful euphemism], although few nations have developed formal plans. This recommendation is a positive development, but it is insufficient. The research strategies and investments needed to define impacts and vulnerabilities and to enable wise decisions are not in place.” (P. 643) Wow! He must believe that the SCIENCE IS SETTLED!

    As Cervantes wrote in the first “modern” novel when he was trying to articulate the transition from one way of life (romantic chivalry) to another (realism): “FOREWARNED, FOREARMED; to be prepared is half the victory.” Scientists and citizens of individual countries, look where “globalization” is trying to take us. By the way, who funds the National Center for
    Atmospheric Research? Which corporations give the most?

  75. Stephen Skinner says:

    Whatever the percentage, trying to moderate urban temperatures with trees is simpler and more likely to succeed than trying to reduce CO2. The bit thats missing is water, particularly ground water. Although water vapour is considered a Global Warming gas it actually helps cool things down.

    Consider the following from a Times article about the restoration of part of the Aral sea http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1975079.ece
    Even the climate is changing for the better. “It’s true. In April, May and June we now have rain,” exclaims Nazhmedin Musabaev, Aralsk’s jovial Mayor. There is more grass for livestock. Summers are a little cooler.

  76. Stephen Skinner says:

    The latest National Geographic has an article about harvesting monsoon rains in India. There is a watershed program facilitated by a nonprofit organisation called the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR). This involves contouring the land and replanting trees. The aim is to capture the monsoon rains when they come by slowing up the runoff and allowing the water to get into the water table. Global warming is mentioned like it always is but there is nothing in the article to attribute the plight of drought stricken Indians with CO2. This program is not a socialist plot, it doesn’t blame the West or ask for handouts from ‘Rich’ countries. It also is trying to address the problem of an expanding population that has brought about a lot of the drought issues by clearing land and trees and extracting ground water faster than it can be replenished. So far it appears to be having some success, with ground waters being replenished and farmers being able to grow food even with a poor monsoon.

  77. LarryOldtimer says:

    The amount of warming that has happened in the 20th Century (assuming that it really even happened) is too small to be of any concern . . . except of course for alarmists. So what is half of nothing to worry about?

  78. Richard says:

    Phil. (09:36:15) : Yet in the Northeast US the forests have grown back significantly in the last 50 years! Compare this aerial photograph of Princeton, NJ from 1947 with current Google earth images.
    http://gisserver.princeton.edu:81/navigatorMapViewer.htm?map=819

    Difficult to judge with just that photograph. Yes there seem to be more trees, but are trees more effective at cooling than grass and agricultural crops?

    Agriculture may require more irrigation which could also be a factor. There are certainly a lot more houses and buildings than 1947.

    And is Princeton representative of most cities in the US? It could be a lot less urbanised.

  79. phager says:

    G. Karst (09:14:57)
    You forgot the 2000% from the blowhard politicians. ;-)

    Willis Eschenbach (14:13:14)
    Willis:
    In my neighborhood, the trees in the forest are so dense, that a 50% reduction would still leave the forest with over twice the number of trees that are safe for a healthy forest. Fortunately (or unfortunately if nature chose to thin your property) a tiny beetle the size of a grain of rice did most of the forest thinning by killing tens of thousands of trees.
    For almost 20 years, the forest service tried to thin the forest, but were stopped by the tree huggers. At the end of that time, drought, bark beetles and fire did the job for them.

  80. tallbloke says:

    Stone recommends slowing what he terms the “green loss effect” through the planting of millions of trees in urbanized areas and through the protection and regeneration of global forests outside of urbanized regions.

    I’ve planted many thousands of trees over the last seven years working part time for a local small forestry business. It feels good and gets me away from the computer screen part of the time. I recommend it as a therapeutic activity good for the individual, society and the environment.

  81. DaveE says:

    woodNfish (13:27:41) :

    re: John F. Hultquist (12:34:18)

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/media-archive/Lawsuit%20Filed%20to%20Prevent%20Timber%20Harvest%20at%20Power%20Fire%20Site.pdf

    This is the lawsuit referred to.

    The reforestation is inhibited by the attempt at blocking the harvest.

    DaveE.

  82. DaveE says:

    D. King (13:05:55) :

    DaveE (09:40:28) :

    So that’s it then.

    The only way to save the planet is to get rid of the people!

    Yes, and I’m afraid you’ve been selected to go first, Dave.

    That’s what I was afraid of ;-)

    DaveE.

  83. Jim says:

    **************************
    Stephen Skinner (14:53:18) :
    Whatever the percentage, trying to moderate urban temperatures with trees is simpler and more likely to succeed than trying to reduce CO2. The bit thats missing is water, particularly ground water. Although water vapour is considered a Global Warming gas it actually helps cool things down.
    ********************
    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the problem with the “warm” climate we now enjoy. What is your opinion of living in an ice age or even a few degrees cooler on average. If you must have something to fear, that would be it IMO.

  84. Hunt says:

    I think everyone here accepts that UHI’s are real. Personally, I have no problem greening up urban areas. Of course, doing so might compound the ozone problems that a lot of urban areas deal with during the summer months. Someone should do a study on that.

    However, I would much rather spend money on that type of thing rather than shutting down American business in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

    One important point from this article is that all of the attention that the AGW folks are getting is detrimental to the rest of the science. There may well be some real issues to deal with, but all of the money is going towards proving AGW caused by greenhouse gases. I think that the great lesson to be learned from this whole debacle is to keep politics out of science. That includes government funded scientific work.

  85. Zeke the Sneak says:

    CPT. Charles (09:12:06) :

    “Stone envisions local and state governments taking the lead in addressing the land use drivers of climate change, while the federal government takes the lead in implementing carbon reduction initiatives, like cap and trade programs.”

    There ya go: ‘land use’ regulation, and cap and trade.

    Central Planning uber alles.

    How predictable.

    Anecdotal illustration: any tree with a trunk over 6″ in diameter has been designated a Heritage Tree in Portland OR. It requires a city
    permit to cut it down, on private property. ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

    I guess everyone else knows better what to do with your land than you do.

  86. Treeman says:

    If one accepts the theory that the USA is warming and that 50% of that warming is down to land use changes, then the remaining 50% must be a mix of “emissions based” warming and natural warming. This new theory reduces the percentage of warming due to to man made emissions dramatically. Settled science? very unlikely. Brian Stone has just thrown a huge spanner in the works. Wonder what James Hansen and co will have to say about that!

  87. Gene Nemetz says:

    And 0% of which is being talked about in the news.

  88. p.g.sharrow "PG" says:

    Land use planning for land you do not own is a criminal undertaking. And I should know as I was once the head of a cities planning comission.

  89. Stephen Skinner says:

    Richard (16:08:18) :
    Difficult to judge with just that photograph. Yes there seem to be more trees, but are trees more effective at cooling than grass and agricultural crops?

    Using gliding as a means of measuring, there is virtually no lift over forest or water. Agricultural land can provide good lift. When the sun gets low enough that thermals cease, then it is possible to find a small amount of heat coming off woods or lakes, but only for a short while.

  90. amicus curiae says:

    go walk in a sunny meadow, then move to a treed area. 5 to 10 degrees cooler. I heard of a study that said the dark colour of treed actually created by lack of refraction? a better rain likelihood.
    I have noticed where trees are absent, so is rain.
    flat or high lands, seems similar, Permaculturists manage to create effective microclimates, trees keep condensation /dew returning to the ground, and then shade it from evaporation in the day. so it is possible.
    Planting food trees would be too sane I guess?
    and watch out for the GM Eucalypts planned for american use. arbor something is doing trials in NZ ties with ex monsanto etc. nasty!

  91. amicus curiae says:

    aargh..should read treed areas!

  92. David Corcoran says:

    Maybe churches should ring their bells to warn us of cooling. But that’s not what the Copenhagen campaign calls for:


    Church bells to ring out warning on climate change

  93. David Corcoran says:

    wups, posted on wrong thread.

  94. Bruce Cobb says:

    The AGW bandwagon offers something for everyone, tree-huggers included. Not that there’s anything wrong with hugging trees. I love trees, and have planted and/or encouraged tree growth on my small bit of land, including a Maple now doing a good job of shading our south-facing home when we need the shade, and allowing the much-welcome sun through when we most need it.
    What I despise is agenda-based pseudo-science, which is all this paper is, and government meddling into what should be private affairs.

  95. Rick says:

    I’m glad it’s warmer.

  96. Chez Nation says:

    I think focussing on the USA from 1950 to present is distracting.

    The land use change question is: what were the atmospheric changes that resulted from global land use change from 1850 to present. There was wide expansion of agriculture, both extensively and intensively. Forests overall retracted. Urban heat islands were created. An area the size of Texas was paved (all the worlds building footprints, parking lots, patios and the global road network which is about 20 million miles long)

    Perhaps half of the change in temp from 1850 to present can be attributed to these land use changes, but the effect in the next 100 years may be quite different.

    In 2010, the net stock of global forests may be increasing, cropland area is about the same as additional food is being provided by increased productivity. Pasture and rangeland is retracting as more animals are fed crop grains and improved pasture grasses. Paved land is still increasing, recently in China with extensive city and road buidling.

    Or, most of the land use change impact from 2010-2100 will be found outside the USA.

    And, reforestation and increase in overall vegetation has already started and does not need any public policy intervention.

    The USA exurban pattern is interesting, but the impact is an open discussion. The non-urban part of metropolitan areas (or the 600,000 square miles of metropolitan area that is not part of the area of 100,000 square miles of urban land), has about 30 million people that are scattered in small clusters of houses on large lots, typically from 1 to 5 acres.

    As most of these residents work in cities and do not farm, they might be expected to be rather passive with what they do with their property. Lots of grass managed with riding mower, trees planted to outline their lots, some gardening. Heat island effect limited, given the house footprint and driveways at most pave about five to ten percent of the lots. Probably comparing the environmental impact of large lawns versus pastured grass, corn or soybean fields. Overall, probably nowhere near as significant as urban heat islands created in downtowns, suburban employment centers, airports, etc.

  97. SteveSadlov says:

    The Eastern US has been hammered by this. Most of the people and media are there. Ergo “runnnnnnnnawayyyyyyyy globallllllll warrrrmmmmmmingggggg!”

  98. Larry Geiger says:

    “Anecdotal illustration: any tree with a trunk over 6″ in diameter has been designated a Heritage Tree in Portland OR. It requires a city
    permit to cut it down, on private property. ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.”

    With the result being that people who understand the system, will cut down their 5.5″ trees.

  99. George E. Smith says:

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    ——————————————————————————–
    Science 16 October 1998:
    Vol. 282. no. 5388, pp. 442 – 446
    DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5388.442
    Prev | Table of Contents | Next

    Reports

    A Large Terrestrial Carbon Sink in North America Implied by Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Data and Models
    S. Fan, M. Gloor, J. Mahlman, S. Pacala, J. Sarmiento, T. Takahashi, P. Tans “””
    So check out this paper; and then tell me that the USA is the world’s biggest polluter.

    I believe it has been long established that there are vastly more trees in the USA than there were here when the pilgrims first stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock; or wherever it is that history says they did.

    But hey; I’m all in favor of planting trees; I just think people should put them up or take them down wherever that seems feasible and desirable to do.

    I noticed in that MaCintyre Lindzen piece with the flick about Finland; there was a shot of somebody extracting a bored core from a tree.

    What an image that was; a perfect illustration of how a failure to observe the Nyquist Sampling Theorem, leads to flse information being gathered.

    That tree core sample was a puny representation of what the entire volume of that mass of wood looks like inside ; but it will go down in the record books, as being quite typical of what the rest of the tree looks like; let alone the rest of the forest. Yes it truly is analagous to putting a finger up in the air to sense which way the wind is blowing.

  100. Frank Miles says:

    there was a really good article recently in energy and environment its in the november journal yearly round up and in it an articl claims that we have converted 40 percent of the worlds ice free land for agricultural puproses when this is though about in conjunction with the above article then it easy to see how inflated temps are less likely than ever before to be associated with carbon dioxide.

  101. Frank Miles says:

    Emerging Threats to Human Health from Global Environmental Change
    full access Samuel S. Myers, Jonathan A. Patz
    Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 34: 223-252 (Volume publication date November 2009): this is the article different journal

  102. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Frank Miles (10:53:48), you say:

    there was a really good article recently in energy and environment its in the november journal yearly round up and in it an articl claims that we have converted 40 percent of the worlds ice free land for agricultural puproses when this is though about in conjunction with the above article then it easy to see how inflated temps are less likely than ever before to be associated with carbon dioxide.

    Numbers, dear friends, numbers … think about them. Tune up your bad number detectors, mine starting ringing like crazy when I read this. Is there any possible way that 40% of the ice free land is dedicated to agriculture when we have the Amazon forest and the Sahara desert and all the rest of the unused land on the planet?

    The premier resource for this question is the GAEZ study done by the UN FAO. Going back to it, I find that it gives the following numbers:

    Forest 21.2%
    Desert and barren 20.9%
    Woodland 14.5%
    Grassland 13.6%
    Mosaics 8.5%
    Cropland 8.3%
    Ice and cold desert 5.9%
    Lakes and rivers 3.3%
    Irrigated 3.0%
    Wetland 0.7%
    Urban 0.2%

    Cropland, including both irrigated and unirrigated and assuming that the mosaics are 50% cropland, is about 15% of the ice-free land area of the planet.

    I urge everyone to read the study. Among other things, it shows that:

    • There is more unused potential rain-fed cropland in Africa than cropland being used in Europe.

    • There is more unused potential potential rain-fed cropland in South America than cropland being used in North America.

    • There is enough unused potential potential rain-fed cropland in the Sudan to feed every person in Africa.

    Numbers …

  103. woodNfish says:

    Thanks, Willis (Willis Eschenbach (11:48:48)). My BS alarm began going off as soon as I read 40% too. Looks like a phony number to me as well.

    What do you think the difference is between cropland and irrigated? They both sound like cropland to me. It isn’t that important though because with urban at 0.2%, cropland at 8.3% and irrigated at 3% humanity’s footprint on this planet is pretty damned small at 11 1/2%.

  104. Willis Eschenbach says:

    woodNfish (12:19:14), you ask:

    Thanks, Willis (Willis Eschenbach (11:48:48)). My BS alarm began going off as soon as I read 40% too. Looks like a phony number to me as well.

    What do you think the difference is between cropland and irrigated? They both sound like cropland to me. It isn’t that important though because with urban at 0.2%, cropland at 8.3% and irrigated at 3% humanity’s footprint on this planet is pretty damned small at 11 1/2%.

    Both are cropland, and the GAEZ report distinguishes between rainfed cropland and irrigated cropland. It is of interest because there is more cropland which is not currently being used, and to determine how much, it is necessary to distinguish between potential rainfed cropland and potential irrigated cropland. Part of this is involves analyzing currently used rainfed and irrigated cropland.

    The GAEZ study should be required reading for people who are interested in resources and how they are used.

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