Another significant land use effect found – sugar cane

It has long been known that changes in land use can affect local temperatures. Switching from forest to pastureland to a concrete jungle has a measurable effect. Here, we see that the type of crop associated has a dramatic effect:

The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 °F (0.93°C).

Via Eurekalert: Sugarcane cools climate

Palo Alto, CA—Brazilians are world leaders in using biofuels for gasoline. About a quarter of their automobile fuel consumption comes from sugarcane, which significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would be emitted from using gasoline. Now scientists from the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology have found that sugarcane has a double benefit. Expansion of the crop in areas previously occupied by other Brazilian crops cools the local climate. It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants “exhale” cooler water. The study is published in the 2nd issue of Nature Climate Change, posted on-line April 17.

The research team,* led by Carnegie’s Scott Loarie, is the first to quantify the direct effects on the climate from sugarcane expansion in areas of existing crop and pastureland of the cerrado, in central Brazil.

The researchers used data from hundreds of satellite images over 733,000 square miles—an area larger than the state of Alaska. They measured temperature, reflectivity (also called albedo), and evapotranspiration—the water loss from the soil and from plants as they exhale water vapor.

As Loarie explained: “We found that shifting from natural vegetation to crops or pasture results in local warming because the plants give off less beneficial water. But the bamboo-like sugarcane is more reflective and gives off more water—much like the natural vegetation. It’s a potential win-win for the climate—using sugarcane to power vehicles reduces carbon emissions, while growing it lowers the local air temperature.”

The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 °F (0.93°C).

The researchers emphasize that the beneficial effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation. It is also important that other crops and pastureland do not move to natural vegetation areas, which would contribute to deforestation.

So far most of the thinking about ecosystem effects on climate considers only impacts from greenhouse gas emissions. But according to coauthor Greg Asner, “It’s becoming increasingly clear that direct climate effects on local climate from land-use decisions constitute significant impacts that need to be considered core elements of human-caused climate change.”

###

*Co-authors on the study are David Lobell of the Program for Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, Gregory Asner and Christopher Field of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, and Qiaozhen Mu of the University of Montana. The work was made possible through the support of the Stanford University Global Climate and Energy Project.

The Department of Global Ecology was established in 2002 to help build the scientific foundations for a sustainable future. The department is located on the campus of Stanford University, but is an independent research organization funded by the Carnegie Institution. Its scientists conduct basic research on a wide range of large-scale environmental issues, including climate change, ocean acidification, biological invasions, and changes in biodiversity.

The Carnegie Institution for Science (www.carnegieScience.edu) has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It is a private, nonprofit organization with six research departments throughout the U.S. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

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106 thoughts on “Another significant land use effect found – sugar cane

  1. So the temperature increase they didn’t show was going from natural vegetation to sugarcane, warming the surrounding air by 1.22 °F (0.62°C).

  2. That’s a really sweet story.

    Pity they couldn’t make a decision about which temperature scale to use.

  3. There is growing (!) evidence that land use changes from agriculture were much greater than previously estimated in the past with far larger areas of natural vegitation – primarily forest – being cleared thousands of years ago. This may have caused a pre-industrial rise in CO2 as well as the albedo and water vapour changes that make agricultural production (except for sugar cane ?!) a warming influence on the climate.

  4. “The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 °F (0.93°C).”

    Gees, who would have thunk that increased biomass density had a cooling effect on local climate, amazing !!!.

    As well as absorbing that most evil of pollutants, CO2 ;-)

    And of course, the fact that raised CO2 concentrations increase biomass density doesn’t come into the equation either.

    Its called “negative feedback” (which doesn’t exist under an IPCC scenario.)

  5. “Sugar … is there nothing it can’t do?’

    Trouble is that a diet consisting purely of sugar isn’t terrible good for one’s self.

    So long as growing sugar cane doesn’t subtract from actually FOOD production, no problem.

    IMO, ethanol producting should only ever be a bi-product from waste food production.

    Efficiency is the word, produce the food first, THEN use the leftovers for ethanol and structural materials etc etc

  6. So? And their point was?

    Unless we start to eat sugar cane then this research does not help feed the world which is far more important than attacking the discredited cause of some theoretical non problem like CAGW.

  7. “It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants “exhale” cooler water.”

    Lets see. Sun light to sugar cane – sugar cane to water vapor = cooler temperature. I think one would call that a “negative feedback”

  8. “which significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would be emitted from using gasoline.”

    WTF does this mean. If we don’t burn gasoline we get less CO2 emissions from gasoline burning? Is there not an equally comensurate CO2 emission from burning the chemically similar biofuel? Do Hydrocarbons of recent organic origin somehow release less emissions than hydrocarbons of earlier origin? Are internal combustion actually more efficient when powered by the fuels that they were designed for? If that is the case would biofuels actually produce more emissions? Aren’t biofuels mainly here as a hedge against “peak oil?” Please answer politely. Maybe I have this all wrong.

  9. It’s not just ‘exhaling’ water. Photosynthesis is an endothermic process, and a crop that is vigorous in producing high calorie sucrose sugars especially so. I’m not sure how much off hand, but by looking at rough estimates there are over 15 megajoules of energy utilized to produce each kilogram of sucrose in the crop from CO2 and water. With yields of sucrose over 10 tonnes per hectare, that’s over 150 gigajoules per hectare just on the sucrose, not to mention the other plant matter. If the sugars are set down over 100 days (say, three harvests per year) and there are 10 hours of effective photosynthesis per day then that is 150 megajoules per hour during the day. Since the plant has a large surface area it will directly cool the air by conduction. This doesn’t seem to get a mention in this summary – is it just a minor factor? It comes out at over 4 watts per square metre, which doesn’t sound much, but is larger than supposed greenhouse forcing.

  10. This is another of those groups that have co-opted a prestigious name.

    Its scientists conduct basic research on a wide range of large-scale environmental issues, including climate change, ocean acidification, biological invasions, and changes in biodiversity
    Since it gives off so much water vapor, wonder how much irrigation it requires?

    I think these boys are a bit shaky.

  11. So, essentially, in countries that are heavily dependent on chopping down rainforest to grow sugar cane for tasty export friendly “green” fuel it is all good to chop down rainforest and keep growing sugar cane for tasty export friendly “green” fuel.

    Sorry, folks, there’s no bias here, just money, move along.

  12. “The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 °F (0.93°C).”

    Hanglider and Paraglider pilots have known and expirienced this for many years.

    rg

  13. @-Patrick Kelly says:
    April 18, 2011 at 2:58 am

    “which significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would be emitted from using gasoline.”

    WTF does this mean. If we don’t burn gasoline we get less CO2 emissions from gasoline burning? Is there not an equally comensurate CO2 emission from burning the chemically similar biofuel? Do Hydrocarbons of recent organic origin somehow release less emissions than hydrocarbons of earlier origin?
    ————————

    This is rather elementary, but the CO2 emissions from burning biofuel are CO2 that was already in the atmosphere right up until the piont when the biofuel crop made the hydrocarbon.

    The CO2 from fossil fuels has NOT been in the atmosphere for several million years and was geologicaly sequestered from the active biological carbon cycle.
    In one case the CO2 is part of the natural active carbon cycle, in the other it has been artificially re-introduced into the carbon cycle as ADDITIONAL carbon from geologically sequestered sources. In the normal course of events this carbon would not be returned to the surface cycle until the slow subduction of the tectonic plate returned it to the magma. Its return then would be MUCH slower than that engineered by exxon and BP.

  14. The researchers emphasize that the beneficial effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation. It is also important that other crops and pastureland do not move to natural vegetation areas, which would contribute to deforestation.

    Thus, as always, it’s a zero-sum game. We can’t develop any more agricultural land, thus the “choice” is to convert land used for growing food (including livestock) to growing sugarcane (for biofuels).

    If you’re most worried about food availability and pricing, don’t convert.

    If you’re most worried about diminishing water supplies, don’t convert. Note the increased evapotranspiration rate.

    If you’re most worried about global warming, then stop growing food and let the land go back to natural vegetation. Get used to foraging like any other wild animal.

  15. “The researchers emphasize that the beneficial effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation. It is also important that other crops and pastureland do not move to natural vegetation areas, which would contribute to deforestation.”

    Which makes the research a pointless exercise.

  16. @ScientistForTruth

    The NET change in energy & CO2 is very little. Yes, photosynthesis is an endothermic process. But rotting/burning/getting eaten is an exothermic process. Only a NET increase in biomass will make a significant difference in stored energy (eg forming new fossil fuels).

    @Patrick Kelly
    The flipside of what I said is also true. Instead of letting the biomass rot (“wasting” all that energy), you could burn it is cars. Either would hve the same effect on CO2 levels and on energy released to the environment. Biomass is recycled, so it has almost no net effect (unless you count fossil fuels used to process it).
    * The carbon from biomass that you burn today in your car was carbon in the atmosphere last year.
    * The carbon from fossil fuels that you burn today in your car was carbon stored away in the ground last year.

    There is a big difference.

  17. Roughly, 100 ton of water for 1 ton of cane, for 100 Kg of sugar.
    Thats with flood irrigation.
    One harvest per year only, at least in Queensland. Every few years there is fallow from the harvesting winter-spring to planting the following autumn.

    In some parts, 50 mm of rain every few weeks occurs naturally, and no irrigation is required. However the more rain, the less sun, the lighter the crop.

    Heavy crops present significant material handling problems, especially if it rains while harvesting.

  18. Hmm, and back on planet earth… people are starving due to high food prices, but that’s aright because at least we avoid those 50 Million climate refugees.

  19. Patrick Kelly “Is there not an equally commensurate CO2 emission from burning the chemically similar biofuel?”

    The idea is supposed to be that the carbon in biofuel has been sequestered from CO2 in the atmosphere, so burning it is simply putting it back where it was a few months earlier (so-called ‘carbon neutral’), whereas ‘fossil’ fuels are supposedly putting carbon back that was in the atmosphere millions of years ago when CO2 levels were supposedly higher. In other words, compared to recent conditions, fossil fuel burning is said to be adding to the burden of atmospheric CO2 in our time.

  20. The sentence “It’s becoming increasingly clear…” is a positive development.

    Tells us that a few “scientists” are reluctantly and hesitantly starting to observe the same facts that everyone else has observed for 10000 years, instead of looking only at their computer screens and their LaTeX formulae.

  21. CO2 is supposed to be bad because it will warm the Earth and it increases water vapor and that further warm the earth in a positive feedback death spiral. When water vapor is decreased because of deforestation, that is almost as evil as increasing CO2 which seemingly has the opposite effect. Now these guys, whatever their stance on AGW, they seem to be saying that water vapor cools the planet. They said cooler water vapor but all transpiration of water releases the same heat. Maybe it is just the water vapor that was caused by increased CO2 warming that is supposed to warm . The rest of water vapor molecules cool because they didn’t get the memo. Clearly water vapor is a greenhouse gas and they are claiming that increasing that greenhouse gas cools. I must be totally confused because it seems like they just say whatever feels right at the moment. They sound like the group that is promoting sugar cane.

  22. oldseadog says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:48 am

    > Pity they couldn’t make a decision about which temperature scale to use.

    Now, “they” say diversity is a Good Thing.

    They also could have said “transpiration” instead of the plants “exhale” cooler water [vapor (vapour)].

  23. OK, this study is a study in conflicts.

    So, we have a bio-fuel that marginally decreases CO2 when burned (what is the reduction in CO2 from bio fuels? A couple %?). But it ‘cools’ the region by evaporating more H2O (‘breathing? Are they serious?). QED: It reduces CO2 and increases H2O in the atmosphere.

    So how is it this plant which emits the much more powerful GHG H2O and also reflects solar heat back into the atmosphere that contains this extra GHG supposedly cooling??? Doesn’t this increase the GHG capture of solar heat?

    Violates every mythical rule of AGW I have heard.

  24. Let’s not overlook the fact that scientists from one of the bastions of liberalism have recognized that land use has a serious impact on temperatures. No, we are not going to cover the world with sugarcane. However, further research might reveal that locals can have greater impacts on local temperature through choices regarding vegetation.

    Also, doesn’t this research drive another nail in the coffin of the claim that UHI is not important in temperature measurements? If crops can be important, surely cities can be important.

  25. There is another aspect that needs to be considered. While the dry bulb temperature can can cool as transipriation increases, the actual heat content of the air per kilogram can be higher due to the added water vapor; e.g. see

    Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, and J. Morgan, 2004: Assessing “global warming” with surface heat content. Eos, 85, No. 21, 210-211. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-290.pdf

    Only if an albedo change is large enough such that the net radiation received at the surface is sufficiently reduced, will there be actual cooling.

    This study does show, of course, an issue on using the dry bulb temperature trends at specific sites when making claims about the magnitude of annual average global warming.

  26. Tim Folkerts says:
    April 18, 2011 at 4:16 am

    “@ScientistForTruth

    The NET change in energy & CO2 is very little. Yes, photosynthesis is an endothermic process. But rotting/burning/getting eaten is an exothermic process. Only a NET increase in biomass will make a significant difference in stored energy (eg forming new fossil fuels). ”

    That’s besides the point. The post and my comment is about local temperatures around fields. Your point is about averaging out over cycles. If you have an endothermic process locking up lots of energy, which is then transported a long way away to liberate the stored energy, then the result is local cooling. The plant biomass in the leaves etc of course is produced locally, and may be burned or rot locally, but my point (and calculations) were related to the sucrose, which is transported away from the field.

  27. “The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C)…”

    Theses grant trolling scientists “found” nothing of the sort. They didn’t get out into the brush and the mud with their amazingly accurate thermometers calibrated to 0.01° with no error bars, to measure 2.79°F [or 1.55°C – but 2.79° looks scarier]. This is speculation wrapped in a model.

    And as usual the answer to the central question is avoided: is more CO2 a problem? If so, point out the global damage that has resulted. Where is the runaway global warming from more CO2?

    Real world evidence confirms that CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More of this minor trace gas is better. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, please present it. Evidence, not speculation, please. We have had enough baseless “carbon” speculation.

  28. There was a NBER paper on the effects of increasing night temps decreasing rice productivity. They missed that night temps rise because or rice production and that as more rice is produced, productivity will decline and regional temps will rise.

  29. Another “team”. They need to come up with a new name as car dealers have beat them to this one.

  30. “converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 °F (1.55 °C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 °F (0.93°C).”

    and

    “effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation”

    That seems to be some very selective wording. If I’m reading this correctly, then sugar cane doesn’t actually cool anything down. It just warms less than other crop types. So, rather than warming by 2.79F, it warms by 2.79-1.67=1.12F of warming?

    I wonder if the actual difference is what they say, or just a byproduct of the irrigation schedules and near-surface humidity and the rate of night-time heat retention? They would at the very least need to control for this effect in order to validate the claims they made. I’d like to see comparisons of daytime highs and nighttime lows accross different sample areas.

    I’m surprised they didn’t try to claim that the sugar caine sucks more CO2 from the air, therefore proving CO2 induced warming is real. That fits the agenda better. Maybe this study was funded by “Big Biogas” or “Big Biodeisel”!!! Oh No!!

  31. Sorry for the double post, but I HAVE to say this:

    If agricultural land use raises the temperature by nearly 3 F, then doesn’t that really blow the case for CO2 as “the” cause for warming?

  32. … sugarcane has a double benefit. Expansion of the crop in areas previously occupied by other Brazilian crops cools the local climate. …

    OK, so maybe in this local context they may be right but on a global basis, cooling is generally not beneficial, whereas warming is. I fear that in a few years’ time – if the solar physicists are right – we will find out just how damaging a serious global cooling can be.

  33. *sigh* About as brilliant an insight as discovering that the corn monoculture of Illinois (aka. “corn desert” to we biologists) has the same effect.

    Now, if we could only adapt sugar cane to grow in the Midwest of the USA, we’d be all set. Oh, wait….sugar beets in the Red River Valley, scratch that.

    Do the “save the Earth” crowd cheer for the reduction of carbon emissions, or weep for the loss of habitat and diverse species? I can never tell what they are thinking. Thus far, biofuel production in places like Indonesia (oil palm) is an unmitigated disaster for the ecosystem, and I’d expect the same in Brazil.

  34. All I know about sugar cane is that, in Trinidad, they use it to make ‘babash’. It tastes the same as Irish Poteen, made from potatoes, and Thai ‘lao khao’ made from rice. They are all slap-the-back-of-your-neck type drinks. Never actually tasted Moonshine but I reckon it would taste the same as babash…

  35. Someone actually paid for a study to determine what anyone who has ever lived on or near a farm already knew?

  36. what about the relative amounts of (cooling) flood irrigation used on sugar cane vs other crops vs pasture? would think sugar cane is getting the most water of any.

  37. Are crops to be rated by global warming research?
    They are established to support global warming theory and promote control of the world food supply is more like it.

    Does this private organization rake off tax dollars to support their activities? Disclosure of financial support is always important to even the appearance of a conflict of interest between politics and science.

    And good for Brazil, they are going to burn up their soil making fuel for cars unless they rotate their crops for grass or some sort of plant that will refresh the dirt.

  38. BravoZulu says:
    April 18, 2011 at 4:53 am
    “They sound like the group that is promoting sugar cane.”

    Yep. Watch the movement splinter. Like the enviros along the fault line nuclear/coal.

  39. Smokey says:
    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 am
    “Real world evidence confirms that CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More of this minor trace gas is better. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, please present it. Evidence, not speculation, please. We have had enough baseless “carbon” speculation.”

    Right on Smokey.
    We are all tired of the constant referrals to “carbon footprint”; “CO2 emissions”; “CCS”; “Burning fossil fuels” etc….when the whole IPCC CAGW theory has been debunked.

    Latitude says:
    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 am
    ” Let’s see here….
    So a study funded by who knows, comes out saying sugar cane is good…
    ….Soros is the largest investor in Brazilian sugar cane for ethanol

    http://www.grist.org/article/george-soros-vs-the-planet

    I don’t see a connection there, do you?”

    Great observation Smokey. Keep up the good work.

  40. Cock and Bull story in the Telegraph:

    The head of the Met Office, John Hirst, has revealed that he has received death threats from climate change sceptics.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8458162/Met-Office-chief-receives-death-threats-from-climate-change-sceptics.html

    A Met Office spokesman confirmed Mr Hirst had received death threats made in a number of ”unsavoury emails”, but said they were ”isolated incidents” and the organisation had not felt it necessary to involve the police.

    I call bull on this story. Because the death threats were ”isolated incidents” the Met Office had not felt it necessary to involve the police, such total and utter crap. Do we take if from this bogus statement that for the Met Office to consider a death threat a serious threat it has to come from various sources at one time. Laughable.

  41. Willis Eschenbach says: April 18, 2011 at 1:20 am
    ‘Sugar … is there nothing it can’t do?’

    Yep, it ain’t fixed the massive shanty towns/squatter settlements (barraidas: 1952 studies-faveals: 1940 studies onwards) and lack of property rights in the outer areas of these Sth American cities. Though there is reported extraordinary organisation and tertiary education leading to employment in the urban centres by some, despite the continuing poverty and distress amongst the majority of these population in many instances.

    Stephan says: April 18, 2011 at 6:22 am
    ‘Brazil fixed its automotive fuel scarcity by finding offshore oil.’

    Thank you.

  42. if sugar cane makes the air cool, I can’t imagine how hot south Luzianna must have been before they started growin’ it there!

  43. The posters here who have accused ‘science’ of dealing in contradictions when this research finds cooling with increased levels of plant transpiration, and think this is in contradiction with the GHG effect of water vapour in warming the surface are exhibiting their own ignorance and revealing a defect in understanding – not in the science.

    One is a local effect, the other is global.

  44. Izen says:

    “One is a local effect, the other is global.”

    Like the Arctic ice decline compared with global temps?

    Is that Izen’s ignorance? Or just a defect in his understanding?

  45. izen,
    burning gasoline does not “artifically” release CO2 back into the atmosphere … oil seeps into the oceans everyday and is consumed i.e. released into the carbon cycle and has for hundreds of thousands of years … we are simply speeding up that release … nothing artifical about it …
    otherwise very informative comment …

  46. It just occurred to me that the people now in the Carnegie Institution for science would have put the man who founded the institution that bears his name, Andrew Carnegie, out of the steel business for environmental reasons. Although Andrew Carnegie was a generous man I don’t think he was that generous.

    According to Wikipedia the official name of the Carnegie Institution for Science is still officially and legally the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

  47. “temperature can can cool as transipriation increases, the actual heat content of the air per kilogram can be higher due to the added water vapor; e.g. see

    Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, and J. Morgan, 2004: Assessing “global warming” with surface heat content. Eos, 85, No. 21, 210-211. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-290.pdf

    Only if an albedo change is large enough such that the net radiation received at the surface is sufficiently reduced, will there be actual cooling.”

    WRONG.
    phase change and density, my man. it makes a heat pump to the stratosphere.
    do the calculations sometime.

  48. mark says: “you’re on shaky ground here. land management and these stats are as contentious as cagw.”

    Who is this “you” of which you speak? What are you trying to say?

  49. I think that all stations used in calculating “global temperature anomaly” have warming bias (net warming). I am not sure how UHI is exactly defined, but I think this term is misleading. It is not only URBAN! Even the most rural stations have warming bias, maybe tiny and negligible but still.

    I think this effect should be called ALW (anthropogenic local warming). It is very real, contrary to the global one.

    Maybe warmists will accept that. They get their anthropogenic warming:)

  50. Burning ethanol makes proportionally more local water vapor, a much stronger “greenhouse gas” than CO2. The world has gone mad.

  51. Well that was easy enough:

    “from the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology”

    Who received funding from “Climate Policy Initiative”

    “The Climate Policy Initiative is being funded by the Soros Foundations Network”

    Soros owns the largest sugar cane fields and processing plants in Brazil.

  52. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:01 am
    “The posters here who have accused ‘science’ of dealing in contradictions when this research finds cooling with increased levels of plant transpiration, and think this is in contradiction with the GHG effect of water vapour in warming the surface are exhibiting their own ignorance and revealing a defect in understanding – not in the science. One is a local effect, the other is global.”

    Izen, Sweety, the Warmista are so blindly obsesessed with “the cloud of CO2 that envelops Earth and the cloud of water vapor that it creates” that they can no more distinguish between local and global than they can between weather and climate. They have assumed, purposely, that climate is the CO2 cloud (as in climate = CO2 cloud) and that weather is local (as in weather = local). That is why they cannot imagine how anyone could believe that UHI affects climate. However, by severing all empirical ties between climate and weather, between CO2 cloud effect and local effect, they have locked themselves away from all empirical evidence and into the purely mental world of novel statistical technique.

  53. If we could convince the farmers around Mt. Kilimanjaro to stop growing food crops and switch to sugarcane, it would cool the area and return moisture to the air. Would Big Sugar then be blamed for saving the snows on Kilimanjaro?

  54. “Brazilians are world leaders in using biofuels for gasoline.”

    I just love how the libz/greens trot out this canard. People like Bill Mahre that trot out this canard are comparing apples to oranges.
    #1 Fuel for cars is still higher cost in Brasil than in the USA.
    #2 Per Capita car ownership is vastly lower in Brasil than the USA.
    #3 The amount of car fuel consumed in Brasil is vastly less than the USA.
    #4 Brasil has about 55 -60% of the population of the USA.
    #5 Brasil has no interstate highway system to speak of. People don’t travel much by automobile to different regions of the country.
    #6 Most of the People (except the rich) that are lucky enough to have cars have little compact cars, which are not popular nor have much utility in the USA.
    #7 Much of the interior of Brasil is basically in 3rd world conditions.

  55. “It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants “exhale” cooler water. ”

    Color me confused. I thought water vapor was a greenhouse gas.

  56. “ew-3 says:
    April 18, 2011 at 9:39 am
    “It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants “exhale” cooler water. ”

    Color me confused. I thought water vapor was a greenhouse gas.”

    Me too. If water vapor is a greenhouse gas then burning ethanol is counterproductive to the AGW warm-mongers goals. If the water vapor forms clouds at night I know it traps heat, if it forms them in the daytime then it reflects sunlight. If it does not form clouds then I don’t know what it does.

  57. Izen,

    But the global is the sum of the locals. Raising the atmospheric H2o in a local situation will necessarily raise the global H2O unless you postulate that there is a concurrent drop in H20 elswhere to counter balance the raise. Nothing here would imply that.

    Since then the local H20 is rising then global H20 would rise, therefore there would be more greenhouse warming. This directly contradicts what the authors claim.

    Unless you claim that the extra H2O greenhouse effect cools locally but causes warming where the H2o isn’t.

  58. CO2 is less when burning sugar-fuels? Considering that sugar which consists only of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, it would ultimately breakdown into CO2 and water and carbon. Nobody would use sugar directly because the carbon residue would destroy an engine (that old sugar in the gas tank idea) and the delivery system would be problematic. They must really mean alcohol derived from cane sugar. Molecule per molecule alcohol may produce less CO2 than gasoline but it’s less efficient thus more of it must be burnt in the long run.

    Willis Eschenbach: April 18, 2011 at 1:20 am
    ‘Sugar … is there nothing it can’t do?’

    Won’t cure diabetes but can do everything else ;)

  59. @-Smokey says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:11 am
    “Like the Arctic ice decline compared with global temps?”

    The link you give to global temperatures is cherry-picked somewhat. It shows the cooling from an El Nino to a La Nina over less than 2 years that is almost as great as that seen in 98-99.
    The result is that minimum lower troposphere temperatures are now only slightly higher than the MAXIMUM temperature during the early 1980s.
    Both Arctic ice and global temperature show the same consistent trend over decadal timescales, with short-term fluctuations at the annual level.

    @-Jeff Carlson says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:12 am
    “burning gasoline does not “artifically” release CO2 back into the atmosphere … oil seeps into the oceans everyday and is consumed i.e. released into the carbon cycle and has for hundreds of thousands of years … we are simply speeding up that release … nothing artifical about it … ”

    Baloney.
    Exxon and BP are not ‘speeding up’ a NATURAL release of oil that seeps from geological faults, the extraction process is entirely artificial and several orders of magnitude greater than any natural seepage. Trying to equate the natural rate of sequestration and release with the VASTLY greater rate of emission from burning fossil fuels from deep sequestered carbon is either duplicitous or stupid.

    @-Sam Parsons says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:50 am
    “Izen, Sweety, the Warmista are so blindly obsesessed with “the cloud of CO2 that envelops Earth and the cloud of water vapor that it creates” that they can no more distinguish between local and global than they can between weather and climate. …. they have locked themselves away from all empirical evidence and into the purely mental world of novel statistical technique.”

    Sam, darling, blaming the warmista for their misconceptions does absolutely nothing to absolve the rejectionists from their idiocy.

  60. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:05 am
    “Baloney.
    Exxon and BP are not ‘speeding up’ a NATURAL release of oil that seeps from geological faults, the extraction process is entirely artificial and several orders of magnitude greater than any natural seepage. Trying to equate the natural rate of sequestration and release with the VASTLY greater rate of emission from burning fossil fuels from deep sequestered carbon is either duplicitous or stupid.”

    Doesn’t compute.

    http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter/geog101/textbook/earth_system/hydrologic_cycle.html

  61. In response to comments like
    “Burning ethanol makes proportionally more local water vapor, a much stronger “greenhouse gas” than CO2. The world has gone mad.”
    “If water vapor is a greenhouse gas then burning ethanol is counterproductive to the AGW warm-mongers goals. ”

    You need to look at the big picture.
    * Before the growing season, there was CO2 & H2O in the air.
    * During the growing season, the plants took that CO2 & H2O, making sugar (and other organic materials) from which people made fuel.
    * After the growing season, the car burns the fuel, and we end up with CO2 & H2O in the atmosphere. The net change is zero.

    There will be some minor changes in WHERE the CO2 and H2O are. There will not be any MORE water created by burning biomass. And water maintains are relatively stable balance because of evaporation & precipitation, so any local changes would be fairly short-lived. Changes in CO2 would take longer to return back to balance

    (There WILL be more water and CO2 if you burn fossil fuels, since that C & H was taken out of circulation millions of years ago. )

  62. izen says:

    “The link you give to global temperatures is cherry-picked somewhat.”

    The link was to a graph by Bill Illis, who is anything but a cherrypicker. Not even ‘somewhat’.

    And according to you, scientific skeptics are now “rejectionists”? Your problem is that per the scientific method, you have failed to show that CO2 is a problem, or that AGW even exists, never mind the thoroughly debunked CAGW conjecture. In other words, you’re operating on a belief system. That triggers the nod reflex at RC and CP, but it fails here at the “Best Science” site, where evidence and the scientific method rule.

  63. I cannot accept that it is inherently dangerous that the rate of CO2 re-introduction into the atmosphere is un-natural according to some warmists’ artificial concept of a global Carbon cycle.

  64. [snip]
    …to sum up the true facts from comments:

    Increased water exhalation might cool immediate area but vapor STILL is a GHG

    It’s grown to be burnt as fuel not eaten. What’s global percent of arable land use for this?
    – There is no such thing as ‘agricultural waste’.. that is an OLD farming precept and still to be disproved. Put everything but the processed food product back into the land it came from to save the soil.

    There is no net reduction in fuel-based CO2 production. Probably more per mile or work done

  65. It just struck me but didn’t they do the same in Indonesia for palm oil. They got lots of critic for mauling rain forests like crazy, and woo and behold, a study popped up where they claimed that replacing rain forest with palm (oil) and I believe it included palm (sugar) was actually good for nature, less rot and what not less natural emissions of poisonous CO2. So now it is legal to replace rain forest with palms (money) as long as they can claim the forest is “sick” and therefor need replacing . . . to save the planet.

    WWF — We came, we saw, and fouled ourselves.

  66. If the primary “cooling” effect is from evaporative cooling, then the story is a waste of bits. Since the impact from evaporative cooling is entirely local and energy neutral, it is uninteresting.

    The only plant ground cover impacts that matter to warming are how the ground cover impacts cloud formation (some plants put out better cloud forming nuclei), and albedo. And good luck defining the comparative cloud-forming impact of different ground covers.

  67. @-Justa Joe says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:28 am
    “I cannot accept that it is inherently dangerous that the rate of CO2 re-introduction into the atmosphere is un-natural according to some warmists’ artificial concept of a global Carbon cycle.”

    The carbon cycle is real, not artificial.
    Perhaps you could estimate what influence your inability to accept any inherent danger to the re-introduction of CO2 (geologically sequestered) into the atmosphere at a rate several orders of magnitude greater than any natural process might have on its actual danger?

    @-DirkH says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:17 am
    “Doesn’t compute.” -link to brief description of the carbon cycle-

    You will have to be more specific about what it is you cannot compute about the carbon cycle and the rate and magnitude of the various aspects of it and the comparative rate and amounts from the artificial introduction of geologically sequestered carbon.

    @- jknapp says:
    April 18, 2011 at 10:18 am
    “But the global is the sum of the locals. Raising the atmospheric H2o in a local situation will necessarily raise the global H2O unless you postulate that there is a concurrent drop in H20 elswhere to counter balance the raise. Nothing here would imply that.

    But basic knowledge of physics provides that information. I suspect you are aware that it is impossible to maintain a humidity level of over 100% for any specific temperature. The water vapour rains out or condenses in some way.

    What is being reported here is that because the sugar cane transpires similar amounts of water to a tropical rain forest it maintains the same temperature. Some of the incoming energy evaporates the water from the plants instead of warming the locality. But with conventional agricultural crops the local temperature is higher because they do not require, or transpire as much water.

    However globally the amount of water vapour to have a ‘GHG’ effect is constrained by the temperature. You cannot force more water vapour into the atmosphere than the CC equations dictate.

    -“Unless you claim that the extra H2O greenhouse effect cools locally but causes warming where the H2o isn’t.”-

    Not exactly, but I am claiming that it is cooler at a lake shore because of the adjacent body of water (local effect) even though that lake may be a (small) source of the total global water vapour that contributes to the ‘GH’ effect – constrained by the limits on how much water vapour can stably exist at a given temperature within the atmosphere.

    @-Smokey says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Your problem is that per the scientific method, you have failed to show that CO2 is a problem, or that AGW even exists, never mind the thoroughly debunked CAGW conjecture. In other words, you’re operating on a belief system. That triggers the nod reflex at RC and CP, but it fails here at the “Best Science” site, where evidence and the scientific method rule.

    How catastrophic global warming might be is dependent on the resiliance of modern technological societies.
    The science of AGW is about as old as the theory of evolution by natural selection – Tyndall and Darwin were contemparies – it hardly needs me to show that it is accurate, over a century of science has established that which is why dismissal of AGW is such a fringe activity in the world of science.

    If you really think that AGW is still not scientifically verified – or at least a credible theory to account for the last ~50years of observations, perhaps you could explain what WOULD be evidence according to the scientific method which if found would persuade you of the reality of this generally agreed theory within the rest of the scientific community.

    Or is there no evidence possible that would change your mind?

  68. Can’t believe no-one else has posted this!

    Can’t resist!

    Sugar Kane Kowalczyk at her best! Not much cooling in evidence here!

  69. Tim Folkerts says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:21 am
    “There will be some minor changes in WHERE the CO2 and H2O are. There will not be any MORE water created by burning biomass. And water maintains are relatively stable balance because of evaporation & precipitation, so any local changes would be fairly short-lived. Changes in CO2 would take longer to return back to balance.”

    And so what about the water vapor that forms clouds. Are you saying that this does not occur, or that clouds do not keep heat from radiating back into space at night? Coldest nights here in the northland are cloudless nights, for sure.

  70. izen says:

    “How catastrophic global warming might be is dependent on…” & etc.

    See what I mean? A scientific skeptic would say, “If CAGW exists, then provide convincing evidence.” Izen’s comment shows that he needs no evidence; he knows that there is catastrophic global warming. His only question is: how catastrophic is it going to be?

    And Izen isn’t so clever as he believes he is, trying to re-frame my comment and paint me into a rhetorical corner. I have never stated that AGW doesn’t exist. Even though there is no testable, measurable evidence showing the small fraction of warming attributable human activity, I accept that it exists.

    Where we differ is that Izen believes AGW will be catastrophic, whereas I think it is insignificant. And so far the planet agrees with my view, not with Izen or the rest of the alarmist crowd.

  71. @izen says: April 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

    “If you really think that AGW is still not scientifically verified – or at least a credible theory to account for the last ~50years of observations, perhaps you could explain what WOULD be evidence according to the scientific method which if found would persuade you of the reality of this generally agreed theory within the rest of the scientific community.”

    I know AGW is still not scientifically verified. Unless you happen to believe that a bunch of broadly similar computer models which have all been programmed with way too high climate sensitivity and largely ignoring all the other factors influencing climate amount to “verification”. None of these models exhibit any real skill even when hindcasting. And the real climate keeps on doing its own thing despite all the doom laden “scenarios”. Meanwhile the Hyperthermalists urge the speedy adoption of non-solutions which demonstrably don’t work to fix a non-existent “problem”.

    There is about as much “scientific evidence” for Phrenology or Homeopathy. But the cAGW religion is way more dangerous. How many of the poor have already been plunged into fuel poverty? How many in the Third World’s live hopeless lives for want of affordable, reliable energy? What has the effect on the economy of the developed world of this pseudoscientific nonsense? If it is all so robust, how come, wherever you look, the high priests of cAGW are peddling bare faced lies?

  72. Jim G says: April 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “And so what about the water vapor that forms clouds. Are you saying that this does not occur, or that clouds do not keep heat from radiating back into space at night? Coldest nights here in the northland are cloudless nights, for sure.”

    I’m simply saying that the H2O specifically from burning biofuels will have little effect on overall water cycles and will cause little CHANGE in clouds. Certainly clouds and water vapor will have significant impacts of IR into/out of the atmosphere.

    Others seems to be claiming that burning biofuels would CREATE a lot of H2O when in fact it is simply recycling the H2O.

  73. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 1:19 am [There is growing (!) evidence– ---primarily forest – being cleared thousands of years ago.---?!) a warming influence on the climate.]
    ————————————————————————–
    Izen: What, where, when, (like how many thousands) how much and by whom?

    Douglas

  74. If only someone could find a way to convert all the organic waste on my 11 acre parcel into something useful. I’d like to be able to convert all my rose, grape vine and tree trimmings into something useful. I refrain from burning the trimmings as I have to clean my PV panels off if the wind is blowing the wrong way- that and my wife hates the smell. It’s been close to 10 years since I worked on a successful bioengineering effort so I know it (develop, genetically modify some bug to eat the organic stuff and poop out something I can use) is technically possible. It will likely be another 20 years, or so, before anyone will invest their research dollars to help with my specific problem (what to do with my organic waste on the ranch that is)……. oh well.

    In the mean time the folks down in Brazil seem to be looking at alternative uses for their sugar cane- biodiesel. It will be interesting to see if Amyris’s efforts in converting sugar cane into biodiesel turns out to be commercially viable.

    http://www.amyrisbiotech.com/en/markets/fuels/renewable-diesel-fuel

    As it appears the gophers, moles, and voles are winning the battle of getting a drink out of my underground drip irrigation lines- leading to way to much mint in the wrong places- I would appreciate it if someone would research a way to get rid of the mint too. The mint does keep the rose garden cooler then otherwise would be the case (as the sucking stuff steals my water to keep propagating itself)………….

  75. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

    “Sam, darling, blaming the warmista for their misconceptions does absolutely nothing to absolve the rejectionists from their idiocy.”

    Izen, Sweetheart, are you sure you want to say that? The response kind of speaks itself. What the rejectionists reject are the misconceptions of the Warmista. These misconceptions are the whole and entire reason for the debate. If the Warmista could just awake from their confusion, from their worship of the claim that Earth’s CO2 blanket IS Earth’s climate, then this entire debate would disappear immediately.

  76. @izen says: April 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

    “If you really think that AGW is still not scientifically verified – or at least a credible theory to account for the last ~50years of observations, perhaps you could explain what WOULD be evidence according to the scientific method which if found would persuade you of the reality of this generally agreed theory within the rest of the scientific community.”

    This has been clear as a bell at least since the publication of “The Great Global Warming Blunder.” If manmade CO2 is to cause dangerous warming, there must positive forcings. The knowledge that there are positive forcings will exist only when there are physical hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict them. At this time, there are none, and you darn well know it.

  77. izen;

    The carbon cycle is real, not artificial.
    Perhaps you could estimate what influence your inability to accept any inherent danger to the re-introduction of CO2 (geologically sequestered) into the atmosphere at a rate several orders of magnitude greater than any natural process might have on its actual danger?

    Easy, I estimate the actual danger at net zero. Since even if your concern for the “natural process” of carbon release into the atmnosphere had any validity you cannot in anyway suggest that the effects are necessiarily universally malicious. I would lean towards beneficial.

    If your carbon cycle was 100% in equilibrium how is that #1 the carbon was sequestered underground to begin with. #2 How do we see major fluctuations in carbon concentrations in the atmoshere before the existence of human civilization.

    The artificial aspect of the carbon cycle, which I refer to, is your supposition that the Earth has a way of regulating it into near perfect equilibrium, and the miniscule human input of previously sequestered CO2 can throw the balance out of whack. the carbon cycle is whatever the net result of all the inputs and outputs is it doesn’t have a point of stasis or a conscience.

  78. @-Smokey says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    “See what I mean? A scientific skeptic would say, “If CAGW exists, then provide convincing evidence.” Izen’s comment shows that he needs no evidence; he knows that there is catastrophic global warming. His only question is: how catastrophic is it going to be?”

    My apologies, an attempt to be succinct has reversed the meaning that you have derived from it. I said –
    ” How catastrophic global warming might be is dependent on the resiliance of modern technological societies.”
    To clarify, I make no explicit or implicit assumption in this statement about whether there is global warming or if it is AGW. It is intended to be soley a statement about the degree of catastrophe that might be caused by any degree of global warming from any cause.

    The subject of the robustness or otherwise of modern society is a whole nother can of worms. And one in which uncertainty and political froth abound. I find the argument that what threatens societies are not environmental change – that can be adapted to, but diminishing returns on increasing complexity of governance to cope with change.

    -“Where we differ is that Izen believes AGW will be catastrophic, whereas I think it is insignificant. And so far the planet agrees with my view, not with Izen or the rest of the alarmist crowd.”-

    I have no strong opinions on whether some degree of warming might be catastrophic, I suspect the key factor is agricultural disruption – a society that cannot provide calories dies quick.
    I have no objection to a correct charaterisation of my opinions when you give one, but I hope this makes clear my views in this case, sorry if you were misled by your reading of my previous post.

  79. Douglas says:
    April 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    Re- evidence of early land-use change –
    ” What, where, when, (like how many thousands) how much and by whom?
    Douglas”

    Try this –

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/71932/title/Climate_meddling_dates_back_8%2C000_years

    Climate meddling dates back 8,000 years
    Clearing land — first to hunt and gather, and then to farm — removed trees that otherwise would have soaked up carbon dioxide. The new work suggests that humans working the land put nearly 350 billion metric tons of carbon — many times other estimates — into the atmosphere by the year 1850.

    or-

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/250311/full/news.2011.184.html

    Another study in The Holocene by Dorian Fuller, an archaeologist at University College London, explores methane emissions from livestock and the spread of rice agriculture in southeast Asia. Fuller says that the expansion of rice could account for up to 80% of the additional atmospheric methane as of 1,000 years ago, and suggests that the expansion of livestock could help to plug the gap in previous millennia.

  80. @-Justa Joe says:
    April 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm
    “The artificial aspect of the carbon cycle, which I refer to, is your supposition that the Earth has a way of regulating it into near perfect equilibrium, and the miniscule human input of previously sequestered CO2 can throw the balance out of whack. the carbon cycle is whatever the net result of all the inputs and outputs is it doesn’t have a point of stasis or a conscience.”

    I am happy to be able to reassure you that I have no such adherence to abstract concepts of uniformism or homeostasis that you suppose.

    You are quite correct that the carbon cycle is “whatever the net result of all the inputs and outputs is it doesn’t have a point of stasis or a conscience.”
    It doesn’t have any means of keeping the process secret either. The amount of carbon in each of the ‘states’ in which it is present is discoverable. The rate at which carbon moves through the system was observed after the atmospheric nuclear tests created a spike of C14. The chemistry of the key short-term sources, air and sea was fully explained in the 1950s.
    All this enables a good knowledge of how the magnitude of various inputs and outputs varies from natural fluctuations – and what those natural influences are.

    I don’t think there are many who would consider it scientifically credible to assert that the measured rise in atmospheric CO2 with the observed isotope changes is NOT the result of burning fossil fuel. I presume you have some other reason for calling the understanding science has of the carbon cycle into question ?

    [sorry about the multiple posts, but so many to respond to, not sure whether to do separate or v long groups.... grin]

  81. izen,

    Maybe you missed my point. I don’t argue that man’s combustion of hydrocarbons doesn’t add CO2 to the atmosphere miniscule though it may be. My point is Yeah, man liberate carbon, which was for a period of time undeground… so what?

  82. Martin Brumby says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Ahhhh. Marylyn.
    I’m one of those who like it hot.

  83. @-Justa Joe says:
    April 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm
    “My point is Yeah, man liberate carbon, which was for a period of time undeground… so what?”

    Well here is a list of some people that wondered about that…..

    Fourier
    Tyndall
    Arrhenius
    Callendar
    Plass
    Revelle
    Keeling

  84. @izen

    Here’s, supposedly, for most people, a simple question: Can you at least link to your supposed proofs you claim and hint at?

    At least others appear to have rational logical reasoning and links, you seem to have none.

  85. To reveal the great folly of Warmista climate science, consider the case of modern genetics, the genetics of Crick and Watson’s Double Helix and the Human Genome Project. Climate scientists seem to believe that they have found in Arrhenius’ CO2 hypotheses the climate equivalent of the Double Helix and that they are moving forward on the climate equivalent of the mapping of the human genome. What none of them seem to understand is the vast amount of slogging through experimental research for the purpose of creating and testing physical hypotheses that modern genetics depends on.

    As is well known, Crick was more inclined to theory and less inclined to experiment than Watson. Enough said about Crick. Watson is the story of the science. Watson worked 24/7/365 for most of his life with his hands immersed in some organic soup. In other words, he slogged daily as a biochemist. All of that work was necessary to support the Double Helix theory and all later developments in genetic theory in which Watson participated. Watson’s notebooks probably contain many thousands of physical hypotheses. These are hypotheses about what is going on biochemically in the many soups that Watson worked in. Some hypotheses were rejected and some accepted. Of course, many other biochemists made contributions of the same sort and still do. Today, genetic science is no less free of biochemistry than it was in 1945. However beautiful the Double Helix and the Human Genome Maps might be, the science is in the thousands of hypotheses about the soups.

    Climate scientists have their computer models, Arrhenius’ hypotheses, some highly questionable historical temperature data, their novel statistics, and they believe that their science is no less ready for prime time than is modern genetic science. They believe that they can predict critical features of Earth’s climate for tomorrow, next year, and next century. What are they missing? They are missing the climate-versions of those thousands of hypotheses produced by the daily slogging of Watson and other scientists like him who are working today. Sorry guys, but it is just not going to happen. This little study on sugar cane is one of Watson’s vats. You have to go into it. You have to eventually spell out the importance of Arrhenius’ hypotheses and your computer models through thousands of such little hypotheses. There is no other way.

  86. Izen, So you believe that the ‘anthropogenic ‘ CO2 re-introduced to the atmosphere will have some negligible warming effect? Not at all unreasonable. Prof. Richard Lindzen agrees with that view, but what do you propose to do about all of the alarmists and climate carpetbaggers?

  87. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Try this –

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/71932/title/Climate_meddling_dates_back_8%2C000_years

    Climate meddling dates back 8,000 years
    Clearing land — first to hunt and gather, and then to farm
    or-

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/250311/full/news.2011.184.html

    —————————————————————————-
    Oh Gawd izen. Why don’t you throw in the beavers building dams into your pathetic list of songs as well. In fact anything that lives is a candidate for your list from what you say. Why not stop breathing – that would help.

    Douglas

  88. A lot of our sugarcane crop was destroyed in the recent floods, so we can expect warmer weather in Queensland?

  89. Just some comments about the ethanol in Brazil:

    Sugar cane ethanol is (generally) economically viable in Brazil. The problem is that its price oscilates with the international sugar prices (so sugar cane is used to make ethanol or sugar, whatever is more profitable), and also with seasonal fluctuation of sugar cane harvest. So when ethanol is expensive for whatever reason, people uses gasoline (flexible-fuel cars – flex – are quite popular now). (As a side note, the tank of my car is filled with gasoline right now).

    Also, ethanol production from sugar cane in Brazil does not compete with food production. Prices in Brazil suffer more from the rising inflation and management of the BIG sized government…

    I didn’t read all the Wikipedia entry within its details, but it seems to be quite good (a little greener for my taste, but, well…):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil

    I see all this from an economic point of view; trying to impose the use of biofuels, even when they are more expensive than gasoline (requiring government subsidy, forcing food prices, high production cost, etc), that’s just plain stupid, isn’t it?

  90. Let’s try the same experiment with lots of different crops. Then let’s plot temperature change against leaf area of the crop per unit land area. Any predictions?

  91. @izen says: April 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    “Climate meddling dates back 8,000 years”

    So almost the whole of human civilization is “meddling”.

    Yeah.

    That just about sums up the weird anti-human belief system of the Hyperthermalists.

    Ever seen what elephants do to trees in Africa? Go wag your bony finger at them.

  92. “Tim Folkerts says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm
    Jim G says: April 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “And so what about the water vapor that forms clouds. Are you saying that this does not occur, or that clouds do not keep heat from radiating back into space at night? Coldest nights here in the northland are cloudless nights, for sure.”

    I’m simply saying that the H2O specifically from burning biofuels will have little effect on overall water cycles and will cause little CHANGE in clouds. Certainly clouds and water vapor will have significant impacts of IR into/out of the atmosphere.

    Others seems to be claiming that burning biofuels would CREATE a lot of H2O when in fact it is simply recycling the H2O.”

    Sounds a lot like what some say about CO2.

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