Potential Agricultural Impact of the Eddy Minimum

Guest post by David Archibald

I will be giving a lecture in Washington in early June on my way through to the Bahamas. Following are the slides that pertain to the agricultural impact of the current de Vries cycle event – the Eddy Minimum.

 

The stippled line is the current Canadian wheat-growing area. The heavy black line is what that would shrink to if temperature fell by one degree Celsius. Friis-Christensen and Lassen theory applied to the temperature records of the northeastern US derive a temperature decline of 2.0 degrees Celsius to the latitude of the US-Canadian border. It therefore follows that Canadian agriculture will be back to trapping beavers by the end of this decade, as it was in the 17th century.

Many years ago, in the time before global warming corrupted most branches of science, researchers looked at the consequences of warming and cooling. Newman in 1980 was such a researcher. This is a figure he provided of where the US Corn Belt would shift to with one degree of warming, the dashed line, and one degree of cooling, the solid line. The current corn growing area is shaded. His calculation of 144 km per degree C is in line with my estimate of a 300 km shift southward in growing conditions.

And corn is a big business in the United States:

The large amount of ethanol production is a good thing in that it provides a buffer of capacity in the climatic event under way. The mandated ethanol requirement has brought the future forward.

Archeological records tell it that it has happened before. The map in the following graphic shows how Indian maize growing moved south in response to the onset of the Little Ice Age (Reiley 1979).

But it can get worse than the standard de Vries cycle climate response. That can be overprinted by a major volcanic eruption:

Mt Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and 1992 averaged 0.5 degrees C cooler as a consequence. The Dalton Minimum’s major volcanic eruption was Mt Tambora:

 

My generation has known a warm, giving Sun, but the next will suffer a Sun that is less giving, and the Earth will be less fruitful.

The Australian Prime Minister spoke recently of the benefits of reading Bible stories. The Bible story that all governments should be paying particular attention to is the one in Genesis about the seven years of fat followed by the seven years of lean. Otherwise another Biblical character will make his appearance – the Third Horseman of the Apocalypse, Famine.

References

Newman, J. E. (1980). Climate change impacts on the growing season of the North American Corn Belt. Biometeorology, 7 (2), 128-142.

Riley, T. J., and Friemuth, G. (1979). Field systems and frost drainage in the prehistoric agriculture of the Upper Great Lakes. American Antiquity, 44 (2), 271-285.

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156 Responses to Potential Agricultural Impact of the Eddy Minimum

  1. R. de Haan says:

    We’re already in different territory
    http://www.weatherbell.com/jd/?p=1509

  2. Latitude says:

    David, I think you’re spot on….

    I don’t know why that is considered the “corn belt”, but it is.
    Fro example both Florida and Georgia have about 1/2 billion acres of corn, each.

  3. R. de Haan says:

    Related: Global Weather Impacts
    http://www.weatherbell.com/jd/?p=1526

  4. Ed Mertin says:

    Just when it appears that volcanic activity is trending down then comes an increase in Italy. It just ding dang has to wait, in one certain area it could potentially kill my high flying new stock that’s ramping up like the sun was! We be Jammin!!!!

  5. The Expulsive says:

    Just so you know, they don’t fgrow wheat in most of the area that is marked in the stipple.

  6. berniel says:

    ….the Third Horseman of the Apocalypse

    Please, no more Apocalypse! Should we replace one fear campaign with another? I have fond memories of the cool measured language of science smoothing through the emotional roller-coaster of social panic that suddenly sees us all cheering the mitigation of evil — whether by burning witches or by burning ethanol.

  7. A G Foster says:

    Any comments on why the citrus belt is headed south? –AGF

  8. tallbloke says:

    The ancient Egyptians had grain silos capable of sustaining people for seven years. The current ‘just in time’ market-maker driven agricultural supply chain would last about seven months.

  9. Anything is possible says:

    Hypothetical question :

    Enhanced levels of atmospheric CO2 have been shown to have beneficial effects on plant growth – principally because it enables them to use water more efficiently.

    Could this, in theory, also make them more tolerant of lower temperatures to the extent that they may be better equipped to survive very slight frosts in the event of temperatures falling below freezing for a very short period of time?

    Something that may be worthy of investigation IMO, although finding research funds to investigate a possible beneficial effect of CO2 may prove to be a sticking point in the current climate.

  10. vukcevic says:

    Despite the sun winding down,
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    if there is a significant cooling at the same time (I do not think it will be excessive), then science is going to have a ‘hot potato’ on its hands, and I do not have the TSI or solar in mind.

  11. vboring says:

    Crop damage from cold weather is caused by cell damage from expanding water.

    If higher CO2 leads to lower crop water content, then frost hardiness could increase. I can’t think of a reason why it would, but maybe it does.

    But higher CO2 does make most plants grow faster so you don’t need as long of a grow season.

    At the end of the day, falling temperatures reduce the planet’s carrying capacity much faster than rising temperatures do, so cold is the far scarier climate change.

  12. Here’s a photo that my wife took in the morning on May 11th, 2011, in South Colorado:

    http://www.pbase.com/maria_s/image/134639090.jpg

    Snowfall continued for several hours after this photo has been taken.

    While there were in the past some freezing temperatures at night in May and June where we live, this daytime snowfall was the latest observed since we moved here in 1991. A week later than the previous record on May 4th, 2007.

  13. TomRude says:

    The green guzzling BC Government’s carbon tax works marvels! Vancouver had something like the coldest April on record… sarc/off

  14. reason says:

    “The ancient Egyptians had grain silos capable of sustaining people for seven years.”

    Those evil grain fat-cats! What they needed was Grain Re-Investment Legislation in order to get through the seven years of lean, which, let me be clear, were a direct result of the failed policies of the previous pharoh…

    /snark

  15. Ken Lydell says:

    There have been an enormous number of open field enriched CO2 experiments using equipment designed and furnished by Brookhaven National Laboratory. The results are never reported in the MSM and Greens avoid the topic. Thus far there have been no results indicating that any plant species would suffer as a consequence of atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Plants with all three known photosynthetic metabolic pathways benefit to some degree. Plants using the C3 pathway go hog wild and grow dramatically. The growth rate of C3 trees has greatly increased over the last 30 years. The results are absolutely stunning. C4 plants like corn respond well but nowhere as well as C3 plants. Plants using the CAM pathway enjoy minor but nonetheless notable benefits.

    If you want to learn more about the impact of CO2 enrichment on corn I suggest this link: http://www.co2science.org/subject/subject.php. There is a wealth of information there you will find nowhere else.

  16. Eric Anderson says:

    Just a layman’s question:

    Does the annual temperature ever vary by more than 1 degree C in the particular growing region? If so, then it would not be correct to say that a 1 degree change sometime in the future would prevent the crop from growing in that region. Further, an annual crop is affected by the temperatures of particular seasons only, rather than even the annual or some longer-term average. If the crop can in fact grow in a temperature range larger than 1 degree C, then it’s not clear to me that a 1 degree average change at some point in the future will make that much difference. Most plants, including wheat, seem able to grow over a much larger temperature range than 1 degree C.

  17. Scott Covert says:

    The Apocalypse, really…?
    Was that pertinent to your point?

    Good grief Charlie Brown, You’re a block head!

    Every good “what if” needs the end of the world attached to the end./ sarc.

    Please lighten up.

  18. meemoe_uk says:

    Roy’s explaination for the UAH graph. If pinatubo (VEI 6) caused the 1991-1995 small dip in temp, what the heck caused the more severe 1983-1988 dip? UAH followers have been happy to either not ask this question or assert ‘nothing caused it’, while totally accepting a VEI 6 for the smaller dip.

  19. Dave Springer says:

    Anything is possible says:
    May 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Hypothetical question :

    Enhanced levels of atmospheric CO2 have been shown to have beneficial effects on plant growth – principally because it enables them to use water more efficiently.

    Could this, in theory, also make them more tolerant of lower temperatures to the extent that they may be better equipped to survive very slight frosts in the event of temperatures falling below freezing for a very short period of time?

    Something that may be worthy of investigation IMO, although finding research funds to investigate a possible beneficial effect of CO2 may prove to be a sticking point in the current climate.

    ‘Fraid not. There’s more libraries full of literature & research on what makes plants grow better or worse than Carter has Little Liver Pills. Optimum growth temperature rises with rising CO2. The primary benefit, by the way, isn’t getting along with less water, it’s very accelerated growth rates. CO2 is always a limiting factor in plant growth rate at today’s concentration. There may be other limiting factors but given adequate nutrients, water, and sunlight then CO2 is a limiting factor and there’s no economical cure for it as it can’t be added to the air like fertilizer and water can be added to the soil.

  20. tesla_x says:

    Gentlemen,

    An excellent article with excellent commentary.

    More like this please.

  21. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Hmmm, I hadn’t realized that this solar minimum had already been named the “Eddy Minimum”! Nice job, Anthony and Leif!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Eddy

    There is a petition underway, organized by Anthony Watts, to be submitted at the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society in late June, 2009, in Boulder, CO by solar astronomer Dr. Leif Svalgaard,[8] to name the next significant solar minimum the “Eddy Minimum” to honor Eddy’s contributions to his field in this line of research.

  22. rbateman says:

    tallbloke says:
    May 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    We could squeak by in a Dalton, but any more than that will find a US Agriculture Market unprepared.

    berniel says:
    May 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    The warning given in that passage was not intended to punish, but to forewarn to be prepared. So, start preparing.

  23. Geoff Sharp says:

    The “Eddy Minimum” ??

  24. rbateman says:

    Good post, David. It’s time to prepare. Let the grasshopper do as the grasshopper will, and let the ants show the way.

  25. Dave Springer says:

    vboring says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    If higher CO2 leads to lower crop water content, then frost hardiness could increase. I can’t think of a reason why it would, but maybe it does.

    Nope. They lose less water during gas exchange. The higher CO2 level means the stomata don’t open as much and/or as long in order to exchange gases. The higher CO2 concentration makes the exchange go faster exactly the same as you don’t have to breathe as much when oxygen is higher. You’ll also lose less water as oxygen level rises. Plants need to breathe just like us only they don’t have lungs and they breathe to get CO2 instead of oxygen.

  26. Kum Dollison says:

    Florida, and Georgia have half a billion acres of corn, each? Really? :)

    I gotta remember that.

    I think maybe you threw in a few extra zeros, there. :)

  27. morgo says:

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/cold-blast-has-wide-reaching-effect/17347 very cold eastern australia have a look at weatherzone

  28. Mike Campbell says:

    Thx, interesting post. Just to note, it looks like most of Canada’s wheat is grown within the darker black line currently.

    http://www.fas.usda.gov/remote/Canada/can_wha.htm

  29. Friis-Christensen and Lassen theory applied to the temperature records of the northeastern US derive a temperature decline of 2.0 degrees Celsius to the latitude of the US-Canadian border.
    There is little doubt that a 2 degree decline would have significant consequences, but there is also little doubt that the FCL-theory is junk.

  30. Kum Dollison says:

    It looks like Florida, and Georgia, together, might scrape up a half a million acres, on a good year.

    http://southeastfarmpress.com/corn-acreage-down-soybeans

  31. HankHenry says:

    It’s long forgotten now, but in the 19th century there was a extensive June freeze right in what we now call the Corn Belt. It did make the history books.

    June 4-5, 1859:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=b6wXh7vmWDMC&pg=PA199#v=onepage&q&f=false
    http://books.google.com/books?id=cBMVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA193#v=onepage&q&f=false
    http://books.google.com/books?id=QxgWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA81#v=onepage&q&f=false
    http://books.google.com/books?id=34RKv9fMFo4C&pg=PT91#v=onepage&q&f=false
    This last of this list has a lot of nice explanations of how frost works.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=gR5FAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA470#v=onepage&q&f=false

  32. Dave Springer says:

    “But higher CO2 does make most plants grow faster so you don’t need as long of a grow season.”

    There is probably a survey of what plants respond in that manner and which do not but I know many do not as their growth cycles are timed by temperature and/or number of hours day/night.

  33. William Abbott says:

    We did quite a bit of work in southern Manitoba for Manitoba Hydro a few years ago. It amazing the amount of agricultural land that has already been abandoned and allowed to return to forest. It doesn’t take much to push these marginal boundary regions out of production. The Eddy Minimum will drive the grain belt south.

    How marginal is the climate in Ukraine? They have really turned into a breadbasket since the USSR dissolved. Do they occupy a boundary region?

  34. Well stated and presented, David.

  35. Latitude says:

    A G Foster says:
    May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm
    Any comments on why the citrus belt is headed south? –AGF
    ====================================================
    AG, read this, you’ll get a kick out of it.
    Documents how citrus has moved south from South Carolina…….

    http://citrus.forumup.org/about4961-citrus.html

  36. WTF says:

    Not much wheat grown outside the solid black line in Canada right now Anthony. Northern Ontario is pretty much exposed bedrock (Canadian Shield) with small areas of aerable land (west of New Liskard for instance). Manatoba and Saskatchewan may grow some wheat north of the black line but northern Alberta grows not much more than dollar bills for workers in the oil sands, profits for oil companies and royalties to pay for health care in Canada.

    REPLY: Note the author

  37. WTF says:

    William Abbott says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    We did quite a bit of work in southern Manitoba for Manitoba Hydro a few years ago. It amazing the amount of agricultural land that has already been abandoned and allowed to return to forest.

    Manitoba is run by a socialist NDP Government. That, the Canadian Wheat Board and factory farming probably do more more to cause abandonded farms then the weather. Except for the yearly flooding of the red River.

  38. Charles Higley says:

    “The large amount of ethanol production is a good thing in that it provides a buffer of capacity in the climatic event under way.”

    This is an ingenuous statement which ignores the human and economic impact on the poor of the world. This is not a buffer, just a profligate and ill-advised waste of perfectly good food and agricultural effort and land. It only serves as a buffer in that the idiotic pursuit could be canceled totally and not affect anything if at the same time the cropland available decreased – in which case it would be a disaster for the poor.

  39. vboring says: “…higher CO2 does make most plants grow faster so you don’t need as long of a grow season.”

    Ha, I guess we’ll have to pump CO2 like mad, now. Much more fun.

  40. WTF says:

    REPLY: Note the author

    OOOPS! My bad.

  41. mike g says:

    Several have mentioned this or that would be a good area for further research. It should be clear that any and all research conducted on the government dime should be suspended until such time as the government is solvent again.

  42. agimarc says:

    Greenhouses may be coming to North America as a counter to colder weather.

    One of the videos of the Japanese tsunami had a wall of water inundating field after field of greenhouses. They are used extensively in Japan and Korea due to the cold climate – mostly plastic covering some sort of framework. Won’t survive real well in stormy weather, but are a solution not available in the early 19th century US. Greenhouses are a growing fad among the more serious gardeners up here in Alaska, as they allow the starts to get going pretty well while winter drags on and on and on. We are about 1-2 weeks late this year.

    The other thing you can do with a greenhouse is to juice the atmosphere with CO2 to speed plant growth. The bigger the plants get, the more survivable they are to the last frost. Over 1000 ppm is not uncommon.

    They are relatively cheap and go up quickly – at least in the Far East. Cheers -

  43. Bruce Cobb says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    There is little doubt that a 2 degree decline would have significant consequences, but there is also little doubt that the FCL-theory is junk.
    That world-renowned “science” organization, the IPCC would certainly agree, as would others with their own particular axes to grind.
    Others, not so much.

  44. David L. Hagen says:

    Global net primary productivity has increased along with increasing temperature and CO2.

    For contingency planning, it appears global cooling is far more hazardous than global warming.

    What would be the OPTIMUM CO2 concentration under greenhouse conditions with 2C lower?

  45. Hugh Pepper says:

    It is difficult to make any sense of this post. Agricultural patterns on the Canadian prairies have been well studied and the dominant influences are drought, not temperature. The influences of solar cycles have been thoroughly debunked by the scientific community and the predictions conclude that warming will move the growing area north, not south. Ministries of Agriculture in the Prairie Provinces are preparing for this eventuality now and farmers are altering their practices to conserve moisture and prevent soil erosion. All of this can be observed or understood better with a google search: Dr David Sauchyn, for example, but there are hundreds of other studies on the paleoclimate of the Canadian West. I don’t think the writer of this article has done his homework.

  46. Latitude says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    Florida, and Georgia have half a billion acres of corn, each? Really? :)
    ===================================================
    woops, that’s pounds not acres

    http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/flsweetcorn.html

  47. MattN says:

    I prefer the “Gore Minimum”.

  48. R. de Haan says:

    Hunger to come to Egypt
    By Spengler
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME10Ak01.html

    Our ethanol mandated policies are devastating.

    So is the subsidized promotion of bio gas plants.
    These plants take out large swats of land that was formerly used to grow food crops.

    In Germany food crop farmers renting the land for about 450 Euro per hectare now have (extremely dishonest) competition from bio plant farmers who pay over 1.000 Euro per hectare. I am quite sure similar practices now occur all over the place.
    In Europe and the USA.

    All drive up prices.

  49. Andrew Bore says:

    “northern Alberta grows not much more than dollar bills for workers in the oil sands.” This may be true for Northeastern Alberta but not for Northwestern Alberta where a great deal of wheat and other grains is grown. In addition the Canadian map suggests no wheat farming in deep southern Alberta which would come as a great surprise to my uncle whose farm has had wheat grown on it for close to a century. The biggest factor in this area is water or lack thereof, which is the reason for the extensive irrigation systems.

  50. David L. Hagen says:

    MattN
    re Eddy minimum vs Gore minimum.
    Lets give honor where honor is due – ie to Eddy.

    Jack Eddy was a solar scientist who discovered the sunspot period known as “Maunder Minimum” in the 1970’s, and despite intense academic pressure of the current consensus, argued that this demonstrated that our sun was not constant, but indeed a slightly variable star.

  51. Bruce Cobb says:
    May 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Others, not so much.
    Willful ignorance is a poor excuse. What is yours?

  52. W Abbott says:

    WTF is right. The abandoned farmland in Manitoba is not the result of climate/temperature change. But… a temperature drop of the magnitude predicted by David Archibald would cause massive disruption in these marginal farm lands. They are not consistently productive as it is.

  53. Theo Goodwin says:

    A G Foster says:
    May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm
    “Any comments on why the citrus belt is headed south? –AGF”

    In Central Florida, the locals say that the hard freezes of the last three or more years has pushed citrus farming south. In each of the last few years, we have experienced a freeze or two that lasted something like 24 hours. The usual weather has the temperature dipping below 32 for a few hours and quickly recovering.

  54. Theo Goodwin says:

    Someone prove to me that Hugh Pepper is not a computer.

  55. IanG says:

    Eric Anderson says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Just a layman’s question:

    Does the annual temperature ever vary by more than 1 degree C in the particular growing region? If so, then it would not be correct to say that a 1 degree change sometime in the future would prevent the crop from growing in that region. Further, an annual crop is affected by the temperatures of particular seasons only, rather than even the annual or some longer-term average. If the crop can in fact grow in a temperature range larger than 1 degree C, then it’s not clear to me that a 1 degree average change at some point in the future will make that much difference. Most plants, including wheat, seem able to grow over a much larger temperature range than 1 degree C.

    Eric,
    A layman’s answer. The problem isn’t that in summer the temperature reduces from eg 29C to 28C. The problem is the date when spring/summer start. With a 1C drop then the start date is later in the year when the last frosts occur and similarly when the frosts start again after summer/autumn. This reduces the length of time for the corn to grow and ripen. This means that the area where corn can grow successfully has to move South where the growing season is still long enough.

    I hope this helps.

    IanG

  56. Al Gored says:

    David Archibald. There is something wrong with the first map.

    You wrote that “The stippled line is the current Canadian wheat-growing area.”

    They do not grow wheat or anything that far north in Alberta and the part in in BC makes zero sense because they do not grow wheat there. Moreover, it is far milder on the west side of the Rockies so your lines there don’t really make much sense at all. Yet on this map one could and would get the impression that southern Alberta and BC are comparable and they are not. Not even close. Please fix… or maybe there is something here I missed?

    Also, your soils ranges do not make much if any sense on that map either, particularly in BC and northern Alberta… you know what boreal forest soils are like? Or tar sands?
    Ever been to Vancouver Island?

  57. HankHenry says:

    Ok, so we grant for the purposes of argument the FCL is junk. Aren’t most climate theories in this category. My theory is that the climate is complicated enough that we are most truthful if we just say that it meanders something like a river – sometimes going one way simply because it once went the other way . With everyone worrying about the consequences of a warming trend I welcome a little speculation about the consequences of a cooling trend. I suspect we have a lot more to worry about if things start going that direction.

  58. Barry Moore says:

    A friend of mine is a farmer in SE Sasketchewan and he has remarked on the diminishing number of frost free days in the last 3 years maybe a short term cycle maybe not.
    The government of Ontario a few years ago published an extensive field study on the effect of enhanced CO2 levels in greenhouses it appears that 1000 ppm of CO2 is the optimum level for maximum productivity in greenhouses.

  59. hotrod (Larry L) says:

    R. de Haan says:
    May 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Hunger to come to Egypt
    By Spengler
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME10Ak01.html

    This outcome has been inevitable for 20 years, for anyone who was paying attention. Any country that imports that large a fraction of its essential food supply, which does not take measures to increase local food production and storage when they have a population that is growing explosively is playing a losing game with the logistic curve.

    When something like 1/2 your population is entering the teenage years (32.7% of the population is under 14 years of age) and a population growth rate of 2%/year (ie population doubles every 36 years), any responsible government would have seen this coming 15-20 years ago. It has nothing to do with U.S. farm policies, it is entirely at the door step of the Egyptian government and their policies for the last 40+ years.

    Then you add the additional insult of a country dependent on tourism which has groups massacring tourists to make a political statement, you only accelerate the inevitable. This sort of situation has been brewing in the middle east since the time of Anwar Sadat, its occurrence is not a surprise, it was a question of when not if.

    In a very short time, the middle eastern countries will also grow into an internal energy crunch, as this population hump grows into the age range where they want to buy cars, and homes, where they will have to divert their exportable oil to their own population rather than sell it off shore to stave off internal problems. They are in a demographic vice due to a population that is charging into a western style consumption life style at a dead run, and they made no efforts to anticipate this change in supply and demand.

    When 43.4% of the population is urban and that is growing at 2.1%/year their ability to grow their own food will continue to drop. Just in time world food supplies will only aggravate it “when” there is some event that limits supply. In the 1970′s that event was a major crop failure in Russia combined with the oil embargo that pushed the price of foods up. Our grain is still cheap compared to inflation adjusted prices for that period.

    Larry

    Larry

  60. I’m sorry David, this simply will not cut it. To many unsubstantiated assumptions, to few empirical facts. To many unless numerical models. Sure the “little ice age” would likely push some agriculture to slightly different growing areas. That and a couple of dollars will get you a coffee. I think if one is using or claiming to use science then it best they follow its methods.

  61. Nomen Nescio says:

    Hugh Pepper,
    Maybe I misread the article, but isn’t that what the author said?
    And David Archibald, let’s don’t get too worked up, Monsanto has corn, wheat, soy, etc traits that ripen early, just for this purpose (increasing the growing areas.) Round-up ready too!

  62. rbateman says:

    William Abbott says:
    May 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    During the Dalton, wheat imported from Turkey and Ukraine saved Europe from famine. The climate of the Ukraine is much like our own Great Plains in the US, being much more stable than that of Europe. I don’t rightly know if they are getting into the biofuels racket, but they are not likely to soon forget who cut thier gas supply off.

  63. Theo Goodwin says:

    Permit me to recover from an earlier error. I wrote that Central Florida suffered a 24 freeze. That is well nigh inconceivable. What I meant is that it suffered 8 or 10 hour freezes on consecutive days.

  64. Doug Proctor says:

    Mr. Archibald,

    Good timing with the paper/talk. Congratulations. You are stiking your neck out with predictions – it is amazing that the ones making all the money and political hay won’t do it. Let’s see Hansen predict the temperatures in 10 years.

    As in a previous post or two, the way a 2.0C drop in the US/Canadian wheat belt translates to the globe or other regions is important. Plus the difference between a temperature drop due to increased cloud cover from a volcano and one from a lack of condensation nuclei. With wheat yields – I have some background here – a minimum temperature is one thing, a lack of the top end of heat is another. One 3-day trip to North Dakoka during a hotspell cost my brother-in-law 22% of his crop due to >32C temperatures under a blazing sun. The temperatures were bad, but the sun was worse. Plus colder winter weather has some positive benefit as the ground stays frozen long enough for sloughs and ponds to fill rather than letting the snow- filter below rootlevel or evaporate. So timing with the portion of the 2C change is important to its effects on crop yield.

    Neverthe less, a 2C drop will effect things regardless of how it appears. If you are asked how this translates into the world, though, a bunch of comparisons would be useful. There is a graph that shows Global, Land Only and SST, such that (as I mentioned earlier), some calculations like 1C of global shows up as 2C of general land, etc. etc. Since 1979 I believe the (smoothed >5 year) increase in SST by NOAA/Hansen is only 0.36C, while the Global is 0.56C; the 70/30 rule to get global from land and sea applies here. I won’t fill in the blank as this is a simple calculation that the user needs to be comfortable with, and I am still working on my comfort level.

    In terms of the US/Canadian border, a 2C drop might not be 2C in New Hampshire or Texas because the changes seem to get more extreme towards the pole. You mentioned that you believed the tropics would be little effected – a huge discusion point as the MSM assumes that the hot tropics get broiling and kill everything. So a 2C drop at the 49th parallel may mean, by cross-checking of regional temperature changes, enough of an Arctic drop to re-freeze the NW Passage. Not that it is really open operationally yet anyway. But so much for an ice-free pole.

    The beautiful thing about your work here is that all regional effects in a global phenomenon have individual and specific expressions that can be discussed. Unlike the Hansen group who arm-wave terror from pole to pole, your work stands as a reference point in a sea of prediction-dodging extremists. Science is about prediction; quasi-science is about projections and arm-waving is about, well, arm-waving.

    I’m a pencil-and-ruler thinker, unfortunately in some ways. Yet looking at the data and how foolish some of the short-term analyses are, one could be excused for saying that a good eyeball and a ruler (even a flexible edge) have a better predictive ability than 45 linked video-game consoles. Patterns that are real and significant are detectable to the naked brain; the artefacts and hidden quirks are better left for machines and number-crunching retentives, of which our modern scientific communities are well endowed.

    Not that I’m a touch cynical. (But have you noted how well economic ups and downs are anticipated? How much more data and computations are there outside economics?)

  65. Doug Proctor says:

    BTW: your apparent wheat-growing area does not match that when you gooble Canadian Wheat Growing Regions. You’ve included northern Alberta and Wood-Buffalo National Park. Much of northern Alberta is muskeg and unsuitable for wheat, although the NEastern portion of BC around Fort St. John does grow wheat. Wood Buffalo has snakes because there are karstic caves for them to hide in and hibernate during the winter, but they are trapped there by the horrible climate to the south (proving, like the horned lizards in the Sand Hills of Saskatchewan, that 1500 years ago the Arizonan deserts extended up into Canada, suggesting strongly that a) things were much warmer before 1988, and maybe the climate can change naturally).

  66. Coalsoffire says:

    Every year we plant hundreds of acres of wheat on our farm in Southwestern Alberta. An area clearly outside of the limits suggested by this map. We have plans to plant 2,000 acres of wheat within the next 10 days. A little more than usual, but not all that much. The price is too darn good to ignore the opportunity. Although all of our seeding so far this spring has been canola, which is also enjoying a good price and can be seeded earlier than wheat. Luckily there is no map showing us that it won’t grow here. But now that we know we can’t grow wheat anymore, we may have to reconsider. On the other hand, the map could be garbage, (as our experience seems to indicate) which would throw some doubt on the accuracy of the whole article.

  67. Moderators, I respectfully ask you not to allow any more comments of this kind:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm
    Bruce Cobb says:
    May 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Others, not so much.
    Willful ignorance is a poor excuse. What is yours?

    Dr. Svalgaard frequently behaves as an insulting troll, and you do nothing about it.
    Double standard, perhaps?

    [Your opinion is noted. Other "opinions" differ from yours. Robt]

  68. John Brookes says:

    Someone please enlighten me. Since when have we gotten so good at predicting the future output of the sun? How do we do it?

  69. Dr. Dave in Dayton says:

    Eric Anderson says: May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Just a layman’s question: If the crop can in fact grow in a temperature range larger than 1 degree C, then it’s not clear to me that a 1 degree average change at some point in the future will make that much difference.
    =============================
    It is not the temperature variation during the growing season that is the critical factor. It is the impact of 1 degree C on the start and end of the growing season. One degree lower translates to roughly 15 days later in the start of the growing season and 15 days earlier for the first hard frost (shich kills the corn or soybean plants. The rule for farmers in Minnesota (southern region) was that if planting was delayed until June (1-10), then you planted 90 day corn and prayed that the frost would hold off until 15 September. This happened a lot in the ’50′s through 70′s; not so much in the ’80′s and 90′s; but it is happening again in the 2000′s.

  70. Roger Carr says:

    Alexander Feht says: (May 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm)
    Moderators, I respectfully ask you not to allow any more comments of this kind (regarding a comment by Leif Svalgaard)

    Before disagreeing with you, Alexander, I decided to check your site as linked through your hyper linked name here. I got a warning page stating “Reported Attack Page!” so I note only that I disagree with you without being able to asses your qualifications to make such a request.

  71. David Corcoran says:

    Whether the growing season shifts south and people starve or not we can be sure of one thing: Environmentalists don’t care. They constantly fantasize about a world with fewer people. A number of prominent environmentalists dream of a disease to wipe out much of humanity. They don’t care about jobs, green or any other kind. It’s a twisted cult that has the world in its grip. Each of their solutions, from making fuel more expensive, to making food into fuel… are completely uncaring of human lives.

  72. Roger Carr,

    My website has been hacked again today (not the first time), and I am dealing with this issue. Somebody with advanced computer skills apparently doesn’t like me very much.
    What does this temporary outage has to do with my “qualifications”?

  73. P.S. in answer to Roger Carr:

    Besides, you post without any link to your website, which makes it impossible to check your “qualifications” — and, following your own logic, this alone disqualifies you from assessing my “qualifications” by definition.

    To put an end to this nonsense:
    Nobody, whatever his “qualifications” may be, is qualified as a gentleman after posting comments of the “Willful ignorance is a poor excuse. What is yours?” kind.

  74. Roger Carr says:

    Alexander Feht

    a. I wanted to check your web site (as you had provided the link) to see who you were.
    b. My own website tells little of me: http://www.sillybooks.net/
    c. Your criticism of Leif Svalgaard’s few words annoyed me.
    d. I over reacted — I should have left it alone. The moderator, Robt, had handled it well.

  75. Michael Schaefer says:

    HankHenry says:
    May 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Ok, so we grant for the purposes of argument the FCL is junk. Aren’t most climate theories in this category. My theory is that the climate is complicated enough that we are most truthful if we just say that it meanders something like a river – sometimes going one way simply because it once went the other way . With everyone worrying about the consequences of a warming trend I welcome a little speculation about the consequences of a cooling trend. I suspect we have a lot more to worry about if things start going that direction.
    ————————————————————————-

    Try this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_vortex_street

    It may be just another kind of many more underlying natural principles, like

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

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life

    or the famous

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

    whic are influencing the Physics of Nature in measurable and explainable, yet often not finally understood – if at all understandable – ways.

  76. Roger Carr,

    Yes, you overreacted [FYI. "overreacted" is spelled as a single word].
    IMO, moderators don’t handle Leif Svalgaard’s behavioral problems well.
    He seems to be the only person given a license to insult.
    Well, it’s the moderators’ personal tragedy. I can only shrug and turn away.

    [Reply: Moderation @WUWT has always been done with a light touch. It is a trade-off against censorship. Readers can decide for themselves the merits of the various comments. ~dbs, mod.]

  77. Sleepalot says:

    “The mandated ethanol requirement has brought the future forward.”

    Can we leave the future where it is, please, or we’ll have nothing to look forward to,
    and the present will get old really quickly. I predict there’ll soon be talk of putting
    the future behind us, and then we’ll only be able to move sideways.

  78. tom roche says:

    Killer frosts are a problem in that scenario, a reduced growing season is one thing but a frost at a vulnerable early stage of growth will lose a years production hence no crop.
    The 1740s in Europe experienced this on a wide scale, famine followed.
    It certainly puts the Ethanol program in a new light, a buffer for the future, brillint strategy. Suberb article.

  79. sandyinderby says:

    Alexander Feht says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Roger Carr

    I tend to agree with Alexander, surely a scientist should persuade/educate rather than insult. Insults neither win arguments nor convince of the correctness of a theory.

    Thats just my 2 pence worth.

  80. B.O.B. says:

    A couple of things bugged me about this article. First; if I understand the “corn belt” as the area where one could conceivably grow corn, the Corn Belt Map is way off base. Corn grows north of Lake Erie and Ontario and east of Lake Huron in significant quantities. These areas are well outside the supposed “corn belt” shown on the map. Second; why does the author feel the need to tell us he’s on his way to the Bahamas?

  81. Jack Simmons says:

    ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/basinplotco11.gif

    Not only really wet this year in Colorado, but really cool. Normal peak of snow pack is April 15th. This year it is May 3rd.

    Unfortunately, here in Denver it was very dry. Lost a lot of my flowers during the winter to dry conditions.

    But really wet up in the mountains. I’ve noticed it has been really wet along the Mississippi as well.

  82. Bruce Cobb says:

    Leif Svalgaard, I see that you have used an ad hominem argument in response to my comment on your original auto-epistemic comment, both of which are logical fallacies. You have thus proven that you do in fact fall into the category of those with an axe to grind here. Why do you feel so threatened by theories such as FCL? I have an idea, but perhaps you would be so kind as to explain, so that others do not entertain similar thought as to your motivations. Thanks.

  83. tallbloke says:

    Alexander Feht says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:21 am

    IMO, moderators don’t handle Leif Svalgaard’s behavioral problems well.
    He seems to be the only person given a license to insult.

    Leif is as much entitled to his opinions as anyone else. Even if a lot of them are wrong and he doesn’t have as firm a grasp of celestial mechanics as he does of computer programming. If he insults you, just insult him back. Be warned it is a bit like wrestling a greasy pig though. You sully yourself, and the pig enjoys it.

  84. Roger Carr says:

    Sleepalot says: (May 13, 2011 at 1:51 am)
    Can we leave the future where it is, please, or we’ll have nothing to look forward to etc…

    Beautiful, Sleepa!

  85. vukcevic says:

    Hey boys
    Calm please.
    Insults from an expert should be taken as compliment to your views and ideas, even if not so to you as a person. When the ideas can’t be demolished a salvo followed by crescendo of insults is due.
    Some fine examples of this can be found here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/10/latest-solar-cycle-update-from-the-space-weather-prediction-center/
    Just click ‘find’ and enter ‘vuk’
    If insults havn’t worn you down, than if you have a website that is also attacked with exquisite precision as in here.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WEB-Page%20attack.htm
    This is also known as DoS or ‘denial of service’, not usually practiced by nice people.

  86. gingoro says:

    would love to have seen the slides properly but when one clicks on them the same size image appears (at least in Firefox)

  87. Alexander K says:

    I am not familiar with the various agricultural areas of the North American landmass and therefore not able to comment on the specifics of this article, but growing up and beginning my working life in an agricultural setting where year-round grassland farming was the norm gives me enough basic information to know that if the climate shifts a couple of degrees downward, the world’s agricultural industry in general will become more costly and more difficult to maintain the current level of production. The use of glass and poly-tunnel green houses houses has become commonplace for growing vegetables and fruits, but supplying these with heat and nutrients in the face of the bizarre energy policies in countries such as the UK will cause the production costs of food to soar, including the costs of producing meat and dairy products.
    The value of the article is not in its predictions or specifics but in the cautionary note it takes regarding the effects of mild global cooling. If anyone doubts this, there are excellent English, European and North American local and regional folk-histories of the LIA which quickly dispel any comfort in forecasts of an impending cool cycle.

  88. Bruce Cobb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 3:43 am
    Why do you feel so threatened by theories such as FCL?
    No threat as such to me. What is a threat to society in general is if policy be based on bad science [of either stripe]. You may not think so [as is your right]. My question was directed towards your justification for accepting that societal policy be based on bad science.

  89. ferd berple says:

    “Vancouver had something like the coldest April on record”

    May is no better. New snow on the local mountains. From Grouse:

    New Snow
    24hrs: 0 cm / in
    48hrs: 0 cm / in
    7 days: 6 cm / 2.36 in
    http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/mountain-report/

  90. Henry Galt says:

    Hugh Pepper says:
    May 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Erm, drought is, mostly, a result of cold. Cold is what David is talkin’ ’bout.

    Smile at Theo’s comment btw.

  91. ferd berple says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Landscheidt
    In 1989, Landscheidt forecast a period of sunspot minima after 1990, accompanied by increased cold, with a stronger minimum and more intense cold which should peak in 2030 [1], which he described as the “Landscheidt Minimum” [2] His work on solar cycles is cited by global warming skeptics [3] to argue that observed warming is not anthropogenic and will soon be reversed, based on an assumption that fluctuations in climate are controlled by solar activity.[4]

  92. ferd berple says:

    In 1989, Landscheidt forecast a period of sunspot minima after 1990, accompanied by increased cold, with a stronger minimum and more intense cold which should peak in 2030 [1], which he described as the “Landscheidt Minimum” [2] His work on solar cycles is cited by global warming skeptics [3] to argue that observed warming is not anthropogenic and will soon be reversed, based on an assumption that fluctuations in climate are controlled by solar activity.[4]

  93. ferd berple says:

    Insults are tools of those with weak arguments. If they had the facts on their side they would present them. Without facts they must resort to insult.

    If it turns out we are in a new minimumm, then it should be named after the scientist that predicted it. Eddy is an emotional choice, but he did not predict the minimum.

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

  94. HankHenry says:

    Michael Schaefer:

    Thanks for the interesting links. I bookmarked the first of them.

    I respectfully submit the following link as a candidate for addition to your list:
    http://www.physorg.com/news97227410.html

    Cheers

  95. Bruce Cobb says:

    I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that ideas about solar influence on climate get attacked. Plate tectonics got off to a similarly rocky start.

  96. Bruce Cobb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 7:09 am
    I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that ideas about solar influence on climate get attacked.
    The idea is not attacked. The particular FCL ‘theory’ was. E.g. the longest solar cycle in memory coincides with the warmest decade in memory. Now, FCL claims that that is due to AGW. Perhaps you agree with that. Other ‘explanations’ for failure include that that there are unknown lags that have unknown effects and make comparisons impossible. You buy that one too?

  97. G. Karst says:

    I remember in my youth, when the Peace River area of Northern Alberta/BC, was one of the few remaining areas, that one could still acquire “free” land via homesteading. Many people took advantage of this and started new farms in the area.

    These early years were crop failures upon crop failures because of the short growing season. Now, due to a slightly warmer (longer grow season) many of these homesteads have become viable. Any cooling will result in the abandoning of these farms.

    Corn has also become a major crop in Canada, due to slight warming. A 1 or 2 degree of cooling will push this crop out of most parts of Canada, presently doing well today.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s population has swallowed whole, the idea that warmer temperatures in Canada represent some sort of catastrophic change. Silly people. GK

  98. Steve Keohane says:

    Dr. Dave in Dayton says: May 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Eric Anderson says: May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm [...]

    It is not the temperature variation during the growing season that is the critical factor. It is the impact of 1 degree C on the start and end of the growing season. One degree lower translates to roughly 15 days later in the start of the growing season and 15 days earlier for the first hard frost (shich kills the corn or soybean plants. The rule for farmers in Minnesota (southern region) was that if planting was delayed until June (1-10), then you planted 90 day corn and prayed that the frost would hold off until 15 September. This happened a lot in the ’50′s through 70′s; not so much in the ’80′s and 90′s; but it is happening again in the 2000′s.

    This is my greatest concern. In west central Colorado we just experienced a winter that was five weeks longer than ‘normal’. I was interested to note the rufus or copper-colored hummingbirds that migrate through here mid-summer, came and left two weeks early in 2010. The other species that summer here also left two weeks early. We experienced sub-zero temperatures about three weeks early in mid-November. Ten days ago we were experiencing 18-22°F night time temps, now up 10°. The hummingbirds arrived three weeks late this year. The poor things were dodging palm-sized clumps of snow when they showed up on the 11th to get to their feeder.
    Obviously, these little critters with their tiny brains could tell what was coming 2-4 months in advance, or could see what was already in process. I can only ask, “What the heck is it?”, because we are either not measuring it, or think it is not relevant if we are.

  99. vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 4:27 am
    When the ideas can’t be demolished a salvo followed by crescendo of insults is due.
    We have come to the point where exposure of dishonesty is seen as an insult…

  100. Bruce Cobb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 7:09 am
    I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that ideas about solar influence on climate get attacked. Plate tectonics got off to a similarly rocky start.
    Your argument is invalid, just as this one:
    “I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that ideas about the sun having no influence on climate get attacked. Plate tectonics got off to a similarly rocky start.”

  101. ferd berple says:

    “What is a threat to society in general is if policy be based on bad science”

    Virtually every scientific theory since day 1 has ultimately been shown to be incorrect. This should tell us that huge uncertainty exists in any scientific announcement, no matter how convinced the scientists of the day are in the correctness of their theories.

    Every theory can be right sometimes due to chance. A stopped clock is right twice a day. A prediction in 1915 or 1975 that temperatures would rise could make one famous. The same prediction in 1945 or 2005 could have an opposite result. This suggests that chance plays a much bigger role that science recognizes. The right theory at the right time becomes popular, even if hugely mistaken. A drowning man will grab onto anything. World wars and revolutions have resulted along with millions of deaths.

    Most “doom and gloom” forecasts follow the same formula. They look at a recent trend and make a straight line projection into the future. It is of course nonsensical because it cannot be true. Every action creates a reaction. Such trends cannot persist in the natural world.

    A more reasoned approach is to consider that the natural world moves in cycles, often much longer than human lifetimes. We know this is true for daily and annual cycles, but we have a hard time recognizing this when a cycle takes decades to repeat. Instead we assume that the trend we are seeing will continue unchanged on to infinity.

    The idea that since we cannot understand what drives the longer cycles of nature they cannot exists is a fallacy of logic. As an earlier post mentioned, a river does not follow a straight course. It meanders in a pattern that defies long-term prediction. Why should climate be any different?

    Our local river has shifted 150 feet west in the past 50 years. Projecting this into the future, it will continue moving west and climb over a mountain. A more reasoned analysis might be that eventually the river will shift east and return to its old course. Why should climate be any different?

  102. ferd berple says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:30 am
    “What is a threat to society in general is if policy be based on bad science”
    Virtually every scientific theory since day 1 has ultimately been shown to be incorrect.

    No, this is wrong. The theories, once founded on sound science, are extended and improved, not shown to be incorrect. The Earth is round, rotates, goes around the Sun, fossils are of great age, Newtonian gravity works fine to rather high level of accuracy, etc., etc.
    And if you were correct, there would be even less reason to base policy on FCL, as it will ultimately be shown to be incorrect. The difference with reality is that FCL is already shown to be incorrect.

  103. Ulric Lyons says:

    These cold seasons crop up now and again, like 1708/9 winter, no large eruptions then:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Frost_of_1709
    and surprisingly warm for 2yrs before and afterwards too.

  104. Henry Galt says:

    Hi Ulric, how’s tricks?

    Got to love the rider on that wiki page:

    “Modern climate models do not appear to be entirely effective for explaining the climate of 1709″

    - had me barrel-laughing here.

    Thanks for that.

  105. ferd berple says:

    “No, this is wrong. The theories, once founded on sound science, are extended and improved, not shown to be incorrect.”

    If the theories were correct there would be no need to extend or improve them.

    Newton’s gravity is not scientifically sound. Newton certainly recognized this. He understood that action at a distance was a problem, yet his theory of gravity is quite accurate even though it describes what many consider an impossible universe.

    The value of science is in its ability to make valid predictions. Regardless of whether the science is sound or not. Something that science today seems to have forgotten, by insisting that a theory must also have a mechanism. By this requirement, Newton must be rejected.

    By the same token, we have modern theories that are built on “sound science” that are completely hopeless at providing any predictive value beyond chance. They satisy the mathematics, they provide a mechanism, but they have no predictive skill. They should be rejected by science for what they are. Theories without value.

    However, these theories are not rejected because they in fact have great value. They attract grant money. This is the value of modern scienctific theories.

  106. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:23 am
    We have come to the point where exposure of dishonesty is seen as an insult…

    A bit like your finger accidentally hitting F5 for 7 min more than 250 (recorded) times, (every 2.6 sec on average).
    My formula has not changed, my presentation may be sloppy, but it is not dishonest. In my distorted view of the world, dishonesty is to on purpose using wrong part (without reading what was written: blue periodicity , red amplitude) in order to discredit.
    Here it is again so you can repeat your innuendo.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm
    and this version to show you why and where you are so purposefully wrong http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm
    and this little gem which will be around for years to come.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    making your prediction business irelevant.

    Now what you say about that ‘dodgy finger’ and F5 on your keyboard:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WEB-Page%20attack.htm
    Perhaps you would whish to offer a bit more ‘honest’ explanation, considering your security software developing skills ( mentioned in many references on the net, some very odd).
    Was it a little software routine you directed at my web site, I think they are known as DoS ?
    Come on, honesty is best policy, accidentally hitting F5 for 7 minutes and more than 250 hits; hey people reading these posts are not fools.

  107. John Finn says:

    Bruce Cobb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 7:09 am
    I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that ideas about solar influence on climate get attacked. Plate tectonics got off to a similarly rocky start.

    Since you and “others” seem so convinced by the FCL “ideas”, could you explain them for me. I realise that they think there is a link between solar cycle length and temperature but I can’t say I’m exactly sure what they are proposing.

    Here’s your chance, Bruce – convince me.

  108. vukcevic says:

    Ulric Lyons & Henry Galt
    I am just completing paper (available on line in month or so), providing what I would consider a ‘down to earth’ explanation for period 1660-1750, one of if not the largest climate oscillations ever recorded.

  109. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Newton’s gravity is not scientifically sound.”

    It most certainly is sound AS FAR AS IT GOES.

    Newton never pretended to know WHY his theory was true.

    It was true and it always will be true.

    Einstein took it a step further but even he knew not WHY his theories were true and never pretended otherwise.

    Otherwise, Fred, your post is perfectly true. Predictive ability is the only source of value.

    I said elsewhere that the surface air pressure distribution around the Earth appears to be influenced by the level of solar activity.

    On that basis poleward/zonal jetstreams occur more often and more persistently when the sun is active. Equatorward/meridional jetstreams occur more often and more persistently when the sun is less active.

    Not always, not inevitably, but overall on average that is the case. I have ideas why that is so and have expressed them elsewhere but SO FAR AS IT GOES that is sound and correct and the uncertainties as to the precise mechanism are irrelevant because there is predictive value.

    Current climate models on the other hand……

    And as far our friend Leif is concerned I value him greatly as a solar expert but regret that he is not as open minded as I would have hoped in relation to Earthly phenomena.

  110. Stephen Wilde says:

    Sorry, ferd not Fred.

  111. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:23 am
    vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 4:27 am
    When the ideas can’t be demolished a salvo followed by crescendo of insults is due.
    We have come to the point where exposure of dishonesty is seen as an insult…

    Well try this:

    I said:

    “What we get is a variable mix of wavelengths and particles which seem to have a variable effect on atmospheric chemistry.”

    then Leif Svalgaard said:

    “The particles [unvarying chemistry] follow the radiation except deliver six orders of magnitude less energy, so radiation is the driver, if anything.”

    but Leif must have known about:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1102/1102.4763v1.pdf

    and:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

    Yet he insults me as follows:

    “Yes, we know already that anything whatsoever is taken by you as support for your approach… I have never seen you point to something that was not in support of your approach.”

    So who exactly has failed to point to something not in support of his approach ?

  112. William Mason says:

    “Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm
    Bruce Cobb says:
    May 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Others, not so much.
    Willful ignorance is a poor excuse. What is yours?”

    Getting a little ad hominem if you ask me. I have grown to expect more from one as professional as you Leif. I certainly find this kind of comment below the standards of this site. Purely my opinion.

  113. SteveSadlov says:

    I think it is a foregone conclusion that at some point the demand from billions of people will collide with a reduced production capacity. We’ve had doubly good luck leading to 6 billions plus people. Firstly, the mere fact of the Holocene allowed “Civilization” to develop. Secondly, for the past ~150 years we’ve had the unlikely combination of a relatively warm period against the backdrop of the already relatively warm Holocene, at the same time as having an apex in terms of Civilization’s level of general development. Scientific management and a highly benign environment have allowed Humanity to flourish. All good things eventually come to an end. Civilization is innately losing its recipe, due to the undermining of discipline and an increasingly slothful attitude on the part of the masses in the Industrialized World – a sort of orgy of hedonism and low general attainment levels. Meanwhile, even with AGW (assuming it even exists at all as a GHG main effect and not as an expanded/merged UHI issue), I think any sane scientist must conclude that not only will the post LIA optimum end innately at some point but the Holocene itself may be wrapping up.

    In a strange way, people like Erlich may end up being sort of right, in that starvation will take hold. However it won’t be the scenario envisaged during the 1960s and 70s but one that more resembles classic “Ages of Migration” witnessed in the past.

  114. hotrod (Larry L) says:

    ferd berple says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:30 am


    Our local river has shifted 150 feet west in the past 50 years. Projecting this into the future, it will continue moving west and climb over a mountain. A more reasoned analysis might be that eventually the river will shift east and return to its old course. Why should climate be any different?

    Actually as a physical analogy, the meander of a river is a very good example of the way climate variability probably works

    Larry

  115. tallbloke says:

    vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:05 am
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:23 am
    We have come to the point where exposure of dishonesty is seen as an insult…

    A bit like your finger accidentally hitting F5 for 7 min more than 250 (recorded) times, (every 2.6 sec on average).

    Now what you say about that ‘dodgy finger’ and F5 on your keyboard:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WEB-Page%20attack.htm

    Wow. Just… Wow.

  116. vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:05 am
    Come on, honesty is best policy, accidentally hitting F5 for 7 minutes and more than 250 hits; hey people reading these posts are not fools.
    As I already explained at length [but which you seem to deliberately omit], that was not accidental. If was to show you that F5 works perfectly well, just hold it down [in spite of you claiming that this was not possible and that I was showing 'economicy with accuracy'] and is a nice tool to catch people trying to hide something.

    Of course, your attempt of covering up your bad behavior by falsely claiming a worse behavior, may hit home with the ‘usual suspects: ‘wow, just, wow’.

  117. Stephen Wilde says:
    May 13, 2011 at 11:52 am
    “The particles [unvarying chemistry] follow the radiation except deliver six orders of magnitude less energy, so radiation is the driver, if anything.”
    but Leif must have known about: [...]

    As far as I can see, your two links are talking about radiation [not particles], so they claim radiation is the driver, as I said.

    Yet he insults me as follows:
    “Yes, we know already that anything whatsoever is taken by you as support for your approach… I have never seen you point to something that was not in support of your approach.”

    But it is true, isn’t it?

    So who exactly has failed to point to something not in support of his approach ?
    I have already argued at WUWT why those reconstructions are failures. And that my money was on Schrijver.

  118. vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:05 am
    My formula has not changed, my presentation may be sloppy, but it is not dishonest. In my distorted view of the world, dishonesty is to on purpose using wrong part
    As you yourself lament, you were not allowed to change the 2003 paper later, using an adjusted formula, so you resorted to paste the old formula onto a new graph [using the newer formula] as you have already admitted. This seems to fit dishonesty in your ‘disstorted’ view. I presume you pasted the the formula on purpose.

  119. ferd berple says:

    “In a strange way, people like Erlich may end up being sort of right, in that starvation will take hold.”

    It certainly will if we try and feed the 21st century legally handcuffed to 19th century technology.

  120. vukcevic says:

    Your science is OK.
    Your moral pronouncements are phoney.
    Neither yours or my ISP would be delighted with your actions.
    You have not explained anything, such practices, specially if deliberate are bordering on illegal. Blocking someone’s website from a third party without a legal warrant interferes with freedom of communications!
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WEB-Page%20attack.htm
    6 Jul 2009 …Leif Svalgaard (16:46:54) “a thief thinks that everybody steals”. wattsupwiththat.com/…/ncar-solar-cycle-linked-to-global-climate/
    Explains your attitude.

    Googling ‘IBM Svalgaard’ came with someone that I hope is not a close relative of yours:
    ‘Stracka and Svalgaard adopted the cloak-and-dagger routine for fear of IBM retaliation, the lawsuit states’

  121. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:05 am
    Come on, honesty is best policy, accidentally hitting F5 for 7 minutes and more than 250 hits; hey people reading these posts are not fools.
    As I already explained at length [but which you seem to deliberately omit], that was not accidental.
    …..
    falsely claiming a worse behavior, may hit home with the ‘usual suspects: ‘wow, just, wow’.

    Come on Leif. Apologise to Vuk for the DoS attack on his site and we can all move on. I’m a mod here, I can see everyone’s IP address. You are bang to rights, so just man up and deal with it.

  122. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    As you yourself lament, you were not allowed to change the 2003 paper later, using an adjusted formula, so you resorted to paste the old formula onto a new graph [using the newer formula] as you have already admitted. This seems to fit dishonesty in your ‘disstorted’ view. I presume you pasted the the formula on purpose.

    You are talking absolute rubbish or being dishonest:
    On your graphs
    http://www.leif.org/research/Vuk-Failing-9.png
    which you so thoroughly analyse, you deliberately choose wrong formula (in blue letters and blue line) which is nothing to do with projected peak of SC24 (as cycles 1900-1925 amply demonstrate) as explained to you dozen times.
    Formula extrapolating peak value is highlighted in red letters and red line, as the more important one (red colour being visually more striking).
    However you still choose to do what suits your aim, even if well aware you are wrong, to build a case of supposed dishonesty.
    If you are seriously interested in the subject and go to your graphs
    http://www.leif.org/research/Vuk-Failing-9.png
    you would see that red formula in graph 2 & 3 is so hopelessly wrong, that would never graph anything resembling as shown. It was correct in graph 1 and when I finally corrected in graph 4.
    And again graph 5 and 6 are NOTHING TO DO WITH PROJECTED PEAK VALUES, they are periodicity graphs, determining frequency of oscillation.
    Of course you know all of that, but chosen to build up an acusation on deliberately chosen wrong premise.
    As you well know, that would never get trough court of law.
    But your grudge is not against my solar formula, it is putting you out of prediction business with this:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    take a good look, it is going to be around for years.

    One thing which is still beyond understanding is why man of your age and science stature, would chose to sacrifice his birthday (which should be spent with family and friends) to spend the day building a case full of falsehoods, which in reality doesn’t matter much anyway, if you do think that basic principle behind my formulae is meaningless.

  123. Ulric Lyons says:

    @tom roche says:
    May 13, 2011 at 2:27 am
    “The 1740s in Europe experienced this on a wide scale, famine followed.
    It certainly puts the Ethanol program in a new light, a buffer for the future, brillint strategy. Suberb article.”

    Animal feed cornflakes, brillint ㋡

  124. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif said:

    “As far as I can see, your two links are talking about radiation [not particles], so they claim radiation is the driver, as I said.”

    You claimed radiation was the driver AND that it was unable to exert a top down effect. The two links describe and discuss the top down effect.

    “But it is true, isn’t it?”

    No, If a phenomenon does not fit I have always accepted it and adjusted my scenario accordingly. I have previously accepted some of your contentions and as a consequence was directed to chemical mechanisms in the atmosphere rather than radiative physics. However I do not accept models and reconstructions as evidence of anything. I accept only ongoing events observed with the best modern equipment.

    “I have already argued at WUWT why those reconstructions are failures. And that my money was on Schrijver.”

    Then you should have referred back to those points in the thread concerned. In any event you presented your opinion as a generally accepted fact whereas it is not.

    I’m in agreement with tallbloke as regards the problems involved in confronting your non solar pronouncements.

  125. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    …..
    Thanks tallbloke.
    Time to move on regardless….

  126. walt man says:

    Vuk
    In no way can 250 hits in 396 seconds be considered DOS
    Its using normal page requests!
    Unless your server is connected to the net with a piece of wet string and analogue modem this should cause no slowing of others connections. If it did seek another provider.

    Calling this a DOS attack is disingenuous.

  127. Sunspot says:

    From where I sit, Vukcevic is one of the few notables that predicted the current solar minimum. I personally see nothing wrong with hind casting. If there is an obvious and perhaps fuzzy pattern emerging from the actual data then use it.

  128. walt man says:
    May 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    In no way can 250 hits in 396 seconds be considered DOS
    Its using normal page requests!

    They were proving to him that F5 can be used to generate page requests, which he had denied, but I think you are missing the point: the DoS charade was designed to deflect attention from his deceptions, and seemed to have worked. Bad usually drives out the good. His cover-ups and misrepresentations did irk me, I admit that, but I think it would irk everybody else too.

  129. Stephen Wilde says:
    May 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm
    >i>“I have already argued at WUWT why those reconstructions are failures. And that my money was on Schrijver.”
    Then you should have referred back to those points in the thread concerned. In any event you presented your opinion as a generally accepted fact whereas it is not.

    I said:
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 10, 2011 at 8:53 am
    The main problem with the paper is visible in the upper right hand plot of the Figure. It shows a large change in [assumed] TSI from 1900 to 1950 and no change thereafter. All evidence we have from solar indicators is that the sun the last few years have returned to conditions of a century ago. This would seem to include TSI as well, unless they can give a reason for why not [and the paper doesn't do that]. Since the large increase in their TSI drives the reconstruction back in time, the whole thing becomes dubious. You could contrast this with the conclusion of Schrijver et al.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-minimal-solar-activity-in-2008%e2%80%932009-and-its-implications-for-long%e2%80%90term-climate-modeling/
    My money is on Schrijver, but there is a lot of room for confirmation bias with two such disparate papers: you get to choose which ones fits your agenda.”
    This does not sound like a misrepresentation of what is generally accepted [there is no generally accepted view, yet]. I just think you jumped on a convenient bandwagon.

  130. rbateman says:

    We have a winter storm warning for the Sierra & So. Cascades this weekend…in mid May. A good 90+% of the US will be below normal by Monday, as will a generous portion of the US well below normal.
    This is most likely 100 -140 yrs ago weather, perhaps further back as records become scarce prior to the 1870′s. It is known that in the 1830′s Sitka, Alaska was much warmer with the Pacific NW much cooler followed by a very bad Cascades drought in the 1840′s.
    This keeps up we go into uncharted territory.

  131. Ed Mertin says:

    Ulric Lyons says: May 13, 2011 at 8:54 am
    These cold seasons crop up now and again, like 1708/9 winter, no large eruptions then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Frost_of_1709 and surprisingly warm for 2yrs before and afterwards too.
    Honshu, Japan December 16, 1707, FUJI, VEI-5
    Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program, large holocene eruptions
    Eruptions by date cannot be accessed at present. (Sloppy)
    But I suspect there were accomplices adding to the solar dimming.

  132. Ed Mertin says:

    Oh, I dumped that stock that flew high ramp up. It appears to be a pump &dump. Beware! Monday or Tuesday I bet it will crash. I hope we don’t see the sun do the same.
    All the swimming pools are opening this weekend at Dogpatch, Arkansas latitudes. But nobody seems to get in much past their knees. I’ve swam in lakes/streams in late April, early May some years… some not, like the last FOUR in a row.

  133. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif,

    You just switched away from:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1102/1102.4763v1.pdf

    and

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

    by diverting attention to Schriver.

    Those two papers are not dependent on reconstrucxtions but on instead the effects of the observed changes in the mix of wavelengths and as such they show that your comments about the ‘impossibility’ of a top down solar effect are not as generally accepted as you would have us believe.

    In any event my point here was to show that you are not above being guilty of what you accuse others of doing so I think (respectfully) that you should moderate certain aspects of your tone.

    I only put a comment in here because others are coming to the same conclusion and I wished to give them some support.

  134. Roger Carr says:

    vukcevic; your comment below is at the very least misleading in light of the response Leif gives to walt man (also copied below). Leif notes he was “irked”. I would have been furious; and on Leif’s behalf I am.

    vukcevic says: (May 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm)
    Your science is OK.
    Your moral pronouncements are phoney.
    Neither yours or my ISP would be delighted with your actions.
    You have not explained anything, such practices, specially if deliberate are bordering on illegal. Blocking someone’s website from a third party without a legal warrant interferes with freedom of communications!

    Leif Svalgaard responds to: (May 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm) walt man who comments (May 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm): In no way can 250 hits in 396 seconds be considered DOS

    (Leif) Its using normal page requests!
    They were proving to him that F5 can be used to generate page requests, which he had denied…

  135. Ian says:

    A negative 2 degree drop THIS DECADE?

    I’m used to “The sky is falling” crud from AGW proponents not from AGW skeptics.

  136. Ed Mertin says:

    You know it’s bad in Cali when you see Jay Leno advertising for a California pump & dump stock! For a guy named Marc Lautner, aka John Bell. Friday the 13th is always interesting.

  137. vukcevic says:

    walt man & Roger Carr:
    May 14, 2011
    …………..
    Any comment (with no insults) is appreciated and noted.
    Thank you.

  138. vukcevic says:

    Response to:
    Pasting the old formula on the new graph is gross …… Trying to cover it up makes it worse.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/10/latest-solar-cycle-update-from-the-space-weather-prediction-center/#comment-659746

    It is a new graph because more sunspots were added since 2003, and the old graph didn’t have forward extrapolation.
    It was not old formula pasted, but a formula which was riddled with errors, eventually corrected. That was nothing of sort, it was just erroneous presentation.

  139. tallbloke says:

    Ian says:
    May 14, 2011 at 12:12 am
    A negative 2 degree drop THIS DECADE?

    I’m used to “The sky is falling” crud from AGW proponents not from AGW skeptics.

    It’s a predicted fall for a localised area, not global. You’d know that, if you read the article fully.

  140. John Finn says:

    tallbloke says:
    May 14, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Ian says:
    May 14, 2011 at 12:12 am
    A negative 2 degree drop THIS DECADE?

    I’m used to “The sky is falling” crud from AGW proponents not from AGW skeptics.

    It’s a predicted fall for a localised area, not global. You’d know that, if you read the article fully.

    Is it really? Actually I’m not sure on what David is basing his predictions. Perhaps you can help? Admittedly he does say the following:

    Friis-Christensen and Lassen theory applied to the temperature records of the northeastern US derive a temperature decline of 2.0 degrees Celsius to the latitude of the US-Canadian border

    This implies he’s applied the F-C & L ‘technique’ to the “temperature records of the northeastern US “. Has he? Why didnt he show us if he has? The only analysis I’ve seen from David uses Butler & Johnson’s linear regression correlation. I remeber him being quite keen on B&J a few years back. I know that, in at least one paper, he concluded that there would be a 2 deg decline in NE US states based on the B&J method. He even plotted the 2 deg decline to show us the magnitude of the drop. However, there was a small inconvenient problem with the B&J method he was using. B&J used 11-year mean temperature data centred on the years of solar max and solar min. This, in effect, means we already have many of the observations which contribute to the next 2 data points …. and it’s pretty clear that a 2 deg decline is not going to show itself.

    Undeterred, David changed his timescale from “in a few short years” to “over the next solar cycle”. This does give him some breathing space, however, I can’t see that this is justified. Just to muddy the waters even more, B&J did do an analysis which centred data on the following solar cycle but I’m quite sure this was not what David used. Around 2006 I asked him (on Warwick Hughes blog) quite directly for an interpretation of his results and his answer implied that the original method was the one being used.

    I’d like to know on what David is basing his 2 deg decline. Is it on F-C&L – if so can we see a brief explanation on how he’s done this. If it’s based on B&J – which one is it?

  141. vukcevic says:

    walt man & Roger Carr
    May 14, 2011:
    ……………….
    It may appear to you as a trivial point. I have a stats counter, recording every visit to my website with all supplementary details. This is an arrangement which involves a small payment of $US 49 per annum.
    There were about 340+ hits from a particular IP address, of which only first 252 (I had to count them manually, not 256) were recorded and stats counter shut down. I am not able to tell if there were any other visits, record of which is permanently lost. I might also be carrying a commercial operation on the same website, using the same stat counter facility, but this is private information.
    If communication between a commercial partner (in this case stat counter operator) and myself is interrupted by a third party, that is clearly interfering with my freedom of information exchange, not to mention that I pay for information which can’t be retrieved at the later date.
    It may not be DoS in strict sense of the word, but ethics of it are still questionable.
    All the best
    vukcevic

  142. Ulric Lyons says:

    @Ed Mertin says:
    May 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Excellent, I hoped some would pick up on that one, ie no cooling showing until a year later, and in the N.H. winter not summer, the opposite of the theoretical cooler summers and warmer winters, and did the cooling hide for 12 months before showing up? Care to show me cooling after every/most VEI 5+ events then ? And where is the cooling after the large events in 1883, 1903 and 1912 ?
    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm

  143. Ulric Lyons says:

    @vukcevic says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

    “a ‘down to earth’ explanation for period 1660-1750,”

    Interesting how cold it was almost every year from 1670 to 1705, and then so warm from 1706 to 1738.

  144. Ed Mertin says:

    The problem with the SI Global Volcanism Program is that there is no altitudes of the aerosols from the eruptions. No corresponding solar winds data. Now the entire find eruptions by date/year is in disputes and that function is currently suspended. There are a lot more VEI-3 + eruptions and VEI-4? VEI-5? if you research all the eruptions in a given year than often make the large holocene list. (Sloppy)
    If you simply go by numbers/volume then we should have frozen in the 1930′s. But because the stratosphere wasn’t being reached with those eruptions there was considerable warming. Like a slow altitude smoke filled greenhouse baking in the sun, what I’ve ding dang been trying to say for a long time.

  145. Stephen Wilde says:
    Stephen Wilde says:
    May 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm
    they show that your comments about the ‘impossibility’ of a top down solar effect are not as generally accepted as you would have us believe.
    1: never said that. On the contrary a 0.1C solar cycle effect is to be expected and many claim to have found this.
    2: it is often assumed and at least uttered that there is a larger climate effect. Such claims go back ~400 years. There is no generally accepted view what the effect is, how large it is, what might cause it, or any other aspect of such an effect [e.g. global vs. local], except that it is good for funding [at least for solar researchers; I don't see that from the climate science of the question] to pay lip service to a sun-climate relationship [on that there seem to be general acceptance].

    I only put a comment in here because others are coming to the same conclusion and I wished to give them some support.
    As I said, you jumped on a convenient bandwagon.

    vukcevic says:
    May 14, 2011 at 1:29 am
    it was just erroneous presentation.
    As I said earlier, you could have just admitted that up front [to err is human - to attempt to deceive is perhaps even more so]

    vukcevic says:
    May 14, 2011 at 4:24 am
    I might also be carrying a commercial operation on the same website, using the same stat counter facility
    If you would document how much business you have lost during those 3 minutes, I’ll be generous and refund you that amount. I did not experience any loss of service while proving to you that leaning on F5 works [which you denied]. Perhaps the question of ethics goes back to your claim that I showed ‘economy of accuracy’. I think that using your own stats counter to prove the accuracy of my statement should have been compelling.

  146. Ed Mertin says:

    Slow and low altitude aerosols from Ejafyallajökull heated up in the fast solar wind speeds of last summer. Everyone noticed the hot spots, especially the Russians. Personally, I was diving into every lake I could to cool off. Had that solar wind remained absent, it would have been mainly another wet and cool summer.

  147. rbateman says:

    Ian says:
    May 14, 2011 at 12:12 am
    A negative 2 degree drop THIS DECADE?

    I’m used to “The sky is falling” crud from AGW proponents not from AGW skeptics.

    The Ice Core records indicate at least twice that drop in temps over very short periods, followed by not quite as steep rises, so the overall curve of Ice Age/Interglacial is preserved. A 2F drop is 1.1C drop, remember to convert to the appropriate units of measure.

  148. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    …………..
    Nothing is lost, and even less gained, but even it was it is my affair. You were given note of the previous event (120 hits), that you are making excessive demands on my facilities, instead of restraint you hit about 3 times as hard.
    An apology would have sufficed but since that was not forthcoming (instead further feeble explanations are preferred), , and I do not require any of your programming skills demonstrations, I consider the matter closed.
    Keep moralising lectures to your own affairs.

  149. vukcevic says:

    P.S. It was not 3 it was 6.5 minutes, before counter shut down, but again I wouldn’t expect you to quote it right, attitude of facts distortion is prevailing.
    First documented entry of the sequence was at 18:43:39, it recorded 345 entries but logged 252(I counted manually). It shut down at 18:50:15 and restarted at 18:57:32 with single entry from your IP address. What happened in the interval it is not known.
    Recorded sequence is fully documented here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WEB-Page%20attack.htm

  150. vukcevic says:
    May 14, 2011 at 9:49 am
    First documented entry of the sequence was at 18:43:39, it recorded 345 entries but logged 252(I counted manually).
    At least you are admitting now that F5 can be a very efficient tool to test if some behind the scenes manipulation is going on, despite your assertion that ‘Google browser doesn’t work that way’. That my demonstration of this was a DoS attack is just nonsense.

  151. vukcevic says:

    Subject closed, say sorry and go away.

  152. vukcevic says:
    May 14, 2011 at 10:47 am
    Subject closed
    Indeed; when you are in hole, stop digging. And remember your lesson: don’t try this again. Disparagement of ‘renowned’ scientists should not be based on sloppy presentation.

  153. A G Foster says:

    Thanks for the citrus groves reference! –AGF

  154. Some definitions of growing areas do seem simplistic, perhaps because yield must be considered – corn grows in many places, such as in SW B.C. Canada, but may be only adequate for local fresh consumption in contrast to IA state for example. (Drive along the southern edge of Cedar Rapids and you can smell syrup in the air. The Quaker Oats company began in eastern IA, but today oats is not a big crop there.)

    Risk is also a factor, which I suppose reduces average yield over a period of a few years – one needs cheap land and deep pockets.

    Similarly, IIRC wheat will grow in the Peace River area of NW B.C. but one probably would want to grow oats and barley instead, though today I understand hay for seed is a good crop there. (I’ve warmed up to the idea that the huge reservoir behind the power dam has affected local climate, by increasing precipitation – the area is surprisingly dry, droughts do occur on occasion such as circa 1955 and last summer.) Note that one of the USDA maps shows the wheat area of northwest AB stopping at the BC border, the other shows the more logical distribution given geography of the area.

    Note the contradicting claims in this thread, such as whether or not people grow wheat in NE BC. Doug Proctor says it does, referring to Fort St. John which is in the Peace River area of good farmland, whereas Al Gored says people don’t. Too many unsupported assertions, and my faded memory – I definitely remember stooking oats and barley in the 1950s, I am unsure where we got wheat from for human food (cracked it ourselves).

  155. As for marginal growing areas, remember the 1930s in the central plains of North America. Albeit better knowledge applied when needed might have reduced the impact (e.g. tilling practices, or different methods of weed control). Today the knowledge exists, though a farmer has to sort through the claims – it might be wise to test which crops grow better, such as by trying a different crop, though local and regional variations mean the test period would have to be a few years.

    G. Karst’s comment about “homesteading” in the Peace River area is a good point about knowledge of what to plant. I suggest that lack of capital was also a big factor. Government research operations were of some help for growing flora and fauna, no Internet back then and telephones were rare but mail, contact with neighbours, and occasional community gatherings spread knowledge.

    Many settlers came from far away – one of the well known cases was the Sudetans who were abused by Austria and Germany, a number of them settled near the AB-BC border. But most had a town tradesman background, not a farming background. A book titled, IIRC, “Tomslake – the story of the Sudetan Germans” covers them.

    Many settlers were “subsistence farmers”, eking out a living on one quarter of a square mile of land that they had to clear themselves. Recently I learned that the most successful farmer I knew actually made his capital working in the oil industry elsewhere, while hiring others to farm his land.

  156. John says:

    What one finds in the agricultural scientific literature is that nothing has done more to “GREEN” the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming together with elevated levels of atmospheric CO2. One has to wonder why environmentalist have such a gut-level problem with this and why our government has worked so hard to convince us all that slightly elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 are the end of the world. What are the chances that 4 atmospheric molecules in 10,000 (i.e. 400PPM) control our planet’s climate. I’m betting the answer is about 4 in 10,000. Of course, this is all about money and politics and the need for the masses to perceive reality just so in order for the political elites to cash in on this colossal scam. It’s right up there with the SSS.

Comments are closed.