Deserts ‘greening’ from rising CO2

From CSIRO and “increased CO2 has benefits” department:

High_Resolution[1]

Satellite data shows the per cent amount that foliage cover has changed around the world from 1982 to 2010. Click for a full-sized and detailed image.

 Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world’s arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.

In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.

“In Australia, our native vegetation is superbly adapted to surviving in arid environments and it consequently uses water very efficiently,” Dr Donohue said. “Australian vegetation seems quite sensitive to CO2 fertilisation. 

The fertilisation effect occurs where elevated CO2 enables a leaf during photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into sugar, to extract more carbon from the air or lose less water to the air, or both.

This, along with the vast extents of arid landscapes, means Australia featured prominently in our results.”

“While a CO2 effect on foliage response has long been speculated, until now it has been difficult to demonstrate,” according to Dr Donohue.

“Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using mathematical modelling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes.”

The fertilisation effect occurs where elevated CO2 enables a leaf during photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into sugar, to extract more carbon from the air or lose less water to the air, or both.

If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and savannas where the cover is less complete than in wet locations, according to Dr Donohue.

“On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said.

“Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.”

This study was published in the US Geophysical Research Letters journal and was funded by CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, the Australian Research Council and Land & Water Australia.

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126 Responses to Deserts ‘greening’ from rising CO2

  1. pat says:

    In fact all zones have had a measurable increase in biomass. Which will often be followed by an increase in atmospheric moisture. These are good things.

  2. Kurt in Switzerland says:

    That looks like rather good news! Are any of their results disputed?
    I would be very interested to hear the comment from the Climate Science Establishment.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  3. Matt Bergin says:

    We will but only after they quit gnashing their teeth sweep up the hair that is suddenly all over the floor.

  4. Ashby says:

    Interesting. I would think such an effect would also be somewhat cumulative e.g. those greened deserts may be capable of absorbing more CO2 over the near future as the plant density increases, thereby increasing natural carbon sinks.

  5. BBould says:

    Do we get the same CO2 readings from all over the globe?

  6. Steve Case says:

    Old news, but it needs to be repeated often.

  7. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Increased desert greening! A ruination of a natural environment!!

    Won’t someone think of the lesser spotter sand lizards!!

  8. Joe Crawford says:

    Has anyone also tied in changes in precipitation to this increase in foliage? I would think that as the foliage increases the shadowing effect might reduce soil evaporation. I just don’t know whether the increased moisture lost by the foliage itself would be greater than that saved in the soil.

  9. rabbit says:

    Vegetation cools the atmosphere both directly through transpiration and through increased cloud cover. And as Ashby pointed out, vegetation is also a CO2 sink.

    So the question is how much does this counteract CO2 greenhouse warming. A little? A lot?

  10. sergeiMK says:

    So an small increase in a trace gas can affect the vegitation – but the same increase can absolutely not have affect the climate!!.
    Very strange, truly a magical gas.

  11. Matt Bergin says:

    SergiMK I think you will find that most of the people here agree that CO2 has some effect on the atmosphere it is the Catastrophic part we don’t agree with

  12. dbstealey says:

    sergeiMK,

    Yes, that is true. You can see that at current concentrations, CO2 has no measurable effect on global temperature.

    But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.

  13. Brian Davis says:

    SergeiMK, few would deny that CO2 affects the climate, just that it won’t lead to any dramatic or potentially catastrophic warming.

  14. GregK says:

    “We’ll all be rooned”
    An increase in vegetation will lead to an increase in bushfires, which will lead to more CO2, which will lead to more vegetation, which will……….oh dear

  15. Barry Cullen says:

    @Pat – But if the atmospheric moisture is increased by the increase in vegetation, then you’ve found the link between CO2 and increased water vapor, THE main GHG, and we’re all doomed! It’s worse than I thought!
    Sarc off/

  16. Duster says:

    Precipitation in desert areas is by definition scant to begin with. Locations within parts of the Atacama in Chile have never had measurable precipitation in recorded history. One point that is past over rather quickly is that photosynthesis fixes carbon dioxide by bonding it with water yielding carbohydrates. In desert regions, that water has to be available before the plants can use it. However, plant respiration often reverses at night resulting in nocturnal increases in CO2 and water vapor. Deep rooted pants will pull water from below the reach of others and then release during respiration. The darker foliage acts to precipitate dew (think Dune, the novel, not the film), so increased foliage can increase the surface availability of water. The spikey nature of many desert plants is ideal for precipitating dew and directing the droplets back to the plant’s trunk or main stem, or to the ground directly above the roots. The growth bounding limit is reached when the community demand for water balances available moisture, and the deeper rooted plants begin to compete for ground water, drawing down the elevation of ground water beyond reach of the deeper root systems..

    This happens in forests as well as deserts and can be the direct result of fire suppression. A forester from the Deschutes N.F. in Oregon explained this, remarking that the beetles, while a problem, were really a symptom of the intense competition for water, which weakened trees. He concluded at the time that there were two or three times as many trees in the forest (in the 1990s) as the 19th century historical record indicated, and that fire suppression was the direct cause of the overpopulation that drew the beetle problems and directly caused the “drought” that was killing trees.

  17. Chad B. says:

    Looking at the very high intensity greening around the southern portion of the Sahara – does this mean that particular desert is shrinking? If so will the definition of desert (which I have normally heard in terms of inches of rainfall per year) need to change?

  18. usurbrain says:

    Rain is not needed to green an area. There are areas in the Hawaiian Islands that never receive rainfall yet they are covered with green grass and even support livestock. The grass receives much of its H20 from the dew that settles on it after the sun sets.

  19. JEM says:

    So get out there and remind your Prius-driving neighbor that they’re contributing to desertification.

  20. JEM says:

    A bumper-sticker for SUVs: “I’m doing more to feed Africa than Bono ever did”

  21. DirkH says:

    I guess they left out the Sahara and most of North Africa because a rise from zero to a positive number would be a bit inconvenient for their percentage scale?

  22. DirkH says:

    Look at the southern border of the Sahara – percentage increase at the top of the range, in other words – the drier and more arid a landscape was in 1982 the bigger the percentage increase. grey = infinity?

  23. climatologist says:

    Which came first, the temperature or the CO2?

  24. Chad B. says:

    Dirk,
    The sections that are grey are still plantless. Check them out on google maps. Moving from 0% coverage to 0% coverage is technically an infinite gain. However, it is also an infinite loss as well. I think leaving it grey is appropriate.

  25. Lady Life Grows says:

    Carbon dioxide is the basis of all life (on Earth, anyway). CO2 and H20 are almost all that we are made of (with some, N,P, S and minerals thrown in here and there).
    To get the CO2 from the air, plants have little openings on the undersides of their leaves, called stomata, the Greek word for mouths. The wider they are open, the more CO2 they get–and the more water vapor they lose. Thus, the increase in CO2 has had a water-sparing effect and our deserts are greening.
    This is a good time to tell you all about a major crop science breakthrough called Sonic Bloom (R). A combination of specific sound frequencies and foliar feeding produces a large increase in plant growth, with a boost in nutrient values as well. It is organic, for those interested in that.
    Research shows that this method of crop nutrition causes big changes to the stomata. They become larger and more detailed. The plants become much more drought tolerant, so much so that many farmers have had the biggest crop of their lives while drought killed their neighbors crops.
    You can learn more and purchase your own test kit from http://www.originalsonicbloom.com This is a delightful website, full of colorful pictures and interesting stories. Disclosure: I do not get anything whatsoever from promoting Sonic Bloom(R) except the satisfaction of increasing life on Earth, which is my Life Purpose.

  26. dbstealey says:

    climatologist,

    On more recent time scales, temperature came first. T even leads CO2 on a scale of hundreds of millennia.

    CO2: the biosphere is starved of it. We need more CO2. More is better.

  27. Brian Johnson UK says:

    sergei
    “So an small increase in a trace gas can affect the vegitation – but the same increase can absolutely not have affect the climate!!.
    Very strange, truly a magical gas.”

    Your sarcasm missed the fact that we humans only produce 3% of the Greening CO2, Mother Nature provides the rest……

  28. Gras Albert says:

    Hmmmmm

    Trenberth and his mates are busy wringing their hands, casting about, fishing for any explanation for the missing heat! But heat is energy, energy that photosynthesis uses when producing record crop yields and a greening planet! Think of the work done an acre to lift the water, stems, trunks and leaves of crops, woodland and forest from below the surface to the height of maize, soft fruits and jungle canopy. And then multiply that by millions of acres…

    A quick search provided not one reference to a paper estimating the extra work done and therefore energy required to explain such an obvious, massive increase in global vegetation…

    Trenberth’s energy budget diagram doesn’t mention ‘green’ energy consumption, could it just be that the missing ‘heat’ can be explained by the increase in vegetation, for how else do plants grow?

  29. Jimbo says:

    Below is the above study I believe and some other recent paper abstracts on co2 fertilization.

    Randall J. Donohue et. al. – 31 May, 2013
    Abstract
    CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

    [1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the ‘CO2 fertilization’ effect – the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels – is yet to be established……
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

    May 2013
    Abstract
    A Global Assessment of Long-Term Greening and Browning Trends in Pasture Lands Using the GIMMS LAI3g Dataset

    Our results suggest that degradation of pasture lands is not a globally widespread phenomenon and, consistent with much of the terrestrial biosphere, there have been widespread increases in pasture productivity over the last 30 years.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/5/5/2492

    10 APR 2013
    Abstract
    Analysis of trends in fused AVHRR and MODIS NDVI data for 1982–2006: Indication for a CO2 fertilization effect in global vegetation

    …..The effect of climate variations and CO2 fertilization on the land CO2 sink, as manifested in the RVI, is explored with the Carnegie Ames Stanford Assimilation (CASA) model. Climate (temperature and precipitation) and CO2 fertilization each explain approximately 40% of the observed global trend in NDVI for 1982–2006……
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gbc.20027/abstract

  30. MarkW says:

    sergeiMK says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:00 am
    —-
    Who said CO2 has no impact on the climate? Nobody here.
    The point is that CO2 has very little impact on the climate.
    BTW, if CO2 weren’t a greenhouse gas, then yes, it could affect plants without affecting the climate.
    Please learn to think before you post.

  31. Jim from Maine says:

    ““Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects THAT OUR MODELS HAVE INDICATED EXIST.”

    There…fixed it for ya.

  32. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Global farm production is worth on the order of 3 trillion dollars annually. Assuming that it’s not just the arid lands but all lands that have benefitted from the increased CO2, that’s a net social benefit from CO2 of $300 billion dollars per year.

    Now, global carbon emissions are on the order of 10 billion tonnes per year these days. This means that the social benefit of carbon emissions is about $30 per tonne …

    Somehow, when Obama declared his “social cost of carbon” figures, I doubt if he included that benefit …

    w.

  33. Bruce Cobb says:

    “…however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said.
    Darn those pesky “secondary effects”. I guess they just had to throw those in, though. They just can’t help themselves. Tough for them to kick the “CO2 is eeevil” mantra.

  34. Jimbo says:

    It’s worse than we thought, we must act now.

    Abstract (2013)
    “…..,.,.the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%…..”
    Biogeosciences, 10, 339-355, 2013
    http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/339/2013/
    doi:10.5194/bg-10-339-2013, 2013.

  35. jimmaine says:

    Oh…and
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE US MORE MONEY!

    There…that oughta do it.

    Jim

  36. DirkH says:

    Chad B. says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:58 am
    “Dirk,
    The sections that are grey are still plantless. Check them out on google maps. ”

    Google maps updates photos of small German cities at most every 5 years. Why should they EVER update photos of the Sahara? I got a better idea, you go to google images and enter something like “green Sahara”. You will find photos of plants somewhere in the Sahara. Granted, these are isolated spots where wells are or rare rainfalls happened. But be that as it may – these plants should profit the most from rising CO2 as they are water-limited and can form less stomata when CO2 is higher. And – I would expect the border from the Sahel to the Sahara to shift. I would expect plants to conquer previously desert territory.

  37. David Schofield says:

    What happened to Sergei? Is a hit and run all they have?

  38. Auto says:

    So my failures in the gardening department are despite a surplus of plant steroids.
    I’d better go back to making comments on WUWT than!

    Auto

  39. Ragnaar says:

    Dusters says: “…remarking that the beetles, while a problem, were really a symptom of the intense competition for water, which weakened trees… …that fire suppression was the direct cause of the overpopulation that drew the beetle problems and directly caused the “drought” that was killing trees.” I had the privilege to take a nature walk in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest with a Professor from the U of MT, Missoula who was knowledgable in this area. We saw Beetles and magnificiant Ponderosa Pines. He mentioned that some thought is being given to letting Fire solve the Beetle problem under the right conditions. For example, a brush fire that doesn’t jump to the forest crown. Ocassional small fires keeps the brush load small enough so that fires cannot make the jump to the Ponderosa forest crown. The Ponderosa Pine has evolved to survive small fires just fine. Some do think that high levels of fire suppression have had a negative effect on Ponderosa Pines, increasing the chances of more severe forest crown level fires.

  40. Old'un says:

    Looks suspiciously like unacceptable NEGATIVE FEEDBACK to me. Excommunication is clearly looming for Dr Donohue and his fellow apostates.

  41. Jimbo says:

    Does anyone have an idea what the effect on water vapour would be?

    It looks like water vapour has been flat / declining?, contrary to what the climate models assume.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/new-paper-weather-and-climate-analyses-using-improved-global-water-vapor-observations-by-vonder-haar-et-al-2012/

  42. Chas says:

    Old’N “Looks suspiciously like unacceptable NEGATIVE FEEDBACK to me.”
    -No need to worry because vegetation is mostly darker than soil so (other things being equal, which of course they aren’t) someone could claim that the lower albedo vegetation could lead to more warming ie positive feedback, which coupled to all the other positive feedbacks that get published means that earth should explode in a ball of flames , yesterday ;-)

  43. Kasuha says:

    That map must be interpreted carefully. For instance, areas south from Sahara are in general “almost desert” with very little vegetation so even large relative increase (30%) does not mean very large total increase in biomass.
    I would really like to see also a map describing absolute biomass amount changes.

  44. John says:

    To Kurt in Switzerland (9.28 comment):

    Yes, of course this is bad news! How ignorant can you get???

    Anything that is adapted to the precise level of aridity, and the precise plant community of two decades ago, may be facing extinction! You thoughtless Swiss, Nature can’t possibly be so resilient as to tolerate vegetation growing a bit better and saving a little more water!!

    I thought you might be sensitive to our planet, but now I see that you are an ignoramus whose lack of understanding will mean that you will be implicitly implicated when climate disaster strikes the earth! Oooooh, I can’t stand this pain any longer, living on the same planet with people like you!!

  45. RockyRoad says:

    How diabolical that the country fighting CO2 the most is having the most benefit.

  46. Louis says:

    Gaia worshipers are going to be doubly upset at CO2 when they find out it might be helping to fulfill a Bible prophesy: “…and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” – Isaiah 35:1

  47. DirkH says:

    RockyRoad says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    “How diabolical that the country fighting CO2 the most is having the most benefit.”

    Are you Australian? Well in that case, we appreciate that you fell for Kyoto, but as a German I’d like to insist that we’re getting ripped off even more (by our own government whose only talent is to out-green the Greens).

  48. RockyRoad says:

    Kashua, I’ve read that parts of the Sahel (strip immediately south of the Sahara) were nothing but sand with nary a blade of grass half a century ago are now verdant grazeland. That’s not a very quantified difference, admittedly.

  49. Chas says:

    And what is worse.. the green vegetation might lead to more water being excavated causing more clouds and more precipitation and oh no …. more green vegetation… aaaaah.
    Of course this extra vegetation is bad because it is anthropogenic.
    Just as less vegetation is bad (desertification) because that is caused by humans.

  50. Chas says:

    …In fact the Christian religion’s arcadian vision of a garden of eden has a lot to answer for.
    Yes, we are piloting spaceship earth but we now have too many nagging back seat drivers.
    We should stop the car and tell these mother in law types to get out.

  51. Chas says:

    -No offence meant to those of a Chrisitan faith or any other faith.

  52. RockyRoad says:

    DirkH–I apologize. I’m not Australian; I’m from the US. I should have said:

    How diabolical so many countries fighting CO2 are having so much benefit.

    (Only in a post-normal society would some hypothetical catastrophy garner more attention and influence than actual measurements on the ground.)

  53. stan stendera says:

    Another nail in the coffin of agw. Do you hear the cracking in the Berlin wall of climatology, greenies? Whole sections are beginning to list and lean. I can’t wait for the enviable collapse.

  54. MarkW says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 8, 2013 at 11:49 am
    —–
    According to the warmista, CO2 is all harm and no benefit.
    Even mentioning the possibility of benefit is enough to prove that you are a flat earther.

  55. Stephen Richards says:

    Proof please. CO² is a required gas but how have they proven that it is the sole contributor?

  56. Stephen Richards says:

    MarkW says:

    July 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Et tu MarkW. There is no proof that current co² levels are contributing noticeably to the warming of our planet. If you have it then please publish it immediately.

  57. DirkH says:

    Stephen Richards says:
    July 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    “Proof please. CO² is a required gas but how have they proven that it is the sole contributor?”

    It was well known that this would happen. It’s even a prediction by the IPCC. Maybe the only one they got right. But then it was a no-brainer.

  58. Joel Hammer says:

    This is old, old news. I wonder why it is getting play now? Do I detect a need for more research money? Is the wind blowing the other way?

  59. jimmaine says:

    So awhile back, we were treated to the Ted Talk about desertification of our planet, and what steps should be taken to stop it. It was said to be the biggest problem facing our generation, if I recall correctly.
    Now…it’s BEING corrected, but we have to STOP correcting it?

    Someone needs to send these folks a playbook so they can all get on the same page.

    Jim

  60. Gil Dewart says:

    Does this mean that coal miners will have to start getting compensation for their contribution from the UN, or somebody?

  61. Ashby says:
    July 8, 2013 at 9:32 am
    Interesting. I would think such an effect would also be somewhat cumulative e.g. those greened deserts may be capable of absorbing more CO2 over the near future as the plant density increases, thereby increasing natural carbon sinks.

    I’m familiar with the green area covering much of Western Australia. It is sparse scrub that becomes more dense as you go south and west with increasing rainfall. Over most of this area both plant size and plant density could easily increase by several times. So, I’d say it’s highly likely that it’s an increasing carbon sink.

  62. Otter says:

    Quick question to Australian readers: is not CSIRO more or less an alarmist bunch? I have to wonder if they see the irony in this.

  63. BioBob says:

    I would suggest a detailed study of atmospheric OXYGEN concentrations (with adequate replicates please) to parts per million now that evidence of increased global primary productivity has been demonstrated. I would not be surprised by an increase proportional to CO2 at all.

    The side effects of increased oxygen concentrations are larger animals, more ecosystem fires, more energetic corrosion to name a few. THE HORROR !! Anthropogenic Global Oxygenation (AGO) must be stopped….oh wait …..never mind.

    BTW, I would deny that CO2 increase from 300 to 400 ppm has any significant effect on climate and I dare you to provide data PROVING it with statistically significance. Feel free to join the horde flogging tiny changes in the face of huge statistical noise and large & unknown error. I wish you luck.

  64. Bill Illis says:

    This is where the pro-AGW people come back with “nitrogen will then be a limiting factor so the increased CO2 will have no effect”. Seen it 100 times now.

  65. DirkH says:

    Joel Hammer says:
    July 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    “This is old, old news. I wonder why it is getting play now? Do I detect a need for more research money? Is the wind blowing the other way?”

    It’s new data. And it’s an ongoing process. This greening has only just begun. Hey, the plants have a lot of CO2 to get out of the air. We only need to take care that some idiot doesn’t spend trillions on CO2 scrubbers. Would be a pity to waste the money and the CO2.

  66. Latitude says:

    oh no…the tipping point

    CO2 makes more plants….more plants increase humidity/water vapor…..water vapor makes temps rise…the feedback

    we’re all doomed

    I’m going to Dairy Queen….

  67. Felflames says:

    Otter says:
    July 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Quick question to Australian readers: is not CSIRO more or less an alarmist bunch? I have to wonder if they see the irony in this.

    Sadly the CSIRO had fallen in with people of bad character.
    Fortunately some of them still honour the the scientific method.
    And I imagine those will be the ones 10 years from now standing over the dead corpses of a lot of climastrology theories.

  68. Gary Hladik says:

    BBould says (July 8, 2013 at 9:38 am): “Do we get the same CO2 readings from all over the globe?”

    CO2 measured at the South Pole is within a few ppm of Mauna Loa. This set of satellite maps shows seasonal and year-to-year variations in the atmospheric CO2 column; note the compressedcolor scale chosen to emphasize small differences.

    Stephen Richards says (July 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm): “Proof please. CO² is a required gas but how have they proven that it is the sole contributor?”

    1) The increase appears to be global, so regional causes, such as increased rainfall, are unlikely.

    2) CO2 has a known fertilizing effect on many plants. This is an old paper, but it reports experimentally observed increased yields in soybean and rice with increasing atmospheric CO2. It also references other papers reporting increased growth of many–but not all–tested plant species.

    CO2 fertilization is tricky, because not all plants can take advantage of elevated CO2, and not all food crops increase their yield, or increase yield as much they increase total biomass. It would seem there is great potential for breeding/bioengineering new varieties of food crops that put more of their increased biomass into their seeds. Of course for non-food crops any increase in biomass is good news, whether or not the seed yield goes up.

  69. Jimbo says:

    What!!! Here is a climate model that predicts decreased vegetation for the Sahel. Then there follows another climate model predicting more rain for the Sahel.
     

    Vegetation-climate feedback causes reduced precipitation in CMIP5 regional Earth system model simulation over Africa
    The simulations were from 1961 to 2100…….In the Sahel savannah zone near 15°N, reduced vegetation cover and productivity, and mortality caused by a deterioration of soil water conditions led to a positive warming feedback mediated by decreased evapotranspiration and increased sensible heat flux between vegetation and the atmosphere. …..
    source

    but then we have….

    An increase in SAT over the Sahara, relative to the surrounding oceans, decreases the MSLP over the Sahara, thereby increasing the Sahel rainfall. We hypothesize that through this mechanism greenhouse warming will cause an increase in Sahel rainfall,
    source

    and finally we have another climate model that says that the Sahel will get more or less rain.

    All the above are entirely consistent with the most evil anthropogenic catastrophic global warming speculative hypothesis from Alice in Wonderland. Sheesh!

  70. Martin Clark says:

    Maybe CSIRO and ANU have actually done something useful?
    The hi-res image for my part of the world (NQ Dry Tropics) fits my observations. Up to 10% increase in “greening” of the coastal belt, mostly open woodland/savanna. Bits of it still get burnt, but recovery is more rapid. (Locally, average precipitation 2004-2012 only slightly above long-term average.) Some “neutral” areas up the slope of the (Great Dividing) Range, a few spots of -20% along the ridges. That may well coincide with “locked up” State forest areas. Access unavailable or prevented, no management, so the fuel load builds up, then burns off.

  71. Jimbo says:

    Oh no, the Sahel is dooooomed I tells ya. Carbon dioxide is a vegetation killer – we must act now.

    Abstract – May 2013
    …….However, this study hypothesizes that the increase in CO2 might be responsible for the increase in greening and rainfall observed. This can be explained by an increased aerial fertilization effect of CO2 that triggers plant productivity and water management efficiency through reduced transpiration. Also, the increase greening can be attributed to rural–urban migration which reduces the pressure of the population on the land…….
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-013-0473-z

    Meanwhile over in the UK greenhouse growers have been observed pumping in 1,000ppm into their greenhouses. Psychologists have been called in to examine this strange behaviour by people who really should know better.

  72. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Lady Life Grows –
    Verywell and clearly and accurately said
    @Willis –
    Of course der Fuehrer hasn’t factored the “social cost” of his climate change idiocy, which could run to a good many trillion $ per year. And of course he will stubbornly deny that there are any benefits to increased CO2 in the atmosphere, habitual liar that he is.

  73. Steven Mosher says:

    “But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.”

    its only a trace gas. therefore, by Sen IMhoff logic, it can have no effect. Also, the climate is too complex and chaotic for us to say anything for certain. We have seen times in the past with just as much green plants, therefore C02 cannot be the cause.

    hehe

  74. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Jimbo –
    Have there been any fires or meltdowns in those greenhouses? Or even any measurable heating? /sarc
    I hope your post about p[sychologies is untre – if it is, we are really living in a Alice and Wonderland-Big Brother world.

  75. Jimbo says:

    Jokes aside, all the above makes it very clear that Warmists fail to understand the effects of co2, water and warmth on the biosphere. Or they do understand but live in denial of observations.

    It is sceptics who insist on all the science and current observations. That’s all we need.

  76. Otter says:

    Steven M, what have you been drinking?

  77. Chad Wozniak says:

    @jimbo –
    my apologies for the typos – I’m a bad typist, as I’m sure other posters her4e have noticed. I meant to say “psychologists”. Sorry for any confusion

  78. Jimbo says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    July 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    “But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.”

    its only a trace gas. therefore, by Sen IMhoff logic, it can have no effect. Also, the climate is too complex and chaotic for us to say anything for certain. We have seen times in the past with just as much green plants, therefore C02 cannot be the cause.

    hehe

    But carbon dioxide currently has a huge effect on climate. Just look at the past 16 years on no warming. It was caused by carbon dioxide. hehe.

    I hope that when the great global warming con job is over you will evaluate your gullibility.

  79. Latitude says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    July 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    “But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.”

    its only a trace gas. therefore, by Sen IMhoff logic, it can have no effect. Also, the climate is too complex and chaotic for us to say anything for certain. We have seen times in the past with just as much green plants, therefore C02 cannot be the cause.

    hehe
    ====
    yeah but always with warm….not cold

    280 is limiting……and that’s where we were

  80. AndyG55 says:

    @ Otter,
    Re CSIRO… you have to realise that there are many branches of the CSIRO. The branch related to climate has been taken over fully by the warmist agenda, The boss of that section is a rabid warmist bureaucrat, not a scientist at all, and over time has employed only people who agree with him.
    Most other branches have not been infected to anywhere near the same degree.
    CSIRO still do some really good stuff.. just not in the climate area.

  81. D.J. Hawkins says:

    John says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    To Kurt in Switzerland (9.28 comment):

    Yes, of course this is bad news! How ignorant can you get???

    Anything that is adapted to the precise level of aridity, and the precise plant community of two decades ago, may be facing extinction! You thoughtless Swiss, Nature can’t possibly be so resilient as to tolerate vegetation growing a bit better and saving a little more water!!

    I thought you might be sensitive to our planet, but now I see that you are an ignoramus whose lack of understanding will mean that you will be implicitly implicated when climate disaster strikes the earth! Oooooh, I can’t stand this pain any longer, living on the same planet with people like you!!

    John, you forgot the /sarc tag; people may think you’re serious. Alternatively, if you’re serious and you can’t stand the pain, feel free to end it by ending yourself. More room for the rest of us.

  82. Jimbo says:

    Mosher has not been drinking, he has been smoking something funny. Just say no.

  83. AndyG55 says:

    Jimbo says:
    What!!! Here is a climate model that predicts decreased vegetation for the Sahel. Then there follows another climate model predicting more rain for the Sahel.

    I can assure you when it comes to rainfall, the climate models have ZERO skill !!

    Even less skill than they have with regard to temperature !! and that’s saying something.

    What they do is generate as wide a range as possible, so once something happens, they can say their models predicted it..

    That worked well for temps didn’t it ;-)))

  84. stuart L says:

    Don’t forget that they are only measuring above surface greening, there will also be an increase in soil biomass

  85. Gail Combs says:

    Barry Cullen says: … THE main GHG, and we’re all doomed! It’s worse than I thought! ===>>> ARGHhhh!

  86. Gail Combs says:

    Lady Life Grows says: @ July 8, 2013 at 11:05 am
    I copied your link, http://originalsonicbloom.biz/ into a new google tab and got GoDaddy.com (Domain for sale) but in Bing it brought up the website. This also happened yesterday with Google when I looked for a http://www.i-sis.org.uk/... article. WEIRD.

  87. dp says:

    Oh dear – CO2 is now to blame for loss of desert habitat!! This will never do. Add desert nomads to the list of climate refugees.

    This feigned climate outrage brought to you by common sense – the solution of last resort for the full-tilt climate alarmist.

  88. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    CSIRO used to be one of the most respect scientific bodies in the world. That is until recently when it has been stripped of its neutrality. A national disaster. IT IS PRO MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING!

  89. denniswingo says:

    Did anyone else notice that the area where biomass is losing is in the subpolar regions?

  90. Gail Combs says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Global farm production is worth on the order of 3 trillion dollars annually. Assuming that it’s not just the arid lands but all lands that have benefitted from the increased CO2, that’s a net social benefit from CO2 of $300 billion dollars per year….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There has certainly been a net increase in yield up until the 1970’s where the Mauna Loa CO2 graph shows the 1970 @ ~ 330 ppm
    …..
    FOR THE USA
    In 1847 – Irrigation was begun in Utah
    In 1849 – Mixed chemical fertilizers were sold commercially between 1890 and 1899 the Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 1,845,900 tons. By 1910 to 1919 the average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer had increased to 6,116,700 tons.

    Between 1900 and 1920 extensive experimental work was carried out to breed disease-resistant varieties of plants, to improve plant yield and quality. In 1924 the first hybrid corn was sold and in 1926 the “Hi-Bred Corn Company” was founded.

    In 1930 2-1/2 acres produced 100 bushels of corn and 5 acres produce 100 bushels of wheat.
    By 1940 more than 90 percent of the corn raised in North America was raised from hybrid seed.
    In 1945 2 acres produce 100 bushels of corn and between 1940 and 1949 the average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 13,590,466 tons. And in 1945 to 1955 there was an increased use of herbicides and pesticides. So you can use 1940 at 2 acres producing 100 bushels of corn as a benchmark for ‘Modern Farming’ using tractors, irrigation, fertilizers and hybrid seed. By 1955 4 acres produced 100 bushels of wheat.

    By 1975 1-1/8 acres produced 100 bushels of corn and 3 acres produced 100 bushels of wheat.
    By 1987 You had the same yield, 1-1/8 acres produce 100 bushels of corn and 3 acres produced 100 bushels of wheat.

    References:
    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm1.htm
    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm5.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Hi-Bred

  91. Mario Lento says:

    sergeiMK says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:00 am
    So an small increase in a trace gas can affect the vegitation – but the same increase can absolutely not have affect the climate!!.
    Very strange, truly a magical gas.
    ++++++
    And dbstealey says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:07 am
    sergeiMK,

    Yes, that is true. You can see that at current concentrations, CO2 has no measurable effect on global temperature.

    But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.
    +++++++++++
    dbstealey fixed it for you. You set up a strawman, and said “not have a affect on climate…”
    The effect you are alluding to is increasing temperature. And as dbstealey points out, there is no evidence of an increasing effect on temperature. Of course climate is affected by CO2 –and it’s not been shown to be catastrophic in terms of temperature increase. It’s inarguable that more CO2 is conducive to more vegetation. Science bears that out, else why would greenhouses require CO2 to be pumped in to get more produce?
    The successful argument requires NOT putting words in the mouths of skeptics if you want to be taken seriously. If you’re just trying to cause an argument, you’ll have to do better than that.
    Mario

  92. Gail Combs says:

    Jimbo says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Does anyone have an idea what the effect on water vapour would be?….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The plants reach out and grab it out of the air…. /sarc sort of (It is what cacti do)

    plants lose ~ 90% of the water they suck out of the earth as water vapor link This is why Leucaena leucocephala (bean tree) is sometimes used to reclaim arid areas. Being in the bean family it is a nitrogen fixer. (It is also considered a weed and very invasive ie darn hard to kill)

  93. Gail Combs says:

    Bill Illis says:
    July 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This is where the pro-AGW people come back with “nitrogen will then be a limiting factor so the increased CO2 will have no effect”. Seen it 100 times now.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    They eat tofu and don’t know soya beans are legumes that have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules? For SHAME….

    My white clover has just about taken over my farm this year, I think it is trying to climb in the window… Quick turn the goats lose…. ARGHHhhhh…..

  94. Latitude says:

    Jimbo says:
    July 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm
    Mosher has not been drinking, he has been smoking something funny. Just say no.
    =======
    roger that…….

  95. Latitude says:

    denniswingo says:
    July 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    Did anyone else notice that the area where biomass is losing is in the subpolar regions?
    ====
    yes…should be increasing if springs are coming sooner
    snark/

  96. indrdev200 says:

    Make water available everywhere in and on dry land we can get greenery even if CO2 is not increased like thousands of years ago. Soil will hold water stopping sea level rise and increase evaporation for regular rain cycle (the most effective cooling system of Nature) and lowering temperature rise. Moisture contents on soil surface of the earth control our vegetation, rain cycle and global temperature thus climate as a whole. For solution to climate change and power crisis please click on my name.

  97. Blade says:

    Steven Mosher [July 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm] says:

    “But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.”

    its only a trace gas. therefore, by Sen IMhoff [SIC] logic, it can have no effect. Also, the climate is too complex and chaotic for us to say anything for certain. We have seen times in the past with just as much green plants, therefore C02 cannot be the cause.

    hehe

    Ah, so this is what you’re reduced to Steve? Lumping two opposites together as an equivalent comparison?

    On the subject of air heat capacity there is CO2, and then there is water vapor which dwarfs it by volume. There is an ant and an elephant in the room.

    On the subject of photosynthesis there is CO2, and, well nothing else. To make an equivalence here you need to specify another ingredient of photosynthesis that plants can use that is the elephant to the CO2 ant. Plants are filters designed by mother nature to suck up only the CO2, but warming of the atmosphere is not limited to only available CO2, thank God for that. Consequently, metering the CO2 against plant growth results in a controlled experiment, where raising and lowering its levels provide true correlation. This is unlike the atmosphere, something the AGW hoaxsters capitalize on by slinging together graphs of trace CO2 volume versus temperature.

    Your comparison might be better if you were talking about CO2 being either too scarce in an actual plant greenhouse ( so that plants cannot get enough to survive ) versus too voluminous ( so that saturation occurs and adding further CO2 no longer provides measurable increased growth ).

    Steve, which side, too scarce or too voluminous, is the atmosphere nearest? Be honest! The fact that your buddies all over the world exemplified by kooks like McKibben want it back to 350 ppm or less, uncomfortably close to limiting and preventing plant growth is very troubling.

    P.S. I know you are just having a go at “skeptics”. So does everyone else I suspect. But there is a wise old adage that states for humor to actually be funny, there needs to be some truth in it. You weren’t funny.

  98. Gail Combs says:

    indrdev200 says: @ July 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Make water available everywhere in and on dry land we can get greenery even if CO2 is not increased….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Mankind has been doing that for thousands of years. It is called irrigation and goes back to 6000 B.C. and the capture of the flood waters of the Nile at least.

  99. GregK says:

    Query to CSIRO regarding the figure.
    If the survey is based on satellite imagery, imagery should be available for the “grey bits”.
    Even if an area is sand or snow, vegetation has either increased, decreased or not changed.
    Where is “0%” on the scale?

  100. Thanks Anthony, you found a gold nugget among the rubble in CSIRO.
    The Earth is going green in spite of the Greens!

  101. KenB says:

    Thanks to those that pointed out that there are still scientists working for mankind rather than Australian Political gain in parts of the CSIRO, I do wonder how this paper will be received on the Conversation, the but, but, butters will be out in force.
    AndyG55 says:
    July 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm
    Is spot on about the recruitment building of a confirmation bias, by the left leaning in the leadership of some sections of the CSIRO.
    Many scientists hope that they are rid of this element that has had influence beyond their expertise with a new political change at the next elections, and there are signs that the new Labor lite leader KRudd is rapidly adopting the coalition policies on adaptation.

  102. Mario Lento says:

    indrdev200 says:
    July 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    Make water available everywhere in and on dry land we can get greenery even if CO2 is not increased like thousands of years ago…
    +++
    I checked out the site your name links to. The article “Harnessing Unlimited Hydropower: SOLUTION TO POWER CRISIS:” describes a perpetual motion machine or sorts. It’s nonsense.

    For the column of water to turn the turbines, the water must decelerate – reducing the force of gravity on the remaining water. Therefore the “G-force” is reduced equal to the force used up to move the turbine.

  103. Seth says:

    > pat says:
    >July 8, 2013 at 9:26 am
    >In fact all zones have had a measurable increase in biomass.

    The researchers reported “many.”

    > Which will often be followed by an increase in atmospheric moisture.

    Not in this case. The reason that increased CO2 allows plant growth in the desert, is that it allows the plant to be more conservative of water. So transpiration is also reduced.

    >These are good things.

    Good for productivity. Bad for biodiversity.

  104. Hari Seldon says:

    Cool down people …its just a computer model…

  105. indrdev200 says:

    How can you claim it is due to increase in CO2, if not made water available? If soil and the sun are also not available?

    ________________________________

  106. DirkH says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    July 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm
    ““But it does have a measurable effect on plant life.”

    its only a trace gas. therefore, by Sen IMhoff logic, it can have no effect. Also, the climate is too complex and chaotic for us to say anything for certain. We have seen times in the past with just as much green plants, therefore C02 cannot be the cause.

    hehe”

    Please explain how increasing levels of CO2 can significantly cause warming when the level of CO2 has risen considerably over the last 17 years while global temperatures stayed the same.
    If a natural force counteracts the alleged warming influence of CO2 completely, what is this force; and why would we have to worry about the alleged warming influence of CO2 if natural forces can overwhelm it completely and if the models used to predict the warming have demonstrably failed to forecast the actual temperature development.

    You must at a certain point stare your own intellectual ruin in the face. It doesn’t get easier by waiting.

  107. Brian H says:

    Not just the deserts, but the whole planet is ‘greening’. Biomass is making a comeback from a near miss with fatal CO2 famine.

  108. Chris Wright says:

    This is wonderful news for mankind. But it’s terrible news for the greenies. Now there’s an irony for you…

    It’s also interesting to look at areas which have become less green, e.g. central Australia, and the northern boundaries. Does anyone have an explanation for this?
    Chris

  109. Juergen Michele says:

    Man muß das Wahre immer wiederholen, weil auch der Irrtum um uns her immer wieder gepredigt wird und zwar nicht von einzelnen, sondern von der Masse, in Zeitungen und Enzyklopädien, auf Schulen und Universitäten. Überall ist der Irrtum obenauf, und es ist ihm wohl und behaglich im Gefühl der Majorität, die auf seiner Seite ist.
    (Goethe zu Eckermann)

    One always has to repeat the truth, because also the error around us is preached again and again, not of individuals but of the mass, in newspapers and encyclopedias, in schools and universities. Throughout the error is on top, and it is well with him and feel comfortable in the majority, which is on his side.
    (Goethe to Eckermann)

  110. phlogiston says:

    rabbit says:
    July 8, 2013 at 9:53 am
    Vegetation cools the atmosphere both directly through transpiration and through increased cloud cover. And as Ashby pointed out, vegetation is also a CO2 sink.

    So the question is how much does this counteract CO2 greenhouse warming. A little? A lot?

    Very important point. On land, vegetation has a significant cooling effect, by opposing aridity, transpiring water and maintaining moist humic soils. The spread of plants and trees in the Devonian-Carboniferous cooled the climate to some extent and de-aridified much land surface, by humifying weathered silicates (left over from the Cryogenian glaciations) changing sand and dust into soil.

    This effect will be particularly important in marginal arid regions where the difference between some plants and no plants will make the biggest difference to the hydrological cycle. And arid regions are precisely where the CO2 greening is in evidence. Thus I think you have identified a significant negative feedback. CO2 MIGHT exert a warming effect by radiative physics (not proven, only modeled). However this responsive cooling due to increased vegetation especially in arid regions, is probably on a safer scientific basis.

  111. phlogiston says:

    Hari Seldon says:
    July 9, 2013 at 12:51 am
    Cool down people …its just a computer model…

    CO2 warms computer models. But not the climate – or people.

  112. phlogiston says:

    sergeiMK says:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:00 am
    So an small increase in a trace gas can affect the vegitation – but the same increase can absolutely not have affect the climate!!.
    Very strange, truly a magical gas.

    CO2 is breathed in by plants through stomata to reduce CO2 to make biomass, the basis of 99% of life on earth. This is biology.

    The speculative hypothesis of CO2 causing atmospheric backradiation cooling through some arcane IR photon pin-ball is physics (theoretical physics).

    They are different things. We know that CO2 levels are close to a lower limit which would restrict plant growth. Increased plant growth, decreased stomatal density and resultant decreased water loss allowing better drought tolerance, are all well known and experimentally proven effects on plants of increased CO2.

    By contrast the pin-ball theoretical physics of CO2 and IR back-and-forth radiation is speculative and unresolved.

    Some free English advice – clearly not your first language:

    1. Vegetation, not vegetation
    2. Affect is a verb, effect is a noun. So you can say either “have AN EFFECT ON the climate” or “AFFECT the climate”, but not have affect the climate.
    That’s just affectation :-)

  113. commieBob says:

    D.J. Hawkins says:
    July 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Never, ever, suggest suicide, even in jest.

  114. Keith says:

    Latitude says:
    July 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    denniswingo says:
    July 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    Did anyone else notice that the area where biomass is losing is in the subpolar regions?
    ====
    yes…should be increasing if springs are coming sooner
    snark/

    I noticed that too. It’s not necessarily the case that biomass is being lost though. Perhaps the key is this, from Dr Donohue:

    “Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using mathematical modelling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes.”

    If the adjustments are not accurate, it’ll cause the CO2-attributed change in green foliage to be incorrect. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen across the planet, so we should see the positive benefits across the planet, albeit at varied levels. If Donohue’s team’s model shows REDUCED green foliage in the tundra due to rising CO2, it suggests that one or more of the adjustments for other influences have either overstated a positive impact or understated a negative impact, leaving CO2-attributed benefits of less than zero.

    Logging and urbanisation is pretty obvious from satellites, so this negative impact shouldn’t be understated, though other land use changes may not be so clear. Precipitation is easy to measure and record, although if data is sparse in some areas and therefore smeared across a wider area it could cause inaccuracies. The amount of light, presumably from cloud cover, may be worth looking into to establish whether there are any errors.

    However, the obvious candidate is the air temperature adjustment. The tundra would certainly be able to support greater levels of vegetation with moderately-to-significantly higher temperatures, so we’re looking at a positive impact. Therefore, to get a negative residual effect from higher CO2, the increase in sub-polar temperatures must have been overstated. Please allow me to repeat that:

    THE INCREASE IN SUB-POLAR TEMPERATURES MUST HAVE BEEN OVERSTATED.

    It would be interesting to see how Donohue’s team have incorporated air temperatures into their model, as well as the source of their temperature data. Either they’ve incorrectly adjusted for temperature-related vegetation growth or their data source exaggerates warming. I’d be tempted to focus most efforts on the second of these options.

  115. jbird says:

    Right. I beg to differ.

    Perhaps those who are promoting this idea should “come down to earth” and look at what is actually happening. That pretty, green colored map is nonsense. I offer as an alternative the U.S. drought monitor here: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ And I also offer the photograph link below.

    Somebody needs to tell the sand dunes in the picture only 15 miles from my urban doorstep that they are supposed to be greening up due to all that increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Sorry, but plants do not live by CO2 alone; they also need moisture. I live in the southwest right on the edge of areas that are marked as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought.

    The picture in this photo was taken only a few days ago near my home: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98624996@N05/with/9245614979/ Let me know if you see any green in that picture. Those old dunes in the photo are just about ready to start moving again.

  116. Keith says:

    @jbird

    The map shows what purports to be the residual change in vegetation due to CO2 increase, not the aggregate vegetation change from all factors.

  117. Brian H says:

    @phlogiston;
    Your correction of vegitation was confusing because you misspelled the misspelling. ;)

    jbird;
    For a given amount of water, plants do better (greener) with higher CO2, which permits smaller stomata, less evaporative throughput and hence losses. It’s basic physics.

  118. jbird says:

    @Brian H
    “For a given amount of water…..” etc., etc.
    Tell me something I don’t already know. The headline and the world map are misleading. The deserts aren’t suddenly greening up because of increased CO2, which is the impression given.

    In fact, as parts of the world ultimately turn colder and more permanent ice forms at the poles and higher elevations, we can expect the deserts to grow. This process may have already started.

  119. phlogiston Hari Seldon was the name of the modeler of the future in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Empire series. While the sociohistorical projections were uncanny, they did not continue to conform to reality.
    1975 ‘Endangered Atmosphere’ Conference: Where the Global Warming Hoax Was Born http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2007/sci_techs/3423init_warming_hoax.html
    In related matters http://www.waronscience.com/links.php
    Pentagon Propaganda Gets a Pass http://www.prwatch.org/node/8472 Many of the pundits are lobbyists, executives or consultants for military contractors.
    And then there is Moving the Overton Window – the game of changing what seems reasonable. Logic alone in such a milieu is somewhat like relying on a knife in a gunfight. That is what the game of pretending to forecast the future is really about.

  120. jim2 says:

    ““Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.””

    Interpretation: We know you yahoos see this as a good thing, but believe me, there’s gonna’ be Hell to pay!!

  121. Doug says:

    Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change:

    Desertification solutions….

  122. Bill says:

    I was on a pipeline job in Cobar , NSW in 86. The only green vegetation west of there, towards Broken Hill was along the roadside where the overnight condensation ran off the road . Had to watch out for animals feeding there at night. Lots of roadkill.

  123. Mario Lento says:

    jbird says:
    July 9, 2013 at 6:33 am
    Right. I beg to differ.

    Perhaps those who are promoting this idea should “come down to earth” and look at what is actually happening. That pretty, green colored map is nonsense. I offer as an alternative the U.S. drought monitor here: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ And I also offer the photograph link below.

    Somebody needs to tell the sand dunes in the picture only 15 miles from my urban doorstep that they are supposed to be greening up due to all that increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Sorry, but plants do not live by CO2 alone; they also need moisture. I live in the southwest right on the edge of areas that are marked as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought.
    ++++++++++++

    Let me fix these previously ridiculous statements for you:

    (Those who are promoting this idea should understand what is actually happening.) That pretty, green colored map is (NOT) nonsense. (The U.S. drought monitor here: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ is due to colder and hence relatively drier air from the cooler West Coast.) As relatively dry cool air gets much drier as it warms. Few clouds from the dry air means more solar irradiance gets through.

    (Nobody needs to tell the sand dunes in the picture only 15 miles from my urban doorstep that they would be greening due to all that increased CO2 in the atmosphere if the drought were not as extreme as it was.) …plants do not live by CO2 alone; they also need moisture.

    (And thank for understanding that extreme drought has an effect on plant growth even though it benefits from the extra CO2. No one is saying that plants can survive with drought conditions better than moist conditions. That would be absurd. In fact, increased CO2 tends to mitigate the effects of drought, which seems to be a good thing.

  124. Noah Zark says:

    “This study was published in the US Geophysical Research Letters journal and was funded by CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, the Australian Research Council and Land & Water Australia.”

    How about an actual citation — you know, pub date, a URL reference and all that?

  125. aztecbill says:

    Could you imagine if things were happening in reverse. They would be crying about the killing of the plants. Would anyone dare say in that case, “but the temperature is a little colder and we have a little more ice in the Arctic” ?

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