Climactic headline shifts

Bruce Hall alerts me to this headline from Eurkekalert which reads:

 Eurekalert_headline

But the real headline behind the headline is this one, at the actual source: 

UCAR_headline

Hmm, “estimate risk” and “increases risk” are bit far apart, and the article even talks that headline down:

Climate experts estimate risk of rapid crop slowdown

July 25, 2014

BOULDER – The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global crop yields because of climate change, new research finds.

The authors, from Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, say the odds of a major production slowdown of wheat and corn, even with a warming climate, are not very high. But the risk is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming, and it may require planning by organizations that are affected by international food availability and price.

“Climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years,” said NCAR scientist Claudia Tebaldi, a co-author of the study.

Stanford professor David Lobell said he wanted to study the potential impact of climate change on agriculture in the next two decades because of questions he has received from stakeholders and decision makers in governments and the private sector.

“I’m often asked whether climate change will threaten food supply, as if it’s a simple yes or no answer,” Lobell said. “The truth is that over a 10- or 20-year period, it depends largely on how fast the Earth warms, and we can’t predict the pace of warming very precisely. So the best we can do is try to determine the odds.”

Wheat field in eastern Colorado

A storm looms behind wheat fields in eastern Colorado, where recurrent drought has had major impacts on agriculture over the last 15 years. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

Lobell and Tebaldi used computer models of global climate, as well as data about weather and crops, to calculate the chances that climatic trends would have a negative effect of 10 percent on yields in the next 20 years. This would have a major impact on food supply. Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.

They found that the likelihood of natural climate shifts causing such a slowdown over the next 20 years is only 1 in 200. But when the authors accounted for human-induced global warming, they found that the odds jumped to 1 in 10 for corn and 1 in 20 for wheat.

The study appears in this month’s issue of Environmental Research Letters. It was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is NCAR’s sponsor, and by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

More crops needed worldwide

Global yields of crops such as corn and wheat have typically increased by about 1-2 percent per year in recent decades, and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization projects that global production of major crops will increase by 13 percent per decade through 2030—likely the fastest rate of increase during the coming century. However, global demand for crops is also expected to rise rapidly during the next two decades because of population growth, greater per-capita food consumption, and increasing use of biofuels.

Lobell and Tebaldi set out to estimate the odds that climate change could interfere with the ability of crop producers to keep up with demand. Whereas other climate research had looked at the crop impacts that were most likely, Lobell and Tebaldi decided to focus on the less likely but potentially more dangerous scenario that climate change would reduce yield growth by 10 percent or more.

The researchers used simulations available from an NCAR-based climate model (developed by teams of scientists with support from NSF and DOE), as well as several other models, to provide trends in temperature and precipitation over the next two decades for crop-intensive regions under a scenario of increasing carbon dioxide. They also used the same model simulations without human-caused increases in carbon dioxide to assess the same trends in a natural climate.

In addition, they ran statistical analyses to estimate the impacts of changes in temperature and precipitation on wheat and corn yields in various regions of the globe and during specific times of the year that coincide with the most important times of the growing seasons for those two crops.

The authors quantified the extent to which warming temperatures would correlate with reduced yields. For example, an increase of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) would slow corn yields by 7 percent and wheat yields by 6 percent. Depending on the crop-growing region, the odds of such a temperature increase in the next 20 years were about 30 to 40 percent in simulations that included increases in carbon dioxide. In contrast, such temperature increases had a much lower chance of occurring in stimulations that included only natural variability, not human-induced climate change.

Although society could offset the climate impacts by planting wheat and corn in cooler regions, such planting shifts to date have not occurred quickly enough to offset warmer temperatures, the study warned. The authors also found little evidence that other adaptation strategies, such as changes in crop varieties or growing practices would totally offset the impact of warming temperatures.

“Although further study may prove otherwise, we do not anticipate adaptation being fast enough to significantly alter the near-term risks estimated in this paper,” they wrote.

“We can’t predict whether a major slowdown in crop growth will actually happen, and the odds are still fairly low,” said Tebaldi. “But climate change has increased the odds to the point that organizations concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of this risk.”

About the article

Title: Getting caught with our plants down: the risks of a global crop yield slowdown from climate trends in the next two decades

Authors: David B. Lobell and Claudia Tebaldi

Publication: Environmental Research Letters doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/074003

 

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140 thoughts on “Climactic headline shifts

  1. Warming temperatures = longer growing season = less risk of frost = stupid alarmist climate models.

  2. I would really like to know how many tax dollars were spent on this “modeling” effort. In fact, it should be a requirement of all tax-financed research that the published paper include the amount of taxpayer funding in the write up of the article.

  3. There are numerous indications that a flat to cooling trend rather than warming trend will dominate this period. This along with increasing CO2 should result in increase rather than decrease in these crops compared to their baseline. However, if the cooling is too severe, problems can occur for exactly the opposite reason stated by this study. This narrow minded, one sided, and biased study, using falsified model data is a disgrace to science.

  4. ” In contrast, such temperature increases had a much lower chance of occurring in stimulations that included only natural variability, not human-induced climate change.”

    I didn’t realize corn and wheat could read political propaganda. How else would a corn plant know why it is warmer?

  5. Let me see…they were using the same climate models that have been wildly inaccurate when compared to actual readings. How about the effect of 1 degree of global cooling? Then you would see some crop failures of monumental proportions. Don’t confuse this cabal sucking at the taxpayer tit, though. They NEED the money. And the narrative.

  6. Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.

    So, Yields would increase but not as much as the rate of increase we had so far.
    Even if it is due to “climate change”, whatever that means. It does not seeem scary at all.

    Anyway, the usual model output spiced with a large amount of propaganda. DId they say that higher CO2 levels, anthropogenic or not, renders higher crop yields? Can you foresee biological breakthroughts that provide better seeds? Are they using computer output from climate models as data to feed their computer model? Are they taking into account that climate models are failing miserably?

  7. Stupid is as stupid does…
        “..reduce yield growth..”
    that’s like saying AGW will
        “…reduce the yield of Moore’s law…”
    Both Moore’s law and crop yield increases represent huge amounts of highly talented and skilled work and investment,
    I view that person would have to be
        a really clueless, uninvolved drone to say either of these.

    As the financial community CYA’s
        “Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns”

  8. I’m sure a lot of people would complain, but I find it refreshing that they were clear about what exactly their models said. It doesn’t say yields will decrease, it plainly states that they’ll likely continue to increase.

    There have been so many studies I’ve read that claimed negative yields, only to find out that for ALL SCENARIOS by the IPCC the study’s data indicates yields would increase, and that’s without factoring in CO2 fertilization and CO2 induced drought resistance. Of course, what one has to wonder about all of these studies is how many model runs showed increased yield rates or failed to factor in things like CO2 fertilization/drought resistance.

  9. “Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.”

    Since when is “cut the projected rate of increase” the same as a slow down? It sounds as if those who are supping at the government trough have learned to speak the language of Washington. Only in government have we traditionally heard about decreases in increases being called cuts.

    And cudos to DHR above. What about the increases in plant growth due to rising CO2? How do they figure into the decrease in the increase?

    Wow. So much bovine pucky. But then again such things are known to increase the increase if applied to crops in sufficient quantity.

  10. Joel O’Bryan:

    At July 27, 2014 at 7:01 am you ask

    I didn’t realize corn and wheat could read political propaganda. How else wo.uld a corn plant know why it is warmer?

    The article explains that they don’t need to when it says

    However, global demand for crops is also expected to rise rapidly during the next two decades because of population growth, greater per-capita food consumption, and increasing use of biofuels.

    Farmers will produce the most profitable crops. Behind all the waffle, the article is a warning that biofuels crops will displace food crops if rising temperatures induce governments to subsidise and/or to mandate use of biofuels.

    The article is right for reasons I explained here.

    Richard

  11. ” urederra says:
    July 27, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.

    So, Yields would increase but not as much as the rate of increase we had so far.
    Even if it is due to “climate change”, whatever that means. It does not seeem scary at all.”

    So they are now using ‘Government Math’…that’s where a decrease in the rate of increase becomes a cut. Which being based on such well grounded things as projections and models makes it so, no matter what reality does.

  12. I love it when people attempt to predict the second derivative when the first is beyond their ability.

  13. As usual, this camp can’t pass up a splashy headline at the expense of an objective examination of a potential challenge. So what about the positive effect of slightly warming climate on expansion of available growing areas in northerly latitudes? Yield isn’t the only parameter in the supply equation, and they have apparently ignored the other major part of this story.

  14. Seriously, do physicists sleep through their undergrad intro biology classes? The article is both misleading and confusing because the terminology is wrong. So are they talking about, what, production slowing down, or yields slowing down, due to climate change? These are two very different things. Yields and production are not the same thing. Production is economic-political, yield is biological. Do they even know what they are talking about? Yes, feeding the world will get incrementally more difficult, not due to climate change, but supply and demand. Yes, the issue could occur due to the politics of climate change, but not because of climate change. The far bigger threat to future food production lies not with supposed climate change, but the accelerating removal of arable land from agricultural production.

  15. As CO2 increases, photosynthesis increases, and a plant’s water use decreases. Those of us who grow plants indoors under hot, high power lamps also know that the ideal growth temperature also increases.

    At 1,400 ppm CO2 plants can grow up to 50% faster, the same amount of water grows nearly twice as many plants and the fastest growth occurs at a temperature about 5 degrees higher than normal. Maximum heat tolerance goes up about 5F as well.

  16. “Climate experts estimate risk of rapid crop slowdown”

    Are these the very same climate ‘experts’ who, all those years ago, prophesied global warming?

  17. Richard,
    Agree with your comments. Saved your link for future reading.
    This comment is telling:
    “Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.”
    Give these “Dudes” some taxpayers money and they will say anything to get even more $$$. Science and credible analysis is optional.
    Lastly what is the Dept of Energy doing subsidizing such foolish propaganda. No wonder they have not provided any significant breakthrough to develop new energy sources in commercial quantities.

  18. > But the risk is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming,

    My apologies for not reading the article very closely (it doesn’t deserve better), but it seems to me the risk without global warming should be zero. Twenty times zero certainly supports the claim “the odds of a major production slowdown of wheat and corn, even with a warming climate, are not very high.”

    Awesome news!

  19. Joel O’Bryan says: “How else would a corn plant know why it is warmer?”

    Maybe it’s been genetically modified to be politically aware…

  20. Isn’t about 40% of the corn grown in the US used to make ethanol? Grow for food instead of fuel.
    Problem solved

  21. I’m a little more concerned about ‘superweeds’ and their effect on our dependance on industrial scale monoculture farming. In the US we already have up to 70 million acres of U.S. farmland had glyphosate resistant weeds in 2013. It seems this will be a reoccurring problem as natural plant evolution quickly adapts. Google ‘superweeds’ for more info.

    http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/midwestern-farmers-wage-war-against-superweeds/article_e84e6049-ac33-562a-aa54-e9a564af8e6b.html

  22. richardscourtney says:
    July 27, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Farmers will produce the most profitable crops. Behind all the waffle, the article is a warning that biofuels crops will displace food crops if rising temperatures induce governments to subsidise and/or to mandate use of biofuels.

    The article is right for reasons I explained here.

    Richard
    ________________________________________
    It’s the law of free markets that the most profitable crops are produced. Basically, there is nothing wrong with that. More important is the waste of foodstuffs. As long as an estimated 30% of all foodstuffs ends in the dustbin and not the stomachs, there is no reason to worry about biofuels.
    Stop squandering of what we already have in the first place!

  23. More Lobel GIGO. I posted on the two original bad papers (US and CYMIT African maise) here and at CE in 2011. A better more complete explanation is in my first book. Taking a spurious statistical threshold result based on an improperly formulated regression model, then use GCMs that themselves do not reproduce reality (the pause) to estimate the risk of yield reduction is absurd. Two bad results multiplied together do not make a good result. It’s GIGO.

    And to a question posted above, no, Lobels results do not take into account co2 fertilization. They are strictly based on yield impact of degree days above an (improperly) statistically determined threshold much lower than in actual greenhouse experiments, and much longer in duration than anthesis, because the model omitted a heat plus moisture covariance term. Plus in Lobels African data, all the experimental plots were much dryer than minimum ‘optimal’ since the whole point was to breed drough resistant corn for Africa, where on average only about 40 % of optimal pecipitation exists, most coming in only 3 months during the MAM long rain rather thannthe optimal 4-5 months. There is yield reduction given hot plus dry, but not given hot plus wet. And in both cases, hot has to be hotter than the spurious threshold.

  24. …global demand for crops is also expected to rise rapidly during the next two decades because of population growth, greater per-capita food consumption, and increasing use of biofuels.

    Did they also estimate the odds without biofuels?

  25. Here is the key statement-

    “For example, an increase of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) would slow corn yields by 7 percent and wheat yields by 6 percent. Depending on the crop-growing region, the odds of such a temperature increase in the next 20 years were about 30 to 40 percent in simulations that included increases in carbon dioxide.”

    They claim to have climate models making believable regional predictions 20 years into the future, even though past performance has been a shambolic joke. Moreover, they claim up to a 40% chance of a 1 C increase in 2 decades, or 0.5 C/decade, even though current trends (with record CO2 emissions) are essentially 0.0 C/decade.

    This article is eco-gibberish, which is why it is destined to become a canonical underpinning of new EPA CO2 regulations.

  26. Joel O’Bryan says:
    July 27, 2014 at 7:01 am

    “I didn’t realize corn and wheat could read political propaganda. How else would a corn plant know why it is warmer?”

    Exactly Joel. Do the brainless authors of this paper really expect me to believe that the corn and wheat plant (or any plant for that matter) can tell the difference between natural and manmade warming and can tell when there is a mix of the two? And do they expect me to believe the two plants will react differently and produce a varying yield depending on the warming type?

    I’m not even a scientist and that notion still sets off the B.S. alarm in my head. This demonstrates the degree to which climate science has been corrupted by the politicization of it and the tax dollars flowing into it, and it is getting truly tragic.

  27. History contradicts these so called experts. During the Medieval Warm Period agriculture flourished. Many think this was a major contributing factor to the Renaissance.

  28. I wonder if there is a computer model that will tell us how much crop yields will decrease and how much starvation would occur if we stopped using hydrocarbons completely. What if we could not use tractors and modern fertilizer? What would happen to crop yields? What if there were no trucks to transport produce to markets? How many people would soon starve because of not knowing how to grow food for the year and not having adequate refrigeration due to lack of electricity to keep food fresh longer and living in cities far away from any farmland? (Note: I am making the safe assumption that nuclear power plants won’t be built at a rate to replace fossil fuel electricity and all other “renewable” energy is not sufficient to handle our energy requirements.) How long will our forests last due to people cutting down every tree for cooking and heating?

    There is no money modeling the negative consequences of giving up oil, coal, and natural gas.

  29. “major slowdown in crop growth” = more crops every year ,,, just not as much as there has been over the last 60 years ….

    Remember when the AGW cult used to predict less crops?

  30. NO NO NO! Plants grow according to what the models say, not based on reality. And any such plants that deny the model are simply wrong. It is settled.

  31. …… reality and models are drawn from the same population: Not
    “… caught with plants down …” Reversed author listing from six years ago, and a playful title: what else changed? @ http://www.climatecentral.org/about/people-bio/claudia_tebaldi
    cf. C. Tebaldi and D. B. Lobell (2008), Towards probabilistic pro jections of climate change impacts on global crop yields. Geophysical Research Letters. , Vol. 35, L08705, doi:10.1029/2008GL033423
    ** Co-author with R. Knutti, as recently as 2011. None cited since.
    ** Michael Kile, http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2014/03/guessing-games-climate-science/ closes with “… David Whitehouse explains in The Very Model of a Modern Major Problem, “is that the various outputs of computer models are not independent samples in the same way that repeated measurements of a physical parameter could be. They are not independent measurements centred on what is the “truth” or reality.”

    Given this, does the addition of more models and “experiments” force the mean of a multi-model ensemble to converge on reality? Some, such as the work by Professor Reto Knutti believe it doesn’t. I agree, and think it is a precarious step to take to decide that reality and models are drawn from the same population.”
    – –
    I agree with Kile: “Something is rotten at the Climate Carbon Cargo Cult Club (CCCCC).”
    best regards, John

  32. The other thing I like about the article is the intrinsic bias. How will things go? Well, that depends on how bad the warming is. If it is simply an alarming increase in temperatures, then it will be this way, but if it is an alarming and SHOCKING increase in temperatures, then it will be that way.

    Still not a hint of any author daring to say “if temperatures do not rise”.

  33. And yet during the recent fast temperature rise prior to the pause, a segment in time used to prove anthropogenic globull warming, crop production soared. But not because of climate. It soared because of improvements in soil, planting and crop growth practices, irrigation and disease management, and seed development.

    I bet our highly intelligent farmers just love it when climate scientists predict they won’t be able to do their job because of weather. Hardly. The biggest impediment to farmers doing their jobs is the government.

  34. The part of these papers that always makes me laugh is that they think that farmers are idiots who will continue to plant e.g. a specific strain of corn, or corn at all, if the conditions for one kind of corn prove unfavorable.

    Here’s the reality, dear boffins. Farmers change what they plant with the weather, even year by year. If it is going to be dry, or it looks like a shorter growing season because the spring is late, they plant varietals adapted to dryer weather or shorter growing-seasons, or they plant something else entirely. And of course if there is a much longer general swing in the temperature or the rainfall, they adapt to that as well.

    And as a result, any projections of either yield or production which do NOT take the farmers into account are worse than useless, because they are actively misleading.

    I gotta say it … pathetic. Those guys need to go live on a farm for a few years to disabuse themselves of their childish suppositions about farmers.

    w.

  35. Climate Change, When the AGW people made the change from global warming to Climate Change
    they must have overlooked that climate change is an open ended condition when applied to
    temperature.
    Climate can either be warming or cooling!
    Surprise, climate is now cooling! Just suppose we are in the beginning of a new Little Ice Age period. We will then see a large drop in food production!

  36. odds of such a temperature increase in the next 20 years were about 30 to 40 percent in simulations that included increases in carbon dioxide
    ====
    so……they don’t even give it 50/50…even odds

  37. Willis wrote:

    Here’s the reality, dear boffins. Farmers change what they plant with the weather, even year by year. If it is going to be dry, or it looks like a shorter growing season because the spring is late, they plant varietals adapted to dryer weather or shorter growing-seasons, or they plant something else entirely.

    Historically farmers have been able to do this because of accurate (within reason) forecasts. Given the bias in the US toward models that put data in and get climate warming out it is unlikely farmers will get the degree of accuracy they’ve had. If so the result will be more crop failures as a direct consequence of climate warming bias in the predictions. I agree with the OP that there will be crop failures but not because of climate change – the reason will be predicted climate change at odds with observed. We already have nearly 20 years of this, and it can’t continue without impacting farmers dependent upon misguided loans and grants policies from a misinformed USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture). I would not be surprised to learn this is already happening but if it is it should be another tool in the skeptic tool box.

  38. For example, an increase of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) would slow corn yields by 7 percent and wheat yields by 6 percent.

    Really? Why, exactly? How was that determined? Show your work, fellas, or I call BS.

  39. Any skeptic can have a field day with this nonsense. Warmer weather “slows yields”? What’s that supposed to mean? The big worry here is the “…risk of a rapid crop slowdown..” wherein the researchers assert they can rapidly detect their own lower estimates amidst projected higher yields, a special kind of ad hoc illogic seemingly based on the misconception that longer growing seasons result in reduced harvests, but this bit really caught my eye:

    “… greater per-capita food consumption…”

    Now there’s a lovely thought. Already there are people too obese to walk. No shortage of cooking and food shows on the boob tube however, even with no US state able to maintain an obesity rate below 20%, and 12 with obesity rates at 30% or greater.

    So the alarmists probably are right about greater per-capita food consumption, if nothing else.

  40. Just to add a little tidbit of info to the debate:

    Most vegetation is C3 plants. They use soley atmospheric CO2. Wheat and rice are examples (corn is C4, and can use CO2 from the soil). C3 plant growth will befing slowing if levels drop below 220ppm, and stop below 150 ppm, or so.

    Direct measurements (not models, so it is untrustyworthy data (sarc)) showed that on high growing days in the UK, wheat stopped growing in the late afternoon.

    How could that be, considering CO2 levels were above 150ppm? Imagine hundreds of acres of C3 plants taking CO2 out of the atmosphere. The CO2 level of the LOCAL environment was dropping below that needed for the wheat to grow (unlike the mystical trees of Yamal, it seems wheat crops respond to the local environment, not global averages).

    If man-producted CO2 stopped and reversed the decline of atmospheric CO2, then he staved off a gobal disaster. Crops were already undernurished wrt CO2, every ppm reduction in the future would further reduce crop yields.

    I would love to see a study of what wheat and rice yields would be if the CO2 levels were at 185 ppm.

  41. In my opinion the approach adopted by Tebaldi and Lobell ignores the fact that plants live on our planet since millions of years (and so they are adaptable to a wide range of environmental conditions) and that at present agricultural activity is carried out by billions of farmers (which can take their business decisions much faster than the industrial sector – as stated by Willis Eschenbach).
    These facts make the food producton system extremely adaptable with respect to climate change and the adaptation follows three main pathways:
    1. the plants react in a non-linear way to the environmental variables and more specifically to temperature variations (contrary to what suggested by the authors, which have addressed their problem with a linear approach)
    2. if climate changes the farmers can change their crops very quickly (for example, from corn to wheat or from wheat to rice)
    3. in the same way, if climate changes farmers can change their varieties very quickly adopting the most suitable for the new climate (e.g.: if the length of the growing season increases farmers can choose varieties wth longer cycle with a significant increase of yield – e.g. for maize we ranges from the extra-early varieties of class 100 with emergence-harvest period of 80 days to extra late varieties of class 800 with emergence-harvest period of 140 days).
    These strategies of adaptation (that should be well known by scientists because they are in place since the birth of agriculture, about 10000 years ago) justify the phenomenon that despite IPCC states that the AGW is at work since decades, FAO statistics show the persistence of a robust global positive trend of the major crops (wheat, corn, rice, soybean).
    Obviously, the plasticity of the agricultural system should be promoted by suitable policies, either by stimulating the abovementioned adaptation pathways and by promoting research to develop varieties suited to the changing climate (note that the potential for adaptation present in the genes of cultivated plants is huge and largely unexplored). In this sense, genetic engineering techniques are a tool extremly powerful and should be exploited to the fullest.
    In this context, as stated by Richard Courtney, the competition of the biofuels with food should be evaluated more stringently than we do at present.

  42. Right you are, Pamela! (July 27, 2014 at 8:35 am) This is a ‘Club of Rome’ type prediction. This is a Kaya identity type prediction. False assumptions + linear trend computer models = Useless Information.

    First of all, look at a world map. If the warming were to take place, favoring the higher latitudes, the amount of viable farming acreage would expand rapidly on the northern end. In the lower latitudes, the temperature changes would be less and farmers would easily adapt or shift to a crop that is more heat tolerant. Bio genetics will likely solve this problem, if it hasn’t already, so our lower latitude farmers will be just fine.

    The thing that makes computer models so completely useless for such studies is that they lack adaptability and creativity algorithms. Nearly all of human progress from the beginning of time has been a function of creativity and adaptability. When we take these two functions out of the process of predicting our future, we will invariably come up with Malthusian results and ‘it’s worse than we thought’ proclamations. If we could calculate these two non-linear functions, we would find that our future would always be bright and promising, unless, of course, we also introduced the ‘government control’ algorithm, which has managed to trump the other two functions many times during human history.

    The ‘government control’ algorithm is not inherently negative. When this algorithm actually supports adaptability and creativity, the results can be astounding. One such algorithm was expressed in this way: “…establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and PROMOTE the GENERAL welfare for ourselves and our posterity…” Too bad this algorithm is no longer being applied and has been rewritten to the point of becoming a net negative for humanity!

    The other thing that caught my attention was the comparison with natural climate variability, which has always been grossly underestimated by these people. In effect, they were comparing a warming scenario with the status quo (little or no change). The status quo will always look better in a linear computer model without functions tracking creativity or adaptability. In addition, this model did not even consider a natural cooling over the next several decades. Certainly that would be MUCH worse for crop yields than an equal amount of warming.

    NCAR and Stanford are doing a gross disservice to their clients. Their report will undoubtedly keep the grant money coming, but will ultimately be harmful to the farming community, if they are unwise enough to accept it.

  43. These people really need to be held accountable for wasting somebody’s money and continuing to completely mislead.

    I forecast crop yields and changes to crop conditions (and market price changes) based on the effects of weather for a living.

    Increasing CO2 has and will continue to have benefits to crops and world food production. They are stating the opposite with regards to the future.

    To also state that the chance of a slow down from a natural cycle is only 1 in 200 is really dumb. Have they not heard of the Dust Bowl? This was a widespread natural drought that lasted almost a decade less than a century ago in the 1930’s.

    My opinion is that the chance of a natural cycle slowing down yields is greater than 1 in 10. If we had any sort of substantial cooling, the negative effect would be tremendous.

    When you factor in increasing CO2, that risk goes down for numerous reasons.
    1. Atmospheric fertilization
    2. Drought tolerance
    3. Less chance of having the major yield reducing temp factor…….cold

    Their conclusions are completely the opposite of reality. Natural cycles contain almost all the risk, increasing CO2 buffers that risk.

    There would be a smaller yield reducing potential from heat, however, the modest and mostly beneficial global warming has been greatest in higher latitudes.

    This still might effect corn pollination and kernel filling if excessive during that key developmental phase but in higher latitudes, not accumulating enough growing degree days(heat units) is sometimes a problem.

  44. @saywhat

    except that there is no [global] warming anymore
    However, there may be some local warming in north america,
    which is due to a decrease in precipitation at the higher latitudes
    due to the [global] cooling

    …////
    it ‘s [getting] complicated…..

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

    I remember I studied precipitation in Winnipeg and found it was going down,
    exactly as predicted by me/
    before I checked it.

  45. From the article
    “Stanford professor David Lobell said he wanted to study the potential impact of climate change on agriculture in the next two decades because of questions he has received from stakeholders and decision makers in governments and the private sector.”
    ==============================================
    There’s the money quote, so to speak. A 20-year grant ought to see Lobell through to retirement.

  46. • Elevated carbon dioxide increases the productivity and water use efficiency of
    nearly all plants.
    • Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 ameliorate, and sometimes fully compensate for,
    the negative influences of various environmental stresses on plant growth, including
    the stress of high temperature.
    • Health promoting substances found in various food crops and medicinal plants have
    been shown to benefit from rising atmospheric CO2.
    • Elevated CO2 reduces, and frequently completely overrides, the negative effects of
    ozone pollution on plant photosynthesis, growth and yield.
    • Extreme weather events such as heavy downpours and droughts are not likely to
    impact future crop yields any more than they do now.
    • On the whole, CO2-enrichment does not increase the competitiveness of weeds
    over crops; higher atmospheric CO2 will likely reduce crop damage from insects
    and pathogenic diseases.
    • In addition to enhancing forage productivity, atmospheric CO2-enrichment will likely
    not alter its digestibility by animals.

    http://www.plantsneedco2.org/html/PositiveEffectsOfCO2OnAgriculture2.pdf

    “…the “increase in CO2 from glacial to postglacial levels [180 to 280 ppm] caused a significant gain in vegetative biomass of up to 40%,” together with “a reduction in the transpiration rate via decreases in stomatal conductance of ~35%,” which led to “a 70% increase in water use efficiency, and a much greater productivity potential in water-limited conditions.”

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V11/N22/EDIT.php

  47. If someone really thought this they should be for an international agency that creates excess demand for food grains. Almost every year it would be turned into ethanol and sold. But if there were droughts & famines – it would just be sold.

    Perhaps there is a mini ice-age or a stratospheric volcano. Or both. Producing something like another “year without summer” — food supply would not have time to catch up to demand.

    My point is, CO2 would not have been the problem.

  48. DHR and McComberBoy:
    “Did the study include the effects of increased CO2 on plant growth?”
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    From the study:
    “For this analysis, we assume that positive effects of
    elevated CO2 on yields will continue over the next 20 years at
    the same rate as has occurred in recent years. That is, because
    the changes in CO2 are very gradual and linear over time, we
    assume that CO2 changes will not cause any deviation from
    historical yield growth rates and can thus be ignored in our
    analysis of a possible yield slowdown.”
    ———————————————————————
    Which seems a bit suspect- they can assume C02 won’t make changes to the yield rate any differently than it already has, but why wouldn’t they assume the same for temperature changes- hasn’t increased C02 been affecting temperatures in the past yield rates as well? Good catch!

  49. In 1960, the US yield for corn = 54.7 bu/ac, wheat =26.1 bu/ac and soy beans =25.2 bu/ac. In 2009, US yield for corn = 161.9 bu/ac, wheat =44.9 bu/ac and soy beans =52 bu/ac. Most of these gains can be attributed to technological innovations, e.g., fertilizers, seeds (including pest resistant seeds), soil preparation, etc,. BTW, the US isn’t the world leader in some areas of high-yield agriculture production.

    Why shouldn’t increases in agriculture production yields be expected to continue?

  50. Jtom says:
    July 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Direct measurements (not models, so it is untrustyworthy data (sarc)) showed that on high growing days in the UK, wheat stopped growing in the late afternoon.
    _____

    Very interesting. Suggests that we are well below optimal CO2 levels. Do you have a reference?

  51. Seems the boys in Boulder and their counter parts have been partaking of the 5 leaf weed a bit to much. (or this is a bad case of scientific perversion)

    The current CO2 increase has caused 0.0 deg C rise inf temp when natural variation is considered. The Current stop in warming has cooled farming regions thus slowing production naturally and has nothing to do with Man Created Climatic Change.

    Historically, the MEWP saw great crop increases even when some areas formed desert conditions as other areas became aridible and crop productions soared.

    I find it hard to believe they can contain a trace gas to an area and then claim its effects in minuet micorclimates when they cant even get a simple weather prediction to pan out at greater than 24 hours at a 95% confidence level in a small area. There is so much wrong with this paper and so much gibberish eco-terroist crap in it and none of it can be supported by historical comparison.

    The low information voter who can not understand simple scientific concepts will be scared that they are going to starve and that is what they wanted. As emotion increases the ability to logically reason decreases. This is intentional misdirection and lying to support an agenda.. Get them scared with lies and then have the government come in and save them with more intrusive regulations.

    This is paper is nothing more than perverted science propaganda and has no scientific value. Just casually looking at it and its base claims, even I can see it is ridicules. These folks need to just come out and admit they are scientists for hire and they will produce whatever you want to the highest bidder…

  52. JimS is correct: Warming temperatures = longer growing season = less risk of frost = stupid alarmist climate models.

    With the current “pause” actually being a nascent cooling trend, we should really be concerned about reduced crop yields resulting from cooler global temperatures, shorter growing seasons, and increased risk of frost.

    From my Aggie perspective, the article was a bunch of malarkey.

  53. “However, global demand for crops is also expected to rise rapidly during the next two decades because of population growth, greater per-capita food consumption, and increasing use of biofuels.”

    Well, just stop subsidizing biofuels.

    This entry was posted in Agriculture,
    This entry should be posted under Climate Agnotology.

    I read the entire post and think I lost at least a few IQ points, which I hope I gained back reading some of the comments.

  54. I forgot to add this article is specifically designed for a media blitz to create fear… Just what politicians losing the battle on Climate Change want.

  55. Jtom says:
    July 27, 2014 at 9:35 am
    ===
    yep…they “stop” growing at 150ppm…..but at 180ppm CO2 levels are so limiting…their growth is so slow…. atmospheric levels stabilize

    That’s what happened…..that is the only logical explanation

  56. earwig42 says:
    July 27, 2014 at 10:22 am “I read the entire post and think I lost at least a few IQ points, which I hope I gained back reading some of the comments.”

    …not to worry, our new I.Q. modeling algorithm increases I.Q. scores by 4 to 6 points per decade of increased age. It’s linear, like AGW, or switch to plus 4 to 6 percent per decade to achieve logarithmic I.Q. growth, like CAGW. :) Of course, there is some grant funding to support the I.Q. modeling agenda.

  57. What a cesspool of useless conjecture.
    Stanford professor David Lobell doesn’t have the slightest idea what the future of food crop production will be, he doesn’t have anything useful to tell those who supposedly him questions and doesn’t know what they can do with the nonsense he did provide.
    This reminds me of Jane Lubchenco’s suggestion that a National Climate Service would be helpful in locating wind farms and various government facilities based on defining what and where future weather will be. As if.
    I don’t believe the professor truly received the type of “questions from stakeholders and decision makers in governments and the private sector” which sought what he then studied and provided.
    In the end his work is GIGO gibberish.
    Lobell. “..we can’t predict the pace of warming very precisely. So the best we can do is try to determine the odds.”
    Yet he asserts those concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of his unreliable and worthless crap shoot guesstimation?
    Someone paid him to play with computer models and produce meaningless conjecture that was no more reliable than simply assuming there must be some impact ahead.

    Not a single stakeholder or decision maker in government or the private sector can use anything he has provided for any policy or decision whatsoever.
    It will simply be added to the heap of demagoguery and pile of ideological idiocy used to advance the purposefully mendacious AGW movement.

  58. They can now model a natural variability! An achievement worth several Nobel Prizes. There are still some very modest researchers.

  59. richardscourtney wrote:
    the article is a warning that biofuels crops will displace food crops if rising temperatures induce governments to subsidise and/or to mandate use of biofuels.
    ===========

    What Richard says would actually be a “shift” in crop use and cultivation in warmer world, that affects FOOD production, product utilization, and thus prices. Such a shift is driven, as Richard suggests, would be by human economic decisions, not nature. That is trivially true, but that is not what title or abstract suggests.

    Without reading through the entire MS, the abtract simply states, “a major slowdown in the growth of (corn and wheat) yields” in a climate change (i.e. human-released CO2 forcing of temps) world.

    In agriculture science, the term “yield” is very clear. It is bushels per acre for corn and wheat. Better seeds, GM hybrids, fertilizer selections, watering/rainfall, insects, disease all affect yield. All things being equal, longer growing seasons and more CO2 will increase the increases in yield, not slow them down.

    Prediction: these kinds of alarmist claims are an embarrasment to science, and one day as a direct result, climate scientists who pushed these then falsified (by time and nature) claims will be publicly mocked and derided.

  60. The paper didn’t seem to factor in sun cycles 24 & 25’s good odd of bringing on another grand minimum event with dramatic cooling and the impact it will have on crops.

  61. When they were talking about climate change being the problem that would result in a reduced crop yield, I coulda sworn they were talking about a cooling world with a reduced growing season….
    maybe in some crazy way the scientists are trying to warn us, but never quite out themselves as not believing in CAGW

  62. Joel O’Bryan:

    At July 27, 2014 at 11:00 am in a comment you make on my post at July 27, 2014 at 7:18 am you write

    Prediction: these kinds of alarmist claims are an embarrasment to science, and one day as a direct result, climate scientists who pushed these then falsified (by time and nature) claims will be publicly mocked and derided.

    Long ago (memory says 2001) Fred Singer organised a side-meeting at an IPCC Conference. The Meeting room was filled (with no remaining standing room) with members of Greenpeace and IPCC Representatives. Fred Singer, Gert Rainer-Webber and I each gave presentations and I spoke on global temperature data sets.

    I concluded my presentation by making this prediction

    When the ‘chickens come home to roost’ – as they surely will with efluxion of time – then the politicians and journalists won’t say, “It was all our fault”. They will say, “It was the scientists’ fault”, and that’s me, AND I OBJECT!”

    I have yet to see any reason for me to change any word of that.

    Richard

  63. Globaloney headline enhancement:

    “Global Warming is bullshit” becomes:

    “AGW may generate toxic levels of manure odor.”

  64. richardscourtney says:

    July 27, 2014 at 11:22 am

    When the ‘chickens come home to roost’ – as they surely will with efluxion of time – then the politicians and journalists won’t say, “It was all our fault”. They will say, “It was the scientists’ fault”, and that’s me, AND I OBJECT!”

    If it makes you feel any better, and it may not, it is not the scientists’ fault that the politicians and journalists are failures in this arena.

  65. “Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 27, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Here’s the reality, dear boffins. Farmers change what they plant with the weather, even year by year. If it is going to be dry, or it looks like a shorter growing season because the spring is late, they plant varietals adapted to dryer weather or shorter growing-seasons, or they plant something else entirely. And of course if there is a much longer general swing in the temperature or the rainfall, they adapt to that as well.”

    That’s all true…if you don’t grow GMO crops.

    I’m against GMO crops for two reasons, the first being I don’t believe the ‘life’ should be patentable. The second is because, for the most part, the varieties available are limited. They don’t have the number of choices to be able to follow a planting scheme based on weather. The ones out there now are pretty much ‘all purpose’ varieties that do ‘alright’ in a wide variety of conditions, but don’t really excell under any. Basically, that means if you are growing GMO corn you have 120 day corn or you have 100 day corn, and if you had a late spring and need an 85 day corn you are out of luck…just hope for a late fall. To me this makes them much less valuable, to the point of ‘why bother’ in many cases.

    I didn’t expect the authors of the paper to grasp the concept that all varieties of corn or wheat are different and the choice of which variety to grow has a lot of thought and planning (along with a careful eye to local climate and weather). Choosing the ‘correct’ varieties often makes a ‘good’ harvest into a ‘great’ one.

  66. The assumption made in this and numerous other papers by warmists is that the climate is warming. That is abject nonsense. There has been no warming for the last 17 years and there is none in sight. The climate models they use all slope up in the future, indicating warming, while the actual global temperature is a horizontal line, no warming since the late nineties. The upward slope of those climate model predictions comes from the fact that they all have a built-in code that makes increase of carbon dioxide equivalent to increase of global temperature. This of course is complete stupidity because carbon dioxide has been increasing for the last 17 years while global temperature has stood still. Their built-in model code nevertheless takes that carbon dioxide increase and creates those asinine warming curves we see in CMIP5. They have a further problem with their greenhouse warming theory. The Arrhenius theory they use is set up to predict warming when carbon dioxide increases. And it has been doing that faithfully for the last 17 years while nothing happened. If your theory predicts warming and nothing happens for 17 years you as a scientist know that this theory is worthless and belongs in the waste basket of history. The only theory that can correctly handle the current greenhouse effect is the the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT) of which I have spoken at length before. Its prediction is exactly what we see today: there is no warming at all despite a steady increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is explained as a consequence of the interaction of two greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and water vapor, in the atmosphere. Arrhenius fails because it can only handle one greenhouse gas and is incomplete.

  67. TobiasN says:
    July 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

    If someone really thought this they should be for an international agency that creates excess demand for food grains. Almost every year it would be turned into ethanol and sold. But if there were droughts & famines – it would just be sold.

    Actually, such a system already exists, but it doesn’t turn grains into ethanol, thankfully. It turns them into meat. When there is a bumper crop, we don’t throw it away. We feed it to cattle, chickens and pigs. And in lean times, they get less grain.

    The system has worked amazingly well for centuries, and it’s one reason why the claims that we could feed more people if we were all vegans are illusory.

    w.

  68. mjc says:
    July 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    “Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 27, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Here’s the reality, dear boffins. Farmers change what they plant with the weather, even year by year. If it is going to be dry, or it looks like a shorter growing season because the spring is late, they plant varietals adapted to dryer weather or shorter growing-seasons, or they plant something else entirely. And of course if there is a much longer general swing in the temperature or the rainfall, they adapt to that as well.”

    That’s all true…if you don’t grow GMO crops.

    Say what? Farmers can just as easily switch GMO varieties, or plant GMO wheat instead of GMO corn, or not plant GMO crops at all. As I said before … farmers aren’t stupid.

    I’m against GMO crops for two reasons, the first being I don’t believe the ‘life’ should be patentable. The second is because, for the most part, the varieties available are limited. They don’t have the number of choices to be able to follow a planting scheme based on weather. The ones out there now are pretty much ‘all purpose’ varieties that do ‘alright’ in a wide variety of conditions, but don’t really excell under any. Basically, that means if you are growing GMO corn you have 120 day corn or you have 100 day corn, and if you had a late spring and need an 85 day corn you are out of luck…just hope for a late fall. To me this makes them much less valuable, to the point of ‘why bother’ in many cases.

    Oh, I see. Farmers use GMO crops because they’re too dumb to realize that they are crippling themselves because the varietals are limited … again, say what? Do you truly think that some guy whose shortest season GMO varietal is a 100 day corn, he’ll just throw up his hands if the growing season is shorter than that and say “I’m out of luck”?

    Perhaps you might benefit from a year or two on the farm yourself. If GMO seeds become uneconomical to plant, because of weather or for any other reason, said farmers just pick a non-GMO seed and plant that … repeat after me, “Farmers are not stupid.”

    w.

  69. mjc: “I’m against GMO crops for two reasons, the first being I don’t believe the ‘life’ should be patentable.”

    Although I have reservations about what subject matter is eligible for patenting, I’ve never understood that particular objection. I usually just assume it’s a visceral reaction expressed without any real analysis. But I’d be interested if someone could explain the reasoning, if any, behind such a position.

  70. University science departments have been known to say that they can get any result you want, for a fee. Even so, this one is amazing. They managed to spin things so marvellously that they made it look like a risk of fewer crops if the temperature rises from 12C to 13C or from 57F to 59F.

    You may not be farmers, but many of you have lawns. Corn and wheat are grasses. What does your lawn grass do when the temperature rises from 57F to 59F?

    We have managed to get the pause across to alarmists. I think we need to get the current average temperature across to both alarmists and the public at large.

    This site is full of highly intelligent people (yes, there are idiots and average people posting here, but 5-10% compared to most posts in yahoo or Grauniad, etc etc) I have noticed that the general public only comprehends 1 or 2 things at a time. So we have to emphasize this.

    But even that won’t really do much good. The real fear is carbon dioxide levels harming human health. The opposite is true–we probably owe much of our increased longevity to rising carbon dioxide. If we ever get THAT across, it will be the end of the fear, and we might even be able to return science to the eager search for truth, wherever the results might lead.

    Hmmmm, while writing this, I had the germ of an idea. I never understood why other people like Coca Cola and other sodas, because I happen to hate them. I think people benefit from the carbon dioxide. If I can come up with products and/or ads for products that contain the CO2 without the sugar or worse (all alternatives are worse and more fattening than sugar), we might be able to show greater vitality. Then CO2 lovers would be given a real boost in personal bodily power, and that result might communicate very effectively indeed…

  71. HenryP says:
    July 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Henry

    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut) and you seem convinced that this cooling will continue. Here’s an idea how you can make a bit of cash. Go and challenge James Annan to a bet on future global temperature change.

    Let’s see if you have the guts. Annan has challenged many prominent sceptics to a bet but none has been prepared to take him on apart from a couple of Russians. At present, the Russians look as though they are going to lose $10,000.

  72. The authors of this paper should google “Norman Borlaug” and then retract their paper.

  73. I could never count the number of times in the last 30 years I have read a headline with a ” warning of some catastrophe in 20 years” when nothing ever comes of it. Main stream media report it as if it is a new unheard of concept. When oh when will some talking head finally question any or all previous claims? It always reminds me of some religious belief for the end of times, never happens but they just forecast a new date. Like the boy who cried wolf, news stories like this one are not news but are, as in this story, science fiction.

  74. John Finn says
    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)

    Henry says
    All data sets are showing a downward trend from 2002, even Gistemp

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/rss/from:1987/to:2015/plot/rss/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2002/to:2015/trend

    UAH is an outlier and we know it has quality issues; we are waiting for an update [so that it will get closer to RSS]

    That is still excluding my own 3 data sets that show cooling from 2000.

    In addition my results on the deceleration of minimum temperatures suggests that man made warming is about 0.000K/annum
    in other words: nothing.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/02/21/henrys-pool-tables-on-global-warmingcooling/

    See last table below the minima table.
    You can bet on that.

    I am a religious man. I do not bet.

  75. John Finn says:

    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)…

    Sorry, John, per your own sources, the planet is cooling now.

  76. Joe Born says:
    July 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    mjc: “I’m against GMO crops for two reasons, the first being I don’t believe the ‘life’ should be patentable.”

    Although I have reservations about what subject matter is eligible for patenting, I’ve never understood that particular objection. I usually just assume it’s a visceral reaction expressed without any real analysis. But I’d be interested if someone could explain the reasoning, if any, behind such a position.
    =========================================================================
    To my mind this gives a company too much control over food production. If your neighbor,s gmo crop cross pollinates your crop. Then you lose the right to use any seed from your crop without paying the gmo company. You have also lost your strain from your original crop. This gives all power to the gmo seeds being produced, and will stunt the choice of natural varieties. So far most legislation has been favoring gmo because there is a lot of money passing between hands. The small guy gets nothing, no protection. I am against that.

  77. These papers should be written with better descriptions of the model’s transient climate sensitivity parameter, an explicit statement describing the assumed attribution of global warming over the last century to anthropogenic causes, exhibits showing how the model predictions do versus real data over the last 50 years, and the assumed concentration pathways used in the model forecast runs.

    Or they can all use the same results but place the climate model information in an appendix. I like to focus on the greenhouse gas concentration pathways they use, and these can be quite surreal in the long term projections used by the IPCC.

    They particularly cheat with methane. They get the crowd to focus on co2 then they play with the methane curves to achieve their TARGET forcings, in other words, even if the models were fine they still have to put them on methane steroids to get the temperature to rise to the scary levels they want to have.

  78. “We can’t predict whether a major slowdown in crop growth will actually happen, and the odds are still fairly low,” said Tebaldi. “But climate change has increased the odds to the point that organizations concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of this risk.”

    This is about as close to meaningless as a sentence can get. “We can’t predict”…then why are you writing this…and even more important…why would people read it? “the odds are still fairly low”…then why give it a second thought? “But climate change has increased the odds to the point that organizations concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of this risk.”…couple anything with climate change and people will listen, I guess. Not me.

    “need to be aware of this risk.” is shorthand for “give us money to study this.”

  79. J. Finn would you describe the nature of this bet? I’ve made tons if money betting against Texas A&M engineers who had an illogical attachment to their football team, and would give lots of points when they played weaklings from Austin and Lubbock Texas. If your friend crafted the bet to sucker punch those Russians more power to him. But he ain’t about to fool wiser minds. And I bet the bet was rigged…it’s just another one of those items we see in the media like Mann’s “false hope” article or the famous cooked 97% paper.

  80. Proud Skeptic, even if odds are low we do have to worry about potentially damaging events which have large impacts. Before retirement I had a job which involved giving management the assurance that we were not about to kill anybody within our plants and operating sites. And I assure you I didn’t find a 5 % risk to be acceptable.

  81. Nothing like a prediction that CANNOT be tested and falsified.
    They are predicting that the 1:100 odds of a decline in the growth rate will be 1:10 odds with global warming.
    This when there is only one trial over a period of 20 years.
    One trial that cannot be replicated, nor even the same decision repeated at some other time or place. Therefore, odds have no meaning, much less an untestable increase in the odds.

    Me? I’d guess that the second derivative of the yield curve is already slightly negative, and if not a better than 50% probability the second derivative of the yield curve would be negative. The law of diminishing returns argues for it.

    In fact, if we have staved off the law of diminishing returns for so long, it may well be the increase in CO2 that has played apart in increasing yields.

  82. @Fernando Leanme at 2:00 pm
    I had a job which involved giving management the assurance that we were not about to kill anybody within our plants and operating sites.

    Fernando, we are not talking about anything remotely same.
    What is being discussed here is equivalent to saying that the mean number of workhours between lost time accidents has been increasing at 5000 workhours/year and there is a 1 in 10 chance it will increase at only 4000 workhours/year in 20 years. Every year it will get safer, but there is a 1:10 chance it won’t get safer quite as fast as it has been.

    There’s a speck on the flea on the tail on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea

    Read more: Sesame Street – There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  83. Honestly as a back yard plant breeder I would make the case that the world could likely have much better producing corn if it was warmer. Corn is of course from mexico, where it is very warm. If you look at their older varieties, the best producing before modern breeding were from the warmest areas, and were MASSIVE plants. It was in the US large amounts of capitol were invested in superior breeding. I have to wonder if the same level of breeding was focused on the varieties (genetics) that excel in the hottest areas, if the corn from the hottest regions would again be the best producing.. Breeding for this with the level of capitol that built the corn varieties of the US has simply never been done. Atleast as far as Ive found when looking for evidence of it, they simply have smaller projects, and less capitol.

  84. The higher CO2 goes, the more crop yield there is going to be, and the more you will have to cut your grass and build storage for the produce from your backyard garden.

    That is what the study should have said.

  85. I’ve been driving around Germany this week and have have observed 3 crops at farms, which are providing farmers a certain return in this period of global warming and will save the planet at the same time. They are wind farms, and in much larger quantity, solar panel farms and in largest quantity, maize corn farms for improving fuel and reducing somebody’s carbom emissions /sarc

    I observed the same combination in France last year.

    You see a bit of other cereal (already harvested), hay – but no livestock, some vegetables, vines and fruit, but otherwise, only the 3 above crops.

    It is truly sickening thinking about the waste of money and effort

  86. Stephen, here’s a quote from the comment I was responding

    “This is about as close to meaningless as a sentence can get. “We can’t predict”…then why are you writing this…and even more important…why would people read it? “the odds are still fairly low”…”

    We are in full agreement. However this comment by proud skeptic did seem to link a low probability to the decision not to even bother with a potential risk at all. If I run an outfit with 100 million workers the decreasing trend does merit study. My concern was to point out that a blanket statement about dismissing risk wouldn’t be optimal. As I pointed out in previous occasions in these cases I would need to see their models, how they perform versus real data (their tuning), and what pathways they are fed. I got the impression these agricultural researchers probably don’t worry much about the climate model issues. They are too specialized. However, although their work does have some deficiencies I would just ask them to dig a bit deeper over the next ten years.

  87. goldminor: “If your neighbor,s gmo crop cross pollinates your crop. Then you lose the right to use any seed from your crop without paying the gmo company. You have also lost your strain from your original crop.”

    Thanks. Yes, I’ve heard that one, and I understand it. But it’s a practical problem concerning the range of enforcement, not a distinction based on whether the subject matter is life or not. It’s the general objection against patenting life that I don’t understand.

  88. When they create and run a mathematical model of a global warming Mobius strip what else would you expect them to report? I wish my clients would pay me to do this sort of stuff but my professional ethics say that I have to obey the laws of physics. Its not fair!

  89. goldminor says:
    July 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    To my mind [GMOs] gives a company too much control over food production. If your neighbor,s gmo crop cross pollinates your crop. Then you lose the right to use any seed from your crop without paying the gmo company. You have also lost your strain from your original crop. This gives all power to the gmo seeds being produced, and will stunt the choice of natural varieties. So far most legislation has been favoring gmo because there is a lot of money passing between hands. The small guy gets nothing, no protection. I am against that.

    Sorry, but that’s an urban legend.

    Myth: Monsanto sues farmers when GM seed is accidentally in their fields.

    Fact: Monsanto has never sued a farmer when trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits were present in the farmer’s field as an accident or as a result of inadvertent means.

    It is truly as simple as this: Monsanto has a long-standing public commitment that “it has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto’s policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”

    The misperception that Monsanto would sue a farmer if GM seed was accidentally in his field likely began with Percy Schmeiser, who was brought to court in Canada by Monsanto for illegally saving Roundup Ready® canola seed. Mr. Schmeiser claims to this day the presence of Monsanto’s technology in his fields was accidental – even though three separate court decisions, including one by the Canadian Supreme court, concluded his claims were false.

    In 2012-2013, two separate courts acknowledged that Monsanto has not taken any action – or even suggested taking any action – against organic growers because of cross-pollination.
    The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and others filed a lawsuit against Monsanto in an effort to invalidate Monsanto’s patents because of alleged fears of Monsanto exercising its patent rights and suing farmers if crops were inadvertently cross-pollinated. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case and commented:

    There was no case or controversy in the matter because Monsanto had not taken any action or even suggested taking any action against any of the plaintiffs.

    Monsanto had a long-standing public commitment that “it has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”

    Plaintiffs’ allegations were “unsubstantiated … given that not one single plaintiff claims to have been so threatened.”

    Plaintiffs had “overstate[d] the magnitude of [Monsanto’s] patent enforcement,” noting that Monsanto’s average of roughly 13 lawsuits per year “is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the United States, approximately two million.”

    To date, the use of e.g. GMO cotton has resulted in very large reductions in pesticide use worldwide, leading to improved farmer health and environmental health. A study in Nature magazine says:

    Over the past 16 years, vast plantings of transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have helped to control several major insect pests and reduce the need for insecticide sprays. Because broad-spectrum insecticides kill arthropod natural enemies that provide biological control of pests, the decrease in use of insecticide sprays associated with Bt crops could enhance biocontrol services. However, this hypothesis has not been tested in terms of long-term landscape-level impacts. On the basis of data from 1990 to 2010 at 36 sites in six provinces of northern China, we show here a marked increase in abundance of three types of generalist arthropod predators (ladybirds, lacewings and spiders) and a decreased abundance of aphid pests associated with widespread adoption of Bt cotton and reduced insecticide sprays in this crop. We also found evidence that the predators might provide additional biocontrol services spilling over from Bt cotton fields onto neighbouring crops (maize, peanut and soybean). Our work extends results from general studies evaluating ecological effects of Bt crops by demonstrating that such crops can promote biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes.

    Surely you would agree that is a huge benefit, no?

    w.

  90. What does it take to reject a 1 in10 probability?
    At an a 80% confidence
    You can have 0 events in 5 and not reject a 0.40 probability.
    You can have 0 events in 12 and not reject at 0.20 probability. a
    It takes about 0 in 24 to reject a 0.10 probability

    It takes about 0 in 40 to reject a 0.10 probability at 95% Confidence.

    From: Page 522 Johnson & Leon, (Wiley 1964) originally: E. S. Pearson, “Use of Confidence or Fiducial Limits in the Case of the Binomial”, Biometrika, 1934.

  91. dbstealey says:
    July 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    John Finn says:

    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)…

    Sorry, John, per your own sources, the planet is cooling now.

    Since neither side of this dispute has specified from when to when the cooling did or didn’t occur, I fear both sides lose in this one.

    Regards to both sides,

    w.

  92. Does focussing on one place in the world make such a comment valid? I have lived in drought prone areas and listened to what the older folks said, 120 degrees for a fortnight in the 1940s. Like the wise book states, ‘there is nothing new under the sun!’

  93. PS sarc off/

    It never ceases to amaze me the utter childishness of this sort of ‘research’.

    Last night, my 15yo daughter told me about some FM radio host who announced that what he loved about being an “adult” was to be able to afford top go out and buy a great big cream cake and just eat it – all of it if he chose to. So he did and stuffed his face for the duration of his show. I pointed out to her that was actually just behaving like a child. She was not amused and huffed off leaving this old fart to ponder his sudden fall from grace.

    I think that about sums up what we are actually dealing with regarding CAGW and the alarmists. Attention seeking narcissists who have some phobia about the real world and have never got out of teeny bratland.

    The real question is perhaps whether we would be better off if they just turned to drugs?

  94. Fernando Leanme says:
    July 27, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Proud Skeptic, even if odds are low we do have to worry about potentially damaging events which have large impacts.

    No, we don’t. It depends on the evidence … and for the risk in question, there is no evidence.

    Before retirement I had a job which involved giving management the assurance that we were not about to kill anybody within our plants and operating sites. And I assure you I didn’t find a 5 % risk to be acceptable.

    Agreed, but:

    1. You knew the risk was real, and

    2. You knew the probable damage of the real risk.

    I’m sorry, but that doesn’t mean that we have to worry about imaginary risks which have never been shown to be any danger or cause any actual observed damage. If I claim without a scrap of evidence that cosmic rays are going to increase and cause corn production to fall, anyone who worries about that needs to send their worrier to the shop for adjustment …

    w.

  95. What hogswallop. They can’t even decide which it is – warming or climate change, so they use both.

  96. Back when I was farming we had one very warm season in 1988. Our yields on corn, sugar beets, and pinto beans were the highest I ever recall. With adequate water, and depending on crop, temperature increases yields.

  97. John Finn says:

    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)…

    Sorry about the previous chart, which is one I had saved. Here is one showing cooling from 2002 until now.

  98. Willis Eschenbach:

    Your post at July 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm says in total

    dbstealey says:
    July 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    John Finn says:
    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)
    Sorry, John, per your own sources, the planet is cooling now.

    Since neither side of this dispute has specified from when to when the cooling did or didn’t occur, I fear both sides lose in this one.

    Regards to both sides,

    w.

    Well, perhaps and perhaps not.

    The time from now back in time when the trend is negative (i.e. there is cooling) is a function of the data: it is NOT a specification. The UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut data sets each provides a recent period when the linear trend of the data is negative (i.e. there is cooling), but the length of the period is unique for each data set.

    Importantly, the confidence of the trend is pertinent, and 95% confidens conventional for climate data. At 95% confidence it is not possible to say that any of the data sets has a recent negative trend because the range of possible trends includes both positive and negative values.

    So, the data does not indicate whether or not neither, either or both of them “loses this one”.

    Richard

  99. Jack Smith says:
    July 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I’m a little more concerned about ‘superweeds’ and their effect on our dependance on industrial scale monoculture farming. In the US we already have up to 70 million acres of U.S. farmland had glyphosate resistant weeds in 2013. It seems this will be a reoccurring problem as natural plant evolution quickly adapts. Google ‘superweeds’ for more info.

    http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/midwestern-farmers-wage-war-against-superweeds/article_e84e6049-ac33-562a-aa54-e9a564af8e6b.html

    I’ve just read on the Internet (somewhere) that scientists are preparing to counter these weeds, and invasive species, with genetically modified versions that are less harmful (or sterile, or all one sex) that will interbreed with the harmful species. Of course, these will need to be tested first on an island. (But still, some greenies will object.)

  100. In the future, algae-based food-oil production, using sugar as a feedstock, will reduce the acreage needed to get an equivalent yield. For instance, Solazyme claims it can produce certain palm oils from Brazilian sugarcane that takes up 1/7th the acreage of palm-oil trees in SE Asia.

    And there are companies (e.g., Proterro) that are producing sugar artificially on a small scale, from water, sunlight, and CO2.

  101. @ Walter J Horsting….

    Maybe this paper does factor in the solar cycle, only they cannot burst the bubble should the cooling not take take place: still a need to get the message across – just in case.
    I would say the twenty year period is significant in relation to SC 24 and 25 – maybe the other boys in Boulder – http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/scrc/research/ have had the penny drop.

  102. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

    … repeat after me, “Farmers are not stupid.”
    =============
    ============
    I was searching for something else….but this will have to do, enjoy.

    “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
    ― Rudyard Kipling

    “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble”
    ― Rudyard Kipling

    “A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty.”
    ― Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills

    “We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”
    ― Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

  103. Journalistic license or chaotic career paths. Too many missed their calling in writing melodramas.

  104. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm
    ===================================
    In light of what you post then I would revise my thoughts some what on this issue. I still have reservations regarding gmo products though. Some of the efforts make good sense. Implanting a gene that produces vitamin A in a food crop as a benefit for 3rd world nations makes sense. Making a plant resistant to a pesticide, which then creates a dependence on their pesticide Roundup, is questionable. As mentioned above by another, superweeds and natural resistance to the gmo changes are potentially a problem. I do not easily trust the claims from large institutions that all is well and the public can rest easy. Think of GM as a recent example of ‘trust us’, or the discussion which we engage in against government approved and verified cagw theory. So with gmo I will remain very sceptical.

  105. We all know that Stanford has received over $100 million in funding from Exxon. This must be big oil funded propaganda and cannot be trusted. /sarc

  106. John Finn says:
    July 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Let’s see if you have the guts. Annan has challenged many prominent sceptics to a bet but none has been prepared to take him on apart from a couple of Russians. At present, the Russians look as though they are going to lose $10,000.

    I mostly made money on my Intrade temperature bets, betting against warmists in a futures market medium. (I mostly lost on my Arctic ice bets.) I wish Intrade hadn’t gone bust.

  107. rogerknights says:
    July 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    As the linked article quoted another scientist saying this is a classic Red Queen syndrome. As we introduce new counter measures natural evolution just adapts with new resistant species. The real problem is massive monoculture farming practices leaves us vulnerable to a variety of risks like superweeds, resistant pests and unstable soil biology. I’m not against GMO crops I just think we tend to downplay these negative aspects when we tout the benefits of modern industrial agricultural practices. I did notice there was at least one farming technique that was highly effective against superweeds; deep tilling and expanded crop rotation schedules. Deep tilling breaks the germination cycle of invasive herbicide resistant plants but it also has the downside of increased erosion, loss of carbon and nitrogen, and higher nutrient demand. I guess I’m looking for a economically viable alternative to monoculture farming.

  108. Well researched BS from an impeccable source, saying what the funding wanted said. Who can argue with it. The old saying of BS baffles brains comes to mind.

    But really, there are 100’s of research articles like this, trying to put another nail in the deniers coffin.

  109. Jack Smith says:
    July 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The real problem is massive monoculture farming practices leaves us vulnerable to a variety of risks like superweeds, resistant pests and unstable soil biology.

    Thanks for the interesting comment, Jack. Intensive monoculture has been practiced in the West for over a century now without catastrophe or large-scale crop failure and hunger. And while we certainly have resistant pests and resistant species on the farms, we have a lot of resistant species that we try to kill—mosquitoes, MRSA, malaria, rats, the list is not limited to farming. Most organisms will adapt and evolve to avoid being killed. In all cases we do the same thing—try to kill them in new and different ways.

    Now, this is obviously not ideal … but then we can’t just throw up our hands and say “Malaria has become resistant to chloroquine, so let’s give up medicine”, or “Pests have become resistant to pesticides, so let’s give up intensive farming”.

    So while I certainly agree with you that a viable alternative to monoculture would be a fine thing, it would not mean the end of dealing with resistant pests and plants. That problem will be with us a long, long time.

    Finally, unstable soil biology is generally a result of improper tillage practices and is not necessarily related to monoculture. If it were and it were a serious problem, we’d all have starved long ago.

    Best regards,

    w.

  110. Making a plant resistant to a pesticide, which then creates a dependence on their pesticide Roundup, is questionable.

    Making a plant resistant to a pesticide does not make the plant dependent on the pesticide. It only makes the pesticide more useful.

  111. There is an excellent article on so-called “superweeds” from the University of Wyoming Plant Science department here. Short version is that while there are herbicide resistant weeds, there’s no evidence that their emergence has anything to do with GMO crops. Worth a read.

    Best to all,

    w.

  112. I do hope his stake holders do not fumble when the starving man with the mallet shows up.
    It seems that modern vampires suck the blood and life out of the populace through government grants.
    I have never understood why some plants are called weeds. If we were to plant some of the original plants that are now crops they would probably be seen as weeds. If we put some modern efforts into plants that are called weeds they could become the next crops. GMO weeds could be used to increase the fertility of the soil in areas to become arable land of the future, attract and disrupt undesirable insect life cycles, etc.

  113. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    There is an excellent article on so-called “superweeds” from the University of Wyoming Plant Science department here. Short version is that while there are herbicide resistant weeds, there’s no evidence that their emergence has anything to do with GMO crops.

    Thanks Willis.
    After reading the article I spotted several comments that remind me of the AGW debate. The author makes a credible argument with statistics with respect to GMO induced plant mutations AKA ‘superweeds’ but several comments made valid points about evolved resistance to multiple (2+) different mode of action herbicides. There is evidence that this is true because Dow AgroSciences is getting ready to market it’s latest herbicide (a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate) called Enlist Duo. Vietnam veterans would know 2,4-D as one of the active ingredients of Agent Orange. Dow AgroScience has assured the EPA that this is a different formulation of 2,4-D so maybe this OK. I wouldn’t know enough to question the science so we will just have to wait a few years to see if any problems show up.

    When I read this comment I just couldn’t help but think about how some people react to extreme weather events like equating a record hot day as proof of their faith in AGW.

    Sharilyn Wood Stalling
    July 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm
    I gather the professor does not live in Arkansas where we are finding weeds 8 feet tall and 5 inches in diameter that have to be cut with a saw. My friend in Rogers, Arkansas isn’t even near farm land and had to cut one of them down in the nearby ditch. She had never seen such a plant and at first thought it had to be some kind of tree without the typical branches because the stem was so tough. Please stop reading, professor, and get out and walk the land. We have an agricultural disaster looming. I wonder if your university gets an endowment from Monsanto. It is sad to see the lack of common sense that is so pervasive in some intellectuals.

    All the best,
    Jack Smith

  114. It is interesting that they estimate the ability of mankind to adapt to higher temperatures to be so low. If the risk of mankind adapting quickly, no longer seen as a skill, but. ‘risk’, was higher, there would be no impact at all from a 1 degree rise.

    Is this article a spoof?

    The climate regions suitable for corn, for example, are well known. If the temperature rises 1 solid degree large regions of Canada will be opened up to that crop. Similarly, Russia and Mongolia. There are Plenty of places in the world where it is still too cold to grow corn.

    If Canada warmed 5 degrees it would add about a billion hectares to the arable land base. Even at 2 tons per hectare that would another 2 billion tons a year.

    Is there something that Really lowers crop yields? Yes: cold.

  115. They have recently discovered a drug to attack virus’ and bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics like TB and some strains of malaria.

  116. These computer modelers should ask farmers why they grow vegetables in greenhouses. That’s how we got the name greenhouse effect though it’s a misnomer. Warm and high CO2 are good for plants. If some regions become too hot, other regions will become warm enough for agriculture such as Alaska, Greenland, Siberia, etc. Warmists only see the bad.

  117. Regarding the giant weed of Arkansas mentioned above. If you want to uproot large weeds and bushes:

    The owner of the one-man Weed Wrench company has shut his company down and no longer sells this item, in order to deprive the “illegitimate” government of his taxes. See his statement at http://www.weedwrench.com/weedwrench/ There is a used wrench exchange page on his site, at http://www.weedwrench.com/weedwrench/search_weed_wrench_listings.cfm . Perhaps this works better than one might normally expect.
(List price is $155)

    It looks as though the Puller Bear (recommended by commenter Randy Paisley on your WW page at http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/1311 ) at http://www.pullerbear.com/ is an adequate alternative. The prices listed on its site for its two models are $150 & $190 Canadian. There are several positive testimonials.

  118. Henry says
    All data sets are showing a downward trend from 2002, even Gistemp

    None of the trends are statistically significant – not even close.

  119. dbstealey says:
    July 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    John Finn says:

    You seem convinced that the world is cooling (despite lack of evidence from UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut)…

    Sorry, John, per your own sources, the planet is cooling now.

    Sorry, db, but it’s not. The trends are not statistically significant and I know how you insist that statistical significance is important when analysing global temperature change. Well it is when it’s warming at least.

  120. John Finn says:

    The trends are not statistically significant…

    The trends show cooling. But I suspect that if the trends showed warming, John Finn wouldn’t raise his ‘statistically significant’ objection — which is anyway just an assertion.

    I am satisfied in being able to point out that global warming stopped many years ago, which debunks the endless predictions made by almost everyone in the alarmist camp. They all predicted that warming would steadily increase, but they were wrong. And they still cannot admit it.

    It’s really amazing that when presented with incontrovertible evidence, most of the alarmist crowd still cannot bear to admit that global warming has stopped. That’s the difference between skeptics and alarmists: skeptics are science-oriented, while alarmists are belief-oriented.

  121. John Finn says
    the trends are not statistically significant

    Henry says
    well
    let us talk about my own data sets, then

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/files/2013/02/henryspooltableNEWa.pdf

    especially the graph below the minima table showing 100% correlation (Rsquare= 1) on the deceleration of warming – minimum temperatures
    If you had studied stats {and it is never too late to start } you would know that the probability of taking a sample and me getting such high correlations on the deceleration of warming [quadratic functions] is highly improbable IF IT WERE NOT FOR MAN MADE WARMING BEING exactly 0.000K/ANNUM.

    Why would I still increase the sample[of 54 weather stations] ?
    Actually, it is because you cannot get better then 100% in any kind of test.
    The problem with [all the ] data sets other than mine is that they have not been properly balanced. It is not my job to rectify it. In science you only need one man to be right. We cannot have a “vote” about my work either. My work is correct. It is you [ and all those believing in man made warming] who is deluded by all your so-called climate scientists.
    To put it simple (so that non-statisticians like yourselves can also understand): how many times do you want me throw the dice before you figure out that the average[!!] outcome of all results is 3.5?
    If you have 11000 stations and 10000 are in the northern hemisphere, then indeed, you will not get the same as my result, neither will you ever get the correct results. Note that we are looking at the change in the speed of GLOBAL warming /cooling per annum.
    You have to take note of the correct sampling technique, and getting the right information, which is critical in statistics. Otherwise you are wasting your time.
    As far as I know, only my own data set is properly globally balanced.

    Sorry about all those guys at BEST, NOAA, UAH, GISS etc
    In my eyes their data sets are all just rubbish, just because they have not [yet] thought properly about how to get the right global balance….

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/02/21/henrys-pool-tables-on-global-warmingcooling/

  122. goldminor says:

    July 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    “Making a plant resistant to a pesticide, which then creates a dependence on their pesticide Roundup, is questionable.”

    ————————————————————————————————————
    Roundup is a herbicide.

  123. Just an engineer says:
    July 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    ==========================================
    Good point!! lol

    And I should have said “…makes the farmer dependent…”. I am not a fan of large scale agri-business. I remember well the changes that came with Safeway,s rapid emergence on the grocery scene back in the 1960s. The wonderful tasting fruit products of California soon became the great looking tasteless fruit of California. The family owned larger grocery stores still purchased most of their produce from the old family farms and larger farm associations. I would never buy fruit from a Safeway or similar outlet that sells similar grade products. I used to work in the SF produce market for some years as well as servicing restaurant accounts with their produce needs. The SF produce market still carries the best fruit products in the region, although many of the best orchards and farms are now gone.

  124. If good crops occur and you get a glut on the market, prices reduce. Temp, precipitation do affect agricultural and any agrarian industry. Some areas are good for growing fruit and mixed farming, while others favor annual crops. But as Willis said, Farmers are not stupid. I do not like feed lots, and favor grass fed meat, free range if possible for eggs and chickens, and pork. Yes it is a bit more expensive in some lines, but happy stock, taste nicer and are not stressed much. I suspect they don’t know, that dairy cows in Alaska got ill kept in barns. Oh they eat Moose there don’t they and road kill.

  125. GM crops are banned in NSW. Monstano didn’t get a foot hold here, because we saw what they did overseas. Sure their GM crops are not susceptible to round up. So what does that prove, the problem still exists. And the chance of cross fertilisation is a point that Monstano take people to court, because they don’t get any money for growing their crops. Bull – they did a lot of damage in India, with the terminator plants, will not bear seeds. Shocking use of capitalism, and monopoly.

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