Rice yields, CO2 and temperature – you write the article

I started on this yesterday, had to put it aside for work, and I’m hugely busy today. Then I thought, you know, I have a whole army of people that can crowdsource an article, so why not ask them to help?

OK the premise starts with this press release:

Higher temperatures to slow Asian rice production

Production of rice will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change

Production of rice—the world’s most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty—will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, according to a new study by an international team of scientists.

The research team found evidence that the net impact of projected temperature increases will be to slow the growth of rice production in Asia. Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.

Published in the online early edition the week of Aug. 9, 2010 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences —a peer-reviewed, scientific journal from the United States—the report analyzed six years of data from 227 irrigated rice farms in six major rice-growing countries in Asia, which produces more than 90 percent of the world’s rice.

“We found that as the daily minimum temperature increases, or as nights get hotter, rice yields drop,” said Jarrod Welch, lead author of the report and graduate student of economics at the University of California, San Diego.

more here:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/uoc–htt080610.php

Problem is, I don’t quite believe this study, especially since the INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE shows this graph:

Average rice yield in the Philippines and a selection of
other rice-growing countries (tons per hectare) (Source: FAOstats)
Graph

Source: http://beta.irri.org/test/j15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=393&Itemid=100104

I don’t know a thing about rice growing, but I figure some readers do. How can we have a temperature rise and CO2 rise in the past century and have 50 year increasing rice yields in the same Asian countries as the study?

Some other data:

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2009/09/10/more-on-thailands-low-agricultural-productivity/

http://beta.irri.org/test/j15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=710&Itemid=100111

I can compile what readers find and post in comments and present it as a new article. Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

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182 thoughts on “Rice yields, CO2 and temperature – you write the article

  1. silly you … the percentage of annual increase has slowed … don’t get confused by raw yield numbers …

    remember like any government budget, getting a 5% increase instead of last years 7% increase is a decrease or cut … depending on how well you cook the books it could be called a 29% decrease … think of the CHILDREN …

  2. Rice paddies are the largest source of CH4 methane on the planet.
    This rice issue is big. They use a lot of water.
    When a field is flooded, it gets treated like a wetland and a new set of rules.

  3. Note: “cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent”

    I.e. they claim they’ve detected a second order effect, the first order still shows yield is increasing.

    So how can they attribute a 2nd-order effect on minimum temperatures? Did they, perhaps, um, guess?

  4. Another note: “the report analyzed six years of data”

    and from this, they deduced that growth rates had been reducing for 25 years?

    They’re dead clever, these guys!

  5. Jeff beat me to it….

    Key phrase from the Alert:
    “The research team found evidence that the net impact of projected temperature increases will be to [b]slow the growth[/b] of rice production in Asia. Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.”

  6. If memory serves me, rice production struggled these last 5 years do to unseasonably COLD weather in these particular growing areas. The researchers appear to completely ignore weather related crop damage and instead simply say that it must be the global temperature rise whut dun it. As to PROJECTED temperature increases, I get to ignore that part of the research.

  7. First thing to do is a Willis smell-check of the data presented in the press release. Does it make sense? Is it reliable?

    Next, evaluate the assumptions. Are they reasonable or a stretch or just unknowable?

    Third, follow the logic of argument.

  8. Well, with regards to the rising crops, one confounding factor would be the increased use of modern farming practices – those would have an effect far beyond a 0.5 degree C change.

  9. From the article:

    “Farmers can be expected to adapt to changing conditions, so real-world circumstances, and therefore outcomes, might differ from those in controlled experimental settings,” he added.

    Translation: Our data doesn’t match reality so, ignore the reality.

  10. You have to factor in irrigation enhancements, fertilization and mechanization. If your output is increasing because you’re better at farming, then you yield goes up.

    Examples:
    – you provide better irrigation & fertilization: it grows faster, you can to higher-density farming. (every 10cm instead of 15, because the nutrients are there)
    – you use machines to reap & sow, meaning the idle time of the fields drops.

  11. Let me begin with a question. The student is economics to begin with and not a plant science person. Why? Macro economics is NOT how we study crop performance evah!!!

    Since he is in economics, he doesn’t even mention other variables. Agriculture is like climate and we use multi variate stats and not ever presume we are dealing with only one variable and all the others are constants.

    I could have the same study and results and claim that it was because they were buying more John Deere farm equipment in the last 6 years.

  12. From the study’s abstract:

    ” Higher minimum temperature reduced yield, whereas higher maximum temperature raised it; radiation impact varied by growth phase. Combined, these effects imply that yield at most sites would have grown more rapidly during the high-yielding season but less rapidly during the low-yielding season if observed temperature and radiation trends at the end of the 20th century had not occurred, with temperature trends being more influential.”

    And from the linked summary:

    “…cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent”

    So, it would appear the press release:
    1. Ignored potential benefits of warmer temperatures
    2. Is confusing yield growth with yield growth rate

    and,

  13. At one point people were growing grapes in northern Europe and England.
    Farmers are changing from wheat to corn, corn is more profitable.

    Rice farmers are growing a better rice with a higher yield.
    Rice farmers also practice crop rotation.

    What’s the problem? All over a 1/2 degree increase in temperatures.

  14. I saw this article also and had the identical reaction. The claim that there was proof was particularly startling. Of course the evidence turned out to be suspect. Sure they used “real” rice fields. ie farms. But there was no direct collation of temperatures. When one pulls away from actual farm yields, which are actually pretty good and markedly increasing in China, there is no evident problem. Likewise when one looks at the rice belt, there is a considerable variation in temperatures with no impact on yield. For example, the difference in growing climate in Japan versus the Philippines is considerable, but both have extremely high yields of the medium grain rice they prefer.
    A far bigger problem is water. That has significantly impacted yields in California, India, and Australia.

  15. If this was true, solution is much cheaper than demonising CO2 and rationing society. The solution is GM, which creates a universe of opportunity.

  16. Higher overnight low temperatures sound like urbanization to me.

    Maybe when roads are built nearby, rice yield decreases because the people who used to work the fields can now take the bus to a job that pays better.

    Rice farming is very labor intensive.

    Maybe the hotter night temperatures make the laborers less willing to work hard during the day, decreasing the yield.

    Maybe the study failed to account for seasonality – and the midsummer crop always has a lower yield than the early and late summer crops.

    Maybe it is simple correlation. Asia is an economic boom, drawing the most fit workers away from the farms and into the city. During this time, evening temperatures and crop yields also fell.

  17. As the current extreme cooling (in the Southern hemisphere, where the bulk of the oceans lie) spreads over larger areas, and becomes worldwide for the next two decades or more, the graph will likely dip down, and over all, crop failures be the challenge.
    But hopefully the increasing CO2 will help the rice stomata to close and counter the severe droughts to come-more prevlent during gloobal cooling than warming.

  18. This from CO2 Science:

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/n/nitrogenrice.php
    Summary

    Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Boosting Rice Yields of Asia

    Elevated CO2 and Soil Nitrogen Enhance Radiation Use Efficiency in Rice

    How Elevated CO2 Influences Grain Production in Rice at Different Levels of Soil Nitrogen Availability

    Effects of Elevated CO2 and Nitrogen Supply on Rice

  19. Anthropogenic CO2 is of course a GIGO hypothesis. But cereal-crop yields since about 1975 have been subject to the seminal Green Revolution fostered by Norman Borlaug (1914 – 2009), named a Peace Prize laureate in 1970.

    To the intense chagrin of death-eating Luddite sociopaths such as Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, James Hansen of GISS/NASA fame, Borlaug’s genetically modified (“GM”) seeds have prevented any naturally-caused (vs. politicized) mass famine over the last quarter century.

    To the extent scientific intervention spares hundreds of millions from disease and death, Norman Borlaug’s name will live forever. As for climate cultists’ Green Gang of pseudo-science propagandists, their mendacious sabotage of global energy economies already bears comparison with Inquisitorial persecution of Copernicus’ adherents and of Galileo.

  20. Perhaps the operating quote is “cut the yield growth RATE” ?

    So he calculates a growth RATE, based on data older than 25 years (might I guess that the highest yield growth RATE in Asia was prior to the mid 1980’s?), then any change that growth RATE can can be investigated.

    Improved farming techniques, new rice hybrids and technological advances significantly improve yield growth RATES, but once in place, that growth RATE is not likely to remain as high at the locations where such techniques have been applied. But since you can measure temperature, you can also secure funding and write a paper to explain the “decline” in the yield growth RATE based on AGW. Brilliant.

    So what did he find? That the growth RATE is lower by some “10-20 percent in several locations”. Growing, but a lower growth RATE. “Several locations” means it was not lower in ALL locations. I suspect that improvements in rice farming technology in these varied “locations” had something to do with the result.

  21. Rice productivity is not sensitive to temperature rice as it is to water. Last year, production plunged 89.13 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year (July-June) from record 99.18 million tonnes in the previous year due to severe drought. With good rains, India expects an all time bumper rice crop convincingly crossing 100 million tonnes threshold mark.

    Rice is a highly water intensive crop. Much of rice production in the country are however rain-fed. So it is more accurate to call rice productivity more monsoon sensitive. Years of drought are also warmer years and the wet years are cooler years. So warmist exploit this super-imposition. So if productivity fell last year to an El Nino induced drought, it bounces back in a La Nina, like this year, when the country receives good rainfall. The expected bumper crop this season makes nonsense of the study claims.

  22. I come from a rice farming family. (have been out of india for 30 some years. before that used to be on the farm most days ). in the years when we had hotter winters, the production will be significantly higher than other winters. in the summer, as long as we had good water supply and good sunlight, we had good crop. IT would not depend on the temperatures much at all.

    Anthony also said
    “I don’t know a thing about rice growing, but I figure some readers do. How can we have a temperature rise and CO2 rise in the past century and have 50 year increasing rice yields in the same Asian countries as the study?”

    what you see in the IRI chart, is the effect of increase in level of penetration of good practices, new varieties ( eg. IRnn — IR8, IR35 etc, a series of hybrid strains from IRI ), newer fertilizers ( DAP as opposed to Urea ), mechanization ( increases per squarfoot productive shoots ).

  23. I have no brief on rice, and have never grown the stuff, so I don’t know how it responds per function of temperature. However, 1988 was one hot year around here and I was farming at that time. We had the best yields in sugar beets and corn in 1988 of any year I recall. Here are several items that come to mind, besides the obvious one about rate of yield growth per Jeff, above, but were not covered in the article.

    1) with increased nighttime and daytime temperatures there must be new ground for growing rice that will come available. Places where climate is not suitable or less than ideal now.

    2) They analyzed only six years worth of data. Changes in local temperature during this time must be mainly due to typical fluctuations in year to year weather. This makes it hard to sell me on the applicability of this study to future climate.

    Reading the original paper would lead to more…but I don’t see the paper yet on the PNAS site.

  24. In some areas, like the Mekong delta, sea level rise may increase the salinity of the water and hence reduce yield.

    You would also want to compare yield increases to population increases.

  25. “How can we have a temperature rise and CO2 rise in the past century and have 50 year increasing rice yields in the same Asian countries as the study?”

    “Gains in land productivity have come primarily from three
    sources—the growing use of fertilizer, the spread of irrigation,
    and the development of higher-yielding varieties.”

    “The third source of higher land productivity is higher-yielding
    varieties. The initial breakthrough came when Japanese scientists
    succeeded in dwarfing both wheat and rice plants in the
    late nineteenth century. This decreased the share of photosynthate
    going into straw and increased that going into grain, often
    doubling yields.”

    “Most recently, Chinese scientists have developed commercially
    viable hybrid rice strains. While they have raised yields,
    the gains have been small compared with the earlier gains from
    dwarfing the rice plant.”

    “In the Asian rice economy, the highest yields are in Japan,
    China, and South Korea. All three have moved above 4 tons per
    hectare, but moving above 5 tons is difficult. Japan reached 4 tons
    per hectare in 1967 but has yet to reach 5 tons. In China, rice
    yields appear to be plateauing as they approach the Japanese
    level. South Korea has leveled off right around 5 tons.”

    From Plan B 4.0

    http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/books/pb4

    In the graph shown above, you can certainly see this levelling off of yield from China in the last few decades.

    Another quote:

    “China’s double-cropped rice yields over 8
    tons per hectare.”

    So there are several different factors responsible for increasing yields, and it’s not hard to see that if the gains from breeding, irrigation, fertiliser and improved agricultural practices are beginning to level off, any decline in productivity from rising temperatures is going to have a more significant impact. Maybe more breeding will help with that too – developing plants which are more resistant to higher temperatures. Let’s hope so.

  26. I should have said that rice production was damaged enough to warrent global concern in the winter of 03/04, so it was a bit more than these past 5 years. Taken all together, in the last decade, dry conditions (lack of monsoons which has nothing to do with CO2 related climate change) and cold weather has harmed rice production. Warmer temps in general are beneficial to multiple harvests in a single year.

  27. Implementing all the features of modern industrial agriculture – improved strains, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers – will result in dramatic yield growth rate. After they have been implemented, the yield growth rate will approach zero because the yield is maximized.

    The AGW cult strikes again.

  28. Just looking at the graph of rice production by country, you could change the headline to “Socialism will reduce Asian Rice Production”. Vietnam took a 5+ year hit in the 1970s, as the North took over the South. Cambodia took a 25 year hit after Pol Pot.

    Given that the measure here is yield per hectare (IOW, efficiency), this is entirely expected.

    Somehow, though, I doubt that out Intellectual Superiors in the media will rush to highlight this.

  29. Well, heck, the article on PNAS is behind a pay-wall, but here is something interesting. The biggest contributor to production of U.S. corn crop is not climate, but rather the number of acres planted/harvested. So, my question is what will be the trend in acres planted for rice; any connection with some amount of temperature rise?

  30. Fromt he press release:
    “Our study is unique because it uses data collected in farmers’ fields, under real-world conditions,” said Welch. “This is an important addition to what we already know from controlled experiments.”

    What is known about the “real=world conditions” of growing rice in the Phillipines?
    Consider “The Fertilizer Scam”:
    http://tatlongtala.blogspot.com/2006/03/senate-report-on-fertilizer-scam.html
    From the above report:
    The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) have concluded that agricultural funds intended for farmers were diverted by Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante for the 2004 electoral campaign of President Gloria Arroyo.

    Testimonies and corroborative statements of DA officials, 13 farmer groups (see attached list), Commission on Audit officials, Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin, and alleged “runners” of Bolante concluded that farmers did not get a single “farm input or implement” in 2004. At least two LGU officials testified that their districts did not receive any fertlizer in spite of records showing that deliveries had
    been made. Several Congressmen also denied having made requests for fertilizer assistance or receiving fertilizers.

    Some facts about rice:
    http://vasatwiki.icrisat.org/index.php/Climatic_Requirements_of_Rice_crop
    From the above page:
    Temperature:
    · Need hot and humid climate;

    · Best suited for the regions having high humidity, prolonged sunshine;

    · Mean temperature around 22oC through out growing period;

    · Tolerates day temperature up to 40oC;

    · Minimum of 10oC for sprouting;

    · Optimum of 22 to 23oC for flowering and 20 to 21oC for grain formation;

    · Above 22oC respiration is accelerated and grain filling period is reduced.

  31. If global circulation models are correct, the projected temperature increases are modest in the tropics. Anyone with experience measuring photosynthesis will tell you that, as CO2 concentrations increase, plants use less water at a given temperature and humidity, and that the rate of growth increases, though sometimes with very slightly lower nutrient content in the tissues, because the plant no longer needs nitrogen content to be as high. CO2 really is a fertilizer in terms of plant growth and there is not a photosynthesis researcher in the world who will tell you that CO2 is not an important limiting factor to productivity at the leaf scale. When it comes to carbon sequestration in natural ecosystems, it is hard to say how much this will increase carbon uptake, because cycling rates often increase, but it certainly enhances growth, and this is especially true of most C3 crops. Rice is one of them.

  32. Notice the bump up in yield around 1979 and 1998. Seems to me that warming and increasing CO2 increases production. The alarmist enjoy pointing out the unbridled warming since the 1970s; yet here we see correlated increase in rice production as well.

    Do they really think they can have it both ways?

  33. Plant life either adapts or flourishes elsewhere. If the climate becomes warmer, rice cultivation will move to higher latitudes. Note this important qualification in the full length article (that I am sure will be ignored by the media and most blogs):

    “Farmers can be expected to adapt to changing conditions, so real-world circumstances, and therefore outcomes, might differ from those in controlled experimental settings,” he added.

  34. One final comment and I’ll shut up. The graphs of productivity are quite astounding, especially China going from 20t/ha to 70t/ha. The short term decline for Cambodia is interesting. I see mainly the influence of politics in this data. So, my next question would be: will the political environment be amenable to increasing food (and energy) production or not?

  35. You’re being tricked by “Semantics,” again, just like you were on using “Median” Density when discussing Phytoplancton.

    This article is discussing growth “Rates.”

    “Rate” of growth.

    Yields are still rising, just not as fast. Several things could be at work, here. Not being a rice farmer I wouldn’t want to speculate as to exactly which ones are the most important.

  36. Perhaps they just plotted the average lattitude of each country vs. the rice yeild and found that the more northern country had higher yeilds than countries in more southern lattitudes. It would be a noisy graph but you could make an argument for that trend. (Of course this ignores rainfall, the intensity of the use of fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization and other such things.) But hey with the right statistical tools, anything is possible.

  37. Obviously if temperature affects rice, other things affect rice MORE. Like, for instance, technology . . .

  38. Rice production in the U.S. occurs in three regions: north-central California, the Texas/Louisiana Gulf coast and the Mississippi River valley.

    http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Crops_County/pdf/AR-YI08-RGBChor.pdf

    In the U.S., yields have increased from roughly 4550 pounds per acre in 1979 to about 7157 pounds per acre today. This is an increase of about 57% in 31 years.

    http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Field_Crops/riceyld.asp

    Here is the latest WASDE Report:

    http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/latest.txt

  39. First off I thought we just had a post on which warmists claimed
    “How corn may be helping Michigan keep its cool”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/09/corn-as-a-local-climate-forcing/

    Now onto rice:

    “….the possibility of increasing the rice area is almost exhausted in most Asian countries. With little expansion in area and slowing yield increases, growth in rice production has fallen below growth in demand as population has continued to increase.

    An important factor accounting for the slowdown in yield growth is the reduced public investment in agricultural research and development (R&D). In particular, international donors have not provided sufficient support for agricultural R&D that is directly related to increasing crop productivity.”International Rice Research Institute

  40. It would be hard to deconvolve the root causes of the rice prodcutivity increase; fertilization, mechanization, perhaps higher CO2 may all contribute. But that it is the point. Studies such as this are always bogus — always — because they assume that everything else is held constant. So for example, in the 70s, we were told to get ready for mass starvation on the Indian subcontinent as wheat productivity could not possibly keep up with exploding population. Enter hybird wheat strains, courtesy of Norman Baulaug, and a few years later India is exporting wheat.

    The scare mongers are scarcity thinkers paid to get the “right” answer by their funding agencies. They deserve to be ignored, and they are.

  41. The Sahel is greening maybe due to increased CO2 levels http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html. The result is that they can increase rice growth. In West Africa’s Sahel region as a whole, production rose by 44% in 2008. For the 2009-2010 crop season, FAO is projecting double-digit growth in rice production for several countries. http://africarice.blogspot.com/ Sub-Saharan Africa can reduce its exposure to global rice market shocks by increasing regional production and by reducing dependence on rice imports. The fundamental trick in the article is that they never stated that today yield decreases. No they state: “Up to a point, higher day-time temperatures can increase rice yield, but future yield losses caused by higher night-time temperatures will likely outweigh any such gains because temperatures are rising faster at night,” said Welch. “And if day-time temperatures get too high, they too start to restrict rice yields, causing an additional loss in production.” Theoretically this is always true. As you keep heating up to a point it will start impacting crop negatively. Writing peer reviewed articles is easy this way. As long as you mention up to a point.

  42. Just from memory, I seem to recall that China and other rice producing countries farming populations have been moving to the cities in large numbers over the past 10 years or so. That may have something to do with the slowing production as those farms are left vacant or given over to some other enterprise.

  43. And before anyone runs off at the hip and claims it’s “the water” – Contrary to a common misconception, family rice farmers in California are among the best stewards of this precious resource. Only 16 gallons of water are needed to produce one serving of brown rice (25 gallons for white rice). That’s about the same as many other crops in the state, and about the same amount of water per acre as the average urban lawn.
    Rice was once a thirstier crop, but a series of innovations over the last three decades has improved our water use efficiency. Newer varieties of plants are about half the height of older varieties, leading to more crop per drop of water. In addition, the use of clay soils helps conserve water, as does laser leveling of our fields.

    Gota run…..

  44. The yield is higher due to the ocean levels increasing with time due to temps and CO2. That has vastly increased the areal coverage of rice paddies at a pace much greater than the ability of temperatures and CO2 to decrease the yields through growing season changes.

  45. Let me see if I understand. The yield per hectare has steadily increased due to better techniques, new strains, etc. But even though the yield is still increasing the rate of increase has slowed. And somehow global warming is to blame?

    Isn’t it more likely that the large and/or easy improvements have all been implemented so the current improvements are minor? And aren’t new strains being constantly developed to deal with changing conditions?

    Without their raw data it is hard to be certain. But based on the info we have, these ‘scientists’ should have there degrees recinded. Either that or they should be given a Nobel Peace Prize like algore. I mean assinine scare mongering (or the hope that you will actually accomplish something in the future) is a requirement for a Nobel Peace Prize these days isn’t it?

  46. Yes, the slippery words here are “yield growth rate”, not raw yield. So they are saying that the rate of growth in yearly yield numbers are slowing down and this correlates with the fictitious increases in temperature we keep hearing about but never seem to experience. If we leave aside magic, and enter the realm of reality, many things will affect the “yield growth rate”, such as plant genetics, nutrient uptake rates from soil, bioavailability of nitrogen, and so on. For any given plant species we will eventually run out of things to tweak or modify, and the “yield growth rate” will plateau, (i.e. drop to zero). There will be simply nothing left to improve in the plant to make it yield any more given all of the factors that affect it’s rate of growth, availability of nutrients, input energy (sunlight), and so on.

  47. Well, I don’t do “science by press release”, but if someone wants to email me the original article I’ll take a look … my naive view is that six years of data is far too short a time to get anything statistically significant, particularly the kind of second-order effect they are reporting, but what do I know, I was born yesterday.

    willis
    at
    taunovobay.com

  48. Having trouble getting this browser to post today!

    There is a “real world condition” that explains the problem with rice yield in the Phillippines. It is called “The Fertilizer Scam”.

    From here:
    http://tatlongtala.blogspot.com/2006/03/senate-report-on-fertilizer-scam.html
    Excerpt:
    The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) have concluded that agricultural funds intended for farmers were diverted by Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante for the 2004 electoral campaign of President Gloria Arroyo.

    Also:
    The fertilizer fund appropriation was implemented only in 2004, incidentally during the election season. Funds were released from February to May 2004 or during harvest months when fertilizers are of no use because planting time starts in November. The DA’s Rice Program (known as GMA or Ginintuang Masaganang Ani) director Frisco Malabanan testified that fertilizer requirements for 2003 totaled
    only P28.613 million for the entire Philippines – compared to the P2.806 billion released in 2004.

    Also:
    The fertilizers used were actually liquid fertilizers known as foliar, normally used for ornamental plants and flowers and anything leafy but not usually used for rice or corn. To add insult to injury, the “wrong and overpriced fertilizer for rice was even diluted with water.”

  49. There’s bound to be lots of info on this at CO2science.org.

    The first liunk to pop up on search for “rice”:

    http://www.co2science.org//articles/V10/N46/B2.php

    Reference
    Krishnan, P., Swain, D.K., Bhaskar, B.C., Nayak, S.K. and Dash, R.N. 2007. Impact of elevated CO2 and temperature on rice yield and methods of adaptation as evaluated by crop simulation studies. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 122: 233-242.

    What was done
    Two popular models of rice growth ORYZA1 (Kropff et al., 1994) and INFOCROP (Aggarwal et al., 2006) were calibrated for the indica rice variety IR 36 at ten different sites in eastern India and then used to predict rice yields for the ten sites for five 1°C incremental increases in temperature above typical ambient conditions, as well as for one 20-ppm and three 100-ppm incremental increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration culminating at a value of 700 ppm.

    What was learned
    The authors report that “for every 1°C increase in temperature, [the] ORYZA1 and INFOCROP rice models predicted average yield changes of -7.20 and -6.66%, respectively, at the current level of CO2 (380 ppm),” but that “increases in the CO2 concentration up to 700 ppm led to … average yield increases [our italics] of about 30.73% by ORYZA1 and 56.37% by INFOCROP,” which they “attributed to greater tillering and more grain-bearing panicles.” In addition, they note that the limitation on rice yields that is sometimes imposed by spikelet sterility at high temperatures can be “largely overcome by the selection of genotypes that possess a higher potential of spikelet fertility at high temperatures.”

    What it means
    In spite of the potential for enhanced global warming in the years and decades ahead – due to either anthropogenic- or non-anthropogenic-induced forcing – the world’s rice farmers should be able to meet the needs of the planet’s expanding human population … if (1) the air’s CO2 content continues to rise and (2) judicious use of plant breeding is made.

  50. Big, big topic. In Indonesia gas producers are mandated to sell some of their gas to state owned fertilizer plants cheap. They give the farmers tons of cheap fertilizer, and the rice yields have climbed. The runoff has increased the algae in the South China Sea and many coral reefs near Java have died, not from heat, but from a coat of green scum. The total carbon budget-climate change picture of all this is a bit complex, but I’m sure our media can spin up an dire summary.

  51. Mind you, refering to my pevious post, how is it that people think they are doing science when they run computer models? I would prefer that this article refered to actual real experiments. Others are available CO2science.org

  52. “Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.”

    Ok, from Richard Black, BBC, we get:
    “Yields have fallen by 10-20% over the last 25 years in some locations.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

    Thank you, BBC, for not even being able to comprehend simple English sentences. Or not being able to use copy&paste. Or for deliberately spreading black propaganda. I guess that’s why he’s called Richard Black.

    And thanks to Anthony for clearing this up by linking to the original press release. For a moment i thought Richard Black pointed out a real problem.

  53. Rice yields may drop, but are expected to have the unexpected upside of increased rice krispie production. Unfortunately, since this would make life more pleasant and entertaining for children of all ages, rice paddies will have to be re-sown with hemp.

  54. Rice is a C3 plant. The production of C3 plants slows conditions of high temperature and low concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (barley, sunflower, rice, tomato, wheat, peanut, cotton, beet, oats and most of trees). However, we are talking about temperature above 40 °C and mass fractions of the atmospheric CO2 below 300 ppmV, which has not been the case in Asia.

    I think it is not a scientific paper, but a statistical comparison. The agricultural production in any country shown an accelerated growth since the introduction of modern technology and/or cheap manual labor; nevertheless, in developing countries, the agricultural growth has been limited by several factors. For example, many people emigrate from the countryside to the industrialized cities to be employed like manual workers in factories. Another factor is the limit of expansion over fertile lands, which has been comprised by excessively strict environmental legislations in every country. Another cause is the availability of resources, like irrigation, that is diverted toward factories and limited for the agricultural work. I think that most of the academies have taken parties and publish anything that implies the anthropogenic climatic change, either real or unreal.

  55. As temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, “

    The article’s conclusions depend on this presupposition. McKitrick and McIntyre (2010) show climate models over predict atmospheric temperatures by 200% to 400%. McKitrick (2010) further exposes serious Urban Heat Islands effects in the surface data. This contamination caused between 33% and 50% of the apparent recent increase in temperature.

    An alternative projection of rice production could be obtained by evaluating the impact of Don Easterbrook’s temperature projections driven by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

    CO2 Science reviews
    Xiong, W., Conway, D., Lin, E. and Holman, I. 2009. Potential impacts of climate change and climate variability on China’s rice yield and production. Climate Research 40: 23-35.
    These researchers come to the opposite conclusion, showing the major impact of CO2 fertilization and increased growing season:

    . . . with anticipated climate changes, “single rice cropping may expand further north in China, and double rice cropping may move to the northern portion of the Yangtze River basin.” In addition, they say that “the national mean rice production is estimated to increase by 2.7 to 19.2% considering the combined effects of climate change, CO2 and shifting rice-producing areas.”

    Such models could then be validated using methodologies such as developed by
    Demetris Koutsoyiannis et al. at ITIA.
    e.g., Credibility of climate predictions revisited G. G. Anagnostopoulos, D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Efstratiadis, A. Christofides, and N. Mamassis European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2009
    Vienna, Austria, 19‐24 April 2009

    I would hazard a “guess” that there would be very marked differences in statistical uncertainties between such projections. i.e., such alternative models may well show strong benefits from increased CO2 with much lower temperature dependence.

  56. We hear this clap trap called peak oil

    We have also hear pertaining to crops that there is a point at which yields can’t be increased. Russia is saying it is dry and yields are down 40%. They were 40% lower than American yields to begin with. Yes Joe Romm, we are also setting crop yield records every year when they say the crops will fail and we will have permanent droughts.

  57. DirkH says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:32 am
    ___________________________
    I have filled out the BBC’s complaint form. If enough people do, perhaps some of the lies will stop.

  58. These guys don’t read the news: Have they wonder what floods mean?…a LOT of rain, which is why rice is cultivated in the Monzon areas.
    Think they are just trying to get their invitations for the next CCHCPJ (Climate Change carnal pleasures’ jamboree).

  59. I tried to get the article, but as usual, its hidden behind a paywall.
    I think this needs to be fixed. Any work which receives one cent of public finance, either directly or via the facilities used in its production should be available free of charge.
    Yes, this would put the journals out of business, but I don’t actually see that as a bad thing. They are the academic equivalent of buggy whips — well beyond their sell by date. They have no real reason for existence since universities can now publish online very easily.

    —-

    On the claims made. Without access to the article itself, it is a bit difficult to judge. However, I believe that the increases in rice production over the past 20 years or so have been due to:

    * Better crop management techniques (education of farmers).
    * Better pest/disease management.
    * High-yield varieties of ice.
    * Increased cultivation area.

    As each of these spread, it will cause an increase in production.
    As each of these spreads to a higher and higher percentage of rice producers, the increase in production will slow (for any one of these, when they reach 100%, there is obviously no further increase possible).

    This will lead to a decrease in the rate of increase.

    Unless the “study” has compensated for these factors it is useless.

    I assume that there were actual experiments carried out under controlled conditions to prove the hypothesis that holding daytime temperatures steady but increasing nighttime temperatures by some minuscule amount (< 0.5C) demonstrated that yields were reduced, and that the reduction followed incremental changes in those nighttime temperatures?

    (I will not be holding my breath for the experimental results. Nor for so called "reviewers" to demand experimental verification where such is so eminently feasible).

  60. This is so typical of social manias: anything that happens is caused by the thing that one is obsessed with. and if we have to fabricate a bit to make sure everyone understands how important the obsession is, well that is OK.

  61. The commodities bubble greatly increased the value of rice, pulling lower quality fields into production, which should lower the average output per hectare.

  62. Anthony – I’m a farmer in Australia (wheat, barley, chickpeas and lupins) and I know sweat f/a about rice cropping except that it needs a reasonable drink and won’t grow if the seed is still sitting on the back of a truck. However and with hand on heart I can rebut this press release in one word, “Bullshit”. I would therefore like to submit a portion in the rebuttal article defining actually what “Bullshit” is and, how it looks good if an expert scientist, that knows less about growing rice than me, can actually use it as a fly repellent. Of course this is not ordinary bullshit, this is adjusted bullshit, where factors like crop disease, varietal choice, plant and soil nutrient levels, a common old drought (100% probability +/- 25 yrs), weed competition, insect attack, weather events (hail, bush fire, flood, late frosts etc – 100% probability +/- 25 yrs) and generally poor agronomy are removed from the data.

    Notwithstanding, the very real reason that the rebuttal article should only include the word “Bullshit” is because of the fact that the rice yields in Asia have dramatically increased according to a more authoritarian and unadjusted source, that has actual equity in the production of rice, namely the ‘International Rice Research Institute”.

    There you go Anthony – that’s my article !!!!!!!

  63. I haven’t time to construct a response, and the comments above more than handle the issues raised. I can only provide a link to an appropriate graphic for the assignment given:

  64. Reference to yields means different things when relating to terms production and productivity. Production is absolute while productivity is a ratio. The study blurs this distinction.

    Temperature fluctuations in tropical countries are within a narrow band. Consequently, even in a “cold year”, it cannot be very significant. Whereas water availability (rainfall) is where we experience wild swings. The farmer plan their cropping seasons according to monsoon expectations. If he thinks there would be good rains he opts for rice or otherwise switches to some other crop, less water dependent. Only those with assured irrigation can afford to stick with rice during a drought year.

    Last year, India’s rice production fell a whooping 10%. But what is important to notice is net sown acreage fell by more than 15% – clearly indicating increase in productivity even when the country’s total production fell by 10% due to drought impact.

  65. Higher overnight temps could be caused by higher humidity, which would also cause more fog and clouds, which reduce available light and should reduce growth.

  66. Happy Birthday, Willis!!!

    PS – Moderator: I think Milwaukee Bob left a hanging italic command.

    PPS – What does “PNAS” stand for anyway? Post-Normal Alarmist Sciencism?

  67. I don’t know if they saw that rice does not grow well outside the tropics or places with hot micro-climates.

    Since the hockey stick graph was forged, there are no correlation between rice growth and that graph.

  68. Hmmm!

    So a warming world over fifty years increases rice yields as a matter of concrete fact yet the alarmists claim that rising temperature would have the opposite effect to that shown by the actual records?
    Falling temperatures may have that effect but GM tech and agricultural innovation would cancel that out in a short time but the alarmists cannot admit that global temperatures are falling so they blame rising temperatures instead in an ill thought out rushed and bodged up joke of a report. Just one more mumbo jumbo pseudo science filler to stack with the rest of the thousands of rubbish papers and reports and studies and articles. The alarmists wanted a mountain of evidence, so they made that mountain out of rubbish and it shows.

  69. From CO2 Science. I couldn’t remember which “c” rice was.

    Reference
    Wand, S.J.E., Midgley, G.F., Jones, M.H. and Curtis, P.S. 1999. Responses of wild C4 and C3 grass (Poaceae) species to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration: a meta-analytic test of current theories and perceptions. Global Change Biology 5: 723-741.
    What was done
    The authors conducted a massive review of the scientific literature published between 1980 and 1997 to compare the responses of wild C4 and C3 grasses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

    What was learned
    After analyzing approximately 40 and 80 individual responses of C4 and C3 grasses to elevated CO2, respectively, it was determined that both types of grasses respond favorably to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Photosynthetic rates, for example, increased by an average of 25 and 33% for C4 and C3 grasses, respectively, in response to a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. In addition, atmospheric CO2 enrichment increased total biomass of C4 and C3 grasses by 33 and 44%, respectively. Thus, it is abundantly clear that C4 plants can (and do!) respond robustly to increases in the CO2 content of the air.

    What it means
    As the atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise, C4 plants will likely exhibit significant increases in photosynthesis and biomass production that will closely parallel those of C3 plants, which often have been implicated to respond much more favorably to elevated CO2 than do C4 plants. Consequently, this literature review suggests, and its authors state, that “it may be premature to predict that C4 grass species will lose their competitive advantage over C3 grass species in elevated CO2.” Thus, as the atmospheric CO2 content of the air continues to rise, it is highly unlikely that C3 plants will displace C4 species. Indeed, rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations should help to maintain biodiversity in ecosystems where C4 and C3 plants coexist.

    Reviewed 1 November 1999

    Printer Friendly VersionCopyright © 2010. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. All Rights Reserved.

  70. Well we knew we were all going to die — If anything, would it be better to talk about what the cold has done to California food crops? And the southern hemisphere’s disastrous winter? The pathetic ‘studies pro-global warming for government grants’ is getting really old.

    “The fruits and vegetables, the tomatoes and a lot of the citrus and things like raspberries are not ripening up because it’s not getting hot long enough,” she said, adding that some fruit could taste less sweet because less sun means less sugar content.

    Read more: Temperatures continue well below average in Southern California – Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_15723011#ixzz0dkRKzqjK

  71. This link is to a ppt. presentation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), discussing rice production in the Philippines:

    http://unfccc.int/search/search?q=rice+production&btnG=Search&entqr=0&output=xml_no_dtd&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&ud=1&client=unfccc_frontend&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=unfccc_frontend&site=default_collection

    …looks like they are doing just fine to me!

    More hokum and bunk from the CAGW crowd. They can’t even agree on what the future dire effects of AGW are likely to be!

  72. Can you set one article into a wiki form? so we could all edit a single document? or at least those who are regulars and approved? It could prove a interesting experiment on how to make a blog page, once complete to your expectations just lock the page and publish.
    Pre-blogging?
    Pre article > Wiki > Group write > Publish.

  73. In my opinion, there has been a great benefit to world crop yields from increased atmospheric CO2. In the last 50-60 years, along with ground water irrigation, CO2 has probably accounted for the lack of wide-spread famines predicted by various alarmists during that same period of time. But CO2 is the designated villian now and gets no credit in today’s populist environment.

  74. PJP says: August 10, 2010 at 10:51 am
    On the claims made. Without access to the article itself, it is a bit difficult to judge. However, I believe that the increases in rice production over the past 20 years or so have been due to:
    * Better crop management techniques (education of farmers).
    * Better pest/disease management.
    * High-yield varieties of [r]ice.
    * Increased cultivation area.

    1. If this study includes the 2007-2009 growing seasons when world nitrogen prices spiked, then it’s bs. Poorer countries reduced nitrogen use.
    2. Increased cultivation area reduces yield. The best land is always in cash crop production. Marginal, lower yielding pasture land may or may not be.
    3. The higher trend previously was associated with improved genetics. As you can imagine, further increases from traditional genetics are becoming more difficult.
    4. Yields can still be greatly increased by better management practices in poor countries.
    5. In this case, temperature anomalies are less than useless. It is the absolute temp that affects yield. So if the average nighttime temperature increases from 82-82 F, a whopping 2 F increase, rice doesn’t give a darn. If the average nighttime temp increases from 98.5-99F (hypothetical values), Houston we have a problem.
    I will not attempt to comment on the authors complete absence of any plant physiology knowledge. Was this a master’s thesis?

    Overall grade D-

  75. “Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.”

    Increasing the total yield by the same amount every year will naturally lower the rate of increase. It doesn’t mean less rice each year.

  76. Looks to me like a rogue paper from UCSD that is merely fulfilling its contractual funding obligations by mentioning temperature rise/global warming/CO2 in any paper that comes from there. Perhaps its course calender has a reference to temperature rise/global warming/CO2 to account for rising costs of tuition (Ka-ching), student fees (Ka-ching), parking (Ka-ching), and pensions for tenured professors (Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching). ;-)

  77. @ mkelly. Rice is c3 but they are inserting c4 genes into the rice because c4 plants are more drought resistant and therefore produce better crops with less water.

    It’s true that 90% of plants are c3, however 40% of commercial crops are c4 (think maize and sugarcane). So we have an ever increasing yield of plants that fix 4 carbon atoms.

    ** Can anyone point me to the information, as to which atmospheric gases are decreasing in response to increased C02?

  78. Quick summary for those skimming:

    It’s not the YIELD that has supposedly been reduced, it’s the GROWTH RATE OF YIELD. In other words, yield is still increasing, just not by as much as before. And it took 25 years to get that 10% reduction in increase. Yes, I said reduction in increase.

    I also noticed the other weasel words, about how rice is “the world’s most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty”. Rice is actually NOT the world’s most important crop, however when you frame it with security and poverty then it can be.

    From http://www.sagevfoods.com/MainPages/Rice101/Production.htm

    Rice is the staple in the diet for much of the world. It runs a close second to wheat in its importance as a food cereal in the human diet. About 560 Million Metric Tons of rice are grown annually compared to 600 MMT for wheat, 300 MMT for oil seeds, and 900 MMT for coarse grains (corn, sorghum, barley, oats, rye, millet and mixed grains.) Most coarse grains go into animal feed where its impact on the human diet is not as great (eight lbs. of grain are needed to produce one lb. of beef). Rice produces more food energy per acre than other cereal grains, and is second only to wheat in terms of protein per acre produced. Rice production has more than doubled in the last 40 years. Most of the increase in production has been a result of improved field yields. Acreage planted in rice has only increased about 30 percent. Rice is best grown in flooded fields and so acreage is limited by soil type and supply of water.

  79. I don’t know a thing about rice growing, but I figure some readers do. How can we have a temperature rise and CO2 rise in the past century and have 50 year increasing rice yields in the same Asian countries as the study?

    It’s simple. There are “tipping points”. I don’t know where they are, or how they work, but rest assured they exist and we’re approaching one right now.

  80. As Somerset Maughan wrote , truth is in the detail . Scientists should be forbidden to publish any story and to make doom and gloom projections without giving the particulars , the tiny details of the groundwork . So without specifying to your audiance or to your readers how and where the details are to be found to enable a truthful verification , every academic publishment is factually useles and worthless.
    Lies are always generalisations and are always lacking detail . If a scientific study meets the latter criteria , which is the case right here , the chances are 99 to 1 that we are dealing with a cheat and a fraud . Let the authors come out of the boondogs and show us that they are willing to share the basics of their insights with the real world and not with a club of zealots contantly repeating their classical singsong in so-called scientific papers . From agriculture I happen to know a tiny bit and what is surprising by the way : Above a certain number of plants the production per acre does not rise any more so there are other parameters than plant virility controlling agricultural production and by the way more carbondioxide will lead to better yields .
    Temperature – measurements without knowing the other circumstances is fine for statistics , but are completely useless without knowing the other factors determining growth and well-being . The border with voodoo science is not too far away from here.

  81. The article is behind a pay wall but the supplemental material is available here:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2010/07/27/1001222107.DCSupplemental/pnas.201001222SI.pdf

    My questions would be how well does the minimum and maximum temperature trends reflect trends at each specific farm sites and wet year vs dry. Each weather station is used to correlate yields at 20+ farms. The lat longs of those stations might provide insight. Are the stations located in drier sites than the rice fields. How do the station’s data compare to micro-climate data?

    Trends were extrapolated from just 2-5 years of data between 1994-1999, covering the biggest El Nino year. El Nino years bring droughts to these areas and that does not seem to be factored into this study. Additionally dry years exhibit greater increases in minimum temperatures relative to wet years. In a similar 2004 study mean minimum temperature increased by 1.33°C in the dry season and by 0.80°C in the wet season from 1979 to 2003 . http://www.pnas.org/content/101/27/9971.full

  82. ‘”Production of rice—the world’s most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty”‘

    …Why is ‘rice’ the ‘World’s’ most important crop for ensuring food security…
    …oh yeah, and ‘addressing poverty’? …what ever that ‘really’ means?

    …according to ‘Wikipedia’ Sugar Cane, Maze, and Wheat produce globally: 2,673 million metric tons of individual crops, while rice makes up only 605 million metric tons. Individually, Sugar Cane, Maze, and Wheat are the worlds top 3 agricultural products, in that order, with rice finishing fourth.

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

    EurekAlert could at least ‘try’ to scare us more by talking about the current ‘Globull’ warming in Russia, and how the wheat crop is gone, and how were all gonna die!

  83. It should be pointed out that rice does not grow well blow 75 deg F. Warming would make there be more land with the minimum temperature!

    When we stop looking at the temperature anomaly and look at the raw data, most of the warming has been in the night temperatures and not in the day temperatures. It is not hotter during the day, it is simply less cool at night. How could this possibly hurt the rice growth, which would slow down with cooling at night?

    If they are really talking about a decrease in the rate of the growth of yield, then we have simply begun to reach the limits of this biological system. Blaming this on global warming, particularly when we are not warming, begins to really look stupid.

    There is so much work being done out there in which the researchers take global warming as a given and then interpret anything they see as happening due to something for which they do not measure. That is very simply NOT SCIENCE as it should be practiced. Every study should take full measure of ALL of the parameters which are involved – none should be assumed as a given, well maybe gravity, but no others.

  84. They also ignore that increased warmth would mean MORE PLACES could grow rice. They are holding location constant. A silly thing to do. But since rice needs heat, and lots of it, the whole argument is broken anyway.

    BTW, lots of increased yield is available via the System of Rice Intensification should we need it.

    http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/

    SRI does require skillful management of the factors of production and, at least initially, more labor, particularly for careful transplanting and for weeding. Since yield increases are usually 50 to 100%, and possibly several times present levels, the returns to labor can be very great. The profitability of rice production can be greatly increased when yield goes up with a reduction in the costs of production. As farmers gain skill and confidence in SRI methods, their labor input in fact decreases, and over time SRI can even become labor saving compared with conventional rice-growing methods.

    When the whole world is hotter than Chico in August we can worry about heat reducing total crop yields. About 120+ F is needed to be an issue. Think Phoenix…

  85. I’ve noticed over the past few years that the introduction of totalitarian/authoritarian-style regimes has resulted in a large decrease in the growth and yield of rice and other grains. I will use the example of Zimbabwe, as it was at one time the breadbasket of Africa, but is now a net food and grain importer.

    And my prediction is this:
    If the people who are behind this climate change scam gain control, we will see a massive decrease in the production of grain and other foodstuffs as the policies of these clowns will destroy our energy economy, leaving food production as a casualty of their insanity. Many millions will starve, as many millions have needlessly died of malaria due to the same insane policies of the same insane people. Will we ever learn?

  86. There are several articles and studies under USDA ARS News Service at:
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm

    The Rice studies are located at:
    http://pubsearch.arsnet.usda.gov/search?q=co2%2C+rice&entqr=0&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&lr=&as_sitesearch=ars.usda.gov&btnG.y=5&client=ars_frontend&filter=0&btnG.x=24&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=ars_frontend&btnG.x=9&btnG.y=12
    Isearched Rice, CO2, Temperature:

    Here is a clip from one.

    Title: Yield Responses of Southern U.S. Rice Cultivars to Co2 and Temperature

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=151347

    “Experiments were conducted in outdoor growth chambers to study the effects of high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on rice growth and yield. We also conducted these experiments across wide ranges of air temperatures to understand the effects of carbon dioxide on rice grain yield at different temperatures. We conducted these experiments using four rice varieties grown in the United States. We found that high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide increased rice grain yields by 12 to 71 percent among the rice varieties. Temperature extremes of 66 F and 95 F resulted in no rice grain yield. We found that a moderate air temperature of 80 F produced the highest rice grain yield. These results can be used by plant breeders to develop new rice varieties that will grow and yield better in our future higher carbon dioxide world. “

  87. It seems likely that their trend in minimum temperatures parallels a trend in drought for the years of that study and leads to a false positive and a false claim. This year’s El Nino has had negative effects on rice productin. See “Drought Threatens global rice supply” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/LG02Ae01.html

    Because any changes in water depth can adversely affect production, this article may be really observing the effects of drought but falsely attributing it to AGW minimum temperatures. Maintaining enough heat capacity via water depth is one of the goals rice managers. Increased minimums would thus be a positive factor.

    WATER EFFICIENT IRRIGATION AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE IRRIGATED RICE PRODUCTION IN CHINA http://www.icid.org/wat_mao.pdf

    adequate water depth should be maintained through irrigation for increasing the heat capacity to avoid the harm to rice by low temperature when the air temperature is lower than 12 in growing season of rice, or lower than 20 in the period of differentiation of young ear of rice, or when a cold wind blows over. On the other hand, the adequate water depth should be maintained for increasing the heat capacity to avoid the harm to rice by high temperature when the air temperature is higher than 35 C.

  88. “Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.”
    —————-
    Are there locations where there have been an increase in the yield growth rate? :o)

  89. A number of years ago I had a potash producer as a client. Most Canadian potash is exported. Potash is a very important fertilizer for rice. Most Asian soils are deficient in potash. They must import it. I was able to make a firm correlation between rice yield, potash exports or imports as you will, and my clients profits. Weather, unless extreme, did not appear to be a strong factor. The economic health of the importing nation, i.e. its ability to pay for fertilizer, did have a very strong influence on both production and my clients bottom line.

  90. Change to grow tomatoes. Tomatoes require night time lows to be above 55 degrees fahrenheit. So instead of fried rice, we switch to salsa!

  91. Tucker:

    “The yield is higher due to the ocean levels increasing with time due to temps and CO2. That has vastly increased the areal coverage of rice paddies at a pace much greater than the ability of temperatures and CO2 to decrease the yields through growing season changes.”

    Care to cite your evidence for that? Last I saw, Ocean levels were rising at a rate of a few millimeters per year. Also, Ocean water is saline, and would not be conducive to growing rice, rice need FRESH water.

    Go ahead and show us your sources for that speculation though, I am interested in where you got that material.

  92. A comment was made above that rice farming (flooding a field) uses more water. This is incorrect. It actually uses less water than row crops because the land used in rice farming is alot like clay and does not absorb the water like the soil involved in row crops. The water in California rice fields actually is used several times before returning to a river. The greatest use is thru evaporation. But all in all, less water is used growing rice than say beans or something like that.
    Kent

  93. Anthony’s never heard of the green revolution? Who’d have guessed?

    REPLY: Wow, now how did you come up with that wrong-headed idea? – Anthony

  94. Eureka! They have solved Briffa’s divergence problem. Most of the increase in the global average temperature is due to increases in the night-time temperatures. Photosyntesis occurs during the daytime so there is little increase in tree growth as there is little change to incoming sunlight. If warmer nighttime temperatures retard tree growth, then the tree rings would decrease in thickness even while the average global temperature is increasing.

  95. When Anthony wrote “you write the article” but knowing nothing about growing rice apart from the fact that it grows in countries designated as very warm and humid that also have a good supply of water to create paddies of some kind, the first item I researched was the temperatures in which rice will grow in commercial quantities, which is from 20 degrees Celsius to almost 38 degress Celsius (68F to 100F). Considering the world has warmed over the last century, we are told, by less than 1 degree celsius, a plant that will grow under such a wide range of temperatures makes the conclusions reached in the article obviously misleading to say the least.
    After generations of selectively breeding rice, the application of fertiliser and the mechanisation of rice farming, one would expect the yeild to eventually asymptote. To blame this on AGW is a parody of scientific enquiry.
    The big shock for me, however, when I google-searched ‘Growing Rice’, was being presented with page after page after of doom-laden articles about how the world’s rice crop is doomed due to AGW.

  96. John W. hit the nail spot on the noggin. Yields are maxed-out and so now the “yield growth” is in decline. This isn’t science. This is “dramatic headline writing” for middle school.

  97. Is that dip in Cambodian rice production of 1972-1981 due to that monster of a communist who went by the name of Pol Pot? Prior to that, the Cambodian rice production is showing a graph with a steep positive gradient. Then came Pol Pot who killed 2 million Cambodians while his agrarian revolution produced the deepest fall in rice production. Hence, it can safely be said that we better beware the political left, including those leftist doomsayers who continuously preach AGW and end-of-the-world predictions, rather than a few fractions of a degree in temperature rise.

    Furthermore, wasn’t it William Herschel who predicted the price of wheat by counting the sunspots? The more sunspots he counted, the warmer the weather, the better the crop and the cheaperthe wheat. Hence, warm weather=more food. I bet its the same for rice.

  98. The more I look at the drought connection the more it jumps out as the cause during their chose period of study. Whey was drought not considered? Hiding the effect of droughts, is like Enron hiding the debt from the balance sheet. They are both criminal with negative effects on the economy

    From: Impacts of Drought in the Philippines
    http://www.wamis.org/agm/meetings/etdret09/WOS2-de%20Guzman.pdf

    From 1997-1998 ( the main period for the minimum temperature study) About 70 % of the Philippines experienced severe drought; about 292,000 hectares of rice and corn area completely damaged. 622,106 mt of rice production loss and 565,240 mt of corn ; water shortages; forest fires and human health impacts

  99. Wouldn’t an increase in temperature mean that some farmers in South East Asia can now farm higher up certain hills / mountains? Terraced hills are not a natural phenomenon.

    Have people also considered that large importers of rice could switch to growing their own rice should prices prove too much. There a quite a few coutries in Africa who have suitable climate and soil for growing rice. Kenya could grow less flowers and tea for the European market and more rice for their own people. They would just make the switch as farmers have done for thousands of years.

    I don’t fear mass starvation as some of these reports allude to.

  100. The largest rice producing state (of the 50 United States) is – Minnesota! Seems water is more important than temperature.

  101. “Published in the online early edition the week of Aug. 9, 2010 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences —a peer-reviewed, scientific journal from the United States—the report analyzed….”

    PNAS is not exactly peer reviewed in the generally accepted sence. If your buddy is a member of the national academy he or she can communicate it to PNAS and it will be published with nothing more than a spelling check.

  102. R Taylor says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I have filled out the BBC’s complaint form. If enough people do, perhaps some of the lies will stop.

    I’m not in the UK at the moment but I urge everyone who is, do as you have done. The BBC needs pulling into line.

  103. Productivity at rice farms is still rising, just not rising as fast.

    This is sort of like the government saying it reduced the deficit by increasing it 5% when they ordinarily would have increased it 10%.

    Or me telling my wife I saved $100,000 on my new car because I bought a Corvette instead of a Ferrari.

  104. “Borepatch says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Just looking at the graph of rice production by country, you could change the headline to “Socialism will reduce Asian Rice Production”. Vietnam took a 5+ year hit in the 1970s, as the North took over the South. Cambodia took a 25 year hit after Pol Pot.

    Given that the measure here is yield per hectare (IOW, efficiency), this is entirely expected.

    Somehow, though, I doubt that out Intellectual Superiors in the media will rush to highlight this.”

    Excellent comment, Borepatch, that was my first thought too – time and again, we see the socio-political effects completely disregarded. Just as important to note, this effect – as well as the effect of technological advances – is typically disregarded when projecting forward too.

  105. Any gains in rice production due to Global Warming, says my good pal Paddy, are actually “rotten rice” and hence chimerical.

  106. This is the first study to assess the impact of both daily maximum and minimum temperatures on irrigated rice production in farmer-managed rice fields in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia.”

    First study? I’ll try to do a search if I have time, but I’m finding it hard to believe that the Chinese don’t have some 2-3,000 year old records/observations of the effects of temperature on rice yields. I’m sure they were peer reviewed in their time. All plants have their favored temperature temperature range. (Not much banana ranching in the Yukon, you know.)

    At either of the extreme ends of a given plant’s viable temperature range, yields are poor. There ya’ have it.

    I won’t ask for a million dollar grant for pointing out what any gardener knows, but maybe “Big Rice” or someone could spring for a cup of coffe for me.

  107. AH, found it. In an earlier time / article some details on what can be done with rice yields. And it has little to do with heat. From:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/11/cooler-weather-bringing-the-luck-of-the-irish-to-the-usa/

    down in comments, there was a discussion of organic vs chemical farming ( I’m in favor of both, but that gets rocks thrown at me from both sides). In this case I was taking rocks over the idea that organic farming can be as productive as chemical. (It can produce more per acre, but less per unit of labor). Along the way some coverage of rice culture was done. The material would be useful in an article about rice farming. BTW, there used to be a major Rice Research Station about 10 miles south of you near the turn off for Colusa or Willows. Might want to just stop by and ask them about rice and heat. It’s there as that’s some of the best rice country in the world. But don’t do it in August, the heat will kill you ;-)

    Especially fun would be to contract the organic version of Rice Intensification with the projected yield losses from heat. The “warmers” would then have to toss rocks at organic farming. It would be fun to watch…

    Old Comment Text:

    E.M.Smith says:
    July 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm
    Geoff Sherrington (17:32:20) :
    So where is your contribution to science on this science blog?

    Well, short of a replay of the last year or two worth of postings, it would be a bit hard to list it all. Please see the archives. A nice example to start with, that started as a posting here, would be:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

    A series of rambling anecdotes, some debatable, is a PROBLEM for scientists, not a help. That’s the type of ignorance that we are trying to fight.

    Oh, I get it. Personal experience and field observations are Not Allowed. How convenient. And personal expertise is now “ignorance”. OK… And I guess you missed this link in the earlier post:

    http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/~christos/articles/cv_organic_farming.html

    Let me help you with it. The “berkeley.edu” means it is from a University. In fact, a Big Name University. University of California at Berkeley. I graduated from the U.C. Berkeley Agricultural Extension (after it got renamed and expanded into more than just being an Ag School). They do Science at University…

    If you had followed the link, you would have found it opens with the heading:

    Can Organic Farming “Feed the World”?

    Christos Vasilikiotis, Ph.D.

    University of California, Berkeley
    ESPM-Division of Insect Biology
    201 Wellman-3112
    Berkeley, CA 94720-3112

    Notice that it is written by a Ph.D. That’s a doctorate. Notice that his field is the “ESPM-Division of Insect Biology”. That is, the “Environmental Science and Policy Management – Division of Insect Biology”. Notice the title: Can Organic Farming “Feed the World”?

    So we have an article, written by a Ph.D. specifically aimed at the question you raised, from a Very Name University, in the college directed at specifically those issues, with a specialty in insect biology.

    Somehow I think this qualifies as a “contribution to science on this blog”. But I guess it was too much effort for you to read the link yourself.

    Show me a valid reference that “An ‘organic’ farmer must know a great deal more about botany of all the different crops and weeds.”

    It isn’t patently obvious? That it’s easier to just dump a load of roundup on a weed than it is to find a crop that out competes it or a strategy for controlling the persistent roots of dock or dandelion that are not destroyed by cultivation or burning the tops off? I have to explain that? Ok …

    From the article:

    Counter to the widely held belief that industrial agriculture is more efficient and productive, small farms produce far more per acre than large farms. Industrial agriculture relies heavily on monocultures, the planting of a single crop throughout the farm, because they simplify management and allow the use of heavy machinery. Larger farms in the third world also tend to grow export luxury crops instead of providing staple foods to their growing population. Small farmers, especially in the Third World have integrated farming systems where they plant a variety of crops maximizing the use of their land.

    While it doesn’t specifically use the word “botany” I would hope you can make the “leap” from “simplify management” and “variety of crops” to see that it’s more complex and you must cover more intellectual turf when you have a large number of plants instead of just one.. If you can’t, I can’t help you. And if it isn’t patently obvious that adding animals to a farm increases the complexity geometrically, I suggest trying to raise a dozen animals and see what happens. Oh, also notice the “maximizing the use of their land”. The small guy optimizes for yield per acre, the large guy for dollars per year.

    Show me an estimate of how the present world population could be sustanied with “organic farming” and I’ll show you how belief in “alternative” science can kill millions of people.

    I have no idea what “alternative science” is. I do know that folks at Ag Colleges with degrees in the subject have published plenty on how to get the same or larger yields from organic farms as from conventional. All based on “normal” science. Another quote from the same article (there are plenty of other articles available, and the existence proof of organic farms, if you care to look…):

    They are also more likely to have livestock on their farm, which provides a variety of animal products to the local economy and manure for improving soil fertility. In such farms, though the yield per acre of a single crop might be lower than a large farm, total production per acre of all the crops and various animal products is much higher than large conventional farms (Rosset, 1999). Figure 1 shows the relationship between total production per unit area to farm size in 15 countries. In all cases, the smaller farms are much more productive per unit area— 200 to 1000 percent higher — than larger ones (Rosset, 1999).

    Even in the United States, the smallest farms, those 27 acres or less, have more than ten times greater dollar output per acre than larger farms (US Agricultural Census, 1992). Conversion to small organic farms therefore, would lead to sizeable increases of food production worldwide. Only organic methods can help small family farms survive, increase farm productivity, repair decades of environmental damage and knit communities into smaller, more sustainable distribution networks — all leading to improved food security around the world.

    The bottom line is that there is no shortage of food, and we have an agricultural system aimed at making the most money, not the most food. Land is in surplus, so we don’t optimize for it, we optimize for simpler management and lower labor.

    From:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    (which is my article) we have:

    From: The C.I.A. Factbook, We have for “world”

    arable land: 10.57%
    permanent crops: 1.04%
    other: 88.38% (2005)

    Arable land is the present use, not a limit on what can be used. So we have roughly 11.61% of the land used for crops. There is a lot still available… There are several agronomy systems for upgrading marginal land into productive arable land.

    I would add here that the “organic” compost and manure method is one of the best ways to turn bare sand into soil in a hurry. I have a bit of “hard pan clay” I’ve turned into a very nice square foot garden that way. It’s all about the tilth…

    The “problem” is not a shortage of farm land, it’s a shortage of labor and money. We have hit the point where, in a competitive economy, you “waste” some land on lower production to get lower costs. Folks starving has a whole lot more to do with stupid political decisions, wars, and religion than any limit on productivity (but that’s a topic for another thread).

    I also gave you a link to the SRI page:

    http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/

    I’ll help you with that one too. Notice the “cornell.edu”. That’s a big name college. Cornell. Here is the link to the articles supporting it (that you could get from the top page by clicking on “articles”…):

    http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/sripapers.html

    In it, you will find things like:

    http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/nepal/nepalrptuprety04.pdf

    System of Rice Intensification in the context of Nepalese rice production

    Mr. Rajendra Uprety, Agriculture Extension Officer
    District Agriculture Development Office, Biratnagar, Morang, Nepal.

    One would hope that an “Agricultural Extension Officer” can make personal observations that you will consider “valid”, even if not Ph.D. peer reviewed… his style is a bit “rambling” though, so maybe not…

    In the lead in, you will note that he disparages the traditional methods still in use in Nepal with low application of chemicals. The guy is not an “organic shill”… I’ve added bold to some bits.

    Nepal is an agricultural country. Still more than 65% of its population is engaged in agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture contributes 39% of GDP. Among agricultural crops, rice is main crop, cultivated on nearly 1.54 Million hectares of land. Total production of rice in 2002/2003 was 4.13 million tons, with average productivity of 2675 kg/ha. These data show that
    the productivity of rice in Nepal is not high (the world average is about 4000 kg/ha), and there is lot of possibility for making increments in productivity and total production.

    OK, that’s a local production of 2.6 tons / ha and a global rate of 4 tons / ha as our benchmark. We need to beat that with a more intensive approach but without added chemicals (since they don’t have the money to buy them; a common problem with 3rd world agriculture…) So something like a 3 ton / ha rate for Nepal or (dream of dreams) a 4.5 ton / ha rate would be a stunning increase.

    Behind the low production of rice there are various factors such as older-generation seeds (most farmers have used their own seed for decades), low doses of chemical fertilizer, little use of improved cultivation practices, less care for plant protection, etc. Still, most rice growers are depending on compost and FYM as fertilizer use is still very low.

    [NTU: but this may not be all bad; SRI experience indicates that compost and FYM are better sources of nutrients than is chemical fertilizer — why reinforce the stereotype that using compost and FYM is ‘backward’ while ‘fertilizer use’ is progressive? I think this is a wrong perception] Generally farmers use more then 60 kg of seeds/ha, transplant very old seedlings (30-45 days old), and plant many seedlings, 8-10/hill. These all factors are responsible for low productivity of rice in Nepal.

    I read an article of Dr. Norman Uphoff on SRI published by LEISA, a Dutch NGO. In this I found many things which might be useful in Nepalese context. So I contacted Norman for more information about SRI.

    Notice that is Dr. Norman Uphoff. I’m sure you can find a bio on him. This is not some anti-science hippy thing. It is hard core crop science.

    After collecting some good information, last year I started SRI in Morang district of Eastern Nepal. Last year there were two small plots less then 100 square meters with some practice of SRI (young seedlings, spaced planting, less water, and some weeding but no compost). We got more then 7 metric tons/ha yield with healthy plants (less diseases and pests).

    Can you way “WOW!”… I knew you could… So these folks more than doubled their productivity and got a 50% increase over global averages. Without added chemicals. And with less diseases and pests.

    Are you starting to see how this works now? Better understanding of the botany and needs of the rice plant, leading to changed and more active management of the crop, leading to higher crop yields.

    That result encouraged us and we disseminated knowledge to farmers about SRI through training, a monthly newsletter, and personal and group contact.
    This information created a sensation among the farmers, and we found many farmers wanted to try this technology. But still farmers didn’t fully believe in this technology. Most farmers wanted to visualize these results on another’s field to gain confidence. But some innovative farmers tried the methods on their early rice. Three farmers planted early rice using SRI methodology. Two among them got nearly 6 metric tons/ha productivity with some practice. One farmer, Mr. Udaya Narayan Nepal, planted 3 plots, with three different ages of seedling (8 days, 9 days, and 18 days). His land is upland with no irrigation facility, very low content of organic matter, and without compost. Despite these conditions, vegetative growth of his crop was very good. Tiller number reach up to 130/hill. All his neighbor who were teasing him initially become astonished to see his crop.

    I generally don’t like quoting this much stuff in an article. They end up painfully long. That is why I put the links in, and then only add my personal views. That does not mean my posting lacks any science, it means it is in the links. I’d wager few comments here would qualify as peer reviewed science… it’s all about the links.

    I think it is a complete waste of time to copy it all here so that folks who are too lazy to follow links burden everyone else, including the moderators, with the added volume. So please, lose the invective and read the links. Then if you still think “organic” is “ignorance” that you need to fight, take it up with Cornell, U.C. Berkeley, and the Agricultural Extension Officers of the world…

    There are literally thousands of articles like the ones I’ve excerpted here, written by professionals in agriculture and agronomy, that all have the same message. Organic works. If you chose to ignore that, is is bigotry, nothing more. Chemical based agriculture also works ( I have nothing against it, in fact, I love hydroponics, the ultimate in chemical farming ;-) but they are different.

    And the difference is that chemical based farming is simpler and uses less labor but at the cost of lower yields than can be had with “intensification”. Organic produces more production per unit of land, but at the cost of a lot more complexity and a lot more labor. Done at large scale, organic ends up costing about the same as chemical, but most is done at small scale and sold in niche markets so the costs and prices are higher.

    Better? Neither one is “better” IMHO. If you have excess land and a labor shortage, go for the chemicals. If you have limited land and lots of labor, go for the organic with intensification. My personal preference is to aim at organic / intensification and be ready to add some chemical fertilizer or spray some pesticides if you gain by it. Unfortunately, BOTH political sides throw rocks at me for doing that … 8-}

  108. PhilJourdan says:
    August 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm
    However you can combine both: Tomatoes filled with rice.

  109. “The largest rice producing state (of the 50 United States) is-Minnesota.”

    I don’t know Phil, I thought it was Arkansas. Those poor guys in Arkansas don’t get any credit for doing anything good, or productive, for that matter. Hmm….let me check my memory on Google. I shall return.

  110. Haven’t had time to read all the comments, so this might have been mentioned before, but–

    In heavily-terraced mountainous areas rice grows only up to a certain elevation. In central Nepal it’s about 3,000 feet, after which farmers switch to maize, buckwheat, and millet. So if–and that’s a big IF!–the growing-season temperature in such regions was increasing, then the maximum rice elevation would increase, and you’d get more production, not less.

    /Mr Lynn

  111. E.M.Smith says:
    August 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    And the difference is that chemical based farming is simpler and uses less labor but at the cost of lower yields than can be had with “intensification”. Organic produces more production per unit of land, but at the cost of a lot more complexity and a lot more labor. Done at large scale, organic ends up costing about the same as chemical, but most is done at small scale and sold in niche markets so the costs and prices are higher.
    That is why Organic Farming goes hand in hand with the Malthusian paradigm…
    We should not forget that “Life is Nature’s trick to overcome entropy” . So, , as things go on, just don’t worry up there, just learn spanish….:-)

  112. maybe the decrease in Rice growth is occuring because we have less new technologies that can be applied to increase the rate, we got it very high so now we can only slightly increase, instead of massively increase yield, but we’re still increasing yield

  113. One other thing: Rice comes in both ‘upland’ and ‘lowland’ types. There are different temperature needs of each, though all like heat. More interesting, though, is that many upland types are farmed without flooding. The field flooding is not needed for rice, it’s just that rice tolerates flooding while other plants do not. So you can flood the field as a kind of weed control that’s low labor.

    This means a lot of rice could be grown on land now not used. Land that is too porous to flood. Including ‘upland’ and mountain areas where it’s cooler.

    Heat does not reduce where you can grow things. It usually increases them. It may, in some small places (like Phoenix Arizona) when you get to over 120 F regularly change WHEN you grow them and / or move some things ‘up slope’ a little.

    Far more important is water. You simply MUST have water. And cold times are dry times. Warm times are wet. Warming makes more rain (see hurricanes for example, driven by warm oceans) while cold makes less (see Antarctic precipitation at very low levels as an extreme example). So I’d stress the way warmers get it backwards about heat causing deserts. You can have frozen deserts… DRY allows deserts, and dry can become hotter or colder as the water moderation is lost. It’s not about the temperature, it’s about the heat content and flows, and that means heat of vaporization of water and heat of fusion of water.

    from: http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/rice_grow_it.html

    Rice grows only in hot climates, although some strains are cultivated at high altitudes, and cannot be grown outside in the British Isles. Rice grows tall for a grass, about 1 metre high, and has hairy leaves with a prominent midrib. The flowers are carried in loose tufts and are yellowish or brownish in colour. Rice which grows in cooler places has seeds with long awns or pointed hairs on, but rice from the lowland tropics has smooth seed.

    Hardiness
    If you can find seeds, you can grow mountain rice in a greenhouse in summer in the UK. Plants will die in the winter as the northern climate has insufficient light to keep them alive, even if they have not flowered. Minimum temperature 10°C.

    Also, this article:

    http://beaumont.tamu.edu/eLibrary/Newsletter/2009_May_Newsletter.pdf

    finds that you can cure any heat problem by giving the rice an aspirin…

    No, honest. At 32 C nighttime temps, the plant fertility starts to drop off a bit (it does like it below 85 F or so at night when resting…) but if salicylic acid is applied, no problem. So “take two aspirins and call me in the morning” is a valid “cure” for AGW in rice! (they used a 5 C range for the tests, so it will take a while for AGW to get to the aspirin point…)

  114. What a wonderful world, it is, we live in.
    Experts in Excelling, whose closest to rice production is boil in the bag and trickiest scientific challenges involve raising a cheer for Tamino when SMc is labelled as a contrarian because (a) he’s talking nonsense and (b) even if he wasn’t he’s an idiot ‘cos he is. Doh!
    Strangely, ’nuff, I detect that Steve is that most dangerous of critics in that (a) he’s one clever bloke(b) correct!
    Keep dogging guys, or, maybe less pleasurable , keep digging.
    But what do I know?

  115. Field studies are notoriously difficult because of the usual impossibility of holding all else constant while one factor varies. These authors look at only six years worth of rice production during which lots of factors would have varied. Those years will have had completely different weather patterns – different wind strengths – different rainfall – perhaps hail or strong storms – different number of sunny days – different length of season – etc. And from this extremely complicated situation across ONLY SIX YEARS OF DATA they claim to be able to isolate a tiny second order effect due to only one factor – increased temperature at nighttime – a factor for which they state no mechanism. Impossible! Ridiculous! Indefensible! This is just bad science.

    To pick it apart further, nighttime temperatures correlate closely with other factors which could also be expected to effect production. For example temperatures are warmer on cloudy nights. So the number of warmer nights tends to correlate with cloudiness. On cloudy days there is less sunlight hitting the leaves. Why assume that the warm temperatures at night are causing a drop in production when there is no mechanism to explain why they should and when there is a very obvious mechanism to explain why less sunshine might cause this effect.

    Warmer nights are also often seen during stormy weather. Rice can suffer wind damage in strong winds; hail and other extreme weather events can also damage it. Once again there is an obvious mechanism here in a closely correlated factor. How on earth could they POSSIBLY isolate off these effects in only six years worth of data to the extent that they can then claim to have accurately measured a DECREASE IN THE RATE OF INCREASE of rice production. Good grief!

    Forgive my skeptical guffaw. This is just rubbish.

  116. You can bet Monsanto is engineering a heat-resistant rice, already.

    But which one was there first?

    Monsanto’s heat-resistant rice – or the study about the negative impact of heat on rice crops?

    Follow the money!

  117. Asia seems to be doing a just fine with all this global warming. Data up to 2008.

    DirkH says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Ok, from Richard Black, BBC, we get:

    “Yields have fallen by 10-20% over the last 25 years in some locations.”

    He also said this.

    In 2004, other researchers found that rice yields in the Philippines were dropping by 10% for every 1C increase in night-time temperature.

    The trouble is he doesn’t name the study so you don’t know if he is yet again misrepresenting their findings.

  118. I have been in the Philippines several times.

    I have also been right in the middle of large rice fields and talked to people who live there.

    I can tell you from personal experience,that it is hot as hell there already.With 90 + degrees F and 90% + humidity.Yet the rice grows just fine there.

    Meanwhile there is not a whole lot of temperature increase left to go with in this part of the world because of the super high humidity and frequent thunderstorms.

    The highs would be in the low 90’s F and the lows in the upper 70’s and low 80’s,almost EVERY DAY!

  119. Increased CO2 reduces transpiration making the plant more resistant to heat extremes and more effective at using available water and nutrients. Big increase in productivity unless the heat is NOT accompanied by CO2 increase. (how would you stop the oceans from outgassing?)

  120. In advancing an hypothesis that is counter-intuitive it pays to have a plausible mechanism. As far as I can see they present no explanation as to why increasing temperature should decrease crop yield or even slow the rate of increase in crop yield. Yet another reason for rejecting this poor excuse for science

  121. Minnesota has competition:
    CALIFORNIA RICE FACTS
    http://www.calrice.org
    • The California rice industry annually
    contributes more than $1.3 billion dollars to
    the state’s economy.
    • California is the nation’s second largest rice
    producing state, with annual production
    exceeding four billion pounds.
    • The Sacramento Valley is the heart of
    California’s rice industry, much like the
    Napa Valley is to premium wine and wine
    grapes. More than ninety-five percent of the
    state’s rice crop is grown within 100 miles of
    the State Capitol.
    • California ricelands are used by 230
    wildlife species, with an estimated $1.5
    billion in habitat value. No crop does
    more for our environment than
    California rice.
    ———-
    The other pdf at calrice.org documents struggles with the EPA, and Barbara Boxer is proud to have worked with all parties to bring solutions. California Rice Growers depend on exports to sustain profitability. Lots of enviro-friendly speak in those pages.
    Lots of Asian countries depend on our surplus of rice, and have been doing so since I worked at Farmers Rice Co-op and RGA in the early 70’s.

  122. CO2science has done much of the work necessary to base the discussion of rice yield vs. CO2 or temperature on credible facts.

    To find related articles at the site, use this search:
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=rice+yield+CO2+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.co2science.org&go=&form=QBRE&filt=all&qs=n&sk=

    A comparable search at the CO2science site for rice yield vs. temperature is this one:
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=rice+yield+temperature+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.co2science.org&go=&form=QBRE&filt=all&qs=n&sk=

    Many of the study reports show up on the lists for both searches. Clearly, the related research studied rice yields in relation to temperatures as well as CO2 levels. Generally it appears that elevated CO2 levels will substantially increase rise yields, whereas rising temperatures may cause some yield reduction. Increased CO2 levels more than compensate for yield losses due to elevated temperatures.

    I wonder why the “new study by an international team of scientists” quoted at the beginning of this discussion thread did not mention increased rice yields due to increased atmospheric CO2 levels. Perhaps that is because it is an inconvenient truth.

    You can expand the search for other cereals and will find similar results.

    Also from the CO2scince website:

    “China: Getting Greener (In the Good Sense): (Uploaded 8 October 2008)
    Over a quarter-century ago, Dr. Sherwood Idso stated in a small self-published book that if the airs CO2 content continued to rise, it would enhance plant growth and water use efficiency to the point that semi-arid lands not then suitable for cultivation could be brought into profitable production and that the deserts themselves could blossom as the rose. How is this prediction standing today?”

    Watch the video clip associated with that, for a four-minute status report on that prediction.
    http://www.co2science.org/education/truthalerts/v11/chinagreening.php

  123. I love the use of the word “thwarted” here. This term is usually employed in respect of negating nefarious plots, not hindering goody-goody plans that perhaps feed more people (although I concede it can so apply).

    I was thwarted in my attempts to feed some additional people with rice due to the increase in global average temperatures of 0.7 degrees C over the last 150 years. Curses!

  124. All my relatives in China are rice growers. They tell me that the yield/unit area of rice more than tripled in past 20 or so years. I don’t think this growing rate can last for ever (no matter what climate will be ) the growing rate going down is inevitable. You can attribute the decrease growing rate to any thing you choose. but it has no real meaning.
    The “scientists” choose AGW. But
    One of my relative’s wife is complaining her husband:
    ” all is your false. You shouldn’t ask for sex in the morning”
    My relative’s wife’s complain has more reasons to be correct than the AGW.

  125. I got to beat the drum here on this study and the fraudulent omission of drought and cherry picking of dates.

    The general trends from 1985-2000 for both rice production and yield, for all countries in this study were improving every year despite the global or local increases in minimal temperatures. The improved yield and production may be for many reasons as people have mentioned but that is not the issue here. The issue is that given the steady improvements, where then did they find the data creating a negative trend?

    The Phillipines and Indonesia are hardest hit by El Nino caused droughts while China usually benefits from improved precipitation. The 1998 El Nino drought caused major declines in Indonesia and the Phillipines. Naturally flooded fields are affected more than irrigated fields and it is not clear from looking at only the abstract and supplemental data, if or how they controlled for this effect. Of the 1372 observations 38 % cam from the Phillipines and Indonesia combined. Limited data from China contributed 6.6% of the study’s observations but covered only 1998-99. The Hanoi area contributed 10.5 % of the observations but only covered 1997-1999.

    The only way this study can get any overall negative trend is by having 1998 towards the endpoint of the trend, which they conveniently do, using only data from 1994-1999. It is now 2010 why do they only use data to 1999?? Why include China for trend analysis when it only covers 1998-1999? Hmmmm?

    Look at countries studied: Phillipines, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Thailand on the website http://www.irri.org/science/cnyinfo/indonesia.asp to see the annual trends in yield and total production.

    Phillipines: Steady increase 1985-2000 in production. Huge drop only in 1998. Yield varies as acreage harvested changes

    Indonesia: Steady increase 1985-2000 in both yield and production.. Exception 1998 yield and production drop but improve in 1999

    China: Yield and productin rises from 5.2 in 1985 to 6.3 in 1999. During that time there was only one period of decline from 1998 to 1999, which, miraculously, are the only dates available for China in this study. Not sure if increased production is due to climate or market demand.

    Thailand_: Yield varied but generally increases from 1985-2000 from 2.1-2.3 peaks 1995 at 2.4 dropping to 2.3 in 1998 and reamains at 2.3 for dates given .

    Both India and Vietnam have steady increases from 1985-2000 in both yield and production. That can only correlate positively with increased minimum temperatures.

    Conclusion: India and Vietnam data as well as overall trends contradict the minimum temperature causes decline theory. The only negative trend is seen in the combined Phillipines, Indonesia and China data that where the decline are all accounted for by the El Nino drought. The clever use of statistics has produced fraudulent claims! Such book keeping would be a crime elsewhere!

  126. Tommy says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    …Some facts about rice:
    http://vasatwiki.icrisat.org/index.php/Climatic_Requirements_of_Rice_crop
    From the above page:
    Temperature:
    · Need hot and humid climate;

    · Best suited for the regions having high humidity, prolonged sunshine;

    · Mean temperature around 22oC through out growing period;

    · Tolerates day temperature up to 40oC;

    · Minimum of 10oC for sprouting;

    · Optimum of 22 to 23oC for flowering and 20 to 21oC for grain formation;

    · Above 22oC respiration is accelerated and grain filling period is reduced.

    Interesting. Yes, indeed warm nights would increase respiration demands, but because the sun is not shinning there is no countering photosynthetic production, so the respiration has to be done using sugars the plant has stored and would otherwise use to make grain.

  127. This may be a repeat post but when I try to post it doesn’t show.

    I got to beat the drum here on this study and the fraudulent omission of drought and cherry picking of dates.

    The general trends from 1985-2000 for both rice production and yield, for all countries in this study were improving every year despite the global or local increases in minimal temperatures. The improved yield and production may be for many reasons as people have mentioned but that is not the issue here. The issue is that given the steady improvements, where then did they find the data creating a negative trend?

    The Phillipines and Indonesia are hardest hit by El Nino caused droughts while China usually benefits from improved precipitation. The 1998 El Nino drought caused major declines in Indonesia and the Phillipines. Naturally flooded fields are affected more than irrigated fields and it is not clear from looking at only the abstract and supplemental data, if or how they controlled for this effect. Of the 1372 observations 38 % cam from the Phillipines and Indonesia combined. Limited data from China contributed 6.6% of the study’s observations but covered only 1998-99. The Hanoi area contributed 10.5 % of the observations but only covered 1997-1999.

    The only way this study can get any overall negative trend is by having 1998 towards the endpoint of the trend, which they conveniently do, using only data from 1994-1999. It is now 2010 why do they only use data to 1999?? Why include China for trend analysis when it only covers 1998-1999? Hmmmm?

    Look at countries studied: Phillipines, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Thailand on the website http://www.irri.org/science/cnyinfo/indonesia.asp to see the annual trends in yield and total production.

    Phillipines: Steady increase 1985-2000 in production. Huge drop only in 1998. Yield varies as acreage harvested changes

    Indonesia: Steady increase 1985-2000 in both yield and production.. Exception 1998 yield and production drop but improve in 1999

    China: Yield and productin rises from 5.2 in 1985 to 6.3 in 1999. During that time there was only one period of decline from 1998 to 1999, which, miraculously, are the only dates available for China in this study. Not sure if increased production is due to climate or market demand.

    Thailand_: Yield varied but generally increases from 1985-2000 from 2.1-2.3 peaks 1995 at 2.4 dropping to 2.3 in 1998 and reamains at 2.3 for dates given .

    Both India and Vietnam have steady increases from 1985-2000 in both yield and production. That can only correlate positively with increased minimum temperatures.

    Conclusion: India and Vietnam data as well as overall trends contradict the minimum temperature causes decline theory. The only negative trend is seen in the combined Phillipines, Indonesia and China data that where the decline are all accounted for by the El Nino drought. The clever use of statistics has produced fraudulent claims! Such book keeping would be a crime elsewhere!

  128. Rice fields are only flooded to prevent weeds, the ancient agricultural practices must be abolished and new cultivation methods are needed. The old methods are of course also a matter of proteins in the form of rice, crayfish and catfish, but it requires a major agricultural reform in SEA

  129. .Henry chance says.I love the comment about those green tractors.
    The first hint of a biased article was that it was produced by an economist from California.
    One might compare rice yields to corn in the USA. Corn yields still have room to improve. A teenager produced 300 buschel per acre corn as a 4-H project in the 50’s. The national average yield per acre for corn this year is projected to be around 161 buschels per acre. Why doesn’t every acre of corn in the USA yield 300 Buschels per acre. Several factors such as suitabiliy of the soil for crop production, the amount of labor required to achive that type of yield and cost are but three of several reasons. The biggest reason is you have to make a profit. It can be more profitable to produce corn that yields 100 bu. per acre.
    Silly me I keep forgetting that CO2 is the evil that must be stopped.

  130. STOP PRESS

    ROGER BLACK BBC CLIMATE GURU MISQUOTES RESEARCH FINDING IN USUAL ATTEMPT TO EXAGGERATE PURPORTED CLIMATE CHANGE!

    Roger says “Yields have fallen by 10-20% over the last 25 years in some locations.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

    The press release says”Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.”
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/uoc–htt080610.php

    He just KNOWS what the findings are without even having to read the press release.
    It’s not the yield that has supposedly fallen, but the rate of increase in the yield.

  131. Rajan Alexander says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Rice productivity is not sensitive to temperature rice as it is to water. …

    Rice is a highly water intensive crop. Much of rice production in the country are however rain-fed. So it is more accurate to call rice productivity more monsoon sensitive.

    Sounds a lot like the same problem with using tree rings as a temperature proxy.

    It seems plants respond to water AND temperature when growing.

    I’ve noticed when I don’t water the vegetables, we get poor yields, in spite of the warmer temperatures of summer.

    Crop yields and tree rings are both a measure of plant happiness, not of temperature.

  132. Jim Steele says:
    August 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I got to beat the drum here on this study and the fraudulent omission of drought and cherry picking of dates….

    Conclusion: India and Vietnam data as well as overall trends contradict the minimum temperature causes decline theory. The only negative trend is seen in the combined Phillipines, Indonesia and China data that where the decline are all accounted for by the El Nino drought. The clever use of statistics has produced fraudulent claims! Such book keeping would be a crime elsewhere!

    Figures don’t lie; but liars do figure.

  133. A few respondents seem to have missed the point made in the abstract. Whether talking about total yield or growth in yield is immaterial to their argument. They’re saying that the yield is less than it otherwise might have been.

  134. PhilJordan claims that Minnesota is the U.S. leader in rice production. Actually, Arkansas, California, and Louisiana are the leaders, in that order. Minnesota does do well with wild rice though, but that’s a different critter.

  135. Economists have no knowledge of agriculture.
    They are in no position to infer or claim in any way that global temperatures affect crop yield either positively or negatively. Temperatures can affect crops if they are outside the range that is optimum for the various crops in question. The factors are adequate moisture, adequate nutrition, and light and temperature. Additionally, for a given plant type on a given piece of land there is a finite maximum yield which is usually less than the theoretical. Without a detailed analysis by some crop science types these economists have no leg to stand on and credibility that is less than zero. The other thing is that even if the rate of increase of yield is lower than before perhaps the actual yields are as good as can be expected knowing that there is a potential maximum yield.

    In my humble ass opinion, the study is just so much propaganda and made up balderdash.

  136. A possible reason for yearly increases in rice production falling may have nothing to do with climate or technology. What if people who normally consume rice may be switching to consumption of other foods crops. Younger generations in Asia and the Indian subcontinent could be shifting to other non-traditional foods away from rice.

    Therefore, farmers could just be adjusting to their customers preferences.

    John

  137. Quoting the results in the abstract:

    “Higher minimum temperature reduced yield, whereas higher maximum temperature raised it;”

    The minimum temperature correlation is simply false claim.

  138. Patrick Kelly you are wrong.

    Richard Black states “Global warming is CUTTING rice yields in many parts of Asia, according to research, with MORE DECLINES to come. Yields have FALLEN by 10-20% over the last 25 years in some locations.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

    This totally untrue. There has been no reduction in yield. Yield is still rising as the IRRI graph shows. It is disingenuous to claim a slight reduction in the growth rate of production as a decline.

    Pull the other one.

  139. Wow! And what a title!
    “It’s Worse Than We Thought – Negative Second Derivative Found!”

  140. Weird, since all the rice grows in the tropicals, like Indonesia, seems pretty warm when I was there.

    More warm = more rain.

    More CO2 = more rice

  141. I ran across a Japanese article last year that described a study of projected global warming vs rice production. It seems that increasing CO2 will fertilize and increase rice production as temperatures are projected to increase. There are temperatures above which the production of rice decreases.

    This is probably a factual observation, but, other studies may use the IPCC forecasts for future temperatures (obviously incorrect) to forecast rice production. This is dishonest and a non-starter.

  142. My great thanks to the two people who have sent me the rice article. I’m just in off the highway from a seven hour drive, I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

    w.

  143. If daily maxima/minima are so important, why do they not run the simulations this way instead of averaging?

  144. EM Smith, ripper post! I was also going to mention SRI and its amazingly good results.
    I also read that due to using the “green revolution” gm and non traditional rices, and growing continuously 3 harvests a year the soil gets no rest, and they now have a serious issue with Brown leaf Hopper bugs.
    before when the soil was rested or other crops were rotated the bugs life cycle was disrupted, now they have a year round feed and breed, and once again Man has created a super pest in massive numbers due to idiocy and greed.
    Smaller Organic and Mixed farms produce more and keep the land healthier.

  145. The idea that higher temperature thwarts the production of rice is pure hogwash.

    Guongdong Province is the southernmost province in China. It regularly gets two crops of rice a year, rather than the one a year in most of China. Some fortunate counties in the south of Guongdong Province even get three crops of rice a year.

    Why? The higher temperature facilitates the growth of the rice, so that it ripens and yields crops in half or a third of the time as the provinces to the north.

    More evidence that “scientists” start with why global warming is bad, and try to find answers. Every hothouse operator knows that higher temperature and higher CO2 concentration yield better growth.

  146. As so often appears to be the case this seems to be deliberate propaganda. A press release which can be easily misinterpreted, like the BBC did (maliciously?), as a decline in rice yields rather than a decline in the rate of increase in rice yields! [i.e. They are saying rice yields are increasing, but not as fast as they did in the past (year-on-year)]

    The question is : Why are the rice yields increasing at all?

    Obviously most of this will be down to better varieties, farming practices, use of the water supply, and use of fertilisers. In their research they will have taken all these factors in to account to isolate the effect of warming, yet they still report an increase in yield.

    The only conclusion is that the warming is responsible for the increased yields.

  147. Since the “correlation is not causation” and “El Nino year” themes have already been discussed thoroughly, I’ll try to bring up some other points. By the way, for those without access to the article, the Wikipedia entry on rice, which already references this article, states that a causal mechanism, though suggested, is not yet established — and sorry in advance for all the statistical terminology.

    The weaknesses that I can see just from the abstract and SI that haven’t really been discussed are:
    1) The authors took short-term (year to year) temperature anomalies as a factor in the correlation, and then (presumably) equated them to long-term (gradual over decades) temperature changes. For a system as complex as a rice plant, I’m not sure you can assume those two types of temperature changes produce the same response.
    2) The authors expected temperature changes many decades hence represent an equivalent variation in the predictors equal to several standard deviations. I bet if they computed the standard error of the prediction in yield at those conditions, it turns out to be quite large. In other words, they have lots of data about what happened when temperatures were 0.5 C above average for a given location, but using such data to predict what will happen when temperatures are 3 C above average (even assuming temperature changes do cause a change in yield) is not very reliable, especially given a complicated system.

    It seems to me the best way to confirm or refute this paper is just to do some good old fashioned science: dig up all those economic and climate variables for other locations and years (it may not be so bad since some variables are assumed insignificant and thus are not needed), plug in the model, and, assuming the standard error of the prediction is reasonably small (if it isn’t, the model isn’t all that useful), see how good the predictions are.

    Also, having not read the paper itself, for all I know the actual authors of this paper may well have been appropriately cautious in their presentation of the data; this may simply be a case of publicity gone awry. They at least deserve the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

  148. Steve in SC says:
    Economists have no knowledge of agriculture.

    Can we lose the “economist bashing”? I am a California Economist and I do have a decent knowledge of agriculture. My Alma Mater even has a specific Agricultural Economics major. It’s a BIG part of econ, and has been since the founding of the field (See Jevons, of Jevons Paradox fame, for example, who showed crop yields and prices correlated with sun spot cycles via rather intensive study of the yields of grains in India … which will have included rice.)

    http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/agricultural-economics

    claims 177 schools with an Ag Econ program.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_economics has:

    Agricultural economics tends to be more microeconomic oriented. Many undergraduate Agricultural Economics degrees given by US land-grant universities tend to be more like a traditional business degree rather than a traditional economics degree. At the graduate level, many agricultural economics programs focus on a wide variety of applied microeconomic topics. Their demand is driven by their pragmatism, optimization and decision making skills, and their skills in statistical modelling. Graduates from Agricultural Economics departments across America find jobs in diversified sectors of the economy:
    Accounting
    Agriculture
    Breweries, distilleries, bottling plants
    Cigarette manufacturing
    Food processing – eg. flour mill
    Food manufacture – eg. cake factory
    Furniture manufacturing; production of linens, drapes, carpet
    Government & NGOs
    Information technology
    Leather tanning, footwear manufacturing, handbag production
    Logistics & supply chains
    Pulp and paper
    Sawmills, lumber mills, wood products
    Textiles processing and garment manufacturing

    and even a non-Ag Economist studies endless examples of ag related economics due to all the government programs involving food and agriculture and all the industries involved in it.

    That SOME economists are a bit clueless about plants does not mean all of them are, or even most of them…

    FWIW, I grew up in the middle of the N. California Rice region in a town dominated by raising “Peaches, Rice, and Kids; all for export” 8-)

    @amicus curiae: Glad you liked it!

    OldBruin says:
    The idea that higher temperature thwarts the production of rice is pure hogwash.

    Well, more like ‘impure hogwash’… At SOME POINT higher temperatures do thwart production. It’s just that that point is way higher than just about everywhere on the planet, that’s all…

    So I have to ‘nit-pick’ the point that it isn’t Strictly True, just true for all practical purposes and your conclusion is correct. Until everywhere is as hot as Phoenix or the Sahara, we’ve got no problem (and more total production up to that point).

    Oddly, if the world gets hotter, we could likely grow lots of rice IN the Sahara:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/cold-dry-sahara-hot-wet-savanna/

    when it’s 2 to 3 degrees hotter than now, the Sahara was a savanna… the rains return when there is enough heat to pull in the storms.

  149. pat says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:31 am

    “…..A far bigger problem is water. That has significantly impacted yields in California, India, and Australia.”

    Yes…. But don’t forget that the lack of water may not be climate related either, but instead infrastructure related.

    Especially concerning where it concerns Australia. Lack of investment in well sited dams and water storage, has meant that water is being taken from farmers to water cities…. also there are “environmental flows” that are flushed down the rivers at the cost of water to farmland and crops.

  150. jimb from Canada says: August 10, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Can you set one article into a wiki form? so we could all edit a single document? or at least those who are regulars and approved? It could prove a interesting experiment on how to make a blog page, once complete to your expectations just lock the page and publish.
    Pre-blogging?
    Pre article > Wiki > Group write > Publish.

    My thoughts exactly.

    I actually helped start a climate skeptics’ wiki which looked really promising but then foundered because the owner of the website simply disappeared into the Great Blue Yonder – and all the considerable work I’d done just disappeared. So unlike me to fail to make backups for such a situation! Now my situation is changed and I have little time for that idea. But it has come back as potentially viable if it is limited and defined eg just one article. And it has to be “no admission” to warmistas, since they already hold Wikipedia gagged and trussed.

    In fact I’m having a go at putting Cook’s Skeptical Science 119 debates strawmen and putdown points into the three-column format that’s needed ie
    (1) “Skeptic argument” [note inverted commas]
    (2) What the “science” says
    (3) What skeptics actually say – with hyperlinks from each of the 119 issues to a “crowdsourced” wiki article

    and I’d like to see THIS done in wiki form, to be added to the iPhone “Our Climate” app. But I can only kick-start this idea, I don’t have the wiki platform, time, or knowledge to do the answers up to speed. But as Anthony says, we have the opportunity here to “crowdsource” the article(s) needed. And I know someone who just may have a wiki platform.

    If somebody sees this post and thinks “great, I’ll do that right away”, fine. If not, I’ll be working away at this steadily until it’s up to WUWT article standard.

  151. Randy Westcott says:
    August 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Randy, I was just going on the state’s claim. Which goes to show never trust a government claim. (No I do not live there either, but it is a nice place to visit).

  152. “I can compile what readers find and post in comments and present it as a new article. Thanks for your consideration – Anthony”
    __________________________-
    I have a feeling that you won’t need to. But, it occured to me that someone can get a lot out of this piece and the comments you’ve generated and run with it as a rebuttal to the original. Only problem is, non-believers (infidels) don’t go far in psyence today; especially in the Coliseum of “Climate Warming Maximus” –too many lions and tigers and bears ripping you to shreds– as Mann-kind fiddles away the day.

  153. Rice yields Indies.

    It will be interesting to see what Willis Eschenbach has to say about the paper but it seems to me that any decline in rice yield growth is confined to local areas and is spasmodic. This indicates that local conditions prevail and any crop variance cannot be attributed to global warming. Indeed the exact opposite would seem to be true.

    The paper is just speculating on future conditions based on the phony science of the IPCC.

  154. What a great idea for a “science” blog – have your readers comment about the reliability of a paper that few, if any, have read because it is behind a pay wall! Sounds a little too Mannian for me – he didn’t need to read M&M to know they were wrong.

    Sarcasm aside, an obvious first question is: What is the effect of minimum temperature on rice growing in a greenhouse where all variables except temperature are completely controlled? The introduction or discussion sections of Welch at al should inform you of the results of such studies. If increasing Tmin or at least Tmean isn’t already proven to have a negative effect in the relevant temperature range on the growth and yield of rice in the lab, it certainly doesn’t make scientific sense to look for effects in uncontrolled fields. However, there are plenty of studies that show that crops including rice have an optimum growth temperature, but I didn’t find any that distinguished Tmin from Tmax from Tmean. These papers also try to determine the mechanisms by which non-optimal temperature reduces growth.

    An earlier study (not behind a pay wall) that reached the same conclusion as Welch et al can be found at: http://www.pnas.org/content/101/27/9971.full = PNAS (2004) 101, 9971-9975. From my perspective, their conclusion is flawed because the three years (of 11) with the highest Tmin and lowest productivity were also 3 of 4 years with the lowest sunlight. That paper provides some of limited references to laboratory studies where all variables except temperature are properly controlled.
    From the supplemental data at http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2010/07/27/1001222107.DCSupplemental/pnas.201001222SI.pdf, Welch et al is clearly a far more serious attempt to resolve the contributions of various parameters that influence yields on real farms.

    The results of Welch et al will mean little in the long run if rice strains with better tolerance of high Tmin already exist or can be easily developed. The differing strains of rice used on the farms studied by Welch may already vary in their tolerance to high Tmin.

  155. Dave F says: August 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    “If daily maxima/minima are so important, why do they not run the simulations this way instead of averaging?”

    They do, but for some reason forget to emphasise that the models themselves are predict most of the ‘average’ increase is due to higher minimum temperatures at high latitudes.

    Common sense suggests it is pretty hard to increase the temperature significantly in the high humidity tropics anyway. And predicting 3 degrees C nighttime temperatures rather than 2 degrees for the typical UK winter evening isn’t very scary.

  156. E.M.Smith says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm
    >Steve in SC says:
    >> Economists have no knowledge of agriculture.
    >Can we lose the “economist bashing”? I am a California Economist

    One thing that’s gone downhill on WUWT since the readership surge after Climategate is there seems to me a greater percentage of expert bashing and piling on to people others disagree with. The former comments are disrespectful, the latter are nearly content free.

    Climate Science is too large a field for anyone to understand, but that’s also one of its attractions – Anyone can learn more about some niche than Nobel Laurate scientist (science prize, not just peace prize). Scientists focused on some small niche or a more general view will have gaps in their knowledge but still may have much to offer.

    Blanket statements like yours with nothing to back it up don’t advance the discussion. Also, the readership at WUWT is large enough so that there’s like an existence proof that falsifies your hypothesis.

    BTW, I suspect that given Chicago is home to both the Univ. of Chicago and the major commodities exchange, there are probably a lot of existence proofs there….

  157. PhilJourdan says:
    August 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Randy, I was just going on the state’s claim. Which goes to show never trust a government claim. (No I do not live there either, but it is a nice place to visit).
    ——————————————————
    I thought you might have been quick on the trigger. I have experience doing that. No big deal. What is remarkable to me is the self-correcting ability of this forum. Sort of like science with looser hypotheses, instant publication (and criticism), and no funding. It’s not perfect here but it does work. Hats off to Anthony and crew.

  158. There is several points to consider :
    – how was built the set of 227 rice farm ? from statistical analysis of the population of each country or because IRRI or FAO follow them and have the data set from an another programm (including meteo datas) ?
    – is this set representative of the whole farm of the area ? ( cultivated areas, technical practices, used varieties, climate, parasites, markets for farmers, costs for chemicals, …)
    – other thing is to check how meteo datas were collected ? ( Anthony, you’re the specialist, ;) )

    http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2010/07/27/1001222107.DCSupplemental/pnas.201001222SI.pdf

    Sure, a lot of things to check but whitout the whole paper … (model …) …

    Good luck !

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