The CIA documents the global cooling research of the 1970’s

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Seal of the C.I.A. – Central Intelligence Agency of the United States Government (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite what NCDC’s Thomas Peterson, Wikiwrangler William Connolley, and John Fleck would like you to believe as a “myth” (The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus), there was in fact serious consideration of the global cooling issue in the 1970’s thanks to this 1974 document from the CIA. – Anthony

The CIA Report and the Warning from Wisconsin

Guest post by David Archibald

In August, 1974, the Office of Research and Development of the Central Intelligence Agency produced a report entitled “A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems” – available online at: http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf Some interesting bits of the report follow:

“The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climate change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600- 1850) – an era of drought, famine and political unrest in the western world.

Climate has not been a prime consideration of intelligence analysis because, until recently, it has not caused any significant perturbations to the status of major nations. This is so because during 50 of the last 60 years the Earth has, on the average, enjoyed the best agricultural climate since the eleventh century. An early twentieth century world food surplus hindered US efforts to maintain and equalise farm production and incomes.”

“The University of Wisconsin was the first accredited academic center to forecast that a major global climatic change was underway. Their analysis of the Icelandic temperature data, which they contend has historically been a bellwether for northern hemisphere climatic conditions, indicated that the world was returning to the type of climate which prevailed during the first part of the last century.” “Their “Food for Thought” chart (Figure 7) conveys some idea of the enormity of the problem and the precarious state in which most of the world’s nations could find themselves if the Wisconsin forecast is correct.”

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CIA Report 1974, Figure 7

The x axis shows annual temperature in centigrade. The y axis is persons per hectare of arable land.

With respect to Figure 7, the CIA report states “As an example, Europe presently, with an annual mean temperature of 12°C (about 53°F), supports three persons per arable hectare. If, however, the temperature declines 1°C only a little over two persons per hectare could be supported and more than 20 percent of the population could be supported and more than 20 percent of the population could not be fed from domestic sources. China now supports over seven persons per arable hectare; a shift of 1°C would mean it could only support four persons per hectare – a drop of over 43 percent.

A unique aspect of the Wisconsin analysis was their estimate of the duration of this climatic change. An analysis by Dr J.E.Kutzbach (Wisconsin) on the rate of climate changes during the preceding 1,600 years indicates an ominous consistency in the rate of (sic) which the change takes place. The maximum temperature drop normally occurred within 40 years of inception. The earliest return occurred within 70 years (Figure 8). The longest period noted was 180 years.”

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CIA Report 1974, Figure 8

The CIA Report warning on the impact of cooling on the stability of nations is supported by a 2007 study by Zhang et al:

“We show that long-term fluctuations of war frequency and population changes followed the cycles of temperature change. Further analyses show that cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline successively. The findings suggest that worldwide and synchronistic war–peace, population, and price cycles in recent centuries have been driven mainly by long-term climate change.

We studied a long span of Chinese history and found that the number of war outbreaks and population collapses in China is significantly correlated with Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature variations and that all of the periods of nationwide unrest, population collapse, and dynastic change occurred in the cold phases of this period.”

The CIA Report of 1974 drew heavily on the work of Professor Kutzbach of the University of Wisconsin, who continues to warn of the danger posed by gobal cooling. Professor Kutzbach is a co-author of a study that modelled the effect of a 3.1°C cooler climate (Phillipon-Berthier et al 2010). The premise of the study is that using a carbon dioxide concentration of 240 ppm based on typical values reached during the latter stage of previous interglacials, the climate would 3.14°K cooler than it currently is. Of that cooling, 0.45°K is attributed to vegetation effects and the balance of 2.69°K is due to the carbon dioxide level being 150 ppm less than it is currently. The 2.69°K figure is an obvious and deliberate overstatement. Based on the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide, the true heating differential between 240 ppm and 390 ppm is 0.32°K, as shown by this figure:

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Figure 3: The logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide

In a world in which even papers in solar physics have to genuflect to global warming in order to get published, it is likely that this overstatement was necessary to get this paper published. Viewed in that light, it seems that the authors wanted to warn the world of the effects of a 3.0°C-odd cooling and the only way they could get the paper past the censors was to concoct a story based on carbon dioxide levels in previous interglacials. A 3.0°C cooling is very similar to what Libby and Pandolfi 1979 warned of, and what is predicted from the length of Solar Cycle 25 as determined by Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram, as shown in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/08/solar-cycle-24-length-and-its-consequences/

So what did the study find? Philippon-Berthier and colleagues calculated that as a result of the colder and drier conditions, along with lower levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (a plant fertilizer), terrestrial photosynthesis would decline by 39% and leaf area would decline by 30%. In the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, forest cover would decline by 60% and grassland area would decline by 17%. In the high latitudes, the area of boreal forests would drop by 69% while the area of polar desert would increase by 286%. And in the Tropics, grass area would decline by 3%, forest area by 15%, and the area of bare ground would increase by 344%.

Adding back the effect of current higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on plant growth, the decline in terrestrial photosynthesis would be about 25% rather than the calculated 39%. That is likely to be good estimate of the decline in food production, all things being equal, that humanity has in prospect over the next twenty-five years as solar-driven cooling continues per the Libby and Pandolfi and green corona emissions-derived forecasts.

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Figure 4: Total grass (top) and tree (bottom) differences (percentages) from current climate conditions with a 3.1°K cooling (source: Philippon-Berthier et al., 2010).

References

CIA 1974, A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems

Libby, L.M. and Pandolfi, L.J. 1979, Tree Thermometers and Commodities: Historic Climate Indicators, Environment International Vol 2, pp 317-333

Philippon-Berthier, G., et al., 2010. Role of plant physiology and dynamic vegetation feedbacks in the climate response to low GHG concentrations typical of the late stages of previous interglacials. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L08705, doi:10.1029/2010GL042905.

Peterson, T.C., et al. (2008): The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, 9, 1325-1337, doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2370.

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If I may add…the unearthing of this CIA report is due to Yours Truly (following a lead found in an old WaPo article, no less, a request to the British Library for the microfilm, and a long struggle with a very old microfilm-to-paper printer).
This all happened in the middle of 2009. So I ended up having my one and only World Exclusive, which appeared in the pages of The Spectator (UK) and Il Foglio (Italy) on Dec 3 2009.
My blog post for that day: “World Exclusive: CIA 1974 Document Reveals Emptiness of AGW Scares, Closes Debate On Global Cooling Consensus (And More…)
(a few days later, I wrote an article for Spiked Online expanding on the topic:
omnologosDOTcom/1970s-global-cooling-consensus-a-fact-of-history-my-article-in-spiked-online/ )
This is why the PDF is now hosted at climatemonitor DOT it, the Italian website of my good friend, TV meteorologist and fellow climate skeptic Guido Guidi.

Rick Bradford

Another inconvenient piece of historical fact which the Alarmists will move heaven and earth to make disappear.

cui bono

Thanks Dr. Archibald and Anthony. Indeed, memories are selective. Global cooling scares in the 70s:
(1) Conferences and warnings to governments: See: Implications of the Climatic Controversy for Global Society, Irving Kaplan, November 1980, “In 1972, a sizable group of climatologists meeting at Brown University issued letters to the governments of the world in which they warned of a global climatic disaster.
In 1974, the International Federation of Institutes of Advanced Study issued a grave message to the community of governments from a meeting in Bonn.
In 1976, a meeting of 85 climatologists chaired by the late Nobel Laureate Willard Libby and pioneer climatologist Cesare Emiliani put forth another warning which it had written in 1974 and which provided the same message in greater detail.
Nature reported the consensus of the 1979 World Climate Conference: “that the world had entered a 10,000 year cooling, that the warming theory was complex and questionable and that the loss of life and economic substance to the climate would increase.”
(2) See scientists cited in books:
Dr. Holdren (!) and Dr. Ehrlich wrote in the 1971 essay, “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide”:
“The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here.”
http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=873&gt
The Cooling, Lowe Ponte, 1976, “The cooling has already killed thousands of people in poor nations. If it continues and no strong measures are taken to deal with it, the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come about by the year 2000.”
The Weather Conspiracy, Peter Kilroy, Alastair Clark and The Climate Impact Team, Heron Publishing/Ballantine Books (1977). ISBN 0-345-27209-9.
The Weather Machine & The Threat Of Ice, Nigel Calder, BBC Publications, 1974, “Going by past form, the warm periods between ice ages last about 10,000 years and ours has lasted 10,000 years. One might therefore argue that there is a virtual certainty of the next ice age starting some time in the next two thousand years. Then the odds are only about 20 to 1 against it beginning in the next 100 years.”
Climates Of Hunger, Reid Bryson & Thomas Murray, University of Wisconsin Press, 1979
Ice Ages, Imbrie and Imbrie, 1979, Enslow Publishers
Climate: Present, Past & Future, H. H. Lamb, Routledge 1977
All warned of a coming ice age within decades.
(3) See citations in articles:
In 1975, Newsweek:”The Cooling World” – foretold the decimation of agricultural productivity based on a dramatic decrease in the Earth’s temperature.
New York Times published the article “Scientists ask why world is changing; Major cooling may be ahead”.
I cited this to David Appell on Dr. Curry’s blog in February. He wasn’t impressed.
http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/17/what-if-they-are-wrong/#more-7152

steveta_uk

Do the revisionists like WC really think that they can make anyone with a scientific interest, and aged over about 50, somehow completely forget that “the ice age was coming”?
I have a very clear memory of discussing the reasons why this might be happening with a group of colleages, all semi-conductor engineers, mostly physicists, some with PhDs, when I worked with GEC Semiconductors between 1975 and 1980. I clearly remember one of them, who was an amateur cosmologist with some peer-reviewed publications under his belt, describing the latest theory which was that an ice age would start not gradually, but simply by summer not turning up one year in the north, and the impacts spreading world-wide in a very short time (years, rather than decades).
But apparently these events never happened. No such discussions ever took place. Must be senile.

Good stuff – someone (not me I’m no good at that stuff) needs to package it up with a good headline and send it to newspapers around the world like the Daily Mail in the UK. Needs to be couched as a good “they don’t know anything” way.
They only print the warmist crap because they get sent it. Lazy journalists are just looking to fill column inches with the least work possible. We need to counterbalance it thats all.

philjourdan

Given that most wars in history were fought over resources, it only stands to reason that the CIA would be very interested in things that could cause nations to become beligerent again.
And to the detriment of the alarmists, they are meticulous at documentation.

H.R.

I didn’t see where modern farm yields per area of cultivation are compared to the yields of the past though that may be somewhere in the studies that were referenced.
Still, a few lost crops would wreak havoc on food supplies since the grain reserves are currently very low (months, IIRC from a comment by Roger Sowell last week). It would take some time for food production to move to suitable growing areas. Until then, the wildlife population would probably take a major hit while we do the hunter-gatherer thing until new farms come online.
I hope penguin tastes like chicken or we are going to be in a world of hurt.

TPX

[Multiple screen names violate site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

ThePowerofX

[Multiple screen names violate site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

Wally

1970’s cooling a “myth”. Yeah right. I was a kid then, and it was the constant worry of kids at school, teachers (especially the teachers), and a few parents. The winters in the early 1970’s seemed to be especially bitterly cold so we all sucked it up, hook line and sinker.

Ian W

An analysis by Dr J.E.Kutzbach (Wisconsin) on the rate of climate changes during the preceding 1,600 years indicates an ominous consistency in the rate of (sic) which the change takes place. The maximum temperature drop normally occurred within 40 years of inception. The earliest return occurred within 70 years (Figure 8). The longest period noted was 180 years.”
So 1974 plus 40 years…. Looks like that forecast is matching some other predictions especially from the Russians and even Joe Bastardi.
The world already has a child dying every few seconds from hunger and related causes. This may not be a comfortable ride.

Brad

It was in the textbooks, I was taught it as a serious issue in my college Ecology class, and the lefties then thought it was just as serious as warming is now.
Turns out, the 70’s folks are more likely to be correct!

Curiousgeorge

I seem to recall something about the CIA and the Berlin wall also. 😉

RockyRoad

Predicated on past climate patterns in conjunction with the sun’s activity, all the CIA would have to do is update the report to apply to the next several decades and republish; their concerns regarding the ’70’s would be just as applicable as we head into this new cooling phase.

The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age, Random House, 1977, eighteen (yes, 18) authors.
“During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age.” — Science And The Challenges Ahead, National Science Board, 1974.
I still remember the 1975 Newsweek cover touting “the coming Ice Age”…
Sorry, Fleck, the consensus was that the warming from the LIA was over and we were either headed for the sequel or a full-blown glaciation.

richardscourtney

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell ‘1984’ (1949)
Richard

Don’t forget Naomi Oreskes’s The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change along with your reference of Peterson and Connolley!
This would be a good topic for someone like Donna LaFramboise to investigate. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time, but remember the cooling articles from the 1970s before Keelings CO2 paper came out.

Greg

I remember being taught in grade school in SoCal in the early ’70s about the coming ice age. I’m not sure if that was accurate or not, but they sure were wrong about us running out of fossil fuels in 15 years and the country’s full transition to the metric system. 😉

David, UK

I’m still more worried about the politics than anything the climate is actually doing.

Panascope

“…the decline in terrestrial photosynthesis would be about 25% rather than the calculated 39%. That is likely to be good estimate of the decline in food production, all things being equal, that humanity has in prospect over the next twenty-five years…”
People tend to blame other people when they get hungry. Rulers deflect blame by pointing at others. Bad things happen.
Great find! Great post!

Luther Wu

We studied a long span of Chinese history and found that the number of war outbreaks and population collapses in China is significantly correlated with Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature variations and that all of the periods of nationwide unrest, population collapse, and dynastic change occurred in the cold phases of this period.”
That’s the “money quote” and it is exactly opposite of what the Burner Brownshirts have been telling us.

TDBraun

The document itself appears to be genuine and should be required reading for every scientist working on climate change issues, because it shows how far government organizations can jump to conclusions despite knowing so little about the subject.
As today, they had little respect for the complexity of the problem they were posing. They were unaware of what unknown and undiscovered factors were involved, and little appreciation for the poor quality of the data they were using. And yet from all this they came to “consensus” enough to begin work on a massive inter-agency “National Climate Plan”.

ferdberple

The systematic rewriting of history by Wikipedia and “The Team” at RC will leave the world ill prepared to deal with the dangers of a cooling climate. Crimes against humanity in the name of saving the planet.
The large drop in temperature from 1945 to 1975, at a time when human CO2 production was increasing rapidly post WWII was the problem. It didn’t fit the theory and needed to be erased from history. The Climategate emails and the adjustment vector in the source code show this was no accident.

DirkH

Well, Connolley’s paper states “Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s.” and he’s right. It wasn’t the kind of attention-seeking billion dollar business back then. Even its commercial attachments, solar and wind energy, were nice and cuddly research areas back then, not the subsidized monsters of today that devour entire nations.

Chris B

The paper states that Polar ice grew by 10-15% in the 60’s/70’s, among other things.

Don Keiller

Great stuff. Just love Connolley’s selective memory.
He is one one of the main reasons I instruct my students not to use Wikipedia.

Chris B

An interesting article posted a few days before Climategate I.
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/letter/
Perhaps this is a clue to the start of the hoax.

Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
I remember the global cooling hysteria from the 70s; my feeling is that the global warming… er…. “climate change” movement will look even sillier in just a few years.

mkelly

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/hansen-cheating-in-iceland/
From report about University of Wisconson:”Their analysis of the Icelandic temperature data, which they contend has historically been a bellwether for northern hemisphere climatic conditions, indicated that the world was returning to the type of climate which prevailed during the first part of the last century.”
LInk above shows how Hansen has been fiddling with the Icelandic temperature record. He is trying to do away with the temperature decline from ’40’s to mid 70’s.

gopal panicker
Milwaukee Bob

Not to worry. The Germans (and my fellow Badger alumni) will solve the problem by simply putting more of those proper gases into the atmosphere –
Global cooling rattles food chain
T wires: Friday, March 13, 2009
WASHINGTON — Changing eating patterns linked to global cooling are altering the food chain in Wisconsin and may lead to further increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The most basic food, bratwurst, is increasing north of the Illinois border reaching toward Canada, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.
At the same time, populations of indigenous Germans, which require a colder climate, have increased sharply in that region.
“We’re showing for the first time that there is an ongoing change of the brat concentration and composition along the land mass west of Lake Michigan that is associated with a long-term climate modification. These foodstuff changes may explain in part the observed increase of some Wisconsinite populations,” Marty Monte-Hogg, a marine scientist at Rutters University, said in a statement.
Andy Monhan, a polar expert at the NCAR in Boulder, Colo., said the report ties all the implications of global cooling together in a biological chain of events. “A direct cause-and-effect relationship of the team’s findings is still unproven, Monte-Hogg said, but it’s clear that the changes in brat, beer and human distribution do resemble a chain reaction.”
The change reflects shifting patterns of Germans, beer/brat availability and eating, the report said.
A separate report in the same edition of Science raises the possibility that new eating patterns could result in more outpouring of unfathomable gases in the region, which would include release of methane and stored carbon dioxide, potentially stabilizing global weather to the point of nonexistence.
“The faster the food chain turns over the higher volumes, the more out gassing will transpire, releasing ever higher amounts of CH4 and CO2 to the atmosphere,” said Bob Andersen, a geochemist at Colombia University’s Earth Observatory. “It’s this rate of overturning that regulates CO2 in the atmosphere.”
Information from the A. Press and a Chronicle was used in this report.

I love that last statement: “It’s this rate of overturning that regulates CO2 in the atmosphere.”
Wisconsin! Out if front – again!
(Do I need to say – /sarc?)

Midwest Mark

This was also covered by Time Magazine in 1974: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html
One of my favorite lines from the article was (paraphrasing) “Earth temperatures continue to fall and no one is doing anything about it!”

Jason

There was no consensus then, as there is no consensus now. There was just the same few shrill type voices who caught the ear of the media, and some politicians. It never caught fire though, because unlike today, there was no agenda or “grand plan” driving it.

John@EF

Peterson, Connolley, and John Fleck were/are exactly correct. There was no scientific consensus of global cooling in the 1970s – They documented that fact indisputably. This CIA report is based largely on understanding natural climate cycles. There is no consideration on anthropogenic impact on the climate, other than to muse “unless man can alter the climate”. From a macro view, the CIA is correctly engaged in trying to understand the impact of climate on national security and on international social factor and strain on social fabrics. Other than being somewhat interesting, there is no “selective memory” or “inconvenient truth” implication. It’s disappointing to read some of the reader comments. Where’s the critical thinking … the skepticism?

Kelvin Vaughan

Whilst reading this my subconscious sent up a flag. “Nightime temperatures are warming faster than daytime temperatutres.” There is something wrong with that statement. If there is x amount of heat applied during the day and the starting point in the morning is higher then the daytime temperature will be higher by the same amount.

Despite the CO2-doubling meme being mentioned, no gas of any kind can warm the surface. backradiation is not a factor, and the upper troposphere that is supposed to be heating the surface would have to be around 1500 deg C to heat the surface with the power they claim. In fact, that part of the atmosphere has not warmed as they say it has to, but it has been cooling aw well as drying in recent years.
The trick is that CO2 trapped in a vessel is not the same as CO2 in the atmosphere with all of its convection and lapse rate effects. It is laughable to think that a trace gas with all of its interactions with other gases would have the effect they claim. In the real world, it is more likely that CO2 and water vapor are a wash ding the day but, in effect, serve to cool the atmosphere during the night as they convert heat energy to IR which is then lost to space.
It’s gravity that determines the base temperature of a planet, the solar input that tops that up, and the ocean currents that distribute and mellow the changes.

Gail Combs

omnologos says:
May 25, 2012 at 3:17 am
If I may add…the unearthing of this CIA report is due to Yours Truly…..
____________________________
Thank You. Thank You.
I have used that CIA document as a “SHUT UP” more than once for the propagandists who are busy trying to hide the global cooling scare of the seventies.

John F. Hultquist

It is great to have this material found and presented in this manner. Much thanks to all the folks that are doing this work. I did much the same in the mid-1970s and provided context** to an interdisciplinary seminar at the local university.
_____
**North America is uniquely suited to adapt to climate changes of the type noted in the cooling/warming swings. Temperature varies in a north-to-south spatial pattern while moisture varies in an east-to-west pattern. Very generalized, of course. At that time the USSR was the West’s major rival (much in the news) and so, their frequent problems with growing wheat were reported in US & Canadian articles. While the centrally planned economy can take the blame for a lot of the problems, the differences in the bands of temp/precip were (and are still) a significant contribution. In North America these bands cross each other, in Asia they are more parallel. The point being that if cooling does occur North American agriculture will adapt more easily than many other places. Individual farms might need help to do this rapidly but in some cases it will be as simple as planting wheat rather than corn (or some other similar adjustment). Freedom, flexibility, and wealth are also major advantages found in Canada and the USA.

DirkH

John@EF says:
May 25, 2012 at 8:05 am
“Peterson, Connolley, and John Fleck were/are exactly correct. There was no scientific consensus of global cooling in the 1970s – They documented that fact indisputably. ”
As we disagree with your side on CO2-CAGW, we can then agree that there is no consensus now.
Now give back the funding and the solar/wind power subsidies and we’re even.
Oh.
I forget. We get the right to call the warmists mentally ill; like the warmists call us mentally ill.
Agreed?

cui bono

John@EF says (May 25, 2012 at 8:05 am) says….

The point is that many climate scientists in the 70s extrapolated the mid-century temperature decline and predicted doom. They were wrong. Whereas now many cli…. oh well, you get the gist.

Luther Wu

John@EF says:
May 25, 2012 at 8:05 am
Peterson, Connolley, and John Fleck were/are exactly correct. There was no scientific consensus of global cooling in the 1970s –
_______________
You missed the point of what Connelley, et al were saying.
Connelley and friends tried to make the whole “Global Cooling” discussion disappear, as if there had only been a few isolated instances of reports of cooling, when in fact, we were bombarded with scary stories.
Historical revision doesn’t work so well when enough people are still alive to remember what actually happened and can document the facts- regardless of the Stalinesque tactics to make them disappear.

Here’s an unrepentant prophet from the 1970’s
http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/next-ice-age/#more-782

I remember well most of this 70’s foolishness about cooling and the pending ice age. In those days I lived in western Labrador. We all thought the cold sayers were nuts and wimps too. Hum, about that we not think of the warmers. The question is a circle or a wave. Anyone want to fund this consultant to find out which?

To: John at EF 8:05 am
lighten up, man, we are just having fun at the expense of the warmistas.
Besides, I was out of college and teaching science in the ’70s, I remember it all… Just another “we are all going to hell in a handbasket” alarmism.

Re world food supply, the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) publishes data on food grains. See link.
Page WASDE – 506 – 8 shows world ending stocks (stored grains). The final column, Ending Stocks of 457.87 divided by Output of 2197.05 gives 0.208, or barely 20 percent.
Twenty percent of 12 months is 2.4 months; leading to the grim conclusion that, as citizens of the planet, we are in a world of hurt. We can ill afford one bad harvest, let alone multiple ones.
http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/latest.pdf

SteveSadlov

A serious cold period would greatly impact the inland areas of Eurasia, most particularly those nations which today make up the anti Western Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Not unlike what transpired from the 5th through 8th centuries, the loss of arable land and general stress of a colder and drier climate would make the peoples of those lands seek better places to live and grow crops. It would not be the sort of global bloc power play type of conflict envisaged during the latter half of the 20th century it would be more on par with the vast movements of Huns, Mongols and other similar peoples during the Age of Migrations. Except this time around, there are WMD. The CIA no doubt studied this aspect of things. I hope they still are doing so.

Speaking of alarms, lets look at a few: global warming, global cooling, the population bomb, the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the dooms day bomb, water pollution, air pollution, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, Nostradamus and 2000, 2012 and the Mayan calendar… come on guys, list the hundred I have left out. Where would the news media be without some “Life as we know it is ending.” story.
Lighten up, have some fun, for tomorrow we may die… or not.

richardscourtney

John@EF:
At May 25, 2012 at 8:05 am you assert:

Peterson, Connolley, and John Fleck were/are exactly correct. There was no scientific consensus of global cooling in the 1970s – They documented that fact indisputably.

Really? They did that?
I can understand how one could “document” a scientific consensus.
But I fail to understand how it is possible to “document” the absence of a scientific consensus unless one wants to claim that finding some documents which dispute the consensus is proof that the consensus does not exist.
And if you want to make that claim then the absence of a consensus on AGW is documented “indisputably” by the existence of WUWT.
Richard

Gail Combs

H.R. says:
May 25, 2012 at 4:48 am
I didn’t see where modern farm yields per area of cultivation are compared to the yields of the past though that may be somewhere in the studies that were referenced.
___________________________
You must not have read any of my comments for the last couple of years. Below is a quicky history of crop yield in the USA. We grow 25% of the world’s grain much of which is exported.

China, India, and the United States alone account for 46 percent of global grain production; Europe, including the former Soviet states, grows another 21 percent. Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), and the United States account for 80 percent of wheat exports, while just three nations— Argentina, the EU, and the United States— account for 80 percent of corn exports…
People consume a little less than half (48 percent) of the world’s grain directly—as steamed rice, bread, tortillas, or millet cakes, for instance.8 Roughly one third (35 percent) becomes livestock feed.9 And a growing share, 17 percent, is used to make ethanol and other fuels…..
Following several years of declining harvests, the world’s farmers reaped a record 2.316 billion tons of grain in 2007.1 (See Figure 1.) Despite this jump of 95 million tons, or about 4 percent, over the previous year, commodity analysts estimate that voracious global demand will consume all of this increase and prevent governments from replenishing cereal stocks that are at their lowest level in 30 years.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5539

So Mr Archibald’s concern is certainly a very valid one.
I would also like to point out that increase in crop yields from GMO crops is not really supported.

…The study carried out by the UK Soil Association, shatters industry myths that GE crops produce higher yields, reduce herbicide use and benefit the economy. Included in the report is the revelation that between 1999 and 2001, GE crops actually cost the US economy up to US $12 billion dollars…. http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/media_seedsofdoubt.asp

….Interesting then that a contributor to the FAO’s Forum, Professor El-Tayeb, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Industrial Biotechnology at Cairo University commented that: “..currently available (GMO’s) mostly contribute negatively to poverty alleviation and food security – and positively to the stock market.”
http://www.warmwell.com/gm.html

With that myth exploded we can then look at the crop yields per acre in the USA vs the advances in agriculture.

1819 – Secretary of Treasury instructed consuls to collect seeds, plants, and agricultural inventions…
1821 – Edmund Ruffin’s first Essay on Calcareous Manures
1830 – About 250-300 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail…
1849 – Mixed chemical fertilizers sold commercially….
1882 – Bordeau mixture (fungicide) discovered in France and soon used in the United States…
1900-10 – Turkey red wheat was becoming important as commercial crop
1900-20 – Extensive experimental work was carried out to breed disease-resistant varieties of plants, to improve plant yield and quality, and to increase the productivity of farm animal strains
1930’s – All-purpose, rubber-tired tractor with complementary machinery came into wide use…
1930 – 15-20 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with 3-bottom gang plow, tractor, 10-foot tandem disk, harrow, 12-foot combine, and trucks…
1965 – 5 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (3 1/3 acres) of wheat with tractor, 12-foot plow, 14-foot drill, 14-foot self-propelled combine, and trucks…
1975 – 3-3/4 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (3 acres) of wheat with tractor, 30-foot sweep disk, 27-foot drill, 22-foot self-propelled combine, and trucks….
1987 – 3 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (3 acres) of wheat with tractor, 35-foot sweep disk, 30-foot drill, 25-foot self-propelled combine, and trucks….
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm1.htm and http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm5.htm

One Study shows wheat fields suck CO2 down to ~300 ppm at 2 meters above the field. Wheat is a C3 plant and does not have the increased and more efficient net photosynthesis of C4 plants.

The CO2 concentration at 2 m above the crop was found to be fairly constant during the daylight hours on single days or from day-to-day throughout the growing season ranging from about 310 to 320 p.p.m. Nocturnal values were more variable and were between 10 and 200 p.p.m. higher than the daytime values. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002157173900034

Graph of CO2 from Mauna Loa 1958 to 2005: http://www.mongabay.com/images/2006/graphs/co2_mauna_loa.jpg
From that graph and the US census data showing the export of US manufacturing starting in 1970 one could make a case that the increased crop yield is at least in part due to the increase in CO2 from levels of about 315 ppm in 1958. and the leveling off since 1975 is due to the export of CO2 producing industries.
Think I can get a grant for my study? (snicker)

I have finished my tables with the 45th weather station
http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here
and conclude
\
since 1994/1995 earth is in a global cooling state,
now aproximating 0.1 to 0.2 degrees C or K per annum
I cannot yet say how long the cooling is going to last
– give me some more time and we will figure that one out too –