Claim: U.S. corn yields are increasingly vulnerable to hot, dry weather – Data: corn yield trend positive

While a recent report tells us current droughts in the western USA hardly make the top ten, we have this from Stanford University, a claim about drought related crop insurance claims that doesn’t seem to match data on national yields and trend. While the 2012 drought had an impact, 2013 saw the third highest corn yield on record.

USDA_corn_yield

Data: http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/90C69DEC-38D6-31B4-9953-4C6EB5E82D79?pivot=short_desc

U.S. corn yields are growing more sensitive to heat and drought, according to research by environmental scientist David Lobell. Farmers are faced with difficult tradeoffs in adapting to a changing climate in which unfavorable weather will become more common.

By Laura Seaman (Stanford writer)

Research by David Lobell of Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment indicates corn harvests will be affected by drought conditions, which are occurring more often. 

Corn yields in the central United States have become more sensitive to drought conditions in the past two decades, according to Stanford research. 

The study, which appears in the journal Science, was led by Stanford’s David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. “The Corn Belt is phenomenally productive,” Lobell said, referring to the region of Midwestern states where much of the country’s corn is grown. “But in the past two decades we saw very small yield gains in non-irrigated corn under the hottest conditions. This suggests farmers may be pushing the limits of what’s possible under these conditions.”

He predicted that at current levels of temperature sensitivity, crops could lose 15 percent of their yield within 50 years, or as much as 30 percent if crops continue the trend of becoming more sensitive over time.

As Lobell explained, the quest to maximize crop yields has been a driving force behind agricultural research as the world’s population grows and climate change puts pressure on global food production. One big challenge for climate science is whether crops can adapt to climate change by becoming less sensitive to hotter and drier weather.

“The data clearly indicate that drought stress for corn and soy comes partly from low rain, but even more so from hot and dry air. Plants have to trade water to get carbon from the air to grow, and the terms of that trade become much less favorable when it’s hot,” said Lobell, also the lead author for a chapter in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, which details a consensus view on the current state and fate of the world’s climate.

Rain, temperature, humidity

The United States produces 40 percent of the world’s corn, mostly in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. As more than 80 percent of U.S. agricultural land relies on natural rainfall rather than irrigation, corn farmers in these regions depend on precipitation, air temperature and humidity for optimal plant growth.

According to the research, over the last few decades, corn in the United States has been modified with new traits, like more effective roots that better access water and built-in pest resistance to protect against soil insects. These traits allow farmers to plant seeds closer together in a field, and have helped farmers steadily raise yields in typical years.

But in drought conditions, densely planted corn can suffer higher stress and produce lower yields. In contrast, soybeans have not been planted more densely in recent decades and show no signs of increased sensitivity to drought, the report noted.

Drought conditions are expected to become even more challenging as temperatures continue to rise throughout the 21st century, the researchers said.

Lobell said, “Recent yield progress is overall a good news story. But because farm yields are improving fastest in favorable weather, the stakes for having such weather are rising. In other words, the negative impacts of hot and dry weather are rising at the same time that climate change is expected to bring more such weather.”

Extensive data

Lobell’s team examined an unprecedented amount of detailed field data from more than 1 million USDA crop insurance records between 1995 and 2012.

“The idea was pretty simple,” he said. “We determined which conditions really matter for corn and soy yields, and then tracked how farmers were doing at different levels of these conditions over time. But to do that well, you really need a lot of data, and this dataset was a beauty.”

Lobell said he hopes that the research can help inform researchers and policymakers so they can make better decisions.

“I think it’s exciting that data like this now exist to see what’s actually happening in fields. By taking advantage of this data, we can learn a lot fairly quickly,” he said. “Of course, our hope is to improve the situation. But these results challenge the idea that U.S. agriculture will just easily adapt to climate changes because we invest a lot and are really high-tech.”

Lobell and colleagues are also looking at ways crops may perform better under increasingly hot conditions. “But I wouldn’t expect any miracles,” he said. “It will take targeted efforts, and even then gains could be modest. There’s only so much a plant can do when it is hot and dry.”

Laura Seaman is the communications and external relations manager for Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, a joint program of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

For more Stanford experts on climate change and other topics, visit Stanford Experts.

-30-

This graph suggests to me that U.S. corn is far more tolerant of drought now than it was in the dustbowl years:

CornYieldTrend_US[1]

 

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Box of Rocks

Well duh.
Hot weather does effect corn yields. And wheat, barley and milo….
The million $ question is as the clilmate changes does where we grow corn change?

Speed

But how much higher would the yield have been without Global Warming?

Speed

Lobell’s team examined an unprecedented amount of detailed field data from more than 1 million USDA crop insurance records between 1995 and 2012.
There’s that word again. Unprecedented.

Raymond

This isn’t garbage research but forget about AG “Climate Change”, Corn production is going to suffer in the US as the Ogallala Aquafer is pumped down and/or if we get hit by one of the severe droughts Anthony wrote about a couple of days ago.

William Abbott

What nonsense! FRAUD! Anthony your graph at the bottom is eloquent refutation of Stanford’s Center on Food Security’s deceit. Lobell says, “there is only so much a plant can do when it is hot and dry.” Your graph say, “Corn plants can do quite a lot” Looks to me like corn yields have been doubling every thirty to forty years. Talk about miracles.

Mike Borch

I am a corn and soybean farmer from northern iowa. Technology in agriculture is expanding at a very rapid rate. The ability of the plant breeders to produce new and varied corn hybrids is remarkable. The goal is to DOUBLE the yields by 2050. I think there is an excellent chance that will happen if not before. The biggest threat we face is that government will get in our way!

Now that yield curve was a hockey stick if i ever saw one! Some of the increasing yields are due to the increase in CO2 levels, making photosynthesis more efficient. Did they take that into account?
http://lenbilen.com/2014/02/22/co2-the-life-giving-gas-not-carbon-pollution-a-limerick-and-explanation/

We, I, see the 2012 drop in yield and stipulate the drought correlation. Did I miss the drought as exclusive and sufficient cause for the drop in yield? Farmers do not farm on a level economic ground that may also cause the 2012 drop in yield.

The next step is for the EPA to restrict irrigation claiming some invented reason related to CO2 and climate change. Then the claim will be stated with authority that agricultural yield is being restricted by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Kirk c

This certainly has a lot of Spin added. Another way to look at this data is that corn yields have increased on average for the last 60 years by about 2 bu/ac every single year – thanks to genetics and crop technology. One must also assume this progress has to “max out” one day. I can cherry pick from the graph and conclude that since the mid 90’s, the average yield has in fact “peaked”and held steady at 140 bu/ac +/- 15% . That’s pretty reliable production over the last 20 years. Weather will always play a role in that 15% variation.

“The United States produces 40 percent of the world’s corn, mostly in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. As more than 80 percent of U.S. agricultural land relies on natural rainfall rather than irrigation, corn farmers in these regions depend on precipitation, air temperature and humidity for optimal plant growth”
That could be a problem, as the drought seasons come nearer.
As the temperature differential between the poles and equator grows larger due to the cooling from the top,
http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/rss/from:1987/to:2015/plot/rss/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1987/to:2015/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2015/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1987/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:1987/to:2002/trend
very likely something will also change on earth. Predictably, there would be a small (?) shift of cloud formation and precipitation, more towards the equator, on average. At the equator insolation is 684 W/m2 whereas on average it is 342 W/m2. So, if there are more clouds in and around the equator, this will amplify the cooling effect due to less direct natural insolation of earth (clouds deflect a lot of radiation). Furthermore, in a cooling world there is more likely less moisture in the air, but even assuming equal amounts of water vapour available in the air, a lesser amount of clouds and precipitation will be available for spreading to higher latitudes. So, a natural consequence of global cooling is that at the higher latitudes it will become cooler and/or drier.
Better to move south when the droughts start kicking in.

Old Huemul

Corn is a C4 plant. As such, it economizes water under higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. If the crop was already grown in relatively dry environments such as Mexico or the US Southwest, this also leads to increased photosynthesis. Under the more humid environment of the corn belt, increased CO2 would lead to small increases in photosynthesis, but large reduction in water requirement. Besides, of course, if the normal climate (as opposed to transient droughts) turns to be warmer (say, 2°C hotter), there are plenty of corn varieties currently grown in warmer climates (e.g. Argentina or Brazil) that could be adopted instead. That is only counting on existing varieties, not considering future plant breeding in the US, or development of new genetically modified varieties that are more resistant to heat and drought. The above is a delicate way of saying that the Lobell study is little more than BS.

Latitude

Old Huemul says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:16 am
Corn is a C4 plant
====
That should have been the first post……

Pamela Gray

Hot and dry? I thought the meme was hot and humid under anthropogenic climate warming. If the growing season air is getting hotter and dryer we likely are having an oceanic issue, IE oscillation, not an anthropogenic driven increased water vapor issue. Hot and dry summers usually mean cold winters caused by the double whammy of oceanic and atmospheric weather pattern oscillations. Let’s see now…did we have a cold winter in the corn belt area?
To these trough slopping, money trolling researchers I say lier lier pants on fire.

starzmom

In this article, the author suggests that a big factor in increasing yields is that new varieties of corn can be planted closer together, so there are more plants per acre. It is not a stretch to see that more plants per acre require more water per acre for the same productivity per plant. If so, even normal rainfall could be inadequate for the new crop density. Perhaps this is less a drought problem and more a crop management problem.
That said, in my work on western water law and irrigation, it became obvious to me that farmers were planting corn in marginally suitable areas, and depending on irrigation to tide them through the hot, dry days. When there were more hot, dry days than planned for, and available or allowable water use limited, crops failed. Farmers’ decisions are driven by lots of considerations, and one of those is the price of the product. As the corn prices have gone up, use of marginal areas for planting corn has also gone up. For the farmers, crop insurance lessens the risk that a bad crop management decision will have catastrophic financial impacts.
It seems to me the issues are more related to crop management practices (and its cousin, financial management) and the risks assumed (or not) by individual farmers. Reintroducing the financial risks might encourage farmers to go back to crops suitable for dry land farming in places not suitable for a water intensive crop such as corn.

Uploading daily weather forecast maps out to 2019, upload run is up to around end of November 2014 at this time. Free access to temperature and rainfall contour maps, ad free site, just the maps, and an explanation of how it works. Currently loading about three months of new maps per day, I have viewers that have made upwards of $750,000.00 playing in the futures markets. Not what I intended, it was for the use by the original producers that was my original intent.

Henry Galt

Assumption #1 – the public are as lazy/stupid as I, the ‘journalist’, am and will do no research to verify this hit-piece.
Assumption #2 – see assumption #1

“Some of the increasing yields are due to the increase in CO2 levels, making photosynthesis more efficient. Did they take that into account?”
C02 is a trace gas. It cant warm the earth or make plants grow.

Coach Springer

My goodness, Stanford has just demonstrated that corn crops prove that the Earth is getting less and hot and dry.

Rud Istvan

Lowell’s whole academic reputation is centered in this false thesis, developed by dubious data mining techniques. All his research grants are to support this spurious alarmism. Wrote about it in Gaias Limits.
As noted above, maize is a C4 which economies water with increased CO2. Second, corn does fine up to about 40C provided there is sufficient water for transpiration. Only the combination of hot and dry reduces yields, but over 80 percent of the effect (based on CYMMT field trials in Africa) is during anthesis (tasseling), a period that lasts 2-3 weeks. Not even the IPCC can find a connection between regional drought and CAGW, let alone on such brief time scales.For the US, there is a regional drought connection to various phases of the PDO and AMO and ENSO, reseach published a decade ago by USGS. That is the 2014 Kansas winter wheat problem. Finally, CYMMT for Africa and Monsanto for the US (in part because of the depleting Ogallalla) have been developing drought tolerant strains. The newest US hybrid in field tests 2012 did about 6% better yield under moderate drought conditions ( simulated by controlling center pivot irrigation) than the previous best. Due for market release this planting season. CYMMT strain improvements for Africa have already succeeded in improving yields about 40 percent in a region (centered on Kenya) where the ‘long rain’ (MAM) is too short to ever be optimal since maise takes 4-5 months to mature.

mkelly

non-irrigated corn under the hottest conditions.
So if you don’t water your crops they will not grow well. Who’d a think it.

Latitude

You just can’t win…..
=====
2013 saw the third highest corn yield on record.
=====
May 07, 2013 11:30
Rain is too much of a good thing for region’s farmers after last year’s drought
But now, after weeks of above-average rain, much of the nation’s corn belt is a muddy mess, leaving farmers frustrated and planting weeks behind schedule, potentially cutting into this year’s expected record crop.
http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/rain-is-too-much-of-a-good-thing-for-region/article_0ea4d64a-16bb-56a8-8686-746f5acc6eac.html

If this is true, we had better stop using corn for fuel right away, more fracking.

chris y

lenbilen says on May 3, 2014 at 5:51 am
“Now that yield curve was a hockey stick if i ever saw one!”
Great point!
I think this is a perfect Mannian proxy for global temperature. Even though it samples less than 0.5% of the globe’s surface area, it *must* be tele-connected with global temperatures. Throw in a dash of stationarity (absent global warming, assume that corn production would have been flat), a smidgen of hockey stick data processing that extracts this proxy from the swamp of traditional Mannian proxies (aka ‘noise’), and voila! The next SPM cover photo for AR6 emerges. Why, even the inflection point coincides with the IPCC’s canonical 1950’s decade when mankind took control of the climate.
What’s not to like?

JP

Almost all of the corn and bean farmers in my neck of the woods (Northern Indiana) irrigate – or at the very least having irrigation pumps and lines in place. This allows the farmers to water their fields when it counts the most. Yes, in drought conditions like we saw a few years ago, these systems were working overtime. However, they were not built for drought, but normal conditions. If Mother Nature fails to come through at the right time, the farmers can do it themselves.
The larger industrial farms in my area possess huge grain silos. One farm built 3 250,000 bushel silos and a fourth is being built. These silos are full. The warmer weather of the last 35 years have in no way detracted from yields – quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, the demand for corn products has created a real estate bubble in farm lands. You wouldn’t believe what an acre of farm land sells for. Outside of Energy, Big Ag and its attendant industries are going through a Golden Age of sorts (new tractors, combines, infrastructure upgrades, and very, very good incomes).

MattS

“Claim: U.S. corn yields are increasingly vulnerable to hot, dry weather”
There is some truth to this despite the growth in corn yields, although climate change doesn’t have much to do with it.
Corn is one of the most water intensive agricultural crops, yet it is increasingly being grown in dry areas where it’s cultivation is entirely dependent on artificial irrigation.

Nancy C

Mosher:
“C02 is a trace gas. It cant warm the earth or make plants grow.”
Maybe you’re right, and if anyone were to believe .04% is too small a percentage of the atmosphere to do one thing, they should also believe it’s too small a percentage to do ANY thing.
But I know YOU don’t believe the first thing, so what are you saying about the second thing? Are you agreeing with the comment you replied to, that extra CO2 should help crop yields, or are you disagreeing with it? I have to assume you’re completely agreeing with it…if not then there might be something wrong with your assumption that the 2 things (ability to warm atmosphere/ability to make plants grow) are necessarily equivalent and their truth or falsehood can’t be evaluated independently, but instead must be fully accepted or fully rejected as a package.
Regardless, I think very few people here believe the first thing, so I think whatever “point” you were trying to make will largely fall on deaf ears.

Brad

How much of that 40% is grown for ethanol? And what % of the ethanol crop is not artificially irrigated?
Shut down the ethanol production and what % of that crop acreage could be feasibly shifted to food production to reduce the number of people dying from malnutrition every year?

Steven Mosher says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am
—————————————-
Really? Have you ever tried to grow a plant without CO2 in the air?

Steven Mosher says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am
—————————————-
My dear Mr. Mosher, please excuse my flippancy. Carbon ditaxable is essential for the growth of plants and bureaucracies, but seems to have no effect on the warmth of the earth.

Mushroom George

Increasing CO2 increases plant growth and decreases water use dramatically. Rarely mentioned is that it also increases the ideal growth temperature which even further increases growth. Indoor gardeners that use CO2 supplementation and high intensity lights know this. We are always battling with excess heat from the lights. For my favorite plants (a C3), with CO2 at 1,400 ppm, ideal growth temperature moves from about 85F to about 90F.

A. Scott
John G.

If global warming is really happening and a threat to corn growing in the south it will also be a boon to corn growing in the north. The corn belt will move north and judging by the land configuration probably increase the amount of land in it. It won’t take a government program to fix, farmers will plant corn in the corn belt because that’s where they can make a profit at it, that is, unless the government gets involved and pays them to continue growing corn where it won’t grow anymore. If the government doesn’t intervene GW will most likely increase the harvest. There is no problem except the possibility of government solutions.

Quinn the Eskimo

Stephen Mosher – I thought you should know someone has hijacked your account and is posting bozo comments on WUWT.
Your pal,

Jimbo

Around 40% of the U.S. corn crop is used to produce ethanol. IF the study is right then we should divert production away from corn to fuel? No? Of course they won’t.
http://www.aei.org/article/energy-and-the-environment/alternative-energy/production-of-corn-ethanol-as-an-automotive-fuel-source-should-cease/

Garacka

Just wondering how they control for factors unique to the non-irrigated land. To what extent has this been marginal or intermittent land, that is now in production because corn price increases are making the economics favorable? To what extent is the land not irrigated because of individual farm economics?

Jimbo

Steven Mosher says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am
“Some of the increasing yields are due to the increase in CO2 levels, making photosynthesis more efficient. Did they take that into account?”
C02 is a trace gas. It cant warm the earth or make plants grow.

You maybe right since Warmists call co2 a toxin. By the way co2 can warm the Earth just like water vapour and CFCs.

Peter Azlac

Mike Borch says:
May 3, 2014 at 5:51 am
“I am a corn and soybean farmer from northern iowa. Technology in agriculture is expanding at a very rapid rate. The ability of the plant breeders to produce new and varied corn hybrids is remarkable. The goal is to DOUBLE the yields by 2050. I think there is an excellent chance that will happen if not before. The biggest threat we face is that government will get in our way!”
Yes and if we look at the current World record held by a farmer from Iowa that is achievable:
Childs (Iowa) sets new world record for 394 bushel of corn per acre
http://www.hpj.com/archives/2000/0224tocorntxtHTM.cfm
In any case does the optimum growth latitude for grains not move 170 degrees North for every 1 C increase in temperature. That being so, if we accept the alarmist predictions there will be plenty of land and water from melting glaciers in Greenland to compensate any reduced yield as well as a major potential to improve yields in Africa to the current US level – provided the Greens do not succeed in denying those farmers the fuel, hybrid seeds and agricultural chemicals to do.

I live in Northern Illinois. We get changes in the weather here all the time! Now, as I listened to the farm reports a couple of years ago they were in trouble because we weren’t getting the rains we needed. Last year was good, though, just like you said. This year we’ve had snow cover and rain, so if anything the farmers have had to delay planting because the ground wouldn’t support the equipment. If the trend for this year keeps up as it has, I think we might have another good year.
If anything, the ongoing chatter about “Frankenfood” may hurt farmers. Most corn and soybean seems to be a Monsanto product, and the do-gooders are telling us every chance they get that genetically-engineered foods are no good for you and that you should go to the organic stores and buy food at three times the price of what you get in the supermarket.

Jimbo

Research by David Lobell of Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment indicates corn harvests will be affected by drought conditions, which are occurring more often.

And why is that?

IPCC
6.6.5.5 The Record of Hydrologic Variability and Change in the Americas
Multiple proxies, including tree rings, sediments, historical documents and lake sediment records make it clear that the past 2 kyr included periods with more frequent, longer and/or geographically more extensive droughts in North America than during the 20th century (Stahle and Cleaveland, 1992; Stahle et al., 1998; Woodhouse and Overpeck, 1998; Forman et al., 2001; Cook et al., 2004b; Hodell et al., 2005; MacDonald and Case, 2005). Past droughts, including decadal-length ‘megadroughts
Thus, the palaeoclimatic record suggests that multi-year, decadal and even centennial-scale drier periods are likely to remain a feature of future North American climate, particularly in the area west of the Mississippi River.
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6-5-5.html

Alan Robertson

Steven Mosher says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am
C02 is a trace gas. It cant warm the earth or make plants grow.
___________________
Did you forget your sarc tag?

A. Scott

Brad says: May 3, 2014 at 7:48 am How much of that 40% is grown for ethanol? And what % of the ethanol crop is not artificially irrigated? Shut down the ethanol production and what % of that crop acreage could be feasibly shifted to food production to reduce the number of people dying from malnutrition every year?

In 2013 87.2 million acres were planted in corn, with 13.99 billion bushels produced – for an average 160/bu per acre yield. There were 4.9 billion bushels dedicated to ethanol production, or 35%.
However, each of those bushels, weighing 56 pounds, used for ethanol produced 2.8 gals of ethanol AND 17.5 pounds of distillers dried grain animal feed. DDG are a high quality animal feed that replaces a large share of the corn used to produce ethanol. Because of the superior feed value each pound of DDG replaces appx 1.3 pounds of feed corn.
The 17.5 pounds of DDG replace appx 23 pounds of corn. Appx 41% of each bushel of corn used for ethanol is returned as DDG feed – meaning that instead of 4.9 billion bushels, the ACTUAL NET corn after the DDG feed replacement is appx 2.9 billion bushels. Instead of 35% of the corn crop being used to produce ethanol – the NET actual corn used after return of DDG feed is only appx 20.7%
The claim that corn dedicated to ethanol is taking land away from food production is false. The US is the worlds largest corn supplier – producing over 40% of the world corn crop. It is also the worlds corn supplier – providing more than 60% of world corn imports for many years. Even in the drought year of 2012 the US still exported more corn than every other major corn supplier combined.
The US meets 100% of the domestic demand, for feed, fuel, and food. They also provided 100% of the export demand, including for feed corn AND for white corn – which is what Mexico, Guatemala and all those other places eat. These countries import US white corn because it costs LESS, not more as claimed – and it helps LOWER food costs for these importing countries. It also allow s their farmers to grow more valuable crops for export.

Grant

It seems to me that many of these ‘studies’ don’t show alarming things that have happened, only what might happen. Yahoo news runs an article every day about the terrible things that might happen if the alarmist computer models come true.
Every indication I see is that the models are hopelessly wrong.
That said, I certainly think we should have a long term energy plan to lessen CO2 output over the next hundred years and that plan should be mostly nuclear. There is risk to adding CO2 to the atmosphere indefinitely. Problem is that no one knows so we should have a rational discussion and then a plan. Nuclear power seems to be a great compromise, but many of the most vocal proponents of AGW seem quite unwilling to compromise, even if it hurts those they say they want to protect.
We are unfortunately dealing with many zealots who seem unable to rationally discuss solutions.

A. Scott

Plenty of corn is grown in Arizona – where temps are regularly 110+ … and where they see yields above 200 bushels per acre. Corn in AZ is irrigated, but shows these claims that heat affects corn yield are outright ridiculous. IF temps increase enough in the Midwest the same seed as used in AZ could be used there – and get similar yields. IF that occurred we would also see a major expansion into Canada In such event production would increase.

John F. Hultquist

Corn being the topic, I have to go off-topic to mention a May 1 WSJ article titled “Sizing Up Wheat in Parched Midwest Fields” by Tony C. Dreibus.
File it under weather is not climate.
_________________
R Taylor says:
May 3, 2014 at 7:50 am
Steven Mosher says:
May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am

Steven Mosher reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield – the I don’t get no respect comedian. The one liners, such as today’s CO2 comment, are the on-stage meant to be laughed at spurts of silliness. It is reported that off-stage Dangerfield was gentlemanly and intelligent and resented being seen as obnoxious. When Mr. Mosher provides a thoughtful data-driven comment he, also, is worth listening to and deserving of respect.

u.k.(us)

Who knew Mosher had a sense of humor ?

richard

Mr Mosher don’t tell any greenhouse growers otherwise you will put this company out of business.
http://www.johnsongas.com/industrial/CO2Gen.asp
“The Johnson CO2 Generator automatically provides the carbon dioxide to meet maximum growing potentials – and operates for only pennies a day”

Philip Marsh

Nancy C says:
May 3, 2014 at 7:47 am
Mosher:
“C02 is a trace gas. It cant warm the earth or make plants grow.”
Maybe you’re right, and if anyone were to believe .04% is too small a percentage of the atmosphere to do one thing, they should also believe it’s too small a percentage to do ANY thing.
While 0.04% is less than one part per thousand in the atmosphere, it cant have much of an effect on the total atmosphere. However, compared to the baseline of 275 ppm it represents a 45% increase in fertilizer delivered to the plants. This surely has some effect.

usurbrain

Then why are we burning coal in our gas tank. Especially when we have 500 – 1000 years of Coal, oil, NatGas?

Greg

The final graph looks quite like the rise in global atmospheric CO2 above a base line requirement of about 200ppmv.
Since anything that increases in a way roughly similar to CO2 is deemed to be caused by CO2, why go any further. It’s “robustly” proven that current corn production is “unprecedented”.
If this trend continues the whole of surface of the lower 48 will be infested with corn by 2100.
We must act now. to reduce atm CO2 before it’s too late.