Climate and Food – Evidence Free Posturing

us grain yields and temperature

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

If there is one area of climate prediction which demonstrates how disconnected from evidence climate science has become, it is increasingly tattered predictions that climate might cause food shortages.

How Food Prices Will Be Affected by Climate Change, an Interview with Dr. Brian Gould

According to a 2015 report from the World Food Programme (WFP), climate change presents risks to the whole food system, from production, through distribution to consumption. Since the U.S. produces 40 percent of the world’s corn, production shocks in the U.S. impact global prices. The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) reinforces that climate change is happening, yet uncertainties remain over the direction and magnitude of some changes. It is only a matter of time before food prices are discernibly affected. This impact could be a hardship for consumers.

According to Dr. Brian Gould, a professor in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, “It is hard to say how climate change will affect food prices. In the short term, weather patterns will impact supply. Long term, it really depends on the extent of the changes.However, increased drought risk will affect the stability and prices of food.”

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that consumer spending on already prepared food outside of the house, proportional to income, has increased to more than 50 percent as a share of total food expenditure. In 1929, that portion constituted only 13.4 percent of the average U.S. household’s food budget. According to the USDA, this separation can be partly attributed to an increase in food service establishments, busier lifestyles, and more dual income households.

Gould further stated that “consumers spend less and less on food as a share of their total income. At the same time, consumers are increasing expenditure on food-away-from-home. As food prices go up, something has to give. One way to save money on food costs will be to go back to nonprepared [at home] food. Consumers will need to substitute the value and convenience of food-away-from-home with time spent preparing food at home. This is something that individual households can do.”

Read more:

What a non-crisis. If I’ve understood correctly, the crisis is that take-out food is getting more expensive, while food prepared at home is getting cheaper. Some people might have to learn how to pack sandwiches, like their parents did. And maybe one day climate will impact food production.

Back in the real world, food production is soaring, carbon fertilisation is real, and warm tropical climates are amongst the most productive food regions in the world – so any global warming will almost certainly cause food production to increase even further.

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December 14, 2016 8:58 pm

The orthodox narrative is that there is to be a crisis in nearly everything because of climate change, so the orthodox will predict one, regardless of what has actually happened. I will usually be “it just hasn’t happened yet, just you wait”.
So food production being up by about 100% per unit farmed cannot contradict the narrative.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 14, 2016 9:44 pm

Your post responds to this Professor and his warning of all the dire price increases and the ensuing consequences that May, Might, Could Be, resulting due to our Global Warming future.
Straight above your entry within ‘Related Posts’ is …UK Researchers… Tax Food To Reduce Global Warming…
I am convinced Alarmists need a theme Song to sum up their AGW attitude and An Aussie Band, Supernaut, back in the 1976 had a cult hit with their very deliberate and very suggestive song. Its Title….
I Like It Both Ways…I Like It Both Ways.

Winnipeg boy
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 15, 2016 11:23 am

Economists have predicted 17 of the last 2 recessions.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Winnipeg boy
December 15, 2016 12:23 pm

President Truman allegedly wanted only one-armed economists, so they couldn’t say “…on the other hand”.
Funny how bookies are considered criminals, but economists, climate scientists, pollsters, talking head on TV and pundits are all considered respectable. Sorry, there aren’t large enough quotes to go around that last word there to make it appear like the 100 megatons of sarcasm it needs.

December 14, 2016 9:03 pm

Is it true the “plants grow from CO2 and turn it into oxygen for us to breath” is no longer taught in grade school science because it contradicts the CO2 is a pollutant claim?

Eric Simpson
Reply to  markl
December 14, 2016 9:43 pm

I saw a bothersome video of a TED talk of of a self-important 22 year old who “got stuck in a storm” when he was 10 and so became a climate evangelist and as a kid “helped devise the climate change curriculum for UK schools.” It shows how absolutely horrendous it is that the climate nuts have taken over the school systems. That MUST be reversed. And we need re-education for the previously brain-washed.
Further, the kid says in the talk that “I no longer think we should teach the science behind climate change” because we should just say, paraphrased: “all the storms of the world are caused by climate change and not give any science to back that claim up because science confuses people.” A joke. Really irritating to. Here’s the video, and below that I’ll put the comment I left at the youtube site:

My comment at the site: It’s so cool to see a kid that as a 10 years old oracle devised the climate change curriculum for the UK schools. But the kid says “science is not important.” Well, according to the science those storms like Sandy had nothing to do with climate change. “Climate change” is becoming a leftist religion where science itself is being tossed aside. Why do ZERO of the TED talks include climate SKEPTICS? There were 73 climate change related Ted talks in a list, and ALL were alarmist. Some balance please.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 15, 2016 1:27 am

Do they even get the basics of climate any more? Like what causes the winds? The layers of the atmosphere? The tilt of the planet as it orbits the sun causing the seasons? Seriously, I’ve talked with alarmists who think both poles can melt at the same time. The ignorance is staggering.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 15, 2016 6:20 am

Oh, it could be worse. Much worse. Here in Ontario, Canada our GOVERNMENT has ads on TV with children lambasting adults for destroying “their” planet. Seriously.
Its a cult. Period.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 15, 2016 10:44 am

I’m positive he doesn’t want to make it a science discussion because he’s completely uneducated in science. Don’t worry about the science. “Just believe me”. I feel like I need to rip a few puppies in half after watching this.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 15, 2016 11:33 am

A topsy turvy world where the younger they are the more wisdom they profess. It has been my long experience that youth are fast to take an ideological stand and parrot supporting arguments – not very subtle thinkers. I have to agree however that climate change is having an exponential negative effect on our lives and one that could threaten us all. It is not changes in temperature and weather, it is changes in policies that are leading to a world where politics trumps science, energy supply becomes more intermittent and expensive and a third of the worlds population are slated for green enforced poverty.

Reply to  markl
December 15, 2016 1:13 pm

Here we go again. O2 is produced from H2O during the light dependent phase of photosynthesis.comment image
See the bent arrow? It says H2O —> ½O2 + 2H+

Reply to  urederra
December 15, 2016 1:29 pm

Fair enough. Then answer me this: How much O2 do plants create from H2O if there is no CO2 available? Put another way, suppose you reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration 50%. How much less Oxygen will be produced by plants?

Reply to  urederra
December 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Plants can’t make sugar, hence can’t live, without CO2, so they die and quit splitting water atoms into H ions and O2 molecules if CO2 gets too low.

Reply to  urederra
December 15, 2016 5:45 pm

Sorry if I sounded blunt, but I see that mistake repeated over and over.
Plants require both CO2 and H2O to make sugar. The way I see the process require 2 steps, First, production of reducing power. For this step, the plant takes water, keeps the hydrogens (in the form of NADPH2) and discards the oxygen, as O2. The plant needs energy to split the water molecule so it uses solar radiation.
In the second step, the plant takes CO2 and the reducing power (the hydrogens stored as NADPH2) and makes sugar.

Reply to  urederra
December 16, 2016 9:12 am

“Sorry if I sounded blunt, but I see that mistake repeated over and over.
Plants require both CO2 and H2O to make sugar. The way I see the process require 2 steps, First, production of reducing power. For this step, the plant takes water, keeps the hydrogens (in the form of NADPH2) and discards the oxygen, as O2. The plant needs energy to split the water molecule so it uses solar radiation.
In the second step, the plant takes CO2 and the reducing power (the hydrogens stored as NADPH2) and makes sugar.”
Beautify diagram, and an interesting point about the second chemical process – although I’d hesitate myself to call it a second step only because both steps would have to happen simultaneously. A good point about H20 being a source of the O2.
However it has a math error. And a basic knowledge of the chemical equation balancing points it out. That is the whole basic equation is something like 6 H2O+6 CO2 -> 6 O2+ 1 C6H12O6….
Now, to get the 12 H in the C6H12O6, it takes 6 H2O which would give us 6 O – or 3 O2 of the final equation. That leaves 12 O (the whole equation on the left and right has 18 O atoms). Or we could see it doing the other source, we need 6 carbons, which leaves us with 12 O, and that means only 6 of them make it into the 6 ring sugar (assume glucose, but it could be several other with that formula). Anyhow, the other 6 O atoms have to go somewhere and that somewhere would be into O2 molecules (3 of them).
Which gets to that plants create some oxygen from the CO2 (along with sugar). Pausing for a moment on activation energies, it makes a lot more sense to liberate the both H from the H2O and bond the O2 and only 1 O from the CO2. The cost of breaking the H-O bond is lower than the C=O bond (459KJ/mole v 799 KJ/mole). Nature likes to find the most efficient way of doing things, but it also must still balance the chemical equations.

December 14, 2016 9:03 pm

It is a bit more complicated, and surely more complex than just the US (most advanced ag in the world). See the extensive food chapter of my early 2012 ebook Gaia’s Limits for hundreds of pages of boring details. Carbon fertilization is hardly the only big ag issue.

richard verney
Reply to  ristvan
December 14, 2016 9:12 pm

Perhaps, but surely the worst case scenario, from a global perspective, is that there is simply some crop migration, perhaps favouring Canada and Siberia becoming the wheat belt etc of the Northern Hemisphere.
Given that we know that the world thrived in the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods thrived there does not appear to be any obvious problems with the sort of warming that we are seeing.

Reply to  richard verney
December 14, 2016 10:39 pm

Those two wheat belts (Canada and Siberia) teeter on the edge of disaster as the earth continues to cool. We can’t count on them for base production.

Ex-expat Colin
Reply to  richard verney
December 15, 2016 2:13 am

I’ve seen a couple of pieces on Putin handing out free chunks of land in Russia. Some of it may have been on offer to foreigners…can’t quite remember the conditions? Not quite sure how this works but some of it was about bee keeping.

richard verney
Reply to  richard verney
December 15, 2016 7:45 am

I am talking about the scenario where the world warms (at least in the Northern hemisphere).
Since climate is regional, and since there is no such thing as global warming, merely regional variations, it follows that in a warming world the wheat belt will simply shift slightly further north. In a cooling world it will shift slightly further south.
I am not at all concerned about a warming world. The world is presently too cold, and it presently has too little CO2. If by some happy coincident more CO2 truly causes warming then that is a win win scenario. Bring it on.

Reply to  richard verney
December 15, 2016 8:40 am

good comment
exactly my thoughts
‘In a cooling world it will shift slightly further south/’
since it is cooling, contrary to popular beliefs,
go south young man
go south

Ron Clutz
Reply to  richard verney
December 16, 2016 9:37 am

There is good studies on agriculture and natural climate change as experienced in North America. With the range of grain seeds now available, farmers can adapt to future warming or cooling, as they have done in the past.

December 14, 2016 9:04 pm

How come in the hard sciences and engineering – when you are wrong you pay the price professionally.
Climate “Science” (sic) seems to have an exemption.

Reply to  Geoff
December 14, 2016 9:25 pm

“Climate “Science” (sic) seems to have an exemption.”
In “Climate Science™”, being wrong and incompetent is how you advance in the field.
The more you exaggerate and become a hysterical FARCE… the higher you climb !

Reply to  Geoff
December 14, 2016 9:43 pm

‘Climate science’ is actually applied politics and commercial agitprop.
No science in it these days…

Martin A
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 15, 2016 4:53 am

If a subject has the word “science” in its title, that is generally a pretty good indication that it is not actually science.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 15, 2016 8:07 am

If you have to tell people that you are a scientist, you probably aren’t.

Reply to  Geoff
December 15, 2016 12:04 am

Because it’s an embarrassment when your rocket falls over on the launch pad. (climate science has no such equivalent)…

Reply to  Geoff
December 15, 2016 12:25 pm

The same can be said for medical / nutrition sciences, which by “consensus” denigrated butter, eggs, and animal fat in general a “silent killers” for decades. And salt is still denigrated as causing or at least exacerbating hypertension.

Eric Simpson
December 14, 2016 9:06 pm

It shouldn’t take an Einstein to realize that greater warmth will increase the length of the growing season and the latitudes in which crops are viable, and greater CO2 will benefit output tremendously as greenhouses are typically kept at ~ 1300ppm (which is barely 1 part CO2 per 1000, btw).
Instead the fear-mongers peddled this type of failed Crying Wolf predictions:
“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of eco-refugees, threatening political chaos.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989

J Mac
December 14, 2016 9:11 pm

It is only a matter of time before……(fill in pending disaster statement here)!

Reply to  J Mac
December 14, 2016 10:51 pm

…Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the US! and everybody who isn’t a deplorable will certainly say that’s a disaster. Ha!

December 14, 2016 9:19 pm

The real danger is that the drive to lower carbon emissions completely succeeds, not that it fails.
So exactly how is a productive level of CO2 going to be maintained once all those man made sources of CO2 go away and are no longer with us?

Reply to  arthur4563
December 14, 2016 9:28 pm

Thankfully, China, India, Germany, Poland … and many, many other countries, are only “playing the game” without actually any intent to cut their ever increasing CO2 emissions.

Reply to  AndyG55
December 14, 2016 9:47 pm

The real fact is that unless you go massively nuclear and all electric transport, there is no way an industrial or post industrial country can cut emissions by any huge extent.
The are two sorts of governments. Those that recognise this but just go with the flow, making noises, and those that understand this, but who are controlled by powerful lobbies who see profit in renewable energy and carbon trading.
I have entirely discounted the possibility that any government actually believes in man made climate change, or they would be funding massive nuclear programs.

Eric Simpson
Reply to  AndyG55
December 14, 2016 10:04 pm

Yes, but what if leftist geo-engineers create a future system that robs the earth of much of its CO2? … Causing crop levels to tank, resulting in MASS FAMINE!
Probably the leftist Prophets of Doom would love that actually:
“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer.” -Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University Ecoactivist
“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.” -David Foreman, Earth First!
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” -Maurice Strong, ex UNEP Director

December 14, 2016 9:29 pm

This is why bio-fuels are such a good idea. First of all, you get a steady source of energy which is immune to weather. Second, you get a stable food supply by burning the food.
I feel like I may have missed something….

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 14, 2016 10:53 pm

…it forces the price of basic foodstuffs up dramatically so millions of people living on the edge don’t get enough to eat, david.

Reply to  RockyRoad
December 15, 2016 12:20 am

And then when they don’t get enough to eat, they have an “arab spring”. When they have an arab spring we get middle eastern instability. When we get middle eastern instability people blow themselves up in crowded places. (This is why bio-fuels are not such a good idea)…

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 15, 2016 12:58 pm

You overlooked the reduced energy density in “bio-fuels”. Due to this shortcoming you need to burn more of it to get the equivalent energy output. That can for example translate into higher transportation costs because your fuel tanks need to be bigger or you need to make more frequent refueling stops. The former requires more energy to transport the fuel. The latter causes lost time/revenue.
Oh, and don’t bother trying to demonstrate to a green weenie that by burning MORE fuel you are actually producing MORE CO2 per BTU produced….not that that actually matters.

Reply to  rocketscientist
December 15, 2016 1:23 pm

In a Senate committee last week, hearing testimony from GAO and EPA representatives on the status and outlook on the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, Senator James Lankford (R-OK, and no fan of the program) cited a CBO report estimating $0.10 is added to the retail price of every gallon of gasoline sold in the US due to the program, obviously passing on $billions per annum to consumers. But even Lankford neglected to point out the additional real cost to consumers imposed by reduced fleet fuel efficiency caused by diluting gasoline with ethanol. Typical vehicles return 2% – 5% fewer miles per gallon with only 10% ethanol, passing many $billions more on to consumers. Now they’re pushing E15 and beyond as well. $Trillions in direct taxes on consumers to fund a “green” initiative which has other well-documented adverse side effects on the economy and (worse yet for greens to digest) on the environment.

Reply to  brians356
December 15, 2016 1:30 pm

brian says
Typical vehicles return 2% – 5% fewer miles per gallon with only 10% ethanol, passing many $billions more on to consumers.
henry asks
what is ur source for that statement?
my understanding is that alcohol increases the octane number and keeps the injection system clean?
[hence, injector cleaning fuel additives contain alcohol]

Reply to  Henry
December 15, 2016 1:51 pm

Since you obviously haven’t observed this in real life (as I have, when refueling a vehicle with summer E0 vs winter E10 fuel blend) simply search for “lower mpg from ethanol” to find dozens of citations, e.g.:
“The Environmental Protection Agency says E10 lowers mileage approximately 3 percent, which would drop your mileage from 19.6 to 19.0 mpg.”
Also, from the horse’s as…, er, mouth:

Reply to  Henry
December 15, 2016 2:06 pm

Henry, I’ll make it easy for you, from (that authoratative enough?):
“Ethanol contains about one-third less energy than gasoline. So, vehicles will typically go 3% to 4% fewer miles per gallon on E10 and 4% to 5% fewer on E15 than on 100% gasoline.”

December 14, 2016 9:32 pm

Since the U.S. produces 40 percent of the world’s corn, production shocks in the U.S. impact global prices.

I wonder how the global prices would be impacted if we use nearly 40% of our corn crop for fuel instead of food. {Irony intended}.

Reply to  lorcanbonda
December 15, 2016 4:32 am

I think US uses more than 40% of corn for making fuel.

Reply to  mark4asp
December 15, 2016 4:33 am

I thought it was about 60% till I saw that chart.

Reply to  mark4asp
December 15, 2016 8:46 am

M, the chart is misleading, because making corn ethanol returns 23% as protein enriched (from yeast) distillers grain which is an excellent food source for ruminents (beef and dairy). On my diary farm we can feed less alfalfa, and so grow more corn.

tony mcleod
December 14, 2016 9:38 pm

Evidence Free Posturing
Uh huh.

Robert from oz
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 14, 2016 11:00 pm

Hey Griff what about those bears heh , correct me if I’m wrong (only to happy to apologise) but didn’t China recently have a problem with massive amounts of corn that they had In storage for too long ?

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 15, 2016 1:42 pm

We also call it “data free analysis” or in layman’s terms “guessing”.

December 14, 2016 9:40 pm

The reason food is now devouring more and more of peoples’ earnings is that insane Leftist Central Banks have been rapidly increasing the money supply since getting off the gold standard in 1972….
The US$ has lost 96% of its purchasing power since 1972 from feckless Leftist government hacks rapidly increasing the money supply (gold was $44/oz in 1972, and now trades at 1,144/oz)….
Peoples’ wages simply aren’t keeping pace with monetary inflation, which is why entire families often need to work multiple jobs just to keep food on the table….
World Crop yields have almost DOUBLED since the 1972 (from 1,953kg/hectare to 3,886kg/hectare) from: WARMING global temps, less frost loss, longer growing seasons, increase in arable land in Northern latitudes, higher plant drought resistance from higher CO2 levels, the CO2 fertilization effect and an increased supply of cheap petrochemical fertilizers, all of which, Leftists seem to hate…:
We’re living in a world where Leftists have lost the ability of rational thought… Look what’s happening to Leftist Venezuela (50% CPI PER MONTH… not per year)…
Oh, the joys of Leftism….

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 15, 2016 12:45 am

Samurai, i dunno… correlation isn’t always causation. You’ve got to bear in mind that getting off the gold standard happened about the same time as the tightening up of federal reserve policy. While oil price shocks were the main cause of inflation during the 70s, it was the appointment of volker to the fed chair in ’79 that ushered in what greenspan dubbed “the era of moderation”. This era has been all about holding down demand inflation by making people so poor that they can’t even afford (demand) cheaper prices. This is the reason that “peoples’ wages simply aren’t keeping pace with monetary inflation”. i think it’s difficult to ascertain the effects of getting off the gold standard when it happened concurrently with higher oil prices and the fed finally getting serious with it’s policy…

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 15, 2016 4:36 am

Nothing to do with stupid people in USA and Europe passing mandatory biofuel policies which, for example, eat 38% of US corn crop?

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 15, 2016 8:10 am

Inflation increases the price of everything, not just food. So inflation alone will not cause people to spend a higher percentage of their income on food.

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 16, 2016 11:36 pm

The biggest issue was the result of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (signed by Bill Clinton three days after George Bush was elected president.) Among many detailed policies, this granted banks the ability to trade commodities futures even for products like mortgage derivatives.
As far as food and all of the other traditional commodities, Banks and large investors have learned to manipulate the commodities markets by focusing on specific industries at a time while trying to use their muscle to push the base value of the futures higher. Citibank had a notorious case where they hid thirty some trucks of aluminum to drive the price of aluminum higher.
We new trade more commodities futures in a day than the actual sales of a product each day. These speculators are driving the price of food — and all commodity prices are much more volatile than they used to be.

December 14, 2016 9:46 pm

Wheat skulks along with land surface temperature, corn and rice thrive. All increase. Not seeing the problem here.

Reply to  gymnosperm
December 14, 2016 9:48 pm

Well reindeer and lichens would be threatened by tundra loss…

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 14, 2016 10:07 pm

Not completely certain, but doubt reindeer depend in lichens. Lichens are symbiotic business deals between cyanobacteria (alga) and fungi. Trump would love them.
The alga provide photosynthetic energy, the fungi know how to eat rocks.
Don’t reindeer eat buckwheats or heathers?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 15, 2016 8:37 am

My niece is Heather, and she’s never expressed a fear of reindeer predation.

G Franke
Reply to  gymnosperm
December 15, 2016 1:25 am

“Wheat skulks along with land surface temperature, corn and rice thrive.”
At first glance, I thought so too. Then I looked at the scale. Wheat and rice doubled, corn more than doubled.
Several factors are responsible for the increase:
1. Development of strains that are pest resistant, drought resistant, disease resistant and dramatically shorter maturity times. Hybrid corn varieties.
2. Better tilling practices, more fertilizer usage, retiring marginal land that was less productive.
3. CO2 has a part to play on the upside – how much is somewhat conjectural.
I grew up on a wheat farm in northern North Dakota way back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. We seeded the most advanced strains, many of which were developed north of the border in Canada. In the 50’s harvest usually went into mid September. By the late 70’s, a good 20 days had been trimmed from the growing season. A shorter maturity reduces exposure time to damaging wind, drought, insects and hail. Rapid early growth (at least for wheat) can starve weed development by depriving them of sunlight.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  G Franke
December 15, 2016 8:12 am

Many of those strains were developed in Western Canada to cope with the short growing season. It is still possible to get frost in late May and late August in many areas. That leaves no room for problems with seeding or harvest. In Saskatchewan this year 10% of the year’s crops remains unharvested due to excessive rain. Wasn’t AGW supposed to cause drought?

Reply to  John Harmsworth
December 15, 2016 8:54 am

remember the old bible story
there were 7 ‘fat’ years followed by 7 ‘meagre’ years
no coincidence
we are still in the fat years
once ONLY one meagre year has started you must know the writing is on the wall
[and it will be no use planting anything on the great Plains of America]
go south young man
go south

michael hart
Reply to  G Franke
December 15, 2016 9:08 am

…and Greenpeace hates all of them!

michael hart
Reply to  G Franke
December 15, 2016 9:11 am

In fact, it’s a stretch to think of human activities that Greenpeace doesn’t hate, unless they make people’s lives poorer and harder.

December 14, 2016 9:56 pm

Food Shortages will occur if the Global Warming Zealots manage to get CO2 down below 200ppm. Plants will then cease to grow.Get CO2 above 1000ppm and the world yield of rice and corn would probably double.  Mick Greenhough
From: Watts Up With That? To: Sent: Thursday, 15 December 2016, 4:41 Subject: [New post] Climate and Food – Evidence Free Posturing #yiv4110727795 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4110727795 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4110727795 a.yiv4110727795primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4110727795 a.yiv4110727795primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4110727795 a.yiv4110727795primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4110727795 a.yiv4110727795primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4110727795 | Eric Worrall posted: “Guest essay by Eric WorrallIf there is one area of climate prediction which demonstrates how disconnected from evidence climate science has become, it is increasingly tattered predictions that climate might cause food shortages.How Food Prices Will B” | |

Reply to  mickgreenhough
December 14, 2016 10:02 pm

Since most plants stop growing at around 200ppm, a rise from 300ppm to 400ppm is an effective DOUBLING of available atmospheric CO2

December 14, 2016 11:56 pm

It has been said many times but I will say it again. Cooling is much more dangerous than warming.

Beginning in the spring of 1315, cold weather and torrential rains decimated crops and livestock across Europe. Class warfare and political strife destabilized formerly prosperous countries as millions of people starved, setting the stage for the crises of the Late Middle Ages. According to reports, some desperate Europeans resorted to cannibalism during the so-called Great Famine, which persisted until the early 1320s. link

The Black Death followed soon after. It spread easily among an already weakened population.

Reply to  commieBob
December 15, 2016 3:22 am

not at that stage yet..
but downunder a 5kilo bag of spuds is??
sit down
cherries are $20ish a kilo
apricots 12 to 17 a kilo if you can even find them
onions around the 3 to 4$ a kilo
thats cool weather/rain/hail damage and flooding caused.
when its been hot dry n droughted we havent seen prices or shortages like this that I ever remember

December 15, 2016 1:12 am

1. In multivariate regression everything depends on the correct estimation of factors. Currently we do not have (global) increase thermal stress, the length and intensity of droughts periods and, or excessive soil moisture conditions. For the next 20-30 years, even sign changes in these parameters is not known (globally and regionally) – see the IPCC report about this – of the 2012.
2. The former “historical” periods of warm, determine the best by high yields (especially wheat) and low food prices. With this agree everyone.
Let me remind, even in the report of September 2016 – World Grain – News (“Warming likely to reduce wheat yields …”) which assumes an increase in the thermal stress, the length and intensity of droughts periods and excessive soil moisture conditions – the warming of the 1 deg. – a decrease global and regional yields of wheat; includes sentences:
– apropos a correct estimation of factors: … “statistical models do not directly consider processes inherent to crop growth.” “… may include indirect effects of climatic variability, such as those related to pests and diseases, which are not well captured […] by simulation models.”
– “… results may be altered [!?] by farmers’ own adaptation to climate changes through changing planting dates or cultivars. …”
– “… negative impacts on wheat yields “might be compensated [!] by increasing atmospheric C02 concentrations under full irrigation and fertilization.”
Our CO2 emissions (properly used), a chance for “ending hunger” in the world?
Of course yes!
And here it is worth to invest, not eg. in geo-sequestration.
It is still a real that conclusion Budyko and Brower: “On balance, it is very difficult to conclude with higher accuracy whether the projected global warming would be globally beneficial to human society or not.” (…)

Reply to  semczyszakarkadiusz
December 15, 2016 3:26 am

wheat in Aus does ok if we’ve had decent winter/spring rains,
and manages to grow in 30 to 40c climates
maybe these people need to open their eyes and minds?
and look to updating seed stocks a bit?
thing is
if it gets COOL who is going to share their cold season short growing seeds around?
svaalbards pretty nifty sounding
but big agri/gov/private concerns got claws in
avg Joe supplied seed
bet HE wont be on the return a favour list though!!

December 15, 2016 1:21 am

“As food prices go up, something has to give. One way to save money on food costs will be to go back to nonprepared [at home] food.”
And what are people who are already doing that? What option do they have? (I speak from experience – I can count the number of times I’ve eaten out in the past two-three years on one hand.)

December 15, 2016 1:22 am

Anybody seen Griff since ‘climate otter’?

Reply to  craig
December 15, 2016 2:14 am

I think he goes by ‘tony mc’-something-or-other now.

Reply to  ClimateOtter
December 15, 2016 4:33 am

Ohhh he’s back, found him on the trump transition team thread. Being a nob as usual.

Reply to  ClimateOtter
December 15, 2016 9:44 am

Believe it or not, Griff is actually trying to claim that his opinion of Dr. Crockford have been vindicated.
Trust Griff to double down on stupid.

December 15, 2016 1:58 am

Far from “predictions that climate might cause food shortages”, the reported increase in North American grain production in the early years of the 21st century was forecast with ‘moderate confidence’ by the IPCC 10 years ago.
‘Moderate climate change in the early decades of the century is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5-20%, but with important variability among regions.’
IPCC AR4, Working Group II, Summary for Policymakers (2007):

Ex-expat Colin
December 15, 2016 2:23 am

BBC stuff…”Imagine if we could use plants to harvest wind. Well, now we can. Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys… the Turbo Dandelion Wind Farm.”

Russell Klier
December 15, 2016 4:00 am

What is the source of the US grain chart? I would like to read the article.

Reply to  mark4asp
December 15, 2016 8:14 am

And won’t. Not until they get more non-kleptocratic governments.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  mark4asp
December 15, 2016 8:18 am

They should get busy. Projection is for Africa is 3 billion people by 2100.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
December 15, 2016 9:45 am

Projected by who?
World population levels are going to peak somewhere between 2030 and 2050, then start falling rapidly.

Reply to  mark4asp
December 16, 2016 1:45 pm

Like the map.
But Africa is from about 35 N to about 35 S – less temperate than the main grain producing areas today [with today’s grain strains].
A lot of it – today – is Sahara, which is not greatly productive.
I gather it was greener and productive in times past [Holocene Optimum IIRC – but very possibly wrong].
As noted, the politics is not everywhere conducive to stable industry and agriculture.

December 15, 2016 4:57 am

Warmer temps and elevated CO2 mean increased agricultural output. Lower temps mean decreased agricultural output. What part of this are “scientists” incapable of understanding. Bunch of lie spewing a$$wipes.

December 15, 2016 5:08 am

Folks, to deny that there are cycles in nature and that these may cause climate change is putting the head in the sand.
looking at the sun, and its radiance upon earth, we are now more or less where we were in 1930, even just looking at SSN, never mind all the other proxies I found.
That means we are 2 years away from the big [dust bowl] drought that affected the great plains of America quite badly.
Counting back another 87 years of the Gleissberg brings us to 1932 – 87 = 1845
I don\’t think so. Even if the drought were to be delayed for a few years due to differing conditions within earth, it is good to consider the options that we have when a major drought will hit the USA with 8 billion inhabitants and counting….

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 15, 2016 6:01 am

I’m pleased to see Mark4asp’s illustration of just how big Africa actually is because I can post it on to my colleagues who teach geography (and who are now increasingly sceptical of AGW). I several times suggested that if we stopped stuffing gold in the pockets of dictators in Africa and invested properly in helping African nations develop – instead of forcing disgusting “sustainability” programmers of the which will ensure perpetual poverty – Africa almost alone would one day be more than able to feed the planet even if we reach 12 or 13 billion world population. I have made the point about Africas size and potential to students in lessons about human population growth. Being young and not out to make a dishonest buck, the students all found the idea interesting and worthwhile discussions ensued. Unfortunately some of the UK’s school textbooks on Climate change are a disgrace, full of unsupported assertions designed to frighten students.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 15, 2016 6:28 am

Investing in Africa and south-America for those agri products that might be affected in case of major USA drought is in fact the only thing I would recommend as well…
Once the US drought starts [I hope] this will indeed be the direction that food producers will go.

Caligula Jones
December 15, 2016 6:30 am

If there is indeed a heaven, Julian Simon and Norman Borlaug are having a cold one and smiling.

December 15, 2016 7:13 am

With progressives, every aspect of what they say and what polices they agitate for are all far more about the end goal than about the issue itself. Each issue urgent only to the extent that it is a productive tool to advance the rest of society towards the goal, which is alway to usher in the secular Utopia.

David S
December 15, 2016 8:23 am

The US department of agriculture publishes a report on historical crop production annually at
The records include almost any crop grown in the US and some date back to the 1800’s. Virtually all of them show big increases in yields since 1950.

December 15, 2016 9:14 am

I happen to get my hands on the latest models they used to show how climate change will affect your food consumption.

Bill Illis
December 15, 2016 9:16 am

Here’s a related funny one. CO2 is making us fat.
Or so said a study in 2012. “An initial investigation of six people in a climate controlled room showed that people tended to eat more when the air in the room contained more CO2”; (which of course sounds like a psychology study where all the data is just completely made-up).
A reporter decided to follow up with the scientists four years later. More made-up stuff was provided as a response but they were unable to get any “funding” for further research and promptly dropped the topic.

G. Karst
December 15, 2016 1:00 pm

As far as I am concerned, food supplies are the ONLY concern regarding climate change. Warming is the safe side of this issue. Everything else is just real estate and property values. GK

December 15, 2016 1:30 pm

This is one of the key striking points of climate change that they need to stick. The critical “effects” they need to make stick are : 1) Rising sea levels imperiling island and coastal places. 2) Food production decreases producing more death 3) More frequent and powerful storms. 4) Spread of diseases from tropical regions and 5) Mass extinction.
The situation is that 3 has been pretty definitively disproved. There is no increase in storm intensity or frequency. In fact, if anything there seems to be a negative correlation. 4 is hard to believe it will have a material impact. 1 (sea level) is one they consistently exaggerate. It is not widely known that more than half of islands are gaining surface area NOT decreasing and overall coastal areas have increased by 30,000 km in the last 30 years due to a number of unexpected effects such as increasing aquifers from more rain lifting the land, silt from runoff of mountains and glaciers increasing coastal, man building more coastline, reduced weight of glaciers allowing the land to rise. All this has meant that anyone who really looks into it finds that the arguments that sea level will be a problem are extremely exaggerated if not outright lies. Some have pointed out that even with the higher temperatures there is no evidence that sea levels are accelerating. So, there goes #1. #5 is hard to believe without significant temperature change and so far temperature change has been under 1C and will remain under 1C through 2100 from 1945 (which is the point at which we started pouring co2 in quantity into the atmosphere.).
This leaves #2. This is perhaps the most ridiculous of them all. 1) Agricultural productivity is on a tear and has been for 50-100 years. We have TRIPLED food productivity in the last 50 years. 2) Part of this is certainly the increased fertilization and reduced exposure to drought that enhanced levels of CO2 in the atmosphere produce on agriculture. A recent study showed that these effects on plants productivity totally eliminate any negative consequence of temperature meaning the problem doesn’t exist from this point alone. However, as everyone knows agriculture is something that strides are made everyday in numerous ways. The idea that whatever heat related effect on food will override our productivity increases is highly suspect. 3) The population growth of the world is slowing down and it is likely with increasing food productivity we will actually be in surplus condition by the time any deleterious effects might materialize. 4) Food production is only 2% of the GDP of the developed world. We spend a lot on going out to dinner. A lot more than the cost of food in the first place. Half of all food is wasted either in restaurants or homes (sometimes just becoming stale) which is something that can be mitigated easily if there were any economic incentive to do it which there isn’t because it is sooooo cheap.
As you see looking at these 5 effects they are easily dismissed as going in the wrong direction or miniscule concerns or simply not problems. They depend that these “consequences” of global warming be there. They first have to prove that temperatures will go up significantly, then they have to show that these temperatures going up is unmitigateable and that the consequences are severe. There is doubt that temperatures are going to go up all that much anymore, there is evidence that many of the effects can be mitigated and that over time we will naturally produce less CO2 and that the effect of CO2 has been way overestimated in models. But lastly whatever heat that emerges has to be associated with negative consequences and that is the weakest part of the argument in my opinion.
One way to look at this is that for the history of man higher temperatures has been associated with higher living standards and longer lives. Numerous studies show that people die more as it gets colder and die less as it gets warmer. To suggest that from this point on the curve is opposite and that things get worse is to say that we live at the “Perfect temperature” and that any movement from this perfect temperature is bad.
As a person trained in mathematics any argument like that “we are the perfect position” is extremely improbable. It would take a lot of evidence to convince me we are at the perfect temperature that any increase is bad. In fact the IPCC admits this and says temps will produce positive effects and then after 1C will start producing negative effects. Calculating this perfect temperature is unbelievably hard and it is simply not proved with any surety that we are at or will be in 1C higher temperatures at perfection. We know for instance that for most of the last 200 + million years the earth was 6 – 10 C warmer than today. That’s right. CO2 for much of this period was above 2000ppm. Plants produce maximum productivity at somewhere around 1400ppm we think. Most life on Earth has evolved during much higher temperatures. It is unlikely such temperatures as 1C warmer is either the optimal temperature or some kind of mass extinction temperature.

Johann Wundersamer
December 20, 2016 5:49 am
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