Remember when global warming was going to kill the U.S. Corn Belt? Never mind.

From MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY:

Climate change should help Midwest corn production through 2050

Climate change and global warming put some forms of life at risk, but researchers found one instance that might not feel the heat – corn.

Contrary to previous analyses, research published by Michigan State University shows that projected changes in temperature and humidity will not lead to greater water use in corn. This means that while changes in temperatures and humidity trend as they have in the past 50 years, crop yields can not only survive – but thrive.

“There is a lot of optimism looking at the future for farmers, especially in the Midwest,” said Bruno Basso, lead author of the study and University Distinguished professor.

Basso and his colleague Joe Ritchie, co-author on the study, calculated how much energy crops receive from the sun and how it is converted to evaporative loss from the crop, known as evapotranspiration.

“Think of the energy balance like a bank account. There are additions and subtractions,” Basso said. “The energy coming from the sun is a known, measured quantity that adds to the bank account. The primary subtraction is liquid water from the crop, and soil using the solar energy to convert the water to vapor.”

The researchers used the energy balance to calculate the evaporative water loss for 2017, which set a world record yield of 542 bushels per acre. They found that the water loss was the same as it was for lower yielding crops because the energy balance was about the same.

The trend for the past 50 years of a slightly more humid environment decreases the energy for the crops’ water use.

“Our analysis, and that of other climate researchers, shows that the amount of water vapor in the air is gradually increasing in the summers because the daily low temperatures are getting gradually warmer, but the daily high temperatures are cooling – or staying the same – in many areas of the Midwest,” Basso said. “This causes more humidity and slightly decreases how much energy is used for evaporation.”

Basso also tested a water balance calculation on the crop models that, similar to the energy balance, has additions from rainfall and irrigation and subtractions from evaporation from the crop.

“A water balance is just like the bank account of an energy for crops,” Basso said. “There must be a balance to make crops ‘happy’ so that all the energy reaching the crop surface is evaporated.”

In the United States, as a result of improved hybrids and agronomic practices, corn production has steadily increased by an average of two bushels per acre every year for the past 40 years.

Basso explained that data from the National Corn Growers Association competition for high yields shows the potential for continued higher yields in the future. His findings support that climate change won’t hinder its production if the trend of the past 50 years continues into the next 50 years.

“The energy for evaporation is changing little, so if the number of days the crop grows and uses water is the same now and, in the future, the evaporation loss will be the same and slightly less,” Basso said. “In fact, the warmer temperatures allow the use of longer season hybrids that will make for even greater yield possibilities.”

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113 thoughts on “Remember when global warming was going to kill the U.S. Corn Belt? Never mind.

  1. This Island Corn Belt among the doomsayers will have a sharp boundary line between it and the rest of the politicized future world.

  2. Hush! Don’t let anyone know the “warming” is in the lows getting more moderate, along with the highs. A higher average is all in the lows getting higher. It just doen’t come across as scary that way.

      • Exactly.

        “daily low temperatures are getting gradually warmer, but the daily high temperatures are cooling – or staying the same” — not exactly terrifying, is it?

    • The only thought that I would add is that over the last 2 years, I have observed a change in night time temps moving back the average historical trend line, and sometimes below the average trend line. If this change continues, then it certainly will be a cooling climate trend for whatever period of years that the pattern holds in place.

    • Tim Halla and anyone else who might know:

      If we ignore the out-of-season temperatures, what is the number of degree days experienced in the crop season? I have not seen this metric reported.

      Let’s say the season starts 25 May and ends 5 September. How many degree days is there in that particular season?

      Next, has this changed?

      It is one thing to point out that the winter lows are rising, but that makes no difference to the growing season. What is the change experienced between the beginning and end of each growing season back to 1950?

      Comments made about the ‘warming’ have no influence on crops if all the warming takes place outside the growing season. In fact there could be a cooling during the growing period and a warming overall for the year. Also, it is not the average temperature that is interesting, it is the number of degree days because that is how farmers analyse it.

      • check Tony’s blog….he’s really good at posting “less 100 degree days”, less 90 degree days, etc
        ….summer temps are getting less extreme and have been for a long time

      • Crispin in Waterloo – May 16, 2018 at 4:53 pm

        It is one thing to point out that the winter lows are rising, but that makes no difference to the growing season. What is the change experienced between the beginning and end of each growing season back to 1950?

        Comments made about the ‘warming’ have no influence on crops if all the warming takes place outside the growing season.

        Crispin, the “winter lows” have been rising for the past 40+ years. And you are correct, rising wintertime “tempts” makes no difference in/to the summertime “growing season” …. EXCEPT for maybe “winter wheat” crops and the “nutrient producing” microbial decomposition of dead biomass in/on the soil of the corn fields.

        But now the article was specifically addressing the gradual increase in/of the summertime daily low temperatures which ARE inclusive to the “growing season”.

        And it is the daily low “nighttime” summertime temperatures that are increasing the most (technically, not cooling as much), ….. not the daily low “daytime” temperatures.

        And whenever said “nighttime” temperatures remain “warmer”, …. then technically, ……. the “total hours” of the summertime “growing season” has been steadily increasing.

        Farmers have told me that …… “On hot, humid nights ya can almost hear the corn growing.”

  3. It’s nice to see so many recent articles that admit warming on this site, and the fact that there will be farmland that will win while some will lose.

      • Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows that you cannot warm the earth and not have a shift of arable land.

        Can you post a link to a scientist (or even a non-scientist) who said that all land would win? No, you can’t.

      • Our mild warming has expanded arable land and extended growing seasons, Scott. Studies show that slight warming and associated increase in humidity (added to CO2 fertilization and reduction in plants’ water needs) has positively impacted food production. Additionally, there has been no worsening of any climatic metric, including droughts.

        I did not say that all land would win; and I don’t waste time trying to prove a negative. You need to show where there are lands that are currently suffering. And cyclical regional droughts don’t count, especially where the studies show minor precipitation increases.

      • During this interglacial the earth warmed quite a bit. Is it really your position that the interglacial merely shifted arable land rather than expanded it?

      • Koontz blathers “Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows…blah blah…”

        Koontz you are spouting typical troll factory BS tactics, suggesting you represent the ideas of every “rational persons” and “all scientists”.

        The evidence says you are full of crop fertilizer. The warming that ended the major ice ages, or the recent Little Ice Age, increased arable lands, and no rational person can argue that.

        During the warmer Holocen OPitmum, tree line extended all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

        While untested speculative models might agree with your fear mongering, all the actual evidence says warmer is better for plant growth!

      • Scott: Can you name a desert that overlays the equator? If not does that mean that a warmer world will move tropical forests to higher latitudes and increased area?

      • Scott,

        What do you mean by “warm the earth”?

        (What I think you envision is that the days will be unbearably hot, plants will wither/die, people/animals will die of thirst, and the dash of your car will melt)

        What actually will happen, if measurable heating occurs as a result of increased CO2, is that the nights will be measurably warmer and the days will be about the same.

        If the night time temp stays a little (or a lot) warmer, and the daytime temp does not change by a significant/measurable amount, then plant growth will increase significantly AND there will be no significant loss of arable land.

        Tell me about rational again….

      • Scott Koontz
        May 16, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows that you cannot warm the earth and not have a shift of arable land.
        =========

        No shift happens if the weather gets less hot…..summer high temps have been falling for a long time

        …rational is not the new word for stupid

      • Scott K

        “Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows that you cannot warm the earth and not have a shift of arable land.”

        Cagey words – I think you want us to understand you are saying, “loss of arable land”. Right?

        There are several win-win-win scenarios in a CO2-enriched warming world.

        First, a warmer average temperature does not mean that deserts will expand. There is plenty of evidence that when it is warm enough, the Sahara starts to receive enough rain to turn the whole thing into grasslands, as it was until about 6600 BC. Same for the Gobi Desert. It was good grazing until 5000 BC. The same is not true for the high dry desert in the Andes. That remains the same, though maybe a very small amount warmer.

        The tropics basically don’t warm at all. It is the Poles which get most of it. When the Poles are warmer, everyone benefits. Milder winters everywhere, better growing conditions, which is what we are talking about.

        Warming in N America, if it were somehow to continue, would have milder winters and no increase in summer temps at all. That is just how the temperatures look. It is noticeable at the beginning and ends of the growing seasons, which have been lengthening (according to an ag extension trainer I know) 2 days per decade since 1960. This puts the kibosh on the alarmist yelling that the summers will be hotter and roast the ground the way it happened in the 1930’s. We are experiencing nothing like the 1930’s.

        Then to go with all that winter warming, we have a reduction in the water demand of the entire biosphere. More CO2 directly translates into less water demand for each plant. This is particularly noticeable in the dry regions where for each 1% increase in CO2 there is a 0.63% increase in soil moisture, and more plant growth (see NASA data).

        So, I cannot find anywhere showing how farming is getting worse than it was. The farm classification zones have been moving north a few kilometers over the past century. Big deal. There are cold and heat waves everywhere, but nothing out of the historical norms. Australia, forecast to have more and more heat waves, doesn’t, and has nothing like the worst heat wave on record, plus the record is not all that long.

        In terms of available farmland, there will be a huge increase in acreage available as the Sahara starts to disappear, overtaken by Sahelian conditions – 500 x 3000 km so far since 1983. Canada and Russia will gain enormously – tens of millions of acres. Greenland too. The food supply just keeps getting better and better. What we are short of is skilled farmers and they are dispersed inappropriately. Some large scale migration of the highly skilled is in order.

        One the other hand, if the world cools, as some intend, absolutely everything will get worse. Lose-lose-lose. Anyone deliberately trying to cool the Earth with, say, dispersal of particles high in the atmosphere, should be made to take up residence in Siberia until they gain their senses. Siberia used to be decently warm and productive.

      • Scott, so what if we can farm a few miles further north.
        On the other hand there is no evidence that the southern border is moving northward.
        (North hemisphere perspective.)

      • And how is it that a rational person would know that, Scott?

        Brazil, smack on the equator is one of the leading agricultural exporters in the world. So is Canada north of 49 North. Why does one have to lose while the other wins?

      • In addition to all the above, Scott, you should research a study done a few years ago that proved that some crops, like corn, will on sunny calm days deplete the available CO2 in the field and suspend growth until enough wind comes along to replenish it. If anybody ever does a study on some other large foliage crops, such as cotton or soy beans, I’m sure they will find the same thing. The effect this has on season length and yield should be obvious. It has also been shown that during the last glaciation CO2 levels dropped to a level that stunted the growth of some trees. In case you haven’t noticed, CO2 levels have been declining for millions of years as nature has slowly sequestered it in places like coal beds, oil fields and the white cliffs of Dover. It is NOT humans that are killing the Earth, it’s life itself slowly committing suicide by sequestering available CO2 faster than tectonic processes can release it.

    • Beats the H out of the Canadian provinces and the northern tier of US states being under a mile of ice and the area just south of it having extremely short growing seasons. Just sayin’. There are more mouths to feed these days.

      • Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows that you cannot have any change at all without there being winners and losers. If I can make all crime disappear many police would be out of work!

    • Of course Scott, It’s been beneficially warming (mildly and slowly) since the depths of the Little Ice Age and will continue to do so until the beginning of the next glaciation cycle.

    • It’s nice to see that trolls still have to lie about what others believe in order to make themselves seem relevant.
      Only a small group of people make the claim that CO2 will have no impact on climate. The vast majority of us recognize that there will be a small warming. Even the IPCC has admitted that a small warming will be overall, beneficial.

      • MarkW – May 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        Only a small group of people make the claim that CO2 will have no impact on climate.

        The vast majority of us recognize that there will be a small warming.

        MarkW, why do you post such BS statements when you know very well that you can’t provide/present any proofs, facts or evidence in support of your above stated claims?

        It’s a literal fact that atmospheric CO2 ppm has increased during the past 10 years, ….. so tell me, MarkW, ….. just how much “warming” did it cause, …… and just how did you personally, MarkW, …… RECOGNIZE that it was the CO2 that caused the amount of “warming” that you claimed you recognized occurring?

        Are you perchance a passionate believer in/of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    • What are you smoking Koontz!?!

      There is a ton of evidence that all agriculture will win.

      More CO2 has a definite fertilization effect. Green houses increase Co2 by 1000 ppm above ambient to increase growth . More CO2 also means stomatal openings can be smaller and thus conserve more water. Compared to the Little Ice Age when montane tress stopped growing and sprouting, the growing season has increased. Warmer minimum temperatures means less frost damage, while no change in maximum temperatures means no increasing heat stress. Using an average temperature is totally misleading.

      More CO2! What’s not to like!?

      • Except for the drought and extreme heat crop loss, all science liters are correct.

        Carry on.

      • Cyclical droughts and heat spells do not a worsening climate make, Scott.

        Based on the totality of the comments made on this Tread, shouldn’t you rethink your “scientific” positions?

      • And clearly Koontz is not an aliterate.

        Please read all the scientific facts. If you read the scientific papers and ignore the fear mongering speculations, you would know there is no long term trends in precipitation. None! Even the IPCC will admit that Thus no change in droughts. Take California for example, and the 700 year precipitation reconstruction from from Griffin, D., and K. J. Anchukaitis (2014), How unusual is the 2012–2014 California drought?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41

        Furthermore extreme heat events are natural weather events, unconnected to greenhouse gases. In fact the concentration of greenhouse gases is reduced during heat waves, because reduced water vapor causes cloudless skies and more solar heating!

        The hottest temperature ever recorded was over 100 years ago, July 10, 1913 in Death Valley.

        Please join the aliterates, read some real science, so you then can engage in more meaningful discussions and avoid the silly sniping.

      • “Except for the drought and extreme heat crop loss,”

        By all rights…the first degree would have the most effect….we’re almost at the first degree

        …please explain how you would know, if no one told you

      • 71% of the earth is covered in water. You know what warmer air does over water? Increases evaporation. Higher humidity levels results in more rain.

        If the earth’s atmosphere were to warm up a bit, overall, there would be more rainfall. Yes, even in the arid lands.

        In fact, it is widely believed (even amongst the alarmists) that during the various ice ages, deserts grew and were dryer than they are now.

        Scott, your entire narrative is incorrect. The warming expected is primarily in the polar regions (that could use some warming) and higher overnight lows (that would extend growing season in the world’s “bread basket” regions). This is why the Alarmists have for the most part changed their focal point to sea level rise.

      • Alarmist/activist “scientists” and green NGOs gin up hysteria with biased and exaggerated “studies.” When the facts finally catch up (a lie travels around the world while truth is tying its laces), silence. Evidence the Hockey Stick.

      • “There is a ton of evidence that all agriculture will win.”

        Who says? Where is that ton of evidence? Greenhouse-grown plants are not evidence; it’s an extremely artificial setting.

        You have to take into account not just total precipitation, but when it happens. Precipitation intensity is already increasing, which could lead to increased flooding. Droughts are predicted to get more intense; there’s debate over whether this has begun (just because droughts are periodic naturally doesn’t mean they can’t get worse!). Biomass can be limited by many other interactions, such as nutrient cycling, pollinators, herbivores, fungal relationship and competition from other plants (weeds, for instance). All these can also be affected by climate change.

        The FACE experiments were done in situ….

        “This research demonstrated initially higher rates of photosynthesis,… stimulation of above- and below-ground biomass and increased microbial and soil C… However, plant communities often acclimate to eCO2 in the long-term and above ground growth rates do not continue to positively respond to CO2 addition.”
        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014002426

        Crops may have different acclimation levels, and it might be possible to genetically engineer this, if it hasn’t been done already.

        It’s not surprising that U.S. corn crops have increased, since most of the corn-growing area has had increased precipitation and lower Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) over the last 50 years, according to the first two maps here:
        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/adai/papers/Dai-NatureClimChange-final.pdf
        The paper also seems to suggest there has been an increase in area of drought, although I admit I haven’t read the whole thing. (I’ve seen a similar conclusion elsewhere, can’t find it now.)

        The point is, blithely saying all agriculture will win is not warranted unless you can see into the future.

      • Precipitation intensity is already increasing, which could lead to increased flooding. Droughts are predicted to get more intense; there’s debate over whether this has begun

        Kristi, Kristi, Kristi! The droughts are caused by the increased precipitation intensity, there can be no debate about that! Yet experts disagree on whether the droughts are caused by excessive precipitation or the floods are caused by overly dry conditions. One thing’s certain, WE’RE DOOMED!

        Once again, let’s not forget, regardless of the problem, the solution is to stop burning fossil fuels, we need more socialism.

      • “The point is, blithely saying all agriculture will win is not warranted unless you can see into the future.”

        Wow, Kristi! You just made the skeptics argument for them.

      • Jeff in Calgary:
        ” You know what warmer air does over water? Increases evaporation. Higher humidity levels results in more rain.”

        Warmer air also holds more water and water vapor is a greenhouse gas. The role of increased evaporation is still being debated. Apart from that, much of the water that evaporates from the oceans also falls on the oceans.

        Warmer air also increases evaporation from the soil.

        “If the earth’s atmosphere were to warm up a bit, overall, there would be more rainfall. Yes, even in the arid lands”

        Are you saying that there will be less drought? Is this your own reasoning, or do you have evidence?

      • Flip a coin, Kristi. It would be a hell of a lot more accurate than the IPCC CMIP5 climate models.

      • Kristi,

        IPCC don’ need no stinkin’ evidence.

        Their climate models assume a hugely positive feedback from more water vapor in the air. Without this unphysical, evidence-free assumption, there can be no dangerous manmade warming.

        Without water vapor feedback, climate sensitivity is a wholly beneficial 1.2 degrees C per doubling of plant food in the air. Yet IPCC’s dire predictions are based upon ECS of 3.0 to 4.5 degrees C per doubling, which increase from the actual value requires positive H2O feedback to the CO2 improvement.

      • There is no evidence that droughts are increasing, nor are heat events increasing.
        Any other fantasies you want to trot out?

      • Kristi pontificates: “The role of increased evaporation is still being debated.”

        Yet just yesterday, Kristi was assuring us that all the climate factors were known to the point that the scare scenarios must be believed.
        And now she tells us that the single most critical factor in climate, is still being debated.

        When you can figure out which sc@m is the official sc@m, please let us know.

      • Rich
        “Once again, let’s not forget, regardless of the problem, the solution is to stop burning fossil fuels, we need more socialism.”

        It always comes back to policy and politics. Why is that? And why would socialism help?

      • “Warmer air also holds more water and water vapor is a greenhouse gas. ”

        More water also increases the specific heat of air increasing the efficiency of convective cooling (actually more important than radiative cooling) and lowers the lapse rate. It also means more clouds (and more rain).

        Net, it is very doubtful if more water vapor in air has any greenhouse effect. Also note that it is only water vapor that is a GHG. Water in liquid or solid form (=clouds) is a blackbody radiator.

      • “The point is, blithely saying all agriculture will win is not warranted unless you can see into the future.”

        And yet, climate scientists see the future all the time, or at least, they claim to. They refuse to admit uncertainties or publically acknowledge any possible positive benefits. 2 degrees = extinction level event I’m told.

        But, lets say, for the sake of argument, that certain crops don’t respond well to an increase in CO2, longer growing seasons and milder, wetter, weather.

        The end result is simply that Crop X gets replaced by Crop Y, which happens to love the new changes and gives increased yields. The same thing will happen automatically in nature.. natural selection will rear its head and ecologies will adapt if there are changes. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Evolution is a lot more rapid than they used to think 30 years ago.

      • Why is it that the Scott Koontz’s and the Kristi Silber’s always have a couple of assertions and zero evidence?
        Always claim to be speaking for people whom they misquote and get wrong?
        Always are completely ignorant of even the basics of what is well known and documented from empirical evidence, and instead are armed with a Gish Gallup of made up nonsense, warmista talking points from a decade or more ago, and inane mischaracterizations of pretty much everything they claim to know?
        All while making it bluntly obvious that if they have any relevant education in any of the subject matter at hand, they either got some mighty poor grades, or have not stayed informed via any source that was not 100% CAGW alarmist propaganda?
        I have recently been trying to imagine, after several mind boggling encounters with various fools and ignoramuses, just what is must be like to walk around carrying a cranium full of brains which are simultaneously clownishly misinformed but smugly certain of cartoon world version of reality they have all been so readily duped into regurgitating on cue.
        I would feel sorry for them if they were not such haughty dunces.

    • It’s nice to acknowledge the fact that natural global warming created the most productive farmland in the world, as the mile thick glaciers across the northern tier of the USA and all of Canada melted. As intervals of warming and cooling continue during the current Holocene interglacial, those that recognize this natural cycle will be winners while those that assert otherwise will lose.

    • We’re talking about maybe 1 degree C and we’re talking about raising the average by raising the daily low temperatures (reducing the range of daily temperatures, not raising the daily high temperatures). That means the the crops do not experience any higher temperatures, only less cool temperatures at night. Even if we were raising the daily maximum temperature, at what point do you draw the line between technically warming and harmful warming? When day-to-day, season-to-season temperatures vary far more than 1 degree, how is it rational to think that raising the average temperature in this slight way will significantly shift the boundaries of arable land?

      On top of that Scott, you are totally ignoring the increase in water use efficiency by plants as a result of CO2 concentration rising. If plants don’t need to open their stoma as wide to absorb CO2, they lose less water and therefore can survive with less water. If this mild warming does occur in the presence of increasing CO2, it is entirely likely that total arable land area will increase and no land that is currently arable will become desert.

    • Oh dear, Scott. You really must learn how to check the facts, before you make an idiot of yourself.

      Summer time temps in the MidWest have been in long term decline since the 1920s:

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/regional/time-series/102/tmax/3/8/1895-2018?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000

      Meanwhile, rainfall has been increasing:

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/regional/time-series/102/pcp/3/8/1895-2018?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000

      • Scott seems to think that deserts are dry because they are hot when, in fact, some deserts are hot because they are dry. Of course there are deserts that are very cold, too as well as mild ones. The world’s largest deserts are in Antarctica (5.5 Million sq. miles) and the Arctic (5.4 Million sqmi).

      • If Paul Homewood’s data are right, it supports the idea that the growth in the corn crop is not due to warming or drying – the variables that are expected to be a problem in combination. These comfy conditions are not experienced all over the world, though. The tropics are expected to experience harsher conditions than we are.

        http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/140/2/779 suggests that corn grown in the field, in the “bread basket,” without water stress does not have increased yield at elevated CO2 compared to ambient (at today’s temps).

        Plants with C4 photosynthetic pathway are relatively insensitive to it when not water stressed. “However, even for C4 plants, elevated [CO2] can ameliorate the effects caused by drought, maintaining higher photosynthetic rates. ”
        http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/169/3/1755.long?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Plant_Physiol_TrendMD_0 Interestingly, sorghum grown under water stress and 800 ppm CO2 had 60% higher protein content than that at 400 ppm CO2, although yield didn’t change. There must have been ample nitrogen in the soil.

      • “The tropics are expected to experience harsher conditions than we are.”

        According to whom, Kristi?

      • Kristi, from the article:
        “corn production has steadily increased by an average of two bushels per acre every year for the past 40 years.”
        This is in lock step with the atmospheric CO2 trend. CO2 is the chemical feedstock for plant growth. FACE experiments clearly demonstrate this correlation between CO2 and growth, regardless of the temperature or moisture variables. More CO2 is good for the biosphere. CO2 is the foundation of the food chain. Embrace this wonderful world. No fear.

    • If you bother to read carefully, people on this site have always admitted warming, although the exact time range must be carefully specified. What is denied is that 1) humans are the sole or even determining cause, 2) that ther is a substantial link between CO2 levels and any warming, and 3) that either the warming or the CO2 are a danger.

      • Nothing is being de-nied by skeptics. Instead, what’s not acknowledged as being settled are items 1) through 3) due to the lack of unambiguous supporting evidence and the existence of much more certain dissenting evidence. However; the dissenting evidence is widely den-ied by alarmists who disguise their mindlessness with psychological projection, hence the common slur.

      • I’ve read pretty carefully on this site, and the ideas run the gamut, from we’ll be entering a cool stage, to there is no warming, to AGW, yes, but it’s not a big enough problem to warrant doing something. The things that all skeptics here seem to agree on is that fossil fuels are best energy choice for everyone and there’s no reason to try to decrease CO2 emissions. That is a generalization, but I have seen no skeptic suggest otherwise. I think it’s significant that it’s policy that unites the skeptics and not any scientific agreement.

        Oh, I forgot – there is often agreement over what science to accept and what is BS. Acceptable is anything that seems to support positive effects, and BS includes any research that finds or predicts problems due to climate change. Why is it based on outcome rather than the quality of the science, I wonder?

      • It must be confusing to see honest debate over evidence lead to a range of opinion, rather than the parrotting of party line and virtue signalling that you’re used to.

        There’s a 97% consensus among skeptics that reality is real. So it’s not surprising if we all tend to agree that fossil fuels are the best available solution. It’s not exactly science, it’s basic economics and common sense.

      • “The things that all skeptics here seem to agree on is that fossil fuels are best energy choice for everyone and there’s no reason to try to decrease CO2 emissions. That is a generalization, but I have seen no skeptic suggest otherwise.”
        Then keep reading.
        You know not of what you speak.
        What kind of a jackass goes around blithely mischaracterizing entire groups of people with whom said jackass has piss-poor knowledge of?

      • Menicholas,
        You should acknowledge that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

        I for one think Kristi is pretty close to correct here. Do you disagree that fossil fuels are the most cost-effective practical energy source or that we can safely continue emitting plant food without wasting time, effort, or capital on schemes to reduce CO2 emissions?

        Just because Kristi says it, doesn’t prove it’s wrong.

        She was also techically correct about the land use vs wealth study. Though obtuse about how the study was structured to serve a narrative and give a false impression of disproving that CO2 greens the earth.

        So there you go – twice in one day!

      • I think there are plenty of skeptics that think petroleum is wasted by burning as a fuel, and plenty of skeptics who think we ought to be doing much more to increase production of nuclear sourced power, for a variety of reasons.
        Besides for that, any assertion that generalizes in a sweeping way to include ALL of any group, particularly a diverse one like those who are skeptical of CAGW and of the expensive but useless mitigations schemes thereof, are wrong almost by definition.
        There are also skeptics who do not seem to be on board with the idea that more CO2 is actually beneficial.
        I think it is, but this is not a universal belief among those who are not in the warmista camp.

        Besides for the particulars of her mischaracterizations, it is the general notion of putting oneself in a position of summarizing the views of others that is objectionable.
        If you are going to put words in people’s mouths, one ought to be careful to make sure those words are accurate.
        Best to stick to offering one’s own opinions, and limit the potential for jackassery.

        And I take my own advice: A few spaces up, I offered some comments summarizing the generally deficiencies and galling lack of coherence and accuracy of two specific people and others of their general ilk…but note I couched my comments in a few qualifiers, and allowed as to these being based on my perception.
        I did not make blanket assertions as if factual of the views of anyone.
        But you point is well taken Mr. Davis.
        Blind squirrels find an occasional nut, and broken mechanical devices, though worthless, can nonetheless be randomly, and sometimes even nonrandomly, correct.

    • @ Scott K …it seems that you were left out on the rational part then (“…Every single rational person as well as all scientists knows …”). That would hold true, if there was an increase in day time temps over a period of time. However, as any rational person or scientist knows the warming is an artifact of mostly warmer night time temps. Take a spin around the globe using one of the weather sites who have historical data, or observe yourself on a daily basis for several years at many different locales around the globe using one of the better weather sites. That is what I have done to draw the conclusions which I have arrived at after spending enough time doing so. You could do the same, if you wanted to learn the truth.

      • Evaporation from the soil happens at night, too, and warmer nights would exacerbate that effect. Increases the chance of water stress.

      • So if night time temps were 5 or even 10 degrees higher than on average now much extra evaporation would occur? Would there be any meaningful amount?

        Offhand from my gardening experience, the surface of the soil by morning is always damp. Night temps in my area were running a strong 10 degrees F above average for some years. That has changed in the last 2 years with a switch closer back to long term average numbers. For example, the recent 14 days show 3 nights below, 4 nights average, and 7 nights above average. Going back in time the 14 day temp tracker would consistently show all 14 nights well above average. I see this same change at many locations around the globe over the last several years. There has been a change, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

  4. As I noted to ivankinsman on another Thread (Eric Holthaus’ mental problems), slightly warmer [nighttime] and more water [vapor] for crops, what’s not to like? Add in CO2 fertilization and you really get bumper crops!

  5. From the “not only that but” department:

    Higher atmospheric CO2 causes plants to have smaller pores and they evaporate less water. Thus, CO2 causes plants to need less water. That should make them more resistant to drought. link

    • Beat me to it.

      Slightly warmer temperatures ON AVERAGE, meaning slightly higher lows, along with higher levels of atmospheric CO2 should easily make for a better growing environment… and not only for corn. Just about everything will flourish.

  6. “I survived Y2K!”
    (Downs Syndrome kids in UK … “I survived BECAUSE of Y2K!!!”)

    “I survived 400 ppm”
    (no longer emaciated kids in Ethiopia … “I survived BECAUSE of 500 ppm!!!”)

    But with warming, it’s not just that there is a silver lining. Overall, warming is a very good thing for the vast majority of everything and everyone. The negatives are made up, exaggerated, and/or self-serving.

    • The population of Europe more than doubled during the MWP because of better growing conditions. No technology was involved. They could just grow more and grow more dependably. Starting with about 1310, the climate went rogue and got colder. Massive famines started happening regularly. On top of that the desert gerbils migrated out of China due to the sudden climate change bringing the plague with them. They spread plague to some of the Mongols who were besieging a place on the Black Sea. Before they left they catapulted corpses of folks who had died of the plague over the city walls. When the folks in the city scrammed, they brought it back to Europe in 1346. The rest is history. Between the plague and the crop failures, the population in Europe dropped back by 50%+.

      While rats are blamed for the spread of the plague in Europe, the initial vector does seem to be gerbils. The incidence of plague epidemics in China coincides with ideal gerbil breeding weather.

      Your mileage may vary.

      But yes, warmer is better.. The northernmost corn planting area in North America also went south during this same period. There is article that was done in WUWT a long time ago about that.

  7. Gee now what are farmers to do after taking all that advice about global warming from climate scientists, socialogists and English majors. They may never trust these guys again.

      • If that is hard for you to see, DWR, you have a very serious deficit in your perceptual ability.

    • Menicholas

      Read the link. It’s to the IPCC AR4 report from 2007. It states with “high confidence” that rain-fed agricultural regions in North America would see crop yield increases of 5 to 20% over the first decades of the 21st century. That’s exactly what happened. What part of that am I misinterpreting?

      • There has always been a wide gap between what IPCC assessments actually say and what the scaremongers say on the news when weather conditions are hot or stormy.

        I’m not sure if there are any statistics maintained about the frequency of climate claims asserted in media reports. If someone has data like that, it would be interesting to see how often we were warned, with images of parched soil and whithered, stunted corn, that Climate Change (TM) was to blame.

        Similar analysis would yield similar conclusions about what IPCC really said about sea level rise, versus the scare reports of flooding coastlines.

        Most annoying is that they often quote irrelevant parts of an IPCC report just to name check it, and proceed to speculate about physically-impossible changes such as a sudden melting of Antarctica, leaving the public to assume that they are still quoting the report.

      • Besides for what Mr. Davis said, claiming that it is hard to understand how anyone has lost confidence in the IPCC, and backing that up by pointing to one thing they did not get exactly wrong, is not logical.

  8. Who cares about corn in Iowa. It’s still to cold to grow Honey Dew Melons in Swansea, Ma. The raspberries are doing fine though. And now I have to watch out for Gerbils. When does the Latevil Warming Period start?

    [The mods saw what you did there … 8<) .mod]

    • WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2018 – Across the Midwest, a lack of extreme heat helped boost the nation’s corn yield to its highest level on record – slightly above 2016. The nation’s soybean yield was down 6 percent from 2016, but production reached a record level due to record high acreage, according to the Crop Production 2017 Summary released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

      U.S. corn growers produced 14.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2016. Corn yield in the U.S. is estimated at a record high 176.6 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels above last year’s average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre. Area harvested, at 82.7 million acres, is down 5 percent from 2016. The 2017 corn objective yield data indicate the third highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined objective yield states with record high ear counts in South Dakota.

    • Dipchip,
      Maximum was 542.2740 per acre – the U.S. uses metric for wine bottles but not for land divisions.

      the National Corn Growers Association 2017 National Corn Yield Contest. . . . five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

      contests – corn yield

      Note the ‘ s ‘ on contests. There are various categories.
      The U. S. overall average is different.

      “The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 386 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 175.4 bushels per acre in 2017. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 542.2740.”

      • Thanks for the reply. Immediately after posting I realized my probable error, the number was not an annual yield.

      • Plus South Dakota is not exactly the heart of the corn belt.
        That area is best known for wheat.

        It may be instructive for our warmista troll friends who have decided to grace us with their inanity today, to consider the vast range of the major and minor corn growing regions here in the US, and to also then consider the incredibly huge range of climate zones over which corn cultivation is possible.
        The range of seasonal and annual precipitation, the range of daily average temperature, diurnal range of temperature, seasonal variability in the average temp, and daily range of such, the huge range of wintertime low temps and length of growing season as defined by last spring and first fall frosts and the variability of such from one year to the next…all or there parameters have enormous spreads and yet year after year bountiful crops are harvested from north to south and east to west.
        Warmista in general seem to have no conception resilience and adaptability of life…not of the crops they have promised us are suffering due to global warming, nor of pretty much every other living thing on the Earth, which have one by one been the subject of one alarmist scaremongering campaign after another.
        Most bizarre of all is the seeming obliviousness to the range of conditions that they them selves along with every other human being, not just can survive and adapt to just fine, but actually do adapt to, and always have, and always will, over swings of 30 degrees of more in one day, a hundred degrees of more in one place over the course of a year, and some two hundred degrees over the span of just our one country and any given year.
        So incredibly unaware of their own surroundings that they cower and shudder and warn and panic over the prospect of the uncertain peril of a degree or two of change.
        Change! Horrible to contemplate that anything could ever change…and all because of greedy us!
        So uncertain that every living thing on Earth can continue to do what all have always done, for hundreds of millions and even billions of years… now that they are daily wringing their panicky hands about it.

  9. My first guest post here in 2011 was on this same topic. Exposed a fatally flawed corn yield study that in turn was deliberately misrepresented to Congress by NRDC. And the fatal flaw was misrepresenting evapotranspiration in a by county for whole midwest multiple regression analysis by leaving out the crucial cross term of precipitation plus temperature.

  10. Why does this study only apply to the US corn belt? Maybe it applies to other farmland and crops, as well. Maybe a little global warming will be net beneficial to the planet as a whole. What evidence is there that the doomsday crowd is right, or has ever been right? Shouldn’t we wait until we actually see a trend of negative crop yields or other negative effects before we take drastic steps to cure a non-problem?

    • Louis, they have never and will never be right about anything.
      The one constant of the Earth is change, and every living thing adapts to it on every time scale…always has, always will.
      The scaremongers and panic artists are of two sorts…rent seeking liars, and fools who do not know how to critically apprise themselves of facts and information, and so just rely on others to tell them what to think.
      A few other sorts are sprinkled in here and there, but those are the two main pathologies at present.
      The greedy, and the ignorant.
      As for weather warmer might be better…there is no question. We are in an ice age.
      Large parts of our country and our planet are frozen fatally cold for long stretches of each year.
      Last year I read and article where a panic mongering author scarily warned of the possibility that there might exist one day on earth a place so hot that a person could die just from the heat.
      So far no such places exist…outside of localized hotspots where the materials of the interior well up to the surface.
      A person can survive indefinitely in the hottest places on Earth…naked…needing only a sufficient amount of water to stay hydrated.
      If a person had water they could walk out of the center of the most remote and barren desert hotspot.
      Transported to a polar zone in Winter, or even in Summer, very particular sorts of clothing, shelter and food and fuel would be needed to prevent death from ensuing within minutes.
      Well supplied groups of hardy explorers have in the past found themselves stranded in the sub-Arctic, and were utterly unable to hike out or remove themselves from the icy hell which trapped them, and they one by one died over periods of years in some cases, scurvy finally killing them because they did not know not to cook the raw meat they hunted.
      You cannot walk out of a place in the Arctic because you would die away from your shelter once the sun set or a storm blew in.

  11. “The researchers used the energy balance to calculate the evaporative water loss for 2017, which set a world record yield of 542 bushels per acre. They found that the water loss was the same as it was for lower yielding crops because the energy balance was about the same.” — this is absolutely non-sense statement.

    There are several types of models that estimate potential evapotranspiration that converts in to actual evapotranspiration through water balance models.

    There are several water balance models. I published water balance model as well evaporation/potential evapotranspiration models as well energy balance issues.

    Thornthwaite’s potential evapotranspiration model based on energy term is static. The soil water balance model used to convert to actual evapotranspiration is of poor quality.

    ICRISAT Hyderabad tested SORGF model developed at Texas AM, USA. At ICRISAT scientists tried to improve the predictability of the model by changing energy terms for sat conditions with little improvement on the results. By changing water budgeting model the improvement of predictability changed substantially.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  12. Not just the corn under threat ….. the southern boreal forest in Alberta is to loose all Pinus banksiana (Jack Pine) seed sources by 2020 according to this publication. Not only that if you read the future species predictions these “scientists” have Ponderosa Pine capable of growing just south of Red Deer if you can believe it. The scary thing is these brain dead academics and government bureaucrats have changed reforestation policy prematurely to match these future model climate predictions. Big reforestation failures across public’s lands will be the result thanks to these idiots. https://sites.ualberta.ca/~ahamann/publications/pdfs/Gray_Hamann_2011.pdf

  13. Louis May 16, 2018 at 3:20 pm
    Why does this study only apply to the US corn belt? Maybe it applies to other farmland and crops, as well. Maybe a little global warming will be net beneficial to the planet as a whole.

    Probably because corn is a C4 plant and therefore doesn’t suffer the disadvantages of higher temperature that a C3 crop like wheat or soy beans would.

  14. Remember when global warming was going to kill the U.S. Corn Belt?

    I don’t actually remember that, is there a link please? I do remember the IPCC stating back in 2007 with “high confidence” that climate change would increase yields in North American rain-fed agricultural regions, especially in the early decades of the century but possibly even throughout it.

    See IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007), Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Chapter 14: North America, 14.4.4 Agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Link: https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch14s14-4-4.html

    Agriculture

    Research since the TAR supports the conclusion that moderate climate change will likely increase yields of North American rain-fed agriculture, but with smaller increases and more spatial variability than in earlier estimates (high confidence) (Reilly, 2002). Most studies project likely climate-related yield increases of 5 to 20% over the first decades of the century, with the overall positive effects of climate persisting through much or all of the 21st century.

    Perhaps other sources disagreed, but the if agricultural yields are increasing in the US Corn Belt then that would seem to support this 2007 IPCC forecast. Perhaps we should pay attention to the IPCC’s other 2007 North America adaptation and vulnerability forecasts: https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/spmsspm-c-12-north-america.html

    • Perhaps if you had a memory which extended back to pre-scaremonger lie-baby days, you would be able to recall.

      • Or perhaps you could supply a link to where climate scientists predicted that global warming was going to kill the Corn Belt? I’ve already provided one that shows they predicted the exact opposite – which is what has come to pass.

  15. Midwest summers have actually cooled since the 1930’s. They refuse to follow the global trend. Over that same time frame, they’ve also experienced a general increase in precipitation.

    Winters have also become a bit more mild. So both extremes have narrowed, which should certainly help the agricultural industry.

  16. An interesting comparison:

    How large areas on this planet cannot be farmed because it is too cold and how large areas because it is too hot?

    How do these numbers change when global temperatures are lower, such as during an ice age?

  17. projected changes in temperature and humidity

    So guesswork is OK now…

    used the energy balance to calculate the evaporative water loss for 2017

    Where……
    Calculate? – Not measured then……

    world record yield of 542 bushels per acre

    I get something like 14 tonnes per acre.
    Fan Tas Tic.
    I mean it This is The Stuff Of Fantasy. As happens in Fantasy Land. Not Planet Earth

    a balance to make crops ‘happy’

    Who doesn’t like a happy cornflake, no heartless grump could bring themselves to eat a sad cornflake. And certainly not in Fantasy Land. Everything is lovely there.

    all the energy reaching the crop surface is evaporated.”

    Nice.
    Wasn’t any required to split up Water & CarbonOxide enabling the production of glucose.
    Photosynthesis not required in Fantasy Land

    production has steadily increased by an average of two bushels per acre every year

    Trendlines are great aren’t they – everybody should have at least one Really they should.
    So easy to make and such great predictors of everything.
    Skeptix, especially, are always saying so

    if the trend of the past 50 years continues into the next 50 years.

    Real World Good News is so hard to come by these days, but in Fantasy Land.
    Don’t dilly-dally, let’s go there now before Brasso and his friends crowd it out.

    average of two bushels per acre every year for the past 40 years

    And they have time travel in Fantasy Land too.
    Only to be expected really..

    balance calculation on the crop models

    Now it makes sense.
    sigh

    • Peta, this is the internet.
      It took me five seconds to look this up and copy the link to show you.
      You spent more time scoffing at something which is easily verifiable that it took to verify it.
      I can only wonder how a person can go off on long rants about the impossibility of a factual occurrence.
      Note to self: Peta is clueless about stuff he pretends to be an expert on.
      http://www.southeastfarmpress.com/grains/david-hula-makes-record-532-bushels-acre-top-ncga-yield-contest

      • Note this was several years ago…I did not bother to take the time to find a newer record…no real need is there?

    • Trends in actual production, not modelled.
      Good thing, because the record population and record prosperity and food availability for everyone is not a theory, but a fact:

      Seriously…what the hell is the matter with you?
      Have you been drinking?

    • It was, before climate change wiped out an entire vast ecosystem of living things.
      Now that was a catastrophic climate change.

      • When all is understood I feel that the south Polar ice cap will only exist when there is a continent at the south pole. In THAT case Climate Change will probably turn out to be continental plate location change. Something started this 8 episode ice age whipsaw. Jus’ sayin’.

      • Good point. Who can we blame for that? I’m not sure, but I think that was prior to ExxonMobil? :)

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