Californian Climate Scientists Discover Farmers Adapt to Changed Conditions

Diligent Californian climate researchers have pieced together the solution to the mystery of why corn yields are rising, in defiance of climate model predictions of falling corn yields.

But we shouldn’t get too excited about this discovery – researchers are concerned that corn is the exception, that the newly discovered process of “adaption” which has been so successfully used by farmers to improve corn yields may not be applicable to other types of farm produce.

How US Corn Farmers Adapted to Climate Change

Changing weather and planting practices in recent decades have led to increased corn yields, but whether the findings will apply to other crops and regions remains unknown.

Friday, December 14, 2018 – 10:00
Gabriel Popkin, Contributor

(Inside Science) — Few of climate change’s varied dangers are more dire than its potential to make the world’s farms produce less food. While we live in boom times of agricultural abundance, marked by record crop yields and cheap food, climate change threatens to slash yields and cause worldwide food busts. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment, droughts, temperature extremes and plagues of insect pests will increasingly harm farming worldwide.

But some experts hope humanity will be able to weather the wiles of climate change through adaptation — that farmers will be able to overcome climate-related threats by adjusting how they grow crops.

A new study analyzing U.S. corn yields over the last few decades seems to support that notion. It looked at temperature trends in the Midwest, examined how farmers adjusted their planting practices to take advantage of them, and showed that U.S. farmers were able to grow more corn, not less.

It gives me some hope that when we see climate trends that are not quite so benevolent, farmers will have some tools at their disposal,” said Nathan Mueller, an Earth scientist at the University of California, Irvine and co-author of the study.

Not everyone is as sanguine, however. Some experts point to the fact that among all crops, corn may be the exception, not the rule, that demonstrates how adaptation can work.

The risk is that if people overstate the benefits of adaptation, it’s sort of like, OK, the environment can change and we can figure out how to deal with it,” said David Lobell, an environmental scientist at Stanford University. “I’ve seen that happen so many times, I’m cautious when I talk to reporters about overemphasizing the ingenuity of what people can do.”

Read more: https://www.insidescience.org/news/how-us-corn-farmers-adapted-climate-change

The abstract of the study;

Peculiarly pleasant weather for US maize

Ethan E. Butler, Nathaniel D. Mueller, and Peter Huybers
PNAS November 20, 2018 115 (47) 11935-11940; published ahead of print November 5, 2018

Continuation of historical trends in crop yield are critical to meeting the demands of a growing and more affluent world population. Climate change may compromise our ability to meet these demands, but estimates vary widely, highlighting the importance of understanding historical interactions between yield and climate trends. The relationship between temperature and yield is nuanced, involving differential yield outcomes to warm (9−29°C) and hot (>29° C) temperatures and differing sensitivity across growth phases. Here, we use a crop model that resolves temperature responses according to magnitude and growth phase to show that US maize has benefited from weather shifts since 1981. Improvements are related to lengthening of the growing season and cooling of the hottest temperatures. Furthermore, current farmer cropping schedules are more beneficial in the climate of the last decade than they would have been in earlier decades, indicating statistically significant adaptation to a changing climate of 13 kg·ha−1· decade−1. All together, the better weather experienced by US maize accounts for 28% of the yield trends since 1981. Sustaining positive trends in yield depends on whether improvements in agricultural climate continue and the degree to which farmers adapt to future climates.

Read more: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/47/11935

I hope you folk are as encouraged by this ray of hope as I am. If the principles of “adaption” which have so far saved corn yields can be applied to crops other than corn, just maybe we may avoid some of the disastrous future declines in crop yields, and future hardships predicted by climate models.

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89 thoughts on “Californian Climate Scientists Discover Farmers Adapt to Changed Conditions

    • Degrees are so easy and ubiquitous as to be without value, rank virtue signaling. Scepticism is the chastity of the mind, and Millenials are in no way chaste.

    • I reckon you can get them almost for free if you buy enough packets of breakfast cereal …… and submit a paper about cereal and climate change for ‘paypal’ review.

    • Komrade Kuma

      If you’re like Steven Mosher, evidently an employer can simply anoint you the title ‘scientist’ (Berkeley Earth I believe) despite you not having a scientific degree.

      Nor is it necessary to say “Thanks for the job but I can’t possibly accept the title ‘scientist’ because I don’t qualify as one”.

      Steven’s claim, not mine.

      • HotScot,

        I’m not sure what Mosh’s thing is but I am an engineer who did the same maths as science students majoring in maths, then the same basic physics and chemistry then went on to do all the applied maths to do with thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, engineering statistics etc etc. But that was in the 70’s when scientists actually were science graduates and not self appointed activists or pal reviewed into the club.

  1. Increased co2 anyone????? No we can’t mention that as a potential cause of increased crops, these people are a joke

  2. The trouble is that these academics do not know what life is like in the real world. They do not understand “the ingenuity of what people can do.”

    • It is politically safer to buy some Canadian permafrost. As the climate change proceeds unstoppably, the market price of the best Nunavut turf should now exceed best croplands now minus their future use time premium (which should be minimal).

      I’m expecting the Native Canadians to soon be bathing in money that comes from the desperate Trump supporters from Texas when their homeland has become unbearably hot and unproductive. And don’t worry about the stampede of Hondurans, they can be fast-forwarded to the Canadian border to seek for asylum there.

      Note. The above **may** contain a hint of sarcasm. The mass extinction that wipes 99 percent of human population is not coming in the form of AGW.

      • No, the mass extinction that wipes out 99% of the human population … will be coming in the form of University-educated know-nothings who are unable to fend for themselves in the REAL world. They’ve no clue about the REAL world

      • Hugs and Kenji, you two are such baaaad, bad kids!!

        in regard to the coming “mass extinction”, I would like to be prepared, so should I rent locker space at the local storage facility and put my extra purchases (e.g., dry beans, rice, wide egg noodles, corned beef hash, Spam, etc.) in there? I was thinking that maybe laundry detergent and dish detergent would be a good idea, too, and extra socks and hiking boots – for future needs, of course.

        Just askin’, because I like to be prepared.

        • Sara,
          Water for drinking, cleaning, and flushing is needed. Perhaps 2 to 3 weeks worth.
          Figure out how much is needed for you (other members of household).
          For the drinking and cooking water — very pure, containers too.

          You should be doing this now

          • John F. Hultquist

            I beg to differ. Stockpile stuff people desire, not what they need. Most people are idiotic enough to sell their soul for a trinket.

            You get wealthy and buy the water at wholesale.

          • Both of you are right. Always have something that you can trade for something you need.

            It’s easy enough to get a portable water purification kit from a camping or prepping company. A camping radio that has a rheostat you can crank for power is also a good idea, as is a Farraday flashlight. I bought one of those a while back and use it when I don’t want the battery flashlights. Also, a signaling mirror, MREs for emergencies and aid kits can be found at military surplus companies. And sunblock that includes heavy duty UV protection is a good idea, too.

            You don’t need a compass if you know which way is north. Face north: west is on your left, east is on your right, and south is behind you. Compasses are becoming useless because the magnetic poles are slowly switching around.

            Life is going to be interesting.

        • Quite seriously, you will also need two identical .22 caliber pistols and two identical . 22 caliber rifles. This gives redundancy and allows for storage of the most ammunition.

          What’s yours is yours only as long as you can keep somebody bigger from taking it.

          “God created Man but Samuel Colt made them equal”

          I know this sounds a bit harsh, but the first rule is never to believe that somebody else wouldn’t do something just because you yourself wouldn’t do that,

          • “I know this sounds a bit harsh, but the first rule is never to believe that somebody else wouldn’t do something just because you yourself wouldn’t do that,”

            Until you experience this first hand, it’s a hard one to grasp. But they are words to live by.

          • A friend and neighbor and I were joking around about survivalists. He said, I have a generator, and extra food but no firearms. You?”

            I replied, “Well I have a shotgun. And I know where I can get a generator and extra food!”

  3. I would suggest that all prospective ‘Earth Scientists’ should work on an arable farm prior to starting their course. If you want to understand The Earth then starting with your hands in the ‘dirt’ would give you first hand experience and understanding.

    • Agreed. I think they would be surprised to find that most farmers are very much environmentally aware, and won’t do anything which might damage the land. After all, it’s their ongoing source of income so why would they?

      A look a the ingenuity that goes into farm machinery would also be a good introduction to how problem-solving works in the real world. Which is worlds away from the textbook-thumping theory taught in colleges. (Mind your fingers though, guards on rotating parts are for wimps here!)

    • Being a successful farmer requires both scientific and business skills coupled with a healthy work ethic. While growing sweet cherries, the growers were constantly considering new varieties to improve shelf life, size, market timing, resistance to weather events, etc. Many of the newer varieties were coming out of British Columbia.

    • Also Economic academic experts. During the ‘U’ indoctrination must work part time during school year on an Earth water based farm-grunt labor/hourly. Then during active farming-at harvest work piece-work pay scale. I worked such at hour scale driving wheel tractor – $1.25 8-10hr day. Friend (now/retired from full time) Physicist-nuclear did harvest fruit daylight to 1-2 pm = $40 or more per day. Hands in the dirt refreshes the mind. Side note – Bracero – work with hands more or less, 1942 to 64′. No Bracero replacement after 64′ that was workable-sustainable – only lip service.

  4. This is an unexpected and monumental discovery… It undermines a generation of climate science… Mankind might not be doomed after all. Who knew! Living creatures can respond to changes in their environment by themselves changing…..

  5. If as Bob Tisdale hints the main effect of climate change is to increase temperature minima rather than maxima, this will be a huge benefit to all farmers and growers in reducing frost damage.

    • It’s pretty easy to adapt to milder weather

      These scientists act as though corn has been suffering through CAGW. But the last few years have been some of the best corn-growing weather in years, and it’s been almost as good for decades.

      Excess heat stress on corn is a figment of their imaginations.

      We should pray that we have the kind of good weather we have had in the last few years, every year.

      CAGW is an unproven speculation. CAGW is not adversly affecting corn or any other crop..

      Those scientists should stop looking at the bastardized Hockey Stick charts. They fool them into thinking the scientists are living in a time of unprecedented heat right now. They couldn’t be more wrong, and it causes them to misjudge the situation they find themselves in. Like thinking corn is adapting to something that has never been shown to exist: CAGW.

  6. The abuse of the word “expert” is infuriating. Here we have a seemingly admitted example of academics positing a mere theory that rising temperatures will reduce crop yields in the future, only to have that theory contradicted by the only empirical study mentioned in the article. Yet the academics cling to their generalized theory of a hypothesized future in spite of the actual experience with the one crop studied, summarily labeling the empirical experience as an “exception” to the merely hypothesized rule, all while continuing to enjoy the term “expert” by the sycophantic press.

    How precisely did these guys earn the title of “expert” in the first instance?

    • In the case of climate science, they become experts by agreeing with those who are already calling themselves experts.

  7. But, but, but any change is bad, by definition! The minor little fact that maize was originally a subtropical grass that took Native Americans several thousand years to adapt to more northern latitudes just doesn’t enter into the minds of the green blob. No way could anyone possibly use cultivars adapted to slightly warmer climates, and still get higher yields. That would violate the basic premise of Climate Change!

  8. @ Eric Worrall

    …….. just maybe we may avoid some of the disastrous future declines in crop yields, and future hardships predicted by climate models.

    And just when did the “climate models” become believable?

      • To be politically incorrect, climate science is being pussified (made weak), and it’s being overrun by pseudo-intellectuals who are only equipped for less rigorous subjects.

        Sophie Lewis is the person who said that climate models don’t necessarily need to be falsifiable. Your statement somewhat misrepresented what she meant, although your article on the topic was right on.

        She reflects on her use of emotion evoking slides in presentations and all kinds of ways in which science is becoming less rigorous and scientists becoming more like activists. You are right that if models don’t work they should be corrected or thrown out, but that doesn’t jive with Ms. Lewis.

  9. Chicken Little and the boy who cried “Wolf” would be very proud of the “Climate Researchers”

  10. Adaptation can occur in many ways for farmers.

    The first is adapting to growing conditions without changing crops.

    The second is changing crops to those best suited to the emerging conditions.

    A wide range of vegetables can be grown in Scotland where average summer highs are well below 20C. Carrot, cabbage, parsnip, turnip, pea, beetroot, potato, radish, lettuce, onion, fennel etc etc.

    Several of those grow less well in higher heat, less rainfall.

    However, crops like corn, tomato, squash, french bean, grape, olive etc do much better with heat.

    So it is absolutely clear that latitudes and altitudes for growing particular crops can shift as climate changes.

    Climate change is only a disaster if you do not take suitable decisions, be that altering sowing and harvesting dates, changing crop mixes etc etc.

  11. Ray of hope? There never was a threat. Corn has always been cold limited. Generations of agronomists have been tryin to breed a corn hybrid that would grow farther north. There is no major food crop that is significantly heat limited.

  12. “Friday, December 14, 2018 – 10:00
    Gabriel Popkin, Contributor

    (Inside Science) — Few of climate change’s varied dangers are more dire than its potential to make the world’s farms produce less food. While we live in boom times of agricultural abundance, marked by record crop yields and cheap food, climate change threatens to slash yields and cause worldwide food busts.”

    I can almost hear the official assigning research projects and the editor of the news service that wrote this article;
    “More *#$*&!! good news about crops! I was so certain that this would be the year where crops failed.

    Here! Turn this *#$*&! good news into something palatable to ‘our’ readers.

    The entire world is days to a few weeks away from starvation.
    All it takes is a slight change in weather patterns, i.e. returning to historically recorded conditions to destroy crops in many areas; or war making crops impossible.

    Rather than promote food handling, preservation and storage, these characters promote helpless citizens living coddled urban “entitled to the best and discard quickly” lifestyles.

    Sadly, the conditions they desire will someday return and harm large populations. It will not be because of CO₂ or this year’s “climate change”.

  13. I read through the article and did not notice a distinction between corn for food yields and corn for ethanol yields. Could there be a cause and effect that growing corn for fuel is easier and more profitable? I don’t know but I am sure someone else does.

    • Two different hybrids of corn.

      Corn for the ethanol industry is a high-fructose hybrid that is allowed to ripen on the stalk in the husk before it is harvested. When the corn is combined, the kernels are large and hard.

      Corn for the dinner table is sweet corn because it has a high sugar content and is harvested before it ripens and the kernels harden. These kernels are somewhat smaller than the ethanol corn, and come in a variety of types, including bicolor, blue, red, white and brown. Sweet corn is grown for the food industry and has the same importance as ethanol corn.

      And then, there’s popcorn, which has a very small kernel, is harvested when ripened and hard, and has a high water content for popping so that the kernels will produce big, fluffy popcorn in your bowl.

      Corn comes in a variety of hybrids, and also in its original form, which used to be called Indian corn. Ethanol corn is more widely talked about than the rest, because it’s a fuel-oriented commodity.

      • @ Sara December 16, 2018 at 8:19 am

        Ethanol corn is more widely talked about than the rest, because it’s a fuel-oriented commodity.

        The only difference between “ethanol” corn and ”people” corn is the “destination” of the vehicle transporting said corn.

        😊 😊

  14. In the 60s, my grandparents lived in town in Minnesota that had a “canning factory” that processed sweet corn. For several weeks every August, the factory hummed, corn was canned, and the town celebrated a Corn Festival. Every thing was quiet there, until the next summer. No corn was canned, except for a few weeks every summer.

    This summer I bought sweet corn from a local farmer who sold sweet corn for over four months, from early July until November. He did not plant “Magic Beans”. Surprise, surprise, he planted numerous varieties. He planted these many varieties from “too early” in the year, until “too late” in the year. Some times these particularly varieties were indeed, “too early”, or “too late”. Every year, MOST of his plantings are “just right”. The climate scientists would certainly say this dumb farmer was just lucky. The farmer, of course, says the climate scientists are “just dumb”.

  15. I grew up in NW Ohio where the grain crop rotation is in full force. Soybeans, winter wheat, corn. I remember the corn growing 10’+ tall but now the hybrids are much shorter. Every field was plowed before planting. Now its no till planting. According to my old classmates that still farm, yields are up tremendously over the years. They also grow tomatoes, melons, potatoes and other crops which used to be hand picked but now it is all mechanized.

    Here in North Carolina tobacco and cotton used to be king and went out of favor when the subsidies died. Like Ohio, the grain crops are also planted but with the longer growing season and hybrids, each field gets double cropped so total yields are much higher when one field will give you two harvests a year. Cotton is making a comeback due to higher prices. NC grows more sweet potatoes than any other state and also large amounts of blue berries, tomatoes and hemp is on the horizon.

    NC has multiple climates however. The NW highlands are much cooler than the hot coastal plain so the crop mix is different. The soils are also different.

    But guess what.. the farmers know what to plant to make them the most money. They understand what is best for them. The Ag companies are also developing better varieties. A lot of their research is done here in RTP and you can drive by their acres and acres of greenhouses at night with the grow lights on. People and plants do adapt.

    Maybe someone needs to do an article on “Scientists Discover Farmers Aren’t Stupid”.

    • The just passed Farm Bill takes industrial hemp off the restricted list and now allows for commercial farming. Hemp is easy to grow, doesn’t need a lot of care, grows in a variety of conditions and has thousands of uses. It very well could become a huge cash crop. Whether farmers switch to it remains to be seen but tobacco and citrus seem the most likely crops to be replaced by hemp due to less expense and higher profits.

        • Just to be clear, hemp and marijuana are very different plants. Hemp contains a very low concentration of THC, 0.3% or less, while marijuana has a high concentration of THC, between 15% to 40%.

          Hemp is primarily used for industrial purposes and it is capable of producing hundreds of products such as paper, clothing, building materials, biofuel, food products, oils and more. Hemp is also used to produce a THC-free CBD products.

      • I did an agronomic assessment for 1 company’s hemp proposed project. There are hemp geni-types that should be selected as suitable for the growing site.

        Hemp plants can be dio-ecius (with male flowers on 1 plant & female flowers on another plant) which do best in 450 mm rain ecosystems, or mono-ecious (with both male & female flower on same plant, but different branches) which do good in even 250 mm rain ecosystems ; then there are hybrids of dioecius & monoecius. Hemp fiber productivity is greater from male plants (dio-ecius) & late flowerers; hemp fiber ideal is long internode distance. Mono-ecius have a shorter vegetative growth cycle & less sensitivity to photo-period; their base diameter is thicker & stem height lower than dio-ecius .

        High density planting achieves quicker canopy closing & this delays flowering, which allocates more assimilates put into stems. Meaning appropriate spacing results in more dry matter content at harvest due to more leaf area. Crowded planting rate causes self-thinning & growth rate declines; the height of stems from that crop will be lower & the stem diameter will be relatively less. In terms if desirable quality in hemp fiber the thinner & shorter high density sown plants are best.

        Oil from hemp seed is best collected when seeds are 50-75% mature. Depending on hemp variety the seed oil yield can vary; selected for seed oil it is possible to extract 250,000 liters of hemp oil from 1,000 tons of whole hemp seed. The chaff from threshing seeds can be used as a fertilizer; in general every kg of seed chaff is as good as 4 kg of cow manure.

        End of flowering (when anthers&/or stigma visible) is determined as being when 50% of female plants (dio-ecius) or mono-ecius plants have no white flower styles left. If breeding then figure 1 male plant for every 10 – 50 female plants (even 1 towering male for 100 – 1,000 short females in a field); pollinate females during their 3rd to 4th week of flowering.

        Fiber crops are left with their leaves & buds standing in the field still on the plant. After 2-4 weeks in the field the stand can be machine stripped to collect for fiber processing; hemp has wide branch & tighter branch pheno-types. When standing crop threatened by wet field conditions the hemp can be brought indoors for unheated drying by forced air& then leaves stripped; this is the tactic to stop mold damage.

        As for hemps non-fiber by products it is “CBD” which is currently the most valuable. (It should be noted that the hemp derived CBD has been reported to be less medically effective than marijuana derived CBD.). Of 11 hemp variety candidates I investigated these range from 0.12-0.18% CBD in a single variety up to 1.21-3.50% CBD in a single variety. In other words the same plant can test for variable CBD (& other cannabinoids) content. Then too, the hemp variety with the highest measured CBD content is not neccessarily the one with the highest average CBD level.

        In terms of how much THC is in a hemp variety with respect to how much CBD is also in that same hemp variety the average ratio ranges from 0.08 THC/1 CBD up to 0.068 THC/1 CBD. If USA hemp legislation controls THC content (I predict industrial hemp will be allowed no more than an average THC content of 0.2% THC) bear in mind those 11 hemp varietie refered to in previous paragraph ranged from 0.00 – 0.07 % THC in a single variety (average 0.03%THC) up to 0.36 – 1.67% THC in a single variety (average 1.01%THC); & as fir CBD the hemp variety with the maximum measured THC is not neccessarily the hemp variety with the highest average THC.

        • The 2018 Farm Bill (just passed but Pres needs to sign) allows for 0.3% THC in hemp products. Also of note, there are feminized high-CBD varieties that produce more than 10% CBD in an Inflorescence.

          • With increasing legalization of marijuana in many places, like multiple USA states, it may be less profitable to grow hemp for CBD on a commercial scale than previously thought. The relatively recent bred Israeli cannabis strain named “Avidekel” has up to 16% CBD & reportedly zero % psycho-active THC. Just a few years before that a Colorado cannabis strain called “Charlotte’s Web” with about 20% CBD & only 0.5% THC (breeders supposedly are working to get that down to 0.3% THC) entered production.

    • Die heretic! Just kidding. (I’m from SE Michigan and Buckeyes are just fine for all kinds of things and in fact I have distant relatives in NE OH who are farmers).

      I appreciate your comments. States have all kind of resources to help farmers make good decisions, from Depts of Ag to cooperatives. Not only are farmers not stupid, they aren’t alone and they can take advantage of the science of agriculture and lessons from others in their field (pun intended).

      Farmers work hard and take a lot of risks and are generally not appreciated as they should be.

    • My farm in NE Indiana had a corn yield this year of 195 bushels per acre, the second highest in the 30 years for which I have records. Only 2014 was slightly higher. Soy bean yield was also second highest, topped only by 2016. I credit good agricultural practices by the farmers to which I have rented for all this time.

      • D Johnson
        2016? The year that gave us a look at what future warming would be like if we don’t repent?

    • Ohio farmers discover that Stanford climate Ph.Ds are stupid.

      I don’t actually believe they are stupid, but their bias, hubris and motivated reasoning makes them appear so.

  16. I learned in HS Physics that science consists in successful prediction. Real CO2 scientists predicted increased yields.

    Alarmists have never made a correct prediction about anything, that I know of.

  17. David Lovell is “sort of like, OK,” thick as two short planks. To coin an old English expression.

  18. ““The risk is that if people overstate the benefits of adaptation, it’s sort of like, OK, the environment can change and we can figure out how to deal with it,” said David Lobell,”,

    YOU mean like mankind always has and always will you blithering nonsensical idiot!

  19. Once again, academics are surprised to find that people who don’t have Phd’s behind their names, are actually able to think for themselves.

    • So very true.
      Wheat and rice, the first two crops to be domesticated and grown.
      Cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, horses. All domesticated, all bred for various traits.

      Wow, and all that before PhD’s were even invented; is that even real? /sarc.

      Ye shall know them by their reports.

  20. O.P. cites “… cooling of the hottest temperatures …” & “… better weather…” as responsible for 28% yield boost. Which indicates that in this context the “climate change” is auspicious.

  21. One can “adapt”. And species and individual adapt to changing ecosystems using non-genetic behavior changes and genetic and epigenetic evolution mechanisms.

    Or one can undergo adaptation.

    Nowhere in the references do I see the misspelled word “adaption.”

    And yes, adaptation to climate change is stringently ignored by the Alarmists. In their mind, they live in an unchanging Garden of Eden where unicorns and fairies have always lived. To be precise, the Climate Change Alarmists believe in verifiable fantasy.

  22. dicating statistically significant adaptation to a changing climate of 13 kg·ha−1· decade−1. All togeth

    Somebody forgot the sarc tag.
    That’s a joke. The farmer would get twenty times that much better yield simply by buying a fresh combine harvester every 5 years instead of every 10.
    Considering that he’ll have been throwing stonkingly large amounts of fertiliser and pest protection product at the crop, on top of the advances made by plant breeders**, that actually, in my book, equates to a decline in yield
    ** The only significant advances made by plant breeders are “Deeper Rooting Plants”
    What’s *that* all about then?

    Next, have they been planting corn in places where it historically has not been grown.
    Welcome to Crop Rotation. Even The Roans would give fine speeches extolling its virtues yet strangely, still managed to trash all the fields, forests and farm all around The Med and THEN, run out of food.
    If only Magical Thought Bubbles contained anything ‘good to eat’

    Not in the very least, is it impossible that the growing of maize has actually caused the observed Climate Change?

    Take a long hard look at a typical maize plant.
    Huge flappy leaves designed to capture as much (photosynthetic) energy as it can but also capturing vast amounts of solar thermal energy which it doesn’t need.
    (Its that tired old Quality versus Quantity thing yet again)
    But those big flappy leaves will be very efficient at losing that heat into the air around the plants.
    The effective heat absorbing surface area of a maize field will be *much* larger than the field’s area as viewed in plane projection on a map and it will always have ‘absorbing are’ perpendicular to the sun for every moment that the sun is above the horizon.
    Hence a field of maize will be warmer (at exactly the height thermometers are usually placed) than a field growing a much flatter crop such as (dwarf wheat) or, ideally and as it was until they were all needlessly slaughtered, grassland that fed and maintained the buffalo.
    Their big trampling feet and epic ‘cow pies’ returned the favour and looked after the dirt beneath the grass.
    Don’t mess with the cows. OK?

    Then, we have the most appalling assumption ever made (thank you Ancell)..
    namely that maize is an actual viable foodstuff for human critters.
    It Is Not.
    There *is* a reason why it is enclosed in an indigestible (for us) husk AND why it is utterly tasteless mush.
    A very good reason which we ignore at our diabetic and demented peril.

    • 1st the Newarkians came for our rice & I said nothing. Now the Newarkians come for our corn & I say nothing. What more sacrifice must be made next to appease the Newarkians?

  23. Roans
    😀

    I love it – just invented a new civilisation
    I bet they their own Warm Period then went extinct because of ‘Climate Change’
    Poor bastids, I’ll bet they were really nice folks too.
    Ho hum. Nothing new eh……

  24. I asked someone in the know about Ontario yields. The following was the reply:

    There has been favourable weather for maize in the US midwest (at least since the 1988 drought) mainly due to no serious drought events. This was predicted by Landscheidt. In Ontario, the length of the useful growing season is monitored in corn heat units. In all zones in ontario, the heat unit maps have been increased due to warming climate. This year the farmers have had a cool cloudy fall and the corn is full of vomotoxins and much is left unharvested. So it was a big crop that is toxic and of low value.

    So corn yields have been trending up about 1%/year and yes I will buy that 28% of that is due to the warming cycle we have been in. I don’t expect it to last as the sun is going to bottom in about 2020 for solar activity. I just do not understand how it got so very hot this summer given the sun was mostly inactive. It was so surprising. The cool cloudy fall weather is much more than I would expect. Cosmic rays are heading to 55 year highs in the next 12-24 months. They last peaked in 2009-10 so figure a 2020-21 peak (see the 3rd chart). https://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

    • Hi C.H., – Elevated CO2 (eCO2) is good for the C4 plant corn (maize) when it can “… ameliorate effects of water stress.” Otherwise to get about a 14% yield increase from eCO2
      requires ramping up the fertilization with nitrogen application by twice that required under ambient CO2. In other words, given decent soil moisture, eCO2 “…increase(s) the amount of nitrogen fertilization required to achieve maximum yield…” of corn.

      At eCO2 pkant leaf stomata are more restrictive (closed/less) & leaf “… tissue temperatures are higher …as a result of lower transpiration .” Corn yield,in terms of it’s more desirable grain, is “… caused by high temperature stress during flowering and ear development….”
      ( This is why O.P. states 28% bump up in yield was due to high temperature amelioration.)

      Quotes are my synoptic for ease of reader comprehension about this general concept of eCO2 & corn (I detest long rambling cut & paste quotes, or seeing bare links when someone states something without orientating their point). For source of quotes see the free full text available on-line of (2014?) ” Corn growth response to elevated CO2 varies with the amount of niteogen applied.”

  25. If only these climate alarmist “scientists” would change their focus. Stop trying to pretend we can control the climate if only we went back to pre-industrial modes of existence and develop adaptation solutions. Humans for thousands of years have survived because of adaptation and invention. We stopped having to hunt for food by creating farms. We reduced the impact of floods by building dams. We reduced deaths due to cold by designing efficient heaters. We reduced deaths due to heat by inventing refrigeration. We went from voodoo medicine to medical science. When will alarmist “scientists” stop preaching voodoo?

  26. Changing weather and planting practices in recent decades have led to increased corn yields, but whether the findings will apply to other crops and regions remains unknown.

    Friday, December 14, 2018 – 10:00
    Gabriel Popkin, Contributor

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment, droughts, temperature extremes and plagues of insect pests will increasingly harm farming worldwide.
    _________________________________________________

    She won’t get nowadays farmers do what in old testamentary already had to cope with.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-samsung&ei=H04jXJbkFebRrgTil6_gBg&q=the+pharaoh%27s+dream+7+fat+cows+7+plagues&oq=the+Pharoah+dream+7+fat+cows+7+plagues&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

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