Climate Study: CO2 Fertilized Plant Growth will Deplete Global Water Supplies

Man holds chainsaw in forest
Man holds chainsaw in forest. By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to a new study, increased transpiration from CO2 engorged plants will return more water vapour to the atmosphere, reducing runoff available to fill reservoirs.

Mid-latitude freshwater availability reduced by projected vegetation responses to climate change

Justin S. MankinRichard SeagerJason E. SmerdonBenjamin I. Cook & A. Park Williams 

Published: 04 November 2019

Abstract
Plants are expected to generate more global-scale runoff under increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations through their influence on surface resistance to evapotranspiration. Recent studies using Earth System Models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project ostensibly reaffirm this result, further suggesting that plants will ameliorate the dire reductions in water availability projected by other studies that use aridity metrics. Here we complicate this narrative by analysing the change in precipitation partitioning to plants, runoff and storage in multiple Earth system models under both high carbon dioxide concentrations and warming. We show that projected plant responses directly reduce future runoff across vast swaths of North America, Europe and Asia because bulk canopy water demands increase with additional vegetation growth and longer and warmer growing seasons. These runoff declines occur despite increased surface resistance to evapotranspiration and vegetation total water use efficiency, even in regions with increasing or unchanging precipitation. We demonstrate that constraining the large uncertainty in the multimodel ensemble with regional-scale observations of evapotranspiration partitioning strengthens these results. We conclude that terrestrial vegetation plays a large and unresolved role in shaping future regional freshwater availability, one that will not ubiquitously ameliorate future warming-driven surface drying.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0480-x

Sadly the full study is paywalled, but I think we get the idea; Plants are bad. The study suggests anything which increases transpiration, like anthropogenic CO2 emissions or presumably other changes which lead to increased transpiration, like planting trees, increases stress on the global supply of fresh water.

Of course, there are a few contradictory studies which suggest rainfall decreases if trees are cleared, studies which suggest plant transpiration plays an important positive role in the water cycle, but these studies are based on observations rather than climate projections.

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165 thoughts on “Climate Study: CO2 Fertilized Plant Growth will Deplete Global Water Supplies

  1. You would think with more evapotranspiration being recycled throughout the atmosphere, that there would be more atmospheric water to return as rain, perhaps somewhere else downwind. I think this study is about as bad as that faller trying to fall the tree with that atrocious undercut. He is probably going to hurt himself…

      • If you want to see the effect of increased plant mass/metrics on Evapotranspiration and rainfall you need look no further than tha Amazon Rain Forest.
        Generally increasing plant quantity in a given area leads to a more lush environment and slightly increased precipitation ammounts.

      • Jit, you just don’t get it do you. You seem to think reason and logical deduction has something to do with climate porn ( sorry I mean science).

        More “run off” would be a catastrophic risk of more flooding; less “run off” would be causing more drought and forest fires. No change would be a catastrophe because it’s “business as usual” which we already know is a catastrophe and it’s happening here and now !!

        Whether it led to more , less or exactly the same amount of “run off” , or anything else , it would still be a catastrophe with severe warning attached. WE MUST ACT NOW! Please stop eating meat. Please stop having children , please stop existing.

        “because bulk canopy water demands increase with additional vegetation growth”

        so I guess they will tell Brazil to go ahead with chopping down the rest of Amazonian rain forest because it is reducing ‘run off’ into the Amazon. Greenies will now be chopping down all the nasty trees they can find to save the planet.

        Yes, the reason there is more greening on Earth with more CO2 is because CO2, like water, is one of the limiting factors of nearly all plant growth anywhere and more CO2 means they can reduce their stomata and grow more with the SAME available water resources.

        But we all know that climate models perfectly reproduce the key processes of the water cycle, like evaporation, transpiration, condensation, cloud formation and precipitation based on “basic physics” which has been know for centuries. So there is no reason to think they are any more wrong about this projection of their virtual world than anything else they make up.

        • greg: Holy Bat Cheese Greg! I’d love to partake in hardline response to the Left with you as a supporter in the house. I’m usually flanked by the Left all around and take incoming from all sides. I feel like everyone around me knows they have nothing to add to the debate, but they also get angry at all of the good news I provide that their fears are irrational. It’s hard to debate using facts when most people lack an understanding of physics, science, or even basic math.
          It’s a MAD MAD MAD MAD world.

          • Not to question The Party’s new truth; I only want to know if this applies equally to all plant genders.

          • Alan Robertson wrote: “Not to question The Party’s new truth; I only want to know if this applies equally to all plant genders.”

            Luckily when I ask someone, whom I know if far left, which of the 50 genders they prefer, I get an eye roll. I think we need to raise awareness of just how backwards the idea is. I often ask how changing the meanings of words helps with communication?

            For example, recently, I asked someone why they wanted to be labeled as a Latino. They were not aware that Latin came from Italy, and that although my descendants are in fact from Italy, we do not identify as Latino. So why would people from one of some dozens of countries mostly in the Americas, who were conquered by Spain, choose to obfuscate where they came from by using a label that emanated from Italy?

            Blank stare

        • I thought they wanted to stop us eating meat and make us, (sorry, persuade us), to eat plants instead, so surely we can just eat all the excess plants? You have to laugh at all the contradictions- tree huggers will presumably now become tree fellers and blame us for planting all the extra trees that they demanded…..just as they blame us for driving the diesel cars that they demanded we use because of lower emissions, which anyone who’s ever seen an engine told them was nonsense. Just as I was starting to think a greener world was a better one….

    • This technique can be used on smaller diameter trees where there would be insufficient room to bang a wedge in behind the bar when completing the back cut.

      The larger open face cut in that picture the faller has made is to hold the tree longer before the face closes and the tree hinge wood is broken. In fact having a face angle over 90 degrees where you will hold the tree all the way to the ground and have the butt end remaining attached to the stump …. provides exceptional control.

      References:-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLkgWFh9lDs

      • I don’t knoooow!!!!!!!! His notch is so shallow that there is plenty of room for a wedge. And what is he doing with the tip of the bar- obviously something because he standing right in front of the tree poking at it. I am standing way back.

        When you could no longer see a logical pathway of physics through the models they became silly nonscience. When the sawman started poking into an open faced notch with the tip of the bar, it became a photo op.

      • That undercut serves no purpose which is now essentially the saw kerf. By the time it makes contact with the lower notched face to lift the tree and break the hinge wood, the tree will already be flat on the ground. Not only that, but he has the tip of the bar (which can be real dangerous) cutting further into the undercut and completely destroying the purpose of any real undercut which should only be a max of 45 degrees. Meaning he has to cut off more of the holding wood and then his back cut is meeting the excessive undercut he is making with the tip of the bar and the tree can fall any direction that has any remaining hinge wood or the direction it is leaning.

        This is how accidents happen and people die. We have a saying…the small ones hurt, but you don’t feel the big ones. You control the hinge wood by the amount of holding wood you leave, (and direction of fall) hopefully by having a perfect undercut that isn’t cut any deeper than the V notch of the undercut. Everything about the picture of that faller is wrong, except for the safety equipment he is wearing, which from the looks of things he will need. However, it is a very apt photo given the less than stellar article.

        • I talked with some Asplundh guys when they were clearing my power ROW. They do that cut to keep the tree from kicking up and off the stump when it goes down. I failed to do that on a large tree that was leaning towards my power line. There was plenty of room to drop and miss, but the low angle cut I made caused the tree to pop off the stump as it went down, and because it was on a slope it carried far enough away from the stump to slap the line. Fortunately the recloser only activated once. Popped my breaker, but no one else on the main line lost power. If I had remembered to do that cut, that wouldn’t have happened.

          • icisil,

            I think it was kicked off by the LIMBER branches of the tree you felled. This is WHY the open faced V shaped notch is the safest way to deal with that problem, you can use the trunk of the tree to control some of the bounce back effect.

            Dead trees are safer to cut down as they no longer have that limber branches bounce back problem, they crash into the ground with little bounce back, as the branches breaks easily.

            I have operated chainsaws with bars as long as 3 feet, which in part determines how to set up the notch. I have often cut out some of the limber branches on the downfall side of trees, BEFORE cutting the tree down, to greatly reduce bounce back effects.

      • I’ve no problem with the wide hinge cut but the photo shows the tip of the bar cutting into the hinge wood. That kinda makes for an unreliable hinge, possibly breaking well before the hinge opening closes.

      • @ Eric Frei November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

        Eric, I suggest you leave “cutting trees” with a chainsaw to someone who knows how to use one.

        Bout everything you said …… is bad advice.

        Ya don’t need a wedge when cutting “smaller diameter” trees ….. unless a stuck chain.

        And …. “the larger open face cut in that picture” will never close and won’t act as a “hinge” for the log to jump-the-stump.

        And …… “having a face angle over 90 degrees” ….. is a joke, ….. and ya might be able to have the “hinge” …….. “hold the tree all the way to the ground and have the butt end remaining attached to the stump” … if your face cut angle is a 45 degree “up-cut” …. instead of that pictured “down-cut”.

        • it seems everyone is an expert when it comes to tree felling. Though always those who did that job were called tree-fellers not fellers, not fallers.

          There is a technique where the centre third of the hinge is cut away so that may be what he is doing with the tip of the bar here. Anyone who thinks there is only one way to fell a tree and thinks they know what it is, probably does not know that much about tree felling ( or falling ).

          • Eric Frei November 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm

            @ Sam Cogar

            I’m an arborist, 21 years experience, bus loads of qualifications, I know my job.

            Everything I have said is accurate and correct.

            So, you are a “tree surgeon”, …. HUH. …. Where at, …. downtown New York City, maybe?

            Ells bells, ….. Eric, ….. you don’t have a clue what a “90 degree angle” is, ….. let alone claiming to be an “expert” arborist offering this advice, to wit:

            [Eric Frei – November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am] “In fact having a face angle over 90 degrees where you will hold the tree all the way to the ground …..

            Eric F, ….. ask your mommy, ….. I’m sure she will tell you that to “cut a face angle over 90 degrees” …. one would have to start the “cut” from the back side of the tree and cut clear through it.

          • icisil, I don‘t watch videos.

            But I will agree if one performs a 46 degree “uppercut” to the perpendicular ….. and then a 46 degree “downcut” to the perpendicular then it would result in a 92 degree “wedge” cut, …… which doing said would not only be extremely dangerous, tiresome, wasteful and time consuming, ….. but kinda silly if cutting timber that is 24” or greater in diameter.

            Eric Frei is surely paid handsomely for pruning or removing one widdle ole tree, but iffen he was cutting his winter firewood ….. it would take him all winter to get it cut down …… and all summer to get it cut up and hauled out of the woods.

        • @ Sam Cogar

          I’m an arborist, 21 years experience, bus loads of qualifications, I know my job.

          Everything I have said is accurate and correct.

          You should use a wedge or pull rope unless the tree is forward leaning, it is called backing up your cut and also gets the tree going. Sometimes you have breezes and unevenly weighted or interfering caught up canopies. The wedge not only prevents the tree from “sitting back” on the bar but also lifts the tree so it commences the fall if stalled.

          When the notch face closes the hinge wood is broken. Until that hinge wood is broken the control of the hinge remains. The jumping of the stump is not always required. In fact when felling up hill it is common the tree comes back onto or over the stump so having a wider face notch that doesn’t close helps hold the tree from returning.

          Often loggers use an inverted face cut so the butt end of the log is square and saves a bit of wood, and the angle of the notch is left in the stump, it’s called a humbolt notch.

          Here’s a link to some notches, explains a bit. Also the optimum angle of the notch when up a tree and felling a section out onto rigging is 70 degrees. The reason is the physics for the whiplash created and the hinge breaking. If a section of tree had a 45 degree angle notch aloft, at 45 degrees the bending momentum is at it’s maximum pushing the stem below the cut backwards. If at that time the hinge breaks then there is additional load so avoiding that scenario is wise as it can shake the climber loose …. who may cop injury including broken ribs. The 70 degree notch allows the backward bend of the trunk to commence return to vertical, the downward momentum of the cut piece and breaking of hinge wood at this position means a lot less shaking. Tests under slow cameras have shown that to be the best angle.

          For others who have commented about doing the plunge cut reducing the hinge wood it’s no big deal. Ever felled hollow trees? How about a open face hollow tree?

          Link:- https://firewoodhoardersclub.com/forums/threads/felling-which-notch-to-use.21176/

          • from the lean on that tree, it looks like he’s starting on the wrong side unless he’s got it well roped up already. I’ll bet after that photo they put the Stihl “pro” and the pants back in the box, left the tree with a wedge hacked out of it, sent the male model back to the agency and went home.

          • A good one. An arborist probably pays much more attention to felling a single tree than a random lumberjack (which is profession much disappeared anyway).

            There are many ways to kill the cat, and I have no reason to believe the guy in the picture is not knowing what he does. It looks like a straight small pine, probably not very difficult to take down safely if there is no powerline or other structure nearby.

            My qualifications. Have been using a chainsaw, have seen a lot of tree-felling. Would leave it to a professional after certain size.

          • Eric,

            Your link left out something critical, which amuses me because real loggers would know why that critical omission is a major safety issue. Especially when they survived their first injury which makes them lose interest in the too early broken hinge method.

            I agree with Samuel, you lack the understanding on how to cut down large trees safely.

    • “CO2 engorged plants”? What a disgusting picture. I hate it when that happens.

      Plants decrease their stomata numbers as CO2 rises and they thus decreases transpiration, os it is hard to see what he is getting at. Or is he just against there being more plants?

      “constraining the large uncertainty in the multimodel ensemble”

      Ah, there is it. Models always suck, it seems. They had to contain the large uncertailty to mimic certainty and then they tell up about their new found GIGO results.

      • Wouldn’t more plants with smaller leaf stomata yield a similar evapotranspiration factor as fewer plants with larger leaf stomata?

      • Sadly this study may be presented at conference where significant quantity of CO2 will be emitted flying one or more of the authors. We’ll have to cut down another tree to compensate./s

    • The file’s name is “Man_holds_chainsaw_in_forest”. I hope it’s not running.

      It occurs to me that modelling is akin to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It’s like scholasticism powered by supercomputers.

      • “Man_holds_chainsaw_in_forest”, very truthful title. Not to be confused with the companion photo : man_USING_chainsaw_in_forest.

        This is obviously staged, no saw dust anywhere. Sun angle looks like middle of the day yet he is spotlessly clean. Brand new gloves and leg protection. What time did he start work.

        Photographer ordered “strong working man” type model for photoshoot between noon and 1pm for new Stihl catalogue.

      • very good point. He also looks suspiciously clean , not a spot of saw dust on him, anywhere. I wonder who made the first cut for him.

        Looks more like a photo for a work safety brochure or a sales catalogue where they legally have to show a demo photo with every possible safety accessory otherwise some ahole will sue them when they loose a finger.

        Probably he’s an model agency hire for days photo shooting for Stihl.

    • As an Oregon boy, Douglas County, growing up and falling trees, I agree with Earthling2 the guy in the photo is not doing anything correctly. Falling a tree this small requires a good notch cut (on the side you want it to fall) not that slab cut he has made, then an angled downward falling cut. Go ahead and find all the videos you want to show fools doing whatever, you can’t fool an Oregon boy. Just Saying!

      As regards envirotranspiration and other fantasies the Age Of The Dinosaurs is my template. High CO2, big plants, giant animals, and great wines.

    • THes so called scientists have no understanding of the actual processes they ‘study’ theyt just pick on some parameter and extrapolate it without any theought of interaction, feedbck or any other touch of reality.

      Its all about the headline and getting funding.

    • They now have proven the land dinosaurs went extinct because of thirst. Life in the oceans would have gone extinct much earlier because of ocean acidity level because of much higher CO2 levels than today.

    • It’s only a moderately small pine. The degree of difficulty is not high.

      In Australia, our degree of difficulty is routunely off the charts. There’d be a dozen greenies hanging off that one tree and a watching person of indeterminate gender with a degree in advanced enviro-wokeness ready to book you for killing the planet.

      Thus, how one does it is largely irrelevant. Pain is probably coming either way.

      There’s a reason why bushcraft survival shows don’t film Down Under. We’re buried under green tape.

  2. So erosion mitigation bad… ergo even the re-meadowing movement of the great plains… bad. Paving large areas to encourage runoff .. good. Got it.

  3. Is this way Germany cut down 600 acres of forest so they could put seven, yes just seven wind generators there 😐 Why waste money on planting trees, lets cut them all down.

  4. The abstract is rife with double negatives… it would be nice if it was written clearly.

    CO2 will increase plant growth because plants grow more efficiently with increased CO2. More plant growth is a bad. We must reduce global greening because models say so!

      • Disputin: Absolutely… The abstract struggled to get words in so that it could obfuscate from reality.
        CO2, the main nutrient without which no life exists, is being demonized by the anti life Left.
        I enjoy when I see the utter disbelief from the Left who deny the world is greening until I take them to NASA and WUWT to show that CO2 is the reason for the greening. They are in further disbelief when I ask them, “How is limiting CO2 considered to be green then?” The response is either, “You’re a denier” or “Oh my goodness…” seed planted.

        Further, this weekend, an art professor budded in when I answered a question about the real cause of CA’s wild fires. She said, “the fires are what you’d expect from Climate Change”. I said, would you also think that weather is getting more extreme, more hurricanes, storms and tornadoes?” She said yes of course. I said, well, the EPA disagrees with you. She called me a Climate Denier. I said, nice, a college professor ascends to her level of competency through ad hominem… because she doesn’t want to know the truth… She went onto “The scientists say…”

        I asked if she could name a scientist who says… and what specifically they said? Nothing… deer in the headlights…

        Later on I spent some time showing her around and she was amazed to learn a few things. Humbling to her and another seed planted.

        • nice work getting someone like that to listen long enough to plant seeds but if those seeds grow into trees that will cause more run off and you won’t be thanked !

          • Greg:” but if those seeds grow into trees that will cause more run off and you won’t be thanked !…”

            Reminds me of Bernie: “I hate Millionaires”… “no.. no, Now that I’m a millionaire, I hate Billionaires”

        • Good work, changing minds one at a time.

          I love that deer in the headlights look from confronting True Believers in CAGW with actual evidence.

          • “I love that deer in the headlights look from confronting True Believers in CAGW with actual evidence.”
            Graemethecat: Thank you. It is satisfying, where it used to be frustrating

        • I for one am ‘triggered’ when someone calls me a denier and demand they be taken away and executed whilst I find a safe space…..

          • Andy: “for one am ‘triggered’ when someone calls me a denier”

            Me too… I found that when people resort to Ad Hominems, it’s really because they have no intelligent thing to say… so they tear the messenger down instead of providing enlightenment.

    • yes. you cannot affirm, confirm, or reaffirm a theory (ie a computer model) with a run of that model. Only data from the world can do that.

      Running a model produces quantification of the theory used to create the model. Then measurements must be made in the real world, or it at least in the lab in a controlled experiment to confirm or deny the theory (model.

      The entire scare-mongering enterprise of the climate crisis alarmists is based on computer models which are mostly failing to make accurate predictions about the world we actually live in.

  5. I call foul.

    Earth surface drying will decline with more vegetation. Runoff will decline which increases aquifer refilling rates.

    Transpiration from leaves decreases significantly with tiny increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    In the remote eventuality that more and healthier vegetation turns out to be a bad thing, WE COULD ALWAYS USE THE CALIFORNIA SOLUTION.

    Another non-problem solved.

    • “In the remote eventuality that more and healthier vegetation turns out to be a bad thing, WE COULD ALWAYS USE THE CALIFORNIA SOLUTION.”

      Or, we could use the DRAX biomass power plant solution.
      The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
      Anthony Watts
      http://bit.ly/2YXSJre
      February 7, 2019
      Hailed as “the biggest decarbonization project in Europe,” this facility now consumes about 9 million tons of wood pellets per year, shipped 3,000 miles from the US and Canada.
      An estimated 4,600 square miles of forest are needed to feed the voracious Drax plant, with acres of forest felled each day.
      Green Shock: Entire Forests Being Murdered to Produce Wood Pellet Biomass

      http://bit.ly/2OHpODJ

  6. When articles start with any of the following:

    According to a new study
    Researchers have found
    According to scientist

    What usually follows is a bunch of BS.

    Where have all the scientist gone? Long time passing
    Where have all the scientist gone? Long time ago
    Where have all the scientist gone? Feeding off the gov’t everyone
    When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

  7. “We show that projected plant responses directly reduce future runoff across vast swaths of North America, Europe and Asia because bulk canopy water demands increase with additional vegetation growth and longer and warmer growing seasons.”

    “additional vegetation and longer and warmer growing seasons” = a bad thing. Got it.

    • I’m really confused after reading this article. Is it better to plant a tree or cut one down???
      That’s what I love about climate science – it keeps you guessing.

  8. Almost all water runoff into streams happens during big precipitation events where there is such a glut of rain that flooding occurs and the vast majority of water simply flows out into the ocean. This runoff does not make its way into the soil and water table where it would help slow the return to drought conditions as this water slowly seeps out into streams from springs.

    Increased vegetation decreases the rate of runoff and thus decreases the magnitude of floods and increases the amount that saturates into the ground. Vegetation also increases the likelihood of small precipitation events in general through the aerosol-precipitation feedback. It also shades the soil which prevents the sun from drying it out as fast.

    It’s amazing how these “models” can predict the complete opposite of empirical observations yet the cult truly believes the results.

  9. The entire “climate change” meme consists of … “now that we’ve got your attention, look at this NEW ridiculous study we’ve come up with. It doesn’t matter that it is contradictory to several other known principles, climate science doesn’t require consistency.
    I agree about the undercut. That wouldn’t even be legal in British Columbia …for two reasons, safety and it cuts into the tree rather than the stump.

  10. But, warmer temperatures also means more evaporation from the oceans and more available water in the first place. So the claimed scenario would only be plausible if the only effect from CO2 was to increase agricultural productivity. although, even without any corresponding temperature increase, it’s still beneficial.

    Perhaps this scenario is more plausible as demonstrating tangible harm from CO2 emissions? A heavier atmosphere from more CO2 will increase gravity, making everyone on Earth weight more and if the world doesn’t go on a diet. we will rapidly deplete our food supplies and everyone will go hungry.

  11. Plants are bad, unimpeded erosion and catastrophic flooding must be good. And yes, studies based on actual observations must be ignored (suppressed) in favour of those based on imaginary models.

    This ‘woke, progressive’ ‘scientific’ outlook makes entrail reading look good.

  12. Nothing good ever comes from CO2. Too much rain. Not enough rain. Not enough bears. Too many bears. Not enough green. Too much green.

  13. Kinda solves the Co2 caused sea level rise scam… err scare. I thought cutting down the Amazon forest would result in the land drying out? Which is it?

    • Kevin R.,
      Probably not going to happen as that would interfere with Al Gore’s lucrative Carbon Offset (Credit?) indulgence scam so rich people can fly on their private jets and sail on their yachts without guilt.

  14. When the imminent global cooling takes hold, the alarmists have “We’re all going to die of thirst unless we do something!” in their hip pockets. Kind of like switching from “Russia!” to “Ukraine!” im the blink of an eye.

  15. Models, again. You can make those show anything.
    The reality is that in higher CO2, plants can have their pores more closed, which reduces evapotranspiration and makes the plants more drought-tolerant.
    This climate nonsense is extremely anti-science, and extremely anti-Life. But we’ve known that. How do we get them to wake up and stop causing so much destruction? By focusing on the Regenerative Agriculture part of the Green New Deal. It does not matter that the rest of GND is insane.
    The young warriors need success and THIS part of their efforts will be very successful. Since it is plant and animal-based, they get informed about photosynthesis along the way, and can quit worrying about “greenhouse gases” without a lot of fuss.
    The actual sin of “eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil” is trying to make someone else wrong. This site and others are right about the greenhouse gas facts, and have worked hard to get others to admit they are wrong. The result is we have gotten almost nowhere except riots in France and Chile.
    Climate activists are RIGHT about Regenerative agriculture and they can get very happy and excited about it. This approach is PROFITABLE. So let’s run with it.

  16. How many people are so green to believe that Green is good and green [vegetation] is bad? The Profits want to abort the baby and grant her life, too. Irreconcilable.

  17. This helps prove that the NRDC is running an AI program to rule the world from their office. They are using the Sierra Club and Green Peace as enforcers.

  18. Since this is, by their own admission, a model study with considerable uncertainties between models I would think that this study can safely be ignored.

  19. From the abstract
    “….ostensibly reaffirm this result,…..We demonstrate that constraining the large uncertainty in the multimodel ensemble with regional-scale observations of evapotranspiration partitioning strengthens these results.”
    ostensibly– 1. in an ostensible manner. 2. to all outward appearances.
    constrain– 1a. to force by imposed stricture, restriction, or limitation.

    I don’t think we have to read the paper or understand much botany. Do these modelers ever go out in the field, or check their grammatical construction? Or even their science? I just ran across a paper with a new (to me) acronym–HARKING=Hypothesis after Results Known.

  20. ““We show that projected plant responses directly reduce future runoff across vast swaths of North America, Europe and Asia because bulk canopy water demands increase with additional vegetation growth and longer and warmer growing seasons.”

    They needed a study to learn this? They could have just asked a farmer or a forester but, that would have meant they didn’t get funding for their study so…

  21. In response to a comment on another website (Jo’s) I pointed out to the poster that when we burn any of the various fossil fuels (coal excepted), about half of what comes out of back end of the ICE is water vapor. The US alone, using 17 – 18 million bopd (equivalent), is putting that much “juvenile” water vapor into the atmosphere each day. After a half-century, or longer, I cannot see that this is a trivial amount.

    And, as was pointed out, in a warming world, there is more oceanic evaporation, putting even more water vapor into the atmosphere, so color me skeptical of this ‘study’ and its conclusions.

    Regards to all,

    Vlad

    • Compared to the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere at any given time, I think it probably is a trivial amount.

  22. This study must qualify for one of the worst ever written by peope that call them selves scientists .
    The whole global warming scam relys on INCREASED water vapour and then positive feed back to cause more warming .
    A warmer atmosphere does carry more water and any vegetation will reduce runoff over land with no vegetation .Most of the water in the atmosphere is evaporated from the surfave of the oceans and the clouds move over land masses and drop the moisture as rain hail or snow .
    Very little moisture is absorbed from land masses compared with the oceans and lakes .
    A little more water vapour in the atmosphere over land will usally fall over land .
    A news headline here this morning is that 11,000 scientists have signed a climate emergency .
    If this article represents the present crop of scientists that says it all.
    I have been farming for over 60 tears and have followed closely this global warming scam since it was hatched but this study is the worst I have seen.
    Graham
    Proud to be a farmer feeding the world

  23. Always on our dime:

    We thank the Earth System Grid Federation and their archiving of the Coupled Model Intercomparison J.S.M. was funded by the Burke Research Initiation Award and the National Science Foundation award AGS‐1243204, which also supported R.S. and J.E.S. Additional support for R.S. and J.E.S. was provided by National Science Foundation awards GS‐1401400, AGS‐1805490, AGS-1602581 and OISE-1743738. B.I.C. was supported by the NASA Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction. A.P.W. was supported by National Science Foundation award AGS-1703029 and NASA award 16-MAP16-0081. Lamont contribution #8359.

  24. If more plant life increases water retention won’t that reduce sea level rise?

    (Next report: “Oh noes! Reduced rate of SLR will stunt vertical coral growth rates.”

  25. If trees are cleared, the first thing that happens is massive increases in topsoil erosion. In many areas with tropical rainfall levels, we have already seen that happen due to commercial logging.

    What about deserts? You think that they are great suppliers of rainwater across the Sahara? I beg to differ.

    Tropical forests create their own weather leading to daily rainstorms in late afternoon.

    These studies are just agenda-driven, looking for any angle of scaremongering to justify ‘further research’.

    The other interested parties will be indoor growing factories creating synthetic environments: the more of those they want to build, the less therest of the world must be able to provide. Traditional agriculture is bad, we must solely grow using hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics!

    Expect the BBC to be plugging this: they are shameless propagandists utterly without moral compass.

  26. Having gone to the article abstract and looked at the data source statement, I can now safely say this study is 100% model porn. There is no real data to be found anywhere in the article. The only good thing I can say about it is “no plants were harmed in the production of this fantasy.”

    • Frogs getting bigger, frogs getting smaller, more earthquakes, fewer earthquakes, bees dying, landslides increasing, landslides decreasing.
      ( not hyperbole, but all part of the shameful peer review treasure)

      And these are the ” scientists” that just no CO2 will kill us all.

  27. So one can conclude that wild fires that reduce vegetation are good and should be encouraged. The turning of wilderness into urban areas is also good because if greatly lessens the amount of pesky plants per acre. Cancer causing herbicides are actually good for the earth and should be applied to all public lands to kill all vegetation on them. Cancer causing chemicals tend to reduce human population which is also good for the Earth.

  28. Other than having the higher CO2/transpiration relationship backwards, they are doing great. Simply amazing, and to think someone has spent good money on this study.

  29. Let me guess…. their findings are from models and they’ve parameterized a lot of complicated things like how different soils absorb rainfall and how additional water vapor in the air transpired by plants might add rainfall to other places.

    Can these people seriously be called scientists?

  30. This is monumentally silly. All water lost by evapotranspiration comes back down as rain/snow. The water doesn’t disappear or sray permanently in the atmosphere. This is seen e. g. in the Amazon which is unique since it has very heavy preciptation in a lowland area far from any sea. This is ordinarily impossible, but happens here because it is the same water that is evaporated from the forest in the morning that comes down as rain in the afternoon, again and again and again.

    Increased plant growth however can consume water through photosynthesis, which forms plant tissue from water plus carbon dioxide, but this is only temporary. Sooner or later the plant tissue burns, rots or is eaten and the water (and CO2) returned to circulation.

  31. Clearly the science is not settled and justifies funding the investigators’ lavish lifestyles and retirements so that they can complete phase 25 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. I would suggest Congress should create a new Cabinet department to oversee the work.

  32. At least they’ve admitted that CO2 is good for plants, much of which is something called “food”.
    Long before Man thinks he invented “recycling”, nature has been at it.
    Water is a prime example.

    • Gunga Din: “At least they’ve admitted that CO2 is good for plants…”

      Yes, good point, except that these plants are in the wrong place at the wrong time… and the growth is unprecedented, unnatural and man made. Therefore these plants are bad.

      I don’t need the sarc/ but just in case 🙂

        • Rex Tasha: “The sarc/ is needed. You sounded like you had contacted virulent CO2 Derangement Syndrome.”
          Well, no one can fault me for being able to know what the Left believes. That’s the first step in being able to change minds… understanding their fatally flawed thinking.

  33. These research guys just want to push the CAGW party line.

    Plants eat CO2. CO2 is good for life.

    It is an observational fact that the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 has caused a massive expansion of plant growth in arid places.

    Increased CO2 causes plant’s biomachinery to change (the plant reduces the number of stomata on their leaves and other biochemical changes) which significant reduces the plant’s water loss in arid locations which enable plants to live with less water.

    The plants must decide which they need more:

    1) water or 2) carbon dioxide.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm

    Greenhouse Gas Might Green Up The Desert; Weizmann Institute Study Suggests That Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Might Cause Forests To Spread Into Dry Environments

    The Weizmann team found, to its surprise, that the Yatir forest is a substantial “sink” (CO2-absorbing site): its absorbing efficiency is similar to that of many of its counterparts in more fertile lands. These results were unexpected since forests in dry regions are considered to develop very slowly, if at all, and thus are not expected to soak up much carbon dioxide (the more rapidly the forest develops the more carbon dioxide it needs, since carbon dioxide drives the production of sugars). However, the Yatir forest is growing at a relatively quick pace, and is even expanding further into the desert.

    Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, which leads to the production of sugars. But to obtain it, they must open pores in their leaves and consequently lose large quantities of water to evaporation. The plant must decide which it needs more: water or carbon dioxide. Yakir suggests that the 30 percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution eases the plant’s dilemma. Under such conditions, the plant doesn’t have to fully open the pores for carbon dioxide to seep in – a relatively small opening is sufficient. Consequently, less water escapes the plant’s pores. This efficient water preservation technique keeps moisture in the ground, allowing forests to grow in areas that previously were too dry.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).
    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

    The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.
    In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne’s Africa Research Unit in Germany.

    “Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass,” said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades

    In 2008 Kröpelin—not involved in the new satellite research—visited Western Sahara, a disputed territory controlled by Morocco.
    “The nomads there told me there was never as much rainfall as in the past few years,” Kröpelin said. “They have never seen so much grazing land.”
    “Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass,” he said.
    “Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back,” he said.
    “The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable.”

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7gy1cyyr5yey994/

    Carbon dioxide effects on stomatal responses to the environment and water use by crops under field conditions

    , with a doubling of [CO2] reducing mean midday conductances by 50% in others. Elevated [CO2] increases leaf area index throughout the growing season in some species. Simulations, and measurements in free air carbon dioxide enrichment systems both indicate that the relatively large reductions in stomatal conductance in crops would translate into reductions of <10% in evapotranspiration, partly because of increases in temperature and decreases in humidity in the air around crop leaves.

  34. This model-study reads just like a pay-for-play payola effort with one eye on the computer and one eye constantly on the grant inbox. Like all the other Leftist alarm pieces about the effects of CO2 it can safely be ignored.

  35. Just those two words, Models and Projections says it all.

    Perhaps they should have added that as there is now less water used by
    the plant then this would add to the Greenhouse effect as the water goes back
    into the atmosphere.

    Meanings.

    Model, a electronic device which is programmed to say what the user wants
    to hear.

    Projections, a guess, what if this was to happen.

    As with so much of “”Climate Science”” its complete nonsense.

    MJER VK5ELL

  36. More trees bad, less trees good? I believe this is a new version of recent hypothesis that more plant growth will dilute the nutrition per sq/cm in vegetables, and this dilution will be bad, because, um, well, why is it bad? The vegetable will ostensibly have MORE nutrition, because it’s a bigger, healthier fruit or tuber or leaf, or whatever, but you might need to eat one extra bite, of which the plant has generously provided because of it’s enhanced growth, in order to get all the nutrition of the more concentrated pre-CAGW vegetable?

    These people in academe are going insane right before our eyes. I’m calling bullshit. The King is naked.

  37. Sadly the full study is paywalled, but I think we get the idea; Plants are bad.

    As I’ve said before, some papers truly deserve to be paywalled. They don’t deserve to see the light of day and the fools who wish to read them should be made to pay. This seems like a good example.

  38. Wonder what the cost of burying water so it can’t evaporate into cloud formation might be. Water vapor is much more potent green house gas than CO2 from what I hear.

      • “Wonder what the cost of burying water so it can’t evaporate into cloud formation might be. Water vapor is much more potent green house gas than CO2 from what I hear.”

        It’s cost effective and already being done for the FRACKING process!!!

      • My point is that the planet earth is a CLOSED system. That scientists are usually wrong. That next week some other LIMITED study or “model” is going to find the OPPOSITE but “scientists” will ignore the results or claim they are “rethinking” their whatever.

        The water on earth stays on earth. A US dollar is only good in the US. Closed systems.*

        Scientists reject anything that doesn’t fit their CONSENSUS and preconceptions. I’ll bet you won’t even read ONE of the articles at rsr .org / hydroplate before you dismiss the theory as false. (I reference that because the Hydroplate Theory is contrary to my initial claim that the earth is a closed system. Read until you learn why.)

        *What goes around, comes around. Read about the Hydroplate Theory until you understand that. The UNIVERSE is a closed system.

  39. “—————-reduce runoff across vast swathes of north America”. Wow – that will lead to sea levels falling. (sarc

  40. Wasn’t there a study that said plants have maximum-rate clocks and that increases in CO2 reduces the number of “breathing holes” and reduces waste transpiration someplace… in the 1980s?

    Because I remember it being referenced last damned year in the study that CO2 doesn’t increase plant growth size or by land-area it just makes it easier for them to digest soil effectively and thus produces less waste overall.

      • “Wasn’t there a study that said plants have maximum-rate clocks and that increases in CO2 reduces the number of “breathing holes” and reduces waste transpiration someplace… in the 1980s? Because I remember it being referenced last damned year in the study that CO2 doesn’t increase plant growth size or by land-area it just makes it […]

        Since plants don’t digest soil you clearly remember wrongly.”

        Uhn… yes the study is correct. The breathing holes are called stomata. And correct, more CO2 causes fewer stomata, and hence less transpiration

  41. Na na nah nya….my model’s better than your model
    [even if the results of my model are ludicrous]
    Wherre’s the peer review here?

    As an afterthought, how did the planet get on before the start of agriculture and clearing around 10,000 years ago ? No water for anything or anybody ?

  42. ‘ang on. I thought global warming was going to make it more ‘umid?

    And doesn’t more CO2 make plants use water more efficiently? I wish some of these scientists types got their story straight.

  43. Let me pose a question here, more or less to the point; If plants derive all their carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide, who is releasing all that nasty carbon dioxide into the air? after all, they are supposed to be regurgitating at night the CO2 they took in from the air and could not process; and if plants obtain their nutrients from water that comes into contact with the soil, how does the water know to reject any carbon it comes into contact with in the soil? After all, reading those articles about ancient indians and “terra preta” (black soil) in the Amazon and in Africa, surely the prized black colour comes from carbon? So why does it lose it’s blackness, so that said indians / Africans have to find another patch? Perhaps we don’t understand things quite as much as we think we do.

  44. CO2 is good for plant life. You can’t possibly deny that, pretending to be a scientist. Oops! Snookered? No, of course not. We just find a hypothetical disadvantage to ‘prove’ that actually CO2 is not good after all.

    How about: “Growth will deplete global water supplies.”

  45. The logic displayed in these results only serve to display how models can be driven to prove anything, even illogical conclusions.

    Did no one arrive at a testable hypothesis prior to running the model? Were the conclusions not examined for being consistent with real world effects? This appears to be climate scientists/modelers that have no biology expertise at all.

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