Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Even if you believe the predictions of alarmists, climate change is not going to be universally bad; cold countries like Canada and Russia will benefit from longer growing seasons.
But for people who write for The Conversation, nothing good can be allowed to come from global warming.
Longer growing seasons have a limited effect on combating climate change
May 12, 2020 3.57am AEST
Assistant professor, Remote Sensing at School of Geography & Earth Sciences, McMaster University
Climate warming is leading to early springs and delayed autumns in colder environments, allowing plants to grow for a longer period of time during each growing season. Plants are absorbing more carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of this longer growing season.
The earlier arrival of spring is fighting climate change by allowing plants to absorb CO2 over a longer period of time and thus slowing the rate at which atmospheric CO2 is rising. What we don’t know is how long can we count on earlier springs and longer growing seasons.
I am a remote sensing scientist who studies the impact of climate change on seasonal cycle of plant activity. Using satellite observations, long-term ground measurements and mechanistic computer models, I also study the impacts of climate change and variability on global land ecosystems and related feedbacks to the atmosphere through carbon cycle.
In addition, in many northern ecosystems, the benefits of warmer springs on increased CO2 absorption is offset by the accumulation of seasonal water deficits. New evidence shows that the increased spring plant growth and earlier start of the growing season actually deplete summer soil moisture and decrease the overall summer time plant growth in boreal and tundra ecosystems. With increasing warming throughout the growing season, summer moisture stress may be exacerbated in the future in temperate, boreal and Arctic ecosystems.
Climate change is leading to warmer and longer growing seasons, reduced snow pack in winter, earlier spring snow melt and soil water depletion. This in turn increases moisture stress on plants and makes forests more susceptible to severe wildfire, which already becoming increasingly frequent and severe in large parts of Canada. Severe fires can release huge amounts of CO2, not only from the burning plant tissues but also from top soils and peat lands.
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/longer-growing-seasons-have-a-limited-effect-on-combating-climate-change-130384
Assuming global warming continues, warmer temperatures might melt a little snow, but Skeptical Science tells us global warming will also increase rain and snowfall, because warmer air can carry more moisture, so the author’s claim that water stress will rise is at best uncertain.
A little warming might even open the far North of Arctic countries to people who currently find the polar climate unbearably cold. Any demographic map of Canada or Russia shows most people cluster along the warm Souther edge of Northern countries, likely because most people can’t stand the long, dark and bitterly cold winters in the far North.
Of course, all of this assumes the warming predicted by climate models will actually occur. Given climate model’s dismal track record of prediction failure, predictions of future global warming are far from certain.