Reproduced with permission, copyright Dr. Craig D. Idso.

Models vs Observations: Study predicts Global Warming will Cause Deserts to Grow

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

As real world observations suggest deserts are shrinking, likely thanks to CO2 increasing drought resistance, a new model based study has presented a gloomy prediction of future widespread hunger, especially in Asia.

Third of global food production at risk from climate crisis

Food-growing areas will see drastic changes to rainfall and temperatures if global heating continues at current rate

Fiona Harvey 
Environment correspondent
Sat 15 May 2021 02.28 AEST

A third of global food production will be at risk by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rate, new research suggests.

Many of the world’s most important food-growing areas will see temperatures increase and rainfall patterns alter drastically if temperatures rise by about 3.7C, the forecast increase if emissions stay high.

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have calculated that about 95% of current crop production takes place in areas they define as “safe climatic space”, or conditions where temperature, rainfall and aridity fall within certain bounds.

If temperatures were to rise by 3.7C or thereabouts by the century’s end, that safe area would shrink drastically, mostly affecting south and south-eastern Asia and Africa’s Sudano-Sahelian zone, according to a paper published in the journal One Earth on Friday.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Climate change risks pushing one-third of global food production outside the safe climatic space

Matti Kummu, Matias Heino, Maija Taka, Olli Varis, Daniel Viviroli
Open Access
Published:May 14, 2021

Food production on our planet is dominantly based on agricultural practices developed during stable Holocene climatic conditions. Although it is widely accepted that climate change perturbs these conditions, no systematic understanding exists on where and how the major risks for entering unprecedented conditions may occur. Here, we address this gap by introducing the concept of safe climatic space (SCS), which incorporates the decisive climatic factors of agricultural production: precipitation, temperature, and aridity. We show that a rapid and unhalted growth of greenhouse gas emissions (SSP5–8.5) could force 31% of the global food crop and 34% of livestock production beyond the SCS by 2081–2100. The most vulnerable areas are South and Southeast Asia and Africa’s Sudano-Sahelian Zone, which have low resilience to cope with these changes. Our results underpin the importance of committing to a low-emissions scenario (SSP1–2.6), whereupon the extent of food production facing unprecedented conditions would be a fraction.

Read more:

How do you say “I call BS” in Finnish?

Even if rainfall patterns do deteriorate in some areas, I’m pretty sure 80 years of technological advances would provide a solution, perhaps a bunch of nuclear fusion or Thorium reactor powered desalinators, or some technology we can’t even imagine at this point in time.

Of course, it is doubtful such a severe widespread deterioration in growing conditions will occur. Decades of satellite observations suggests that deserts are shrinking, so model assertions that global warming is causing deserts to grow in my opinion are highly suspect.

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May 17, 2021 10:06 pm

The Grauniad’s Fiona Harvey and models! Straight into the bin then.

Patrick MJD
May 17, 2021 10:11 pm

“…a new model based study…”

Stopped reading right there.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 18, 2021 2:30 am

“Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have calculated that …”

Researchers research; mathematicians calculate. As you say … stopped reading right there. No point in commenting but worth watching out for it appearing elsewhere where comments might be acceptable!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Newminster
May 18, 2021 4:47 am

A puter model can produce ANY outcome the programmer wants it to show! This gullible naive belief (therefore it’s a religion) that these models are right is unbelievable! Garbage in garbage out!!! Oh & when are they going to make their hive minds up, is it a climate disaster, crisis, catastrophe, armageddon, I get so confused these days? 🙁 It worries me that NASA are apparently re-entering the space race or whatever, when they got brave men to the moon & back again, using onboard computers with a mere fraction of the computing power of the average mobile phone, that my children have & use with their eyes shut!!!! Will they find anyone brave enough to trust NASA??? As said before, several years ago I confounded a Wet Office scientist I sang in the local church choir with, over a couple of beers (because I’d questioned the validity of the Copenhagen entertainment jolly & their puter models) in the local parish magazine!!! He was stopped in his tracks after I pointed out that little matter of puter programming bias!!! Even as a Chartered Structural Engineer surveying an old building, one can be mislead by anecdotal evidence if one is not careful, such evidence whilst perfectly valid & useful, must be treated with caution!!! Observation is everything!!! Yes I have a faith, but I don’t think I should believe the Archbishop of Canterbury pronouncing on global warming, when he used to be a banker who made his squillions in the stock markets, before finding the Lord!!! Sometimes I wish I lived in the US, California would be my preference & I loved San Fran, or are you guys & gals as bombarded with the neo-religion as we Brits are, it’s almost every day on some channel or other???

Patrick healy
Reply to  Alan the Brit
May 19, 2021 7:34 am

Californica? For God sake man get a grip!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
May 19, 2021 3:05 pm

You haven’t been to San Fran in the last few years now, have you.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 18, 2021 7:54 am

Mathematical onanism. They need to stop or they will go blind.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 18, 2021 1:10 pm

Have they renamed RCP-8.5 to SSCP5-8.5? As soon as I saw that they were basing it on a “high” emission model I figured it would be RCP-8.5 and fantasy.

May 17, 2021 10:15 pm

One could perhaps use the finnish “paskapuhetta” or in the second national language swedish “skitprat”. Both mean roughly “talking shit”.

May 17, 2021 10:18 pm

From the NOAA in Western America.

Precipitation data,

Southwest Region shows no trend since 2000 LINK

Northwest Region Shows no trend since 2000 LINK

West Region Shows no trend since 2000 LINK

Flat Trend in USA since 1990 LINK

I take the data above over another modeling construct using a Chrystal ball.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunsettommy
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 17, 2021 11:02 pm

The darker the colors in this map below the more are reputed to represent drought severity.

Reply to  gringojay
May 17, 2021 11:12 pm

The picture below shows drought is not a new feature of the western USA. Again, the darker the color then the more severe the drought. While the top graph depicts regional soil moisture; although current 2000-2018 average is very low, again this has occurred before.

What I find educational is that how the drought severity shifted regionally in the long tine frames mapped. For example, there was significant drought along present Oregon-California region. And Klamath County (Oregon) reports conditions are the driest in 127 years.

Richard Page
Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 7:22 am

Whilst I find your illustrations enlightening and very useful, how exactly is a drought area in western USA relevant to an article discussing hypothetical (and far-fetched) droughts in Southern Asia and the African Sudano-Sahelian region? It might be quite nice for the Americans on the site to see somewhere near to where they live but how about putting up similar graphics for the actual regions discussed in the article? I’m sure we’d all find some graphics of those regions far more relevant to the conversation.

Reply to  Richard Page
May 18, 2021 7:41 am

You can help us find those links that offer extensive data in other countries that the NOAA in America has on precipitation.

Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 12:53 am

I think there’s sumpfink wronk wiff yer moovey, it ain’t not mooveing.
Or are we taking snapshots of a moment in geological time and pretend it represents cycles upon cycles upon other cyclic thingamabobs that all cycle around each other, over tens and hundreds and sixty-nine gazillion years CYCLES?

Ron Long
Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 2:31 am

gringojay, the white color shows no drought, but does not show areas of flooding, see video feeds from the Baton Rouge area for current flooding. Drought somewhere and floods somewhere, sort of like cycles? My brother lives in Eugene, Oregon, which is “severe” drought according to the map. He has not watered the garden more than twice in the last 3 weeks, and Cascade snowpack is slightly above 100%.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 18, 2021 8:21 am

WUWT international readers may not know that Eugene, Oregon is not near the Oregon and California border (& closer to the Pacific coast than it is to the eastern parts of Oregon). Eugene is not coded red (worst) in the current May 2021 illustration (map); any “garden” there is unknown to me, so I can not speak to immediate soil conditions. However, there are definitely recent reported concerns for Oregon agricultural productivity (& profitability) due to this current drought.

[International WUWT readers may also not know that the south central state of Louisiana is where Baton Rouge is situated. This is not only far from the drought stricken south western regions, but is part of a massive river drainage eco-system; it is my understanding that the mountains of the USA south west have nothing cyclic to do with flood conditions of the south central USA.]

Ron Long
Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 12:15 pm

gringojay, you miss both of the points. Eugene, Oregon is coded “severe drought” and it is not, as measured by ongoing spring rainfall and Cascade snowpack. The flooding in Baton Rouge shows what has always been true, sure there is some drought somewhere, but somewhere else is flooding. Which is the CAGW indicator? Both? Both is the Woke answer.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 18, 2021 2:05 pm

There seems to be confusion of drought, which is a feature of relative soil moisture deficit as a function of rain fall on particular land, as distinct from the specific nuances of riverine/snowpack hydrologic conditions.

For WuWT readers who want specific information about various Oregon locations’ soil drought status please check

The 114 year old Klamath irrigation system water is in bad enough straits that connected farms are being advised less water than usual is coming their way. The governor (woke as he may be) has declared a drought state of emergency; apparently the “on going spring rainfall” is not impressive enough. (And yes, my link does code Eugene drought status as currently severe.)

Tim Gorman
Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 8:17 am

Most of the areas shown in red in your link ARE SEMI-ARID DESERTS!

Semi-arid deserts, such as inner California. Why would anyone expect semi-arid deserts to not have droughts? That’s why irrigation is so important to farmers in California and the southwest.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 18, 2021 11:45 am

Yea, I was kinda wondering what it takes to claim there is a drought in the Mojave desert and death valley. Both of which shown to be in drought on that map.

Reply to  rah
May 19, 2021 3:32 pm

I live in the Mojave desert near 29 Palms. My rain gauge showed 4/10’s of one inch this rainy season

Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 1:31 pm

If I recall my geography correctly, most of that darkest red is desert.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 18, 2021 3:47 am

Another area with permanent drought, shows Greater Sydney area reservoirs at 97.2% capacity, and Melbourne Dam Levels at about 75%.Western Australia Dams 42.3% (full same as last year). I’m sure the citizens of Perth, Scotland would swap some of their rain for some of Perth WA’s sunshine.

May 17, 2021 10:20 pm

We have had a Century of slowly but steadily rising CO2 levels and the observable fact is that deserts are shrinking an food production is rising, However none of these facts are allowed to impact in any way on these intrepid Climate Scientists and Enthusiasts in search of increased Funding.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
May 18, 2021 5:00 am

Even if it were true that global warming is going to cause agricultural production to decline in areas closer to the equator (it’s not), it would be offset by agricultural production increasing in areas further to the north/south. Just imagine how Canada’s prairies would produce if the temperatures rose 3.7 degrees. Or the massive bump in Argentina’s agricultural yield. Global warming might cause the ‘breadbasket’ areas to move around a bit, but global greening would ensure that global food production does nothing but rise. The reality is that global warming is creating new ‘breadbaskets’ as CO2 rises and temperatures get warmer.

peter schell
Reply to  Steve4192
May 18, 2021 7:19 am

Plus the areas that might become productive are massively larger than the areas that might turn unproductive.

May 17, 2021 10:45 pm

If your model doesn’t agree with observation your model is wrong. GIGO.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 18, 2021 4:51 am

Ahh, but you have it the wrong way around, that should read, “If your model doesn’t agree with observation your observation is wrong!” That’s global warming science for you!

May 17, 2021 11:02 pm

“….if temperatures were to rise by 3.7C or thereabouts by century’s end…”
What happens if it rises by 1.4C by century’s end, being the figure we are currently on track for?
All good news!
Next paper,please.

Vincent Causey
May 17, 2021 11:26 pm

Have you noticed how they changed it from “global warming” to “global heating”. I guess “warming” isn’t scary enough.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Vincent Causey
May 18, 2021 12:57 am

… The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity …
Other newspeak terms in their guidebook are as follows:
# “climate change” “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown”.
# “global warming” “global heating”.
# “biodiversity” “wildlife”.
# “fish stocks” “fish populations”.
# “climate sceptic” ““climate science denier”.
The old terms are not banned but journalists at the paper have got the message.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 18, 2021 7:57 am

So users of the phrase “global HEATING” are in fact now global “Warming” deniers?

(have I got that right? It’s all so confusing for us ordinary English-first-language folk)

May 17, 2021 11:36 pm

“How do you say “I call BS” in Finnish?”

I thought it was “Kamala”. Perhaps I got that wrong?

Reply to  dk_
May 18, 2021 4:00 am

Kutsun härkä paskaa

Reply to  dk_
May 18, 2021 5:22 am

Posted in 2019:

Interview with Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the WMO.

What would be most important now? “In Finland, as in the world, the key to solving the problem is to give up fossil energy. Abandonment of oil, coal, natural gas, and peat in Finland. That is the key.”

Sorry Petteri, but that is total härkä paska. In fact, people who say this are “full of paska”.

Go back to school and learn basic math.

I mean like, y’know dude, TOTAL härkä paska!

Mike Dubrasich
May 17, 2021 11:41 pm

Safe climatic space? Buhahahahaha!

They even gave it a TLA! That’s called meme flogging!

Whoohoo “safe space” is for snowflake campus kids who can’t stand hearing truths, wilt at debate, and get palpitations and break down sobbing if their imaginary sacred cows are gored. Total wokey doke mush.

And now we get “safe climatic space”. Climb into your bubble and choke back the tears because the weather isn’t pitch perfect for your privileged virtual fantasy world, boys and girls.

Meanwhile back in the real world farming is doing just fine — except where panic-mongering twits interfere.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
May 18, 2021 1:14 am

As Alex Epstein says fossil fuels don’t make a naturally safe climate more dangerous; they take a naturally dangerous climate and make it safer.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 18, 2021 4:10 am

I’m impressed with Alex. How many people his age (late ’30s) are climate skeptics? Very few. He once went to a climate conference at some CA college wearing a shirt that said “I love fossil fuels”. He tried to start conversations with the attendees but nobody was interested.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 18, 2021 8:07 am

JZ: Alex was doubly “triggering”: loved fossil fuels and was the smartest one in the room.

May 17, 2021 11:47 pm

But the models predict more precipitation and floods. Which is it? Drought and deserts or storms and floods? Can’t have it both ways, alarmists, or no one will take you seriously.

Last edited 1 year ago by stinkerp
Reply to  stinkerp
May 18, 2021 5:53 am

Per the country western song, “It’s always five o’clock somewhere”.

I say, let’s drink to that!

Reply to  stinkerp
May 18, 2021 6:05 am

As I understand it, flood areas will get floodier, and drought areas will get droughtier according to the models. But I think there’s a sign error or something in the models.
I think that it was supposed to come out that drought areas would get more rain and flood areas will get less rain and normal areas will get normalier.

Everything will cancel out if we increase CO2 in the atmosphere. We’ll all be living in a Garden of Eden. They just have to fix that sign error in the models.

( 😜 and just in case 😜 😜 )

Reply to  stinkerp
May 18, 2021 6:58 am

It’s cold because it warms, the way climate fuzzies think.

Joel O'Bryan
May 17, 2021 11:57 pm

With hand-tuned climate models combined with a biased investigator needing publication, anything can happen. “If it bleeds it leads.”

I find especially egregious, “If temperatures were to rise by 3.7C or thereabouts by the century’s end…”

And If my arse were a gold mine and everything outta it were gold, well …

So much for “if’s” in science.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 18, 2021 1:01 am

As my momma used to say: “Wish into your one hand, poop into the other, and see which carries more weight.”

Timo, not that one
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 18, 2021 7:35 am

Cool Momma!

May 18, 2021 12:03 am
Reply to  Zoe Phin
May 18, 2021 8:44 am

Then the lead sentence of the Original Post is “clueless” by representing the Sahara Desert as decreasing (it refers to somebody’s already known mis-representation of an authored paper that found increasing leaf area index in the region south of the Sahara, which actual report states in English it specifically studied a non-Sahara area). The Sahara definitely has had a period in the recent 1900s where the desert (as defined by a specific maximum rainfall threshold) statistically did recede – however the Sahara desert area was increasing by 2018. [Graph below is from a recent (2018?) comprehensive Sahara report that actually delves into seasonal variation of rain as it relates to shifting Sahara Desert margins.]

Coeur de Lion
May 18, 2021 12:28 am

Yes, the Grauniad’s editor ordered his ignorant crew of lady journos to say ‘heating’ and ‘emergency’ etc recently. He/she will have (been) retired by the time the scam is exposed and the globe is accepted as ‘cooling’. But no less a pray, however

M Courtney
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 18, 2021 7:35 am

The gender of the journos is irrelevant. Men can be stupid too.
And by the way the editor, Katharine Viner,identifies as female herself.

May 18, 2021 12:50 am

socialist country with inward thinking people scared of Soviet Union was my impression of Fins when I visited the country in the early 1990s

the only change is a now a socialist country full of political correct numpties trying to prove they have moved on

May 18, 2021 1:20 am

Eric asked:
How do you say “I call BS” in Finnish?
This is from Google Translate with added flourish.

Tämä on kullattua paskaa!

May 18, 2021 1:29 am

So, climate change entails warming, hospitable environments, and CO2 engenders a greening Earth. No judgement. No labels. Keep the baby. A win/win outcome.

Well, except for the pups. Donate to World Walrus Foundation. And the birds. Go green, whack a wind turbine.

May 18, 2021 2:46 am

“Third of global food production at risk from climate crisis”

Unfortunately, this modelling exercise is junk just like all the rest.

New NASA Data Sheds (Sun) Light on Climate Models

Think of it in terms of disinfectant. There’s a lot of cleaning to be done.

Last edited 1 year ago by strativarius
Matthew Sykes
May 18, 2021 3:27 am

“Climate safe space” hahahaha, poor little climate, needs its safe space in case its feelibns get hurt!

Rich Davis
May 18, 2021 4:01 am

I don’t know if temperatures will rise 3.7 degrees in 79 years, but one thing is absolutely 100% certain. Fusion-powered desalination units will still be 40 years in the future.

M Courtney
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 18, 2021 7:44 am

Intermittent wind power is fine for desalination plants already.
Water can be stored until it’s needed, unlike electricity.

Rich Davis
Reply to  M Courtney
May 18, 2021 11:42 am

How could there still be any operational bird choppers in 2100 if we stop using fossil fuels in 2050? They could never last for 50 years and can’t be built without using fossil fuel.

May 18, 2021 5:25 am

I’m guessing that headline was truncated and should have continued:
grow greener due to increased beneficial gases in the atmosphere and shifting distribution of humans and animals.

Tom Halla
May 18, 2021 5:30 am

RCP 8.5? Anything based on that is automatically bogus.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 18, 2021 8:17 am

The desperation is unrelenting. How can these people stand it. Eventually we’ll be used to RCP 8.5 and they’ll go to RCP 17. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

May 18, 2021 5:30 am

The only things that are growing is volume-based climate change scare pubs and scare media content. Models have become the policy-version of skynet preparing for judgement day or at least tenured retirement.

May 18, 2021 5:40 am

Haven’t seen writing that bad since grade school. Good grief, they style themselves “reporters”?????
Using “perturbed” instead of a more appropriate term (disturbed, muddled, etc.) is wallowing in a lack of vocabulary and running to the online thesaurus for rescue and a pat on the head.
Nincompoops all!!!!

Reply to  Sara
May 18, 2021 8:06 am

So Sara, what did your grade school punctuation teacher have to say about inserting multiple question marks or exclamation marks?

May 18, 2021 6:15 am

And yet with simple direct observation we know they are not. The Earth is greening, and that pisses off the leftards and ecofreaks no end.

Gary Pearse
May 18, 2021 6:52 am

Increased CO2 further reduces water demand and plants can therefore fringe further into the desert country. This is an exponential function regarding areal expansion into the arid region. Moreover, it begins to alter climate regionally by cooling and moisture retention in the soil.

Look, here is a bulletin for the mindless minions who blubber this worn material ad nauseam.There is absolutely nothing going to be done to stop ever upward growth in atmospheric CO2! Even the retarded political class in the West is going to have to interrupt its self immolation project.

Five billion people are bent on eradicating poverty of their people using the same energy the other two billion used – fossil fuels. Al Gore and Kerry made their pitches to Sheikh Hasina the PM of Bangladesh on separate occasions, and were rejected out of hand with lectures that growing prosperity is the most important job of a head of state. Hasina, going with clean coal, in a decade and a half grew the GDP to over 15% a year over the last 6-7yrs.

Other nations noticed: Pakistan is exploiting huge coal resources and has achieved 10% annual growth. Similarly Africa south of the Sahara averaging 3% and dozens of coal power projects are under construction and in planning.

Many have thought we wouldn’t ever be able to double pre-industrial CO2 in this century. I think we will breeze by it. Will 500+ppm take us to 3.7C by 2100. Who knows, but please enough about the Paris tomfoolery and the urgency, blah, blag. We’re beyond meat here, already. My own temperature forecast for 2100, based on common sense and failure of all models on this subject, is modest additional 0.6C in a Garden of Eden Earth.

M Courtney
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 18, 2021 7:48 am

Agree with all that except the prediction of warming. Would put it at far higher than that.

But would also question why that would be a problem.
With increased wealth and prosperity from cheap energy we can adapt to whatever comes our way anyway.

No warming and poverty is more of a problem than 3° of warming and good infrastructure.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  M Courtney
May 18, 2021 8:44 am

You could be right about a warmer temperature by 2100. The only temperature anomaly I accept these days of constant algorithm adjustments upward is the +0.6C of the previous Century (and that was largely achieved by late 1930s). I simply assumed another small step up out of the LIA.

Given the consensus predictions over the last 40yrs were 300% too high on дT and maybe 1000% too high on SLR an added 0.6C seemed reasonable to me.

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 18, 2021 5:37 pm

Everyone should watch Prof. Ross McKitrick, University of Guelph, Canada, Economics, from another post here a few days ago.

peter schell
May 18, 2021 7:17 am

It is antithetical to the climate movement to admit that there might be any benefit from the situation. Increased plant growth is a particular bug a boo for them.

I have read.

It’s not happening.

It is happening, but it is bad because.

It is draining nutrients from the soil.

The plants have poorer nutritional value due to rapid growth so even if there are more, they are don’t supply any more calories and nutrition than the smaller plants.

Plants don’t actually contribute to CO2 reduction.

The last one is a particular bug a boo of mine.

In one breath our Canadian activists promote planting trees to reduce our footprint, and in the next breath claim that the fact that Canada has the second largest boreal forest in the world does not mean we have a net CO2 deficit. We are still contributing and have to reduce, reduce, reduce.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  peter schell
May 18, 2021 7:51 pm

“Our canadian activists” are among the dumbest of the dumb
They have the ultimate role model in PM Trudeau, “educated beyond his intellectual means”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat from Kerbob
May 18, 2021 7:24 am

The claims of drought caused by warming from CO2 emissions are prima facia idiotic. Not withstanding the fact that the influence on temperature from CO2 is minor, higher temperatures evaporates more water and any additional water that enters the atmosphere must be returned to the surface as rain or snow.

The ice cores are clear indicators of this as the thickness of a year of ice is highly correlated to the temperature.

But then again, the alarmists defy Conservation of Energy by creating ‘feedback’ power (Joules) out of thin air, so the fact that that they think water is destroyed by entering the same thin air comes as no surprise.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
May 18, 2021 12:01 pm

I’d just like to point out that the working hypothesis is that increase in temperature provokes greater evaporative loss of soil moisture in deserts, and that volume water vapor is apparently not currently falling back as rain on most deserts. Although ice thickness may increase we usually associate deserts as being ice free, so the feedback loop of global moisture can not be directly conflated with the desert operating principle of more heat = more water loss = increased desert. [ I make no assertion CO2 is fostering increased temperature, nor about any global temperature trends/predictions.]

Reply to  gringojay
May 18, 2021 3:04 pm

What moisture? Besides, any moisture arriving by desert rains originates far from where it’s falling. This is just another case of grasping at straws by focusing on one isolated aspect while ignoring the bigger picture of which it’s a part.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
May 18, 2021 5:09 pm

The upshot of desert rain originating far from the desert is that apparently there is a certain decrease in the amount fall as rain in drought afflicted areas that is creating a deficit, and/or the locality’s temperature is higher than the previous season causing more evaporation of the moisture. Did I affirm this is related to CO2?

The “big picture” is that despite any model someone may try to formulate predictions, verifiably there are droughts. It is obvious there is currently a real pattern of that in the USA – in some places worse than over 100 years of records.

Apparently you think only the “big picture” merits comment; necessitating innuendo about “grasping at straws.” I dare say: you doth protest too much,

Reply to  gringojay
May 19, 2021 7:34 am


The big picture is simply that the Earth’s climate is the combination of the Sun and the bulk response of the planet. Extrapolating a speculative position about deserts to rest of the planet is illogical science.

The alarmists speculative position is that more warming will evaporate water that isn’t even there. Deserts are dry because the local topography means it doesn’t get a lot of rain. The temperature is irrelevant. There are plenty of cold deserts.

Droughts, on the other hand are more closely associated with cooling than warming, simply because cooling means less water is evaporated to fall as rain. The fact that so many alarmists accept the opposite by modeling consequences from complexity that doesn’t exist is a clear indication of confirmation bias accepting bad science from bad models.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
May 19, 2021 10:35 am

Your “big picture” is all very well and good for your peace of mind. As persistently as you posit that dismissive mental construct there is still nothing “speculative” about any place that currently has drought; nor does being reductionist about “complexity” alter the fact that deserts do not expand when there is higher temperature evaporating what little moisture they do get
(and yes, I do know the dry cold Atacama high desert from late 1980s when worked in Chilean agronomy.)

Maybe you did not understand my upthread posting, so I’ll reproduce one image for you here. It shows that drought can occur in different places at different times and in different “local topography”.

[I do not try to parse researchers “models”, do not belong to the cult of CO2 is “evil”, nor am a member of the calvary CO2 is “marvelous”. WUWT is a fun site where have been trying to constructively comment for well over 10 years; I’ll leave you to have the last word.]

May 18, 2021 7:29 am

I’m just waiting for a new environmentalist call along the lines of – “Save the deserts, ban CO2!”

Reply to  ScienceABC123
May 18, 2021 5:28 pm

Science_: They’ve got a little problem in that PV panels and windmills do damage desert ecology and inhibit “greening” of the desert. Every idiot who advocates solar wants to pave the Southwest U.S. deserts with them, regadless of the same advocates’ concern over (not really) threatened tortoises or (weather variable) desert wildflowers. Putting up either sort actually does damage the environment, potentially for thousands of years, but activists and lawfare hired guns are not paid to say so.

Steve Z
May 18, 2021 8:51 am

Bob Irvine’s article from May 16 (on the WUWT site) estimated the climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 at about 1.04 C, without “water vapor feedbacks” that are dubious at best, since the latent heat required to evaporate water would represent a negative feedback of about -0.5 to -0.7 of the heat absorbed by the additional CO2 in the air.

Global anthropogenic CO2 emissions are about 33 gigatons/yr, which, if all the CO2 remained in the atmosphere, would cause the CO2 concentration to increase by about 4.1 ppm/yr. However, the current rate of increase of CO2 concentration at Mauna Loa is about 1.8 ppm/yr, meaning that 2.3 / 4.1 = 56% of human CO2 emissions are being removed from the air by natural processes, including photosynthesis.

If the photosynthesis rate is proportional to CO2 concentration, then the removal rate by photosynthesis would catch up to the emission rate when the CO2 concentration reached about 410 * 4.1 / 2.3 = 731 ppm. If emission rate = absorption rate, then the CO2 concentration in the air would stabilize at this level.

On a logarithmic scale, increasing from 410 ppm to 731 ppm represents ln(731/410) / ln(2) = 0.834 “doublings” of CO2 concentration. For a sensitivity of 1.04 C per doubling, this would result in a temperature increase of only 0.87 C by the time the CO2 concentration reached its asymptote. Even if we assume the IPCC’s phantom water vapor feedbacks (debunked by Bob Irvine’s article) and tripled the sensitivity, that would result in a temperature increase of about 2.6 C, if global CO2 emissions remained constant at today’s rate (business as usual).

So where do the Finns get their hypothetical 3.7 C warming from? Their assumption is higher than the IPCC’s own model, which is based on fictitious feedbacks!

Jeff Labute
May 18, 2021 9:35 am

Wow, the guy got taller too!

Reply to  Jeff Labute
May 18, 2021 10:04 am

Of course he did.
CO2 is the “magic molecule” after all.
Nothing it can’t do –
(“heal the sick, raise the dead”)

Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2021 10:40 am

I don’t know, we’ve actually been cooling overall, for the past 10k years:
comment image
So, our warmup from the LIA might be somewhat short-lived. We can hope for a bit warmer, but I wouldn’t count (or bet) on it.

May 18, 2021 11:10 am

The most vulnerable areas are South and Southeast Asia and Africa’s Sudano-Sahelian Zone, which have low resilience to cope with these changes.”

So instead of destroying the worlds economy and food production capabilities by eliminating fossil fuels what can we do to improve the resilience of these areas to cope with these prophesied changes?

May 18, 2021 11:51 am

So reduce CO2 and make things colder so we can grow more food? Is that the idea?

May 18, 2021 1:31 pm

Models vs Observations: Study predicts Global Warming will Cause Deserts to Grow

While in the real world deserts are shrinking, not growing as the earth greens from CO2 fertilization.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hatter Eggburn
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 18, 2021 3:28 pm

None of the link you gave’s 6 citations actually speak to the issue of desert shrinking. And the 4th citation for Ventner, et al (2018) which your link cites (with a lead in paragraph asserting the 4th citation demonstrates the desert is receeding) categorically does not state that the Sahara is shrinking. The actual statement in Ventner, et al’s sun-section “Results” is that there has been an additional “7.5 million square km of non-forest … in sub-Sahara.” Whoever compiled ptolemy2’s “… greening-of-the-sahara/” did not comprehend their 4th citation – or never read it themselves.

May 18, 2021 2:11 pm

As real world observations suggest deserts are shrinking

Quick, get them on the endangered species list.

Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2021 3:27 pm

The deserts must have been in the pool.

Thomas Dobson
May 18, 2021 4:35 pm

When models do not agree with observations, the failure lies in the original measurement methodology, climate models do not reflect real world conditions when they lack conditions that would affect the target measurement. This must be seen as a opportunity to discover what is missing. We have seen far too many claims based on confirmation bias instead. This is basic measurement methodology, Its being applied to complex chaotic systems, however it is the only system that has any hope of analyzing these systems.

May 18, 2021 5:01 pm

We show that a rapid and unhalted growth of greenhouse gas emissions (SSP5–8.5) could force 31% of the global food crop and 34% of livestock production beyond the SCS by 2081–2100.”

We show“, an euphemism for their model shows.

No model yet written or designed has an ability to “predict” climatic changes.
It’s one the the things that allows pretend researchers to imagine their models predict droughts, floods, hurricanes, whatever dooms and disasters they think will scare the public most..

May 18, 2021 6:58 pm

Shouldn’t they first demonstrate that the areas they are concerned about are warming? My understanding is that much of the warming is in the Arctic.

May 19, 2021 2:59 pm

The greening effect of CO2 isn’t ‘global warming’. It is a direct effect of CO2.

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