Cold outbreaks are not caused by global warming

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Global cooling – and global totalitarian socialism – are the catastrophes we should fear most

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

What do heat waves, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, forest fires, hurricanes, African wars, mass extinctions, disease outbreaks, and human and animal migrations from South America and the Middle East have in common?

According to climate activists, they are all caused by dangerous man-made global warming. And this, in turn, is supposedly caused by rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels resulting from our use of fossil fuels.

They might as well add alien invasions to the list, because it is all nonsense. Indeed, the climate scare industry has achieved such a level of absurdity that, on February 1, journalist Andrew Revkin reported in a National Geographic article that, “Many stories in recent days highlighted studies concluding that global warming is boosting the odds of cold [weather] outbreaks.”

(As we delve into the realm of absurdity, however, let us not forget that, in 2011, scientists from NASA’s Planetary Science Division and Michael Mann’s Penn State University actually presented a report speculating that extraterrestrial environmentalists could be so appalled by our planet-polluting, climate-changing ways that they could view humans as a threat to the entire intergalactic ecosystem and decide to destroy humanity!)

Among the most absurd of recent climate alarm statements is the one attributing recent cold spells to manmade global warming came from University of Michigan professor emeritus of environment and sustainability Donald Scavia, who said: “In the past there was a very strong gradient of cold air at the poles and warmer air south of the poles. That gradient kept the cold where it is…. As the poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet, that gradient weakens, allowing the cold air currents to dip south.”

Dr. Tim Ball, an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, said that Scavia’s statement “is utter rubbish.” Ball explained, “It’s wrong in every aspect, from the basic assumption to the interpretation. In fact, a gradient makes things move. It doesn’t ‘keep the cold where it is.’”

It’s also a mistake to think that, if human-produced CO2 is actually causing global warming, the poles will warm first. “There is no evidence of that; they just are assuming it to be the case,” Dr. Ball emphasized.

And, if the poles did warm first, Ball explained, the reduced temperature difference between the poles and lower latitude regions would reduce extreme weather events, not intensify them, as climate campaigners claim. After all, weather and extreme weather events are driven by the temperature gradient between latitudes. A warming Arctic would result in less intense cold outbreaks and a lesser intrusion of cold artic air colliding with warm moist air in warmer regions. Climate alarmists have their science backwards.

Ball noted that the real cause of the severe cold outbreaks in the United States is a wavy Jet Stream.

The Jet Stream is a thin band of strong winds that flow rapidly around the planet from west to east at approximately 10 km altitude. The Jet Stream divides warm air masses, typically found at low latitudes towards the tropics, from cold air masses, usually found at high latitudes near the poles.

However, a very wavy jet stream, as we are experiencing now (and have many times in the past), allows frigid Arctic air to move south to normally warmer latitudes and warm tropical air to push into Polar latitudes. The result is an increase in extreme weather events, including the cold outbreaks in the USA. It has nothing to do with global warming. In fact, the most common cause of a wavy Jet Stream is global cooling. History shows that severe weather increases with a cooling world, not a warming one.

As to fears of more cold outbreaks due to global warming, Ball laughed, “They’re making it all up!”

Clearly, there is no end to the deceptions that the climate lobby will tell the public in order to deprive the world of reliable, inexpensive fossil fuel-based energy, the foundation of modern living standards. Perhaps the greatest deception of all is what real scientists call cherry picking – highlighting data that advance their theory and agenda, while ignoring data that do not support their politics.

The graph below explains how they do it. The overall trend of the data is obvious: as variable “A” declines, variable “B” increases. But if you choose only a small portion of the data (or just a few years out of 100 or 1,000), you can declare the trend to be anything you want – including having “A” stay the same as “B” increases, and even having “A” increase as “B” increases.

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This is the sleight-of-hand used by global warming alarmists who want the public to believe that burning fossil fuels and increasing the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide must be stopped at all costs. They want to run the nation and the world on expensive, inconvenient, unreliable wind and solar energy. They ignore the fact that those energy must be totally backed up by dependable energy sources like fossil fuel or nuclear in order to stop the grid from collapsing. It has been calculated that, were the Midwest to be dependent only on wind and solar power, at least one million people would have died of hypothermia during the recent minus-50 degrees F cold spell.

As demonstrated by Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the latest report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, the impact of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) has been overwhelmingly positive. The report’s Summary for Policymakers states:

“Fossil fuels have benefited humanity by making possible the prosperity that occurred since the first Industrial Revolution…. Fossil fuels also power the technologies that reduce the environmental impact of a growing human population, saving space for wildlife…. Nearly all the impacts of fossil fuel use on human well-being are net positive (benefits minus costs), near zero (no net benefit or cost), or are simply unknown.”

Besides raising living standards across the world, fossil fuel use has helped elevate CO2 in our atmosphere from a level dangerously close to the point at which plants start to die – to where we are today, with the Earth once again “greening,” as crops, forests and grasslands grow faster and better.

The global warming scare has never been about science, or even climate for that matter. The long-term goal of many activists is to unite the world under a single socialistic government in which there is no capitalism, no democracy and no freedom. After all, personal freedom is fueled largely by access to affordable energy.

An intermediate goal of climate alarmism is thus to limit the amount of energy that is available and place it under tight government control. Inexpensive fossil fuels remain an obstacle to their vision, and so must be done away with entirely, climate campaigners maintain. We must not let them succeed.

Dr. Jay Lehr is the Science Director of The Heartland Institute which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition.

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Human Activity in China and India Dominates the Greening of Earth, NASA Study Shows

From NASA Ames:
BLUF: “Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it…In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.” –Rama Nemani, NASA’s Ames Research Center

Human Activity in China and India Dominates the Greening of Earth, NASA Study Shows

Feb. 11, 2019
A map showing increases in leaf area per year, represented in green. India and China stand out with large areas of dark green.
Over the last two decades, the Earth has seen an increase in foliage around the planet, measured in average leaf area per year on plants and trees. Data from NASA satellites shows that China and India are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.
Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage: China and India. A new study shows that the two emerging countries with the world’s biggest populations are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.

The greening phenomenon was first detected using satellite data in the mid-1990s by Ranga Myneni of Boston University and colleagues, but they did not know whether human activity was one of its chief, direct causes. This new insight was made possible by a nearly 20-year-long data record from a NASA instrument orbiting the Earth on two satellites. It’s called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, and its high-resolution data provides very accurate information, helping researchers work out details of what’s happening with Earth’s vegetation, down to the level of 500 meters, or about 1,600 feet, on the ground.

A world map showing the trend in annual average leaf area, in percent per decade (2000-2017)
The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago, as shown on this map, where areas with the greatest increase in foliage are indicated in dark green. Data from a NASA instrument orbiting Earth aboard two satellites show that human activity in China and India dominate this greening of the planet.
Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation,” said Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, in Massachusetts, and lead author of the study.

An advantage of the MODIS satellite sensor is the intensive coverage it provides, both in space and time: MODIS has captured as many as four shots of every place on Earth, every day for the last 20 years.

“This long-term data lets us dig deeper,” said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley, and a co-author of the new work. “When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to more leaf growth in northern forests, for instance. Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing.”

China’s outsized contribution to the global greening trend comes in large part (42%) from programs to conserve and expand forests. These were developed in an effort to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution and climate change. Another 32% there – and 82% of the greening seen in India – comes from intensive cultivation of food crops.

Land area used to grow crops is comparable in China and India – more than 770,000 square miles – and has not changed much since the early 2000s. Yet these regions have greatly increased both their annual total green leaf area and their food production. This was achieved through multiple cropping practices, where a field is replanted to produce another harvest several times a year. Production of grains, vegetables, fruits and more have increased by about 35-40% since 2000 to feed their large populations.

How the greening trend may change in the future depends on numerous factors, both on a global scale and the local human level. For example, increased food production in India is facilitated by groundwater irrigation. If the groundwater is depleted, this trend may change.

“But, now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” Nemani said. “This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.”

The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. The consequences for sustainability and biodiversity in those ecosystems remain.

Overall, Nemani sees a positive message in the new findings. “Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.”

This research was published online, Feb. 11, 2019, in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Bar chart showing that China and India are leading the increase in greening of the planet, due to human activity
Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

For news media:

Members of the news media interested in covering this topic should get in touch with the science representative on the NASA Ames media contacts page.

Author: Abby Tabor, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley

Last Updated: Feb. 11, 2019
Editor: Abigail Tabor

Snow: Higher and Higher

Note on the chart:  The time series average and range between ±1 standard deviation (calculated for 1998/99 to 2011/12) shows how current conditions compare to historical variability.

Note 2:  Here’s the link to the Environment and Climate Change Canada site (they just had to throw in Climate Change): https://www.ccin.ca/ccw/snow/current

sunshine hours

March 2000: According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Snow seems to be ignoring David Viner.

View original post

Hurricanes & climate change: detection

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

I am preparing a new Special Report on Hurricanes and Climate Change.

View original post 3,125 more words

The AMO and Temperature

sunshine hours

My Swedish is poor. But the graph is clear. Spitsbergen temperatures are in synch with the AMO. Some translated text below graph. (Thanks)

Grafen viser temperatursvinginger tilbake til slutten av 1800-tallet. Foto: Skjermdump

Contributing to making this part of the report a worrying reading is that the natural climate variations are not included in the used climate models. This is depressing, as it is well known that the air temperature around Svalbard is clearly influenced by the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), which is a natural and periodic variation. This impact is actually mentioned in the report, and this realization ought to have been exploited.

Both the AMO and the air temperature in Longyearbyen have largely covaried since 1898 (see figure). The natural climate variations are thus far from unimportant, and explain better than all CO2-controlled climate models what actually takes place here in Longyearbyen.

AMO is known from measurements since 1856, and geological surveys show that AMO…

View original post 79 more words

Taking down the latest Washington Post Antarctic scare story on 6x increased ice melt

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
An alarming study shows massive East Antarctic ice sheet already is a significant contributor to sea-level rise

Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis

January 14 at 3:00 PM (Washington Post)

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.

The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is losing six times as much ice as it was four decades ago, an unprecedented pace in the era of modern measurements. (It takes about 360 billion tons of ice to produce one millimeter of global sea-level rise.)

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” said Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the work. But he said the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.

“The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places,” Rignot said. “They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

The findings are the latest sign that the world could face catastrophic consequences if climate change continues unabated. In addition to more-frequent droughts, heat waves, severe storms and other extreme weather that could come with a continually warming Earth, scientists already have predicted that seas could rise nearly three feet globally by 2100 if the world does not sharply decrease its carbon output. But in recent years, there has been growing concern that the Antarctic could push that even higher.

That kind of sea-level rise would result in the inundation of island communities around the globe, devastating wildlife habitats and threatening drinking-water supplies. Global sea levels have already risen seven to eight inches since 1900.

The full drivel here


Why do I call it “drivel”? Three reasons:

1. Anything Chris Mooney writes about climate is automatically in that category, because he can’t separate his fear of doom from his writing.

2. The math doesn’t work in the context of the subheadline. Alarming? Read on.

3. Data back to 1972…where?

First, let’s get some data. Wikipedia, while biased towards alarmism in this reference, at least has the basic data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_ice_sheet

It covers an area of almost 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles) and contains 26.5 million cubic kilometres (6,400,000 cubic miles) of ice.[2]A cubic kilometer of ice weighs approximately one metric gigaton, meaning that the ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatons.

Now for the math.  

So, if the Antarctic ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatonnes or 26500000000000000 tonnes

252 billion tonnes is 252 gigatonnes

Really simple math says:  252gt/26,500,000gt x 100 = 9.509433962264151e-4 or 0.00095% change per year

But this is such a tiny loss in comparison to the total mass of the ice sheet, it’s microscopic…statistically insignificant.

In the email thread that preceded this story (h/t to Marc Morano) I asked people to check my work. Willis Eschenbach responded, corrected an extra zero, and pointed this out:

Thanks, Anthony. One small issue. You’ve got an extra zero in your percentage, should be 0.00095% per year loss.

Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079 …

I would also note that 250 billion tonnes of ice is 250 billion cubic meters. Spread out over the ocean, that adds about 0.7 mm/year to the sea level … that’s about 3 inches (7 cm) per century.

As you said … microscopic.

w.

Paul Homewood noted in the email thread:

Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, increasing global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, according to a major new international climate assessment funded by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2749/ramp-up-in-antarctic-ice-loss-speeds-sea-level-rise/

0.5mm per year.

Not a lot to worry about.

“They attribute the threefold increase in ice loss from the continent since 2012 to a combination of increased rates of ice melt in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, and reduced growth of the East Antarctic ice sheet.”

Translation: The volcano riddled West/Peninsula is melting bit more and the Eastern Sheet is growing a little less than usual.

Paul Homewood adds on his website:

Firstly, according to NASA’s own press release, the study only looks at data since 1992. The Mail’s headline (Taken from the Washington Post – Anthony) that “Antarctica is losing SIX TIMES more ice a year than it was in the 1970s “ is totally fake, as there is no data for the 1970s. Any estimates of ice loss in the 1970s and 80s are pure guesswork, and have never been part of this NASA IMBIE study, or previous ones.

image

Secondly, the period since 1992 is a ridiculously short period on which to base any meaningful conclusions at all. Changes over the period may well be due to natural, short term fluctuations, for instance ocean cycles. We know, as the NASA study states, that ice loss in West Antarctica is mainly due to the inflow of warmer seas.

The eruption of Pinatubo in 1991 is another factor. Global temperatures fell during the next five years, and may well have slowed down ice melt.

Either way, Pinkstone’s claim that the ice loss is due to global warming is fake. It is a change in ocean current that is responsible, and nothing to do with global warming.

Then there is his pathetic claim that “Antarctica is shedding ice at a staggering rate”. Alarmist scientists, and gullible reporters, love to quote impressive sounding numbers, like 252 gigatons a year. In fact, as NASA point out, the effect on sea level rise since 1992 is a mere 7.6mm, equivalent to 30mm/century.

Given that global sea levels have risen no faster since 1992 than they did in the mid 20thC, there is no evidence that Antarctica is losing ice any faster than then. To call it staggering is infantile.

NASA also reckon that ice losses from Antarctica between 2012 and 2017 increased sea levels by 3mm, equivalent to 60mm/century. Again hardly a scary figure. But again we must be very careful about drawing conclusions from such a short period of time. Since 2012, we have had a record 2-year long El Nino. What effect has this had?

But back to that previous NASA study, carried out by Jay Zwally in 2015, which found:

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses 

Far from losing ice, as the new study thinks, Zwally’s 2015 analysis found the opposite, that the ice sheet was growing.

OK, Zwally’s data only went up to 2008, but there are still huge differences. Whereas Zwally estimates ice gain of between 82 and 112 billion tonnes a year between 1992 and 2008, the new effort guesses at a loss of 83 billion tonnes a year.

It is worth pointing out that Zwally’s comment about the IPCC 2013 report refers to the 2012 IMBIE report, which was the forerunner to the new study, the 2018 IMBIE.

Quite simply, nobody has the faintest idea whether the ice cap is growing or shrinking, never mind by how much, as the error margins and uncertainties are so huge.

The best guide to such matters comes from tide gauges around the world. And these continue to show that sea levels are rising no faster then mid 20thC, and at a rate of around 8 inches per century.

CO2 and crops: NAS vs. science

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

WUWT regular David Burton writes:

One of the most pernicious examples of disinformation promoted by the Climate Industry is the claim that manmade climate change from CO2 emissions threatens agriculture and “food security.” That’s the exact opposite of the truth. CO2 is “plant fertilizer,” and hundreds of agricultural studies have shown that higher CO2 levels are dramatically beneficial for agriculture, to levels far above what we can ever hope for outdoors.

Most plants grow best with daytime atmospheric CO2 of at least about 1500 ppmv. That’s about what CO2 levels are thought to have averaged during the Cretaceous. It’s 1090 ppmv higher than the current average outdoor level of about 410 ppmv.

In other words, most plants would grow best if CO2 levels were increased by more than eight times the measly 130 ppmv by which mankind has managed to increase CO2 levels since the “pre-industrial” Little Ice Age. (Levels even higher than that wouldn’t hurt plants, but they wouldn’t help much, either.)

https://sealevel.info/co2.html?co2scale=2
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(click to enlarge)

That’s why most commercial greenhouses use “CO2 generators” to raise daytime CO2 to about that level. It makes the plants healthier, faster-growing, and more productive.

Note: There are several different kinds of photosynthesis. Plants that use “C3” or “CAM” photosynthesis benefit the most from higher CO2 levels. “C4” crops benefit the least, but even C4 crops benefit when under drought stress. Most crops use C3 photosynthesis. There are only four important C4 crops, all of them grasses: corn [maize], sugarcane, sorghum, and millet.)

https://www.sealevel.info/C3_and_C4_Pflanze_vs_CO2_Konzentration_2018.png
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(dependence of the rate of photosynthesis on the amount of CO2 in the air in C3 and C4 plants, from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthese; click to enlarge)

The value of higher CO2 levels for agriculture is not a new discovery. Svante Arrhenius wrote about it in 1908, and cited a source from as early as 1872. Arrhenius predicted that:

“By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid [CO2] in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”

In 1920, Scientific American reported the results of German greenhouse and F.A.C.E. experiments with CO2 supplementation. The experiments were so spectacularly successful that SciAm called anthropogenic CO2 the precious air fertilizer.” From this photo, which accompanied the article, you can certainly see why:

SciAm 1920: Carbonic Acid Gas to Fertilize the Air
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(click to view article)

Over the last century, many hundreds of studies have measured the large benefits of higher CO2 levels for most crops:

https://sealevel.info/CO2-pineGrowth100120_white_bg.png
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(Dr. Sherwood Idso showing the effect of CO2 level on pine trees; click to enlarge)

But the National Academy of Sciences would have you believe that global warming threatens agricultural productivity. So let’s examine that claim.

Here’s a recent article from the Farm Bureau, reporting preliminary U.S. state-by-state corn and soybean yield numbers for 2018:

Farm Bureau 2018: Corn and Soybean Yields are YUUUGE
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(click to view article)

Of course the headline obviously suggests that climate change hasn’t hurt corn and soybean production, so far. But that’s not the most interesting part of it.

Look at the wide distribution of states, which grow corn. In this map, from the article, you can see that Minnesota’s 2018 corn yields averaged 191 Bushels Per Acre (BPA), and Mississippi’s corn yields averaged 185 BPA. The “breadbasket” states of Illinois and Iowa both had even bigger bumper crops, with yields above 200 BPA:

https://www.fb.org/images/uploads/_900w/Yuge_fig_1.jpg
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Now, compare that map with this growing-zone map (courtesy of arborday.org). In it you can see that Minnesota and Mississippi are about four climate/growing zones apart. Minnesota is mostly zone 4, and Mississippi is almost entirely zone 8. Illinois and Iowa are a mix of zones 5 & 6:

https://sealevel.info/zones-2015_700x420.png
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U.S. climate zones span 10°F, so the center-to-center difference between four zone numbers is 40°F = 22.2 °C.

However, in this map you can see that Minnesota’s corn is mostly from the southern half of the state, which is a mix of zone 4 and zone 5, and Mississippi’s corn is mostly from the northwest half of the state, which is upper zone 8.

http://ctgpublishing.com/united-states-corn-production/
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So the average temperature difference between the middle of the prime corn-growing regions of the two states is a bit less than 40°F, I’d call it about 33 ±2°F.

In Celsius, that’s a temperature difference of 17.2 to 19.4 °C (midpoint 18.3°C), between Mississippi (185 BPA) and Minnesota (191 BPA).

In other words, it is plain that an average temperature difference of about 18°C has little effect on corn yields.

Many other major crops are even less climate-sensitive:

● Wheat is profitably grown in zones 3 through 9, from Saskatchewan to south Texas, a temperature range of over 35°C:

https://sealevel.info/wheat_growing_regions_usa_and_canada_700x840.png

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● Maine & Florida are both major producers of Potatoes:

http://potatoesusa.com/us-potato-industry/us-growing-regions
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● Soybeans are grown from Louisiana & Mississippi to Minnesota & Canada:

https://www.fb.org/images/uploads/_900w/Yuge_fig_4.jpg
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What, then, are we to make of this PNAS paper?

Zhao C, et al. (2017) Temperature increase reduces global yields of major crops in four independent estimates. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114:9326–9331. doi:10.1073/pnas.1701762114

From the title you would probably assume that they found anthropogenic climate change causes crop yields to decline, because negative impacts of temperature increases exceed the positive impacts of CO2 fertilization and improved drought resistance from higher CO2 levels. That’s what you’re supposed to think, and that’s how the press release reported it:

Climate change will cut crop yields,” said the caption on Phys.org, and called the little five-page paper “a major scientific report.”

Global Warming Will Sear Three of Four Major Grain Crops,” said the caption on Haaratz.

But if you read the paper, or if you read Eric Worrall’s excellent 2017 analysis of it on WUWT, you’ll discover that the authors did not actually say that. Instead, they wrote that they were discussing what they think would happen to yields in an imaginary world “without CO2 fertilization, effective adaptation, and genetic improvement.”

Of course “without CO2 fertilization” means they’re ignoring the beneficial effects of higher CO2 levels, which obviously divorces the paper from any pretense of presenting predictions of future reality.

But it’s even worse than that. Can you guess what their assumption of no “effective adaptation” to a warming climate actually means?

For annual crops, “effective adaptation” means adjusting spring planting dates, and perhaps adjusting cultivar selection. That’s all.

It’s not rocket science. In America’s heartland, moving the planting date up by about six days compensates for 1°C of warming:

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Kansas/Places/wichita-temperatures-by-month-average.php
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So +4°C of warming is equivalent to planting about 24 days late.

The assumption of no “effective adaptation” to warming means these 29(!) authors assumed farmers are all idiots, who can’t figure out when they should plant their crops. (Projection, maybe?)

It’s utterly preposterous. The reality is that most farmers are not idiots, anthropogenic CO2 is highly beneficial “air fertilizer,” and the further that CO2 levels rise, the more productive farms will become.

That fact is true for the great majority of crops, nearly everywhere in the world. Yet the NAS has been promoting the anti-scientific claim that rising CO2 levels are bad for agriculture, for years. This 2011 NAS / NRC propaganda graph is a particularly outrageous example:

https://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/more-resources-on-climate-change/climate-change-lines-of-evidence-booklet/evidence-impacts-and-choices-figure-gallery/figure-28/
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(click to enlarge)

Notice the red “US Maize” and purple “India Wheat” traces, and where they intersect the 4°C line. You can see that they’re predicting that in the event of a 4°C temperature increase, U.S. maize (corn) yields would decline by a devastating 60%, and wheat yields in India would fall 68%.

(Of course such a large temperature increase is thoroughly implausible, but never mind that. That’s a different rant, for a different day.)

Today’s rant is this:  That NAS / NRC graph is a lie.

If a mere 4°C of warming were actually that destructive to corn yields, it would obviously be impossible to profitably grow corn even in Tennessee & Kentucky (zone 7, 174-175 BPA in 2018), let alone Mississippi (zone 8, 185 BPA).

Likewise, if a mere 4°C temperature increase were actually that destructive to wheat yields, then it would obviously be impossible for North Americans to cultivate wheat across seven climate zones, from Saskatchewan to south Texas, spanning an average temperature range of about 35°C.

That NAS / NRC graph is utter nonsense. But even though it is old, it’s still being used by climate change zealots to mislead people. I stumbled across it because someone posted it in the comments on an article at ArsTechnica. (I’m currently banned for a week there, for “ignoring moderation,” because I disagreed with their leftist moderator. My first comment there [screenshot] has been deleted, too, but some of the others are still there. They look “faded” because the ArsTechnica comment system fades-out comments with lots of downvotes.)

On March 22, 2012, Rud Istvan did a wonderful, in-depth demolition of that graph, on WUWT & ClimateEtc:

https://judithcurry.com/2012/03/22/nrcs-artless-untruths-on-climate-change-and-food-security/

https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/nrcs-2011-climategate/

Yet, despite their propaganda graph having been completely debunked, the NAS is still disseminating it, to promote the climate scare.

Here it is on their web site, on p.28 of a little 40 page propaganda booklet, which appears to be designed to be used as a resource by schoolteachers:

https://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/more-resources-on-climate-change/booklet-warming-world-impacts-by-degree/

http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/booklets/warming_world_final.pdf

Here it is, in convenient PowerPoint format, for incorporation into your talk at the local garden club (slide 21):

http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-figures.ppt

(The file metadata indicates that the slides were created by “Rebecca” in June, 2013 — more than a year after Rud had discredited the graph.)

It’s also on p.161 of this free 299-page ebook:

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12877/climate-stabilization-targets-emissions-concentrations-and-impacts-over-decades-to

If Zhao and his 28 co-authors really believe, as they claimed in their PNAS paper, that correctly assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture is “critical to maintaining global food supply,” then it is incredibly cynical of them and the NAS to publish misleading papers and graphs which encourage policymakers to take steps that will actually reduce that the global food supply.

I’m beginning to wonder: Does the “A” in “NAS” is still stand for “Academy of,” or does it now stand for “Anti-,”?

Prediction For Antarctica- Day 35 – 2019

sunshine hours

I’ve been posting sea ice extent for many years now andone thing I’m sure of is that the oscillations in the Antarctic are getting bigger and bigger. Day 35 is a classic example.

So I’m making a simple prediction. Next year (or the year after) a record will be set.

Now it is entriely possible those oscillations will dampen down and return to small ones like the 1980s.

But not yet.

South / North

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In Search of the Standard Day

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

By Dr Fabio Capezzuoli

Recent posts and discussions on WUWT regarding air temperature sampling frequencies and their influence on the daily average – propagating to monthly and yearly trends – demonstrated that the classic sampling method of Tmax and Tmin is not adequate to correctly represent daily averages (Tav); to produce a representative value at least 24 samples (hourly readings) should be used.

From the discussions also an idea emerged, that it could be possible to produce a “Standard Day” temperature curve and use it to correct older data sampled by Tmax and Tmin only, in order to obtain a more representative value of Tav.

Because I’d like to give a contribution to knowledge, and also because I want to hone my Python coding skills, I decided to process some data and see if it can help going towards the goal of a “Standard Day”.

The series I used for my study are hourly air temperature measurements:

PRM – Parma-Urban, PR, Italy, weather station (44.808 N, 10.330 E, Elev. 79 m), covering 2015-2016. Despite its latitude, Parma’s climate is classified as Humid Subtropical (Koppen: Cfa).

EVG – Everglades City 5 NE CRN Station – 92826 (25.90 N, 81.32 W, Elev. NA), Florida, USA, covering 2015-2016. The climate of Everglades City is classified as Tropical Savannah (Koppen: Aw).

Parma station location:

https://goo.gl/maps/8EESqED2Thq

Everglades City station location:

https://goo.gl/maps/TqtGhkTDtN62

Data were downloaded from the access systems provided by the station’s managing organization (ARPAE-ER, Italy and NOAA, US) and not preprocessed in any way except for removal of empty and invalid records.

I chose these stations as representative of the temperate latitudes situation (Parma), and of the tropical situation (Everglades City); my choice of tropical stations was limited, and in the end only the CRN produces data with the necessary frequency and quality.

Before diving head first into curve-fitting, I decided to do some grouping and visualization, so that I can get an idea of the parameters of a typical day. What I chose are:

– H(Tmin), H(Tmax): Hour of the day (local time) at which min and max temperatures are recorded.

– DTR: (Tmax – Tmix) – Diurnal Temperature Range

– Delta-H: (H(Tmax) – H(Tmin)) – Time interval (in hours) between Tmax and Tmin

Using a Python code, I calculated the parameters defined above for each day of the temperature series.

The aggregate parameters’ values over the whole time period (2015-2016) are shown in Fig.1a for Parma and Fig.1b for Everglades City.

clip_image002

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For Parma (Fig.1a), the aggregate data show that – over the study period – Tmax and Tmin occur usually 9 – 11 hours apart; DTR has a very non-normal distribution spanning 0 – 15 °C but with higher count around 10 °C; finally Tmin is recorded most frequently around 07:00 and Tmax around 16:00 (all times are local).

For Everglades City (Fig1b), Delta-H is most frequently 8 hours; the DTR distribution is more bell-shaped and centered around 10 °C, while Tmin is most frequently recorded around 23:00 and 03:00 and Tmax around 12:00.

Then, I also plotted the same parameters month by month for the whole study period. The first quantity is Delta-H, for both locations (Fig.2).

clip_image006Delta-H distributin for Parma (Fig.2a) is narrower and shifted towards longer timespan in the summer; wider and shifted towards shorter timespan in winter: this is consistent with the varying length of day in the temperate region.

clip_image008Delta-H distribution at Everglades City (Fig.2b) is rather uniform throughout the year.

Then, DTR for both locations (Fig.3)

clip_image010Parma shows DTR distributions (Fig.3a) that are wide all over the year, but with larger mean DTR in summer months than winter months.

For Everglades City, DTR distribution (Fig.3b) is somewhat narrower and shifted to smaller values in the summer months, becoming wider and shifting to larger values in winter.

clip_image012

Fig.4 shows H(Tmin, Tmax).

clip_image014

clip_image016In Parma (Fig.4a), Tmin is recorded most often between 05:00 and 10:00 while Tmax is recorded most often between 15:00 and 20:00, with a shift towards later hours in summer (this could be a consequence of the station being in an urban environment rich with heatsinks); the separation between Tmin and Tmax distributions is clear in summer but less so in winter.

In Everglades City (Fig.4b), Tmin occurs mostly at night (20:00 – 05:00) and Tmax around noontime (10:00 – 15:00); the distributions are wider and show an appreciable level of superimposition throughout the year.

I computed also another parameter, which can be seen as a synthetic indicator for DTR and Delta-H together: the daily gradient, or Dgrad.

It is defined at (Tmax-Tmin)/Delta-H; it is by definition positive and gives a measure of how fast temperature changes over the course of one day. I also decided to visualize Dgrad to show its monthly variation over the whole study period, in Fig.5.

clip_image018

clip_image020

Dgrad for both stations varies in a rather narrow interval, but while for Everglades City it appears to reach a maximum in spring months and a minimum in summer, Parma shows a slowly rising trend from the winter minimum to September, followed by an abrupt fall in October / November.

Both series are also highly noisy and present a number of outliers. Curiously, the highest outliers occur in Sept-15 and Aug-16 for both stations.

Conclusions.

I never imagined this study would bring dramatic revelations, and this is in fact the case.

There still are, however, some conclusions that can be drawn even from a dataset limited in space and time:

– As far as defining a “standard day” can be desired, it should be limited to month-by-month and station-by-station. The variation of daily parameters in time and space is, at a first look, too large to warrant wider generalizations.

– The long-term trend of the daily parameters can be investigated in order to gain more information about variation of climate than just daily min, max and average temperatures.

– The long-term trend of daily gradient, can give information about whether climate is becoming more unstable and extreme phenomena are on the increase.

Afterword

Datasets and source code (Python 3) are available upon request.

Constructive criticism and observations are welcome. Please cite the words you are responding to, as to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Revising the history of big, climate-altering volcanic eruptions

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

New method, co-developed at UMD, refines the 2,600-year history of large eruptions that inject planet-cooling particles into the stratosphere

From the UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

For all their destructive power, most volcanic eruptions are local events. Lava flows tend to reach only a few miles at most, while airborne ash and soot travel a little farther. But occasionally, larger eruptions can launch particles into the stratosphere, more than 6 miles above Earth’s surface. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines–the world’s largest eruption in the past 100 years–is a prime example of a stratospheric eruption.

When volcanic particles reach the stratosphere they stay aloft for a long time, reflecting sunlight and temporarily cooling the planet. By understanding the history of these big eruptions, researchers can begin to place short cooling episodes and other discrete climate events into the context of large-scale climate patterns.

Researchers working at the University of Maryland, the Université Grenoble Alpes in France, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in France and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a new, more accurate system for identifying large stratospheric eruptions recorded in the layers of Antarctic ice cores.

Using their method, the researchers made some important revisions to the known history of big eruptions–correcting the record on several misidentified events while discovering a few as yet unknown stratospheric eruptions. The researchers described their approach, which identifies airborne volcanic particles with a specific chemical signature, in a paper published January 28, 2019, in the journal Nature Communications.

“I find it very exciting that we are able to use chemical signals to build a highly accurate record of large, climate-relevant stratospheric eruptions,” said James Farquhar, a professor of geology at UMD and a co-author of the research paper. “This historical record will be highly useful for climate scientists seeking to understand the role of large eruptions in climate oscillations. But there is also the basic marvel of reading a chemical fingerprint that is left behind in ice.”

Eventually, volcanic particles fall from the stratosphere, settling on the ground below. When they land on snow, the particles get covered up by more snow that gets compacted into ice. This preserves a record of the eruption that survives until the ice melts. Researchers can drill and retrieve ice cores in places like Antarctica and Greenland, revealing eruption records that stretch back several thousand years.

Because particles from large stratospheric eruptions can spread across the globe before falling to the ground, previous methods identified stratospheric eruptions by looking for sulfate particle layers in ice from both hemispheres–usually from Antarctica and Greenland. If the same layers of sulfate showed up in both cores, deposited at the same time in Earth’s history, researchers would conclude that the particles came from the same large, stratospheric eruption.

“For eruptions that are intense enough to inject material into the stratosphere, there is a telltale signature in the sulfur isotope ratios of sulfate preserved in ancient ice layers,” explained Farquhar, who also has an appointment in UMD’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center. “By instead focusing on this distinct sulfur isotope signature, our new method yielded some surprising and useful results. We found that prior reconstructions missed some stratospheric events and falsely identified others.”

The study’s lead author, Elsa Gautier from the Université Grenoble Alpes, did a significant portion of the analyses at UMD while on a Fulbright scholarship to work with Farquhar in 2013. Following Gautier’s lead, the researchers developed their method using ice cores collected at a remote site in Antarctica called Dome C. One of the highest points on the Antarctic ice sheet, Dome C is home to ice layers that stretch back nearly 50,000 years.

Gautier and her colleague Joel Savarino, also at the Université Grenoble Alpes, collected ice cores at Dome C that contain records stretching back roughly 2,600 years, covering a large portion of recorded human history.

The researchers used their method to confirm that many events had indeed been properly identified by the older method of matching up corresponding sulfate layers in ice cores from both hemispheres. But some events, formerly thought to be big stratospheric eruptions, did not have the telltale sulfur isotope signature in their sulfate layers. Instead, the researchers concluded, these layers must have been deposited by two or more smaller volcanoes that erupted at about the same time at high latitudes in both hemispheres.

The researchers also found some big stratospheric events that contain the isotope signature, but were somehow constrained to the Southern Hemisphere.

“This is a strength of our approach, because these events would have a climate impact but are missed by other methods,” Farquhar said. “We have made a significant improvement to the reconstruction of large stratospheric eruptions that occurred over the past 2,600 years. This is critically important for understanding the role of volcanic eruptions on climate and possibly for understanding certain events in human history, such as widespread famines. It can also help to inform future climate models that will take large volcanic events into account.”

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Via Eurekalert PUBLIC RELEASE: 

The research paper, “2600 years of stratospheric volcanism through sulfate isotopes,” Elsa Gautier, Joel Savarino, Joost Hoek, Joseph Erbland, Nicolas Caillon, Shohei Hattori, Naohiro Yoshida, Emanuelle Albalat, Francis Albarede and James Farquhar, was published in the journal Nature Communications on January 28, 2019.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-08357-0 (open access)