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Author Topic: Extreme weather  (Read 50326 times)

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #640 on: August 27, 2019, 10:15:52 am »

Or in other words, one man's problems are another man's opportunities. Although the pest exterminators will definitely benefit from the onslaught of harmful insects and rodents which thrive at hot temperatures, I am witnessing more negative effects than positive consequences. Now, if you get all heavily sprayed produce from the supermarket, you wouldn't be aware of all the harmful insects which proliferate in the hot weather. 

But because I like my home grown tomatoes and kale better than the ones from the store, I have been fighting those pests all summer long, and that impacts not only my stress levels but also my free time. And while the CO2 may hypothetically increase the rice yield in some faraway country, those bugs and caterpillars are reducing significantly my own garden harvest. If those leaf eating pests are not kept in check, they would effectively destroy the entire plants and even mature berry bushes which require several years to get to a proper and fruit-bearing size. In addition, the higher temperatures and drier weather have increased also the need for water consumption to keep my little farm operation alive. So, I vote for two degrees cooler summers.
I'm sorry you have to deal with all those bugs.  But realistically, two degrees warmer in summer means that your location in "colder" Canada brings you equivalently down in latitude of the earth, what, a couple of hundred miles south.  You would then experience the same weather conditions currently experienced in let's say Albany, New York and the Hudson Valley, still way above from where most of the US dwells.  What people forget about, is that our mean temperature varies a lot due to where we live on the earth.  We're all not at the same latitude and average temperature.   I think that for regular Canadian farmers, they would appreciate a longer growing season they would get due to higher temperatures year around despite the additional bugs.  It would improve their crop yields and make them richer. 

RSL

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #641 on: August 27, 2019, 10:48:55 am »

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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #642 on: August 27, 2019, 11:31:35 am »

Here's another point of view from the Farmers' Almanac: https://wtop.com/weather-news/2019/08/what-the-farmers-almanac-is-predicting-for-the-d-c-metro-area-this-winter/
The last paragraph in that article has something that Les may be interested in. :) Does anyone farm bugs? 

"Beyond weather, the 2020 Farmersí Almanac includes articles on natural remedies, what bugs are safe and tasty to eat, how animals survive extreme weather, ways to melt ice more naturally, life hacks and gardening tips."
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 11:36:20 am by Alan Klein »
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LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #643 on: August 27, 2019, 01:12:02 pm »

The last paragraph in that article has something that Les may be interested in. :) Does anyone farm bugs? 

"Beyond weather, the 2020 Farmersí Almanac includes articles on natural remedies, what bugs are safe and tasty to eat, how animals survive extreme weather, ways to melt ice more naturally, life hacks and gardening tips."

I am allergic to bugs. I can't stand when they bite me, and I won't eat them either.
In addition to the bugs, I have to deal also with other wildlife. Had to erect a fence around my vegetable patch to keep out several wild bunnies running around my backyard. I don't use any herbicide in my backyard, and they seem to like that. They seem to be getting bolder and plumper every day, by now they will let me shoot them from only about 4 feet distance. Below is an intimate portrait of one trespasser right in the clover patch beside my deck, so as you can see they are eating healthy organic food. I already found an old-fashioned recipe for a piquant Hungarian paprikash.
   

Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #644 on: August 27, 2019, 02:25:26 pm »

Does anyone farm bugs? 

Yes. And just today, we hear that pet-owners are being urged to feed insect-based food to their animals: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49450935.

Jeremy
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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #645 on: August 27, 2019, 03:57:22 pm »

I am allergic to bugs. I can't stand when they bite me, and I won't eat them either.
In addition to the bugs, I have to deal also with other wildlife. Had to erect a fence around my vegetable patch to keep out several wild bunnies running around my backyard. I don't use any herbicide in my backyard, and they seem to like that. They seem to be getting bolder and plumper every day, by now they will let me shoot them from only about 4 feet distance. Below is an intimate portrait of one trespasser right in the clover patch beside my deck, so as you can see they are eating healthy organic food. I already found an old-fashioned recipe for a piquant Hungarian paprikash.
   
You just reminded me that for the last two years, two of my flowering  plants have been eaten by something, probably bunnies.  My wife didn't like the plants anyway. 

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #646 on: August 27, 2019, 04:00:47 pm »

Yes. And just today, we hear that pet-owners are being urged to feed insect-based food to their animals: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49450935.

Jeremy
Our mini-poodle, since passed away, ate the best steaks that I ate.   We tried dog food, but he turned his nose up to everything we tried.  My wife would have poisoned me had I tried bug food.  :o

LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #647 on: August 27, 2019, 04:22:52 pm »

Our mini-poodle, since passed away, ate the best steaks that I ate.   We tried dog food, but he turned his nose up to everything we tried.  My wife would have poisoned me had I tried bug food.  :o

What did he die of? High cholesterol?

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #648 on: August 27, 2019, 04:39:10 pm »

What did he die of? High cholesterol?

No, he did have diabetes after gaining a lot of weight after he started to have seizures and we put him on medicine to stop the seizures.  Unfortunately, it also made him hungry all the time and he gained a lot of weight.   That;s probably how he got diabetes.  Once he choked on a spare rib.  Stopped breathing. I had to give him mouth to snout resuscitation to bring him back to life.  Really!   I'm sure we didn't do him any favors.  He did live to 14 1/2 so I guess that's about normal for a poodle.  He was a great dog and we loved him a lot.  We buried him in a pet sematary with a headstone, etc.  Forget the cost.  :o

Ray

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #649 on: August 28, 2019, 02:07:46 am »

And not only that. In order for more biomass to grow due to the increased CO2 levels, the soil must provide nutrients and there must be the right amount of water.

I think you've misunderstood the research. Increased CO2 levels result in increased growth, in the same type of soil with the same quantities of nutrients and the same amount of water.

Under water-stressed conditions, the increased plant growth due to elevated CO2 levels, is even greater, because of the lower evaporation that takes place as a result of the smaller stomata (pores) on the plants' leaves.

However, it is true that growing crops without returning to the soil all the crop residue and nutrients that are removed when the crop is harvested, will gradually result in less nutritious food.

This is one of the failings of modern agriculture where the soils are constantly tilled and the crop residue removed and used for other purposes. The soils are being gradually depleted of their carbon content, biodiversity and micro-nutrients. The farmers will tend to add only the particular fertilizers that enhance growth, which are mainly Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. The increased CO2 has no noticeable effect in the open field, because it's increasing at a rate of only one or two parts per million, per year. It's out of sight and out of mind, but its effect on increasing plant growth, although subtle on an annual basis, is continuous and adds up over the years.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/crop-residues

"Crop residues are valuable assets for sustainable management in cropping systems. Residues offer the following: (1) a physical barrier against soil erosion (wind or water), (2) a way to manage GHG emissions, (3) retention of soil moisture at the soil surface; (4) prevention of germination of weeds, (5) snow catchment, and (6) a source of photosynthesized carbon and SOM (soil organic matter). Therefore, effective distribution of crop residues and correct incorporation of them can greatly benefit not only soil biological activities but also can improve soil structure, water infiltration, and workability of the soil and protect it from soil erosion and compaction."

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Both are not guaranteed as a result of climate change (droughts vs increased precipitation).

Climate is always changing. Didn't you know that, Bart?  ;) There are no guarantees regarding climate or weather. A modestly warming climate, in conjunction with a modest increase in precipitation and a modest increase in CO2 levels sounds fine to me. Whether or not we have the practical commonsense to exploit such benefits, is another issue.

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Climate change deniers usually cherry-pick one specific benefit, but deliberately ignore the (more) negative effects that are almost inevitable in a closed-loop ecosystem.

There's an element of truth there; just as climate change alarmists cherry-pick the negative effects and deliberately ignore or downplay the more positive effects.

However, to be precise with our terminology, I've never met an actual 'Climate Change Denier', but I have met many 'Climate Change Alarmists', and it does seem a very obvious fact that the process of creating alarm about CO2 emissions will be much more successful if the positive effects are ignored or downplayed.

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We do not live in a controlled laboratory, sheltered from the outside world, but we live as part of a large system that struggles to adapt to the unprecedented pace of change.

I get a sense that many of the scientists expressing alarm about climate change, such as Michael Mann, actually do live in controlled laboratories or offices, working on their computer models, trying to predict the future climate, and really are sheltered from the outside world. I suspect many of them also tend to suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).   :(

People who are less sheltered from the outside world, such as farmers, tend to be far more skeptical about the effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases on the climate. Also, the scientists in disciplines which involve more connection to the outside world, such as Meteorology and Geology, tend to express more skepticism about the significance of CO2 in the current warming, presumably because the Meteorologists are more aware of the chaotic and unpredictable nature of weather and climate, and the Geologists are more aware of the history of the planet, its continually changing climate, and previous warm periods that appear to have preceded rises in atmospheric CO2 levels.

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BTW, talking about extreme weather, we are experiencing our third heatwave in 3 months time this year, temperatures have never been this high in the respective months since they were first formally recorded more than 100 years ago. The numbers of excess deaths for this run are not known yet (we have another day and a half to go before normal temperatures set in), but the National Heatplan is in effect again.

If new research were to discover that 200 years ago, or 500 or 1,000 years ago, when CO2 levels were much lower, there had been an even hotter heatwave in your part of the world, would you then change your position on the role of CO2 in the current warm period?  ;)
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Ray

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #650 on: August 28, 2019, 03:07:44 am »

I've tried making this point to some of Ray's previous comments as well.  Plant breeders will have to change their approach.  The big problem with higher levels of CO2 is biomass production which is what weeds do really well.  We don't know if the dwarf wheat varieties that revolutionized that crop will be best adapted to higher CO2 levels or not. 

Excellent example of 'downplaying the positives and exaggerating the negatives', Alan.  ;D

The type of plants that benefit from elevated levels of CO2 are known as C3, which are the vast majority of plants. The C4 plants can use CO2 more efficiently in the photosynthesis process, so they don't respond to elevated CO2 levels as much as the C3 plants.

However, as the following article explains, whilst the total number of C4 plant species, globally, is very small, compared with C3 plants, the proportion of C4 weeds is much higher. Some of the worst weeds are of the C4 type.

Therefore, as CO2 levels rise, the C3 crops should become more competitive than the C4 weeds, even excluding the continuing technological progress in addressing weed control.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/weed-science/article/composite-list-of-c4-weeds/0028B100C8534460E75A9F0340AFE304

"C4 plants account for a small fraction of the total number of plant species (fewer than 1000 out of 250 000). A larger proportion of the world's weed species possess C4 physiology. There are 2000 species in 500 genera and 125 families of flowering plants listed in the WSSA composite list of weeds. of that number, 146 species in 53 genera and 10 families exhibit the C4 syndrome. This, as a percentage, is 17-fold greater than the percentage of C4 plants in the total world plant population. In this report, we have listed the C4 -weed species and provide specific information concerning various aspects of their Kranz anatomy and C4 physiology."

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The system is complex and arguments that enhanced CO2 will lead to increased crop yields may not be accurate.  there are also environmental and energy impacts (the latter reflected in the energy needed for fertilizer production) that are likely to increase.  TNSTAAFL!!!  (There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)

The argument that increased CO2 levels will lead to increased plant growth is far more scientifically sound than the argument that increased CO2 levels will have a harmful effect on the climate and the biodiversity of the planet.

Crop yield can be affected by many issues which are not necessarily related to any changes in CO2 levels. If it were true that the rise in CO2 levels that has already taken place in recent decades, had increased the frequency and intensity of storms, floods and droughts, then that would have a counteractive effect on the increased crop yield. However, there is no reliable evidence that such extreme weather events have increased, on a global scale, since 1950. The IPCC uses the term 'low confidence' due to lack of evidence, to describe any increase in such events, globally. In other words, they don't know.

Heat waves have been increasing because the climate is warming, and that could certainly affect crop yield. On the other hand, the net effect of a slightly warmer climate in most regions, in conjunction with higher precipitation, could more than offset the reduced crop yield due to the occasional heat wave.

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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #651 on: August 28, 2019, 09:51:54 am »

Ray, I need you to take a look at my lawn and shrubs.    :)

Ray

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #652 on: August 28, 2019, 11:28:45 am »

Ray, I need you to take a look at my lawn and shrubs.    :)

I'm sure it's nicer than my garden.  ;)

Many parts of Australia are currently experiencing drought conditions. When the rains eventually come, I expect there will be flooding in many places due to an insufficient number of flood-mitigation dams, which is an ongoing problem that certainly isn't going to be fixed by reducing CO2 emissions.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #653 on: August 28, 2019, 06:13:03 pm »

Interesting article on CO2 and O2 and the burning of the Amazon.   The lungs of the world apparently are safe.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amazon-fire-earth-has-plenty-oxygen/596923/

Ray

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #654 on: August 29, 2019, 12:48:22 am »

Interesting article on CO2 and O2 and the burning of the Amazon.   The lungs of the world apparently are safe.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amazon-fire-earth-has-plenty-oxygen/596923/

The 'lungs of the world' analogy is another example of the tendency to exaggerate in order to create alarm for the purpose of getting political action.

My understanding is that both plants and animals need oxygen, but plants also need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis whereas animals and humans exhale CO2 as a waste product. The air we breathe in contains about 0.04% CO2, when we're outside in the natural environment, but the air we breathe out contains about 4% CO2 which is about 100 times as much as we breathed in, or 40,000 parts per million.

However, plants do release more oxygen than they take in, and also convert into oxygen all the CO2 that they take in.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #655 on: August 29, 2019, 07:45:17 am »

However, plants do release more oxygen than they take in, and also convert into oxygen all the CO2 that they take in.
The oxygen released by plants comes not from CO2 but split water molecules during photosynthesis.  the oxygen of the CO2 is fixed into sugars during the Calvin Cycle.
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Rob C

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #656 on: August 29, 2019, 08:12:40 am »

The Balearic/Pitiusa islands yesterday, heights of summer:

https://www.thelocal.es/20190828/balaeric-islands-battered-in-violent-storms-majorca

The tv showed much more detail, including waterspout (here, in the Med!) and destructive hail, with shutters and roofs smashed. Vinyards wiped out, a source of highly priced local wines.

Mr T, you are as wilfully blind as our - unfortunately - Mr J.

Rob

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #657 on: August 29, 2019, 10:07:24 am »

I'm sorry about the damage and injuries and deaths.   We're about ready to get hit by another hurricane ourselves.   But these are both weather events you can read about in the ancient bible.    It's not right to blame two people for them.

LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #658 on: August 29, 2019, 10:25:22 am »

The Balearic/Pitiusa islands yesterday, heights of summer:

https://www.thelocal.es/20190828/balaeric-islands-battered-in-violent-storms-majorca

The tv showed much more detail, including waterspout (here, in the Med!) and destructive hail, with shutters and roofs smashed. Vinyards wiped out, a source of highly priced local wines.

Mr T, you are as wilfully blind as our - unfortunately - Mr J.

Rob

This year, hurricanes J and T will be womanly - Ms Jenny and Ms Tanya. Hopefully, they won't become as nasty and unpredictable as Mr. T and Mr. J.

Rob C

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #659 on: August 29, 2019, 10:28:30 am »

I'm sorry about the damage and injuries and deaths.   We're about ready to get hit by another hurricane ourselves.   But these are both weather events you can read about in the ancient bible.    It's not right to blame two people for them.

The Bible.

Alan, philosophical beliefs aside, if you take it as your guide, then tell me when next the Red Sea gets parted and it rains for forty days and nights in a row, and who has the plans for a wooden boat that both floats, maintains its shape without collapsing of its own weight and cargo, and is big enough to carry one pair of each of everything that breaths, eats, copulates and lives on this planet at the same period of time, plus the food to feed 'em and the pails to "bucket and chuck it" whilst afloat.

Weather events. Nothing at all to do with civilized man. Hell, you might as well blame your personal version of God then, right? Your insurance company would have no difficulty trying that!

Of course you are about to get hit: for your neck of the woods, it's normal. Which is the bloody point: for us, it is not normal, never has been!
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