Frozen in Time
Mar 14, 2013
You can’t get there from here - or data stirred not Shakun

How the paper passed peer (pal) review is beyond comprehension. It is worse than the original hockey stick paper MBH shown to be a total work of fiction. But timed for the new IPCC, this paper from OSU (Oregon State - amazing how far they have fallen) and Harvard, - from where Holdren and many of our most useless politicians have come forth is one that even has Andy Revkin scratching his head. Of course Mann is changing his undergarments multiple times a day claiming he has been vindicated and alarmists are touting it as a landmark paper. The paper shows how far peer review and Science magazine has degraded.

I should have expected this after OSU professors came to Dc to testify to congress and told them…

The Oregonian printed word for word on the front page.

As one former OSU scientist (not George Taylor) observed:

Steve McIntyre is really outdoing himself with an in-depth analysis of the resurgent ‘Hockey Stick’ from the Marcott-Shakun team at Oregon State University.  OSU is redefining what it means to “manipulate data.” I suspect that they could market their techniques to other government agencies like the California Air Resources Board, which has long sought to find convenient correlations where there are none.

The normally serious McIntyre could not suppress his sense of humor with Marcott et al:

“The moral of today’s post for ocean cores. Are you an ocean core that is tired of your current date? Does your current date make you feel too old? Or does it make you feel too young? Try the Marcott-Shakun dating service. Ashley Madison for ocean cores. Confidentiality is guaranteed”

Will Marcott become famous or infamous over this paper?  With Shakun apparently behind the hyping of the 20th century upturn (the Hockey Stick) to the press, Marcott denying the significance ("robutness"), and McIntyre pointing out just how ludicrous their analysis was, this is certainly another ‘black-eye’ for science, for Oregon State University, for peer-review, for the journal ‘Science,’ and for the very young authors.

With the admission that Professor Peter Clark apparently “co-wrote” the relevant chapter of Marcott’s doctoral thesis, we have a particularly bizarre situation.  Thesis advisers are supposed to guide student efforts but especially at the doctoral level, the finished product needs to come from the student alone.  Was Marcott unable to do an adequate job on his own or was Clark too anxious that the paper adhere to the conclusions he wanted to see?  I suspect the latter.

Oregon State is fanatical about adherence to the global warming dogma.  With the firing of chemist Nick Drapella for questioning the dogma and with the refusal of all his colleagues still employed at OSU to write letters of recommendation, we see an institution governed by fanaticism and fear.  They are even more monochromatic than German Universities during the Second World War where a few great physicists like Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and Arnold Sommerfeld refused to go along with ‘Deutsche Physik.’

Does anyone at OSU refuse to salute Herr Gore?

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

At Climate Audit, Something odd has been discovered about the provenance of the work associate with the Marcott et al paper. It seems that the sharp uptick wasn’t in the thesis paper Marcott defended for his PhD, but is in the paper submitted to Science.

Steve McIntyre writes:

Reader drew our attention to Marcott’s thesis (see chapter 4 here. Marcott’s thesis has a series of diagrams in an identical style as the Science article. The proxy datasets are identical.

However, as Jean S alertly observed, the diagrams in the thesis lack the closing uptick of the Science. Other aspects of the modern period also differ dramatically.

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The differences will be evident to readers. In addition to the difference in closing uptick, important reconstruction versions were at negative values in the closing portion of the thesis graphic, while they were at positive values in the closing portion of the Science graphic.

I wonder what accounts for the difference.

Read the full report at Climate Audit

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Here is Figure 1C of the Science article.

Its all about how you go from this to a final curve ending with a spike at the end up around 1940:

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to this:

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Given Greenland ice cores (shown to correlate well with global mean anomalies) that show this.

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Which aligns with the new Hockey Stick as shown below:

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Here is the paper:

A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years
Shaun A. Marcott1, Jeremy D. Shakun2, Peter U. Clark1, Alan C. Mix1
+ Author Affiliations

1College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: marcotts@science.oregonstate.edu

EDITOR’S SUMMARY

Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Note Shakun was the one that tried to manipulate ice core data to show that CO2 preceded or accompanied temperature rises instead of lagging by 800 years or more as all other studies has shown. When prophecies fail when data doesn't match projections, the data is assumed wrong not the theory and try and fix it. They did it with the hot spot (balloon and satellite) with the surface data, with extremes, etc.

See posts exposing the paper (with enlarged views of the images above):

Validity of “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years” by Dr. Don Easterbrook.
Part II here.

As in Part I, this segment analyzes the Marcott et al. conclusions using the scientific method of Feynman in which conclusions are checked against well-established data from other sources. As Feynman points out, if a hypothesis (conclusion) disagrees with observations and data, it is wrong. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful the hypothesis (conclusion) is, how smart the author is, or what the author’s name is, if it disagrees with data or observations, it is wrong.

Marcott’s proxies:  10% fail their own criteria for inclusion by Willis Eschenbach.

Steve McIntyre writes in a post at CA today:

Marcott et al 2013 has received lots of publicity, mainly because of its supposed vindication of the Stick. A number of commenters have observed that they are unable to figure out how Marcott got the Stick portion of his graph from his data set. Add me to that group.

The uptick occurs in the final plot-point of his graphic (1940) and is a singleton. I wrote to Marcott asking him for further details of how he actually obtained the uptick, noting that the enormous 1920-to-1940 uptick is not characteristic of the underlying data. Marcott’s response was unhelpful: instead of explaining how he got the result, Marcott stated that they had “clearly” stated that the 1890-on portion of their reconstruction was “not robust”. I agree that the 20th century portion of their reconstruction is “not robust”, but do not feel that merely describing the recent portion as “not robust” does full justice to the issues. Nor does it provide an explanation.

Read Steve’s preliminary analysis here.

Of course, no one has made note of the fact the series ends before the post war boom and before CO2 increases allegedly began, so how it vindicates Mann and his team who appended the surface data to his carefully selected tree data and ignored the fact the tree data showed a decline post 1960.

This flailing away with more and more bad science is what Leon Festinger predicted when prophecies fail and a lot is at stake ($100B sank so far) into creating this hoax designed to achieve leftist social and societal and energy changes.

Mar 12, 2013
Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret.

Bjorn Lomborg

Electric cars are promoted as the chic harbinger of an environmentally benign future. Ads assure us of “zero emissions,” and President Obama has promised a million on the road by 2015. With sales for 2012 coming in at about 50,000, that million car figure is a pipe dream. Consumers remain wary of the cars’ limited range, higher price and the logistics of battery-charging. But for those who do own an electric car, at least there is the consolation that it’s truly green, right? Not really.

For proponents such as the actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, the main argument is that their electric cars - whether it’s a $100,000 Fisker Karma (Mr. DiCaprio’s ride) or a $28,000 Nissan Leaf - don’t contribute to global warming. And, sure, electric cars don’t emit carbon-dioxide on the road. But the energy used for their manufacture and continual battery charges certainly does - far more than most people realize.

A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity. By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds

While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile. But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions - the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.

So unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally. And that turns out to be a challenge. Consider the Nissan Leaf. It has only a 73-mile range per charge. Drivers attempting long road trips, as in one BBC test drive, have reported that recharging takes so long that the average speed is close to six miles per hour - a bit faster than your average jogger

Charlie Drevna, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, on how Washington’s fuel standards are increasing the price of cars and gas.

To make matters worse, the batteries in electric cars fade with time, just as they do in a cellphone. Nissan estimates that after five years, the less effective batteries in a typical Leaf bring the range down to 55 miles. As the MIT Technology Review cautioned last year: “Don’t Drive Your Nissan Leaf Too Much.”

If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles. Similarly, if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven - three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.

Even if the electric car is driven for 90,000 miles and the owner stays away from coal-powered electricity, the car will cause just 24% less carbon-dioxide emission than its gas-powered cousin. This is a far cry from “zero emissions.” Over its entire lifetime, the electric car will be responsible for 8.7 tons of carbon dioxide less than the average conventional car.

Those 8.7 tons may sound like a considerable amount, but it’s not. The current best estimate of the global warming damage of an extra ton of carbon-dioxide is about $5. This means an optimistic assessment of the avoided carbon-dioxide associated with an electric car will allow the owner to spare the world about $44 in climate damage. On the European emissions market, credit for 8.7 tons of carbon-dioxide costs $48.

Yet the U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors TSLA +1.61% . This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.

The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing. The real challenge is to get green energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels. That requires heavy investment in green research and development. Spending instead on subsidizing electric cars is putting the cart before the horse, and an inconvenient and expensive cart at that.

Mr. Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center in Washington, D.C., is the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” (Cambridge Press, 2001) and “Cool It” (Knopf, 2007).

A version of this article appeared March 11, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret.

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Matt Ridley talks about Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet

Mar 04, 2013
Wrong Prediction, Wrong Science; Unless It’s Government Climate Science.

By Dr. Tim Ball

In a comment on the WUWT article about the abject failure of the United Kingdom Weather Office (UKMO) weather forecasts, Doug Huffman wrote,

“Each forecast must be accompanied by the appropriate retro-cast record of previous casts”

I pointed out years ago that Environment Canada (EC) publishes such information. In doing so they expose a similar horrendous story of absolute failure. This likely indicates why it is not done by others, but provides adequate justification for significantly reducing the role of the agency.

Both EC and UKMO predictions fail. The failure parallels Richard Feynman’s comment.

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

If your prediction (forecast) is wrong; your science is wrong. Unlike the IPCC, they cannot avoid the problem by calling them projections, not predictions. They can and do avoid accountability.

We recently learned that the UKMO have revised their forecast for the period 2013 to 2017. In a press release they,

“confirmed that over the next five years temperatures will be 0.43 degrees above the 1971-2000 average, instead of the previously forecast 0.54 degrees, a 20 per cent reduction.”

That amount of change means the science is wrong, which they won’t admit. Instead, they claim the effects of CO2 are being surprised by “natural cycles.” What nonsense! They are saying when temperatures are flat or even cooling it is because of natural cycles. If temperatures increase it is because of CO2. These are statements would fail a first year university climate paper. The error indicated by the amount of reduction is sufficient to close the department.

Initially I thought EC was admirable for publishing results of how wrong they were. Now I realize it only shows arrogance and sense of unaccountability: we fail, but you must listen, act, and keep paying. It underscores the hypocrisy of what they do. More important, it shows why they and all national weather agencies must be proscribed. It is time to reduce all national weather offices to data collection agencies. When bureaucrats do research it is political by default. The objective rapidly becomes job preservation; perpetuate and expand rather than solve the problem.

EC is a prime example of why Maurice Strong set up the IPCC through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and member national weather agencies. EC participated and actively promoted the failed work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the start. An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of EC chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria in 1985. It continues, as they sent a large delegation to the recent Doha conference on climate change. Their web site promotes IPCC work as the basis for all policy on energy and environment. They brag about their role as a world class regulator. All this despite the fact their own evidence shows the complete inadequacy of their work.

See the post here for the forecasts and verifications.

Everyone knows that regional weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, especially beyond 48 hours. This fact weakened the credibility of the IPCC predictions with the public from the start. Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false arguement. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.

Some experts acknowledge that regional climate forecasts are no better than short term weather forecasts. New Scientist reports that Tim Palmer, a leading climate modeler at the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts in Reading England saying,

“I don’t want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain.”

In an attempt to claim some benefit, we’re told,

“...he does not doubt that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has done a good job alerting the world to the problem of global climate change. But he and his fellow climate scientists are acutely aware that the IPCC’s predictions of how the global change will affect local climates are little more than guesswork.”

The IPCC have deliberately misled the world about the nature, cause and threat of climate change and deceived about the accuracy of their predictions (projections), for a political agenda.

Some claim the failures are due to limited computer capacity. It makes no difference. The real problems are inadequate data, lack of understanding of most major mechanisms, incorrect assumptions, and a determination to prove instead of falsify the AGW hypothesis.

Einstein’s definition,

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

applies. However, EC do the same thing over and over with results that indicate failure yet fail to make adjustments as the scientific method requires. What is more amazing and unacceptable is they use public money, are essentially unaccountable yet demand the public and politicians change their energy and economic policies. On their web site, they state;

“The Government of Canada supports an aggressive approach to climate change that achieves real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”

They could begin by reducing EC to data collection. Their failures are more than enough to justify termination in any other endeavour. Another is their involvment and political promotion of well documented IPCC corruption.

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See Steve McIntyre’s post where a deceptive cherry picking by Michael Mann who claims Hensen’s forecast has been accurate (accomplished by using only land temperatures and stopping in 2005). and the devious and dangerous and totally delusional Naomi Oreskes (my dog knows more about climate than this phoney) who claims of all things they are too conservative! I hear from attendees that this duo did a marvelous imitation of dumb and dumber at this year’s AGU, which is racing with the AMS to see which society can go downhill faster.

Oreskes’ starting point was that models had supposedly under-estimated relative to observations - a starting-point that seems oddly disconnected to the IPCC graphic shown above but, hey, Oreskes is an expert in manufactured disinformation. If Oreskes was not in fact wrongfooted by Mann, then one would like to know the provenance of her assertion that models were “underestimating” observed temperature increases.

Oreskes then purported to ponder on the institutional factors that supposedly caused such under-estimates by climate scientists. Oreskes had no doubt as to where the “blame” lay. Not with the scientists themselves. of course not. Oreskes placed the blame squarely on climate skeptics. According to Oreskes, their intimidation had led climate scientists to pull their punches and make forecasts that were too conservative.

See this great response to Mann’s response to McIntyre’s recounting of the attempt by two of the worst offenders to try and save a failing science.

Feb 27, 2013
Using Energy and Happy about It

By Steve Goreham

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Last week I received a “Home Energy Report” flyer from Commonwealth Edison, my electricity provider in northern Illinois. The leaflet compared my energy usage to neighbors over the last two months and declared, “You used 41% MORE electricity than your efficient neighbors.” Should I be concerned about this?

My wife and I use energy, but don’t waste it. For years I’ve driven my family batty, turning off lights in vacated rooms. During the summer, my wife dries laundry in the sunshine, rather than in the dryer. We also have many of the compact fluorescent bulbs. We take these measures to lower our energy bills, not for other motives.

Isn’t it odd that ComEd, a company in the energy business, is encouraging their customers not to use it? Imagine a mailer from Coca-Cola pointing out that you drank 41% MORE soft drinks than your neighbor. Or a letter sent from Apple telling you that you needed to reduce your iPhone
and iPad purchases.

A visit to the ComEd website provides some answers. First, the company is required to use part of customer payments to urge Illinois customers to reduce electricity consumption by the Illinois Public Act 95-0481. But second, the website is filled with ideological nonsense. In the Saving Energy section of the website, we find a yellow “Power Bandit” and the statement, “Saving Energy was never so much fun! Beat the Power Bandit and learn lots of ways to save energy, save money and help save the planet!” Does ComEd really believe that we can save the planet by changing light bulbs?

For decades, environmental groups have waged war on energy. They warn that increased energy usage will pollute the Earth, destroy the climate, and rapidly exhaust natural resources. They demand substitution of dilute, intermittent, and expensive wind, solar, and biofuel energy for traditional hydrocarbon or nuclear power, which is an excellent way to reduce energy usage. They tell us that nations which use the most energy do the most environmental damage.

National and state governments have swallowed the “energy usage is bad” ideology hook, line, and sinker. Twenty-nine states have enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards laws, requiring utilities to use an increasing percentage of renewable energy or be fined. Hundreds of federal and state policies subsidize and mandate renewable or reduced energy usage, including light bulb bans, vehicle mileage mandates, wind and solar subsidies, ethanol fuel mandates, and energy efficiency programs. These policies collect additional taxes from citizens and boost the cost of electricity.

But, actual trends and empirical data show that our planet is not in imminent danger. Air and water pollution in the United States is at a fifty-year low. According to Environmental Protection Agency data, airborne levels of six major pollutants declined 57 percent from 1980 to 2009 even though energy usage was up 21 percent and vehicle miles traveled were up 93 percent. International data shows that pollution is lowest in high-income nations that use high levels of energy, such as Canada and Sweden, but highest in developing nations, such as India and Indonesia. The best way reduce pollution in developing nations is to increase per capita incomes, not to restrict energy usage.

Similarly, there is no empirical evidence to show that mankind is destroying Earth’s climate. Mankind’s comparatively tiny emissions of carbon dioxide, a trace gas in our atmosphere, cause only an insignificant part of the greenhouse effect. Global surface temperatures have been flat for more than ten years despite rising atmospheric CO2. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies report warmer temperatures 1,000 years ago than temperatures of today. A review of history shows that today’s storms, droughts, and floods are neither more frequent nor more severe than past events.

Nor are we rapidly exhausting Earth’s energy resources. We’re at the dawn of a hydrocarbon revolution, triggered by the new techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Mankind now has access to centuries of petroleum and natural gas from shale fields, which can be accessed with cost-effective and environmentally-safe methods.

Yet, the “energy is bad” ideology continues. Grade school students are taught that renewable energy is good and that hydrocarbon energy is bad. The EPA is waging a war on the U.S. coal industry. Demonstrators urge President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. And utilities tell us how we can “save the planet.”

By the way, reports state that the 20-room Tennessee house of former Vice President Al Gore devours more than 20 times the national average electricity usage. I wonder what rating Mr. Gore would get in a ComEd “Home Energy Report?”

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism:  Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

Feb 19, 2013
Kansas drought part of natural cycle, say farmers

The Irish Times

Crops are suffering but few here are convinced global warming is to blame

“We may not raise a bushel of grain here this year but it will not be because of global warming,” says Kenny Henriksen, a crop and livestock farmer in Jewell County, Kansas.

Henriksen is meeting five farmer friends at Pinky’s coffee shop in the close-knit town of Courtland, population 340, for one of their regular get-togethers. They discuss farming matters such as how much they get for a bushel (about 25kg) of corn.

Just 40 miles east of the geographic centre of the 48 United States on continental America, Courtland has fared better than many towns where crop production has been threatened by a severe two-year drought across Kansas and other states on the US plains and midwest.

Farmers in Courtland draw on surface water to feed their crops, and don’t need to drill for water like their counterparts in western Kansas. They have also invested heavily in centre pivots, the spider-like rotating sprinkler systems that dot the land, watering areas of up to half a mile wide.

Kansas, the 15th-largest US state by size and 33rd by population, is the country’s largest wheat producer and sixth-largest corn producer.

The state traditionally makes up almost a fifth of the total US wheat production, yielding a crop worth about $1 billion a year.

This year the state will struggle to reach its typical production levels. Kansas and her neighbouring states - Colorado to the west, Nebraska to the north and Oklahoma to the south - are enduring a severe drought or worse, according to official US climatology statistics.

The shortage of moisture on the land is threatening the new crop planted last autumn and recent data suggests there is no sign of rain coming any time soon, threatening millions of acres of wheat.

The US government has designated 1,297 counties across 29 states as disaster areas, making farmers eligible for billions of dollars of low-interest emergency loans.

The government also subsidises crop insurance for farmers, which, along with high crop prices, has saved many communities. Farmers are also paid federal grants on a per-acre price for turning their farms into conservation grasslands to prevent over-farming and to ease the strain on water supplies.

Rainfall

The average rainfall across Kansas is normally between 15 and 35 inches of rain a year. Last year just 11 inches fell on average, coupled with an exceptionally hot summer of soaring temperatures.

By the time the Republican River reaches the farmers in northern Kansas from Colorado via the many wells dug in Nebraska, there is not enough water to nourish their farms.

In the face of this devastating drought and climate-related disasters, President Barack Obama has marked the fight against climate change high on his list of second-term goals.

“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” he said in his recent inaugural speech, drawing much focus as part of his ambitiously progressive plan.

The farmers in northern Kansas are not convinced that climate change is to blame, however. They and their fathers suffered droughts in the 1930s and 1950s, and as a recently as 2004 - the past two years are just another cycle, they argue.

“There is a lot of scientists and PhDs wanting to claim this is climate change and we are going to be dealing with this for years. It’s not something that is in our thoughts,” says Courtland farmer Brad Peterson.

“I don’t know if I believe that global warming is the reason,” says another farmer, Richard Lindberg. “We have been held back and have been limited to the water we use in irrigating our farms.”

‘Natural phenomenon’

Further east, where the drought is much more severe, the opinion is no different.

“In western Kansas we sit to the east of the Rocky Mountains, where it is drier. I remember the 1955/56 drought and 1988. My dad went through the 1930s and had to move to the west coast,” said Ron Neff, a farmer in Selden, 150 miles west of Courtland.

“It is a natural phenomenon. They want to talk about carbons and needing to take pollutants out of the air but I don’t think it is connected.”

In 2008, one of the better harvest years, Neff produced about 130 bushels per acre of “dryland corn”; last year the land yielded just 15 bushels an acre on average.

Rise in temperatures

Chuck Rice, a professor of soil microbiology and a climate change expert at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, says there is no doubt that droughts are cyclical but temperatures clocked last year in the most recent dry spell have beaten historical records.

“The records weren’t just slightly broken; they were significantly higher,” he said.

Icecap Note: No sir only in the stations that were not around in the 1930s to 1950s.

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The increased CO2 has helped invigorate crop and make them more DROUGHT RESISTANT.

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Corn yields were down modestly despite the worst drought since perhaps the middle 1950s. They were much lower in the worst hot lower, but despite the broad coverage of drought, for the US the yields were comparable to the 1900s and well above the levels of 1988 and the 1950s and 1930s. Of course a lot of the improvement in hybrids, better practices, increased irrigation, better fertilizer and disease controls.

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Some farmers acknowledge that this drought is the worst they have ever seen, he says, though he accepts that most argue that it is no different from anything that went before.

“n the heartland of the US that is the prevailing view among many because we have these cycles all the time,""said Rice. “But our analysis over 100 years shows we are seeing longer growing periods, with earlier springs and later falls. With a longer growing season you are going to need more water.”

Farmers aren/t convinced, and in a “Red” state like Kansas, Republican supporters believe Obama’s concerns about climate change are driven by something else.

“Everything he says is for his agenda,” says Kenny Henriksen, without elaborating, before sipping on a coffee in Pinky’s diner.

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