Political Climate
Jul 15, 2017
The annual corn crop scare

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, Co-Chief Meteorologist, WeatherBELL Analytics

You can count on it most years about this time. Summers are rarely ‘steady as she goes’. The meanderings of the MJO will cause some dry periods and transient heat in every summer. There is nervousness among farmers at critical times like when the corn is pollinating in July. There are always forecast groups that make the headline by putting a drought gloom and doom scare into the market.

Last year this very time there was a rally based on forecasts of a withering crop due to high heat and futures corn price forecasts of $6+. Two warm days and a spike to $4.40 were followed by showers and cooling and a record crop and low corn prices (below $3.20.). See the current levels far right.

image
Enlarged

Yes we have been covering almost daily the dryness in the north central that has seriously hurt spring wheat and to a lesser degree corn and beans and made note of the borderline excessive rains in parts of the central Ohio Valley and southern Missouri.

image
Enlarged (ISU)

image
Enlarged

Last year on this date, see the dryness from Iowa through the Ohio Valley.

image
Enlarged (ISU)

See how the same level of abnormal to moderate drought was reported in southeast Iowa this time of July as is currently the case. Last year, you can see the reason for the concern with the dryness in southeast Iowa into Illinois (the top 2 corn states). Actually a little dryness with an adequate deep soil moisture profile encourages deeper root systems that help plants get by transient heat stress. That was the case last year and is this year in the southern Iowa deficit area.

image
Enlarged

image
Enlarged (ISU)

But the heat that worried the market was transient as WeatherBELL forecast and the rains came to all the prime areas. In the eastern Ohio Valley, the late rains made for a better bean crop which is more drought hardy and which has its critical phases in August.

image
Enlarged (ISU)

James McCune, an Illinois farmer and his team did crop tours for us and he and we and very soon after the USDA NASS predicted a record crop. HIs reports can be found here and here. See how all but the eastern Corn Belt ended up normal to above for rain.The reason they recovered last year and will this year is the seasonal thunderstorm complex season last year did and this year should deliver even into the more serous drought areas of the north central.

Some forecast groups and analysts are warning the heat and ‘drought’ could cause yields to drop to 4 to 5% below long term trend lines and corn prices to spike to $6. We have expressed opinions when asked that the yields will fall short of last year (too dry in the Dakotas and too wet in spots in central Indiana and western Ohio) but with a good crop elsewhere including prime areas of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota should be above the trend line.

Here is the 16 day forecast of rainfall anomalies. As you can see not all models show the dryness as the forecasters warned. Note on WeatherBell we show the high res, more skillful EC forecast out to 46 days but I can’t show it on general non commercial sites. It is wetter still (and cooler).

image
Enlarged

See how southeast Iowa has had normal GDDs and SDD (stress degree days) and slightly below normal rainfall. It is better in thee regards than 2016 at this time there.

image
Enlarged

See how yields for corn have increased as the extent of heat has declined, rains have slightly increased and CO2 fertilization (CO2 also reduces water needs).

image
Enlarged (USDA)



Jul 10, 2017
Looks Like Global Action On “Climate Change” Is Dead

As a basic starting point, I suggest that on any story of political importance in the New York Times, the truth is probably exactly the opposite of what they report.  Consider that lead story on the front page of yesterday’s Sunday print edition: “World Leaders Move Forward on Climate Change, Without U.S.” Scary!  The U.S. is getting completely isolated from the world community!

In a final communiquť at the conclusion of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, the nations took “note” of Mr. Trumpís decision to abandon the pact and “immediately cease” efforts to enact former President Barack Obama’s pledge of curbing greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  But the other 19 members of the group broke explicitly with Mr. Trump in their embrace of the international deal, signing off on a detailed policy blueprint outlining how their countries could meet their goals in the pact. 

You can definitely count on Pravda not to look into what these other 19 countries have promised to do and let you know if there is any substance to it.  So the hard work falls once again to the Manhattan Contrarian.  If you just Google the letters “INDC” ("Intended Nationally Determined Contribution") along with the name of a country, you can find out exactly what that country has promised to do as part of the Paris Agreement.  So let’s take a look at what a few of the big countries are up to.

China.  We already know that answer from my post just last week.  China, through its companies, is planning to build over the course of the next decade or so well more than double the number of coal power plants that the U.S. has today.  It’s INDC calls for its proceeding to increase carbon emissions as much as it wants through 2030, and only then (when everyone in China presumably has electricity and a couple of cars) to level things off.  By that time its emissions will probably be at least triple those of the U.S.

India.  India’s INDC openly admits that it intends to increase its electricity supply by more than triple between now and 2030, with no commitment whatsoever as to how much of that will come from fossil fuels.  Oh, they say that they plan to lower the “emissions intensity” of their energy generation, and greatly expand (useless) wind and solar capacity, as well as nuclear.  Whoopee!

Indonesia.  These things get more comical the more of them you read.  The first thing you learn in reading Indonesia’s INDC is that the large majority of its emissions come from burning down the rain forest ("most emissions (63%) are the result of land use change and peat and forest fires") and very little from using fossil fuels for energy ("fossil fuels contribute[e] approximately 19% of total emissions").  So they’ll promise to burn down less of the rain forest, and nothing whatsoever as to reducing use of fossil fuels for energy.  Their (completely illusory) “reduction target” of 29% by 2030 is not against a fixed amount of past usage (like the United States’ benchmark of 2005 emissions), but rather is against what they call a “business as usual” scenario of projected future emissions that are a multiple of today’s.

Russia.  What, you didn’t know that Russia was a member of the G20?  What is the chance that Russia would make an honest promise about emissions reductions?  Their INDC calls for reducing emissions by 25-30% below 1990 by 2030.  Impressive!  Wait a minute!  The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.  Then they closed down all that inefficient Soviet industry.  According to a graph at Climate Action Tracker here, by 2000 their emissions were down by almost 40% from the 1990 level, and they have only crept up a little from there since.  In other words, Russia’s supposed “commitments” again represent increases from today’s level of emissions.  Yet another total scam.

Germany.  Germany is part of the supposed EU commitment to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.  Oh, but now that Germany has gotten its electricity production from renewables up to about 30%, it seems that it has hit a wall, and its carbon emissions have actually gone up for both of the last two years (2015 and 2016), according to Clean Energy Wire.  Exactly how do they plan to meet their goal?  Excellent question.

In other words, this whole thing is a total farce.  The G20 “climate” thing—let alone New York Times reporting on same—is nothing more than an international effort to bully the United States into crippling its economy while everyone else goes right ahead and uses fossil fuels exactly as they please.  Whatever else you might say about President Trump, he seems to be unusually immune to this kind of bullying. 

Without the U.S. in the game, all the biggest players are going to be increasing emissions, not decreasing them.  In reality, the whole “global action on climate change” thing is completely dead. 

I can’t leave this subject without mentioning this great quote from former Obama State Department official Andrew Light:

“[T]he U.S. has isolated itself on climate change once again, and is falling back while all other major economies step up and compete in the clean energy marketplace created by the Paris Agreement estimated to be worth over 20 trillion dollars,” said Andrew Light, a senior climate change adviser at the State Department under Mr. Obama.

As you can see, knowledge of basic economics was not a requirement to work at the Obama State Department.  Andrew apparently has no understanding that the forced use of less efficient energy sources destroys wealth. 



Jul 03, 2017
Closely Coupled: Solar Activity and Sea Level

Guest essay by David Archibald

From a post a couple of days ago: “an F10.7 flux above 100 causes warming and below that level causes cooling.” Greg asked “Can you prove that?” I already had in this WUWT post from 2012. But it is worth revisiting the subject because it answers the big question - If all the energy that stops the Earth from looking like Pluto comes from the Sun, what is the solar activity level that corresponds to our average climate? Because solar activity is falling and climate will follow.

As Nir Shaviv observed, the oceans are a big calorimeter. First, proof of concept comes from a much smaller body of water: Lake Victoria in East Africa. Back in the 1920s it was realized that the level of Lake Victoria went up and down with the solar cycle. Then the relationship broke down in the 1930s, corresponding to the beginning of the Modern Warm Period, before resuming again in the 1970s.

image
Figure 1: Lake Victoria lake level 1896 to 2005 (data courtesy of Dr Peter Mason)

If we take out the period of non-correlation and detrend afterwards for the 2 metre rise from 1962 to 1964, this is what the relationship between lake levels and solar cycles looks like:

image
Figure 2: Solar Cycles and Lake Victoria lake level 1896 to 2005

The relationship is very clear, in fact beyond indisputable. It also holds true for the body of water that covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface as shown by Figure 3:

image
Figure 3: Solar Cycles and Sea Level 1909 to 2000

From that data, a 33-year subset from 1948 to 1987 has a high correlation:

image Figure 4: Sea Level Change and Solar Activity 1948 to 1987

Bingo. If we take the change in sea level from one year to the next plotted against average sunspot number for that year, we get a near-straight line relationship. The breakover between sea level rise and sea level fall, and thus warming or cooling climate, is a sunspot number of 40, which in turn corresponds to an F10.7 flux of 100. The average sunspot number over the Holocene was 40 which in turn makes sense of the last half-century of climate. The Earth's climate was in equilibrium with an average sunspot number of 40, and the higher solar activity of recent years disturbed that. Now we are returning to normal.

At the end of this decade, at the solar cycle 24/25 minimum, we might get a few years of as much as 2.0 mm per annum sea level fall. If you don't believe that, perhaps you would rather believe this:

image
Figure 5: Global Mean Sea Level Time Series 1993 to 2016

That is from the clown show that is the Colorado University Sea Level Research Group.

That graphic is based on satellite data and shows a scary, nearly monotonic sea level rise of 3.4 mm per annum. How they get that is explained in this graph:

image
Figure 6: Creating a graph that keeps the grant money flowing

Figure 6, from this paper, shows that sea level, as measured by satellites - the lower line, has been flat. How they generate the graph they need, the upper line, is by adding an isostatic adjustment, which is a number plucked from thin air. No more needs to be said.



Page 5 of 619 pages « First  <  3 4 5 6 7 >  Last »