Extra carbon dioxide is the wonder fertilizer that has greened deserts and created a global crop boom, but don’t think for a moment that just because plants love CO2 that more of it won’t be an utter disaster come to wreck your dinner! Yet again, we are at the tipping point, and everything is just about to fall apart. How unlucky can one planet be! “There are few winners”.
Wouldn’t you know it – the current rainfall and frost patterns are perfect? But soon you will sweat like a pig, have poorer bread, and heat stressed steak. Worse, you may have to eat more olives and mangoes and drink Merlot from … a different region. This is serious, folks: when a cyclone hits the North West of Australia, some West Australians may even have to eat Queensland bananas.
Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, “investigates” the news that another government agency has written another long, dire report with prophecies of doom. But unlike the past incompetent exaggerated beat-ups, this one (finally) is going to be right, so he doesn’t bother asking hard questions, or interviewing other experts, or even doing a Google search.
“Hotter, harder times forecast for the farm as climate changes food production”
Australia’s agricultural sector faces profound challenges from climate change over coming decades forcing the migration of some crops and the use of new varieties of others, a new report by the University of Melbourne researchers.
After all, the Earth is a lot like a factory farm with not much natural air flow:
Belying the phrase, “sweating like a pig”, these animals don’t have sweat glands are particularly sensitive to heat. As evidence of their vulnerability, about 500 pigs reportedly died at a piggery near the NSW Riverina town of Grong Grong one weekend last month when a ventilation system failed.
Weak wheat is coming:
Whereas rising carbon dioxide levels assists plant growth – the so-called fertilisation effect – the benefits are curtailed if there is insufficient water, phosphorous, nitrogen and other nutrients. Wheat, for instance, may increase in quantity but have lower levels of protein.
Effectively CO2 fertilizer produces slightly more carbohydrate in your carbohydrate foods. In the West, hardly anyone eats wheat for its protein content, because we have beef, KFC, and fish and chips instead. I calculated the effects of low protein wheat and rice on the world’s poor and showed that to compensate for 100 g of “diluted” rice, they would need to eat one whole extra 2.6g chick pea.
Peter Hannam dishes up the big insights of Prof Eckard.
“The federal government’s really behind the eight-ball on this because they are playing politics,” Professor Eckard said.
Golly. Imagine politicians playing politics.
I guess we need our pollies to do science instead, because some government scientists don’t seem to be very good at it.
Eckard goes on:
“If you can disentangle climate change from the politics, we’d be so much better off.”
Exactly. Let’s get the political activists out of science and out of the media. No more junk journalists who cheer on illogical, deficient predictions from witchdoctors of doom.
John McLean writes to me:
Hannan says “Australia’s average temperatures have increased 0.9 degrees since 1910, with the rise of greenhouse gases contributing to the warming, the CSIRO and the bureau said. By 2030, temperatures will increase by 0.6-1.3 degrees on 1986-2005 averages, and as much as 5.1 degrees by 2090 if emissions remain on a high trajectory of growth.”
Hasn’t he looked at the latest CSIRO report and realised that 39 of the 40 CIMP5 climate models that it relied upon are all in the list of models in the latest IPCC report and about which the IPCC said (in the WGI Summary for Policymakers and elsewhere ) …
- 111 of 114 climate models runs predicted greater warming for the period 1998 to 2012 than the temperature data indicates
- “some” models “over-estimate” the influence of greenhouse gases
- the exact reasons for the flawed predictions are unknown.
But I’d like to thank the SMH for reminding me that Earth Hour is coming next Sunday at 8.30pm to Australia.
Think about how you can use the Power Hour to celebrate electricity.
Plan now for your 5000W BBQ!
h/t Pat in comments and Mike S and John McLean