JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The Skeptics Handbook II

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Climate Change will ruin beer, chocolate, coffee, says The Guardian

More adventures in science from The Guardian. “No more beer, chocolate or coffee: how climate change could ruin your weekend”.

Obviously, since coffee, hops, and cocoa are all plants which like arctic weather and frosts, and grow mainly in Greenland glaciers, a warmer world will devastate these essential foods. I’m in tears just thinking about it.

Likewise, being alien silicon lifeforms, these plants will struggle as the pollution called carbon dioxide rises from 0.04% of the atmosphere to 0.05%. Oh the pain. If only these plants used CO2 as a basic building block like every other plant on Earth.

It must be tough being so much smarter than the rest of the world.

….

Somehow, somewhere, The Guardian become The Guard-Onion. I just can’t take these people seriously anymore. Dear Karl Matheisen, what were you thinking?

 No more beer, chocolate or coffee: how climate change could ruin your weekend

Karl Mathiesen

Climate change is the biggest threat to all of civilisation our species has faced since the 80s. Scientists say rising seas will envelope major cities around the world while heatwaves will bring wildfires and torrential rains bring floods. And the global economy is stuffed.

[...]

Peak Wheat! One quarter of wheat production will be lost to extreme climate (or maybe Not)

According to a new study released by Nature Climate Change we are, remarkably, at the very peak of conditions for wheat growth worldwide — and it’s all downhill from here. (What are the odds?) The last 15 years, which have been the “hottest on record” and saw massive human CO2 output, were the peak time for wheat. But all that is about to fall off a cliff if we do … more of the same.

To demonstrate that millions will starve: take projections of extremes from broken climate models, and put them in wheat crop models, and then assume we take no adaptive measures for the first time in human history. Ignore that even the IPCC doesn’t think extreme events are necessarily changing: “Climate models are unable to predict extreme events because they lack spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, there is no clear evidence that sustained or worldwide changes in extreme events have occurred in the past few decades. “

There’s been no increase in drought globally in the last 60 years either. Pouring free fertilizer into the sky, along with better agricultural practices, has produced a global boom in crops (See CO2science for scores of studies on biomass [...]

Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition (From the Annals of Hype)

Disaster Disaster! Driving a car in 2014 could one day cause 2 billion people to suffer from zinc and iron deficiencies leaving them anaemic and prone to infection, and causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually. This is brought to you from the  Annals of Hyped-Science (formerly known as Nature). A sad day indeed.

It’s true that carbon dioxide is plant fertilizer and increases plant yields, so future crops, grown in a CO2 rich world, may not have exactly the same nutrient profile. Presumably future plants will have slightly more useless starchy carbohydrate. It is a kind of dilution effect at work, where plants keep absorbing the same amount of minerals, but spread them out among more carbohydrate.

Before we hit the panic button, lets look the numbers. The new Myers et al study[1] reports that zinc and iron content of rice may fall by, wait for it, five percent. In wheat the iron content could fall by as much as 10%. But no one who has a choice, eats grains like rice or wheat for their iron and zinc content, since both these are poor sources of both. We’re talking about low grade bulk filler food.

Assuming the reduction [...]