Field of Science

Breaking more records than predicted

As midwestern North America continues to swelter in high temperatures and become more parched, you still haven't heard much in the news about global warming.  Now as more and more crops in this bread basket region are threatened, you have to take a long-term view if you are a responsible politician.  You must consider that rather than being a rare bad weather year, such weather could become, is becoming, much more common.  Here's a nice set of pie charts based on record high and low temperatures, and of course, if the climate is staying more-or-less steady, you basically expect to get a similar number of record highs and lows each year for a 50:50 pie chart.  Now let's look at the actual data, especially in recent years.  Hmm, are these showing the "no-climate-change" prediction?  Which years are deviating the most in terms of record highs?  So not only is it getting warmer, it's getting warmer faster! Cheerful thought, no?   Although little considered by anyone, our present day human culture has been constructed during a very equitable climatic period.  Arrogantly we think our instutions are now immune to such changes, and yet we have precious little buffer.  Who is to say another famine cannot occur?  Well, what's going to happen if 2, or 3, or 4 such years occur in a row?  Some of those fields that will produce little if any maize crop this year were planted for seed corn destined to become next year's crop.  That's just one domino.  But there are lots more.  How many years of crop failure across this region can the USA, a well-off country, sustain?  Everyone acts like next year won't be like this year?  What if it is?  What impact will greatly reduced yields have on maize and soybean related agri-businesses?   On food prices?  On farmers?  Lot's of questions and no good answers.  Time for people to start shouting at any and all politicos to take climate change seriously.  HT to Climate Central. 

1 comment:

The Cranky said...

Sad to say, but change won't come from politicians. It is in the nature of politicians and governments to do that which will keep them in power rather than that which will be beneficial in the long term.

Like any organism, they only look as far as the next meal.