GreenPowerDP
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 10:10 am

Wow - interesting thread.

Here is a fairly simple position statement on climate change from the American Geophysical Union:

http://www.agu.org/sci_pol/positions/cl ... 2008.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you want to dig into the science a bit, I recommend the Journal of Geophysical Research - which publishes peer reviewed articles on topics relating to this thread, including: atmospheric science, oceanic science, and biogeoscience.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 10:16 am

AndyH wrote:
LTLFTcomposite wrote:
AndyH wrote: China, unlike the US, has an energy policy that includes efficiency, solar hot water, wind, and PV. It's somewhat telling that folks from RMI are in China helping them move ahead while their folks in the 'States are held to a much slower pace.
If China is so advanced in this regard why the disconnect in results?
I'll gladly give this a shot if you'll tell me what disconnect and what results you're interested in.
You said "China, unlike the US, has an energy policy that includes efficiency, solar hot water, wind, and PV." suggesting that China is way out in front of us dumb Americans. But U.S. carbon emissions are diminishing, maybe not fast enough, but still diminishing, whereas China is increasing 10% a year. That's the disconnect I was referring to. Are China's policies really that wonderful? From everything I've heard the place is an environmental disaster.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 10:34 am

RegGuheert wrote:The claim has been made that climate change would reduce the production of grains because of severe weather, in spite of the fact that CO2 is known to improve crop yields. Simply put, the 2013 worldwide harvest of winter wheat is the largest ever, beating the previous record by 2.7%. 2010 through 2013 have seen the largest four worldwide harvests in history.

As I posted previously, rice is also being produced in record amounts during the same period.
RegGuheert - I found this article on CO2 and crop yields:

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledg ... n-13254108" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It suggests that there may be increased yields, but to get the higher yield, the plants would require more water, heat, and fertilizer. It also says that they would be more susceptible to insects, and would be less nutritious.

So I believe that a higher yield is possible under elevated CO2 conditions, but CO2 is not the only factor.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 11:12 am

AndyH wrote:First thing, Reg, is that when it comes to a false debate between fact and fiction, the truth is not in the middle, and attacking fiction is not an ad hominem attack.
I've provided the links to the summaries of scientific papers showing the evidence that increased CO2 levels increase plant production. If you refuse to read them, that is your choice. In that case, you have chosen to indoctrinate yourself rather than educate yourself.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 11:26 am

RegGuheert wrote:
AndyH wrote:First thing, Reg, is that when it comes to a false debate between fact and fiction, the truth is not in the middle, and attacking fiction is not an ad hominem attack.
I've provided the links to the summaries of scientific papers showing the evidence that increased CO2 levels increase plant production. If you refuse to read them, that is your choice. In that case, you have chosen to indoctrinate yourself rather than educate yourself.
Read my post again - completely this time. I have already provided you with a high-level synthesized view of current peer-reviewed science communicated by climate scientists, along with links below the video to some of the sources. Within those links are more links to individual peer-reviewed papers.

Instead of understanding this, you still appear to be more interested in trying to discredit anyone that points to 'your' paid liars and calls them what they are. That's not my problem. I've been part of a number of denialist-infused conversations on this forum already since its inception and am not really interested in reinventing the wheel.

While I will absolutely give you all the time it takes to help you understand if you communicate that you choose to do so, I will not stand here and be nothing more than a target for mud slinging.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4768
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4009
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7921
http://nca2009.globalchange.gov/

Had you followed the links I've already provided you would have had the opportunity to see this, for just one example:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impact ... lture.html
For any particular crop, the effect of increased temperature will depend on the crop's optimal temperature for growth and reproduction. [1] In some areas, warming may benefit the types of crops that are typically planted there. However, if warming exceeds a crop's optimum temperature, yields can decline.

Higher CO2 levels can increase yields. The yields for some crops, like wheat and soybeans, could increase by 30% or more under a doubling of CO2 concentrations. The yields for other crops, such as corn, exhibit a much smaller response (less than 10% increase). [3] However, some factors may counteract these potential increases in yield. For example, if temperature exceeds a crop's optimal level or if sufficient water and nutrients are not available, yield increases may be reduced or reversed.

More extreme temperature and precipitation can prevent crops from growing. Extreme events, especially floods and droughts, can harm crops and reduce yields. For example, in 2008, the Mississippi River flooded just before the harvest period for many crops, causing an estimated loss of $8 billion for farmers. [1]

Dealing with drought could become a challenge in areas where summer temperatures are projected to increase and precipitation is projected to decrease. As water supplies are reduced, it may be more difficult to meet water demands.

Many weeds, pests and fungi thrive under warmer temperatures, wetter climates, and increased CO2 levels. Currently, farmers spend more than $11 billion per year to fight weeds in the United States. [1] The ranges of weeds and pests are likely to expand northward. This would cause new problems for farmers' crops previously unexposed to these species. Moreover, increased use of pesticides and fungicides may negatively affect human health. [1]
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AndyH
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 11:38 am

GreenPowerDP wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:The claim has been made that climate change would reduce the production of grains because of severe weather, in spite of the fact that CO2 is known to improve crop yields. Simply put, the 2013 worldwide harvest of winter wheat is the largest ever, beating the previous record by 2.7%. 2010 through 2013 have seen the largest four worldwide harvests in history.

As I posted previously, rice is also being produced in record amounts during the same period.
RegGuheert - I found this article on CO2 and crop yields:

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledg ... n-13254108" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It suggests that there may be increased yields, but to get the higher yield, the plants would require more water, heat, and fertilizer. It also says that they would be more susceptible to insects, and would be less nutritious.

So I believe that a higher yield is possible under elevated CO2 conditions, but CO2 is not the only factor.
YES! THANK YOU! This is one of the links that we've talked about in the past but I couldn't re-discover on the board.

Here's another look at the multifaceted problem using some of the data from the FACE experiments:

http://www.climaite.dk/publ_documents/m ... _paper.pdf

This experiment brought in only three variables - increased CO2, increased heating, and drought.
Recent findings indicate that the interactions among CO2, temperature and water can be substantial, and that the combined effects on teh biological systems of several factors may not be predicted from experiments with one or a few factors. Therefore realistic multifactorial experiments involving a larger set of main factors are needed.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 1:06 pm

LTLFTcomposite wrote:You said "China, unlike the US, has an energy policy that includes efficiency, solar hot water, wind, and PV." suggesting that China is way out in front of us dumb Americans. But U.S. carbon emissions are diminishing, maybe not fast enough, but still diminishing, whereas China is increasing 10% a year. That's the disconnect I was referring to. Are China's policies really that wonderful? From everything I've heard the place is an environmental disaster.
I didn't say 'dumb Americans' but it's clear that when it comes to making dramatic adjustments, there's something to be said for command-driven nations...

Yes, the rate of US and EU emissions have decreased but it took a global financial crisis and depression to do most of that. China, as the world's manufacturer, did not suffer that same crisis. China's still growing both people GDP. Their emissions treadmill is not unlike our improvements in automotive emissions - cars are cleaner but we're selling more of them, so there's still a net increase in pollution.

Keep in mind that the US has been the world leader in pollution and CO2 for something close to 100 years. China has only passed us in total emissions in the past couple of years - we still out pollute them on a per capita basis.

http://climatecrocks.com/?s=china
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 1:24 pm

While reading this thread, I have the feeling the big picture has been pushed away in favor of some detailed aspects of the global rise in CO2.
Regardless how it would affect food production in some areas, I think the current consensus is that it will cause widespread desertification, and thus food shortages, in other areas.

But what about the other stuff? Sea level rises, more weather extremes, acidification of the oceans etc. ?
I am quite optimistic, that life on earth will not end due to increased CO2, but it could become a lot less comfortable than it used to be.
And in return for what? A few $$ saved here or there over the short - term for dirty, cheap energy?

What puzzles me is what has the ordinary person to gain by defending the profits of a select few ?
Why should I (or anyone else on this forum or elsewhere) defend CO2 (and its unrestricted output), while just some coal and oil magnates are really going to profit from it? In the best case (i.e. "Global Warming is a hoax"), I will have saved a couple of thousands over my lifetime in defending the dirty cash -cows of others. Its not like the coal/gas/oil lobby is going to pay every fool for tooting their horn. And realistically, our economic livelihood is not going to depend on the current policies toward CO2 as well.

In the worst case (i.e. "climate change is real"), I have defended practices that threaten my own welfare and that of others ( see. Sandy, Katrina, the ongoing drought in the Midwest + summer heat waves, that wipe out the elderly and the weak by the thousands), made a fool out of myself and not even gotten paid for it handsomely by big oil coal and gas.

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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 1:51 pm

klapauzius wrote: What puzzles me is what has the ordinary person to gain by defending the profits of a select few ?
Why should I (or anyone else on this forum or elsewhere) defend CO2 (and its unrestricted output), while just some coal and oil magnates are really going to profit from it?
I would like to respond to that, but first I would like to say that I'm very concerned about greenhouse gasses. Maybe it isn't a problem, maybe there are some mitigating factors not allowed for by the "concerned scientists", but I am more inclined to think this is potentially a very big problem. Ignoring the problem and going about business as usual is a big bet. People need to understand that indeed it is a very big bet.

But it is disingenuous to lay this all at the doorstep of big business. People won't go out today and buy a tank of gas, flip on their air conditioner, get on an airplane, or buy a cart full of cheap stuff from China at Walmart with the intent of protecting XOM profits. Nobody is forcing anyone to do those things, they do so of free will, because the dollars they spend on those things bring more value to them than other things they could do, and frankly because it's a way of life we have all come to enjoy. Most of the denial comes from the consumers who don't want to give up the things that carbon enables.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 2:16 pm

GreenPowerDP wrote:RegGuheert - I found this article on CO2 and crop yields:

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledg ... n-13254108" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It suggests that there may be increased yields, but to get the higher yield, the plants would require more water, heat, and fertilizer. It also says that they would be more susceptible to insects, and would be less nutritious.

So I believe that a higher yield is possible under elevated CO2 conditions, but CO2 is not the only factor.
Thanks for the link! That's a good survey, but unfortunately it talks about mechanisms and does not quantify the effects on yield.

This more recent survey, Quantifying field-scale effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on crops (the third paper in the list I provided previously) is a full meta-analysis of the FACE research published through November 2011 and it makes predictions for overall yield for a wide range of crops including wheat, barley, rice, soy-bean, potato, sugar beet, cotton, maize and sorghum. The conclusion was a yield improvement of 17% for C3 plants and 7% for C4 plants, with an overall yield improvement of 16% since the vast majority of species (and also research) are C3. There was a reduction of evapotranspiration of about 5%, meaning a high CO2 level can help to compensate for lower availability of water for crop growth while still providing more yield. Interestingly, while biomass increases were significantly affected by the availability of nitrogen, the same growth in yield was observed for crops grown in fertile soil as was observed for crops grown in low-nitrogen environments.
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