ClimateChangeAndAgricultureWe are seeing more studies linking climate change to potential or actual changes in agricultural production, and not in a good way.

Midwest Agriculture and Economic Risks of Climate Change

A study in Iowa suggests that increased high temperatures will have a negative effect on crops. From the Des Moines Register:

The report’s grim assessment for the state, designed to look at the business risks from climate change, is similarly gloomy for other Midwest states and their largest cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.

Agriculture will be particularly hurt by climate change, it said, with corn, soybeans and wheat yields slashed as much as 85 percent by the next century in the leading farm states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Livestock also is expected to experience reduced productivity and other challenges.

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NASA’s JPL has a new web site which focuses on surface conditions on one specific planet: The Earth. i-4b8c56f740cd31b2fd7d07fc2900d4ce-NASA_new_web_site.jpgIt has a Sea Level Viewer which is basically a very fancy menu for a number of multi-media presentations, and a list of current or proposed missions. I am not overly impressed with this, but it may be a good resource for the kiddies.Much more interesting, and in fact, quite impressive, is the “Climate Time Machine” … Continue reading

The film we’ve all been waiting for … Randy Olson (of Flock of Dodos fame) has produced a new film called Sizzle. In the film Olson uses the approach he used in Dodos to address the global warming issue. I have not seen the film but hope to review it soon.Mean time, here’s the press release in full: Continue reading


Impacts from warming are evident in satellite images showing that lakes in Siberia disappearing as the permafrost thaws and lake water drains deeper into the ground. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
A new study led by NASA links anthropogenic climate change to a wide range of effects. The study involved scientists from about a dozen institutions and agencies, and looked at biological impacts arising from global temperature increase since the 1970s. The article is published in Nature. According to lead author Cynthia Rosenweig, “This is the first study to link global temperature data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and impact … Humans are influencing climate through increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the warming is causing impacts on physical and biological systems that are now attributable at the global scale and in North America, Europe, and Asia.From the abstract of the paper: Continue reading

There is a point that I’ve been trying to make for the last few weeks now, off and on, and it is not working. So I’m going to try something new. Please bear with me, and consider the following three scenarios regarding the idea that the Earth is Round (or, possibly, flat): Continue reading


Marilee Thomas of Beaver City, Nebraska. And a tornado. [source]
Mid-Americans … Minnesotans, Texans, Nebraskans and denizens of Arkansas, and everyone in between, understand tornadoes, but to varying degrees. There are differences by region in how we deal with them. In Arkansas, I’ve seen foolish bravado. The tornado shelter there is known as the “fraidy hole” and having one or not in your back yard may be linked to one’s sense of machismo. People from Missouri that I have known have a deep respect for tornadoes. An example: A few years back there was a talk being given at The U when the tornado sirens went off. Looking out the windows all we could see was black punctuated by white dots (the hail hitting the window). That was not good at 3:00 in the afternoon. As the group sat there wondering what to do, my student, Lynne, stood up and said “I’m from Missouri. I’m going to the basement. You’all can stay here if you like.” Continue reading

The Myanmar/Burma death toll is now experiencing the usual effects of poor information, limited reporting, and the outcome of being stuck between sensationalism and horror.Most agencies are reporting 22,000 dead with twice that missing. I do think that these numbers are meaningless at this point, as the Junta government can’t be trusted to be able to deliver this sort of information, and aid agencies are only now arriving on the scene. Continue reading


Canadian panel: Climate change is threat to polar bears from
(AP) — A scientific committee that advises Canada’s government on endangered species said Friday that climate change is a threat to the survival of the polar bear, but the species does not face extinction.

Narwhals more at risk to Arctic warming than polar bears from
(AP) — The polar bear has become an icon of global warming vulnerability, but a new study found an Arctic mammal that may be even more at risk to climate change: the narwhal.

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