World Food Supply on the Edge

November 26, 2010

Pakistan, summer 2010

Every week I hear from deniers telling me how great it’s going to be when Co2 rise causes agricultural and forest production to skyrocket.  The idea is that increased Co2 will be taken up by plants, and the earth will become an edenic paradise.  If plants are going to start soaking up the extra Co2, now would be a good time. Instead we see the ‘biggest control knob” rising faster than any time over the last 50 million years.

Here’s the opening pararaph from a New York Times piece about global food supplies:

Global grain production will tumble by 63 million metric tons this year, or 2 percent over all, mainly because of weather-related calamities like the Russian heat wave and the floods in Pakistan, the United Nations estimates in its most recent report on the world food supply. The United Nations had previously projected that grain yields would grow 1.2 percent this year.

Empty silo in Russia's grain belt

The article notes that low supplies are taking food prices to levels that sparked violence around the world in 2007 and 08. Now with reserves lower, and demand increased, production must be even higher in the immediate future just to keep up.
As I pointed out in the recent video, “The Co2 is Plant Food Crock”, adding carbon to an environment that is too dry, or too wet, makes absolutely no difference. Blow all the co2 you wish into the Sahara, it will not bloom.

Ask the farmers of Pakistan how Co2 helped their crops this summer.

And this, from an older video..

Late update: A friend writes: “I wonder how much CO2 plants can benefit from as they whither away in the heat and drought? This argument is like trying to tell a person on fire that taking extra vitamins is good for him.”

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2 Responses to “World Food Supply on the Edge”

  1. jonjermey Says:

    So there were no ‘weather-related calamities’ before global warming?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droughts_and_famines_in_Russia_and_USSR

  2. greenman3610 Says:

    Climate change has and will continue to increase the number and severity of weather disasters.
    Iowa has had several “500 year”, and even “1000 year” storms within the last
    two decades. That’s a change in frequency and severity.
    The people whose job it is to gauge risk, the insurance industry, have noticed.
    http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/default.aspx


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