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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Global warming is epic, long-term study says

I know many people are sick of this Global Warming issue, but this article in CNN I thought was worth a quick read to keep informed on this issue that could and probably will affect how we farm. Continues warming as it has in the past, we will be able to double-crop soybeans in Iowa. I have no proof of this really, just my farm records over the last 27 years, but it seems over the last 27 years that we have been able to plant around 1 week earlier now in 2012 over the 1986 planting time. Also the growing season before the first killing frost of temps below 28 degrees for 4 straight hours happens around a week later than in 1986. This is just an "AVERAGE" over the last 27 years. I am sure many of you will agree with me that it appears that in the cornbelt states that our growing season has become around 10 days longer over these 27 years. Again my 27 years of tracking the planting dates and the first sub 28 degree temps are much, much, to short of a time period in the overall "BIG" Picture to draw any 100% accurate conclusions, but I thought the article was worth the read. The CNN article is below, and personally I have no opinions if this Global Warming issue is for real or not.

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Global warming is epic, long-term study says

 

(CNN) -- Global warming has propelled Earth's climate from one of its coldest decades since the last ice age to one of its hottest -- in just one century.

A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years, said climatologist Shaun Marcott, who worked on a new study on global temperatures going back that far.

"If any period in time had a sustained temperature change similar to what we have today, we would have certainly seen that in our record," he said. It is a good indicator of just how fast man-made climate change has progressed.

A century is a very short period of time for such a spike.

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It's supposed to be cold

The Earth was very cold at the turn of the 20th century. The decade from 1900 to 1909 was colder than 95% of the last 11,300 years, the study found.

Fast forward to the turn of the 21st century, and the opposite occurs. Between 2000 and 2009, it was hotter than about 75% of the last 11,300 years.

If not for man-made influences, the Earth would be in a very cold phase right now and getting even colder, according the joint study by Oregon State University and Harvard University. Marcott was the lead author of the report on its results.

To boot, the range of temperatures from cold to hot produced since the industrial revolution began are about the same as the 11,000 years before it, said Candace Major from the National Science Foundation, "but this change has happened a lot more quickly."

Far from natural warming

Variations in how the Earth is tilted and its orbit around the sun make for a pattern of planetary warming phases followed by cooling phases across the millennia.

The team's research shows the Earth's overall temperature curve dipping down over about the past 4,000 years, but the downward plod comes to an abrupt halt in modern times.

"If you were to predict -- based on where we are relative to the position of the sun and how we are tilted -- you would predict that we would be still cooling, but we're not," Marcott said.

Instead, the planet is warming up. It hasn't been quite this warm in thousands of years. And it's getting hotter.

By 2100, the Earth will be warmer than ever before, Marcott said. If emissions continue as currently predicted until then, global temperatures will rise "well above anything we've ever seen in the last 11,000 years."

That could be a rise of 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the NSF.

What a long range study means

To get a view on global temperatures that long ago, the researchers studied 73 sediment and polar ice samples, taken from all over the globe. Chemicals found in fossils deep down in the samples span the ages and are good indicators of historic temperatures on Earth, Marcott said.

The scientists did the study to put the global temperature trends into a long-range perspective, Marcott said. Critics of climate change research, which has generally covered the last 1,500 to 2,000 years, have complained that it has been too short-sighted.

They argue that the shorter studies have not taken into account that the warming Earth is seeing today could have happened before naturally -- thousands of years ago.

These shorter studies have been based on methods that are very different from the Harvard-OSU research, but in the 2,000 years that they overlap, the results have been basically the same.

"Our data shows that ... they didn't miss anything," Marcott said. And the parallel results corroborate the precision of the new research as well, he said.

Humanity in the last 11,500 years

The scientists chose the period of time known as the "Holocene" for their research, because it is the most recent natural warm phase in Earth's history. It began at the end of the last Ice Age about 11,500 years ago, and we are still in it.

The Holocene has also been the epoch of human achievement, the beginning of civilization. Stable weather patterns helped people do more of everything they wanted to, partly because they no longer had to fight the cold of an ice age.

They began farming, which extended their own life spans and increased population on Earth. They built cities and roads, made art, developed languages and laws. They formed empires and nations.

Eventually, they invented machines, landing themselves in the industrialized age, driven by engines and turbines, which are powered by combustible fuel.

Thus began man-made greenhouse gases.

The world tomorrow

The main culprit is carbon dioxide, and its levels have jumped in the last 100 years, Marcott said. In the 11,000 years prior, it only changed "very slowly," he said.

Marcott is concerned about people's ability to adapt to a perhaps drastically changed climate.

"As civilization has grown, we're kind of set up for things not to change too much," he said.

The last time Earth has been as warm as it is projected to be by 2100 was before the last Ice Age started -- over 130,000 years ago. That's too long ago to gather reliable data on, he said.

He didn't want to speculate on what the world will look like, if global warming continues.

 

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20 Replies
buckfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

I know I may be twisting this a little. If 1900 to 1909 was one of the coldest decades ever. And we were "suppose to be" getting colder since then. It looks like man made global warming is a good thing. If it was getting that much colder by now you northerners would be to cold to raise any crops.
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farmertandan
Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

No,it is a long cycle, we are not causing it. Please don't believe everything on CNN. We have not had any statistically significant  warming for the last 16 years.  Consider the $$$ to be made through cap and trade, carbon credits. Ridiculous. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. But, if you make air illegal, then someone can gain financially in its trade.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

You guys can laugh at me, but I own a farm that directly borders Interstate 35 in Iowa. Now that we use yield maps for everything, I see the first 20-30 feet into the field produces a little higher yield that crop rows farther into the field does. I call this my I-35 yield increase effect. I have know idea what causes this slight yield increase since the soil type is the same, is it related to being closer to the Interstate highway and somthing to do with the car exhaust? I have absolutely no answer for this very small, but noticable yield increase. It is entertaining though.

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

 
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farmertandan
Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

RSW   do you think road salt may play a role in yield?

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bikinkawboy
Veteran Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

As for rswfarms 20-30' yield increase, could it have anything to do with the open area allowing sunlight to penetrate further into the field in early morning or evening?  Or air circulation?  For example, during this year's drought, the outside 10-15 rows had ears that actually had some grain on them.  Past that into the interior of the field and there were blanks, no grain whatsoever.  The outside rows could yield 10-12 bpa but beyond that, 1-5 bpa.

 

As for global warming, frankly I'm glad it has happened.  Had it not, 15,000-20,000 years ago I would now be setting under several thousand feet of glacial ice.  And before that, it was nice and warm, but before that was an even larger glacial period, tropical heat before that and so on.  It's always been a continual cycle of hot and cold.  And while 100 years is a long time for us humans and 1,000 years is a very long time and 10,000 years is a REALLY long time, when compared to the age of the earth, it's just a blink of an eye.  12,000-13,000 years ago there were wooly mammoth and saber tooth termites or whatever creeping around here and the first humans were just showing up, ready to eat them.  When you consider one of the more recent, substantial and extensive glacial periods was 250,000 years ago, comparing one of those saber tooth termites to that glacial period is like us comparing an ipad to an abacus. 

 

How does the weatherman arrive at the "average" temperature and moisture amounts for todays date?  By averaging out the highs and lows from many years.  This February we have been running 20 degrees below average with above average moisture in the form of snow.  February 2012 we were running 10-15 degrees above average with below average moisture and barely any snow.  If you chose February 2012 as your "average", then Feb 2013 has been a mini ice age.  Do I think the climate is warming?  Yes.  Do I think we humans are responsible for all of it?  Nope, not by a long shot.           

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

Pretty funny WCMO, the windshield effect!!!! LOL

Yes, you could be right, you just never know, but my yield maps show an average of around 5 extra bushels per year on this corn closest to Interstate Highway 35 in Iowa over the corn rows 30 feet and over from the highway. Someone once told me it was due to the carbon dioxide in the cars exhaust, apparently corn grows better with a higher percentage of carbon dioxide in the air, and I thought carbon dioxide was one of the by-products of a cars engine. I know cars also give out carbon monoxide and that can kill people, but I believe another by-product of gas engines is carbon dioxide and an enviroment richer in carbon dioxide is better for plants to grow bigger. Now don't hold me to this Interstate Highway 35 carbon dioxide affect, but this is what a guy told me once. I have absolutely no idea if it is true, however I thought the photosynthesis process that plants use to grow works better in air that has a little higher carbon dioxide percentage. I should goggle photosynthesis and see what Mr. Computer says about this. That may prove interesting!!!!

 

 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

I think our dry land corn yields better in the draws and bottom ground - maybe it is higher accumulation of CO 2 in the lower elevations -  YA THINK

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c-x-1
Veteran Advisor

Re: Global warming is epic, long-term study says

no scientific doubt about it...ALL flora can only use CO2 and depend on sunlight to produce Energy with the primary waste product O2.

 

 

so you farmers need to acquire land tracts which front hwy as long as the CO effect does not counter too badly.

 

you need sensors that can measure CO2, CO. & find out from a botanist (agronomist) how/if CO effects plant growth.

 

that my Biology degree 2 cents.

---and i agree, we are currently in a mini ice age!!

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