Saturday, May 7, 2011

Food and climate change

There is a new bunch of loonies coming out of that grand old institution, Stanford University. They have a model, and this model tells them precisely what crops we can expect under what conditions. My, it is a wonderful model! Using this model, they have found that, although crop yields are improving worldwide, they could be improving faster were it not for climate change. So waar!

Can I suggest that crop yields might be improving worldwide because of improvements in farming and in the strains of seeds planted? It is called the Green Revolution, and has been taking place for the past 50 years.

Could I also suggest that increased CO2 might be playing a part? Plants demonstrably do better with more CO2. If you doubt this, visit CO2 Science ( and you can read hundreds of references to the fact - and even watch great videos.

Then I have to ask how the heck they can calibrate their models, if indeed the climate is changing? An uncalibrated model is as much use as a Porsche and no driving licence.

Finally, let me remark that this crowd of modellers really should stick to their choo-choos. Real farmers know that getting high crop yields takes skill and luck in equal quantities. It is not an exact science.

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