Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Horrors of Warming

According to this article, 2004 was a great year for crops.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- If farmers talk big about 2004 crops as they get ready to head out into the fields this spring, let them talk. Believe them. Last year's crop season saw record yields in every major crop amid the closest-to-perfect weather conditions of the last century, scientists say.

"Never before have corn, soybeans, sorghum, and alfalfa hay all achieved record yields in the same year," said Stanley A. Changnon, chief emeritus of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Funny thing, NASA says that 2004 was the 4th hottest year on record. It says so right here. How can global warming and increased crop yield go together? Maybe a warmer growing season is a good thing.

BTW, the NASA article I linked to has several nods to global warming but it also says this:

Some of the changes in climate are due to short-term factors like large volcanic eruptions that launched tiny particles of sulfuric acid into the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) in 1963, 1982, and 1991. These natural events can change climate for periods of time ranging from months to a few years. Other natural events, like El Ninos, when warm water spreads over much of the tropical Pacific Ocean, also have large short-term influences on climate. The large spike in global temperature in 1998 was associated with one of the strongest El Ninos of recent centuries, and a weak El Nino contributed to the unusually high 2002-2003 global temperatures.
Funny, I don't remember a single environmentalist mentioning El Ninos when talking about recent warm years. El Ninos have been around longer than the increased carbon dioxide levels that are supposed to be causing global warming. No one knows why they happen which has not stopped some people from claiming a link between them and global warming.

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