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JimD

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ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« on: January 09, 2014, 07:21:31 PM »
The purpose of this topic is to highlight the state of modeling of agriculture yields and water resources in order to better assess the long term prospects of feeding the rapidly growing population.

This topic is a sub topic of ISI-MIP (Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project) general topic and one should read that topic first to understand where this subtopic originates from.

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/research/climate-impacts-and-vulnerabilities/research/rd2-cross-cutting-activities/isi-mip/isi-mip-fast-track/about

As readers here will have noted I have written many posts detailing why I think the global industrial food system is eventually going to fail to be able to feed the human population.  I have predicted an approximate date of 2050 for substantial collapse of our ability to feed large numbers of people and, by extension of what this event implies, this means that the advent of global civilizational collapse occurs simultaneously with the global food crises.  I won't go into my reasoning and a host of details again right now as I want to present a series of posts which describe the state of the academic work in this subject area and what they are saying.  As usual, when we get to talking about the state of where some very complex scientific undertaking is at, us partially educated but interested bystanders come up with all kinds of comments along the lines of what are they thinking and why are they not taking this into account (most of the time we are just confused of course).  That will be a likely outcome here as well once you read some of what I present.  There are strong corollaries between the state of the research in this area and what we see when we start talking about the IPCC AR reports and the weaknesses of the various climate models.  Since the agricultural modeling and predictions cannot easily be tainted by suspicions of political influence along the lines of what at least some of us think we see with the IPCC, the fact that the two efforts suffer from some of the same problems might lead us to think that the political influence problems are not as severe as we think with the IPCC and rather are endemic to such a large and complex effort.  But YMMV.

I, for now, am going to focus on a part of the above efforts which are several reports which were recently pre-published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that relate to agriculture.    Please jump in and help work though these complex reports.

A post will follow based upon the first paper below. Others will follow later.

Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1222463110

Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1222474110

Climate change effects on agriculture: Economic responses to biophysical shocks PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1222465110

Multisectoral climate impact hotspots in a warming world PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1222471110

Hydrological droughts in the 21st century, hotspots and uncertainties from a global multimodel ensemble experiment PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013,  doi:10.1073/pnas.1222473110
 

http://www.agmip.org/blog/2013/12/16/agmip-global-gridded-crop-model-paper-published-in-pnas/#more-3868

 
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JimD

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 07:34:38 PM »
This post is going to look at the results of the following paper which is part of the ISI-MIP interdisciplinary analysis. Full paper is available in pdf on the PNAS web site.

Cynthia Rosenzweig PNAS 2013 Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison
PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1222463110

Quote
Significance

Agriculture is arguably the sector most affected by climate change, but assessments differ and are thus difficult to compare. We provide a globally consistent, protocol-based, multimodel climate change assessment for major crops with explicit characterization of uncertainty. Results with multimodel agreement indicate strong negative effects from climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes where developing countries are concentrated. Simulations that consider explicit nitrogen stress result in much more severe impacts from climate change, with implications for adaptation planning.

Quote
Abstract

Here we present the results from an intercomparison of multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) within the framework of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project and the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project. Results indicate strong negative effects of climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes; models that include explicit nitrogen stress project more severe impacts. Across seven GGCMs, five global climate models, and four representative concentration pathways, model agreement on direction of yield changes is found in many major agricultural regions at both low and high latitudes; however, reducing uncertainty in sign of response in mid-latitude regions remains a challenge. Uncertainties related to the representation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and high temperature effects demonstrated here show that further research is urgently needed to better understand effects of climate change on agricultural production and to devise targeted adaptation strategies.

While the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity have been studied for about 20 years this research was not coordinated in terms of consistency of data and was modeled on a variety of platforms using different methods of analysis.  This situation makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the various results and to meld them into a consistent result.  This situation is very similar to many of the weaknesses found in the results of the IPCC AR analysis over the years that many complain about.  This papers effort is to coordinate this research by working all of the various models with the same set of data and comparing that to AR5.

Quote
The magnitude, rate, and pattern of climate change impacts on agricultural productivity have been studied for approximately two decades. To evaluate these impacts, researchers use bio- physical process-based models ..., agro-ecosystem models ..., and statistical analyses of historical data ...... Although these and other methods have been widely used to forecast potential impacts of climate change on future agricultural productivity, the protocols used in previous assessments have varied to such an extent that they constrain cross- study syntheses and limit the ability to devise relevant adaptation options (9, 10). In this project we have brought together seven global gridded crop models (GGCMs) for a coordinated set of simulations of global crop yields under evolving climate conditions. ....In order to facilitate analyses across models and sectors, all global models are driven with consistent bias- corrected climate forcings derived from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) archive (13). The objectives are to (i) establish the range of uncertainties of climate change impacts on crop productivity worldwide,(ii)determine key differences in current approaches used by crop modeling groups in global analyses, and (iii) propose improvements inGGCMs and in the methodologies for future intercomparisons to produce more reliable assessments.

We examine the basic patterns of response to climate across crops, latitudes, time periods, regional temperatures, and atmo- spheric carbon dioxide concentrations [CO2]. In anticipation of the wider scientific community using these model outputs and the expanded application of GGCMs, we introduce these models and present guidelines for their practical application. Related studies in this special issue focus on crop water demand and the fresh- water supply for irrigation (14), the application of the crop model results as part of wider intersectoral analyses (15), and the in- tegration of crop-climate impact assessments with agro-economic models (16).

As with the global climate models the models for agricultural productivity are structured with a wide variety of parameters which are not consistent between models.

Quote
These models differ in regard to model type, inclusion and parameterization of soil and crop processes, management inputs, and outputs. These dissimilarities must be taken into account in interpreting the results of the intercomparison and in the use of results in other analyses (SI Appendix, Table S1). Examples include the biological and environmental stresses affecting crops in each model and the treatment of how increasing [CO2] affects plant growth and yield. GAEZ-IMAGE, LPJ-GUESS, and LPJmL focus on water and temperature responses, whereas the other four models also consider stresses related to nitrogen deficiency and severe heat during various stages of development. In addition to these, pDSSAT considers oxygen stress, PEGASUS considers phosphorus and potassium stresses, and EPIC and GEPIC both consider oxygen, phosphorus, bulk density, and aluminum stresses.

When the researchers ran these models in a consistent fashion it turned out the results were broadly consistent with each other.  These results were then compared to the results on agriculture yields from the IPCC AR4 report.  What was found was that the results are generally similar but the ranges of uncertainty grew significantly.  Much of this increased uncertainty was due to the greater diversity of modeling techniques, ranges of temperatures and greater geographic coverage.  Some examples of results in this area. when using the 7 crop models under the RCP 8.5 scenario and comparing their results to AR4, are :

That at +2C yields in the mid to high latitudes for corn, wheat, rice and soybeans are almost identical and that the numbers are overall slightly positive (yields are up).   For low latitudes corn yield is down about 10% from AR4 and the uncertainty range is dramatically lower; for rice, wheat and soybeans the results are similar and yields are down a significant amount (approximately 10%).  The low latitude numbers are on the edge of real production problems.

That at +4C in the mid to high latitudes AR4 and the new analysis have similar results and that yields are overall unchanged with the uncertainty range growing to the high yield side.  For low latitudes at +4C results are similar for corn and rice and better for wheat.  But the take away here is that actual yields have reached what will amount to catastrophic declines from present with drops of 20% typical and big downside uncertainties.  It is game over at this point.

Note: This part of the analysis has not yet included water stress and irrigation issues which are the subject of an additional paper.  Those results when combined with the results of this work show very significant additional declines and indicate collapse well before +4C.

An additional issue, which once again mimics an issue from the Global Climate Models, is that these models were designed to produce information on not only different aspects of growing crops but also differ on the scale of geographic coverage.  So even though the results were aggregated depending on what one is looking at and where one model might be much more accurate than the aggregated result from all of them.  So some of those downside risks might be very close to being right depending on a specific crop in a specific place.  And the aggregate might be too optimistic in some areas still as critical factors are not fully implemented yet.  For instance the projections are for increasing yields in the high latitudes with rising temperatures, but the models have not yet included the poorer soils at high latitudes which quite possibly will reduce yields in all cases.

Other factors which it is not clear to me are yet taken into account (if they even can be) are weather issues.  While the climate is warming and theoretically growing regions are moving away from the equator there still remains the vagaries of weather.  Does anyone think that killing frosts will not still happen with some frequency in these warming regions?  Maybe not as often or quite as cold as previously, but no farmer is going to plant a warmer region crop in a formerly colder area until he is sure that the odds are way in his favor that it will survive and prosper.  If a crop failure due to a cold snap is at even a 1 in 5 chance he can't afford to take that chance.  A farmer has to plant based upon what the first and last average frost dates are, not the average temperature.  I am not clear on whether the frost dates move in a synchronous fashion with the rising average temperatures or not.

My next post on this subject will include the work from the paper on irrigation water availability found via this info on the PNAS site.

Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1222474110
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 07:50:20 PM »
JimD...Thank you for starting this topic. I will be plowing through the research you link to but doubt I will have much to contribute except questions for clarification.

JackTaylor

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 01:18:24 PM »
JimD:

As I go through information - research, nitrogen is frequently part of the discussion - material.
With nitrogen being extremely important to industrial agriculture and without it good - adequate water may not be sufficient for large scale agriculture;

Have you - are you seeing anything on progress for more use of tropical adapted legumes for mid-latitudes >30degrees N-S?  Outside the Semi-Arid Tropics.  GMO companies pursuing?  Governments supplying extra seeds?
 
I'm not referring to efforts below but in the future their work will be a great reference
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
http://www.icrisat.org/tropicallegumesII/
Enhancing grain legumes productivity and production, and the incomes of poor farmers in drought-prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

JimD

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 06:31:18 PM »
Jack

Part of the nitrogen issue is whether one has the slack in terms of needed production to include rotational corps which draw nitrogen into the soil (legumes).  This is the ideal way to raise crops by using rotations where each preceding crop provides nutrients to the following crop.  It is one of the core concepts of sustainable agriculture.  (btw how to properly execute crop rotations was discovered by two Quaker farmers in Loudoun County Virginia in approximately 1790-1800 less than 5 miles from where my farm was 200 years later.  Pretty cool.)

As we are pushing very hard on global crop yields we are very dependent on industrial nitrogen sources to maintain those very high levels.  Baring a wholesale change away from raising large volumes of crops for meat production and bio-fuels (highly unlikely to happen for a generation still) it would be very difficult (impossible?) to stop using fossil based nitrogen to boost yields and maintain production levels.

There are plenty of already known legumes which could be used so the issue is more related to making the decision to reallocate crop land rather than find new crops to use (not that doing that is not worthwhile).

Does this answer your question?  I am not sure if I really addressed what you are asking.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 01:53:11 PM »
Quote
JimD: Reply #4;
1.  Does this answer your question? 
2.  I am not sure if I really addressed what you are asking.
1.  No !

2.  Perhaps my question should have been less general and more specific,
so will be more direct & explicit.

Comments first.
We've all heard that The Research & Consensus  points to food shortages soon due to AGW effects on temperature range ('per area') and lack of water ('clean - potable') for irrigation plus lack of nitrogen fertilizer from fossil fuels.  Plus making soils unproductive because irrigation & industrial fertilizers cause acidity and salinity.

We've probably all heard about crop rotation ('nitrogen fixation') to enhance yields - but supposedly not feasible for the vastness required of current industrial mono-crop agriculture.
Nitrogen mentioned at least three times in your original two posts in this thread.

Unless you or someone can convince me that we are NOT already too deep in FF-GHG to prevent a 3 to 5 degree C rise in global temps (why is 2 - 4 - 6 used?) then we need more action to have a food supply for as long as possible being made available to those who can access it. Millions or Billions - I don't know that it matters eventually.

So with those in mind, doom-saying - pointing out the consequences are necessary, BUT what in the hell are we doing about it, such as in semi-arid tropics ( dry an hot ) implies lack of water and high temperature in our doom-saying. "Developments".

Question(s)

3.  In USA - North America agriculture, is latitude a current factor in grain and legume large scale production?

4.  Have you heard or seen any LARGE SCALE efforts to adapt production in mid-latitudes to lower-latitude crops?
(legumes/beans - an example because of ability to supply some of their nitrogen needs)

5.  Have you heard or seen of any major efforts in the industrialized (first) world to "de-gassify" beans to prevent bloating in humans so they will be more acceptable as food source for at least or more than 50% of the diet?  LOL

6.  Why has the "Desalination" Plant in San Diego, CA USA received so much political crap?

JimD

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 05:05:52 PM »
Jack,

I think I can help with those questions a bit.  Don't take my answers as definitive but I generally think I have this pretty close.

3.  The primary issue related to latitude for growing crops is not what most people think.  It is not the cold factor but rather the sunlight factor as in how long the sun is up each day and how different crops react to the changes.  But that is not a big issue except in terms of gardening or small scale farming to feed yourself.

Industrial ag does not live in those worlds.  Since all they really work on at high latitudes are the grain crops there is not a real problem with sunlight changes.  For those crops it boils down to first/last average freezes, ground temperatures, peak summer temps, rainfall, irrigation issues.  Grain can be successfully grown at very high latitudes. There are lower yields in general, but it works - think Canada or Russia and wheat.  Conversely the lower latitudes will have lower yields also as the temperatures rise above optimum growing parameters.

I am not aware of any very large scale growing of legumes for human consumption at high latitudes.  Small famers yes, but there is little profit in growing beans as they are so cheap in the market.  The industrial folks will push soybeans towards the high latitudes as soon as the changing climate allows of course.

4.  This will certainly happen as conditions allow and is definitely an ongoing process right now.  The industrial folks put a lot of effort into this kind of thing and will move from crop to crop to follow the highest profit.  Once again though they are not going to pay much attention to beans for human consumption due to low profit margins.  The human diet would have to change significantly for that to happen (we need a LOT more vegetarians to up demand).

5.  No.  But is that really why more beans are not eaten?

6.  I did not even know there was a desalinization plant there or about any controversy.  It may be due to cost of course as it is an expensive process.  But with Calif's water problems I imagine such a plant has many backers.

Hope I did better for you this time.

Quote
...Unless you or someone can convince me that we are NOT already too deep in FF-GHG to prevent a 3 to 5 degree C rise in global temps (why is 2 - 4 - 6 used?) then we need more action to have a food supply for as long as possible being made available to those who can access it. Millions or Billions - I don't know that it matters eventually.
...

I would not try to convince you of that.  Technically it is still possible to avoid 4-5 C, but I am not sure on anything lower than that.  But will we even try on a coordinated global basis?  I doubt it very strongly.  Absolutely we need action right now. But it will not come from government yet for some time if ever.  People have to just start making it happen and not take no for an answer.  That means civil unrest and forcing the situation.  There is no evidence of that on a meaningful level yet (note I include 350.org and the like in that statement as they do not have any influence or are accomplishing anything of significance to date - they are far too non-confrontational).  And when it gets to that the folks resisting are going to get hammered so they better accept that it is war and not be appealing to reason.     
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 02:28:05 PM »
I'm hoping to stick to future impacts on agriculture instead of current processes.  But a little disagreement on current practices.

(0 point 0) No argument about photosynthesis and frost-free days absolutely required !!

(3)  I am going to go for Growing Degree Days (GDD) or Growing Degree Units (GDU) which is cold-vs-warmth as as compared to sunlight (even though intricately linked).  A few examples for consideration.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing_degree-day

(3a)  At a higher Altitudes (mountainous) in lower Latitudes with lots of sunlight how is the growing season compared to higher Latitude with lower Altitude, near sea level, with shorter days of sunlight?

(3a1)  Coastal Regions, above 30 Degrees Latitude, with moderating ocean influence, in general how does growing season compare to inland areas at approximate same Altitude, equal sunlight?

(3a2)  Does corn require warm weather to mature  is it only frost free days? ? 
Is corn now being grown in North Dakota and Canada?  Did the length of day change?

I mentioned Legumes (beans) as a complement to perhaps other semi-arid tropical crops such as grains of millet - sorghum (low protein combo) and to add in some fun.

Maize (corn), is it low grade between the Tropic of Cancer through the Equator to Tropic of Capricorn compared to product of Iowa USA?

Agree, legumes are a low profit item for farmers - but when wheat - soybeans are a casualty of rising temperatures what are we going to eat?

How about Phragmites, the common reed, a grass, requiring temps in excess of 80-F (26.7-C) to mature combined with tropical legumes for supposedly all essential amino acids (protein).

* I have no idea why beans are not a larger part of the industrialized diet.  Fun item.

From El Paso, TX desalination San Diego, CA - seems it would be a news item for the areas between, or is there a 100 year supply?



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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 02:46:52 PM »
I would not try to convince you of that.  Technically it is still possible to avoid 4-5 C, but I am not sure on anything lower than that.

Even that isn't a safe assumption as the effects of positive feedbacks in the earth system are still far from fully quantified. Indeed I think I'd argue so far a lot of the opinions expressed view 3-4 degrees as a point that is only transitory due to such feedbacks. Given the large feedback effects/threats we already see at <1C it wouldn't surprise me if the threshold at which the process is perpetuated (for some time) by positive feedback doesn't come lower - maybe even 1-2C.

That is an implicit assumption in all presumptions that we can stop at x degrees of warming - that the human emission element is all we need to worry about and that by definition we have some sort of control. Our control extends to starting the avalanche but not to stopping it.

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 06:00:43 PM »
ccg,  No arguments here.  I was just providing sort of a short hand answer on that to Jack.

Jack. 

The questions are growing!

Once again I was not going into real detail but just providing a sketched out answer to your question.  As you seem to realize a specific answer for any non-general latitude/altitude requires one actually investigate the climate conditions at that location.  There is no right general answer for a specific location as your question make clear.

It gets down for each location to a version of what the local or regional microclimate works out to be and that will dictate what it is possible to grow there and what grows best there (or what one can make the most money growing there).  All of the things you mention are relevant, sun light, heating degree days, ocean influences, prevailing winds and their intensity and what time of year they blow, first/last frosts, average lowest temps of the winter, highest normal temp in summer, when rains come, soil types, normal soil moisture, spring soil temperatures and when they reach minimal and optimal planting temperatures, when the soil can normally have equipment put on it in the spring, etc.

Quote
(3a)  At a higher Altitudes (mountainous) in lower Latitudes with lots of sunlight how is the growing season compared to higher Latitude with lower Altitude, near sea level, with shorter days of sunlight?

It really depends and there is no way to provide a definitive answer unless one specifies locations.  Is the nearby ocean warm or cold?  Does the wind blow from or to the ocean?  In a dry climate one gets freezes at much lower altitudes at night than in a wet one.  The higher up one goes at a given latitude the more freezing and cold night time temperatures impact production.

Quote
(3a1)  Coastal Regions, above 30 Degrees Latitude, with moderating ocean influence, in general how does growing season compare to inland areas at approximate same Altitude, equal sunlight?

Well you could look at New England for an answer or various parts of the Mid-Atlantic.  In general the coastal areas are more productive with some caveats.  For example my farm was at about 700 ft in elevation in Northern Va.  We had friends whose farm was near Chesapeake Bay in central Va about 50 ft above sea level) about 100 miles from us (similar to your requirement).  Their growing season started at least 4 weeks before ours and lasted longer.  They never had snow and sometimes never froze.  They could plant cabbage and broccoli the first week of Jan.  We had to wait until almost March.  But they got flooded when tropical storms came by.  At peak summer temperatures they had productivity problems with some crops because it was too hot.  We never had that issue.

Quote
(3a2)  Does corn require warm weather to mature  is it only frost free days? ? 
Is corn now being grown in North Dakota and Canada?  Did the length of day change?


I am not an expert on corn as I never grew it so the below is not definitive.  It does have some requirements which are relevant.  It must have moisture within a window of time to properly set and pollinate its fruit.  If it gets too hot (I think above 95F) it stops growing until it cools off.  It has a minimum soil temperature before it can be planted (this occurred around the first of Jun where my farm was located) and it loves temperatures in the 80's and low 90's.  It cannot handle being frozen I believe.  All of these are important issues as you move north.   As the window of time between when the soil warms up enough to plant and when the corn must be finished growing shrinks as you go north it starts to limit planting possibilities.  Climate change is going to widen that window of course.  Water availability will be very important as well.  In our area corn grew fine without irrigation.  Most places irrigation is mandatory or you get no corn.   Note that there are lots of varieties of corn and some are better in different climate conditions and plant breeding can extend this diversity ( and I am talking natural breeding not GMO).  Where corn is really going to suffer in the future is at low latitudes as the temperatures rise.  Yield starts falling off the table at about +1C (which is pretty close to where we are now) and by +2C is down about 10-15% (and that is not counting irrigation issues).

Quote
Maize (corn), is it low grade between the Tropic of Cancer through the Equator to Tropic of Capricorn compared to product of Iowa USA?

I am not sure I understand this question.  Most corn grown in the very low latitudes is grown for human consumption and thus is a different variety(s) than what is grown in Iowa which is feed corn for animals.  So different yields, nutritional value, etc.  You would not like to eat feed corn but you would love the different varieties of corn grown for human consumption as it comes in many different flavors and such.  So to humans feed corn is almost inedible and to cows they would like anything.

Quote
Agree, legumes are a low profit item for farmers - but when wheat - soybeans are a casualty of rising temperatures what are we going to eat?

Once again we are stretching my knowledge here.  I believe that beans are so similar to soybeans (I have planted both of these) that their yields will track each other as the climate changes and the projections are not very good for soybeans so I don't think they are excellent for regular beans either.  But, this might be a bad assumption as regular beans come in dozens of varieties and have been optimized for human consumption so there should be varieties which are good for much more extreme conditions than for soybeans.  Soybeans take much longer to grow than typical beans which gives us an advantage.  Fresh beans grow so quickly that I expect they can grow almost anywhere.

Wheat actually will do just fine until climate change is really off the tracks.  Wheat is mostly already only grown at high latitudes and even at +4C it is projected to have good yields at high latitudes.  At low latitudes it is another story as at +2C it is down about 10% on yields.

Quote
How about Phragmites, the common reed, a grass, requiring temps in excess of 80-F (26.7-C) to mature combined with tropical legumes for supposedly all essential amino acids (protein).

I have no knowledge of Phragmites at all.

Quote
From El Paso, TX desalination San Diego, CA - seems it would be a news item for the areas between, or is there a 100 year supply?


I don't understand this question.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 06:46:40 PM »
Field peas are grown commercially at 46 degrees north near Walla-Walla Washington . Both peas and fava beans can withstand some spring freeze. They provide the best nitrogen if plowed under in bloom and even then they won't provide enough for hungry crops like corn without supplements or two years in cover for every year with a crop.
 The advantage beans provide in arid climates is they are spring planted and you can get a good idea of soil moisture content before you plant unlike winter wheat. Around here you can get away with black eyed peas when there isn't enough soil moisture to get a Lima bean crop in. They run a cover crop of favas followed with a planting of safflower in the Calif.central valley but the fact that safflower can handle alkalinity may influence those crop choices.
 I think there are crop rotations that can provide complete protein. Amaranth grown following peas and fava could be part of a corn diet if amaranth was the focus and corn was a complimented rather than the main portion of the diet.Corn is a very hungry crop and very hard on soil health. Adding some more legumes would help keep soil fertility up but since all those crops except fava are new world crops grown for thousands of years I'm not really covering any new ground. 
 What we eat or what we want to eat seems deeply ingrained socially. Unless one chooses to become a vegetarian the amount of beans one consumes is probably similar to your parents diet. Beans take some planning and time for preparation. Soak night before and cook for several hours. That alone may result in relative lack of beans in the western diet?
 This I suppose should go into the gardening page but I have roots in the Lima business, couldn't
resist. There are historical examples we could follow if we choose to. Farming has much to do with repeating successes and learning from mistakes. The mistake of depending upon chemical fertilizers will become very obvious when those inputs begin to fail. Temperature or rain patterns changes can be adapted to much easier than trying to farm without fertilizer. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:38:58 AM by Bruce Steele »

JackTaylor

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 02:23:43 PM »
Bruce Steele  Reply #10,

Yea man the "Palouse" area is well known as a good producer of legumes and grains.

Also, iirc, the neighboring country above 49 degrees north may be the number one (# 1) exporter of legumes.

However, my reference is to "Tropical Legumes" and / or Semi-Arid, perhaps the type of growing conditions in the future due to AGW, hot and dry.  Hopefully staying in-tune and close to on-topic about Agriculture and Water.

If it becomes semi-arid & tropical at or above 60 degrees north, somewhat below the Arctic Circle, will cool weather agriculture crops be big producers in zones above 50 degrees latitude?

Off Topic
As my wife refers to them as my beer-swilling "red-neck" friends and relatives how am I going to break the news to them that "good-quality" cool weather grains such as Barley and Wheat will be limited for beer brewing?  How about "hops?" Will it be near a significant event?

I would almost be willing to make a wager, CC-AGW Deniers have a higher per-capita beer consumption rate than Proponents.  If anybody ever runs across any data on this, please let me know - velly interesting

« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 03:23:24 PM by JackTaylor »

JackTaylor

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 04:26:54 PM »
JimD,

Did I mislead you with Growing Degree Days (phenology) versus Heating Degree Days (meteorology) and are you using a lot of what I would - might refer to as "Truck Farming Experience"  as background information?
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JimD: Reply #9;
"All of the things you mention are relevant, sun light, heating degree days"

JimD

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 05:04:38 PM »
Jack

Just sloppy editing on my part.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: ISI-MIP - Agriculture & Water
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 08:50:58 PM »
Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change

Info below from this paper:

Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print December 16, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1222474110

Lead author is Joshua Elliott


Abstract

Quote
We compare ensembles of water supply and demand projections from 10 global hydrological models and six global gridded crop models. These are produced as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project, with coordination from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, and driven by outputs of general circulation models run under representative concentration pathway 8.5 as part of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Models project that direct climate impacts to maize, soybean, wheat, and rice involve losses of 400– 1,400 Pcal (8–24% of present-day total) when CO2 fertilization effects are accounted for or 1,400–2,600 Pcal (24–43%) otherwise. Freshwater limitations in some irrigated regions (western United States; China; and West, South, and Central Asia) could necessitate the reversion of 20–60 Mha of cropland from irrigated to rainfed management by end-of-century, and a further loss of 600–2,900 Pcal of food production. In other regions (northern/eastern United States, parts of South America, much of Europe, and South East Asia) surplus water supply could in principle support a net increase in irrigation, although substantial investments in irrigation infra- structure would be required.

Quote
Significance
Freshwater availability is relevant to almost all socioeconomic and environmental impacts of climate and demographic change and their implications for sustainability. We compare ensembles of water supply and demand projections driven by ensemble output from five global climate models. Our results suggest reasons for concern. Direct climate impacts to maize, soybean, wheat, and rice involve losses of 400–2,600 Pcal (8–43% of present-day total). Freshwater limitations in some heavily irrigated regions could necessitate reversion of 20–60 Mha of cropland from irrigated to rainfed management, and a further loss of 600–2,900 Pcal. Freshwater abundance in other regions could help ameliorate these losses, but substantial investment in infrastructure would be required.

However, freshwater abundance elsewhere is only expected to have potential to offset 12% of the losses.

Quote
... Under the more pessimistic irrigation scenario (IWDhydro), the limitations on irrigation water supply availability further constrain the potential ameliorating effect of expanded irrigation to only 12% of the 1,840-Pcal reduction in 2090 due to climate change without effects of increasing [CO2], highlighting the need to improve agricultural productivity by other means....

If you find this stuff interesting I recommend finding the pdf and reviewing the charts and graphs as they are very enlightening.  It is interesting to note the accumulated problems with the addition of this analysis onto the previous papers work.  Thus the informative nature of systemic analysis.  The projected drops in crop yields towards the end of the century are far beyond what it would take to trigger mass famines and collapse.  Clearly sometime much earlier than that we will be crossing the line where the industrial food system will be in collapse mode.   Interesting stuff.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein