Year 2, Month 5, Day 21: Shootin’ Crops

The Boise Spokesman-Review notes a new study on the agricultural effects of climate change in the Inland Northwest, funded by the Department of Agriculture and based in the University of Idaho:

Temperatures in the Inland Northwest are already up about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit on average in the past century, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is predicting that the temperature will increase another 3.6 degrees by 2050, Eigenbrode said.

Winter precipitation is predicted to increase by 5 percent, but summer rainfall could drop by 5 to 20 percent, he said.

Warmer summer temperatures could spell problems for grains and other crops that will face increased heat and water stress.

The comment thread on this article is a gold mine of denialist stupidity.

Sent May 10:

The scientific evidence keeps piling up, confirming and reconfirming both the reality and the threat. Although human-caused global warming was rechristened “climate change” by Republican strategist Frank Luntz (who reasoned that it didn’t sound so scary that way), Luntz’ term is more accurate. Atmospheric heating doesn’t automatically make everything get hotter; it makes the weather get weirder and weirder all over the planet. Tornadoes, hailstorms, unseasonal snows and heavy rains, droughts — you name it, it’ll be coming at us in the decades to come. No wonder farmers everywhere are trying to figure out how to prepare for a world with radically unpredictable weather patterns; the University of Idaho study is just one of many. As we examine ways to keep our agriculture thriving, let’s remember how we got in this fix to begin with — and begin a concerted effort to reduce our country’s wasteful overconsumption of fossil fuels.

Warren Senders

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