Archive for Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Expect heat, intense storms and more drought, say KU scientists in climate change report

KU scientists issue a dire warning about the impact of climate change in Kansas.

November 11, 2008

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Higher temperatures, more intense storms and increased drought will plague Kansas this century because of rising carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study by Kansas University scientists that was released Tuesday.

The study details numerous dangers posed by climate change and should serve as a warning and prompt new policies that reduce CO2 emissions, the scientists said.

"What's important to remember - these are projections," said Johannes Feddema, a geography professor who is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The study by Feddema and KU's Nathaniel Brunsell, also a geography professor, was done for the Salina-based Land Institute's Climate and Energy Project.

By 2100, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as projected, temperatures in Kansas will rise an average of 2 degrees to 4 degrees, the study said. Southwest Kansas could see an increase of 8 degrees.

By 2060, winter temperatures will stay mostly above freezing. That means more insects, diseases, and the need for farmers to increase the use of costly pesticides, the scientists concluded. Higher summertime temperatures will also hurt crops and livestock and increase the need for irrigation.

Climate change will also cause more extreme weather patterns, including intense rain and flooding, but because of higher temperatures, soil moisture will decrease, and that means more intense drought.

"What hurts Kansas also hurts the nation," the report said. "Climate change will increase stress on America's breadbasket, risking our food security."

An earlier study by the National Council of State Legislatures estimated that climate change could cost Kansas $1 billion per year.

The report recommends that Kansas embrace renewable energy, focusing on wind, biomass and solar. Not only will this help the environment but it will also play into Kansas' economic hand, the report said.

"When people talk about climate change, too often they ignore the costs of not dealing with it. They also ignore the economic opportunities for Kansas in shifting to a clean energy economy," said Nancy Jackson, executive director of the Climate and Energy Project.

Comments

Chris Golledge 6 years, 5 months ago

"2 degrees to 4 degrees, the study said. Southwest Kansas could see an increase of 8 degrees."Is that C or F?Ah, the straight stuffhttp://www.climateandenergy.org/_FileLibrary/FileImage/FeddemaSummary.pdf

chzypoof1 6 years, 5 months ago

This is my 2nd favorite argument out here, next to the SLT. RedwoodCoast, you make some wonderful points about climate change, then you shoot yourself in the foot. ALL of those changes were by nature. That is what we are experiencing now, NATURE. Not man made emmissions. The amount of "heating" due to CO2 emmissions is limited, and we are pretty close to that level. If the temp goes up, crop production goes up, and sea level does NOT increase......now comes the argument about melting ice caps.....You realize that those ice caps are in the WATER, right? So put some ice cubes in your glass, then watch them melt. Does the level of the glass rise? No. Same story here. Notice it's not called GLOBAL WARMING anymore? it's climate change now. Because we are actually in a COOLING period now. That's why they had to change the name.Don't buy into this crap. We have better things to do with your money in this country than worry about NATURAL OCCURENCES in nature.poof

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"I would be happy to punch anyone in the face"Redwood, I just wonder what if you had said, 'I would be happy to punch anyone in the face who says homosexuals are right'?

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"By 2060, winter temperatures will stay mostly above freezing. That means more insects, diseases, and the need for farmers to increase the use of costly pesticides, the scientists concluded."Are there currently areas which remain above freezing? If so, they must already have tremendous amounts of " insects, diseases, and the need for farmers to increase the use of costly pesticides". I wonder how or why farmers even exist in those areas." could cost Kansas $1 billion per year."No problem. Big Daddy government can bail us out.I wonder how bozo's wind power and solar collectors are doing. He does have them, right?This is only a distraction to the government printing and de-evaluating money by nearly one trillion dollars! One trillion dollars! And just with a stroke of the pen. When the economy collapses due to such foolishness, no one will care about speculative, maybe, whatif's, Pascal's wager type of things.

jmadison 6 years, 5 months ago

Get out the parkas! The experts have spoken.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep, I lived on the coast of CA, and they do have to use quite a bit of pesticides, not only for insects and mites, for for fungi, too.What people are not taking into account is that the Pleistocene did endure oscillations between warm and cold (Ice Ages) temperatures. The last glacial maximum was around 19,000 years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age, temperatures rose something like 10 degrees. With this increase in temps, we saw a 300 foot rise in sea levels worldwide and the extinction of 35 genera of animals in North America alone.The climate during that last 'Ice Age' was cooler overall, yet the seasonal extremes were not as great. Summers were cooler and winters were warmer. But after that 10 degree temperature increase, winters became much, much harsher, and summers became much warmer. The entire landscape was forced to rearrange both in plants and animals, since many species could no longer endure hard winters or hot summers.So to summarize, this warming period did not result in a simple across-the-board increase in temperatures. Instead, it resulted in winter and summer weather reaching much greater extremes than before.A 4 degree temperature rise doesn't sound like much, but that is likely an average of many, many, many figures. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we are being extremely naive if we don't think the unprecedented release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the last 200 years will not have an effect on the composition of the atmosphere. There are consequences of this, and I think the scientific community is making that very clear.Despite 'dem damn liberals' and what they tend to think, I would be happy to punch anyone in the face who seeks to impede the progression of humanity in the direction of reduced CO2 emissions and cleaner and sustainable energy sources. And I'm really not a violent guy, either. That, by the way, is not a threat; it simply expresses the vehemence of my feelings on this issue. It just pisses me off to no end when such critical issues like this become mired in partisan bickering.Can anyone give me any logical reason why we should not develop clean and sustainable energy sources? I'd like to hear it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

Clicking your heels may not get you back to Kansas, Centerville.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"The entire landscape was forced to rearrange both in plants and animals, since many species could no longer endure hard winters or hot summers."So what make you think the current climate is "perfect" - because, "we're here"?"we are being extremely naive if we don't think the unprecedented release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the last 200 years will not have an effect on the composition of the atmosphere."So the first two cavepeople have twins. It is an "unprecedented" doubling of contributors to man-made carbon dioxide. Is it reasonable to expect that would have a measurable influence on the climate?"I would be happy to punch anyone in the face"That sounds like a physical threat! And expresses approval and enjoyment of such actions."Can anyone give me any logical reason why we should not develop clean and sustainable energy sources? "Yes. For imaginary, wrong, and incorrect reasons.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 5 months ago

I was puzzling over the idea that fluctuations in temperature were less during glacial periods. It occurred to me that large masses of water near the freezing point make tremendous temperature regulators.Warmer air or water coming into contact with ice causes some to melt and then leaves at 273 K. Colder mass coming into contact with water causes some to freeze and, again, leaves at 273 K.Vicky, Johannes, can you comment?

Curtis Lange 6 years, 5 months ago

Riiight. Will we be in flying cars by then too?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 5 months ago

Katy's expecting to add a pestilence segment to her nightly forecast.

devobrun 6 years, 5 months ago

"When people talk about climate change, too often they ignore the costs of not dealing with it. They also ignore the economic opportunities for Kansas in shifting to a clean energy economy," said Nancy Jackson, executive director of the Climate and Energy Project.And so the reason for this study is to support a shift from one economy to another. Sufficient doom and gloom reporting will cause a change in energy policy, public funding, environmental concern, more democrats and fewer engineers.We will replace coal and other hydrocarbon energy sources with non-functioning systems that are designed on the basis of fear. We are replacing rational thought with fear. We are replacing science with scary scenarios. Never mind that windmills won't replace coal. Never mind that all the alternative technologies are demonstrably inferior to the present energy solutions. Nope, the sky is falling, panic. Give over control of energy to the government. Pass along your ability to choose to the government. Look how well the government is running health care. Look how well the government has regulated and monitored and manipulated the financial markets. Yep, look for your cost of energy to sky-rocket, followed by government subsidies to low wage earners.

canyon_wren 6 years, 5 months ago

gr, I believe there are parts of CA where temperatures don't consistently drop below freezing really DO use incredible amounts of insectides, etc. That's probably true in Florida, too. That is pretty depressing!

slang4d 6 years, 5 months ago

Melting glaciers and polar ice caps, changing animal migration patters, rising sea levels and temperature....none of that is scary. Carry on as usual, naysayers and SUV drivers.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 5 months ago

chzypoof1 (Anonymous) says: "If the temp goes up, crop production goes up, ..."One of many counter examples:"Crops Feel The Heat As The World Warms"http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070316072609.htmanother:http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?ID=6890&Method=Full

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

Perfect parallel string to go along with 'God, Humbug'. Personally, I'll go with the Occum's Razor line of reasoning:Is it more plausible that the immensely powerful and unpredictable global climate is fluctuating just like it has for billions of years? OR That another largely insignificant species that can be wholly contained, shoulder to shoulder, within the Jacksoniville, Fla. city limits has effectively altered said climate in the hiccup of 150 years since the Industrial Revolution, and 50 years since the advent of Cfc's?That being said there's no reason not to go green, but we will never, EVER, stop using fossil fuels as long as they're around. Now back to our regularly sceduled 'tilting'.......

Bladerunner 6 years, 5 months ago

Expect heat? Great! I still need to finish painting my house. lol. Now i wont have to move to a tropical area to retire. YAY!

Chris Golledge 6 years, 5 months ago

jaywalker,If you want to talk about orders of magnitude, try this."Nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were injected into the stratosphere in Pinatubo's 1991 eruptions, and dispersal of this gas cloud around the world caused global temperatures to drop temporarily (1991 through 1993) by about 1°F (0.5°C)."http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs113-97/"As of 2004, around 27 gigatonnes of CO2 are released from fossil fuels per year worldwide, equivalent to about 7.4 gigatonnes of carbon (see List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions); in 2006 8.4 gigatonnes carbon were emitted [1]."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth%27s_atmosphereMankind is emitting annually more than a thousand times the amount of climate affecting material than a volcano known to have had climate effects, and you are saying mankind is not influencing the climate. Thankfully, CO2 does not have nearly as strong an effect that SO2 has or this would really be an academic debate.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"What we are talking about is the extinction of the human race."No one has established that is a concern here any more than the sky is falling.....I was going to respond to the rest of your post and then noticed it is motivated by your "extreme" hatred of a political candidate and will assume your motiviation in the matter is political and therefore you won't listen to reason.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"Mankind is emitting annually more than a thousand times the amount of climate affecting material than a volcano known to have had climate effects, and you are saying mankind is not influencing the climate."I guess it would be reasonable to make a comparison of how much SO2 was added with how much existed in the atmosphere and how much CO2 was added with how much existed in the atmosphere. If you pour a cup of water in the ocean, you would not expect much change. But, if you pour a cup of water into your lungs, you would expect a problem. Do you see a need to make a comparison of relative amounts before drawing a conclusion?

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

And likewise:Yes. For imaginary, wrong, and incorrect reasons.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 5 months ago

Holy crap, people. I have been out very late this Friday night, and I'm in the mood to move my body like a weasel, godammit. Gutentag groundhog, one time...Anyway, chzypoof: We know that we likely did not have any influence whatsoever upon any previous drastic climate changes. However, our collective human contribution to the atmosphere of this planet has dramatically increased during the past 600 years.I'm really not convinced that I shoot myself in the foot, despite my propensity to use the particular metaphor. And I'm curious to find any contradictions to a former mandate of my own:Can anyone give me any logical reason why we should not develop clean and sustainable energy sources? I'd like to hear [your reasons] it.

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