May 5, 2014 Weather and Climate Forecast.

May 6th, 2014
in econ_news

Econintersect Weather and Climate Forecast Update

Written by

April showers bring May flowers but this year Spring is late for the central and eastern part of the U.S. May will be a somewhat wet month. See updated May forecast map from NOAA further down in this article.  The seasons are progressing but at a rate that is perhaps one month slower than usual.

Follow up:

I do not have the April data yet (it probably will be issued later today and I may update this report or issue and addendum when it does) but this is what March looked like in terms of that month's temperatures compared to modern historical temperatures. Brrr. I understand that frost depths along the northern tier may have been as much as twice as deep as normal this winter. So much for building codes as few pipes are mandated to be buried six feet deep which apparently may have been needed this winter in places: Vermont for one.

March Temperatures U.S.

Now, let's talk about the impact of Climate Change on Food Security. This information comes from the latest IPCC Draft Report on the Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabily resulting from Climate Change and can be found here.  The Tabke below is difficult to read as it often contains two scenarios (an alternative in parentheses both in the Yield and Scenario Identification columns).  Some data is based on models that do not reflect the increase in carbon dioxide level which generally stimulates plant growth and may also improve water utilization but the table is clear on which studies incorporate or do not incorporate the impact of carbon dioxide.

As you can see, there is a lot of variation in these estimates. So far I have not been able to sort out this data but according to the text in the full report, the correct answer is less wheat, much less corn and more rice. It seems that a key factor is the type of photosynthesis involved which would appear to change the C3/C4 ratio of plant types as carbon dioxide levels increase. But there are other factors. A good resource for understanding this can be found here or here. It is very complicated. But I am surprised that so far as I know there has not been a model created that integrates the climate forecasts of temperature, precipitation (including seasonal variations), and carbon dioxide levels to expected changes in the C3/C4 ratio for each geographical area. I think it is feasible to create such a model and then calibrate it with the historical record of what has grown where at different points in time with different values of the key parameters. This would provide estimates of crop yields and water requirements.

I hope that  no one concludes that I am being critical of the IPCC WGII effort as I am not. Their work is based on a large number of studies and they have done a reasonable job of abstracting from those studies and reporting on them in their report. The problem appears to be that the variation in study results so far has made it impossible to create a global picture of impacts. This is not the fault of the authors of the WGII Draft Report. It is the nature of the problem that crop yields are vary specific to location, crops and varieties/cultivars  of the crop (farmers know what they are doing) and many other variables. So it is very difficult to develop a global model and yet that is what is needed.  I have purposely avoided reading the WGII Summary for Policy Makers but I am curious if they have acknowledged that they have no idea about how Climate Change impacts food security other than adaptation will be necessary. Farmers have adapted to climate variations from time immemorial.  It is what farmers do.

Looking just at the table below, on balance it would seem like a climate change is going to be a wash relative to food security and easily adapted to by advances in agricultural technology. We we also have the factor of population increases so climate change ends up being more about population increase than temperature increases when it comes to food security. Here is an interesting quote from the WG2 final accepted Draft Report 7.2.2

"Food production is an important aspect of food security (7.1), and the evidence that climate change has affected food production implies some effect on food security. Yet quantifying this effect is an extremely difficult task, requiring assumptions about the many non-climate factors that interact with climate to determine food security. There is thus limited direct evidence that unambiguously links climate change to impacts on food security."

Box 7-1 Table:  Projected Impacts for Crops and Livestock in Global Regions and Sub-Regions under Future Scenarios

Crop yield impacts in () correspond to () in the scenario column. - CO2, without CO2 effects; + CO2, with CO2 effects; I, irrigated; R, rainfed. In Europe: Atl., Atlantic; Cont., continental; Med., Mediterranean. pp, precipitation. N, north; E, east; W, west; S, south; C, central.

Regional Impacts on Crops

Region

Subregion

Yield Impacts (%)

Scenario

Reference

World

Maize: up to -4 (-12) Rice: -9.5(-12) Wheat -10 (-13)

CSIRO(MIROC)

Nelson et al,

2050

2010

East Asia

China

Rice: -19 (+3.5); -32(+2.5);-40(+0.18)

+1ºC; +2ºC;+3ºC

Chapter 24

Maize: -22(-11) ;-28 (-18) ; -34(-26)

- CO2(+CO2)

Eastern China

Rice: −10 to +3 (+7.5 to +17.5)/ −26.7 to +2 (0 to

2030/2050/2080

Tao et al

+25)/ −39 to −6 (−10 to + 25)

- CO2 (+CO2)

2013

China (3H

Wheat-maize: +4.5±14.8/ -5.8 ±25.8

+2ºC / +5ºC,

Chapter 24

Plain)

North China

IWheat : -0.9 (+23) RWheat : -1.9 (+28)

2085-00 -CO2

Yang et al

Plain

(+CO2)

2013

China

IRice : -14.8 (-3.3) RRice: -15.2 (-4.1)

2021-2050 -CO2

Chapter 24

YangtzeRiver

(+CO2)

South

South Asia

Maize: -16 ; Sorghum: -11

2050

Knox et al,

Asia

2012

South Asia

Net cereal production -4 to -10

+2ºC

Lal (2010)

India

Sorghum winter: up to -7; -11; -32

A2 2020, 2050, 2080

Chapter 24

India

IRice: -4,-7,-10 RRice: -6, -2.5; -2.5

2020,2050,2080

Kumar et al

+CO2

2013

India NE

IRice -10/+5RRice:-35/+5Maize:up to -40Wheat:up

2030 +CO2

Kumar et al

to-20

2011

India Coastal

IRice -10/+5RRice:-20/+15IMz:-50/-15RMz:-35/+10

India W.Ghats

IRice:-11/+5RRice:-35/+35Maize,Sorghum up to -50

India

Monsoon Maize-21 to 0;-35 to 0 ;-35 to 0

2020;2050;2080 A2

Byjesh et al

Winter Maize -13 to +5 ; -50 to +5 ; -60 to -21

2010

Pakistan

Wheat: -7 / -24 (Swat), +14 / +23 (Chitral)

+1.5ºC / +3°C

Chapter24

Pakistan

Wheat: -6/-8 Rice: -16/-19

B2/A2 2080

Chapter24

West

Jordan

Barley -8/+5 Wheat: -20/ +18

-20% pp/ +20% pp

Chapter24

 

Asia

(Yarmouk)

 

Africa

All regions

Wheat -17 Maize -5 Sorghum -15 Millet -10

2050

Knox et al,

 

2012

 

All regions

Maize: -24 ± 19

2090

+5ºC

Thornton et

 

al 2009

 

East Africa

Maize: -3 to +15 ; -8.6 to +17.8

2030;2050

Thornton et

 

Beans: -1.5 to +21.8; -18.1 to +23.7

al 2010

 

Sahel

Millet -20/-40

+2ºC/+3ºC

Ben

 

Mohamed

 

2011

 

Central

Brazil (NE)

Maize: 0 to -10, Wheat: -1 to -14, Rice : -1 to -10

2030

Chapter27

 

& South

Brazil (South)

Maize: -15 Bean: +45

2080

+ CO2

Chapter27

 

America

Paraguay

Wheat: +4/-9/-13 (-1/+1/-5) Maize +3/+1/+6

2020/2050/2080;

Chapter 27

 

(+3/+3/+8) Soybean: 0/10/-15 (0/-15/-2)

A2 (B2)

 

Central

Wheat -1 to -9 Rice: 0 to -10

2030

Chapter27

 

America

 

Maize: 0/0/-10/-30 Bean: -4/-19/-29/-87 Rice: +3/-3/-

2030/2050/2070/210

Chapter27

 

14/-63

0

 

Panama

Maize: -0.5/+2.4/+4.5 (-0.1/-0.8/+1.5)

2020/2050/2080

Chapter27

 

A2 (B1) + CO2

 

Andean region

Wheat: -14/ +2 Barley: -1 / -8 Potato: 0/ -5 Maize: 0

2030

Chapter27

 

/ -14

 

Chile

Maize: -5% to -10% Wheat: -10% to -20%

2050

A1F1 + CO2

Chapter27

 

Argentina

Wheat: -16/-11 (+3/+3) Maize: -24/-15 (+1/0)

2080

A2/B2

Chapter27

 

Soybean: -25/-14 (+14/+19)

- CO2 (+CO2)

 

North

US Midwest

Maize: -2.5 (-1.5) Soy: +1.7 (+9.1)

+0.8ºC (+CO2)

Hatfield et al

 

America

US SE

Maize: -2.5 (-1.5) Soy: -4.4 (+2.4)

2011

 

US Gt Plains

Wheat: -4.4 (+2.4)

 

US NW

Winter Wheat: +20/+30, Spring Wheat:+7/+3

2040/2080 +CO2

Stockle et al

 

2010

 

Canadian

Small grains: -48 to + 18 Oilseeds: -50 to +25

+1ºC, +2ºC,+20%

Kulsh-

 

Prairies

pp, -20% pp

restha 2011

 

Europe

Boreal

+34 to +54/+20 to +23/-5 to +22

2080

A2 B2

Iglesias et al

 

/Alpine/AtlN

HadCM3/

2012

 

Atl C/Atl

+5 to +19/-26 to -7/-8 to +4

HIRHAM

 

S/ContN

ECHAM4/RCA3

 

ContS/Med

+11 to +33/0 to -22/+5 to -27

 

N/MedS

 

Austra-

South

Wheat: -15/-12

Low/High PAWC

Luo et al,

 

lia

2080

+CO2

2009

 

South-East

Wheat: -29 (-25)

2080

(+CO2)

Anwar et al,

 

2007

 

 

Click here for the latest data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and other sources on the Econintersect Weather and Climate page.


 









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