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Climate change has slashed global food productivity by more than 20% in the past 60 years, study claims

April 3, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

 

h/t Patsy Lacey

 

Today’s junk science!

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The drastic and unexpected shifts associated with climate change make it harder for harmers to plan productive strategies to yield the most successful harvest.

Topical regions like Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa have been hit the worst, with agricultural growth a third of what it could be.

Chambers and Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, an economist at Cornell University, created a model to calculate productivity both as it is now and where it would be if weather patterns had stayed where they were decades ago.

They found a 21 percent reduction in global agricultural productivity since 1961, the equivalent of losing the last seven years of growth.

Warmer regions like Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced slows in crop productivity of between 26 percent and 34 percent, the study determined. The US only saw declines in growth of approximately 5 percent to 15 percent

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9430753/Climate-change-slashed-global-food-productivity-20-past-60-years-study-reveals.html#comments

 

The comments section reveals how unimpressed readers are with this pitiful article.

The study, as is normally the case with climate junk science, does not use any real world data, it is all based around a computer model, which naturally depends on what assumptions you factor in.

It goes without saying that actual crop yields have rocketed since 1970. However it is useful to compare global cereal yields with those of South America, which the study claims has been badly affected. Whereas global yields have risen by 203% since 1961, South America’s have gone up by 286%. The latter’s rate of increase since 1990 has been even more marked.

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http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#compare

 

There are all sorts of reasons for increasing yields, and it is simply impossible to single out one solitary factor. But what we do know for certain is that world leaders in the 1970s were extremely concerned about the impact on food production caused by the onset of global cooling after the war:

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ftp://ftp.library.noaa.gov/docs.lib/htdocs/rescue/journals/noaa/QC851U461974oct.pdf 

 

Nobody in their right mind would want to return to those days.

39 Comments
  1. April 3, 2021 11:31 am

    Remember that the Daily Wail is now owned by the Mirror Group and an ardent leftie so he has to push leftie ideological mantras. Who cares what real data shows when you can quote from moggles….

    • Ian Magness permalink
      April 3, 2021 11:42 am

      Pardon me – I think you are referring to the Daily Express. Of course, the formerly sceptic Mail is trying to catch up with the Getsworse’s wokery, but it isn’t quite there yet.

  2. Peter F Gill permalink
    April 3, 2021 11:39 am

    Good story, although the reverse is true in spades. Someone once said something along the lines “tell a big lie and repeat it often and people will believe it.”

  3. April 3, 2021 12:02 pm

    So the greening which is occurring due to the restoration of higher CO2 levels following the last glaciation is a bad thing? Only to those elitists who want to keep people in a constant state of poverty and famine in order to feel good about themselves when they “care.”

    • dave permalink
      April 5, 2021 10:12 am

      Joan is noticing the internal contradiction in the sermon. There is obviously an assumption that any climate change is caused by the increase of CO2. Therefore the other effects of CO2 would also have to be taken into account. You would have to say something along the lines of:

      “Extra CO2 has caused a reduction of crop yields through changing weather patterns and an increase of crop yields through a ‘fertilizing’ effect.”

      As nannies used to say, children who want to have their cake and eat it, will see it given to the cat!

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 3, 2021 12:10 pm

    My mathematical model, from yesterday morning, shows that models are more accurate than reality 97% of the time. Ignore reality, you know that it makes sense!

  5. devonblueboy permalink
    April 3, 2021 12:15 pm

    This work is bound to be right, it’s based on a model. GIGO is its name

    • dave permalink
      April 3, 2021 1:26 pm

      Academics rarely understand the ESSENCE of the free-market solution, which is to embrace the knowledge that, IF INDIVIDUALLY FREE, we can ALWAYS COLLECTIVELY ADAPT to whatever life throws at us. In other words, the “hidden hand” that Adam Smith talked about is always there; and usually working to ameliorate conditions. I can worry about my problems as, say, a banker in Lyon, and you can worry about your problems as, say, a farmer in Peru. We don’t have to worry about each other’s problems! That is the beauty of the system. It almost eliminates “generalised angst.”

      In a go-ahead world, you can never make a special counter-factual argument That is because neither you nor your computer can even begin to imagine the individual ways in which billions of people would have actually behaved, when stimulated in different ways.

  6. cookers52 permalink
    April 3, 2021 12:40 pm

    The UK abandoned nearly all crop research in 2007.

    All the centres were closed.

  7. Broadlands permalink
    April 3, 2021 12:40 pm

    To what extent will this situation get worse if the Greens keep on demanding more solar panel farms, wind turbine farms and biofuel ethanol farms? Is that the solution to this “crisis” within their climate emergency?

  8. Is it just me? permalink
    April 3, 2021 1:03 pm

    Quality data is the vital life-blood of any decision making and planning. One of the major reasons I wouldn’t wipe a baboon’s bottom with the pages of the Daily Fail. RT isn’t perfect as a source of journalism – but it’s about 10 000% better these days than just about any of our pathetic, ‘groupthink sunk’ UK media institutions & their corrupt benefactors, influencers and sponsors.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      April 3, 2021 10:11 pm

      I guess another reason is that the baboon would object to such low quality paper.

      Baboons are more intelligent than the likes of Global Warming propagandists. Have you ever met a baboon waffling about that?

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        April 3, 2021 10:35 pm

        Hi Graeme III: It may be true or not but I heard that Michael Mann turned down a debate with a baboon about the existence or otherwise of the Medieval Warm Period.

  9. Gamecock permalink
    April 3, 2021 1:11 pm

    ‘The global population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050’

    Uhh . . . if there isn’t food for 10 billion, there won’t be 10 billion. H/T George Carlin

    Their contention is that the great rise in food production could have been EVEN 20% HIGHER!

    ‘created a model to calculate productivity both as it is now and where it would be if weather patterns had stayed where they were decades ago’

    Nature Climate Change believes you did. Chumps. Or activists.

    “The left doesn’t have a ‘concept’ of the news, just ‘opportunities’ to push agendas” – Victor Davis Hanson

    NCC’s review of the study didn’t consider truth, it considered utility.

  10. bluecat57 permalink
    April 3, 2021 1:17 pm

    The population has doubled since 1960.
    13% of world is obese. A much higher percent of adults.
    Common sense says Fake News.

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    April 3, 2021 1:20 pm

    This study is so bad you think it is an April Fool. Didn’t fool the readers though.

  12. Christopher Hall permalink
    April 3, 2021 1:28 pm

    Well if their model is as good as the climate change models then we can happily dismiss this so called research. I would far rather rely on statistics showing me how much better food productivity is, than a model telling me how much better it would have been without some insignificant rise in global temperature.

  13. April 3, 2021 2:24 pm

    Peter F Gill. Joseph Goebbels WW2 it was who quoted. ” “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” The key is the phrase “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie” Therefore sometime in the near future, the majority of the electorate will find out the economic truth, and the gigantic expense of all the drivel we are presented with, and vote with their refusal to pay……..

    • April 3, 2021 2:53 pm

      The Goebbels quote works just as well for the billions being wasted on the “Covid Crisis” and I’m not convinced that we can vote to refuse to pay; for either of the crises, as all politicians are in thrall to throwing taxpayers’ money away

    • Peter F Gill permalink
      April 3, 2021 5:00 pm

      Thanks for being frank.

    • Paul H permalink
      April 3, 2021 6:18 pm

      Sorry Frank, there isn’t a political choice to vote for in any of the current crises. A new party would be needed and that would take a minimum of ten years to attain enough recognition to be electorally successful. We’re goosed. Add in peoples apathy, you’ve surely spoken to friends, family, neighbours etc to conclude there is little to no interest or belief in the idea we have a problem. Even when it all goes t***s up, the general populace will just shrug and say oh well, who’d a thought it, and potter on.

  14. April 3, 2021 2:47 pm

    They feed us PR.. and PR is not reality.
    1979 Newspaper advert
    ‘oil is running out, we have to electrify the railways’

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ex8NGr4XIAEsBrx?format=jpg&name=small

    • April 3, 2021 2:52 pm

      sorry I need to remove the suffix
      cos wordpress only auto-renders, if the address end in jpg, gif, png etc.

  15. April 3, 2021 2:49 pm

    • Stonyground permalink
      April 3, 2021 5:12 pm

      So why have they still not done it then? I always thought that electrified railways made far more sense than electric cars. There we have proven technology that works. Providing the electricity was generated using nuclear power we would have the zero emission transport that the climate alarmists claim to want.

      • April 4, 2021 8:00 am

        Stoneyground,

        “Providing the electricity was generated using nuclear power we would have the zero emission transport that the climate alarmists claim to want.”

        And there seems to be little chance of that. Wind, with all it’s many drawbacks seems to be the flavour of the month. So don’t expect a CO2 free electrical generation system any time soon, if ever?

        Nuclear is simply not attractive to investors, even the seemingly sensible small modular reactors do not seem to be progressing?

  16. Gamecock permalink
    April 3, 2021 3:18 pm

    ‘if weather patterns had stayed where they were decades ago.

    They found a 21 percent reduction in global agricultural productivity since 1961’

    Wild speculation.

    The scope of this is mind boggling. Weather data for 60 years for the whole world. Crop production data for the whole world for 60 years. Estimation of crop production worldwide with different from actual weather conditions all over the world for 60 years. I assume their granularity is on the hemispheric level.

    BWTM: it is known that weather conditions today are better than 60 years ago. Slightly warmer, far less extreme events.

    ‘The drastic and unexpected shifts associated with climate change make it harder for harmers to plan productive strategies to yield the most successful harvest.’

    It simply hasn’t happened. This is one of those “given climate change” studies. “Climate change” assumed, ipso facto . . . .

    I.e., not only has the productivity loss not happened, the climate change (sic) hasn’t either.

  17. It doesn't add up... permalink
    April 3, 2021 4:54 pm

    On further reflection, I think the choices are

    a) April Fool
    b) Article released to assess public gullibility and scope for imposition of green totalitarianism
    c) A tacit admission that global warming has been beneficial for food production
    d) The usual alarmist nonsense to secure grant funding

  18. Gary Kerkin permalink
    April 3, 2021 10:23 pm

    The drastic and unexpected shifts associated with climate change make it harder for harmers to plan productive strategies to yield the most successful harvest.

    Freudian?

  19. dogdaisy2 permalink
    April 4, 2021 12:23 am

    I have tried to raise some concerns by emailing the authors asking for clarification:- …..

    I am concerned that there may be a significant error/oversight in this paper. The authors may have failed to take into account the radical increase in yields per hectare since the 1960s. To produce the total annual yield of the 1960s would require 70% less agricultural land today. Using the same area of land today would produce 3 times the total mass of crops produced in the 1960s. Yields per hectare have been spiralling upwards since then thanks largely to radical improvements in machinery, farming practices, fertilisers, pesticides, less frost damage due to moderately warmer nights along with extended growing seasons, enhanced fertilisation from slightly elevated atmospheric CO2 which also reduces irrigation demands. Hence the numbers suffering hunger and starvation have plummeted worldwide over recent decades. The findings of the authors seem to be completely at odds with the official data with respect to the continuing reduction in the area of agricultural land accompanied by a continuing rise in annual yields due to the widely recognised rise in yields per hectare. If my concerns are valid the authors may have caused unnecessary anxiety in the young and vulnerable which would be difficult to redress. Kind regards. John Harrison

  20. April 4, 2021 8:07 am

    I wrote a letter to one of the national newspapers contradicting their article on a matter.
    Amongst the reply was the phrase, ‘it is the writer’s opinion’, which is telling.
    So no matter if an article is misleading or simply wrong, it is published but the general public do not know that and take it as fact.
    Certainly on energy, there is so much rubbish published in the media that it is no wonder the government can push ahead with their unworkable plans. The public do not know the real facts.

  21. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 4, 2021 9:22 am

    Clearly food production has gone up as there are far more people and far fewer hungry. We are feeding the world better. So we would almost certainly not be “growing more” because we do not need to grow more in most areas. What we might be doing is using less land for agriculture but frankly so what?

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 5, 2021 10:15 pm

      Excellent point, P44. The alleged capability is moot.

  22. Steve Budd permalink
    April 6, 2021 1:24 pm

    If the food production had dropped by 20% then why has the population increased. The news media is full of lies, they do not tell truth truth because it does not make a good headline that stands out on the front cover

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