Climate Change Threatens Agriculture in US Midwest, Africa, South America…

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Feb 2, 2015

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US is unusually cold while much of the waters surrounding it are unusually warm, which adds even more moisture (read snow) to US blizzards: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

Human Repercussions:

OO Food Diversity Under Siege From Global Warming, UN Says

2015-02-02-wheatfieldwikimediacommons.jpg
Amber Waves No More? A new report indicates that US Midwest agriculture will suffer dramatically under continuing climate change. Wikimedia Commons

OO The Midwest’s Climate Future: Missouri looks like Arizona, Chicago like Texas says a new report by the Risky Business Project funded by Michael Bloomberg and other major businessmen.

Related Headlines:

OO Study: Climate Change Could Hammer Iowa Ag, Manufacturing

OO Climate Change Could Dramatically Impact Midwest Agriculture

2015-02-02-PerupotatoesimperiledbyclimatechangeMilagrosSalazarIPSccr256.jpg
Milagros Salazar IPS

OO Climate Change Threatens Staple Potato Crop In High Andes

OO Tanzania: Changing Weather Patterns Affect Farmers’ Schedules

OO Brazil’s Most Populous Region Facing Worst Drought In 80 Years

Califronia Dryin’:

2015-02-02-droughtsigncentralvalleysourcebakersfieldcalifornian.jpg
January 2015 was the driest January on record in California – and it is supposed to be the wettest month of the year. Source: Bakersfield Californian

OO After December Rains, California Comes Up Dry

2015-02-02-sequoiasparks.ca.govccr262.png

Sequoias and other giant trees have been mostly cut down by humans in California, and worsening climate. Source: 150.parks.ca.gov

OO California’s Forests: Where Have All The Big Trees Gone? California has lost half its big trees since the 1930s.

Related Headlines:

OO Things Are Not Looking Good For California’s Big Trees – an understatement: this study is another sign of the “shrubbification” of western forests.

OO California Forests Are Changing – warning of what can be expected elsewhere.

2015-02-02-deadjunipersiStockphoto.comccr262.jpg
Even hardy desert juniper trees died off massively in 2013 when the vapor pressure deficit was unusually high.

The US Southwest’s Most Important Measure:
VPD, Vapor Pressure Deficit
– think of it as a measure of a hyper drought: dryness combined with higher heat creates skies drier than land.

Drier skies “suck” water from land and trees, drying them further and drastically stressing plants, “to catalyze a cascade of environmental effects” such as the 2011 southwest wildfires that occurred under unusually high VPD conditions, reports Avery McGaha at Ensia.

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YOU CAN ACT

2015-02-02-kidsagainstclimatechangecredMaryEllenHarteSF2011or12.jpg

March for REAL Climate Leadership, February 7, 2015
Thousands of people from all corners of the state will take to the streets of Oakland to call on Governor Jerry Brown to protect all Californians from dangerous oil activities that harm our water, our health and our communities. You can join here.

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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