It's been a long haul, but my coauthor Wolfram Schlenker and I have finally published our article with the title of this blog post in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . We've been told that it would show up on the early-edition website this week. It hasn't shown up there yet so I guess it will come out tomorrow [Friday 8/28], probably late afternoon EST. UPDATE: You can find the article here . We set out to develop a better statistical model linking weather and U.S. crop yields for corn, soybeans and cotton, the largest three crops in the U.S. in production value. Our major new finding is that (by far) the best predictor of yield is a measure of extreme heat: how much temperatures exceed about 29C (84F) during the growing season. The threshold varies somewhat by crop--29C is the threshold for corn. Below this threshold, warmer temperatures are more beneficial for yields, but the damaging effects of temperatures much above 29C are staggeringly large. A
The other day Marshall and Sol took on Bjorn Lomborg for ignoring the benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed. But Bjorn, among others, is also notorious for exaggerating costs. That fact is that most serious estimates of reducing emissions are fairly low, and there is good reason to believe cost estimates are too high for the simple fact that analysts cannot measure or imagine all ways we might curb emissions. Anything analysts cannot model translates into cost exaggeration. Hawai`i is a good case in point. Since moving to Hawai`i I've started digging into energy, in large part because the situation in Hawai`i is so interesting. Here we make electricity mainly from oil, which is super expensive. We are also rich in sun and wind. Add these facts to Federal and state subsidies and it spells a remarkable energy revolution. Actually, renewables are now cost effective even without subsidies. In the video below Matthias Fripp, who I'm lucky to be working w
Matt has taken the bait and asked me a five good questions about my snarky, contrarian post on climate adaptation. Here are his questions and my answers. Question 1. This paper will be published soon by the JPE. Costinot, Arnaud, Dave Donaldson, and Cory B. Smith. Evolving comparative advantage and the impact of climate change in agricultural markets: Evidence from 1.7 million fields around the world. No. w20079. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014. http://www10.iadb.org/intal/intalcdi/PE/2014/14183.pdf It strongly suggests that adaptation will play a key role protecting us. Which parts of their argument do you reject and why? Answer: This looks like a solid paper, much more serious than the average paper I get to review, and I have not yet studied it. I’m slow, so it would take me awhile to unpack all the details and study the data and model. Although, from a quick look, I think there are a couple points I can make right now. First, and mo
high mins outumber new highs 3 to 1:ReplyDelete
I found this by Stu Ostro, "The ridge, heat, humidity, drought, and Dust Bowl"ReplyDelete
to be a good description of what is happening in U.S. weather right now.
As the writer states, comparing our current heat wave to heat in the 1930s, and given the context of climate change:
"What happened in the 1930s and other decades reinforces that there have always been extremes in weather, and there is always natural variability at play. What's changing now is the nature of those extremes, and also what's important is the context."
"This time, the extreme drought, heat, and wildfires are occurring along with U.S. extremes this year in rainfall, snowfall, flooding, and tornadoes, and many other stunning temperature and precipitation extremes elsewhere in the world in recent years as well as, as I posted on my TWC Facebook "fan" page, record-shattering 500 millibar heights in high latitudes. And all of this is happening while there's an alarming drop in the amount of Arctic sea ice."
The nature and context of the extremes is the difference between the 1930s and now.
The other item I found of interest is that as extreme weather events become more common, we are putting ever higher demands on energy consumption:ReplyDelete
As heat index soars, so does record-setting power demand, Vivian Kuo, CNN
"...demand surged to its highest point ever in history Wednesday, peaking at 103,975 megawatts and surpassing the last record set on July 31, 2006. Previously in May, the agency said it expected peak demand for the summer to reach 93,842 megawatts, a projected 1.3% increase over 2010."