Watch out for the bugs

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:56 AM GMT on December 10, 2011

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I'm wrapping up my stay in San Francisco for the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world's largest gathering of Earth Scientists. Over eighteen thousand scientists from all over the world, including most of the world's top climate scientists, were in town this week to exchange ideas to advance the cause of Earth Science. It's been a great opportunity to learn about climate change topics I don't know much about, and I attended a fascinating (and somewhat unnerving) lecture on how global warming is expected to affect insects, titled "The Impact of Global Warming on global crop yields due to changes in pest pressure". Global warming is expected to bring a variety of impacts to agriculture, both positive and negative. Extra CO2 in the atmosphere will tend to increase crop yields, but crop losses due to insect pests are expected to double by 2100, according to a insect pest/crop model designed by David Battisti of the University of Washington. These losses will occur in addition to the expected 35 - 40% decrease in crop yields due to higher temperatures by the end of the century.



When temperature increases, the metabolic rate of insects goes up, requiring that they eat more to survive. In the mid-latitudes, the predicted 2 - 4°C temperature increase by 2100 will require insects to eat double what they do now, in order to survive. The increase in temperature is also expected to enable insect populations to rise by 20%. However, insect populations will fall by 20% in the tropics, where insects have evolved to tolerate a much narrower range of temperatures. Let's look at the world's three most important crops: rice, wheat, and corn. In the four largest rice producing countries--China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand--Insects currently cause a loss of 10- 20% of the crop, and this is expected to double to 20 - 30% by 2100. These nations have 40% of the world's population, and make 60% of the world's rice. For corn, the world's four largest producers--the U.S., China, France, and Argentina--are expected to see insect pest losses double from 6% to 12%. The story is similar for wheat; pest losses are expected to double from 10% to 20% by 2100. The total increased damage to global agriculture is predicted to be $30 - $50 billion per year by 2100. This will likely contribute greatly to food costs and potential food shortages. The model made a number of simplifications that could greatly change this outcome, though. The model assumed that there would be no change to the number of insects that survive winter, and this number is likely to increase in a warmer climate. Precipitation was not changed to reflect what is expected to happen in a changed climate, and this will cause increases in crop yields in some areas, and decreases in others. Farmers are likely to change growing practices and utilize new pesticides to combat the expected increase in pests, and this was not considered, either. It is interesting to note that during the great natural global warming event of 55 million years ago--the Palecene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)--fossil records of plant leaves show greatly increased levels of damage from insects, supporting the idea that a warmer climate will drive an explosion in the insect population.

Jeff Masters

Locust Clouds over Paamul (cleo85)
A several miles wide swarm of Locus is moving from Cancun south-west ward over Yucatans Jungle.Paamul, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Locust Clouds over Paamul

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Quoting Grothar:


Lord help us all if you get your hands on one of those. If you are a good boy this year, I will teach you how to post animations.
I already know that I was good this year....Mum told me..:>
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Economics.. The domino effect: If the 4 biggest EU banks collapse, will that affect US banks?


Economics is like meteorology now that it's been globalized. The collapse of the Euro will likely mean a recession, which could plummet into a depression if enough things are toppled over. The US and China aren't in a good position to loose the Euro, and the loss of either the US or China means a recession and the collapse of the other, which could mean a global depression and the loss of consumer society for a few years (especially with most Western countries depending on imports rather than exports).

No doubt that this could cause the rise of extremism in a few countries, and the complete collapse of some other countries. We'll see, but I must admit the British sure aren't helping at all...then again the EU was never going to work in the first place.

Never forget that the Great Depression was a direct (or very close to direct) cause of WW2.
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Economics.. The domino effect: If the 4 biggest EU banks collapse, will that affect US banks?

Is The Eurozone Banking System About To Collapse?

Link

Over-leveraged U.S. banks? Top 4 have $235.05 Trillion in OTC Derivatives

The coming storm: According to the website Bankorrealestate.com, the four largest U.S. banks are in much worse shape than even their European counterparts. J.P Morgan Chase is believed to be carrying as much as $78 trillion dollars in derivative debt, Citibank is said to have $56 trillion, Bank of America is said to have $53 trillion and Goldman Sachs is believed to have $48 trillion. According to BOR%u2019s report, U.S. banks are over-leveraged by debt-to-asset ratio somewhere around the tune of 50:1. It might be worth mentioning that the GDP of the entire world for one year is only $100 trillion and the largest U.S. bank is almost carrying that much is debt exposure. Meaning banks have almost no real money in them, only IOU%u2019s and enough government-printed cash to keep the fiat pyramid scheme going for yet a little while longer until the whole system is so over-stressed with debt that it eventually crashes.

Link
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Quoting hydrus:
Yes, yes..I am much more computer savvy thanks to Gro...Now I want one of these ...


Lord help us all if you get your hands on one of those. If you are a good boy this year, I will teach you how to post animations.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


Bord was one of the first blogger who taught me how to paste an image. I then taught hydrus. So Bord is still on the blog in a way. He taught me a lot. I remember some of the pictures you posted last year of the Marktplatz.

Your brain is working well, Grothar. I made a Christmas postcard out of it (one of my professional duties), and people in my place fortunately like it. But I won't post the internet address of course.
I'm a bit distracted right now by surgery problems with my parents and, moreover, I like to follow the volcano stuff in Europe (Canaries and of course Iceland). Though in Iceland things are still quiet, the webcams are marvellous when weather is fine over there. Unfortunately the US people are still snoring during the few ours of daylight in Iceland right now. But if someone is awaken, try in the very early hours of your day
http://eldgos.mila.is/katla/
or the other choices of webcams on the left side.
Sleep well! Barbara

This is from the geysir cam some days ago (edited):

Link
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Quoting Grothar:


Bord was one of the first blogger who taught me how to paste an image. I then taught hydrus. So Bord is still on the blog in a way. He taught me a lot. I remember some of the pictures you posted last year of the Marktplatz.
Yes, yes..I am much more computer savvy thanks to Gro...Now I want one of these ...
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Quoting barbamz:

Sure. Bordo was some centuries younger than you (and me of course), wasn't he?
Yeah, weather is a bit stormy but nothing serious. And no snow in the plain land, and there probably won't be any till Christmas, I fear. So I'll have some problems to catch a foto of the r e a l German winterwonderland with snow, very old buildings, Christmas markets and so on this year to enchant the US bloggers, as I could do the last years- :-(
It's late now, I have to leave. But I'm looking forward to some nice conversation during the months of winter!


Bord was one of the first blogger who taught me how to paste an image. I then taught hydrus. So Bord is still on the blog in a way. He taught me a lot. I remember some of the pictures you posted last year of the Marktplatz.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, Barb! Terrible shame about Bord. We are all going to miss him.

You are all having some bad storms there I see.

Sure. Bordo was some centuries younger than you (and me of course), wasn't he?
Yeah, weather is a bit stormy but nothing serious. And no snow in the plain land, and there probably won't be any till Christmas, I fear. So I'll have some problems to catch a foto of the r e a l German winterwonderland with snow, very old buildings, Christmas markets and so on this year to enchant the US bloggers, as I could do the last years- :-(
It's late now, I have to leave. But I'm looking forward to some nice conversation during the months of winter!
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Quoting Grothar:


Hi, hydrus. Saw the blob you posted before.
Rather impressive looking really. If it persists, who knows....Invest?
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Quoting hydrus:
Hello Gro.


Hi, hydrus. Saw the blob you posted before.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting barbamz:

I'm really sorry to hear that (thanks Pat for posting this). One of the few persons I came in touch with in this blog. But's my fault of course, because I'm hesitating in posting and prefer lurking. May God be with our Bordo!
Sidewiew to Germany/Europe: A lot of storms, but not so severe in central Europe. Maybe more to come. At least it's not so dry and we are getting some rain. Drought has been a real problem in spring and again in autumn; rivers nearly fell dry. --- And, hey, Groth, nice to see you!!


Hey, Barb! Terrible shame about Bord. We are all going to miss him.

You are all having some bad storms there I see.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


Watching football, oops. I mean I am watching the weather channel. Interest weather going on.
Hello Gro.
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Quoting Patrap:
So sad, So sudden..

We will miss his wit and posts.

Bordonaro
16 July 1961 - December 2011


His arrangements are posted in my Blog..

..comment # 150



I'm really sorry to hear that (thanks Pat for posting this). One of the few persons I came in touch with in this blog. But's my fault of course, because I'm hesitating in posting and prefer lurking. May God be with our Bordo!
Sidewiew to Germany/Europe: A lot of storms, but not so severe in central Europe. Maybe more to come. At least it's not so dry and we are getting some rain. Drought has been a real problem in spring and again in autumn; rivers nearly fell dry. --- And, hey, Groth, nice to see you!!
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
How are you doing Grothar? Putting up some inside X-Mas decorations. Wreaths, Rudolph, the Bumble, etc.


Watching football, oops. I mean I am watching the weather channel. Interest weather going on.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
How are you doing Grothar? Putting up some inside X-Mas decorations. Wreaths, Rudolph, the Bumble, etc.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
San Diego, California:



Looks boring.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS keeps flip-flopping with regards to the rest of December. Last night it showed a very cold end of December with a lot of snow throughout the USA. But today, it has above average temperatures through the end of December across much of the Eastern USA.

The GFS has done horrible thus far, and the other models aren't doing so well either.
I thought some of the models did well predicting the position of the jet stream for the past 10 days or so, but the primary storm track has not changed much either.To me that is like predicting that the Sun will rise.
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San Diego, California:

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Healthy looking blob of convection in the S.W.Caribbean this evening..
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Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Minot, ND

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Wilmington, North Carolina:

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Quoting Grothar:
Fort Lauderdale



No cold weather in sight. Sigh.....
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Fort Lauderdale; notice that we are much warmer than West Palm Beach.

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
For West Palm Beach...

nice weather your having.
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For West Palm Beach...

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Hey folks.sorry to hear the news about one of the blotters passing.how is everyone?
Quoting washingtonian115:

Hey folks.sorry to hear the news about one of the blotters passing.how is everyone?
sorrry I'm using my kindle and not my regular computer.so some words may be screwed up.I meant blogger.
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Hey folks.sorry to hear the news about one of the blotters passing.how is everyone?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
236. But that's another question, this is a 2nd winter with a La Nina, how might that effect the SE US - any different from last winter?



yes not has wet in N CA has last winter was
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New blog Link
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting Levi32:
One of the coolest loops I've seen in a while

A person could learn a lot from staring at global animations like this for a little bit each day.
Thanks great link Levi.. SSEC also has a great selection of other wx online resources for anyone who doesn't already have it bookmarked... link
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I just want it to stop being in the 80s in December in Florida, any idea when we might finally see some real, long lasting cold weather? I have a general idea of the setup across the US and Canada, but I'm not the best at forecasting cold fronts, ect (strong point is tropical cyclones and severe weather)

Move North...you crackpot :) I like 80's!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
236. But that's another question, this is a 2nd winter with a La Nina, how might that effect the SE US - any different from last winter?


Well yes because although 1st-year La Ninas can be cold in the southeast, like last year was, the 2nd-year ones almost never are. Furthermore, never in known history (since the 1800s) have we had back to back La Nina winters that were cold in the eastern United States.
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236. But that's another question, this is a 2nd winter with a La Nina, how might that effect the SE US - any different from last winter?
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Quoting Levi32:
One of the coolest loops I've seen in a while

A person could learn a lot from staring at global animations like this for a little bit each day.


Looks like alaska is about to get hammered
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I just want it to stop being in the 80s in December in Florida, any idea when we might finally see some real, long lasting cold weather? I have a general idea of the setup across the US and Canada, but I'm not the best at forecasting cold fronts, ect (strong point is tropical cyclones and severe weather)


I've never done much winter forecasting myself except for locally here in Alaska. I've been doing a lot of posts recently about this winter for the U.S., simply because I'm curious as to why all the forecasts are for cold. The winter in general I think will be mild for Florida, more typical of a La Nina, so I doubt you'll see any truly long-lasting cold.
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Quoting Levi32:


What's worse is every forecast I have seen for December followed the models into a frigid month for the east, but they have all busted thus far. It puzzles me why everyone believed the GFS in the first place.


I just want it to stop being in the 80s in December in Florida, any idea when we might finally see some real, long lasting cold weather? I have a general idea of the setup across the US and Canada, but I'm not the best at forecasting cold fronts, ect (strong point is tropical cyclones and severe weather)
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One of the coolest loops I've seen in a while

A person could learn a lot from staring at global animations like this for a little bit each day.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS keeps flip-flopping with regards to the rest of December. Last night it showed a very cold end of December with a lot of snow throughout the USA. But today, it has above average temperatures through the end of December across much of the Eastern USA.

The GFS has done horrible thus far, and the other models aren't doing so well either.


What's worse is every forecast I have seen for December followed the models into a frigid month for the east, but they have all busted thus far. It puzzles me why everyone believed the GFS in the first place.
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The GFS keeps flip-flopping with regards to the rest of December. Last night it showed a very cold end of December with a lot of snow throughout the USA. But today, it has above average temperatures through the end of December across much of the Eastern USA.

The GFS has done horrible thus far, and the other models aren't doing so well either.
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Quoting pottery:

I think you will find appreciable movement of the Sahara southward in that timeframe though.
Along with drought in several countries of Central Africa.


Kind of, though the difference between those two decades looks like it was mostly due to the multidecadal cycle in Sahel rainfall, which was at a peak in the 1950s, but is only just now coming back up from drought.

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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Long range models are not always correct, so far the past 2 months have been nice and wet here in South Central Texas, no rain here in the past week and the Lakes are still in bad shape but if we get any rains next 2 weeks we should have some runoff finally? But this has been a wet La Nina the past 2 months and it has not been hot. Happy Holidays early to all.
I do not put much confidence in the long rang forecasts either. They do help me get an idea of what the main players will be a month or so down the road.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



thats the 3 mos outlook

here the 6-10 day out look wish has rainfall well above norml





and here is the 8 too 14 day out look wish all show rain fall well above norml for TX


That will not end the drought there. It will take more than two weeks of moderate rainfall(- if they even get it- ) to possibly end the drought as stated in post # 207..
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Long range models are not always correct, so far the past 2 months have been nice and wet here in South Central Texas, no rain here in the past week and the Lakes are still in bad shape but if we get any rains next 2 weeks we should have some runoff finally? But this has been a wet La Nina the past 2 months and it has not been hot. Happy Holidays early to all.
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I did not know Bordonaro personally, but read many of his valuable and educational posts on this forum. I am very sorry to read of his passing and my condolences to his family and friends.

It looks like the weather for Florida this "winter" will be much warmer and much drier than normal. I bet the airports here won't see below 32F over the next 3 months. As for rain, none of these showers have made it as far inland as Orlando so far today, though we have a 60% chance of rain.
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Quoting Levi32:


Wait a minute. 1 degree of warming above today's levels is projected to shift the Sahara Desert 15 degrees northward? Then where is my Saharan shift during the 0.8C of warming in the last 60 years?

Last decade minus the 1950s in Precipitable Water shows no shifting of the desert. Just food for thought.




I think you will find appreciable movement of the Sahara southward in that timeframe though.
Along with drought in several countries of Central Africa.
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Quoting Patrap:
So sad, So sudden..

We will miss his wit and posts.

Bordonaro
16 July 1961 - December 2011


His arrangements are posted in my Blog..

..comment # 150


Prayers and Best Wishes for his family, God Bless him.
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Quoting Levi32:


One word: School.


ah, hope your doing good. im homeschooled so it dont git in the way much with my internet browing lol. your tropical posts where much enjoyable
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting Levi32:


One word: School.

Me too!

lol, Hi Levi.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


hey Levi, where ya been lately? aint seen ya here in awhile...


One word: School.
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Quoting Levi32:


Wait a minute. 1 degree of warming above today's levels is projected to shift the Sahara Desert 15 degrees northward? Then where is my Saharan shift during the 0.8C of warming in the last 60 years?

Last decade minus the 1950s in Precipitable Water shows no shifting of the desert. Just food for thought.





hey Levi, where ya been lately? aint seen ya here in awhile...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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