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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LIVE Cam of all the people skiing on Sugar Mountain, North Carolina today. A lot of people up there today.

Link
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I want to go to Hogwarts.



same here
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114709
Quoting Patrap:



He has.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
And you need new specs.

heheheheh

Oh. Hi Presslord.
Didnt see you there, somehow.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Quoting presslord:


that dude in the back of the truck would make a fine lookin' woman



He has.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting CybrTeddy:
So when are temperatures really going to get cold in Florida? Any sub-45 degree temperatures in the forthcoming that anyone can see? Honestly, it has been way to hot this winter even for Florida. I was sweating outside, sweating in December!


Not here in West Palm Beach :(

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10971
Quoting Patrap:
...He has "done dat" a whole lot more for Hundreds, if not thousands.


Looking back to 3 plus years ago, we all have a reflective time to remember and I was and still am grateful to Presslord for allowing us to Partner together and make a difference.

Its been a Wunderful experience.

Portlight Wunderblog







that dude in the back of the truck would make a fine lookin' woman
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
...He has "done dat" a whole lot more for Hundreds, if not thousands.


Looking back to 3 plus years ago, we all have a reflective time to remember and I was and still am grateful to Presslord for allowing us to Partner together and make a difference.

Its been a Wunderful experience.

Portlight Wunderblog






True!
'Nuff Respect !
And I hope he has an idle 2012 with no need to respond to any disaster anywhere.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
So when are temperatures really going to get cold in Florida? Any sub-45 degree temperatures in the forthcoming that anyone can see? Honestly, it has been way to hot this winter even for Florida. I was sweating outside, sweating in December!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
Quoting Patrap:
.."anyone can see the road that they walk on is paved in Gold"...

Fastball


..In a coffee house Sebastian sat.....
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
...He has "done dat" a whole lot more for Hundreds, if not thousands.


Looking back to 3 plus years ago, we all have a reflective time to remember and I was and still am grateful to Presslord for allowing us to Partner together and make a difference.

Its been a Wunderful experience.

Portlight Wunderblog





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting presslord:


Been there!

Yeah. But did you "done that" ??
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019

"Patrick's got a Quick Hand,
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan.
He's got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he's a cowboy kid.
Yeah, he found a six shooter gun.
In his dad's closet hidden with a box of fun things, and I don't even know what.
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Patrap:
Lotsa Palms here..there's a Huge one on Magazine Street.

Here's the ones in Jackson Square. A Different Species.






Been there!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.."anyone can see the road that they walk on is paved in Gold"...

Fastball
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
I want to go to Hogwarts.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430
Very Interesting approach Dr. Master, since the correlation between insects and climate is so close, plus the effect it would have in the agriculture. It will also be extremely important to know the effects climate changes will bring to the flora,fauna, insects and microbiology; including new bacterias, virus that might develop under this new weather conditions and how it would affect humans.
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 814
A little "Seasonal Music".
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, in advance...

Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Lotsa Palms here..there's a Huge one on Magazine Street.

Here's the ones in Jackson Square. A Different Species.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Grothar:


I thought a Giorni was an Italian pastry.


I thought it was a frozen pizza.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
165 mph Winds recorded? Link

Scotland Shut Down By Icy 165mph Blasts

10:00pm UK, Thursday December 08, 2011
A fierce storm with winds of up to 165mph has battered northern parts of Britain, with people warned to stay indoors, schools forced to close and flights and rail links cancelled.

This type of systems should be name since they have a similar wind destruction as hurricanes....it will be more easy to classify and remember by the general public.
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 814
Quoting Cotillion:
According to the GFS, the next windstorm may be the lowest pressured storm in the Atlantic of the entire year (matching and may even surpass Hurricane Ophelia)



940mb.


Dayum! They just keep coming.
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Quoting Patrap:
..."pastry", "day", "Marmalade", dem Norde's have 9 names for everything me tinks.

: )


We like our pastries. I read back and saw a discussion about palm trees in Great Britain. I am surprised people didn't know about them. The Southern Coast of England has a lot of them. Guess not to many people have been to Bristol. I did see a few in Ireland. I tried planting one on the coast of Norway many years ago, but it ended up looking like a popsicle.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, pott. Have you dried out yet from all the rain?

Nop !
Sporadic heavy stuff interspersed with continual dribbles.
"Boggy" comes to mind....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
If you missed the Lunar Eclipse, watch it again here(in time-lapse).
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Quoting pottery:

Greetings, Dear Fellow.


Hey, pott. Have you dried out yet from all the rain?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
..."pastry", "day", "Marmalade", dem Norde's have 9 names for everything me tinks.

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Grothar:


I thought a Giorni was an Italian pastry.

Greetings, Dear Fellow.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Quoting Patrap:
There are now 376 Giorni days until the 2012 Winter Solstice.

Enjoy your Saturday


I thought a Giorni was an Italian pastry.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
There are now 376 Giorni days until the 2012 Winter Solstice.

Enjoy your Saturday
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
According to the GFS, the next windstorm may be the lowest pressured storm in the Atlantic of the entire year (matching and may even surpass Hurricane Ophelia)



940mb.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Is a clown invited?

Well...Class clown...
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2293
Quoting Cotillion:
Yep, 'windstorm season' in full swing. Next one will be affecting England it seems, judging from the current synoptic charts, maybe a sub-950mb storm.

Guess we'll see closer to the time (supposedly around Mon/Tue).

And when it comes to storms and whisky - I think even if the four horsemen themselves came down, whisky would still be made. ;)

Congrats on the 2,000th blog, Doc.

As it should be.....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Something interesting:

Research flights into storms

Not sure if this is something new for the UKMET to do, but reminds you of the HHs or the G-IVs.
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Yep, 'windstorm season' in full swing. Next one will be affecting England it seems, judging from the current synoptic charts, maybe a sub-950mb storm.

Guess we'll see closer to the time (supposedly around Mon/Tue).

And when it comes to storms and whisky - I think even if the four horsemen themselves came down, whisky would still be made. ;)

Congrats on the 2,000th blog, Doc.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
The flooding in Venezuela is still looking pretty extreme this morning.

Newfoundland is having trouble getting power restored since more bad weather moved in.




Thanks! Been looking forward to these pics for a week:)


Here ya go, sone from my FB Album





Link
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Quoting pottery:
Incredible weather in Northern UK too.
Hope it has not damaged any of those Scottish Distilleries..... :):))

wind gust of 165mph recorded in the highlands. 60-90mph at lower levels. 958mb low, and going by the gfs and other models, they could have another 2 or 3 of these in the next week or two.
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Incredible weather in Northern UK too.
Hope it has not damaged any of those Scottish Distilleries..... :):))
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24019
Quoting Skyepony:
The flooding in Venezuela is still looking pretty extreme this morning.

Newfoundland is having trouble getting power restored since more bad weather moved in.




Thanks! Been looking forward to these pics for a week:)

Venezuela, Columbia and Northern Brazil.
All under Heavy Manners from very heavy rains recently.
Hundreds of thousands are in shelters and several deaths.
Recent heavy rain in Trinidad has also caused flooding and landslides.
Thunder rumbling close by right now again. Everything is saturated....
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Is a clown invited?


I'll come. I love kids.

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80. Skyepony (Mod)
The flooding in Venezuela is still looking pretty extreme this morning.

Newfoundland is having trouble getting power restored since more bad weather moved in.


Quoting AussieStorm:

I have a few photo's, will try to take more, my camera is charging.


Thanks! Been looking forward to these pics for a week:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
79. Skyepony (Mod)
Problems at another one of Japan's nuclear power plants..

Radioactive water leaked inside a nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan but did not escape into the environment, the government said Saturday. The leak Friday at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai plant occurred as Japan attempts to stabilize a tsunami-hit nuclear plant on its northeastern coast where three reactor cores melted and large amounts of radiation were released into the air and ocean. Tetsuya Saito, spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said 1.8 tons of radioactive water leaked from a pump in Genkai's No. 3 reactor, and the cause was still under investigation. The water was funneled into a storage area and posed no safety risk, he said. Kyushu Electric issued a statement Friday about a pump problem but did not mention the leak. Officials at the utility were not immediately available for comment Saturday. "There have been various problems at Genkai," Saito said. "But there is no safety problem as a result of what happened this time." He said it was up to Kyushu Electric to determine whether to announce the leak. Genkai Mayor Hideo Kishimoto complained that the utility has not been fully open with information. "The local government needs to know," Kyodo News agency quoted him as saying. "I have repeatedly demanded the utility change its ways."
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Quoting Skyepony:
Our beloved "WunderMoonies" didn't disappoint. For those too east or shrouded in clouds check out the WunderPhotos. Here is one from Turbguy. Great shot!

The moon slips into totality as the sun rises in the the Laramie Valley, as the moon sets over the Snowy Range.

I have a few photo's, will try to take more, my camera is charging.
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Quoting Articuno:
My birthday is in 2 days! :D I am having a b-day party

Is a clown invited?
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8.5 inches of rain to my east...
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75. Skyepony (Mod)
Our beloved "WunderMoonies" didn't disappoint. For those too east or shrouded in clouds check out the WunderPhotos. Here is one from Turbguy. Great shot!

The moon slips into totality as the sun rises in the the Laramie Valley, as the moon sets over the Snowy Range.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

938 am AST Sat Dec 10 2011

The National Weather Service in San Juan has issued a

* Flood Warning for...
Vega Alta municipality...
Vega Baja municipality...

* until 330 PM AST Saturday

* at 927 am AST... USGS river sensor on the Rio cibuco at Vega Baja
indicates that the river is slowly cresting. However... due to the
elevated river level... combined with the potential for additional
rainfall... the Flash Flood Warning has been upgraded to a Flood
Warning for the cibuco river and its tributaries. Additionally...
mudslides are possible in areas of steep terrain. Motorists should
exercise caution.


Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the
roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross
safely. Move to higher ground.

A Flood Warning means flooding is occurring or is imminent. Most
flood related deaths occur in automobiles. Do not attempt to cross
water covered bridges... dips... or low water crossings. Never try to
cross a flowing stream... even a small one... on foot. To escape rising
water move up to higher ground.


Lat... Lon 1848 6641 1849 6635 1839 6632 1837 6637


Oms
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My birthday is in 2 days! :D I am having a b-day party
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Quoting SunriseSteeda:
How odd... it is 3am on December 10th, and I have been awakened by a... thunderstorm!

Well, I was hoping the cloudy skies would clear here in Sydney so I could see the Lunar Eclipse but they haven't so no eclipse for me :(
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About

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