One more reason to fear global warming

Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices:

In the last few years, coffee yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America’s other premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming…

In 2006, Colombia produced more than 12 million 132-pound bags of coffee, and set a goal of 17 million for 2014. Last year the yield was nine million bags…

Yet as stockpiles of some of the best coffee beans shrink, global demand is soaring as the rising middle classes of emerging economies like Brazil, India and China develop the coffee habit.

House Republican Science Agenda

Oh boy:

Issa’s priorities are, to an astonishing degree, representative of the new Republican House majority. Last year, when John Boehner, of Ohio, the incoming House Speaker, was asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about his party’s plans to address climate change, he had this to say: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen, that it is harmful to our environment, is almost comical.” John Shimkus, of Illinois, is one of four members now vying for the chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. At a congressional hearing in 2009, he dismissed the dangers of climate change by quoting Genesis 8:22: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” He added, “I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for His creation.” Another contender for the Energy Committee post, Joe Barton, of Texas—who is one of the House’s top recipients of contributions from the oil-and-gas industry—argues that CO2 emissions have nothing to do with climate change, and, in any event, people will just adapt. “When it rains, we find shelter,” he has said. “When it’s hot, we get shade. When it’s cold, we find a warm place to stay.” (Barton is perhaps best known for the apology he offered, last June, to the C.E.O. of BP, Tony Hayward, for what he described as a “shakedown” of the company by the Obama Administration.)

See “Uncomfortable Climate” at the New Yorker.

Apparently the position of chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce goes to the Representative who can deny the most science.

Global Warming and Me

The NOAA reports that “we are currently tied with 1998 as the warmest January–September period on record.”

Having now experienced a near-record-breakingly warm summer and fall, I can now report what the effect of global warming will be in St. Louis, Missouri: the normally irritating plague of backyard mosquitos will become an insatiable horde that renders our backyard thoroughly uninhabitable well into October and possibly November.

What a real scientific discussion looks like

John Timmer on some climate change back-and-forth.

After reviewing debates over two papers published in American Geophysical Union journals,

These situations tell us a couple of valuable things about the current state of climate science. First of all, they make it obvious that papers that go against the consensus can still get published, even when they come from people who very notably fall outside the scientific community’s mainstream. And, in fact, the scientific community takes these things seriously—seriously enough to check the math and examine the data sources.
Continue reading “What a real scientific discussion looks like”