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Climate Change Floods Devastate Missouri

Posted on: October 17, 2019

Climate change impact on agriculture

 

 

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POLITICO.COM:  ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE 10/15/2019  [LINK]

  1. ‘I’m standing right here in the middle of climate change’: USDA is failing farmers. The $144 billion Agriculture Department spends less than 1 percent of its budget helping farmers adapt to increasingly extreme weather.
  2. ROCK PORT, Missouri: Rick Oswald is standing on the doorstep of the white farmhouse he grew up in, but almost nothing is as it should be. To his right, four steel grain bins, usually shiny and straight, lie mangled and ripped open, spilling now-rotting corn into piles like sand dunes. The once manicured lawn has been overtaken by waist-tall cattails, their seeds carried in by flood waters that consumed this house, this farm and everything around it last spring. “This house is 80 years old,” Oswald says, stepping inside the darkened living room, which now smells of mold. “Never had water in it.” {THEREFORE FOSSIL FUELS EMISSIONS DID IT}
  3. American farmers are reeling after extreme rains followed by a “bomb cyclone”— an explosive storm that brought high winds and severe blizzard conditions — ravaged the heartland, turning once productive fields into lakes, killing livestock and destroying grain stores. The barrage of wet weather across the country this spring left a record-shattering 20 million acres unable to be planted an area nearly the size of South Carolina. Other weather-related disasters, from fires in the West to hurricanes in the Southeast, have converged to make the past year one of the worst for agriculture in decades. 
  4. But the Agriculture Department is doing little to help farmers adapt to what experts predict is the new norm: increasingly extreme weather across much of the U.S. The department, which has a hand in just about every aspect of the industry, from doling out loans to subsidizing crop insurance, spends just 0.3 percent of its $144 billion budget helping farmers adapt to climate change, whether it’s identifying the unique risks each region faces or helping producers rethink their practices so they’re better able to withstand extreme rain and periods of drought.
  5. Even these limited efforts, however, have been severely hampered by the Trump administration’s hostility to even discussing climate change, according to interviews with dozens of current and former officials, farmers and scientists. Top officials rarely, if ever, address the issue directly. That message translates into a conspiracy of silence at lower levels of the department, and a lingering fear among many who work on climate-related issues that their jobs could be in jeopardy if they say the wrong thing. When new tools to help farmers adapt to climate change are created, they typically are not promoted and usually do not appear on the USDA’s main resource pages for farmers or social-media postings for the public.
  6. The department’s primary vehicle for helping farmers adapt to climate change — a network of regional climate “hubs” launched during the Obama Administration — has continued to operate with extremely limited staff and no dedicated resources, while keeping a very low-profile to avoid sparking the ire of top USDA officials or the White House. “I don’t know if its paranoia, but they’re being more watchful of what we’re doing at the local level,” one current hub employee said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid possible retaliation. “It’s very interesting that we were able to survive.” The result is parallel universes of information. On the climate hubs’ under-the-radar Twitter account, farmers, ranchers and the public receive frank reports about monsoon rain storms becoming more intense across the Southwest, fire seasons getting longer across the West and how rising temperatures are already affecting pollinators.
  7. “With climate change, wet is wetter, hot is hotter, dry is drier… and what do we do about all that?” reads one hubs account tweet from last April, quoting a New Jersey farmer talking about how to adapt to climate change. The climate hubs’ account has only 3,200 followers. There are about 2 million farmers and ranchers in the country. By contrast, the official USDA Twitter account, with nearly 640,000 followers, completely avoids the topic. That account hasn’t used the word “climate” since December 2017.

 

 

RESPONSE TO THE POLITICO.COM ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE 10/15/2019

  1. The assumed attribution of this “bomb cyclone” and flood event to AGW climate change is purely subjective and an assumption of convenience that may serve the political motives of Politico.com but it has no scientific validity. No reference to an Event Attribution study is presented because none exists.
  2. Climate model experiments that are used for attribution of extreme weather events to AGW are not perfect as they contain methodological flaws described in a related post [LINK] but they are a minimum requirement in climate science for this kind of discussion.
  3. As seen in the bibliography below, attribution of weather and fire events to AGW as a field of inquiry, though of great importance to climate activism, is a problematic area in climate science because it is burdened down by subjectivity and circular reasoning.
  4. In this particular case, such a brazen attribution of convenience by Politico serves as a high profile example of how activism corrupts science  [LINK]  and how climate change has devolved into a malleable political tool that can sell the suffering caused by natural disasters to serve a political agenda. The only evidence cited by Politico is that it was a rare event. Yet extreme weather events are rare by definition such that its rarity proves only that it is extreme and not that it was caused by fossil fuel emissions or that it could have been prevented by cutting fossil fuel emissions. 

 

 

EXTREME WEATHER ATTRIBUTION RESEARCH (2019)

  1. SUBJECTIVE ATTRIBUTION: Ogunbode, Charles A., et al. “Attribution matters: revisiting the link between extreme weather experience and climate change mitigation responses.” Global environmental change 54 (2019): 31-39.  The literature suggests that extreme weather experiences have potential to increase climate change engagement by influencing the way people perceive the proximity and implications of climate change. Yet, limited attention has been directed at investigating how individual differences in the subjective interpretation of extreme weather events as indications of climate change moderate the link between extreme weather experiences and climate change attitudes. This article contends that subjective attribution of extreme weather events to climate change is a necessary condition for extreme weather experiences to be translated into climate change mitigation responses, and that subjective attribution of extreme weather to climate change is influenced by the psychological and social contexts in which individuals appraise their experiences with extreme weather. Using survey data gathered in the aftermath of severe flooding across the UK in winter 2013/2014, personal experience of this flooding event is shown to only directly predict perceived threat from climate change, and indirectly predict climate change mitigation responses, among individuals who subjectively attributed the floods to climate change. Additionally, subjective attribution of the floods to climate change is significantly predicted by pre-existing climate change belief, political affiliation and perceived normative cues. Attempts to harness extreme weather experiences as a route to engaging the public must be attentive to the heterogeneity of opinion on the attributability of extreme weather events to climate change. NOTE POSTED BY AUTHORS: The link between extreme weather experience and climate change attitudes is contingent on the attribution of extreme weather to climate change. Subjective attribution of specific weather events to climate change is shaped by individuals’ psychological and social context. Subjective attribution of 2013/14 UK winter floods is predicted by climate change belief, political affiliation and perceived normative cues.
  2. EVENT ATTRIBUTION SCIENCE#1: Wang, Hailan, et al. “Attribution of the 2017 Northern High Plains Drought.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 100.1 (2019): S25-S29.  . The 2017 northern High Plains drought and associated heat waves were induced in part by a positive height anomaly that persisted over the northwestern United States and the northern High Plains throughout much of May–July 2017. Our model results show that while the observed 2017 SST anomalies provided a predilection for drought by inducing surface warming, internal atmospheric variability accounts for the extreme precipitation deficits. An assessment of the role of historical global warming shows no appreciable increase in the risk of precipitation deficits but an increased risk of heat waves in the northern High Plains. In fact, a substantial fraction of the 2017 SST-forced surface warming appears to be a response to the global warming signal. The small change in the probability of precipitation deficits over the historical period appears to reflect counteracting effects of thermodynamic processes (increased atmospheric moisture over the United States) and dynamical processes (increased eddy height over the northwestern United States). The increased risk for heat waves may have increased the likelihood of agricultural (soil moisture) drought in the region, and contributed to exacerbating the 2017 drought.
  3. EVENT ATTRIBUTION SCIENCE#2: Kreibich, Heidi, et al. “How to improve attribution of changes in drought and flood impacts.” Hydrological sciences journal 64.1 (2019): 1-18.  For the development of sustainable, efficient risk management strategies for the hydrological extremes of droughts and floods, it is essential to understand the temporal changes of impacts, and their respective causes and interactions. In particular, little is known about changes in vulnerability and their influence on drought and flood impacts. We present a fictitious dialogue between two experts, one in droughts and the other in floods, showing that the main obstacles to scientific advancement in this area are both a lack of data and a lack of commonly accepted approaches. The drought and flood experts “discuss” available data and methods and we suggest a complementary approach. This approach consists of collecting a large number of single or multiple paired-event case studies from catchments around the world, undertaking detailed analyses of changes in impacts and drivers, and carrying out a comparative analysis. The advantages of this approach are that it allows detailed context- and location-specific assessments based on the paired-event analyses, and reveals general, transferable conclusions based on the comparative analysis of various case studies. Additionally, it is quite flexible in terms of data and can accommodate differences between floods and droughts.
  4. RELATED POST ON EVENT ATTRIBUTION SCIENCE [LINK] : In the case of Event Attribution analysis with climate models, the results serve the intended purpose of providing a non-subjective method for the allocation of climate adaptation funds in accordance with WIM guidelines. However, their further interpretation as evidence of the extreme weather effects of fossil fuel emissions involves circular reasoning because climate model results are not data independent of the theory but a mathematical expression of the theory itself; and the selection of specific events to test for event attribution contains a data collection bias (Munshi, 2016) (Koutsoyiannis, 2008) (VonStorch, 1999). A related post compares the confirmation bias in event attribution analysis with superstition. SUPERSTITION AND CONFIRMATION BIAS. Yet another contentious issue in event attribution with climate models is the known chaotic behavior of climate that is not contained in climate models. Non-linear dynamics and chaos is discussed in a related post: IS CLIMATE CHAOTIC?

 

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3 Responses to "Climate Change Floods Devastate Missouri"

Right now the Reagan Library is being threatened by fires. I’m sure that it will be saved however.

Have you been affected by the fires?

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