These festive activities are of course taking place against a grim background of looming ecosystem collapse. So of course, just as ironically, this post is going to have some pictures of the fabulous gown...and some of the surrounding signs of decline.
He counters that it just isn't convincing to the average lay person that drastic action is required to avert disaster when the scientists aren't actually behaving as though we are in anything approaching an emergency. If they really think we have to cut emissions 80% by 2020, or even at all, then why aren't they making that case by any means necessary, rather than quibbling about emails and funding and arguing with paid professional oil and coal industry propagandists? And I have to agree that, while in some instances, researchers must travel in order to collect the data that informs the science, it is also less than convincing - particularly in the case of climate activists - and it undercuts the seriousness of their message, when they are jetting around the world to impart it.
At the very least, it was a colossal mistake to use the year 2100 as a benchmark for predictions of sea level rise, or glacier melt, or higher temperatures. Anyone old enough to read them in the IPCC consensus report will almost certainly be dead when they come to pass! Even though it flies in the face of prudence and caution, scientists should be talking about what is happening NOW - and there is certainly plenty of it. While they are at it they should completely abandon reference to a "once in 500 year event" unless it is immediately explained that although most people think...no big deal, it happens every 500 years...actually, it means according to a mathematical model, that there is a 0.2% chance of it occurring in any given year...which has a much more serious implication about the rarity and severity of such an event to happen, let alone several - or a 1000-year flood, for instance. That results in a 0.1% chance that Tennessee would have looked like this in 2010:
And another peeve - saying we hit the highest temperature or the most tornados or longest drought since, say, 1896 makes it sound like in 1896 it was more extreme, when it often means, that is as far back as we have a reliable record!
I am starting to have a little more sympathy for Steve's judgment in general, however, as I make the connection between the many, many published studies that scientists have produced that warn unequivocally that ozone is toxic, and yet to read them, they are full of unsupported assumptions encouraging unwarranted complacency and encourage a perpetuation of the status quo - such as, it is not such a big problem really, because people are going to start reducing their use of dirty fuel that results in poisonous emissions...honestly, surely, someday soon! So we should just be studying which species are more resistant to ozone - when in fact, anything that has to photosynthesize is vulnerable to one degree or another. So this is pure nonsense and what they should be saying is: all the trees are going to die and every species dependent upon them (including us as well) - unless we die of famine and civilization breakdown and resource wars first - because crop yield and quality is being damaged more and more every year...because the level of background tropospheric ozone is inexorably rising.
Her Vera Wang dress is an amazing confection of pleats, ruffles, netting, and lace, all tucked in a bon amusement of pouffy layers. Truly delightful.a summary of the state of the knowledge in 2008, which is a case in point. An expert review compiling evidence from many independent studies is referenced in the paper, "The Ozone Component for Global Change: Potential Effects on Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Yield, Product Quality, and Interactions with Invasive Species," which begins with this observation (all quoted passages in lavender):
Ozone poses a critical threat and a challenging problem to world food security, fiber and timber production, conservation and genetic diversity of natural plant communities. [This is fairly straightforward and yet somehow doesn't ever lead to any admonishment that urgent action is required.]
|Many trees this spring are only partially leafed out. This can be seen all around this historic rural farm.|
Quality aspects of affected vegetation can be lowered by O3 as well. Ozone concentrations continue to rise in some regions of the world, but if proposed emission control legislation is implemented worldwide [hahaha], O3 concentrations in 2030 are projected to stabilize at 2000 levels except in regions (e.g. India) with large increases in energy, transportation and industrial activities.
In general, it is important to remember that O3 at sufficiently high concentrations is toxic to most living things. [The only living things it isn't toxic to are the ones we haven't studied yet.] Our present understanding of crop responses to O3 indicates that measurable yield losses due to O3 toxicity are likely occurring in food and fiber crops in many regions of the world.
|Bare branches hang over this great blue heron wading in the pond.|
However, climate models also suggest that episodes of high ground-level O3 concentrations will occur more frequently during the growing season in regions such as the northeastern USA and Southeast Asia due to increases in temperature and changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Damaging effects of ambient O3 on yield and quality of many crops and horticultural plants will continue in many areas of the world and require further scientific evaluation of magnitude, distribution and mechanism. [require further scientific evaluation BUT NOT IMMEDIATE EMISSION REDUCTIONS?]
Understanding the impact of ambient O3 under open field conditions is especially relevant to current agricultural practices where new crop cultivars, many of which are genetically modified, are being placed into production without specific consideration of their sensitivity to O3. Crop breeding programs need to incorporate selection of traits for improved plant tolerance to ambient O3 in order to maintain and increase crop yields and nutritive quality. [Good luck with that.]
However, a full assessment of ambient O3 impacts on food crop and ornamental plant performance is likely to be complex. Growers may not be aware of yield losses due to O3 when sensitive cultivars are no longer grown near resistant ones, when distinctive symptoms do not occur on more resistant cultivars and particularly when yield losses on adapted, O3-resistant cultivars are not identified because there is no clean-air control for comparison under commercial production conditions.
|This enormous tree is completely dead. The mother goose at the edge of the pond is sitting on a nest - father to the right hissed at me ferociously!|
Thus, visible foliar O3 injury might not always be a reliable indicator of potential O3 effects on biomass production, yield and product quality. Environmental conditions influence ambient O3 effects and inter-annual variability in weather conditions makes generalizations difficult. It is challenging to assess yield loss in the field and to diagnose O3 symptoms without comparisons of biomass and yield responses at a range of O3 concentrations.
|The farmer was setting out ornamentals along the walk.|
There is currently consensus within the scientific community that O3 can have significant effects on many crop and horticultural plants. This has been demonstrated through studies using a variety of approaches such as: outdoor controlled-environment chambers, OTCs, free-air exposure systems, open-air experiments with sensitive/tolerant cultivars and O3-protectants, and multivariate modeling of plant responses to ambient O3 using multiple study locations and similar experimental protocols.The protocols have been used in various combinations to screen crops and cultivars for O3 sensitivity. To refine the range of likely losses will require updating and expanding previous studies using mod- ern cultivars grown under current production conditions of fertility and water management. Potential gains achieved by screening modern cultivars for O3 sensitivity using marker- assisted selection is an unexplored arena.
|This fungus is a dead ringer for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.|
The scenarios were based on estimates from seven global climate change models and from mortality and air pollution data for the city of Chicago from 1987 to 2005.
outbreak of caterpillars that have always been around but suddenly are capable of consuming an entire white oak in a day. Naturally, I think that perhaps the fact that it has been demonstrated in many studies that trees lose their natural defenses to ward off attacks from insects, disease and fungus when they have been exposed to ozone might have more than a little to do with it.
Lastly, yet another sad example in the annals of wildlife perishing for no apparent reason, in this case, elk that starved to death. An Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife biologist explained their deaths thusly:
The winter wheat did the young elk in because their digestive systems cannot break it down and absorb its nutrients. This means some elk actually died of starvation because they were not absorbing nutrients from the winter wheat. “They starved to death on full stomachs,’’ Kirsch said.
Uh huh. I wonder if he knows about the conclusions in the USDA paper quoted extensively above, which says:
Decreased yield and quality of O3- exposed bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Fluegge) and sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) were of sufficient magnitude to have nutritional implications in their use by mammalian herbivores. Likewise, a decline in relative feed value of high-yielding alfalfa in Alberta, Canada was strongly linked to ambient O3 concentrations, based on a multivariate analysis of air pollutant and meteorological data. Interactive effects of O3 with other air pollutants on plant quality have also been reported. For example, results from a long-term experiment in a Swiss sub-alpine pasture revealed that positive responses in forage quality to nitrogen inputs were negated by increased lignification of cell-wall constituents associated with accelerated foliar senescence due to elevated O3. Similarly, Sanz et al. (2005) reported that nitrogen fertilization amplified O3 effects on the concentration of the ligno-cellulose fraction in subterranean clover (T. subterraneum L.). Decreased nutritive quality of forages can lead to lower milk and meat production from grazing animals, thus linking air quality with impacts on animal production systems.
Once upon a time I had a body like that! First daughter stole my body!! Lest anyone doubt the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, here she is, determined to live in Camelot but knee-deep in the muck, stubbornly and single-handedly digging a trench for the cement footing for her stone arched bridge.With a little help from a backhoe.