Deep Adaptation

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Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:37 pm

That’s been on my reading list for awhile, thanks for sharing Campitor.

I believe in the ingenuity of mankind if we could only dedicate ourselves somehow.

subgard
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by subgard » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:37 pm

Warmer climates on Earth in the past have usually been quite a bit wetter. But when modern climate scientists try to replicate those climates with their models - the same models they use to construct those doom and gloom scenarios they're scaring everyone with - they fail. The models predict dryer regional climates than what obviously occurred (from evidence).

In the Mid Holocene Climatic Optimum (about 8000 yrs ago), the Sahara desert was green, covered with woodland and savanna.

In the last Interglacial (the Eemian, about 110,000 yrs ago), Both the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula was green, Australia was forested, and the tree line in North America was hundreds of miles further west, indicating that the Midwest and Great Plains was receiving more rainfall then our current climate.

At the beginning of the Pliocene, several million years ago, much of what is now grassland was covered with forest, because of a wetter climate.

In an abrupt climate change scenario, I would bet on an increase in cultivatable land, not a decrease, especially in regions of the subtropics that are currently arid. The 2018 African monsoon was one of the wettest on record...

George the original one
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by George the original one » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:56 pm

subgard wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:37 pm
In an abrupt climate change scenario, I would bet on an increase in cultivatable land, not a decrease, especially in regions of the subtropics that are currently arid. The 2018 African monsoon was one of the wettest on record...
And that monsoon washed away the crops (https://www.bbc.com/news/the-reporters-46921487). Water levels are still dropping.
Climate change in that part of the world has meant longer droughts as well as harsher monsoons.

It takes more than water to improve a desert. Ambient temperatures in the Sahel are rising 50% faster there than the global average. Higher ambient temperatures means organic matter breaks down faster which means less fertility. Higher ambient temperatures also evaporate water faster, so the crops need more water. The best way to work around lack of water is to accept lower yields and space plants further apart, but that requires more land and labor. Growth of the Sahara desert is predominantly due to blowing sand burying existing vegetation; unless windbreaks are planted and time is available for the windbreak plants to mature, the Sahara will march forward for the foreseeable future regardless of the rain.

subgard
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by subgard » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:56 pm


George the original one
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by George the original one » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:54 pm

Hate to state the obvious, but people don't eat cotton. It's also one of the thirstiest crops that can be grown and leads to desertification: one kg of cotton requires 20,000 liters of water!

Campitor
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by Campitor » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:08 pm

George the original one wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:56 pm

It takes more than water to improve a desert. Ambient temperatures in the Sahel are rising 50% faster there than the global average. Higher ambient temperatures means organic matter breaks down faster which means less fertility. Higher ambient temperatures also evaporate water faster, so the crops need more water. The best way to work around lack of water is to accept lower yields and space plants further apart, but that requires more land and labor.
The Israelis have been farming in the desert for a while and seem to have found a successful way to do so. Obviously they have access to infrastructure that most 3rd world states don't have. I can see where desert farming could be successful in areas with access to irrigation and technology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Israel

chenda
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by chenda » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:29 am

The Aral Sea was lost to due cotton irrigation, diverting the feeding rivers into desert irrigation. One of the worse environmental disasters. Although they have managed to restore a small part of it in recent years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea

subgard
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by subgard » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:41 am

2018 was the year you could point to actual weather events and say "that was caused by climate change"
Heatwaves across the entire northern hemisphere.
Hurricanes juiced up on abnormally warm sea surface temperatures.
Strangely erratic Indian monsoon.
Extremely wet African monsoon.
Extreme rainfall from thunderstorms sweeping across North America.

So, this is the year where we can say "This is climate change, we're really feeling the effects."

What did it do to agriculture?
Even in an era with rising interest rates (which normally raise commodity prices), agricultural commodity prices are down across the board, worldwide.
Why? Record production. In things like cocoa, soybeans, sugarcane.
Why? Weather. All that rain was good for production.

So you can't eat cotton. What about corn?
https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/busine ... index.html

The greatest threat to farmers from climate change is the greatest threat they've always faced. Low prices for their product.

Edit: About cotton - Cotton is a nitrogen-depleting crop which is usually rotated with a legume like peanuts or soybeans. If you drive by a field of cotton in the Deep South one year, the next year, it will usually be planted in peanuts. So, in Mali, it would be safe to assume that the same fields used for growing cotton well will also grow peanuts well, peanuts being a staple of the West African diet. Also, like much of the cotton crop in the Southeastern US, crops in the Sahel are watered by rain, not irrigated.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:41 am

Okra is related to cotton.

Unpredictability is not good for any planned production. However, it does favor anti-fragile methods over other methods.

George the original one
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by George the original one » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:06 am

subgard wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:41 am
What did it do to agriculture?
As 7Wannabe5 says, unpredictability is not good. The record monsoon season of 2018 followed 3 years of drought in Uganda! Sudden surpluses where there were 3 years of food deficits causes a market crash because there is very limited crop storage in the region.

From the article:
"Uganda does not have silos across the country in which to store the harvest, with the few available being privately owned."

"Ms Kirabo says the focus on increasing production will require setting up irrigation schemes and markets for the produce."

"Agriculture is among the key sectors expected to deliver Uganda to middle income status by 2020. But the big question is, can it really play that role when the price of 10kg of maize is enough to pay social media tax for only a week?"

***
You might want to read NOAA's forecast which indicates the monsoon track is shifting south once more: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/ ... hazard.pdf
Also, the Mali farmers will tell you how the Sahel has been changing since 2002, so the 2018 monsoon is more of an anomaly than a new trend. See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mali ... SKCN1OK0YH

And from https://www.helvetas.org/en/switzerland ... ture-funds
Floods in the Sahel
“Nowadays if you plant crops that take three months to bear fruit, you’ll end up with nothing to harvest.” This is how one farmer sums up what climate change means for agriculture in southern Mali. It has caused a decline in precipitation. But far more devastating is that the precipitation is frequently concentrated in a much shorter period, during which it comes down all the more heavily. Sometimes the downpour is so intense that the soil can’t hold all that water, which then runs off unused, often causing local floods.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:16 am

If I was a farmer in Mali, I would definitely dig some swales , plant some trees, and figure out how to do some vertical integration, so I could profit from selling corn when the price is high, and processing it when the price is low. Of course, all of that will likely require long-term capital investment that I might not personally be able to afford.

George the original one
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by George the original one » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:39 am

The bumper corn crop was in Uganda. Mali's corn crop only increased ~10% even though they had 32% greater yield because the floods removed so much land from production. Source: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/cir ... uction.pdf

[edit: oops, those yield numbers are for total coarse grain production rather than corn. As can be seen in the table for corn, Mali doesn't grow any.]
Last edited by George the original one on Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:19 pm

Yeah, we are pretty much doomed unless peak oil happens sooner than expected. Then we will only be maybe 80% doomed instead of 99% doomed.

subgard
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by subgard » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:05 pm

My main point is that, globally, agriculture is doing quite well with climate change, and the trend is likely to continue.

Most news articles about crops and climate change are anecdotal without any hard facts.
Actual production statistics (including the past several years of Ugandan corn production) are not so dire. (In fact, they're downright positive).

The trend over the past century has been increased precipitation and vegetation globally. The challenge of year to year variability is not much different from what farmers have had to deal with since farming began.

Also, with the current layout of the continents, over the last few million years, each time the climate has gotten warmer, the interior of the continents have gotten wetter and greener (due to the monsoon effect), not dryer. I don't see why it would be any different this go around.

daylen
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by daylen » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:46 pm

@subgard Where are you getting these intuitions from?
So, this is the year where we can say "This is climate change, we're really feeling the effects."
I do not think that this makes any sense. Statistically, the evidence of change is dependent on how you set the bounds of a confidence interval.
The greatest threat to farmers from climate change is the greatest threat they've always faced. Low prices for their product.
What is this supposed to mean? How are you linking climate change to prices? Agriculture has been taken over by big business and monocropping, so there are many other factors at play.
My main point is that, globally, agriculture is doing quite well with climate change, and the trend is likely to continue.
Again, how are you connecting agriculture to climate change when the industry has been altered from technology and economies of scale?
The trend over the past century has been increased precipitation and vegetation globally.
Maybe if the only vegetation you are accounting for is corn. Deforestation has been a dominate force over this period.
Also, with the current layout of the continents, over the last few million years, each time the climate has gotten warmer, the interior of the continents have gotten wetter and greener (due to the monsoon effect), not dryer. I don't see why it would be any different this go around.
What is the monsoon effect? I couldn't find any information on it asides from seasonal rain in certain localized regions. My intuition tells me that this is wrong in general, but I do not know enough to argue against it. I will say that average temperature, temperature volatility, and dryness are not related in a linear fashion. This indicates that the situation is likely to be much more complex than "warmer = wetter". Plus there is soil erosion to account for.

jennypenny
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:49 pm

Slightly dramatic 15m video of Bendell discussing deep adaptation ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vwbanH9pgY

J_
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by J_ » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:09 am

I find reading and thinking about "Deep Adaptation" inspiring. And of course Jennypenny it is dramatic. Accepting that we are out of control of our own inducted/evoked Climate-Change/destroying-our-biotoop is one thing, preparing how to cope or how to imagine to cope is a great way to avoid doom. Thinking about the lines of Resilience, Relinquish and Restoration helps, and a lot is done already by David Fleming is his book Lean Logic.
One of the things I can do myself is to use my "ere" freedom to keep my body and mind as healthy/fit as possible. To nót use the already overflowing hospitals and care homes as long as possible. To cope with growing old without help of others as long as it goes. By studying about nutrition and apply that knowledge. To use my imagination and strength to use less Energy and grow some fruit and vegetables myself....to choose where to live...even.. some day... to choose how long to live?

jennypenny
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:00 pm

There's a discussion/tribute to James Lovelock tomorrow if anyone is interested in watching the live stream ... https://climateseries.com

jennypenny
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:15 pm

A recent article on Vice: 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life

I have mixed feelings about discussions of climate melancholy. I completely understand it, yet there are plenty of people who aren't the least bit concerned with climate change who are also suffering from a kind of mass melancholy (see heartland drug/suicide problem). Maybe there are a lot of people suffering and each chooses their own focal point for their despair? Not sure.

Jean
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Re: Deep Adaptation

Post by Jean » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:36 pm

Funnily enough, this inevitable crisis and its unpredictable consequence are a strong motivator. I don't know what kind of humans are going to be needed, but the responsability that it might be humans like me is my main reason for not giving up on raising a family.

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