May 2013 Open thread

Past time for more thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Karen
    June 1, 2013

    CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

    This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/grl.50563

  2. #2 bill
    June 1, 2013

    So, Karen, please tell us, in your own words, what you think the paper says.

  3. #3 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2013

    So, Karen, please tell us, in your own words, what you think the paper says.

    Every time that question is posed my anticipation rises – perhaps this time will be the first time that Karen will demonstrate some understanding of the references she provides ;-)

  4. #4 Wow
    June 1, 2013

    Spots doesn’t do that, he has no knowledge of what words mean. Only a job that tells him what script to write.

    Rather like those call centers, reading from a list.

  5. #5 Wow
    June 1, 2013

    Betty, #93, lots of words, all bullshit.

    The “potential” but was the “potentially a disaster”, not their result.

    But your script doesn’t extend to knowledge of the facts, does it.

    Some of the negatives may outweigh the positives in some locations and some of the positives may outweigh the negatives

    100% content-free words.

    As usual, from betty.

  6. #6 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @Bill, Loth

    Why do you want the paper re interpreted for you in Karen’s words? that’s an odd thing to ask, the prospect of having to dumb it down to such an extent that you would understand it is unappealing in itself.

    The authors have produced a model to predict the effects of increasing C02 levels on plant fertilisation (aka CO2 as plant food). They then sought to verify that model against observations. During the observed period (from the summary)

    “Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilisation effect is now a significant land surface process”

    They found that this effect was most pronounced in warm, arid areas (dessert margins for example) with an 11% improvement in “greening”. I’ve no doubt Karen posted it here as he views this in isolation as being a positive consequence of increased CO2 in the atmosphere and I tend to agree. You lot will obviously disgree as all change is by definition bad (you’re loonies).

    If increased CO2 was “de greening” dessert margins, you’d all be hiding under the stairs, so relax, no panic required.

    As a side note, the authors all seem to be Australian or have an Australian affiliation and at least part of the work was a study of CO2 effects in the “Outback”.

  7. #7 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    Apologies All,

    It should of course be “desert” not “dessert”. As far as I can tell, the authors chose not to investigate the effects of increased CO2 on puddings.
    ;)

  8. #8 bill
    June 1, 2013

    Goosey, the point is that Karen has no comprehension of the things she posts, but you knew that already.

    Assuming without question the benefit of having, say, Innamincka undergo something in the way of a botanical boom, and, utilising your patented technique of expressing no skepticism whatsoever over the result of any single paper whose conclusions you feel you can bend to advantage – whereas thousands of papers saying much the same thing is a travesty of science, apparently, and calls forth the most passionate of principled denunciations – please enlighten as as to: one, how eternal this situation may or may not be; two, how geographically confined; three, how we can know with confidence that the associated ongoing rise in temperatures – and perhaps declines in rainfall – cannot overwhelm any benefit, and; three, since I assume, opportunistic mealy-mouthed hand-wringing notwithstanding, you don’t give a shit about the welfare of the Eyrean Grass-wren, whether the negative implications of temperature rise for humanity as a whole may be safely assumed to have been completely overwhelmed by it?

  9. #9 bill
    June 1, 2013

    Last ‘three’ should be ‘four’ – always re-draft with care, kids!…

  10. #10 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @bill,

    Hey Bill, I relayed the findings of a paper. It doesn’t mention the “Eyrean Grass-wren” and to say I don’t give a “shit” about them is just you trying to a push a “nature haters” label which couldn’t be further from the truth (No barrier to you in the past I know, as far from the truth as possible is very much your comfort zone).

    “whereas thousands of papers saying much the same thing is a travesty of science, apparently, and calls forth the most passionate of principled denunciations”

    Much the same thing as what? and where is the travesty of science? I know that word will forever be associated with K Trenberths work, but what has that got to do with this?

    It occurs to me you may have taken a leaf out of the wow play book (winning an argument by posting something stupid/nonsense) if so, well done, a valiant attempt. If you want to make a case for concluding from the paper that we’re all doomed, please feel free.
    ;)

  11. #11 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    Much the same thing as what? and where is the travesty of science? I know that word will forever be associated with K Trenberths work, but what has that got to do with this?

    A perfect example of why most people regard deniers as scum.

    This vile little meme emerged when criminal deniers stole some private emails and other deniers then deliberately misrepresented what Trenberth actually meant in order to blacken the reputation of climate science in general.

    The deniers of the world chorused the lie until it became a “fake fact” in the denialosphere.

    Now you have taken the process of dishonesty a step further by stating that Trenberth’s own work is a travesty.

    But how could you possibly make that judgement? You are an ignoramus. You couldn’t understand Trenberth’s work if you tried – and you haven’t.

    Yet you think it’s acceptable for you to behave as you just have. Well here’s the news, fuckwit – it isn’t. You haven’t got the chops to talk like this and you never will, so cease your contemptible, dishonest yapping.

  12. #12 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    Thanks for the confirmation BBD and the SKS link

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Understanding-Trenberths-travesty.html

    Like it or not, the association with the word will always be there, Travesty Trenberth has sort of ring to it. But it still does not explain why reference to his “travesty” has anything to with the paper at hand. As far as I am I aware, Trenberth’s work does not deal with the benefits of CO2 fertilisation of plants (aka CO2 as plant food), the subject of the paper in this case, which leaves us with the wow play book explanation; attempt to win arguments, or at least confuse the reader, by posting nonsense.

  13. #13 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    As for this stupid denier meme that CO2 fertilisation somehow makes AGW a non-problem, let’s put the gun to its head.

    Who cares if vegetative cover in marginal, arid zones has increased? What difference does it make to agricultural productivity, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, flooding, ocean pH and sea level rise?

    Things that will matter to agricultural productivity are drought and flooding and summer temperatures exceeding the tolerance of the crop. CO2 fertilisation isn’t going to make much difference to dead crops.

    There might be a brief period – and we may be seeing it now – when there’s some CO2-enhanced increase in marginal vegetation, but globally and on the centennial scale (which is the one on which climate change effects will play out), CO2 fertilisation is a distraction.

    Bang. Stupid denier meme dead. Fetch shovel.

  14. #14 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    Like it or not, the association with the word will always be there

    Because of lying scum. Was I unclear on this point?

    attempt to win arguments, or at least confuse the reader, by posting nonsense.

    You introduced the defamatory lies about Trenberth, not me. I was just pointing out that deniers are for the most part lying scum. Was I unclear on this point too?

  15. #15 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    What Lie? (setting aside your emtions for the moment) You do this a lot BBD, just because someone points out something you don’t like, you call them liars. How very grown up. Facts are Facts BBD, if you have a case to make, make it. But please stop whimpering or someone may tell your mum.
    ;)

  16. #16 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    This lie, fuckwit. Are you blind as well as dishonest and stupid?

    Why you are talking about facts is an utter mystery.

    By the way, your meme is dead.

  17. #17 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    What never ceases to amaze me is the way lying denier scum lie and deny and behave like scum yet are – apparently – oblivious to what they are doing.

    It is quite literally astonishing. See GSW, above.

  18. #18 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    Also, the only person who’s mentioned a denier “meme” is you! The paper reports an increase in CO2 fertilization of plants (aka CO2 as plant food) in warm, arid areas and that is all we are discussing! Your extended, it can’t be true, it must be a lie, maybe I can think of a way it might be bad rant, is just denial! I thought you CAGW lot we’re all in favour of the “Peer reviewed litlerature”, if it’s printed, it must be true!

    The “dishonest” and “stupid” arguments aren’t going to work here BBD. Man up!

  19. #19 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    See # 11 and # 13. Just read the words.

  20. #20 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    Yes, if someone references a paper you don’t like you call them scum and it was you who introduced the “denier meme”, nobody else. We know all that and again that is not an argument! More dribbling than argument.

  21. #21 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    You do this a lot BBD, just because someone points out something you don’t like, you call them liars.

    I point out when people are lying. You are going to have to demonstrate this claim – which I reject as dishonest – with relevant quotation.

  22. #22 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    I just mentioned you do it a lot BBD. It’s your pat response. it’s up to you to justify, which you never do.
    ;)

  23. #23 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    No, GSW, I called your smearing of Trenberth a lie. I also stated that the notion that CO2 fertilisation somehow makes AGW a non-problem is a stupid denier meme – or if you prefer, a lie.

    You have to show that I “didn’t like” the Donohue study or that I questioned its findings in any way. If you cannot do so, you will have been shown to be employing a dishonest argument based on misrepresenting what I have said.

  24. #24 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    # 22

    I am calling you out over your lie:

    You do this a lot BBD, just because someone points out something you don’t like, you call them liars.

    You immediately refuse to provide evidence by quotation. I say you are a liar.

  25. #25 chek
    June 1, 2013

    Griselda, you are a walking ragbag of denier memes, one following the other as in your latest which even your Viscunt Monckey dropped years ago.

    That you prefer to ignore professionals such as Jeff and Bernard who have previously explained why it’s a simplistic meme is your problem alone.
    In addition to which you have a history, which is how it’s known that you’re scum.

  26. #26 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    Ok, Ok, Ok. Can we just establish, that you are happy with the Donohue study, CO2 fertilization of plants in warm, arid areas (aka CO2 as plant food) and that there are no parts of their study that you believe to be a lie, dishonest or that having reached the conclusions they did, that they are not scum or pushing a denier meme?

  27. #27 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    You have to show that I “didn’t like” the Donohue study or that I questioned its findings in any way. If you cannot do so, you will have been shown to be employing a dishonest argument based on misrepresenting what I have said.

    Read the words.

  28. #28 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    That’s why I’m asking you BBD, rather than try and prove you don’t, I’m asking you to confirm that you do. The simplest, most direct method. is usually the best. Or is this some great secret you are keeping and we have to guess the answer? (Which to be honest would fairly odd behaviour on your part)
    ;)

  29. #29 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    No, what you are trying to do is avoid the horrible mess you have got yourself into – see # 21 and # 24.

    I’m not qualified to have an opinion on the correctness or otherwise of the Donohue study. What I said about the stupid denier meme that CO2 fertilisation somehow making AGW a non-problem was clear enough. But I am happy to repeat it:

    Who cares if vegetative cover in marginal, arid zones has increased? What difference does it make to agricultural productivity, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, flooding, ocean pH and sea level rise?

    Things that will matter to agricultural productivity are drought and flooding and summer temperatures exceeding the tolerance of the crop. CO2 fertilisation isn’t going to make much difference to dead crops.

    There might be a brief period – and we may be seeing it now – when there’s some CO2-enhanced increase in marginal vegetation, but globally and on the centennial scale (which is the one on which climate change effects will play out), CO2 fertilisation is a distraction.

  30. #30 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @chek

    “professionals such as Jeff and Bernard”

    Ever the comedian chek.
    ;)

  31. #31 GSW
    June 1, 2013

    @BBD

    “I’m not qualified to have an opinion on the correctness or otherwise of the Donohue study.”

    Finally, an admission you’re quite happy mouthing off on things you know nothing about. Hence all the ill informed “you’re a liar” reposts. We got there in the end, not sure you were really worth the effort though. Anyway, same old, same old.
    ;)

  32. #32 BBD
    June 1, 2013

    Eh but you are stupid, GSW.

    Whether Donohue is right or wrong is irrelevant to the wrongness of the stupid denier meme that CO2 fertilisation somehow making AGW a non-problem. See # 29.

    Either you are another victim of poor reading comprehension or you are engaging in further dishonest argument (see your responses to # 11 onwards).

    Stupid or liar? Can you clear this up?

  33. #33 chek
    June 1, 2013

    #30 And you, ever the willing ignoramus dupe, Griselda.

  34. #34 Nick
    June 1, 2013

    GSW must have some kind of brain injury,really. How else to explain that extraordinary train of nonsense?

  35. #35 bill
    June 1, 2013

    Personally I think the Donahue study’s quite intriguing, not least because it describes an effect in an area I really do care about. Having access only to the abstract I couldn’t learn how they’d allowed for, say, the decade long drought at the start of the 21st Century – which literally devastated some areas – or the subsequent la Ninas.

    But what does it all mean, in the bigger picture? BBD and I have both raised the obvious points. According to the abstract they’ve focused on ‘arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth’ but they’ve ‘remove[d] the effect of variations in rainfall’. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, and all that…

    Oh, and I threw in ‘travesty’ as an idiot trap. It worked.

    Note that Karen is not part of this discussion? To be part of a discussion you have to have some basic awareness of the points at issue. Karen only knows when to press Ctrl+V.

  36. #36 Anthony David
    June 2, 2013

    The paper looked at increased severity of drought onset events, variability in precipitation and disturbance (clearing) events and were unable to show that these factors affected the observed increase in green foliage cover. They emphasised the fact that this change is not applicable to other environments where temperature, nutrients and light are limiting factors to plant production.

  37. #37 bill
    June 2, 2013

    Thanks Anthony!

  38. #38 Jeff Harvey
    June 2, 2013

    GSW: Ever the comedian chek.

    Look in the mirror, GSW. Your qualifications are a real laugh – yet you somehow think you have ‘ knowledge’ in various scientific fields. Your slavish worshipping of Jonas tells pretty well everyone here all about the extent of your ‘expertise’.

  39. #39 Bernard J.
    June 2, 2013

    This issue of the Donohue et al study is interesting in the manner in which ignorant fools such as KarenMackSunspot and GSW think that they understand what it means, and what it implies for the future.

    From the paper’s conclusion:

    The results reported here for warm, arid regions do not simply translate to other environments where alternative resource limitations (e.g., light, nutrients, temperature) might dominate, although the underlying theory remains valid (Eqs. 1–3). The remaining challenges are to develop a more general understanding of how the increase in Ca is shared between Al and El in environments that are not warm and arid, and to develop capacity to quantify the multiple potential flow-on effects of fertilisation in these environments, such as wide-spread changes in surface albedo, an increase in fire fuel loads for a given P, as well as possible reductions in stream flows due to enhanced rooting systems [Buitenwerf et al., 2012].

    The authors leave out many other pertinent flow-on effects such as altered nutritional value of plant matter, differential responses of C3 and C4 plants, the issue of weed and pest response to increased atmospheric CO2, and the simple fact that increasing atmospheric CO2 also warms the planet, and alters its climate – other factors that have a profound effect on how plants grow and how animals live.

    There’s no surprise in the Donohue et al paper – they are simply confirming very basic photosynthetic biochemistry. In their responses to Donohue et al KarenMackSunspot and GSW are just little two-year-old boys who have discovered that if they play with their penises they can produce erections – they have no idea of the actual implications of what they have stumbled upon.

    What is interesting is that Donohue et al simply confirms the veracity of another part of the wide body of science that has long been used warn of the effects of human carbon emission on the planet. It does not alter the warning about climate disruption and the profound effects that this will have on the function of ecosystems around the world.

    Yes, another part of the whole scientific opus that is telling humanity that it’s fucking up the planet has been confirmed. That KarenMackSunspot and GSW don’t grok this simply demonstrates how foolish they are.

    And on that subject I find it laughable that in response to BBD saying:

    I’m not qualified to have an opinion on the correctness or otherwise of the Donohue study.

    GSW has the temerity to respond with:

    Finally, an admission you’re quite happy mouthing off on things you know nothing about.

    That’s the epitome of irony, GSW. BBD is correct in his assessment of Donohue et al, and you are waaay off the mark. And I am qualified to have an opinion on this subject, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Bill.

    If you can set up a disposable email address I’ll forward to you a copy of the paper. They briefly mention other caveats that have interesting implications should they pan out, and which may cloud the seeming ‘benefit’ of increased photosynthesis in response to excess CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

  40. #40 Lotharsson
    June 2, 2013

    Why do you want the paper re interpreted for you in Karen’s words?

    Because as Wow and bill pointed out, it’s highlighting Karen’s modus operandi of cutting and pasting claims “based” on evidence she doesn’t even understand – evidence which frequently doesn’t support the claims, and which she shows no sign of being willing or able to assess for support.

    You lot will obviously disgree as all change is by definition bad (you’re loonies).

    That is an eminently stupid or mendacious belief on your part, even by your standards.

    Your subsequent extended misinterpretation of other people and denial of their characterisation of what you yourself wrote merely reiterate the standards I refer to as your baseline.

  41. #41 BBD
    June 2, 2013

    Thanks Anthony David and Bernard J. for providing some insight into Donohue et al.

    And helping to turn the stupid spigot off.

    ;-)

  42. #42 bill
    June 3, 2013

    Bernard – thanks! And thanks for the offer; I’m actually more than happy with your summary.

    Goosey, SpamKan et al, you are never going to find a paper with anything like any of the following titles in a reputable – that is, an actual scientific – journal, beyond the fringe publications that were specifically set up in order to chum for morons.

    Plant Food! It turns out CO2 Fertilization effect is both Global and Universally Benign.

    Wrong for a Century and a Half! CO2 not a Greenhouse Gas after all.

    The Ice Age is Coming! New Glacial to begin next Wednesday…

    Comrade Carbon: Covert Comintern Central Committee acknowledges Greenhouse plot to Smash Capitalism.

    Why waste your lives pretending that anything similar is being published? It’s literally pathetic. It never turns out that your infantile self-serving ‘interpretation’ – well, someone else’s you’ve regurgitated – is accurate.

  43. #43 Bernard J.
    June 3, 2013

    By way of explanation of the excerpt I posted at #39, some definitions:

    C(subscript)a = atmospheric CO2 concentrations (dang and blast NG for their not functionality with the sub tag…)

    P = precipitation

    A(subscript)l = assimilation rate per unit of leaf area

    E(subscript)l = transpiration rate per unit of leaf area

    Equation 1 defines water use efficiency of photosynthesis as W(subscript)p = A(subscript)l/E(subscript)l (and alternatively in other units not germane to this post)

    Equation 2 defines relative effect of a change in C(subscript)a on W(subscript)p as dW(subscript)p/W(subscript)p = dA(subscript)l/A – dE(subscript)l/E(subscript)l (and alternatively in other units not germane to this post)

    Equation 3 presents an alternative expression of equation 2 in further units not germane to this post.

    For those curious about the full conclusion:

    The increase in water use efficiency of photosynthesis with rising C(subscript)a has long been anticipated to lead to increased foliage cover in warm, arid environments [Berry and Roderick, 2002; Bond and Midgley, 2000; Farquhar, 1997; Higgins and Scheiter, 2012] and both satellite and ground observations from the world’s rangelands reveal widespread changes towards more densely vegetated and woodier landscapes [Buitenwerf et al., 2012; Donohue et al., 2009; Knapp and Soule, 1996; Morgan et al., 2007; Scholes and Archer, 1997].

    Our results suggest that C(subscript)a has played an important role in this greening trend, and that, where water is the dominant limit to growth, cover has increased in direct proportion to the CO2-driven rise in W(subscript)p. This CO2 fertilisation cover effect warrants consideration as an important land surface process.

    The results reported here for warm, arid regions do not simply translate to other environments where alternative resource limitations (e.g., light, nutrients, temperature) might dominate, although the underlying theory remains valid (Eqs. 1–3). The remaining challenges are to develop a more general understanding of how the increase in C(subscript)a is shared between A(subscript)l and E(subscript)l in environments that are not warm and arid, and to develop capacity to quantify the multiple potential flow-on effects of fertilisation in these environments, such as wide-spread changes in surface albedo, an increase in fire fuel loads for a given P, as well as possible reductions in stream flows due to enhanced rooting systems [Buitenwerf et al., 2012].

    Overall, our results confirm that that the direct biochemical impact of the rapid increase in C(subscript)a over the last 30 years on terrestrial vegetation is an influential and observable land surface process.

    [Emboldened emphases mine]

    I can predict the response that will come from the numpties, but such a response will only serve to illustrate the subjective, anthropocentric valuation of one ecosystem over another…

    Oh, and the fact that water is the limiting factor in this study is itself a curious thing. What the vegetation is doing is to close its stomata slightly in response to the extra CO2. This increases the efficiency of water-use and results in a significant proportion of the increased photosynthesis. Sprengel’s law of the minimum is actually bitch-slapping KarenMackSunspot and GSW full in their faces, because the vegetation is effectively saying “thanks very much, but we won’t take all that extra CO2, we will instead take the opportunity it provides to close the windows a bit and save on water whilst using pretty much our standard CO2 turnover”. It seems that someone forgot to tell plants that they’re supposed to be struggling under a deficit of CO2…

    The ramping up of plant growth only in direct response to increased CO2 requires all other plant growth factors to be present above minimum. And even in that apparently wonderful world – when it might actually be achieved outside of an industrial glasshouse – growth enhanced in this manner isn’t necessarily ‘good’… but that point has been made many times before.

  44. #44 Bernard J.
    June 3, 2013

    A corollary to my last paragraph in my post immediately above is that if atmospheric CO2 was held at pre-Indusrial Revolution levels and precipitation was increased in these warm arid regions, a similar increase in photosynthesis/foliation would result.

    This is an eminently testable notion. Now, I wonder if this has in fact already been investigated…

  45. #45 Bernard J.
    June 4, 2013

    BBD:

    And helping to turn the stupid spigot off.

    If only there was a way to replace the leaking gasket that results in the continuous dribble of Stupid that persists no matter how much the spigot is closed…

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