Climate Change: What’s Your Plan?

Considering its importance, the “Secure Water Act Report,” released a few months ago by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, received little notice. This despite the fact it projects temperatures in the West to rise by 5°F to 7°F by the end of the century.

That’s an awful lot, especially when you consider nearly all scientists are alarmed by the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased from 280 parts per million in the late 1700s to today’s level of about 400 ppm. This “Greenhouse Effect” has raised average global temperatures by about 0.8°C since 1900. That equates to about 1.5°F, or about one-fourth of the average change predicted for the West in the coming 84 years.

The report also projects a decrease for almost all of the April 1 snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff, and a 7% to 27% decrease in April to July stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

“One of the greatest challenges we face is dealing with the impacts of climate change on our nation’s water, which is really the lifeblood of our economy,” Interior’s Deputy Secretary Michael Connor said upon the report’s release. “We need to continue to develop collaborative strategies across each river basin to ensure our nation’s water supplies, agricultural activities, ecosystems, and other resources all have sustainable paths forward.”

East Sees Wild Fluctuations
But global warming is clearly not a problem limited to the West. What fruit grower can forget the late winter/early spring of 2012, when it was so Climate Change Frozen Applewarm that many apple trees across the Midwest and Northeast bloomed about a month early, only to be hit with normal to subnormal temperatures in April? Michigan’s crop was nearly wiped out, and other states sustained huge losses.

More recently, this year’s New England peach crop was erased by the “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” when temperatures dipped well below zero.

USDA’s William Graham was recently quoted as saying he visited one orchard with 14 acres of peaches where the grower had counted at total of four blossoms. “I can’t remember the last time we experienced such a complete loss of an entire crop,” Graham said.

Get Smart
To address these issues, Cornell University has launched the Climate Smart Farming program, a voluntary initiative designed to help growers in not just New York but the Northeast at large.

The program aims to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production, and increase farm resiliency to extreme weather and climate variability through adoption of best management practices for climate change adaptation.

It’s ambitious, with research and Extension specialists helping growers institute best management practices including cropping systems, IPM, land-use planning, and water resource management.

A big part of the effort will be in upgrading infrastructure, such as cooling, irrigation, drainage, and waste management systems for increased resiliency. They also seek to increase farm energy efficiency and install renewable energy systems on the farm, which can contribute to cost savings.

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5 comments on “Climate Change: What’s Your Plan?

  1. Threatening the lives or our children with an exaggerated CO2 hell is not “fun”, it’s a crime against humanity in history.

    Will 97% of the climate change scientists ever finally agree their CO2 Armageddon is as real as they agree smoking causes cancer, not just “real”? And hopefully before it’s too late to say it?
    Only 35 MORE years of debate, denial and climate action delay is certain and unstoppable now.
    Exaggerating vague science and issuing CO2 death threats to billions of innocent children will make Bush look more like the peace loving progressive in your children’s history books.

  2. Amazing how many just follow along without question! It was global warming going to destroy us, then the data didn’t fit, so now it is climate change? The same effect increases and then decreases temperatures as needed to satisfy the political agenda. Destroying the rain forest was the fear 30 years ago, people stopped me in airports to talk about saving trees. Today we have more trees than then! Yes without scientific doubt, we have an increase in CO2 from last century but temperature changes? No, lets look at the data. Truth surely has value in such a costly and important question!
    Does any real scientist ( I have a doctor degree in physics from Harvard) believe we can measure earth temperatures with any precision from 1900 to date? What instruments? Where measured? The list of questions is long. But just maybe we can measure temperatures with acceptable precision in the last 15 years? That data shows no temperature change, none! The only and dominate effect was El nino. When a majority of people are sheep in a democracy, the politicians can lead us around.
    When politicians and bureaucrats hide behind the lack of proof of the negative, who will call them out?

  3. Just more scaremongering. Anyone who has followed this with an open mind will see that climate science is all based on some severely tortured data. Its been massaged and adjusted so much who knows what its really telling us. Yes, I believe we have seen increased CO2 and yes I believe temps have mildly increased. However, I am not convinced there is any emergency and I am even less convinced we could do anything about it besides adapt. I truly find it laughable that people are convinced the small percentage of CO2 man contributes to the atmosphere is the temperature control knob to the planet. Some influence? Sure. The driving factor? Absolutely not. And this I know for certain. Anyone trying to start a mango grove in Georgia betting on rapidly warming temperatures will be severely disappointed in their investment.

  4. You folks who write this stuff are repeating the “science” developed using correlations without demonstrated causation. The latest research is using regressions with real statistics not assumptions. The research demonstrates that the so -called global warming, renamed climate change is based on false assumptions and therefore false conclusions that are wildly incorrect.

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