GROWING CORN – AGRICULTURE

So many people talk about the weather and about “weather changes” these days without knowing what they’re talking about – they profess the world coming to an end in 10 years because of weather changes . . . and then ten years passes and the world is still around.  And another group makes the same claim . . . and so it goes.

Apparently, the world is still expected to end, by these groups,  in ten years.  So, here’s a solution, as a result of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) researchers.  (And, for this post, I’m drawing heavily on the thoughts of Bryce Anderson, Editor of the Progressive Farmer.)  Anderson states that a year ago, MIT researchers used computer modeling to “try to unravel a temperature mystery: the fact that, during a worldwide warming trend, the central U.S. has seen summer temperatures actually cool by as much as a full degree Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit), and rainfall increased up to 35%, the largest such increase anywhere in the world.”  As it turns out, according to Anderson (and the MIT researchers) the size of the crop canopy is the reason.  Corn production has increased in the U.S. in recent years, the Corn Belt now extending from the Texas Panhandle north to North Dakota and east to Ohio.  “Since 1950,” Anderson reports, “the corn production has gone from around 2 billion bushels to more than 15 billion bushels in 2017 – a sevenfold increase.”  The MIT team of researchers compared 5 different 30-year climate simulations, using data from 1982 to 2011.  More than 60% of the simulations with intense agriculture resulted in temperature and rainfall changes that matched the actual, observed changes.  The MIT researchers’ results were far different from forecast models being bandied about these days (which do not account for agricultural use).  The indication from the MIT research is that agriculture is the cause of the regional changes in climate during the past 30 to 40 years.  That is, the thick rows of corn (and soybeans)  are seen as counteracting rising temperatures regionally that might have otherwise resulted from higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions.  And, it’s not just the U.S. where this climate feature is noted – the same is true in eastern China, where intense agriculture has been instituted.  This area has also logged a similar cooler trend.  The reason for this “thermostat” type effect, the researchers tell us, is in the photosynthesis process for crops. “When a plant’s pores, called stomata, open to allow carbon dioxide to enter, they simultaneously allow water to escape.  This increases the amount of water going into the atmosphere and returning as rainfall.”  Very interesting, isn’t it.  And, very different from what is currently being “hawked” in the name of “climate change.”  So, to all who are concerned about the weather, my suggestion is this: “Plant corn!

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