Monday, June 13, 2022

Ketchup at risk from climate change

More nickel-plated nonsense. A computer model prediction only. In real life tomatoes grow perfectly well in warm climates. The major source of tomatoes in my State is Bundaberg, which has a nearly tropical climate -- already warmer than projected temperatures in Europe and North America

Tomato ketchup, a stalwart of British dinner tables, may soon be a much rarer commodity as climate change threatens to halve the fruit’s global harvest this century, according to a new study.

Ketchup is made from so-called processing tomatoes, which are predominantly cultivated in California, Italy and China, all of which are at risk from global warming.

Soaring temperatures mean the plants, like most crops worldwide, are being increasingly put under stress. A team of researchers led by Aarhus University in Denmark has now created a mathematical model to see how different climate change scenarios would affect production.

“There are two types of cultivated tomato: one type for fresh consumption (for example, salad tomatoes), usually grown under controlled environments; and one type used for industrial transformation known as processing tomatoes (for example, canned tomatoes), which are usually grown under field conditions,” the researchers write in their paper, published in Nature Food.

“Processing tomatoes are important because they are used for tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup and other tomato-derived products.”

Dr Davide Cammarano, the lead author of the study from Aarhus University, told The Telegraph: “The threat of climate change is significant, especially because the type of tomato we dealt with in this study (processing tomatoes that are field grown and mechanically harvested) requires irrigation.

“It is likely that more water will be needed to keep a profitable production in the future. This has important implications because water is something that is going to be less available for agriculture in some of the areas considered in this study.”

Tomato harvest could be halved

Around 180 million tonnes of tomatoes are grown every year, with two thirds produced by just three countries: the United States, China and Italy.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlined five future global warming scenarios covering different levels of fossil fuel use and emissions.

Overall, the research found that by 2050, there would be around a six per cent decline in tomato production, with little difference between the five potential futures. But between 2050 and 2100, there is a stark difference depending on the climate model used and in the worst-case scenario, the tomato harvest could be halved.

“The production of the three main tomato-producing countries (Italy, China, the USA, which together account for 65 per cent of global production) is halved by 2100 under the worst case scenario,” Dr Cammarano said.

The worst-case scenario would involve a temperature increase in the tomato-producing regions of about 2.6C between 2040 and 2069, and 5C for 2070–2099, when compared to the baseline period of between 1980 and 2009.

Under these stipulations, the computer model projected that the global harvest of processing tomatoes in the 11 biggest growers would drop from the current 14 million tonnes a year level to less than seven million tonnes.

Warmer temperatures reduce yield

Warmer temperatures speed up how quickly plants grow, resulting in a shorter time for fruit development and therefore reducing yield.

“All crops have an optimal temperature during which development is optimal,” the scientists write.

“However, above this threshold temperature there is an acceleration in the senescence processes that has a negative impact on yield.

“The future viability of processing tomato production is different for each region,” they add.

“China will be one of the regions that is projected to be able to maintain a viable production of processing tomatoes… [but] California and Italy will be negatively impacted by the projected environmental changes.”

Dr Cammarano added: “The study shows that even lower levels of warming are enough to alter the major suitability zones for tomato production.

“Adaptation to climate changes can increase production, and this study emphasises the need to consider future climate shifts in designing resilient tomato production and value chains.”


Despite all the efforts to stop it, CO2 levels continue their relentless rise

Emissions across the globe continue to rise despite nations committing to cut them.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its long-time monitoring station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, averaged 421 parts per million of carbon dioxide for the month of May, which is when the crucial greenhouse gas hits its yearly high.

Before the industrial revolution in the late 19th century carbon dioxide levels were at 280 parts per million, scientists said, so humans have significantly changed the atmosphere.

Some activists and scientists want a level of 350 parts per million.

Industrial carbon dioxide emissions come from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

"The world is trying to reduce emissions, and you just don't see it," said NOAA climate scientist Pieter Tans.


The World Health Organization’s Climate Neurosis

Measles cases are spiking globally. More than 1,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 29 countries, and children around the world are developing hepatitis for unknown reasons. And what is the World Health Organization focused on? Climate change, naturally.

The WHO on Friday published a report on the potential mental-health impact of climate change, and better see your psychiatrist before it’s too late. “There are gaps in understanding the impact of climate change on mental health and psychosocial well-being, but current knowledge is sufficient to act!” the 16-page report says. When do knowledge gaps ever stop climate lobbyists from demanding that governments grab more power?

Colorful graphics explain that “witnessing changes and damage to landscape and ecosystems” and “awareness of climate change and extreme weather events and their impacts” could lead to strained social relationships, anxiety, depression, intimate partner violence, helplessness, suicidal behavior and alcohol and substance abuse, among other things.

Yes, the WHO has found a way to link climate change to every social problem under the sun. If rising sea levels, warmer temperatures, wildfires and hurricanes don’t destroy civilization, anxiety about apocalyptic predictions will.

The WHO says many young people report feeling “impairing distress,” perhaps due to alarmist news stories. “Various terms have emerged to describe these responses, particularly among youth affected by climate change, including climate change anxiety, solastalgia, eco-anxiety, environmental distress, ecological grief, and climate-related psychological distress,” the report says.

Believe it or not, some therapists report they are seeing more young patients afflicted by paralyzing climate dread. A recent study in The Lancet reported that 45% of young people surveyed in 10 mostly higher and upper-middle income countries said their feelings about climate change hurt their daily functioning.

Maybe the WHO could do a public-health service by informing young people that the world isn’t doomed. Ah, but its goal is to persuade wealthy countries to give it more money. The WHO knows that mental illness has become a hot issue in the West in the wake of Covid lockdowns, which it supported. Now it sees a new opportunity to expand its brief, which could be a money-maker for decades.

The WHO lost credibility after being late to raise alarms about Covid and then helping China whitewash an investigation into its origins. Like many bureaucracies, it wants to expand its authority despite failing in its core responsibilities.


Australia: Energy pie in the sky is great but how do we cook it?

Matt Canavan says we need coal still -- and gas mining opposition in NSW and Victoria needs to be bypassed

The saying “pie in the sky” was coined by American labour activist Joe Hill. He penned a song criticising Christian labour activists who, in his view, let people live on “hay” in this life, but promised them “pie in the sky” in the next.

For a long time we have been promised our energy version of pie in the sky as long as we just keep investing in renewable energy.

Australia has swallowed this gospel and then some. We have installed renewable energy at a faster rate than any other country in the world. Australia has been building renewables at a rate of 200 watts per person per year. This is more than four times the rate of growth in Europe and North America.

Yet here we are are, with no pie, and power prices that are out of control in a country blessed with energy resources.

To get power prices down we must drop our obsession with pie in the sky solutions that we are told will work in the next world. Wind and solar that is not reliable is the most fashionable but there are a variety of pies that have been promised.

Hydrogen, batteries, pumped hydro and the latest, small modular nuclear reactors. None of these things have been successfully used at scale anywhere. Yet the energy charlatans continue to promise their latest snake oil to a gullible public.

I do think we should consider nuclear but the case for it is undermined when some push the myth that a small scale nuclear reactor can just be bought off the shelf. Modular reactors are still in the design and testing phase and could be years or decades away from commercial application.

We have an energy crisis today and we need solutions that will work within years not decades. The scale of the crisis is hard to fathom and has blindsided our energy regulators who had been drunk on the renewable energy Kool Aid. Since the Liddell coal fired power station shut its first unit in April (its remaining three will shut over the next year) wholesale power prices have skyrocketed to more than 5 times their average levels.

The wholesale power price makes up about a third of the electricity bill you pay in your home. So unless something is done soon your electricity bill will more than double.

The creation and distribution of electricity is a complex engineering challenge that few understand. But because of that there is a tendency to think that the economics of energy is complex too. It is not.

To bring down power prices we simply need to increase the supply of reliable power. To fix the crisis we have now we need to focus on options that work today, not ones that might help tomorrow.

Hundreds of High Efficiency, Low Emission coal fired power stations have built around the world yet we do not have one with the latest technology in Australia. We have the world’s best coal that is best suited to these modern coal fired power stations. We should build some to replace our ageing coal fired power fleet.

We should remove the red and green tape on the gas industry that is creating gas shortages especially in southern Australia. Victoria continues to demand that Queensland send more of its gas to it despite having a complete ban on fracking.

As Ronald Reagan said there are no easy answers but there are simple ones.

We simply need to generate more reliable power because more supply of electricity will bring the price down. If we don’t focus on the real solutions soon our only hope will be to pray for an intervention from the sky.




1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

Green and Gullible the Eco-Freaks will fall for anything and blame everything from Riots to Burnt Toast on Global Warming/Climate Change