The Next Five Years Could Be Seriously Hotter Than Normal, Say Scientists

CHRIS MOONEY, THE WASHINGTON POST 15 AUG 2018

The past four years have been the four warmest ever recorded – and now, according to a new scientific forecast, the next five will also probably be “anomalously warm,” even beyond what the steady increase in global warming would produce on its own.

That could include another record warmest year, even warmer than the current record year of 2016.

It could also include an increased risk of heat extremes and a major heat event somewhere Earth’s oceans, of the sort that have triggered recent die-offs of coral reefs across the tropics.

“What we found is that for the next five years or so, there is a high likelihood of an anomalously warm climate compared to anomalously cold,” said Florian Sevellec, a scientist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research, who co-authored the study published in Nature Communications with Sybren Drijfhout of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

Earth is warming, but this does not mean that every year is warmer than the previous one.

Rather, there is an overall warming trend – meaning that each successive decade tends to be warmer than the last – but also plenty of bouncing around among individual years in how hot they get.

One key determinant of a year’s temperature is what scientists sometimes call the climate’s “internal variability,” as opposed to the contribution of human-released greenhouse gases.

The new forecast for 2018 through 2022 arises from projecting how this internal or natural variability will play out.

…(read more).

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Merkel and Putin meet for talks in Berlin: joint statements

Dr. David Montgomery – The Hidden Half of Nature: Microbial Roots of Life & Health

The Real Truth About Health
Published on Feb 20, 2016

Expert Panel Host: David Montgomery •

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. David Montgomery tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

David R. Montgomery is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he leads the Geomorphological Research Group and is a member of the Quaternary Research Center. Montgomery received his B.S. in geology from Stanford University in 1984, and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from University of California, Berkeley in 1991. His research addresses the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. His published work includes studies of the role of topsoil in human civilization, the evolution and near-extirpation of salmon, morphological processes in mountain drainage basins, the evolution of mountain ranges, and the use of digital topography. He has conducted field research in eastern Tibet and the American Pacific Northwest. In 2008 Montgomery received a MacArthur Fellowship.

His book, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations” won the 2008 Washington State Book Award in General Nonfiction.[1] Montgomery’s 2012 book, “The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood” explores the relationship between catastrophic floods in the distant past, flood legends, “Noachian flood geology”, and geologic discovery over the past several hundred years. After the catastrophic Oso mudslide in Washington State in March, 2014, Montgomery appeared on various news segments to discuss the science behind landslides. He appears in DamNation the 2014 documentary film about dam removal in the United States.Montgomery (King of Fish), a geomorphologist who studies how landscapes change through time, argues persuasively that soil is humanity’s most essential natural resource and essentially linked to modern civilization’s survival. He traces the history of agriculture, showing that when humans exhausted the soil in the past, their societies collapsed, or they moved on. But moving on is not an option for future generations, he warns: there isn’t enough land. In the U.S., mechanized agriculture has eroded an alarming amount of agricultural land, and in the developing world, degraded soil is a principal cause of poverty. We are running out of soil, and agriculture will soon be unable to support the world’s growing population. Chemical fertilizers, which are made with lots of cheap oil, are not the solution. Nor are genetically modified seeds, which have not produced larger harvests or reduced the need for pesticides. Montgomery proposes an agricultural revolution based on soil conservation. Instead of tilling the land and making it vulnerable to erosion, we should put organic matter back into the ground, simulating natural conditions.

Food-matters

 

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

“Sure to become a game-changing guide to the future of good food and healthy landscapes.” ―Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals why good health―for people and for plants―depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. Restoring life to their barren yard and recovering from a health crisis, David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé discover astounding parallels between the botanical world and our own bodies. From garden to gut, they show why cultivating beneficial microbiomes holds the key to transforming agriculture and medicine.

20 illustrations

Food-matters

 

 

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life: David R. Montgomery

A MacArthur Fellow’s impassioned call to make agriculture sustainable by ditching the plow, covering the soil, and diversifying crop rotations.

The problem of agriculture is as old as civilization. Throughout history, great societies that abused their land withered into poverty or disappeared entirely. Now we risk repeating this ancient story on a global scale due to ongoing soil degradation, a changing climate, and a rising population.

But there is reason for hope. David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Growing a Revolution draws on visits to farms in the industrialized world and developing world to show that a new combination of farming practices can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to problems farmers face today.

Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Farmers he visited found it both possible and profitable to stop plowing up the soil and blanketing fields with chemicals. Montgomery finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides the essential recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less, if any, fertilizer and pesticides.

These practices are good for farmers and the environment. Using less fossil fuel and agrochemicals while maintaining crop yields helps farmers with their bottom line. Regenerative practices also translate into farms that use less water, generate less pollution, lower carbon emissions―and stash an impressive amount of carbon underground. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Growing a Revolution lays out a solid case for an inspiring vision where agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems, helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.

See also:

 

3 basic tenets of regenerative farming could improve soil health, food production and bottom lines

17-Aug-2018 By Elizabeth Crawford

Three simple farming strategies, based in regenerative agriculture philosophy, could hold the key to the “ancient and ongoing” problem of soil degradation, which could be nearing a tipping point as the world’s population – and need for more food – continues to rise, according to one researcher.

…(read more).

New pesticides ‘may have risks for bees’ – BBC News

By Helen Briggs BBC News
15 August 2018

Attempts to find a new generation of pesticides to replace neonicotinoids have been dealt a potential blow.

Neonicotinoids are the most commonly used insecticide in the world, but had been linked to bee declines.

Studies suggest a new type of pesticide seen as an alternative to the chemicals, which have been banned in many countries, may have similar risks.

The new insecticides may reduce bumblebee reproduction in the wild, according to a study by UK scientists.

The alternatives had been sought because of the evidence linking neonicotinoids to declines in bee populations – leading to the bans and restrictions on their use.

EU agrees near-total neonicotinoid ban

US wildlife refuges end ‘bee-killer’ ban

A study, published in Nature journal, looked at how one of the new class, known as sulfoxaflor, impacts on healthy, wild bumblebees.

Exposed bees had fewer offspring when released into the wild compared with unexposed bees.

…(read more).

Food-matters