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World Grain Status (merged)

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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 19:11:42

AgentR11 wrote:
pstarr wrote:
AgentR11 wrote:No need to dismiss; accept and embrace work better.

But you are accepting emotional stress (you said so yourself . . . a hint ) and embracing something that is not there, except perhaps in your mind. The certitude that we are about to murder mankind and the planet's other lovely creatures is just not backed up by science.


Accept and embrace the risk. There is no certitude involved. My point is that the risk is non-trivial, and the cost of failure is unimaginably high. As to stress, managed and directed stress is not necessarily a bad thing.
Do you dismiss other possible scenarios? Climate change may turn out to be a wash. The arctic plains might be a rather suitable place to grow things with spring-summer moisture/warmth, long days, and flat terrain. We don't know.

Other limiting factors are real now. Now. Now. Peak Oil. Look up Peak Phosphorus, to understand the current political brouhaha in Morocco for that story.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 20:03:58

Going to have to go with pstarr on this about a possible wash. You do open up new areas for crop production but you might simultaneously reduce yields in other areas, due to heat stress on crops, drought, excessive foliation due to increased CO2 levels which lead to decreased crop production, and the invasiveness of crop pests.

But we aren't starving tomorrow or anytime soon which is the takeaway from all of this. Peak oil is the killer of civilization not climate change.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 20:21:14

Cog wrote:Going to have to go with pstarr on this about a possible wash. You do open up new areas for crop production but you might simultaneously reduce yields in other areas, due to heat stress on crops, drought, excessive foliation due to increased CO2 levels which lead to decreased crop production, and the invasiveness of crop pests.

But we aren't starving tomorrow or anytime soon which is the takeaway from all of this. Peak oil is the killer of civilization not climate change.

I can't agree with you there. One bad harvest in China or India would wipe out world grain reserves in less then a year and bad news tends to come in threes. And it is not climate change or peak oil but the ever growing human population that is dooming civilization. And I doubt that any place in Northern Canada or Siberia is going to turn into the next Iowa.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 21:06:54

Is there some sort of science that backs "bad news comes in threes"?

Sounds like some sort of wives tale sort of nonsense. Lets stick to science please.

Anyway civilization isn't a planetary concept. Some localities can have what we refer to as civilization while others do not. Oceans like fences make good neighbors.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 21:07:34

I don't dismiss them; but they concern me less; less in the sense that most are natural progressions of the biological system as CO2 is returned to the atmosphere; this time faster than the previous few times; but also no where near the highest levels the Earth has seen.

Homo sapiens coming to an end in a hundred or a thousand years doesn't really disturb me; species like us at the apex of everything aren't really evolved to last tens of millions of years. We were always going to be, just a blink of an eye in the history of life on Earth. Its really no big deal.

The grain issue concerns me because if/when we roll snake-eyes and come up seriously short; there is no magic, "this is too horrible" button to push to make the calories appear. They simply will not exist. And people will simply starve. (mostly people in underdeveloped countries, of course) Russians, Americans, Europeans, Japanese, probably even Chinese will be fine-ish; other than angry that 10kg of rice cost $100... Africans, Indians, SE Asians, South Americans.. They will get to do the starving for us. We'll watch on TV of course and express our sympathies.. while eating a pizza.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 22:31:48

Cog wrote:Going to have to go with pstarr on this about a possible wash. You do open up new areas for crop production but you might simultaneously reduce yields in other areas, due to heat stress on crops, drought, excessive foliation due to increased CO2 levels which lead to decreased crop production, and the invasiveness of crop pests.

But we aren't starving tomorrow or anytime soon which is the takeaway from all of this. Peak oil is the killer of civilization not climate change.

IOW we are going to need Canada's croplands. Better hope it doesn't have plans for a wall. And a NATO-nuke hidden away under a pile of reindeer crap lol
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby BlinkBlink » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 22:35:29

There isn't the infrastructure in Siberia or North Canada to support agriculture. Roads, houses, grain silos, shops, fuel outlets, etc. Everything that exists in rural communities now need to migrate north. That won't happen because by the time that people work out that we need to do it, it will be too late and take too long.

No, us humans will do what we always do when there are resource shortages. War.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby kiwichick » Sun 05 Jun 2016, 22:56:07

@ blink ....+1 .......still don't think that Siberia or the Northern American continent will be huge grain producing areas due to the lack of adequate soil (as well as your points re infrastructure )

most of that area has been scoured by ice sheets , sometimes multiple times
or it is bogs or lakes .......just can't see the northern steppes off setting the losses in the tropical and sub tropical areas .....and the areas being lost to rising sea levels
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 06 Jun 2016, 00:16:37

What kc and blink said.

Either nearly everything is scraped off and so you are trying to farm on bedrock, or you are dealing with bogs, which are waterlogged, acidic, and nutrient poor. If you dry it out, it is still acidic and nutrient poor, and it is very likely then to catch fire and burn basically forever till it is all gone.

Good luck growing wheat or nearly any other major crop in that!
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 13:49:10

What Would Happen If Several of the World’s Biggest Food Crops Failed at the Same Time

Less than one-quarter of Earth's total cropland produces nearly three-quarters of the staple crops that feed the world's population – especially corn, wheat and rice, the most important cereal crops. These areas are our planet's major breadbaskets.

Historically, when a crop failed in one of these breadbaskets, only nearby areas had to contend with shortages and rising prices. Now, however, major crops are traded on global markets, which means that production failures can have far-reaching impacts. Moreover, climate change is expected to generate heat waves and drought that could cause crop losses in most of the world's breadbaskets. Indeed, failures could occur simultaneously in several of these key regions.
It is already clear from our preliminary work that this is a real, near-term threat.

Image

For example, regional droughts and heat waves in the Ukraine and Russia in 2007 and then again in 2009 damaged wheat crops and caused global wheat prices to spike by substantial amounts in both years. In 2012 heat and drought in the United States slashed national corn, soybean and other crop yields by up to 27 percent. And yields of important food crops are low and stagnating in many countries due to factors including plant diseases, poor soil quality, poor management practices and damage from air pollution.

At the same time, many experts assert that world food production may have to double by 2050 to feed a growing population and satisfy rising demand for meat, poultry and dairy products in developing countries.

Pardee Center Research Report: The Risks of Multiple Breadbasket Failures in the 21st Century: A Science Research Agenda March 2017


Where Climate Change is Most Likely to Induce Food Violence

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While climate change is expected to lead to more violence related to food scarcity, new research suggests that the strength of a country's government plays a vital role in preventing uprisings.

"A capable government is even more important to keeping the peace than good weather" said Bear Braumoeller, co-author of the study and associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.
"We've already started to see climate change as an issue that won't just put the coasts under water, but as something that could cause food riots in some parts of the world"

Extreme weather such as droughts and floods could hurt agricultural production in some countries, leading to violence there or elsewhere by people who are desperate for food. "Climate-induced food scarcity is going to become an increasingly big issue and we wanted to understand which countries are most threatened by it," he said.

... When examining countries' vulnerabilities, the researchers analyzed a host of factors including a country's dependence on agricultural production, its imports, the strength of its political institutions and its wealth.
"We found that the most vulnerable countries are those that have weak political institutions, are relatively poor and rely more on agriculture,"

Benjamin T Jones et al. Food scarcity and state vulnerability: Unpacking the link between climate variability and violent unrest, Journal of Peace Research (2017).


21st Century US 'Dustbowl' Risk Assessed

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... A repeat of 1930s weather today would lead to a 40% loss in maize production.

In a 2-degree warmer world, it becomes a 65% reduction, the team projects.

... "And what we see at higher temperatures is that these crops - maize and also soy - are so sensitive that an average year come mid-century (2050) could be as bad as 1936, even with normal precipitation"


Report suggests world food shocks likely to grow more common due to global warming

Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system

... going forward, serious events that caused problems with food production, such as droughts, that have happened on average once a century, likely will occur as often as every thirty years, or once a decade later this century. And there is, they add, a likelihood that some of those shocks to the system could be worse than has been seen before.

Abrupt changes in the price of oil can cause problems as well—not only does the price of oil directly impact the cost of food production, but it can lead to more reliance on crops dedicated to producing energy, rather than food for hungry bellies. And of course there is the looming need to grow more food as the world population continues to expand at an alarming rate.

The authors suggest that most food production shocks in the near future likely will not impact developed nations much, especially those that grow most of their own food. It will be developing nations or regions that are not able to produce much food, such as the Middle East, that will feel the brunt of food shortages or spikes in costs.


Weather extremes and trade policies were main drivers of wheat price peaks

Science predicts more frequent extreme events will shock the global food system

Food shocks have the potential to wreak havoc on food markets, commodity exports, and families around the world.

Because distant regions are increasingly connected by global markets, the threat of extreme events occurring in different breadbaskets simultaneously is especially concerning. For example, what if severe drought in the US Midwest withers the soy and maize harvest at the same time that a record-breaking heat wave in Europe bakes the continent's wheat crop?

In a report released last year, an independent expert taskforce from the UK and USA outlined key recommendations to safeguard against threats to food supplies.

Country Level Impacts ofGlobal Grain Production Shocks
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:03:10

Thanks vox.

Mostly most people will never realize how much GW impacts the disasters that are now going to start piling up in ever more fast, furious and intense sequence.

Look how essentially invisible the role of GW in the development of Arab Spring was. The Russian 2010 mega-drought that cause that country to halt all export of grain dramatically affected Egypt, for example, which had been importing almost all of its wheat from Russia up till then, and where wheat is central to the diet. That 2010 drought was deeply researched and it was found that it was essentially impossible for it to happen at the intensity it did without the added juicing of the climate from GW.

I would be surprised if even one in one million Americans is aware of that connection.

The connection between drought in Syria and the horrific war going on there now has gotten a bit more press recently, but is still mostly completely unknown to even fairly well informed people, here and abroad. My daughter wrote a paper on it for an environmental course she was taking at a university in Europe, and the professor said he had never heard about it.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:16:27

Re food issues and climate change magnifying them:

It's unfortunate that we're going to "get" to be participants in such experiments as to how AGW makes things worse in real time -- since humanity certainly isn't going to do anything meaningful to deal with AGW proactively if it costs much or is inconvenient for voters.

And too bad that when it becomes obvious how bad such inconveniences are when they hit, that we can't suddenly hit a switch and make it better, even if we're willing to spend ten times what some good proactive prevention (and/or AGW reduction) would have cost.

And if you are going to opine that the Paris Climate accords ARE doing something "meaningful" -- I retort that a global nonbinding political agreement to give the problem a big can-kick down the road and high fives all around is NOT doing anything meaningful -- not even close.
Last edited by Outcast_Searcher on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:17:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:17:17

Also, note that rice is the grain most sensitive to GW. This is the staple grain throughout much of Asia, and very important for much of the rest of the world.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:22:02

dohboi wrote:Also, note that rice is the grain most sensitive to GW. This is the staple grain throughout much of Asia, and very important for much of the rest of the world.

In the short run outfits like the (much hated and feared) Monsanto are doing things like coming up with GMO strains which are more drought resistant, more bug resistant, have higher yields, etc.

The problem I see is that assuming that this is enough, or that it won't fall behind, or that something nasty and unexpected due to such crops won't emerge. Kind of like when we drain the aquifers, pretend all is well until they're depleted, and THEN what? (Besides expecting someone else to pay to fix it, of course).
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:30:27

It's a very hard lift, but what needs to happen mostly is that people start choosing a different grain than rice as their staple. Even if it weren't the most sensitive to gw, it would still be the grain that contributes most to GW because of the methane that inevitably is emitted from its flooded fields.

Millet would be an excellent choice to replace it, but it is often associated with poverty and so is disparaged and avoided. But it grows in a much wider range of environments and is high in protein (11 grams protein per 100 grams grain, versus less than 3 in rice).
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 17:27:27

dohboi wrote:It's a very hard lift, but what needs to happen mostly is that people start choosing a different grain than rice as their staple. Even if it weren't the most sensitive to gw, it would still be the grain that contributes most to GW because of the methane that inevitably is emitted from its flooded fields.

Millet would be an excellent choice to replace it, but it is often associated with poverty and so is disparaged and avoided. But it grows in a much wider range of environments and is high in protein (11 grams protein per 100 grams grain, versus less than 3 in rice).

And just what is your favorite dish made with millet as the primary ingredient?
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 17:38:24

Cog,

I know others disagree but I for one don't think the northern zones will be replacing the lost southern zones. While there is a lot of land up there there are a few fctors that need to be considered.

1. The growing season is different. New crops need to be developed to take advantage of the long summer sun and resist the long winter cold.
2. As noted above there is not much soil there. Many of the areas I'm familiar with are barren. They call Newfoundland "The Rock" for a reason.
3. Climate change is causing big changes in the various atmospheric cells and the way they behave. We currently live in a very stable period. It is certain that future periods will have wider weather extremes. That means the crops will be more exposed to extremes. Late frosts, long droughts, etc.

As it is we in the USA live in a sort of Eden. We have a large very fertile plain that has atypically stable climatic conditions. This has been further enhanced by the green revolution, but that has worked its wonders and is not to be repeated. In fact we are now at risk for new opportunistic bugs do do mischief. What we have grown to accept as "normal" is a fortunate blessing to be cherished, not a constitutional right. It will go away, just how soon and at what rate remain unknown.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 18:12:47

vtsnowedin wrote:
dohboi wrote:... Millet would be an excellent choice to replace it, but it is often associated with poverty and so is disparaged and avoided. But it grows in a much wider range of environments and is high in protein (11 grams protein per 100 grams grain, versus less than 3 in rice).

And just what is your favorite dish made with millet as the primary ingredient?


Injera – Ethiopian Flatbread (Pancake)

The accompaniment and, literally, the base of most Ethiopian dishes.
“Injera” – the principal dish in Ethiopian cooking – is a thin, soft flatbread made of millet, flour, yeast and water, and baked in a pan without fat.

Serves 4
1 yeast cube
3/4 cup millet (teff) flour or, alternatively, a mix of millet and wheat flour or millet and corn flour
0.2 litres water
The night before, dissolve the yeast in a cup with a bit of water, adding some flour, and leave to rise in a warm place.
Mix the flour, dissolved yeast and about 0.2 litres of lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Knead or stir until smooth, cover and leave to rise in a warm place.
Pour a large ladle of the batter into a hot pan; move the pan to spread evenly. The pan base should be covered to about 0.5 to 1 cm. Bake the bread until holes start appearing on the surface. Cover with a lid. The bread is done once it separates from the sides of the pan. Carefully clean the pan with a kitchen towel after each round.
Remove the injera from the pan and leave to cool. It should be light and relatively airy. http://www.food-of-africa.com/ethiopian ... ra-recipe/

Add a bowl of Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew and your good to go.

It's actually pretty tasty.

Modern European genes may favor vegetarianism

Image

A Cornell study, published May 26 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, describes how shifts in diets in Europeans after the introduction of farming 10,000 years ago led to genetic adaptations that favored the dietary trends of the time.

Before the Neolithic revolution that began around 10,000 years ago, European populations were hunter-gatherers who ate animal-based diets and some seafood. But after the advent of farming in southern Europe around 8,000 years ago, which spread northward thereafter, European farmers switched to primarily plant-heavy diets.

The study – the first to separate and compare adaptations that occurred before and after the Neolithic revolution – reveals that these dietary practices are reflected in the genes of Europeans. Researchers collected data from more than 25 other studies that examined ancient DNA from fossils and archaeological remains (dating back to 30,000 years ago until about 2,000 years ago), and DNA from contemporary populations.

The study shows that vegetarian diets of European farmers led to an increased frequency of an allele that encodes cells to produce enzymes that helped farmers metabolize plants. Frequency increased as a result of natural selection, where vegetarian farmers with this allele had health advantages that allowed them to have more children, passing down this genetic variant to their offspring.

The FADS1 gene found in these vegetarian farmers produces enzymes that play a vital role in the biosynthesis of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). These LCPUFAs are crucial for proper human brain development, controlling inflammation and immune response. While omega-3 and omega-6 LCPUFA can be obtained directly from animal-based diets, they are absent from plant-based diets. Vegetarians require FADS1 enzymes to biosynthesize LCPUFA from short-chain fatty acids found in plants (roots, vegetables and seeds).

Analysis of ancient DNA revealed that prior to humans' farming, the animal-based diets of European hunter-gatherers predominantly favored the opposite version of the same gene, which limits the activity of FADS1 enzymes and is better suited for people with meat and seafood-based diets. ...
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 19:39:55

I have a favorite new grain called farro, which is an ancient soft wheat from Tuscany dating back to when it was run by the Romans. (Soft grains are eaten by humans, hard grains are milled for flour.)

Farro makes an excellant cold salad with asparagus and sugar snap peas: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/farro-salad-with-peas-asparagus-and-feta-232262
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The easiest farro recipe, a mixture of warm farro, chopped fresh spinach, and cream cheese: http://cookthestory.com/simple-farro-recipe-cream-cheese-spinach/
Image
IMHO the best farro prep is the "pasta method", where you boil the rinsed grain with 1 tsp salt for 15-20 minutes, then pour it into a sieve. Immediately rinse with cold water for salad, or proceed with preparation of warm recipes.

Brown rice has been relegated to has-been status since I tasted the crunchy farro.
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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postby sparky » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 04:58:24

.
the shifting of the growing seasons has so far proved to be beneficial ,
an increased CO2 and increase in global precipitation has has helped a lot too !

food stocks are plentiful , food prices as low as ever
the real issues with the future are hydrocarbon derivatives and fuel price
the phosphates are also a long term certain headache

let's not kid ourselves , the number of people alive is exactly the same as the number who got food
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