The past 70 years have been good for corn production in the Midwestern U.S., with yields increasing fivefold since the 1940s. Much of this improvement has been credited to advances in farming technology, but researchers at Harvard University are asking if changes in climate and local temperature may be playing a bigger role than previously thought.In a new paper, researchers found that a prolonged growing season due to warmer temperatures, combined with the natural cooling effects of large fields of plants, have had a major contribution to improved corn production in the U.S.“Our research shows that improvements in crop yield depend, in part, on improvements in climate,” said Peter Huybers, professor of Earth and planetary sciences in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and of environmental science and engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “In this case, changing temperatures have had a beneficial impact on agricultural production, but there is no guarantee that benefit will last as the climate continues to change. Understanding the detailed relationships between climate and crop yield is important as we move toward feeding a growing population on a changing planet.”The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).The researchers modeled the relationship between temperature and crop yield from 1981 to 2017 across the so-called Corn Belt: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. They found that as temperatures increased due to global climate change, planting days got earlier and earlier, shifting by about three days per decade.“One of farmers’ biggest decisions is what they plant and when they plant it,” said Ethan Butler, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota, first author of the paper, and a former graduate student in EPS. “We are seeing that farmers are planting earlier — not only because they have hardier seeds and better planting equipment, but also because it’s getting warmer sooner.”Early planting means the corn has more time to mature before the growing season ends.There is also a second, more surprising trend that has benefited corn yields. Whereas the vast majority of temperatures have warmed over the last century, the hottest days during the Midwestern growing season have actually cooled.“Increasingly productive and densely planted crops can evaporate more water from leaves and soils during hot days,” said Nathaniel Mueller, former postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and co-author of the paper. “Widespread increases in rates of evaporation apparently help shield maize from extreme heat, cooling the surrounding area and helping to boost yields.”Mueller is currently an assistant professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.The researchers estimate that more than a quarter of the increase in crop yield since 1981 can be attributed to the twin effects of a longer growing season and less exposure to high temperatures, suggesting that crop yields are more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought.The researchers also show that the planting and harvest dates farmers currently use are significantly better adapted to the present climate than they would have been to climates in earlier decades.“Farmers are incredibly proactive and we’re seeing them take advantage of changes in temperature to improve their yield. The question is, how well can they continue to adapt in response to future changes in climate,” said Huybers.This research was supported in part by the Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation.
But, in a twist of election-day fate no one predicted, you can now call him Kanye West, Mayor of Gobbler’s Gulch, Arkansas, located in the patch of dry land between Ozan and McNab. I just hope the sash fits. The last mayor was a goat.CHEERS to having a valid bee in your bonnet. Speaking of elections, on November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony (and several other feisty ladies with equality on their minds) made a beeline for her local polling place and voted for the first time. It was a shining, glorious moment for…well, for a moment, because Anthony was arrested, tried and fined $100. She said up yours, the judge said okay fine whatever, and she was free to go. Forty-eight years later, women finally secured the sacred right to vote. The winner in 1920: Horrible Harding. It was all smooth sailing from there. I mean…right?–BRIEF SANITY BREAK––END BRIEF SANITY BREAK–JEERS to a brief parting of ways. One of the first things President Biden will likely do after he fumigates the White House and settles in behind the Resolute Desk is get to work reversing all the shitty things his predecessor did. Among them: rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement co-created by his former boss, which the United States formally left yesterday: The move, long threatened by President Donald Trump and triggered by his administration a year ago, further isolates the U.S in the world but has no immediate impact on international efforts to curb global warming.Canada remains in the Paris agreement, giving me an excuse to post a pic of Prime Minister Justin McDreamy.Some 189 countries remain committed to the 2015 Paris accord, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), ideally no more than 1.5C (2.7 F), compared to pre-industrial levels.A further six countries have signed, but not ratified the pact. The article says that the United States is the world’s “second biggest emitter of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide.” But the level of foul air coming from our country is expected to drop dramatically due to an atmospheric phenomenon known as—[checks notes]—no more Trump rallies.CHEERS to the jewel in the Gem State‘s crown. On November 5, 1889 Idaho‘s constitution was ratified by voters with 12,398 votin’ fer it and 1,773 votin’ agin’ it. To this day it remains the only state document that guarantees to each citizen life, liberty, and the pursuit of the perfect Russet potato.–Ten years ago in C&J: November 5, 2010CHEERS to your 30 seconds of fame. Hey, everybody, welcome to the wackiest quiz show in the bloggertubes: Are You Smarter Than David Broder? Your task is to outwit the Washington Post columnist and “Dean of the Washington Press Corps” using logic and reason, while he uses nonsense pulled from his butt. Ready? Here’s your question:True or False: Invading Iran is the only way to boost the economy of the United States of America.[Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock… Ding!!!] If you answered False, you’re smarter than David Broder. Congratulations all 100 percent of every one of you currently breathing, and thanks for playing!–And just one more…CHEERS to dastardly deeds definitively denied. Happy Guy Fawkes Day & Bonfire Night! Via the UK Telegraph, for the uninitiated:Bonfire Night commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in November 1605 by a gang of Roman Catholic activists led by Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby. When Protestant King James I began his reign, English Catholics had hoped that the persecution felt for over 45 years under his predecessor Queen Elizabeth would finally end, but this didn’t transpire so the Gunpowder Plot conspirators resolved to assassinate the King and his ministers by blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the state opening of Parliament.Hey, watch that lantern! You’ll poke your eye out.Guy (Guido) Fawkes and his fellow conspirators, having rented out a house close to the Houses of Parliament, managed to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder into a cellar of the House of Lords—enough to completely destroy the building. […] Explosive expert Fawkes, who had been left in the cellars to set off the fuse, was subsequently caught when a group of guards checked the cellars at the last moment. The conspirators were all either killed resisting capture or—like Fawkes—tried, convicted, and executed.Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom, and in a number of countries that were formerly part of the British Empire, with fireworks, bonfires and parades.So, basically, it commemorates the time when an extremist organized a bunch of other extremists to weasel their way into the government and destroy its ability to govern. Or as we call it over here: a day ending in “y” in the Republican Freedom Caucus.Have a tolerable Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?–Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial”A Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool, madam. If you can keep it.”—Benjamin Franklin– As always, Charles Gaba’s—aka Kossack Brainwrap’s—ACA Signups site is a must-bookmark for both the big picture and minutiae of this year’s enrollment period. (Toss him some coin while you’re there.) This year there are seven important things he says you need to remember as you’re sorting it all out, including: The list goes on and on. (And if all goes well, Democrats will add another benefit in a couple months: removal of the cancer on the presidency.) So, to recap: enrollment is underway and runs through December 15th for federal exchange signer-uppers. Mention my name and they’ll throw in a free jar of cotton balls. (The things I do for you people, I swear.)And now, our feature presentation…–- Advertisement – Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, November 5, 2020Note: A quick heads-up that there will be no C&J Monday. Back Tuesday a fully bonded and insured Jedi Knight. Oops, sorry…I mean Sith Lord. And now that I think of it, probably minus the bonding and insurance because any actuarial worth his salt will tell you the Sith are a terrible risk pool. So I’ll probably just end up coming back Tuesday as Billy with a box of doughnuts. And probably minus the doughnuts.–- Advertisement – By the Numbers:21 days!!!Days ’til Thanksgiving: 21Turnout in the U.S. election, the highest since 1900: 67%Percent of Americans who support same-sex marriage (versus 28% who don’t), the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll according to the annual Public Religious Research Institute (PRRI) Survey: 70%Percent in the survey who “favor laws that would protect LGBT people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing,” up from 72% last year: 83%Year Florida‘s minimum wage will hit $15/hr. after voters approved a hike Tuesday: 2026Percent chance that Walmart reversed its decision to remove guns and ammo from its stores because, contrary to what they thought, the lazy and apathetic American people aren’t really planning to smash and grab them due to “civil unrest”: 100%Number of Covid-19 deniers who died of Covid-19 a month ago and still won their race in a state legislature Tuesday: 1–Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:I have been collecting material for a series of columns on the peppy topic, “How Do We Fix This Mess?”The news is dandy in that there are a lot of a sound ideas being passed around. Really serious messes, like the one this country is in, do not, in my experience, have simple, definitive solutions. And if they do, such solutions are politically impossible. We are looking for progress, not perfection, so anyone who tells you the entire tax code should fit on a postcard is a bona fide, certified, chicken-fried moron. […]Uh, how about we address the problem that our entire political system is corrupt, that it has been corrupted by corporate money, and that we have government of corporate interests, by corporate interests and for corporate interests—and that we really need to change that, instead of trying to raise more corporate money than Republicans?—November, 2005–Puppy Pic of the Day: Buff, no wax…–CHEERS to starting with a bit of good news—or make that four. The Republicans’ favorite bogeywomen are baaaaack…AOC, Tlaib, Omar and Pressley: together again.And another bit of happy news: Marie Newman is officially going to Congress, representing Illinois’ 3rd district, having finally booted odious blue dog Democrat Dan Lipinski in the primary after two tries and then handily defeating Republican Mike Fricilone Tuesday. Other than that, here at the C&J elections desk we don’t know anything for certain. Oh, wait…..CHEERS to the one damn thing we do know for certain. The votes have been counted. The tea leaves have been read. The Magic 8 Balls have been shook. Esmeralda the Psychic has done her foreseeing. Steve Kornacki’s state-by-state tote board has been analyzed seven ways to Sunday. The chicken entrails have been examined. (Sorry ’bout that, chicken—it was for a noble cause and we promise you’ll be a Tony-winning Broadway star in your next life.) And we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our 46th president is not going to be… – Advertisement – MAKE SURE YOU’RE ENROLLING IN ACA-COMPLIANT COVERAGE! There’s a ton of junk plans and scam artists out there, especially these days. Fraudulent plans are being hawked endlessly via both robocalls, spam emails and fly-by-night websites.VIA SILVER LOADING, SOME SUBSIDIZED ENROLLEES MAY BE ABLE TO GET ZERO-PREMIUM BRONZE PLANS…OR EVEN ZERO-PREMIUM GOLD PLANS.WHATEVER YOU DO, *DON’T* ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE *PASSIVELY* AUTO-RENEWED! And one other reminder: now that the Affordable Care Act is becoming more and more popular, you’ve been hearing Republicans take credit for its most popular provisions. So, to review, these are benefits Americans now enjoy because of Democrats and only Democrats:» No penalties for pre-existing conditions» No out-of-pocket costs for preventive checkups, immunizations, and cancer screenings» No annual or lifetime limits on coverage» Coverage of dependent kids up to age 26» Prohibition of “retroactive cancellation” for no good reason» Prohibition on charging women more for coverage» High minimum amounts that insurance companies have to spend on your actual coverage versus their advertising- Advertisement – read more
SUPERBIKE competitor John Bennett promises pace and power come July 2, when the second National Race of Champions takes place at the South Dakota Circuit.Chronicle Sport caught up with Bennett yesterday who contended that following the Jamaica leg last month he is ready and raring for the battle.“So far, the bike is going through a repair period. We just got them back and we are doing the prerequisite repairs; of course you know I had a spill in Jamaica and the bike had some damage.”“Hopefully, we get the bike up by this weekend and start practising for the July second race of champions,” he added.“The fall down was not scary, it’s motor racing and especially on motorcycles, it’s sometimes expected but on my recovery end, I still feel some pains but that wouldn’t harm me come July 2.”He noted that he is ready for the competition but expects it to be no easy task to match some of the best riders locally.“I’m not going to single out any rider specifically as guys to watch. I think we need to watch the entire pack and at any time, they can pull something out of the hat. I’m focusing on me at the moment.”His Kawasaki ZX6-R is sponsored by Orchid Consultancy Group, Union One Express, HallMark.The event is sponsored by Ansa McAl, Prem’s Electrical, B.M. Soat, Mohamed’s Enterprise, Ready Mix, Special Auto, Japarts, Ticket Master, Palm Court, KGM, MAC Batteries, S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction, L Mahabir and Sons Cambio and Choke Gas Station. (Stephan Sookram) read more
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisWBKB’s Mike Beiermeister stopped by Dr. David Dargis’ Buck Pole in Alpena to talk about opening day hunting in Northeast Michigan. Take a look!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious MidMichigan Medical Center Alpena Honors World Diabetes DayNext Ella White Celebrates 50 Days of School ‘Rock n Roll’ Style