Saturday, July 17, 2010

Russia Enjoys the Benefits of Higher Temperatures

Here in the antipodes EoR doesn't hear much news from Russia, but the BBC reports that western Russia is suffering a heatwave:

For the past two weeks temperatures across much of western Russia have soared past 35C, in the hottest and longest heatwave in decades.

Russia is also suffering what is thought to be the worst drought in more than 100 years.

There has been virtually no rain since winter and crops are shrivelling.

"We've had 10mm of rain, scorching hot temperatures over 35C, which have just burnt all the crops up," says Colin Hinchley, a Briton who now farms in Penza near the Volga river, in southern Russia.

"Winter wheat crops are 50% of the yield, and spring crops, in some cases, are going to be virtually none."


The heatwave is expected to last another week. By then Moscow may well have broken through its highest ever temperature of 36.6C.

Now, EoR is not going to claim that this has anything to do with global warming (though a 100 year drought is obviously climate related) but it does show what effect global warming might have and the catastrophic effects an abnormal increase in temperature can have: crops are affected by a small heatwave and people are dying (admittedly drunk Russians, where alcoholism is a national pasttime). The Moscow Times, in its idiosyncratic way, advises:

Russia's top public health official, Gennady Onishchenko, has advised Muscovites to stay away from the sun, subsist on a diet of fruits and vegetables, and not go overboard fighting the weather.

Of course, if global warming was real (it's not, we all know it's a World Green Communist Illuminati Conspiracy) then that would actually be a good thing. CO2 is good for plants, and the more the stuff the more plants will grow. Never mind less water, or changing climates and ecosystems. Or even that more phytoplankton means more gets eaten. Just so in Russia, a heatwave is good. Air conditioner sales have soared. Except this has now led to stock shortages. Ice cream sales have also soared. Except freezers are breaking down in the sun and prices have had to be lowered. EoR can't quite see the positive aspect of melting asphalt and dangerous pollution from peat bog fires, but he's sure there's a rightwing think tank website with a header image of flowers somewhere masquerading as the Truth About Climate Change that will assure him these are also good things to have.

So, just one small weather event (note again: EoR isn't claiming here this is or isn't related to climate change) has had devastating consequences, some of which related to crops are obviously going to have longterm impacts in the future.

If weather gets colder for any reason then that, of course, means climate is also cooling. Is that clear? Hotter temperatures=weather; colder temperatures=climate. So simple any fool could understand it. Even a trolling journalist.


  1. They keep talking about the co2 problem holding in the heat but a obscure and immediate problem is the heat used from the fuel. In all but fuel cell uses of fossil fuels and coal the fuel is burnt producing huge amounts of heat. Instead of looking at the co2 only they should be looking at the quadrillions of btu's released every day by industry, autos, and homes.
    even most uses of electric produced by wind, solar, and hydro is to heat or pump heat with a btu loss, or run motors at a btu waste. incandescent lighting is 80% heat and 20% light.


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