Daniel Lemire's blog

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Science and Technology links (April 6th 2019)

12 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (April 6th 2019)”

  1. jeremy says:

    The sugar link seems busted to me.

    1. I fixed the link: bad HTML.

      1. Mark says:

        It still doesn’t work, it points to this page.

  2. Alex says:

    Re 2: GDP by itself is a completely inadequate measure, as the world’s population is still growing.

    How about this estimate instead: http://web.stanford.edu/~mburke/climate/map.php
    (51% chance of a GDP per capita decline above 20%). Doesn’t seem modest at all.

    And of course there’s this little issue of how the impact is distributed. The model above predicts declines of 80-100% in GDP per capita for many countries by 2100 (aka utter devastation).

    Additionally, Nordhaus, for one, has been completely delusional about the real-world impacts of climate change, so I seriously doubt the accuracy of his models. And what about the other economists, when most of them are wedded to the idea of perpetual economic growth?

    1. Thanks. Let me quote from the link I provided:

      With the exception of Burke, Hsiang, and Miguel (2015), these studies find relatively small effects.

      So, yes, Burke, Hsiang, and Miguel (2015) is an outlier that I did not mention in my summary.

  3. Matt Fulkerson says:

    I would take issue with #2 (impact of climate change on the economy). In the next century, if we are 3 deg C warmer on average, there are surely going to be significant impacts. Yes, Canada may be fine, but certainly the US will not be. Increasing drought throughout the west for sure. A lot of risk to food production in the bread basket.

    And the impacts do not end after one century. Even if emissions cease (unlikely), temps will continue rising. Do not make light of this issue.

    1. Quoting from the link I provided:

      It is very difficult to make sense of the many and different effects: crops hit by worsening drought, crops growing faster because of carbon dioxide fertilization, heat stress increasing, cold stress decreasing, sea levels rising, increasing energy demand for cooling, decreasing energy demand for heating, infectious disease spreading, species going extinct. Thus we need aggregate indicators to assess whether climate change is, on balance, a good thing or a bad thing and whether the climate problem is small or large relative to the many other problems that society faces.

      1. Crops do indeed grow faster. However, I recall a study from a while back which I believe you cited that stated that the mass of nutrients remained the same although the mass of crop increased.

        1. I have to believe that the content of the food we get today is quite a bit different from the content of the food we got in the past. Climate and CO2 have and will continue to play a role in these changes.

          However, I doubt that it is anything like “the mass of nutrients remained the same although the mass of crop increased”. That sounds a bit too much like bad science fiction.

          1. Alex says:

            Increasing CO2 leads to reduction in protein content in some crops, see eg Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition. Sugar content, on the other hand, seems to increase. That’s a problem for many people in eg India, who rely on plant protein.

            1. Form the link you offer:

              breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.