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Coincidentally, two news releases were distributed yesterday with information from UC Ag and Natural Resources about climate change.
One news release announces the current issue of California Agriculture journal, which is devoted to news and research on climate change and how it will alter California’s environment and landscape, agriculture and food quality. The cover of the magazine says climate change is "unequivocal," a word pulled from the 2007 report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level," the IPCC report says.
Articles in the journal -
- Summarize the predicted changes to California’s climate, weather, growing conditions, pollution, sea level and other factors
- Explain why initial increases in crop production due to “CO2 fertilization” decline rapidly, a finding with important implications for hunger and nutrition worldwide
- Predict that the numbers and kinds of invasive insect pests will increase because of rising temperatures
- Demonstrate how alternative agricultural practices such as cover cropping can have a significant impact on the amounts of greenhouse gases emitted from fields
The second climate change news release was generated by the UC Berkeley news service. It says climate change will bring about major shifts in worldwide fire patterns, and that those changes are coming fast, according to an analysis led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Texas Tech University.
"This is the first attempt to quantitatively model why we see fire where we see it across the entire planet," the news release quotes study author Max Moritz, assistant cooperative extension specialist in wildland fire at UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources and co-director of the UC Center for Fire Research & Outreach. "What is startling in these findings is the relatively rapid rate at which we're likely to see very broad-scale changes in fire activity for large parts of the planet."
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J.G. Boswell, the founder and head of the enormous family-owned farming concern J.G. Boswell Co., passed away last week at the age of 86. As an innovative cotton farmer in the San Joaquin Valley and influential advocate in land and water resource policy, Boswell's path often intersected with UC Cooperative Extension.
Boswell inherited the company when he was 29 from his uncle, also named J.G. Boswell, according to an obituary published today in the Los Angeles Times. His farm spans 150,000 acres near the San Joaquin Valley town of Corcoran. In addition to farming, the company conducted an innovative research and development program, producing more productive seeds and making technological improvements to his gins that boosted their capacity to 400 bales of cotton a day.
UC Davis agricultural economist Richard Howitt told the Times that Boswell was also an innovative water user, one of the first to employ lasers to level fields so that water flowed evenly and efficiently. Careful water management, including employing agronomists to determine when and how to water, allowed Boswell's farms to produce more cotton with less water than competitors, Howitt told Times reporter Jerry Hirsch. Many of Boswell's techniques were later adopted by other farms.
J.G. Boswell was a friend to UC Cooperative Extension. His company's foundation is listed as a major contributor to the 4-H program and it provided land for UC research projects, such as a study underway in the late 1990s to determine whether agricultural drainage water can be cleaned using flow-through wetlands, as described in this UC Cooperative Extension news release. These weren't his only philanthropic endeavors. In fact, the former country director for UC Cooperative Extension in Kings County, Bruce Roberts, is now an agronomy professor in the J.G. Boswell-endowed chair in plant science at California State University, Fresno.
Google News lists 51 media outlets including a news obituary about J.G. Boswell's death, including:
- Fresno Bee: Titan of Valley agriculture Boswell dead at age 86
- Visalia Times-Delta: Local grower J.G Boswell II dies
- San Jose Mercury-News: JG Boswell II, king of Calif. cotton, dies at 86