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Hang out with Prof. +Noah Diffenbaugh this Wednesday, April 25 at 11am PDT to discuss his newly published #climatechange research.
Announcing Hangouts On Air to discuss new paper this Wednesday April 25, 11am Pacific time (6pm GMT):

We have a new paper out in Nature Climate Change this week. We report that increasing heat waves from climate change cause sharp increases in the year-to-year swings in corn prices, and that a biofuels mandate enhances these effects.

You can read about the paper in the news (including today's New York Times), but I would also like to answer any questions that anyone has directly, without other filters. So, I am going to host a Hangouts On Air at 11am Pacific time (6pm GMT) this Wednesday April 25.

Let me know if you would like to join. I have pasted the Stanford News Service story below, along with a short video.

#climatechange #globalwarming #noahclimatehangouts #hangoutsonair

Stanford Report, April 23, 2012
Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say researchers from Stanford and Purdue
America's No. 1 crop could see its prime growing region shift to the Canadian border or its price volatility increase sharply within 30 years. A new Stanford study points to climate change as the cause.

By Rob Jordan

By the time today's elementary schoolers graduate from college, the U.S. corn belt could be forced to move to the Canadian border to escape devastating heat waves brought on by rising global temperatures. If farmers don't move their corn north, the more frequent heat waves could lead to bigger swings in corn prices, or price volatility, which cause spikes in food prices, farmers' incomes and the price livestock farmers and ethanol producers pay for corn.

A study published April 22 in the journal Nature Climate Change shows for the first time climate change's outsized influence on year-to-year swings in corn prices.

Researchers from Stanford and Purdue universities found that climate change's impact on corn price volatility could far outweigh the volatility caused by changing oil prices or government energy policies mandating biofuels production from corn and other crops.

"Frankly, I was surprised that climate had the largest effect of these three influences," said Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford's School of Earth Sciences and a fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "These are substantial changes in price volatility that come from relatively moderate global warming."

The study, based on economic, climatic and agricultural data and computational models, finds that even if climate change stays within the internationally recognized target limit of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels, the temperature changes could still make damaging heat waves much more common over the U.S. corn belt.

"Severe heat is the big hammer," Diffenbaugh said. "Even one or two degrees of global warming is likely to substantially increase heat waves that lead to low-yield years and more price volatility."

The researchers calculate that when climate change's effects are coupled with federal mandates for biofuel production, corn price volatility could increase sharply over the period from 2020 to 2040. Increasing heat waves will lead to low-yield years, and government-mandated corn sales to ethanol producers limit the market's ability to buffer against low-yield years.

"By limiting the ability of commodity markets to adjust to yield fluctuations, biofuels mandates work in exactly the wrong direction," said Thomas Hertel, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University who participated in the study.

"Our results suggest that energy policy decisions are likely to interact with climate change to affect corn price volatility, and that the market effect of a binding biofuel mandate is likely to intensify as the climate warms," Diffenbaugh said.

Diffenbaugh and Hertel also explored the potential of farmers to adapt to the changing climate. They found that, unless corn farmers increase their crops' heat tolerance by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit, the areas of high corn production would have to move northward from the current U.S. corn belt to near the Canadian border in order to avoid excessive heat extremes.

"Our goal was to explore the interacting influences of climate, energy markets and energy policy," said Diffenbaugh. "It is clear from our results that those policy decisions could strongly affect the impacts that climate change has on people. And, importantly, we also identify potential opportunities for reducing those impacts through adaptation."

The study was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Media Contact

Noah Diffenbaugh, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: cell (650) 223-9425, office (650) 725-7510,

Thomas Hertel, Purdue: (765) 494-4199,

Rob Jordan, communications, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: (650) 721-1881,

© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300.
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Stanford University is pleased to offer a new batch of free online courses. Courses start April 23rd and are taught by our world-renowned professors.

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"Robots are fun. But one of the reasons we do the event, frankly, is because robots are such a good way to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math. And those are very much needed skills in the contemporary economy." -Ryan Calo, director of privacy and robotics at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society
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Prof. +Noah Diffenbaugh live NOW on Hangouts on Air. Check it out!
Stanford University hung out with 7 people.Filipe Gazzinelli L. F. Werneck, Kate Creasey, Billy Wilson, Jason Davison, James Salsman, Carlos Ochoa, and Euro Maestro
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Have questions about climate change and extreme weather? Prof. Noah Diffenbaugh wants to hangout and chat. Add Prof. +Noah Diffenbaugh to your circles and post your questions on his Google+ page now.

#weather #climate #climatechange #globalwarming
There's been a lot of interest this week in the new IPCC report on extremes. I'll be doing a live Hangout On Air this Friday, April 6, at 11 am Pacific time (6 pm GMT) to discuss climate change and extreme weather. Check out the video. Let me know if you want to join the Hangout or if you have questions that you want addressed. #weather #climate #climatechange #globalwarming

+Natalie Villalobos +Chris Messina +Timothy Jordan +Cathy Tang +Nikhyl Singhal
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Amid a cheering audience, student robots faced off in a "mechatronics" class showdown. In a nod to the political season, the autonomous machines raced to transport poker chips for Michelle Botman or Team Robama
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"The behavior of electrons in materials is at the heart of essentially all of today's technologies. We're now able to tune the fundamental properties of electrons so they behave in ways rarely seen in ordinary materials." -Prof. Hari Manoharan
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What questions do you have about the role of media in the 2012 US Presidential election?

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Shanto Iyengar, professor of communication and political science, will answer in a video here next week.
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As Japan rebuilds after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, there is a potentially huge demand for the green and information technology being created by Stanford and start-ups across Silicon Valley.
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Stanford University is introducing five free online classes this month, to launch on March 12, following a successful pilot last fall that drew more than 350,000 participants from around the world. Read the article to learn more about signing up!
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