FiveThirtyEight takes a look at how warm winters are effecting the natural growth of America’s fruit crops…..
Things are NOT good….
And we have people in charge of our government who will NOT deal with what their children ‘s children will have to deal with as the planet goes thru changes that could be addressed NOW for the future…
2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. “We had fruit here in Georgia from the middle of May to about probably the first week of July, and after that we didn’t have anything else,” said Dario Chavez, an assistant professor in peach research and extension at the University of Georgia.1
As temperatures rise globally because of climate change, Georgia is not the only part of the country where warm winters are causing trouble for farmers. California’s cherry crop took a hit in 2014 because of a warm, dry winter. And in 2012, after a warm February and March brought early blooms, Michigan’s apple crop was decimated by an April frost. Farmers have always been at the mercy of the environment, but now agricultural catastrophes brought on by warm winters seem likely to occur with greater frequency.
For trees that fruit each year (such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, almonds and other fruits and nuts), cool weather is as important as warm. Cold air and less sunlight trigger the release of chemicals that halt trees’ growth, prepare them to withstand freezing temperatures and enable them to resume growing the following spring. When a tree enters this dormant state, it sets a kind of internal seasonal alarm clock that goes off once the tree has spent enough time in chilly temperatures.2 This countdown is measured in so-called chill hours — the amount of time the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.3 When crops don’t get the chill hours they expect, they can’t properly reset. Buds are delayed, and instead of ripening into juicy, delicious fruit, they remain small and underdeveloped.4……Share on Facebook