Tuesday, January 16, 2007
How Much Evidence Will It Take...
Rising temperatures are allowing Southern trees to thrive farther north and stressing trees used to colder weather, according to new national guidelines issued by planting experts.
The National Arbor Day Foundation last month updated the Agriculture Department's "hardiness zones" map, which was last issued in 1990. The group acted after noticing that some tree species were thriving where they had not before, while others were doing poorly in what had been a suitable region on previous maps.
The map divides the nation into 11 planting zones tied to average low temperatures. It shows significant boundary changes as the continent has warmed. For example, in southern Texas, the edge of one zone moved more than 200 miles north to the Panhandle. A few locations jumped two zones.
The map is based on 15 years of minimum temperatures from 5,000 observers used by the National Weather Service.
Last year was the warmest on record for the USA. Twelve of the top 25 warmest years have been since 1990.
Now a story from the LA Times on what sub-freezing temperatures have done to California's citrus crop:
As much as 70% of oranges still on California trees may have been destroyed by record cold temperatures across the state, officials and farmers said Monday.
It will take days to make a full assessment of the losses to the $1.1-billion orange crop. But the state's top agriculture official said Monday that damage to fruit and vegetable crops overall will be greater and more widespread than in the devastating freeze of 1998, which destroyed $700 million worth of produce across California.
"This cold incident will surpass the 1998-99 freeze," said A.G. Kawamura, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Losses, although greatest in the San Joaquin Valley, seem to be spread through many parts of the state that typically have been immune to freezes, he said, "from San Diego … to the coast."
In addition to citrus fruits, growers are reporting damage to other crops, including leafy greens, avocados, strawberries and blueberries, said Kawamura, who has spent the last few days visiting farms from Fresno to Ventura.
Some farmers are reporting damage to 100% of their crops, and many others say more than half their produce is destroyed, he said.
In the meantime, while California enjoys 25 degree nights, the temperature in New York City has averaged 15-20 degrees above normal. Most days, the high temperature has hit somewhere in the low 50's. The weather is expected to cool now as the horrible cold snap that hit the midwest last week moves east. Even so, this looks to be one of the warmest winters (and possibly the warmest) on record so far in New York.
Strange weather patterns, record snow in Colorado, record cold in California, record warm weather on the east coast.
But, you know, it's all just due to El Nino.
Not one ounce of this wacky weather is due to human activity or carbon-based emissions.
Brian Williams, the news anchor for General Electric, told us so two weeks ago. And the preznut's official scientists at NOAA say so as well. And so does the chief science officer for the preznut, John Marburger.
Never mind these crazy scientists (all 16,000 of them) at UCUSA.org. They're just dirty, patchouli-smelling, dope-smoking, tree-hugging, industry-hating communist hippies and Luddites who hate America.
Instead, when it comes to getting information about climate change, you just have to believe the guy who works for General Electric and the scientists on the ExxonMobil payroll.
Lolita Bar is located on the northeast corner of Broome St and Allen St on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
One debater is a member of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth squad, and the other is an MIT-trained scientist.