cherry trees and climate change
November 17, 2010, 7:42 am
Filed under: farm, food issues, gardening | Tags: , ,

Been doing a lot of reading about climate change lately. You hear a lot about greenhouse gases and things, but it’s sometimes hard to get specific. It’s about the whole world, and rising sea levels and things like that. Hard to tell how it will really impact you, in your city or region.

But here’s a project that was intriguing–in michigan the climate has warmed up 2 degrees. And as a result cherry buds appear 7-10 days earlier. That doesn’t sound like much but that leaves the buds susceptible to early spring frosts. That meant that in 2002 the cherry growers lost 99% of their crop!

It’s a pretty big investment a farmer makes to plant trees or stay in the fruit tree business. How do you decide to expand, or to abandon ship? What a scary thought. On my little farmette scale, I sometimes feel overwhelmed about planning for the 5-10 year future of the garden. And I’ve really got nothing on the line financially to do so!

The cherry farmers gathered together an interdisciplinary team to study the effects of climate change to try and make some predictions that will help the industry decide what to do. They’ve looked at climate models and done all kinds of analyses to try and bring the predictions down to the microclimate level of their area in Michigan. I’m not sure they’ve wrapped up their analysis yet, and they’ve run out of funding I think, but I imagine that there are a lot of industry groups really starting to get serious about climate change impact on growing conditions.

See here: Climate change and cherry trees.


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