I Blame Gore

This is going to be a disaster if it keeps frosting like this:

When you were basking in record warmth last week, farmers were worried. They knew the abnormal weather was making some plants vulnerable when seasonable weather returned.

On Monday night, their fears were realized.

“It got down to 21 degrees in some spots. On apples, we could have lost as much as 10 percent,” said Chip Hardy, owner of Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis. “If it had gotten down to 15, we could have lost 90 percent, so we were lucky it didn’t get that cold.”

The problem is that trees and bushes were fooled by a stretch of 80-degree days last week, producing their flowers roughly a month earlier than usual, leaving frost-sensitive buds exposed.

Fruiting plants from apple and peach trees to blueberry bushes and grape vines are vulnerable, as are some decorative plants such as magnolia trees.

“I’m also worried about your hardwood trees that have started to grow buds,” said George Hamilton, UNH Cooperative Extension educator. “I don’t know what the critical temperature is that kills those new growths.”

That was a couple days ago in NH, but the same thing is playing out right now where I live. We’re supposed to get down into the 30-32 range here tonight, and everything has bloomed- all the fruit trees, etc. Could be a real disaster, and will lead to serious, serious economic pain for farmers and then, of course, consumers. I was actually considering putting in some plants the other day, but I guess I will just start getting everything into flower boxes in the basement under grow lights and controlled temp until the middle of April.

We also had so little snow that I wonder about the impact on the water table and whether or not we are going to have an unseasonably wet or dry summer. Neither is good news.

52 replies
  1. 1

    From what I understand Gore is fat and a member of the same party as George Zimmerman, so there.

  2. 2
    David Koch says:

    Freedom isn’t free, bitches.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    I am very grateful that the hot weather abated just before anything bloomed. It went down to 12 degrees the other night and we’d be looking at no fruit and a lot of stressed trees if they had broken bud.

    I’m also hearing that the maple sugaring season was pretty much a bust this year. Too damn warm.

  4. 4
    Trentrunner says:

    Speaking of soil, Andrew Breitbart is still dead and rotting six feet under.

    I’ve had a particularly shitty-sad day, and that thought lightens the load, just a bit.

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    Sometimes I read data framed a new way and get the crap scared out of me. For example.

    February was the 324th consecutive month in which global temperatures exceeded their long-term average for a given month; the last month with below average temperatures was February 1985. So far this year, the United States has set 17 daily highs for every daily low.

    Gore, fat, tip waitress, etc.

  6. 6
    David Koch says:

    If you enact mandates against climate change then next you’ll be mandating the purchase of broccoli, there’ll be no end to the liberal schemes.

  7. 7

    @beltane: Article in the Press Herald suggesting that a warmer Gulf of Maine — sea-surface temps nearly 10º F higher than usual — means fewer cod and other Gadidae generally, lobsters moulting early, more and earlier algal blooms….

    Vast liberal conspiracy….

  8. 8
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Trentrunner:

    yeah, who knew that rascal was so into vermiculture?

  9. 9
    danielx says:

    Be careful with them grow lights, Cole – if your electricity usage spikes up all of a sudden, you could end up having unknown people watching your house to see if you’re cultivating recreational, uh, asparagus! That’s it, asparagus!

  10. 10
    handy says:

    Was talking to an AGW denier the other day. He trotted out a meme I’ve heard elsewhere about why the US shouldn’t lead on emissions standards when the Red Chinese won’t follow (obviously!). It’s because it will hurt “the poor.” I mentioned increased flooding and rising tides from melting ice caps will hurt a lot of the poor too, considering how many of them live near coastlines. He said, better take that chance then stifle the free market’s ability to feed them.

    We shouldn’t do anything to address global warming, even if it’s real as he was willing to concede was possible. Because it would hurt the poor. Irrespective of the merits of the argument itself, I just bristle because this is a free-market Jesus guy who now wants to claim the higher ground. Sometimes I feel like we are a truly doomed species.

  11. 11
    redshirt says:

    Gondolin weather report: Trees started budding last week, 6 weeks early. Temp last Thursday: 80. Temp right now: 28. 4 inches of snow fell today.

    Poor trees. Why Algore, why?

  12. 12
    Arm The Homeless says:

    The worst part is by the time that the shite truly does hit the fan, we will have already tapped the Great Lakes to render tar sands for a couple generations.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    @handy:

    A piece of circular reasoning so perfect it could be used for Mercedes wheel bearings. Wingnut Logic(tm) is pure as unicorn tears.

  14. 14
    David Koch says:

    OMFG!

    Sad news to report. Apparently Al Gore has passed away https://twitter.com/#!/JoseCanseco/statuses/185142483959812096

    Christ. Tipper must be freaking out.

  15. 15
    smintheus says:

    30 degrees generally won’t kill fruit blossoms. I had a low down to at least 29 a few days ago here and apparently it did no damage to any of my fruit trees…or in fact, to anything at all.

  16. 16
    BigHank53 says:

    A few years back we got a hard frost on Easter Sunday, the second week of April. Killed every single flower on every cherry and peach tree in most of southern Virginia and North Carolina. No fruit that year…

  17. 17
    handy says:

    @David Koch:

    Non-stop comedy. Nostradumbass turned me on to that the other night.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    @David Koch: Why does everything on Twitter look like it was written by my 11 year old son?

  19. 19
    handy says:

    I’m sure this will be a “smashing” success:

    Houston restaurant wants to offer patrons a chance to dine just like the passengers of the Doomed Titanic.

  20. 20
    smintheus says:

    @BigHank53: We lost our apple crop here in PA last year due to a very late frost. This year is extremely dicey because of the early heat, but so far we’re getting through it.

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    I don’t know if I this is a good sign because it means some conservatives can learn, or a bad sign because it still reads like a Fox bobblehead except on one key issue.

    ETA: Survey says! conservatives aren’t going to be learning anytime soon.

  22. 22
    S. cerevisiae says:

    I just read a paper on how lack of arctic ice has screwed up the jet stream.

  23. 23
    Shari says:

    @handy: Wonder if they’ll play “Nearer my God to Thee” as background music?

  24. 24
    Cain says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Vast liberal conspiracy….

    Nature is the new liberal. How soon before our crazy Christian friends decide that Mother Nature is in fact an enemy of God and must be destroyed.

  25. 25
    Anne Laurie says:

    Here in the Boston area it’s officially the driest January-March in 140 years. The weatherguys point out that past performance does not necessarily indicate prediction, but I’m looking into drip irrigation for my tomato planters.

  26. 26
    Cain says:

    God will provide.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    Yeah, but think of all the money the farmers can save not having to hire all them illegal immigrants to pick all the fruit and vegetable crops. It’s a win-win.

  28. 28
    Linnaeus says:

    @Cain:

    Nature is the new liberal.

    It’s the New Mother Nature takin’ over. It’s the new splendid lady come to call.

    She’s gettin’ us all…

  29. 29
  30. 30
    PeakVT says:

    @Anne Laurie: Some precip forecasts are here, though the predictions are pretty general.

  31. 31
    redshirt says:

    Mother Nature with Aspirin between her Knees

  32. 32
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Come on with the Rapture all ready, I want my planet back.

  33. 33
    muddy says:

    Soon our compasses will point the wrong way.

  34. 34
    Dave says:

    A non-scientific but telling way to know it is getting warmer

    It’s not just Maine. The ice has been forming later and disappearing earlier for many years now all over New England.

  35. 35
    David Koch says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Here in the Boston area it’s officially the driest January-March in 140 years.

    enough about your sex life.

  36. 36
    Dean Booth says:

    That’s the best piece by David Brooks I’ve ever read.

  37. 37
    Jess says:

    The magnolia trees here in Massachusetts were just putting out gorgeous blossoms, but it looks like the cold weather (with brutally icy wind) killed them. I haz a sad. :'(

  38. 38
    chopper says:

    same shit happened in 2007. cost billions.

  39. 39
    sharl says:

    @David Koch:

    Tipper must be freaking out.

    Maybe she would be, but it would be as a separated/divorced spouse.

  40. 40
    Tonal Crow says:

    @redshirt:

    Gondolin weather report…

    Beware of Avari. And run really fast if strange lights appear in the northern sky.

  41. 41
    Miss Waterlow says:

    I work in public school advocacy and, just so you know, the reason conservatives (and their harem of lobotomized Dem gophers) want to privatize our schools – this time around – is to save all the the poor black children. If you don’t support charter schools it’s because you’re a union-fucking racist. Didn’t know they’re working this angle on global warming too.

  42. 42
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Your post reminded me to follow up on checking some pictures I took of the redbud trees on the golf course just behind hour house last year. They were in full bloom last year on April 15. This year, they were in full bloom at least five days ago, on March 17-18.

    That is four full weeks ahead. I have a dozen fruit trees I have planted in my yard over the years, two full size, the rest dwarf and semi dwarf. They all bloomed last week. Mid-April. A month or MORE ahead of schedule.

    I have already tilled up part of my backyard vegetable garden and planted what I now laughingly call “cold weather crops”. Cabbage and broccoli seedlings, and seed for lettuces, three varieties of sugar snap peas, turnips, three varieties of beets, etc. I am finishing that up today, and tilling the rest of the garden today.

    I have just about decided to go ahead and plant everything, as far as seeds are concerned. The only thing I will not plant in the ground is okra, it is very sensitive to cool, wants the ground really steadily warm. I will plant them in a cold frame this weekend to get them started. My only concern there is, I can’t leave the cold frame closed during the day, it will get TOO hot!!

    I discovered yesterday that in the middle of the half of the garden tilled last week, seeds from a pumpkin I threw off the deck last Christmas into the middle of the garden have sprouted, and are a full two inches high and growing fast. If a frost hits, well, I will just replant. I will probably even put the tomatoes out in April, a full 4-5 weeks ahead of when I should, planning to cover them if we get a frost. I am sure the nurseries in the area, which provide a wonderful selection of heirlooms and modern hybrids, will have them on sale already. I saw tomato plants on sale at Lowe’s already this past Tuesday.

    The old average last freeze here in South Central Indiana was mid April, last frost mid May. You can move that back a full month now with some confidence, I think.

    Meanwhile, just remember, there is no anthropogenic climate change, move along, nothing to see here.

    Of course we will ignore the fact that over 2,000 record high temperatures were set across North America during the record hit wave that last two weeks starting three weeks ago. We were running 20 – 25 degrees above average daily highs for the whole period in this area.

  43. 43
    Montarvillois says:

    Canada’s maple syrup producers are expecting a financial hit as recent warm weather cut the season short this year.

  44. 44
    kindness says:

    But, but….Al Gore is fat.

  45. 45
    Soprano2 says:

    The dogwoods are blooming here this week (Southwest MO), normally they bloom in mid-April or even later. It’s freaking bizzare, I’m already wearing spring clothes and it isn’t even April yet!!

    On Diane Rehm this week there was a show about the warmer than normal winter, and its effects. One of the guests said something that alarmed me – he said that while spring is getting warmer, earlier, the date of last frost hasn’t changed. He said if this continues it will put a major hardship on people who grow fruit. A caller said all of the ski resorts in Michigan were already closed, because there was no snow and it wasn’t that cold. He said it was going to effect their economy in a bad way. There was also talk about how it is effecting bee colonies, because in many areas they never went into hibernation and thus kept leaving to search for food at a time when none was available. A beekeeper called in and said she had lost most of her colony because they were affected by this phenomenon.

  46. 46
    Egypt Steve says:

    Ha. You believe the weather reports? None of this happened. Everything is perfectly normal. Total hoax, you suckers.

  47. 47
    wvng says:

    When people say that climate change is going to be gradual, and that we won’t really see severe impacts for decades, I go a bit insane. It is entirely possible that a few years like the last two and the year this is shaping up to be, with early springs, normally timed freezes, extreme heat/dry for 4-6 weeks in summer, extended very hot droughts in some places and too damn much rain in others, is enough to seriously screw up agricultural production around the world – right now. That means lots of starving, lots of unrest – right now.

  48. 48
    Ted says:

    I live in Houston and all the bluebonnets came out about two months early. Nature’s going “WTF?”

  49. 49
  50. 50
    horse dave says:

    Here in N. Montgomery County, Maryland I would guess we are about 3+ weeks ahead of ‘normal’. By normal I mean the previous 8 years which haven’t been normal. The pear tree bloomed but the apples have held off so far. It was extremely dry January and February but we now seem to be getting more normal precipitation in the later half of March.

    If you want to get depressed about our Galtian Climate (TM) I strongly recommend the Climate Progress blog. Several scientist post there so the snark level is low but you learn a lot.

  51. 51
    bnmng says:

    Romney would keep the prices down by planting more apple trees.

  52. 52
    Binky Bear says:

    @Cain: god IS providing. He’s providing a long and ever increasingly dramatic line of pucker moments. These are hints that something is awry.

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