Climate zones, they are a’ changin’. I think it’s Al Gore’s fault

For a long time, the US Department of Agriculture has designated different planting ‘zones’ throughout the country as a guide for growers. Their ratings are based on ‘extreme minimum temperature’. Garden books and seed packets usually say in what zone a plant can flourish and in what zones it can’t. But it’s the agricultural industry itself, the largest consumer of such data, that must pay the closest attention to these ratings to assure successful crop yields.

So with this change, the USDA now joins the Pentagon and NASA in acknowledging that global warming is real and must be part of all strategic planning. (I don’t mention any international science organizations or UN agencies because our conservative brethren know them all to be anti-American.)

My area of SW Florida has always been 9(b) – but now it’s officially a 10(a) zone. The temperature variation is not large (we go from a 5 to 10 degree variation to a 10-15 degree variation), but the USDA sees it as permanent.

. . . entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska and Texas, are now in warmer zones . . . it reflects the new reality.

They’ve moved 18 key cities from Fairbanks to Honolulu into warmer zones.

It’s great that the Federal government is catching up with what the plants themselves have known for years now, that the globe is warming” . . .  said [a] Stanford University biologist.

This is unlikely to be the last time they will have to adjust the zones. What’s most shocking to me is the speed of the temperature change – the data they used was collected from 1976-2005. That’s stunning.

(Also, here in zone 10a, we’ve been in drought for four of the last ten years. )

9 responses to “Climate zones, they are a’ changin’. I think it’s Al Gore’s fault

  1. Yet the deniers continue to deny. Liberal media, liberal science, you know. Fortunately, some get it that we’d better plan for this, if we can’t prevent it.

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    • I’ve never understood the point of the right wings’ position denying it all. I guess it’s just because – as Atrios says – the issue was taken up by Al Gore and his army of ‘dirty fuckin’ hippies’.

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  2. The deniers can deny all they want, until the REALITY of global climate change starts having serious economic and agricultural impacts on society. This adjustment to planting zones is but one of many concrete impacts that climate change is having.

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  3. Up here in Massachusetts, we’ve had two snow storms. The first one was at the end of October, the other, just a couple of days ago. Both storms amounted to shit, and the ground everywhere is bare. And its been a warmer than normal January too.

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    • Don, I see temps in the high 50’s today (and even 60’s) in NYC and DC. Probably a fluke, but very emblematic.

      And down here we are moving back into a deep drought – projected to be the worst in, well, we don’t yet know when – after only four years hiatus. Last one was almost 5 years.

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  4. Luckily, the goons are well trained in dismissing both facts AND reality. They’re untouchable – and loyal all the way to the grave! With high banners of hate and fear and anger and stunted reasoning.
    The pinnacle of humanity!

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    • Hear a Repub ‘strategist’ or whatever on the teevee last night (not Fox), a guy I always took to be pretty urbane and knowledgable, say climate change is a fraud and he doesn’t beleive in evolution. I was actually shocked. I expect that out of Sarah Palin’s mouth, but not this guy. (black, young, glasses, can’t remember his name?)

      Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater would recoil from this talk.

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  5. Pingback: Your Questions About Animals In South Africa That Is Extinct | Kruger Park tours from the US

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