Global Warming is Real

'Round here, people are using phrases like "That's Crazy Talk" and "Outlandish" and other quaint Aphorisms of the Great Plains. Why? Because the USDA has just released its new Planting Zone Map. It turns out that all the climate zones have moved north permanently. Thus the new map. You can plant stuff never before plantable right here, this year, now. The climate change has happened, and continues; A new and changed map is expected again in a few years.


Click the map to visit the site and start planning your garden!

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Some gardners say, "Friends don't let friends plant annuals." I've tended to think like that. Problem is, it's hard to know what will be perrenial, if you don't know what zone you're going to be in next year.

GL "In Minnesota, Everything's an Annual"

Wow! You have annual maples? I've gotta see that.

But seriously, I wonder if the revised map will affect people's thinking about climate change? Will it have to get to the point where you can grow mangos in Duluth, or Georgia looks like the Sahara Desert, before people realize it's happening?

By Achrachno (not verified) on 26 Jan 2012 #permalink

Yup, even the trees. You never know.

I saw it affect people's thinking on climate change right before my eyes as this was being reported on TV. Everyone was nodding and going "uh huh, climate change is real" ... the same people who on another day would have been saying "the jury is still out." I think this kind of personal, in your own back yard result has that effect.

"I saw it affect people's thinking on climate change right before my eyes as this was being reported on TV. Everyone was nodding and going "uh huh, climate change is real"

The test will be whether this revelation continues past the next time their denier friend, or web-site, bombards them will "facts" about why this map is bogus. This may convince people who were on the cusp of being convinced: I'm not sure it will be enough for those who were more entrenched on the no side.

Of course there are those who are quite entrenched, but I got the impression some years back that gardeners as a whole are accepting climate science's model. We are watching the weather, after all, and our plants. Not that it's all summer in the north for us. I've watched several trees die at once when they had been doing well for several years. I suspect ozone, but we also get (along with a slightly warmer average) more unseasonable weather of all kinds. Prolonged fall followed by a sudden deep freeze, that sort of things. We had a lot of reseeding annuals sprouting in October. They were not happy campers come December, though.

Along with longer frost free periods also come parasites of various sorts. Elm, Ash, Red Pine, Tamarack will not not survive in the southern third or even half of Minnesota over the next 20 years or so, to name just a few, even if gardeners can grow lavender for the first time.

I'm worried that (in my urban microclimate garden in southern England) the fruit trees won't get their chilling requirement to fruit next year: we only got a frost bad enough to cut back the perennials a fortnight ago, and it's not been below about 8C since. Also, some shrubs and climbers are breaking leaf-bud - if there's a hard frost in the next couple of months, we'll lose plants.

By stripey_cat (not verified) on 27 Jan 2012 #permalink

It is indeed a pathetic scenario that has made global warming as the center-topic. Wel its really hard time for our gardener ahead and I equally believe that its high time to act together and fight this unfortunate situation.

A local plantsman, Tony Avent, here (NC) worked on the technical review committee for this map. Here is his description of the rather long process:
I'm surprised that he says the data for the map is 6 years old. I'd like to confirm that, I'll look around a bit.

From the last time I spoke to him about climate change, Tony didn't think it is caused by humans. I don't know if he's changed his mind.

By Lynn Wilhelm (not verified) on 31 Jan 2012 #permalink