My worst global warming fear: buckeyes in Ann Arbor

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on February 10, 2012

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Last week, I blogged about how wintertime minimum temperatures in the U.S. have risen so much in recent decades, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had to update their Plant Hardiness Zone Map for gardeners for the first time since 1990. The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. I got to looking at the new zone map for Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I live, and saw how we've shifted one 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer. Ann Arbor used to be in Zone 5, but is now solidly in the warmer Zone 6. This got me to wondering, what sort of plants in Zone 6, until now rare or unknown in Ann Arbor, might migrate northwards in coming decades into the city? Then, with a sudden chill, I contemplated a truly awful possibility: The Ohio Buckeye Tree.


Figure 1. Comparison of the 1990 and 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps. Image credit: USDA and Arbor Day Foundation.

Buckeyes in Ann Arbor? The Horror!
For those of you unfamiliar the the buckeye tree, it is the emblem of Ohio State University. The Buckeyes of Ohio State have one of the most fierce rivalries in sports with that "school up north", the University of Michigan. As someone who spent twelve years of my life as a student at the University of Michigan, the thought of Buckeye trees in Ann Arbor is not one I care to contemplate. But the USDA Forest Service has published a Climate Change Tree Atlas which predicts that the most favorable habitat for the Ohio Buckeye Tree can be expected to move northwards with a warming climate. While they give their model for the Buckeye Tree a rating of "low reliability", it is nonetheless chilling to contemplate the potential infestation of Ann Arbor with this loathsome invader. I can only sadly predict that to stem the invasion, non-ecologically-minded University of Michigan students will unleash genetically engineered wolverines that eat buckeye seeds.


Figure 2. Potential changes in the mean center of distribution of the Ohio Buckeye tree. The green oval shows the current center of the range of the Buckeye Tree, well to the south of Ann Arbor. In a scenario where humans emit relatively low amounts of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide (light blue oval), the most favorable climate for the Buckeye Tree edges into Southern Michigan, and marches into Ann Arbor under the medium and high scenarios for emissions (other ovals.) Image credit: USDA Forest Service Climate Change Tree Atlas.

Libyan snowstorm triggered major Saharan dust storm
On February 6, a rare snow storm hit North Africa, bringing 2 - 3 inches of snow to Tripoli, Libya. It was the first snow in Tripoli since at least 2005, and may be the heaviest snow the Libyan capital has seen since February 6, 1956. The storm responsible for the North African snow also had strong winds that kicked up a tremendous amount of dust over Algeria during the week. This dust became suspended in a flow of air moving to the southwest, and is now over the Atlantic Ocean.


Figure 3. Dust storm on February 7, 2012, off the coast of West Africa, spawned by a storm that brought snow to North Africa on February 6. Note the beautiful vorticies shed by the Cape Verde Islands, showing that the air is flowing northeast to southwest. The red squares mark where fires are burning in West Africa. Image credit: NASA.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

BUCKEYE BIRTH (WHIPPME)
NO SILLY NOT THE FOOTBALL TEAM .......THE REAL THING
BUCKEYE BIRTH

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


But it's still the DGEX....
Does this model seem to hype these events? I'm not sure.
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119. MTWX
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


I have Azalea bushes in bloom surrounding the entire house and backyard on 2 acres.........I would need a huge pest control tent to give them cover. Gonna have to let them go unfortunately........ :)

LOL!! Fortunately for me, my Azaleas are not blooming yet, but my tulips and daffodils are just about to. Had this happen a few years back... All my flowers were in full bloom in March, then out of nowhere we had a snow storm that killed all of them back for the year. :(
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
DGEX nailed the Jan. 2010 snowfall in FL. now has snow for Atlanta on the 14th.



But it's still the DGEX....
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DGEX nailed the Jan. 2010 snowfall in FL. now has snow for Atlanta on the 14th.

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Quoting MTWX:

Got to cover mine. The low here Saturday night is 18!
Some snow forecast here on the plateau. Saturday forecast low twelve degrees, wind chill- 0..Might get a bit colder..NOGAPS model 144 hours out..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21414
In Pennsylvania and Southern New York State the farmers have been reporting that the cows are not eating the hay put out for them in bales. New sprouts are coming up and they are eating that. It will destroy a good portion of their hay crop. I will try to get some pictures up later. Interesting, the things we don't think of happening.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Afternon Folks. Finally gonna dip below 30 in North Florida for the first time this winter over the weekend (and kill off all the beautiful Spring flowers that have been blooming early for the past several weeks)......Oh Well.
At least it won't last long; highs in North Florida are expected to be in the upper 70s to near 80 by mid-week. In fact, most of the country is expected to be back to the abnormally warm pattern we've become used to by then; here, for instance, are the expected low anomalies for the contiguous U.S. for Tuesday from HAMweather:

Uh-oh
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Finally some snow in the SNOWBELT region of MI!! Only 2 or 3 inches, but it's enough for snowballs, muahahaha!
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Quoting WxGeekVA:

That was actually educational :P
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Quoting uncwhurricane85:


it is not going to snow in atlanta! until next winter if then
Have you seen the forecast or are you joking, hard to tell over the net.
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Quoting uncwhurricane85:


it is not going to snow in atlanta! until next winter if then

There is a chance of a mix of rain and snow for Atlantic Tuesday and Tuesday night.
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Quoting MTWX:

Got to cover mine. The low here Saturday night is 18!


I have Azalea bushes in bloom surrounding the entire house and backyard on 2 acres.........I would need a huge pest control tent to give them cover. Gonna have to let them go unfortunately........ :)
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Well just got back from school. Go to the NWS for Atlanta for the first time in a few days cause I was just expecting warm weather. Well now I see snow in the forecast!!?!!?! Finally winter has come! Does anyone have any models to say how much is possible for the Tuesday event?


it is not going to snow in atlanta! until next winter if then
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Quoting AlwaysThinkin:


What a troglodyte. I'm guessing it would be impossible to ground her or is he just that obtuse?


He thinks destroying her stuff or publicly humiliating her is going to make her respect him.

Kids say negative things about their parents all the time, and most of it is probably true.


When she's a senior in high school and needs to write a 25 page thesis for English class, I guess he'll be forced to buy her a new computer.

Twenty five pages. Wow. I remember when I thought that was a lot. I could probably write 25 pages of a short story or an argumentive essay in one sitting now. *end rabbit trail*
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520


la nina fading yet again. models say no more return from la nina for a WHILE now models are debating if we will get a weak el nino or neutral condtions. this year looks similar to 2009 when after neutral la nina reformed. the difference is that ours is much stronger than 2009 and is weakining at a slower rate. the ECMWF model nailed the 2009 forecast by predicting an el nino out of all the models. it showed a 0.1 reading in the 3.4 reigon for may in its january forecast. its calling for 0 for our may forecast. every month pay attention to what that models will show because it is very good in predicting what will form after decaying la ninas. im looking at the evidence and id say we will get neutral more than el nino. 13-16 TS 7-9 Hurricanes and 3-5 majors are the usual numbers for enso neutral
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104. MTWX
Special Weather statement for us here in Mississippi.

... Very cold weekend in store as Arctic air mass arrives...

A cold front will usher an Arctic air mass into the region this
evening that will result in significantly colder temperatures for
the arklamiss region. The recent warm spell has maintained average
daily temperatures well above normal with highs frequently in the
60s and 70s over the past month or so. However a dramatic departure
in temperatures is in store beginning tonight and continuing through
the weekend.

Locations along and north of the Natchez trace will see lows drop
below freezing tonight with readings over northwest zones
plummeting into the mid 20s. Strong north wind will develop behind
the front and increasing wind speeds will produce wind chills from
10 to 15 degrees over northeast Louisiana... southeast Arkansas and
north Mississippi late tonight and early Saturday morning. During
the day Saturday the combination of Arctic air and north wind speeds
from 15 to 25 mph... with frequent higher gusts... will keep
temperatures relatively cold with afternoon highs ranging from the
mid 30s in the northwest to the mid to upper 40s in the southeast.
Wind speeds will begin to subside Saturday night... allowing
temperatures to cool quickly and drop into the teens and lower 20s
across the area by sunrise Sunday.

Persons planning outdoor activities this weekend should be prepared
for significantly colder temperatures than we have seen recently and
gusty northerly winds. Actions may be needed to protect plants that
may be susceptible to the cold.

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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Madagascar Met Office:



Now thats Funny!!
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Well just got back from school. Go to the NWS for Atlanta for the first time in a few days cause I was just expecting warm weather. Well now I see snow in the forecast!!?!!?! Finally winter has come! Does anyone have any models to say how much is possible for the Tuesday event?
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
100. MTWX
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Afternon Folks. Finally gonna dip below 30 in North Florida for the first time this winter over the weekend (and kill off all the beautiful Spring flowers that have been blooming early for the past several weeks)......Oh Well.

Got to cover mine. The low here Saturday night is 18!
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Good Afternon Folks. Finally gonna dip below 30 in North Florida for the first time this winter over the weekend (and kill off all the beautiful Spring flowers that have been blooming early for the past several weeks)......Oh Well.
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Quoting 1911maker:
Link

Not weather related, not climate change related or even religion.

I do not "do" Facebook, and this strikes me as very funny and sad both.

Parenting, so fun..........


What a troglodyte. I'm guessing it would be impossible to ground her or is he just that obtuse?
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A CYCLONE WARNING CLASS 1 IS IN FORCE IN MAURITIUS.


During a cyclone warning class l

Make sure your emergency kit is ready.
Monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.
Prepare to secure windows and doors with shutters or shields.
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Madagascar Met Office:



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Quoting TampaSpin:
Reuters Reuters Top News
FLASH: Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Xenogiannakopoulou resigns -State TV bit.ly/ybo0SF



We MIGHT have a PROBLEM it appears!


I don't think it was anything political, TSpin. I heard that his name wouldn't fit on the "Re-Elect" buttons so they dropped him from the ticket.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
Cold front barreling through, Spfld, IL & StL temps have both dropped about 5 degrees in last hour. Teens for lows this weekend, first time in a while. Say measurable snow possible Monday - Tuesday as well.
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Finally a touch of snow in the Ohio Valley- Northeast region! Maybe 1 to 2 inches tomorrow morning here in NY... first snow in exactly 3 weeks. So far this season we've picked up about 6 inches of snow... 15 inches below average.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Well my little comment on dad shooting the laptop. He appears to be a bigger brat than his daughter. Criticism being he should have given the laptop to someone that really could use it, with the condition that he get a thank you from that person. Put that on the internet lesson learned.


I had a comment written about that, but decided not to post it.

I'm 31 and I bet I had twice as hard a life as him.

He's as immature as the girl.

Yeah, he should have either gave it away, or locked it away somewhere.

Destroying a valuable piece of technology is irrational and immoral.

Taking a "Gift" back from another person, even a family member, is theft.

I can honestly say that my brother and I probably had one of the hardest early lives of anyone in the area in our age group in terms of both family catastrophes and what our parents and grandparents child labor expectations were of us, which even my own aunts and uncles agree with me that they were ridiculous.

Suffice it to say, she doesn't know what "chores" are, and neither do girls/women in general in this generation, and probably neither does this dad.


I can understand him being upset with her, but guess what? This video is just his side of the story. It's not like we have any video from inside the house about what really goes on.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Chilly out to the east of Houston.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Thinking Giovanna will look something near this when we get visible:

Nice size storm! Unfortunately, bad for whoever is getting it.
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Quoting LargoFl:
NWS has a hard frereze warning all the way down to just past Ocala, hazardous watch out for the tampa bay area...hmmm
You should see my front yard, you would think it's fall outside. Big Oak tree shedding its leaves making a mess out of it and the cars and on top of that I have bad allergies.
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Thinking Giovanna will look something near this when we get visible:

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You can see the tiny eye below the 3.



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
Quoting LargoFl:
gee its beautiful out now, a light breeze and almost tee shirt weather, must be a strong front coming for wind chill effects to come along with it..
NWS has a hard frereze warning all the way down to just past Ocala, hazardous watch out for the tampa bay area...hmmm
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36 hours ago, just classified:



Now:

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128647
83. Skyepony (Mod)
Giovanna starting to rapidly intensify..
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In the words of a certain former blogger on here:

WOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Absolutely beautiful, I cannot wait to see visible in the morning!
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21414
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Miami NWS Discussion

THE LATEST FORECAST MODELS CONTINUE TO PUSH THE STRONG COLD FRONT
THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA EARLY SATURDAY MORNING ALLOWING FOR MUCH
DRIER AND COLDER WEATHER TO WORK INTO THE AREA FROM THE NORTH
SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY. THE MODELS ARE CONTINUING TO DROP THE
1000-850MB THICKNESSES OVER SOUTH FLORIDA FOR EARLY SUNDAY MORNING
WHICH ARE NOW DOWN TO 1310-1320 OVER THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE AREA TO
1330-1340 OVER MIAMI-DADE COUNTY. IF THIS TREND CONTINUES IN THE
12Z RUNS...THEN THE LOW TEMPERATURES WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE LOWERED
SOME FOR SATURDAY NIGHT.

THE WINDS WILL ALSO INCREASE TO BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS DURING
THE DAY SATURDAY BUT WINDS MAY CONTINUE THROUGH THE NIGHT. THIS
WILL ALLOW FOR THE WIND CHILL READINGS TO FALL INTO THE UPPER 20S
TO LOWER 30S INTERIOR WEST TO THE 40S ALONG THE EAST COAST METRO
AREAS FOR SATURDAY NIGHT. HOWEVER...IF THE LOWS DROP IN THE 12Z
RUN MODELS THEN THE WIND CHILLS MIGHT HAVE TO BE LOWERED.
gee its beautiful out now, a light breeze and almost tee shirt weather, must be a strong front coming for wind chill effects to come along with it..
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Quoting snotly:
Any danger to Reunion or Port Louis?





Going to make landfall on Madagascar in a few days.
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Quoting DocBen:
Buckeye (n): A hairless nut with no known value

My fear - armadillos in Kansas. Not so much the armadillos themselves but the fear that their only known predators will follow ... TEXANS!

BTW - I like Wolverines. Fricaseed with ketchup they ain't bad!

GO SPARTANS!
LOL
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Quoting SPLbeater:
o.o

Giovanna forecast to be at 135 knots peak intensity!

thats 155.25mph :D

Yes, and entirely too low.

The JTWC needs to learn how to recognize rapid intensification.
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Any danger to Reunion or Port Louis?



Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Giovanna is Wilma's Southern Hemisphere counterpart.



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o.o

Giovanna forecast to be at 135 knots peak intensity!

thats 155.25mph :D
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Giovanna is Wilma's Southern Hemisphere counterpart.



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developing gale off of the NC Outerbanks.
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Quoting yqt1001:


Very.



I generally define pinhole as when the MW imagery fails to see the eye, it is that small.
Itsa micropinner..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21414
Quoting yqt1001:


Very.



I generally define pinhole as when the MW imagery fails to see the eye, it is that small.


PINHOLE!!!! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D
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Quoting SPLbeater:


pinhole?


Very.



I generally define pinhole as when the MW imagery fails to see the eye, it is that small.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.