We're changing our WunderBlogs. Learn more about this important update on our FAQ page.

Just Temperature Redux: What about the Cherries and Apples?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 1:23 AM GMT on May 21, 2012

Just Temperature Redux: What about the Cherries and Apples?

March and April were very warm in the United States, and especially in March when it was 86 degrees F in Detroit, there was a lot of press attention to the heat (my blog at the time). Following the March heat wave I watched with interest the caster that has weather events and earthquakes on the homepage. There was a period of time when there were record highs and, a couple of hundred miles away, record lows. There were these waves moving (very) warm air north and (very) cool air south (another old Rood blog Warm, Cold, Warm, Cold). This is what weather does, moves heat from the tropics to the poles; it tries to smooth out the distribution of temperature, heat, energy. The climate of the Earth is strongly linked to the Equator to Pole temperature contrast. (I note that, at this writing, a May 20 record high in Holland, MI, of 92 F. In fact, May 20 is pretty much coast-to-coast high.)

So I am watching these highs and lows, expecting someone to write to me and tell me how cold it was in Tennessee, and what do you say to that you alarmist?

The past few months provide us a nice example of climate, and a useful framing for thinking about the future. Scientists are always explaining that just because the globe is, on average, warming, that does not mean that it no longer gets cold. When I have written about this in the past, I always start with the Sun still goes away at the winter pole; it gets cold; the pole is relatively isolated, so there are cold pockets of air up north. (Yes, I am presuming a Northern Hemisphere bias.) So it’s cold up north, and down south it’s hot. If you think about the Earth, the seasons, the distribution of land and ocean, an increase in average global temperature suggests an increase in the average temperature between, say, 30 degrees latitude south and north. Half of the Earth’s area lies in those bounds, and, well, the Sun is always there.

Next if we think about weather and climate, the contrast between the temperature at the equator and the pole is a measure of the amount of mixing that the atmosphere and ocean need to do to work towards a balance. If someplace up north is still getting about as cold as it used to get, because the Sun is down and it is a bit isolated, and there is more and more build up of heat in the tropics, then something has to give. Using climate and weather models as a guide, we see large mixing events in the late winter, perhaps more characteristic of events of, historically, early spring.





Figure 1: From an old, but good, blog: Warm, Cold, Warm, Cold. A schematic picture that represents a wave in temperature. There are hot and cold parts of the wave.

So there are bursts of warm air north in late winter or earlier in the spring. But there are still pockets of cold air and these get pushed south. The variability, hot and cold contrast in this case, actually increases. The bursts of warm air appear as the onset of spring, leaves and flowers come out. And there they sit waiting for the return of the cold air. This year’s warm spring did great damage to the sour cherry crop (Michigan, Wisconsin, New York) and the apple crop all across the upper Midwest. (Iowa, Michigan).

This scenario of a warm period followed by a frost that kills fruit blossoms is not new. I grew up in the South, and just about every year there was some strip of peach-growing land that was damaged by the onset of spring, followed by a frost. What this current case study lets us think about is what does a warming climate bring to table? Earlier warm spells extending farther north. Increased vulnerability as larger areas of land are impacted by the mixing of the increasing temperature contrasts. Increased crop risk as new weather threats encroach on new regions. There are adaptation strategies for these risks, but they come at a cost.

So I want to finish this blog with something of a change of gears. It relies on a paper brought to my attention by Chris Burt. It is a paper in Nature entitled Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change by E. M. Wolkovich (2012) and many others. There are a couple of points I want to make about this paper.

First, the paper is a nice exposition about how biological scientists think about the intersection of their field with climate change. Advancing onset of leafing and flowering is one of the most sensitive indicators of the onset of spring. Though many factors influence when plants start to leaf out and flower, temperature is the predominate factor. The variable that is used as a proxy for climate is mean annual temperature, and variability of the mean annual temperature represents the variability in the onset of spring.

The second point I want to make about the paper is a clarification – perhaps a translation between different scientific fields. As pointed out in Wolkovich et al. (2012), there is substantial observational evidence that spring is coming earlier. This move to earlier times is especially evident in the northern hemisphere and more evident at higher latitudes, say, in Michigan or Canada. When Wolkovich et al. (2012) talk about “warming experiments” they are not talking about experiments with climate models. They are talking about experiments that artificially warm plant communities to investigate their sensitivity to increased temperatures. In this paper, they find that such experiments do not explain the observations of the onset of spring in natural plant communities.

Returning to climate change - Wolkovich et al. (2012) estimate that for each degree C that mean annual temperature increases the onset of leafing and flowering will move forward by 5-6 days. Given temperature trends for the past forty years, this translates to 1.1 to 3.3 days per decade. And returning to the cherries and apples, these types of trees are especially vulnerable to bloom followed by a frost, especially in high latitudes. So if you are an orchard fruit grower, how do you use this information? Do you treat this year as a simple fluke of weather, or do you look to start a replacement program with different types of fruit or different hybrids as the orchard is refurbished? Or do you look to ways to manage the temperature in the orchard, and perhaps a market advantage with earlier fruit?

r



Figure 2: Larger image Ripe by Jennifer Bruce from Absolute Michigan



The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

You be able to leave comments on this blog.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 70 - 20

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

BCBCO:

If you walked the walk, you would get some respect. But so far all you do is paste and run. You've never backed up any of your assertions and when people hve tried to take you seriously, you ran away.

So it's not aboupt anyone being collectivists, it is about people judging you based on lack of character and content.

Maybe we are collectivists, but you haven't got anywhere near to the right to claim that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BeCoolOrBeCastOut:


Good for you, do it 'til your black heart is content, if I deem the post removal to be unwarrented according to the Rules of the Road as the Agenda 21 and the Military post was, I'll just repost it. I have no doubt that you can easily get your merry band of lock-stepping D-riding collectivists to manipulate the controls to remove whatever post you like- irregardless of whether or not it violates Community Standards, just as easily as I'll be able to repost it.
Hey, whatever floats your boat, Kemosabe. If you want to waste your time cutting and pasting lengthy rants into a forum where they won't be read in full before they're deleted, go right ahead; it's your windmill, so tilt away. But, like I said, you'd likely have better luck posting those rants in one or more of the many fora that appreciate a good, illogical right-wing conspiracy theory.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I can't speak for anyone else here, but I plan to continue minusing any and all hyperparanoid Tea Party/NWO conspiracy theory rants posted here. They're laughable, they're silly, they're baseless, they're illogical, they add absolutely nothing to the discussion of climate change science and mitigation, and--IMHO--they have no place here on this scientific forum.


I Concur Wholeheartedly
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BeCoolOrBeCastOut:
I deemed this post removal to be unwarranted according to the Rules of the Road, therefore I shortened it to 2 paragraphs with a link and reposted it. Now, if it in any way violates community standards kindly let me know the reason for it and I'll delete it.
If enough forum members--that is, the "community"--apply the minus button to a particular comment, it'll automatically go away on its own with no administrative intervention whatsoever.

Now, just so you know: I can't speak for anyone else here, but I plan to continue minusing any and all hyperparanoid Tea Party/NWO conspiracy theory rants posted here. They're laughable, they're silly, they're baseless, they're illogical, they add absolutely nothing to the discussion of climate change science and mitigation, and--IMHO--they have no place here on this scientific forum. (FYI, you'd probably gain greater traction selling such tripe to the small-minded simpletons over on Free Republic...)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
More Than 150,000 Methane Seeps Appear as Arctic Ice Retreats

"The researchers calculate that methane seeps in Alaska alone are releasing 250,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere each year, 50 to 70 percent more than previously estimated."


The full article in The Scientific American can be found here:

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Yesterday I saw the current finally start heading north in the Baring Strait. It had been running south all winter as the gulf stream was busy running into the Barent's Sea. Now finally the Pacific is back to entering the Arctic Ocean.

http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/MODISCOM-T/20120 521000000_MODISCOM-T_0006457378.jpg
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


When will Polar Polo become an Olympic sport??


My best guess would be when they decide if it is a summer game or a winter game. Maybe, not in the too distant future, it will become an all year round game?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


The bigger problem is that we will be skating on thinner ice. .... Maybe we can invent similar shaped sticks to use while playing Water-Polo?


When will Polar Polo become an Olympic sport??
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting greentortuloni:


I guess I was also wondering about cause. Why is it open? Currents? Warm temps? Land run off?

I surmised that maybe the melt in the north east Atlantic might have been caused by currents that flowed through the strait and caused the polyana. Similar currents, now cold, helped increase the ice in the Pacific side. But that is a very loose surmise. I haven't really followed currents in the arctic.


I think it is a combination of everything you have mentioned. I believe there is no consensus as to what might happen to currents when the arctic ocean is ice-free for any extended period of time.

Also during the winter months when there is no sunshine to facilitate the oxidation of methane there are more GHGs trapping the heat in the polar regions. I just learned within the past week or two that it is sunlight interacting with water vapor that creates the free radical Hydroxyl (OH) which then mixes with methane (CH4) to create carbon dioxide (CO2).

We are living in the midst of a real-time science project, with more new questions than hypotheses.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


If we get any more climate related hockey sticks we'll have to form a team and join the NHL. And I had trouble ice-scating in the 1950s, when the lakes in Minnesota froze over well before Thanksgiving.


The bigger problem is that we will be skating on thinner ice. .... Maybe we can invent similar shaped sticks to use while playing Water-Polo?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Fresh Hockey Sticks from the Southern Hemisphere.


If we get any more climate related hockey sticks we'll have to form a team and join the NHL. And I had trouble ice-scating in the 1950s, when the lakes in Minnesota froze over well before Thanksgiving.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Fresh Hockey Sticks from the Southern Hemisphere.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


I haven't look closely at that yet. When I have more time I will pay more attention to the Baffin Bay area.

My gut instinct, as opposed to scientific knowledge, would be that the sooner the passage is clear of icebergs the warmer waters will have a greater impact on the remaining glaciers.


I guess I was also wondering about cause. Why is it open? Currents? Warm temps? Land run off?

I surmised that maybe the melt in the north east Atlantic might have been caused by currents that flowed through the strait and caused the polyana. Similar currents, now cold, helped increase the ice in the Pacific side. But that is a very loose surmise. I haven't really followed currents in the arctic.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The dispute on Neven was so gentlemanly!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BobWallace:
Personally I don't find those bar graphs easy to read. Wonder if there isn't a line graph version possible?
I'm not in love with them, either. But I tried several different versions, an just couldn't make it unmessy. I came close with a stacked area chart, but the connections between the lines made for a hideous-looking mass o'colors and angles. I'll keep trying, though. I do have another graph I'm working on, and hope to have it up for input in a few days.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Hey, Bob. Thanks for having my back over on Neven's blog. It seems as though Seke Rob inadvertently misread my original comment about my version of his ice extent chart, so having a defense come from someone's mouth other than my own was a huge help. ;-)


No prob.

It seemed like the conversation was developing a life of its own without people looking back to see your 'disclaimers'.

Personally I don't find those bar graphs easy to read. Wonder if there isn't a line graph version possible?


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BobWallace:


Don't forget that both extent and area are two dimensional measurements of the ice. 2007 extent/area drops came with the melting of much thicker ice than what we now are watching melt.

Spring 2012 produced a late, consequently, thin extent/area increase.

--

One difference to watch this year is the transport through the Fram. The 'fast ice' on the NW side of the Svalbard Islands is missing this year which widens the passage. A few days of strong wind could blow massive amounts of ice to its death.
Hey, Bob. Thanks for having my back over on Neven's blog. It seems as though Seke Rob inadvertently misread my original comment about my version of his ice extent chart, so having a defense come from someone's mouth other than my own was a huge help. ;-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting greentortuloni:



To my eyes this year already looks worse than 2007, even if the numbers are better.


Don't forget that both extent and area are two dimensional measurements of the ice. 2007 extent/area drops came with the melting of much thicker ice than what we now are watching melt.

Spring 2012 produced a late, consequently, thin extent/area increase.

--

One difference to watch this year is the transport through the Fram. The 'fast ice' on the NW side of the Svalbard Islands is missing this year which widens the passage. A few days of strong wind could blow massive amounts of ice to its death.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting greentortuloni:


Long as you're ice watching, any thoughts on the polyana at the north end of Baffin Bay?

I compared a few earlier years for around the same date and didn't see anything.

I was wondering what an early open Baffin bay would do to glaciers in the area and for transport south.

To my eyes, this year already looks worse than 2007, even if the numbers are better.


I haven't look closely at that yet. When I have more time I will pay more attention to the Baffin Bay area.

My gut instinct, as opposed to scientific knowledge, would be that the sooner the passage is clear of icebergs the warmer waters will have a greater impact on the remaining glaciers.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Thanks for the information. My concern was that I may have made a mistake when I input the raw data from IARC-JAXA. Basically, we are on the same page when it comes to what we are doing.

Thanks Again!!


Long as you're ice watching, any thoughts on the polyana at the north end of Baffin Bay?

I compared a few earlier years for around the same date and didn't see anything.

I was wondering what an early open Baffin bay would do to glaciers in the area and for transport south.

To my eyes, this year already looks worse than 2007, even if the numbers are better.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I use the Cryosphere Today data set from the University of Illinois, which tracks ice area (as opposed to IARC-JAXA, which tracks ice extent).


Thanks for the information. My concern was that I may have made a mistake when I input the raw data from IARC-JAXA. Basically, we are on the same page when it comes to what we are doing.

Thanks Again!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Neopolitan,

What data set are you using for your numbers. I've been using the IARC-JAXA numbers and plotting them against 2007, 2008 and 2011, the three lowest years.
There is a small difference in the numbers I have and what you just posted. Not a big enough difference to quibble about however.

I won't get excited about this years numbers unless I see that the 2012 Ice Extent numbers are tracking 5-7 days ahead of all three years when we get into the peak melt season in mid-June.

I'm also anxiously awaiting the May methane measurements for the Northern hemisphere from Dr. Yurganov.
I use the Cryosphere Today data set from the University of Illinois, which tracks ice area (as opposed to IARC-JAXA, which tracks ice extent).

So far as area goes, it's telling that 2012's area is actually below 2007. While 2011 dropped below 10 million km2 six days before 2007 did, both 2007 and 2011 dropped below 9 million, 8 million, and 7 million km on the same day of the year, and below 6, 5, 4, and 3 million km2 within a day or two of each other. Given that this year's ice is even more thin and patchy than was last year's or 2007's, I expect we'll see either a new record low minimum of area this year, or a figure very close to it. And given both the late maximum and how much more ice there was this year than last, that would be truly extraordinary.

I, too, await the methane numbers... ;-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Arctic Sea ice area is now 43,000 square kilometers below where it was on this date in 2007, a record year. What makes that more amazing, of course, is that six weeks ago, 2012 ice area was 1,000,000 km2-plus greater than it was on the same date in 2007. That's a lot of melting and flushing very quickly...


Neopolitan,

What data set are you using for your numbers. I've been using the IARC-JAXA numbers and plotting them against 2007, 2008 and 2011, the three lowest years.
There is a small difference in the numbers I have and what you just posted. Not a big enough difference to quibble about however.

I won't get excited about this years numbers unless I see that the 2012 Ice Extent numbers are tracking 5-7 days ahead of all three years when we get into the peak melt season in mid-June.

I'm also anxiously awaiting the May methane measurements for the Northern hemisphere from Dr. Yurganov.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Arctic Sea ice area is now 43,000 square kilometers below where it was on this date in 2007, a record year. What makes that more amazing, of course, is that six weeks ago, 2012 ice area was 1,000,000 km2-plus greater than it was on the same date in 2007. That's a lot of melting and flushing very quickly...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
All that bluster from Heartland about how Peter Gleick falsified documents to make them look bad? Big shocking announcement: it turns out that Gleick did NOT forge anything. IOW, Heartland--which is dying a rapid, cash-strained death in the wake of their genius Climate-Scientists-Are-Sociopaths ad campaign--is every bit as scummy and treacherous an organization as we feared:

Peter Gleick cleared of forging documents in Heartland expose -- Scientist who admitted to deception to obtain internal Heartland documents was found in investigation not to have faked material

A review has cleared the scientist Peter Gleick of forging any documents in his expose of the rightwing Heartland Institute's strategy and finances, the Guardian has learned.

Gleick's sting on Heartland brought unwelcome scrutiny to the organisation's efforts to block action on climate change, and prompted a walk-out of corporate donors that has created uncertainty about its financial future.

Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute and a well-regarded water expert, admitted and apologised for using deception to obtain internal Heartland documents last February.

He has been on leave from the institute pending an external investigation into the unauthorised release of the documents, although it is not entirely clear what the investigation entailed. That investigation is now complete, and the conclusions will be made public.

It was not immediately clear the findings would allow Gleick to make an early return to his job at the Pacific Institute. However, despite the official leave, Gleick has remained professionally active, appearing at public events and accepting speaking engagements. He delivered an Oxford Amnesty lecture on water in April.

The leaked Heartland documents included a list of donors and plans to instill doubts in school children on the existence of climate change.

They brought new scrutiny to the efforts by Heartland to block action on global warming, and to the existence of a shadowy network of rightwing organisations working to discredit climate science.


Hooray for another nail in the coffin of industrialized denialism. It's just too bad it's such a big coffin--because it's gonna take a whole lot of nails...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
link

This is a link to a New Scientist page with some articles about denialism. Unfortunatly you have to join to read. Still, thought there was some interesting points in the articles and so worth posting.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
More scientists agree that "global warming" as we know it is now over. It's over for everyone except for those partaking in the Kool-Aid.

Link


A Russian speaking German and then translated to English by P. Gosselin? Do ya think something may have been lost in the translation? You know, like how they broke the Laws of Physics to arrive at this conclusion. Do ya think he might throw that bit of information in as well?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Now, please tell us what that has to do with climate change? And why keep spamming this forum with such inane cut-and-pasted gibberish?


Bumped. After seeing how many articles from Tinfoilandia you Temple/BeCool (in full, I might add, rather than a snippet or preview) have posted on this forum in your short time here I think we have a right to know since this is a forum specifically to talk about the science of global warming as opposed to innuendo about Agenda 21, the UN, or whoever Alex Jones has decided is the NWO boogie man we are supposed to hate this week.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting BeCoolOrBeCastOut:
What do you mean by "being MADE to take responsibility for their actions" 'Made' as in by force?, Made by whom, those that have forgotten what their what their rightful place is and no longer realize that that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
If the paranoid, bigoted, intellectually challenged sovereign citizens are overwhelmingly against it then you have to respect that.


What he means is if you pollute the commons you have to pay for it. If you don't then we, John and Jane Q. Public, have to pick up the tab. Actually it usually isn't John and Jane Q. Public, its usually John and Jane Q. Public Jr. that have to pick up the tab....well after the original users who received the benefits are long gone and all that is left is the negative consequences of the earlier decision. No one, not the teanderthals in Arizona, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, or Tennessee nor anyone else deserve that right and it would be an egregious failure on the part of elected representative and ourselves if we let it happened.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Okay, so a plurality of Tea Partiers living in the most bigoted, backward, paranoid, intellectually-challenged states in the Union--Arizona, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee--are frightened of being made to take responsibility for their actions, so they've gone tharn and fixated on the Big Scary UN Menace. We get it. Now, please tell us what that has to do with climate change? And why keep spamming this forum with such inane cut-and-pasted gibberish? Is it because, as I suspect, that most other fora have banned you--or maybe laughed you off the stage?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Understand I am on your side. Dr. Hugh Willoughby worked out my concept somewhat but I wanted to incorporate power generation with them also. I figured if your going out there to this you should also use power generation to offset the costs of building them. Combining both ideas into one to return our climate back to what it was prior to the industrial revolution.


As you are aware there are many non-renewable electrical generation projects being propsed for off-shore use (windpower, tidal power, etc.). While doing some research on the cost of laying underwater electrical cables, I came across a very informative brochure (pdf. format) which describes in detail how undersea cables are layed and everything thes projects entail, including the use of the same services used by the off-shore oil industry. I highly recommend that you read the following link:

Submarine Cable Laying and Installation Services For the Off Shore Alternative Energy Industry

Link

Good Luck!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 70 - 20

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.