Southern US Apple Growers Lose 2010 Crop Due to High Temperatures

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photo: Liz West via flickr

I'm not saying you can directly attribute this one to climate change, but coming on the heals of NOAA saying the past April was the warmest on record, it's likely at least a sign of things to come: The Alabama Cooperative Extension reports that apple growers in northern Alabama "have basically lost the 2010 crop." The culprit is unusually high nighttime temperatures.Starting on the weekend of May 7-9, fruit began falling from trees from northern Alabama to northern Virginia. Trees in north Georgia, Tennessee, and western North Carolina were also affected.

A review of climate data from March 1st til now by Dr Steve McArtney of the Mountain Crops Horticultural Research Station showed that night temperatures on May 2 and 3 likely caused "increased respiration rate and all the carbohydrates the trees made during the day were burned up during the night. When carbohydrates are in short supply, the tree tends to use what's left for short growth at the expense of fruit growth."

via: Alabama Cooperative Extension
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More on Global Climate Change:
Warmest April, Ever - NOAA Releases New Global Temperature Data
5.2°C Temperature Rise by 2100: New Business-As-Usual Climate Change Scenario Presented by MIT
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