Thursday, February 5, 2015

Climate Change Is More Extreme Up North

Readers of of my December 2014 blog: "How Winters Are Changing": )
will recall that national climatology statistics clearly show that climate change is more pronounced in the northern latitudes and, in particular, Minnesota.  My 53-year Extreme Minimum Temperature (EMT) trend lines (1962-2014 inclusive) statistically predict that the Twin Cities area will consistently be in USDA Zone 6 (where St. Louis, Detroit and Louisville used to be), within the next seven or eight years.  In fact, the EMT recorded in early January for the winter of 2015 was -11 F, which is above the trend line and within one degree of Zone 6.  In fact, most of our winters since the year 2000 have been in Zone 5, with only three in Zone 4, including last year, which was an anomaly all over the northern states.  Yet, the USDA persists in rating the Twin Cities in Zone 4, based on 2005 data, now 10 years out of date.  Close enough for government work?  Not in my book!

This week, Minnesota Public Radio published a special report on the phenomenon of northern climate change with the article: "Climate Change in Minnesota: 23 Signs". And even though many of my readers don't live in Minnesota, or even in the United States, this makes very interesting reading. I will conclude with a sentence that I have written repeatedly:

"You might argue why it’s warmer in Minnesota these days, but you can’t deny the fact that it is warmer, and that has important implications for Northern Gardeners."

Here's that excellent Minnesota Public Radio article; enjoy and let me know what you think:

Jack Falker
February 2015