A Requiem for Blueberries

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From Watts Up With That?

A correspondent in Mississippi reports in with respect to her blueberry crop:

Low of 23F this morning broke record by SIX DEGREES F. Even covered with agribon-50 which gives 6F protection…still froze the (already set!) berries.

Same varieties my grandmother grew in the 70’s and 80’s…never lost a crop to freezes either…

It’s an every year thing now…we’re discussing whether to just pull them up and do something else, or go ninja with freeze protection (agribon50 + agribon 30 + tarps) which will involve even more severe pruning of the plants…they were 8ft tall. By the way, read tweet this morning that no blueberries north of I10 made it…up to I 40)…unless covered more than we did.

There is not much of the United States that is south of the I10 left to grow blueberries in. The red line in the following map is the I10:

We seem to be living in at least three parallel universes.  In the first one a priestly class of climate scientists is predicting fire and brimstone unless we mend our evil ways:

The good news is that if we heed their final warning and do exactly as we are told than the warming might be limited to 1.5°C. 

The second parallel universe is the temperature record which has been absolutely flat:

A great torrent of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere over the last 44 years since the start of that graph but as it shows the temperature has been absolutely flat. I don’t know what the margin of error is in the UAH temperature record, and I don’t want to impune the work of Dr Roy Spencer in putting this record together by suggesting there is a margin for error, however the last result may be within the margin for error and in effect we have had no change in temperature for decades.

The third parallel universe is the ground truth of the sort experienced by our correspondent in Mississippi.  She can’t grow things that she used to grow because of record low temperatures. According to the maps, plant hardiness zones having been moving poleward:

The maps above are based on the average annual minimum temperature of any given spot — a metric that plays a big part in determining if perennial crops like orange trees will make it through the coldest months. Each zone marks out a 10 degrees F band, from -60 to -50 degrees F in zone 1 to 60 to 70 degrees F in zone 13. According to the article those maps came from, plant hardiness zones are moving north in the U.S. at 13 miles per decade. Thay may be over now.

Perhaps we can get some guidance from the heavens, specifically the Oulu Neutron Monitor. This is based on an anonymous comment on a post on WUWT some fifteen years ago in which the commenter effectively said “You idiots, climate is controlled by the magnetic flux from the Sun.” The way the comment was structured suggested the author was one of the priestly class of climate scientists who was likely well paid, intelligent and bored. Out of idle curiosity he determined the major control on climate. This is what that looks like since records have begun:

There was a step down in solar magnetic activity in 2005. With the lags in the climate system, temperature peaked in 2016. The plant hardiness zones will retreat south and blueberries will be a fond memory.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare