[NAFEX] California’s tree crops are screwed, says new report

Richard Harrison rharrison922 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 24 09:28:03 EDT 2009

      I read the report you cited as well as your article. Personally I wouldn't take too much stock in the conclusions for several reasons:
     1. The data and methodology used appears quite flawed. They only used data from 2 years 1950 and 1999. This is statistically VERY unsound. A reliable method to determine average chill hours is calculated on a number of years averaged together---rather than 2 years "taken out of context".  Recently, I attended a fruit meeting inwhich the speaker supported the global warming theory, but showed the most recent USDA zone chart---which indicated an INCREASE in the average chill hours received. It is based on a 10 year average. Also, his chill hour chart for Alabama showed an INCREASE in chill hours recorded in the last 10 years over the previous 10. 
The other big flaw in this elite report is that the "experts" used several models to predict the chill hours for the next 100 years.  Science can't even predict with reasonable accuracy if its going to rain tomorow! So, why put ANY stock into a report predicting the "weathe a hundred years from now?
      Also, remember GW is a theory, not a fact. If you care to look at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, you can find plenty of evidence to refute the theory of Global Warming itself.
      The methods used by the authors of this report is VERY questionable at the very least.
                                                             Richard Harrison, NW FL
IF chill hours WERE decreasing, California(and Florida) has many low-chill varieties of fruit trees that they have developed and are developing more all the time.  Changing to them would be a theoretical solution--IF chill were decreasing.

--- On Fri, 7/24/09, mIEKAL aND <qazingulaza at gmail.com> wrote:

From: mIEKAL aND <qazingulaza at gmail.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] California’s tree crops are screwed, says new report
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, July 24, 2009, 7:48 AM

California’s tree crops are screwed, says new report
By Ethicurean @ 8:43 pm on 22 July 2009


Things heat up in the nation’s produce basket: Tree crops like apples,
cherries, pears, walnuts and almonds rely on a chilly winter to set
the stage for a productive spring and summer. But in a study released
today, UC Davis scientists report that climate change is chipping away
at the number of winter chill days available to tree crops in
California’s Central Valley, jeopardizing the future of orchards that
feed consumers around the country.

In 1950, says the report, half of the Central Valley was suitable for
growing tree crops. Today, only 4% of the valley gets enough chilly
days in winter to produce well in the summer and fall. By the end of
this century, they predict that virtually none of the valley’s land
area will be tree-fruit friendly.

The technological optimists are out in force on this one, of course,
hoping that new breeds of tree crops can be developed to require fewer
cold days. Others suggest increasing the use of, um, “rest-breaking
chemicals” that can compensate for a lack of cold days. (Don’t ask us
how.) But UC Davis researchers aren’t so hopeful. “The main walnut
breeder at UC Davis is retiring,” says one of the study’s authors.
“After that, funding will be short.”

Take-home message? “Climate change is not just about sea-level rise
and polar bears,” says the lead author of the study. “It is about our
food security. Climate change may make conditions less favorable to
grow the crops we need to feed ourselves.” (LA Times)
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