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January 03, 2007

Netherlands: Hundreds Of Plant Species Blooming In Mid-Winter Environment

Today's global warming story. Science Daily:

Observers in the Netherlands reported that more than 240 wild plant species were flowering in December, along with more than 200 cultivated species. According to biologist Arnold van Vliet of Wageningen University, this unseasonable flowering is being caused by extremely high autumn temperatures.

The mean autumn temperature in 2006 was 13.6°C, which is 3.4°C above the long-term average. It was even 1.6°C warmer than in 2005, which was previously the warmest autumn since 1706, when records were first kept. It is very likely that other European countries also experienced unseasonable flowering due to the high temperatures. This information emerged from a unique, large-scale observation campaign conducted by volunteers during the first 15 days of the month. [...]

The aim of the observation campaign was to determine the effects of the extreme weather conditions in the Netherlands during the second half of 2006. This year included not only the warmest July and September on record, but also the wettest August. Temperatures were far above normal: 3.7°C higher in September, 3.3°C higher in October and 3°C higher in November. The first 17 days of December were even more extreme, registering 4.2°C above normal. For the entire autumn the average temperature was 3.4°C above the long-term average and even 1.6°C warmer than the autumn of 2005, which was previously the warmest on record in the Netherlands. [...]

Van Vliet warns that the ecological consequences of the extreme temperatures and the longer growing season remain largely unknown. Next year will be an important year for ecologists to identify the impacts on plants and animals. The high temperatures in 2006 are likely to increase the numbers of warmth-loving species even further, a trend which has been observed for some time. [Emphasis added]

Meanwhile, Fox News wants us to believe that recent blizzards in Denver cast doubt on global warming. Think Progress:

Today, prominent climate skeptics Pat Michaels and Dan Gainor appeared on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto to argue that the recent snowstorms in Denver prove there is a "Northeast bias" on global warming. Both agreed with Cavuto's claim that if "more of those who support global warming did not live in the East Coast, or more specifically in New York, and were stationed in Denver," they might be more skeptical of global warming.

Michaels added that "if you believe that warming causes cooling, you're like my neighbors down in Virginia who think that if you put hot water in the ice cube tray, it freezes faster. It doesn't work that way."

Of course, global warming models all predict increased precipitation and increased frequency of extreme weather events. Like blizzards. But that's just, you know, science.

Posted by Jonathan at January 3, 2007 01:48 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


And on today's Drudge Report there as a news item about cherry trees blooming in the northeast. The last time there was a snowless winter there was 1877. Clearly then, anthropogenic global warming is hardly to blame.

Posted by: Kevin at January 3, 2007 05:58 PM

Since increase in the severity of weather events is one of the basic predictions of global warming, and since the warming refers to a world-wide average, not every single point on the globe, and since Michaels surely knows both those facts, I can only assume that he consciously lied (i.e., made a statement with the intent to deceive) because he knew that he was in a forum where no one would challenge him.

Posted by: LarryE at January 4, 2007 12:59 AM

From Wiki:

Patrick J. Michaels is a Research
Professor of Environmental Sciences
at the University of Virginia. He
has been the State Climatologist
for Virginia since 1980 although
lately there has been some
confusion over the status of this

No one needs to assume anything about Pat Michaels for him to make an ass of himself.

All Things Considered on NPR today reported on local plants that grow from bulbs, and that the bulbs may grow early. December in Milwaukee this year has been extremely warm.

Posted by: Jeff at January 4, 2007 10:40 PM

Matt Drudge says everything is OK? Then it must be so.

Posted by: Michael at January 5, 2007 02:52 PM

Here in Austin, Redbuds had a fall bloom, which I had never seen. But really, ask the gardeners. I found an old planting guide for Travis County, rev. 1990. Compare it to our updated guide:

1990 - Feb 15-June 1
2000 - Jan 10-Feb 28

Broccoli transplants
1990 - Feb 15-Mar 15
2000 - Jan 15-Feb 28

1990 - Feb 15-May 15
2000 - Jan 10-Feb 10

Leaf Lettuce
1990 - Jan 15-Apr 1
2000 - Jan 1-Apr 1

1990 - Jan 15-Mar 1
2000 - Oct 1-Mar 31

So most of the early spring planting has to be done about two weeks to a month earlier now than it did ten years ago, and you must finish planting about a month earlier, before the heat sets in.

Summer plantings, like okra and sweet potatoes stay about the same.

Then, for the fall plantings, we are starting two weeks to a month LATER, because the summer heat lasts longer.

That is the extension service recommendations, but the gardeners themselves are being much more experimental with earlier planting. I would have to say that we are now Zone 9 where we were Zone 8. I am ordering seeds for Zone 10, because it just might work given the new climate.

Posted by: ivieee at January 8, 2007 07:50 PM