Warming Spring Data Via Climate Central
Friday March 8th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
I was pleased to see that once more Climate Central has used some of my record statistics to drive home the point that our climate is changing and warming during our lifetimes. As far as springs go if we are now in our 40s or older most of us have known much colder Marches during the 1970s and 80s. While growing up during that period in Atlanta I remember many a windy March with some chilly days of non accumulating snow flurries. The last exceptionally cold March period I vividly recall was the Storm of The Century or Blizzard of 93′, which occurred that year from March 11th-12th, producing over a foot of snow in the northern burbs and actual temps below 10F. As of 2019 a storm like this is still possible in Atlanta, but the chances of a reoccurrence are becoming much more remote due to carbon pollution.
Now Marches in Atlanta have truly become a spring month. Flowers are blooming earlier, and trees are also greening much sooner that what I generally saw during the 20th century. Those flurry days have disappeared. Here is what Climate Central wrote, which is today’s main subject:
Spring Warming Across the U.S.
- Published: March 6th, 2019
By Climate Central
Happy meteorological spring!
Despite record cold in parts of the country, record highs in March are outpacing record lows by a 3 to 1 ratio (according to Guy Walton’s NCEI-based records database) for this decade. And as the climate warms, so are spring temperatures for most cities across the U.S.
Spring average temperatures in these U.S. cities
In the past half-century, spring temperatures have trended upward at least 1°F in 84 percent of the 244 cities we analyzed. Only 1 percent have experienced a 1oF cooling trend during that same period. This equates to an average spring warming of more than 2oF for the contiguous U.S. And while winter may be the fastest warming season for much of the country, spring is the fastest warming season in the Southwest. Las Vegas and Tucson have warmed more than 6°F since 1970, while temperatures in El Paso and Phoenix have risen more than 5°F.
Higher temperatures mean more frost-free days, which can open the floodgates for pollen and pests. With the last freeze coming sooner (and the first freeze happening later), the growing season has lengthened by 10 days in the Northeast and 17 days in the West. While this may allow more time for crops, it also means a longer allergy season, from tree pollens in the spring to ragweed in the fall. According to a PNAS study that sampled 10 locations from Texas to Canada, pollen seasons got two to four weeks longer from 1995 to 2009 — with the highest increases in northern areas. Earlier springs can also hasten the arrival of mosquitoes, ticks, and agricultural pests — potentially reducing crop yields.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the arrival of spring in 2050 could be two weeks earlier than in recent years. Those future Marches may be milder, but their fearsome pollen totals may come “in like a lion” nonetheless.
Methodology: National trends in spring warming are analyzed using NOAA/NCEI CONUS average temperature for March through May since 1970. Individual city temperature trends are calculated using data from the Applied Climate Information System. Displayed trend lines on city analyses are based on a mathematical linear regression. A start date of 1970 was chosen since it is the earliest year in which reliable data was available for all 244 cities analyzed.
I hope you will click on the nearest city near where you live to see warming temperature trends.
Also from Climate Central we have this information concerning springs:
Spring Arriving Earlier
Mar 2, 2016
With climate change, spring is getting warmer and coming an average of 3 days earlier across the U.S. than a few decades ago. Take a lookat our analysis from last year to see how many days earlier spring is arriving in your state. This week, we expand on that analysis and look forward in time.
A new study indicates that if current emission rates of greenhouse gases continue, leaves will begin to appear an average of 21 days earlier nationally by 2100 compared to recent trends. Because plants and animals take their habitual cues from the seasonal rise in temperatures and the increasing amount of daylight that come in the spring, warming can distort their well-established behavioral patterns. These disruptions can have a cascading effect on the environment and economy.
Warming springs can cause plants to bloom earlier, change the locations of migrating species, alter the awakening time of hibernating animals, and increase the seasonal insect populations. As a result, plants may bloom before their needed pollinators are available, and aggressive insects can cause damage to food crops. These effects have the potential to threaten agricultural yields, driving up food prices or even causing shortages.
The earlier warming can also make the allergy season worse. Pollen counts have already increased over the last century and are projected to nearly double by 2060. See our report from last spring for more information. Plus, warmer spring temperatures may increase the growth of certain types of mold, further worsening the season for allergy sufferers.
Methodology: The current period is a comparison of average first leaf for 1991-2010 to 1961-1980 using data compiled by Mark D. Schwartz (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and the U.S. National Phenology Network. Projected values, based on CMIP5 model, RCP 8.5 scenario, are as calculated by the author of ”Spring plant phenology and false springs in the conterminous U.S. during the 21st century.” The baseline of the new study is a modeled 1950-2005 average first date of leaf out.
Here is some more climate and weather news from Friday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
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The Climate Guy