Get 'em while its HOT: Global Warming Chrysanthemums!

ImageGuest post by Mark Johnson

Everybody is trying to capitalize on the “green is good” craze lately, even the plant industry. Hence, the newest line of designer Chrysanthemums. From a company called Vermont Organics Reclamation, Inc.comes the new “Global Warming Mum” series. Here’s the description:

“This series, from breeder Sinclair Adam, Jr, features late bloomers that make their mark after others have passed. This not only gives us an extended season of color, it also gives bees and beneficial insects a food source during the warmer, extended fall months resulting from global climate changes.

The plants are hardy from Zone 4 through Zone 8 and, according to the plant description, they bloom from September through frost. Ok, frosty temps will end the bloom season. Got it?

There’s only one problem. According to the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), Fall temperatures have declined in 6 of 9 climate regions in the United States. And, since 1930, temperatures have shown an average Fall decline in the majority of the COLDER growing regions of the United States, including the Upper Midwest, The Northern Rockies, and the Northeast States. Lets break it down a bit further. October temperature trends (1930-2011) are down in 8 of 9 US climate regions. NCDC records show the only region that has warmed each month, Sept through November, since 1930 is the Western Region (California & Nevada). 



Notice the Northeast states above. Fall temperatures overall (Sept – Nov) have fallen slightly since 1930, about -.03 degrees per decade. October temperature trends above are down -.22 degreesF/decade. This could easily increase the chances that you’ll frost your mums off before Halloween.



In one our coldest regions, the Upper Midwest (USDA Growing Zone 4 & 5), Fall temperatures have fallen .01 degreesF/decade. To be fair, November temperatures show a positive trend in this region at +.26 degreesF/decade. But the Chrysanthemums will face some harsher weather before reaching those Dog Days.  Average temperatures in October (ABOVE) are down .28 degreesF/decade. Septembers are down at a rate of .23 degreesF/decade. Lots of potential frost here by mid-fall!



In my home region, the Ohio Valley, its a similar story. The Fall temperature trend (1930-2011) is -.08F/decade. October sees the sharpest drop at -.28degreesF/decade (ABOVE). September trends drop -.23F/per decade. By the time, these poor flowers reach a milder November (1930-2011 Trend is +.27F/decade), they’ve most likely endured a frost or two…or three.

Here are the NCDC Fall Temperature Trends for the 9 US Climate Regions (1930-2011):

Northeast = -.03 degreesF/decade

Ohio Valley = -.08 degreesF/decade

Upper Midwest = -.01 degreeF/decade

Northern Rockies and Plains = -.04 degreesF/decade

Northwest = +.06 degreesF/decade

West = +.12 degreesF/decade

Southwest = +.08 degreesF/decade

South = -.06 degreesF/decade

Southeast = -.04 degreesF/decade

In case you were wondering, propagation of Global Warming Mums is prohibited. Darn!

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John F. Hultquist
May 2, 2012 10:49 pm

I am always impressed by folks that find a very legitimate manner of getting people to voluntarily take the lesser side in an unequal exchange. You haven’t explained the pricing structure of these fabulous flowers but their cost is likely as inflated as the catastrophes to befall the planet (real soon now) from humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions. So, I have to applaud Vermont Organics Reclamation, Inc. Meanwhile, one of the tomatoes I’m going to plant outside – when it warms a bit – is called “Siberia” and claims to set fruit if night temperatures stay above 38°F.

Allan MacRae
May 2, 2012 11:25 pm

It was a grand year for Chrysanths, 1939. I wish we could have another one like it.
at ~2:20

Jason H
May 2, 2012 11:46 pm

Vermont Organics Reclamation Inc. Look no further than the place of origin. Vermont is basically a study of what happens when New Yorkers move to the country.

May 2, 2012 11:48 pm

just got a lovey bunch of Mums from a neighbour who grows them south of Brisbane. hers are always gorgeous.
1 May: eScienceNews: A 100-gigbit highway for science
Climate researchers are producing some of the fastest growing datasets in science. Five years ago, the amount of information generated for the Nobel Prize-winning United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report was 35 terabytes — equivalent to the amount of text in 35 million books, occupying a bookshelf 248 miles (399 km) long. By 2014, when the next IPCC report is published, experts predict that 2 petabytes of data will have been generated for it — that’s a 580 percent increase in data production. Because thousands of researchers around the world contribute to the generation and analysis of this data, a reliable, high-speed network is needed to transport the torrent of information…

May 3, 2012 1:11 am

Garbage in…. even more Garbage out!

May 3, 2012 1:27 am

Hmmm, Chrysanthemums have always bloomed until the frosts start, so nothing new here. My dad used to grow them and if there was any danger of a cold night looming he would go and tie paper bags over the blooms to protect them. He was a wonderful sight in the mornings taking the bags off again in his dressing gown.
And, Russian tomatoes are a good idea for growing in a colder climate. I am looking for a similar type of cucumber as mine were a disaster last year in the short, colder summer. Maybe gherkins will do the trick.
We were all supposed to be growing mediterranean plants here in the UK to cope with the hotter, drier summers. I followed too, like a good little sheep. They’re all dead. Couldn’t cope with the cold and wet.

James Bull
May 3, 2012 2:57 am

Biddyb says:
May 3, 2012 at 1:27 am
Sorry to say that when all the advice started about growing Mediterranean plants I started looking for frost/cold hardy plants, I was given some warm liking plants and as with yours they didn’t survive the AGW.
On the weather front it is still draughting outside meaning I can’t cut the grass which is growing like mad. (sarc)
James Bull

May 3, 2012 3:22 am

I always listen to a local Gardening Show on radio; the lady who runs it is a serious expert on all matters botanical and also remarkably cheerful. (Dirt has a way of doing that: the way is called Mycobacter Vaccae, the bacterium that rewards us for farming.)
When USDA came out with their new set of Post-Apocalypse Gardening Zones, the gardening lady was appropriately saddened by the coming end of the world, but also cheerfully excited by the possibility of growing new tropical plants in this “formerly” cold area. Every week her faith in the USDA report evaporated as she thought more about actual temperatures and actual behavior of plants in recent years. Now she’s stopped quoting the USDA and advises her listeners to stick with the old zones.

May 3, 2012 3:23 am

James Bull – oh, is it windy where you are? Does it stop you mowing? We had a small window of opportunity in the drought conditions yesterday evening and managed to mow part of the lawn. The rest is too sodden and mower likely to sink up to its axles if we attempt it. We need more rain; I thought I’d try rice this year.

May 3, 2012 3:29 am

But according to Katharine Hayhoe, history began in 1964.

May 3, 2012 4:25 am

0.26 degrees/decade, 0.03 degrees/decade. No error, statistics on variability. Climate science certainly is wonderful. You have to sum the change over a decade to get a number that looks a little less like zero and then you dont have to place any uncertainty on that number. Add to that the outstanding ability to measure the temperature of the earth to 0.001 degrees and do so for very long times. I have trouble believing that any of these data are really indicative of a warming or cooling trend. Tough to be so certain about so much uncertainty, yet there is a whole, expensive industry dedicated to this silliness.
I’ve done environmental compliance, either part time or full time for 30 years. I’ve written more air permit applications than I can count. Each year we “worry” more and more about less and less. Now I can’t decide which is sillier, writing BACT for GHG and tracking GHG, or trying to decide whether landfill gas is a solid waste. Maybe I’ll just wait for the next piece of idiocy to come along.

May 3, 2012 5:01 am

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
– or –
What the American consumer doesn’t know is what makes him the American consumer.

Bruce Cobb
May 3, 2012 6:33 am

No doubt people will be paying premium prices for these, all for the chance to relieve their environmental guilt. Surely they must know that flower-growing has a hefty carbon hoofprint. And, since our carbon is “destroying the planet”, and flowers are by no means a necessity, if they really cared about the planet they would eschew flower-buying altogether.

Pamela Gray
May 3, 2012 7:05 am

It would be a good idea to keep a seed catalog and planting guide handy for things you can grow in Tibet. They even grow grapes there.
My grandmother knew each and every year what to plant and hardly ever failed in her predictions. She knew when cool-weather plants would whither before producing so didn’t plant them, and she knew when warm-weather plants would freeze before giving us their tasty treats, so didn’t plant those. She very seldom missed. It was an amazingly accurate sense of weather pattern variations.

May 3, 2012 7:12 am

All these stats are very interesting but they don’t cover what matters in plant growth: Last Frost Date and First Frost Date and the date that overnight temps exceed 75F steadily (end of tomato fruit set according to the tomato experts)
I’d feel better if I thought the new growing season stuff was based on frost date records and heat-day records, at the moment I figure that we’re still in the maybe-we-freeze zone not in the we-never-freeze zone. (South Texas)

May 3, 2012 7:52 am

Any company that puts “organic” in their name is out to scam you, so the fact that they are lying about the extended Fall should not be a surprise. The “organic” in their name is sort of like dogsh*t to flies. It just draws in the suckers so they can be fleeced.

May 3, 2012 8:11 am

Facts are unimportant. Feeling are paramount.
If the ordinary person can’t figure out that constant borrowing on his credit card eventually means he can’t even pay his interest fees, let alone the principal, and so is surprised to find himself insolvent or bankrupt, how do we expect him to note that Global Warming isn’t actually global, but Arctic?
This is the weird thing: GISTemp and HadCruT differ in the continued warming since ’98 that Hansen bleats about because GISTemp includes Arctic data that HadCruT doesn’t. So the “continued global” warming of the world is actually “Arctic interpolated” warming. Not global.
If you took apart GISTemp and HadCruT, and separated regions of warming and cooling, put them side by side with proportionality of the globe, I wonder how much of the “global” warming is actually just a region warming. All those maps I see in red, white and blue don’t look like much at all without the strong red blotches. What would be left? 0.3C over the last 100 years? And how much would be NEGATIVE 0.3C.
The wonderful term “Global” Warming is a perfect case of misrepresentation. It is both reasonable and understandable that the public think the world, not regions, is getting hotter. It is the same misrepresentation that Enron foisted on its shareholders and creditors: everything is great, folks, except of course for those bits that we aren’t talking about (and are in a different book).

Kelvin Vaughan
May 3, 2012 8:13 am

In France they are a symbol of death.
Just thought I would cheer everyone up.

May 3, 2012 8:37 am

It is false advertisement, yet the green cause is advertised all over the place to induce people to feel good about buying even though there is no evidence or experience of the disaster buying their product will help prevent.
A business claiming an advantage of their product connected to global warming and saving the planet are contributing to the indoctrination of the public and are supporting a political agenda.

John F. Hultquist
May 3, 2012 9:06 am

tornadomark says:
May 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm
Hi Mark,
My family was from NW Pennsylvania and I still have family there, and one in a Cleveland area community. I check the weather there quite often, including webcams from the DOT, Zoo, and others.
I got my Siberia tomato seed packet at a regular home & garden store this spring with a 20% discount on the $1.79 price. I haven’t seen them as started plants. Our store sells this company’s packets:

May 3, 2012 12:19 pm

Saw this schtick from a seed seller in Oregon just yesterday. It was something to the effect that it’s so hot now and these seeds will be able to handle the new higher temps, etc…
Of couse it’s always a feelgood thing to talk about the weather, even if it’s hogwash on a stick.

May 3, 2012 1:26 pm

Oh. My. God. I live in rural Arkansas. Stuff is blooming like crazy, growing like crazy. It’s like the weather/climate is perfect for things to grow in. I have a blackberry bush that has two different stalks that have literally grown 4 feet in height – just this year. Roses in bloom? MASSIVE! My lawn is out of control – in May. How anyone can even insinuate that a warm earth is detrimental to plant life… and OOH! my plants are loving the CO2! MORE MORE MORE!

Crispin in Waterloo
May 3, 2012 1:53 pm

“It was a grand year for Chrysanths, 1939. I wish we could have another one like it.”
You would not perchance be quoting a certain, “So you want to know about the War?” are you?
“My wife came out to me in the garden and said, ‘Charlie, Rationin’ has been imposed and all that that entails!’ ‘Never you mind my dear’, I said to her. You just put in the kettle and we’ll have a nice cup of boilin’ ‘ot water.”

May 3, 2012 2:32 pm

In other words, the cold season has gotten longer in the areas subject to continental glaciation during major glacials. Ominous.

May 3, 2012 4:13 pm

One additional thought. According to the Calder Model the pending end of the interglacial will not be followed by a typical glacial. It may end up being the worst one since ~350,000 BC. Colllllllllldest in 350K yearrrrrrrrrs!

Allan MacRae
May 4, 2012 12:20 am

Crispin in Waterloo says: May 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm
“It was a grand year for Chrysanths, 1939. I wish we could have another one like it.”
You would not perchance be quoting a certain, “So you want to know about the War?” are you?
“My wife came out to me in the garden, her face knotted with pain. ”Charlie,” she said, “Rationin’ has been imposed and all that that entails!” “Never you mind my dear”, I said to her, “You put in the kettle and we’ll have a nice cup of boilin’ ‘ot water.”
Yes Crispin – videos:

~2:00 minutes – planting out some chrysanths

~2:00 minutes – planting out some deadly nightshade for the Bosch
~4:00 minutes – planting out some carrots for the night-fighters

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