By Ivar Leidus - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, link

Claim: Global Warming is Causing Strawberries to Shrink

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the Aussie ABC, a 3C rise in nighttime temperatures in Nambour is raising costs for farmers by shrinking the size of strawberries.

Climate change means smaller strawberries, higher costs for farmers

ABC Rural / By Melanie GrovesBeing able to eat large, succulent strawberries may become a pleasure of the past, as the popular fruit is the latest victim of a changing climate.

Key points:

  • Warm overnight temperatures are contributing to smaller strawberries
  • Smaller strawberries are more expensive to pick
  • Consumers may need to adapt to buying smaller fruit

It’s not cold weather causing the strawberries to shrink, but rather warmer temperatures.

And as smaller strawberries take longer to pick, production costs are rising along with temperatures — which means lower returns for farmers and could lead to a price hike at the checkout for consumers.

The principle horticulturalist at Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Christopher Menzel, said field tests at the Nambour research centre showed that as air temperatures rose the size of the fruit dropped.

“With [climate change] even here at Nambour the records show the night temperatures have gone up by about 3 degrees over the past 50 to 60 years, which is quite significant,” he said.

“The size of the fruit is very sensitive to temperatures.

Read more:

Can you imagine the calamity of having to eat smaller strawberries? If further warming occurs, obviously it is not going to be possible for Nambour farmers to switch to a different variety of strawberries, or grow something else, because in the age of the climate crisis no adaption to changed conditions is possible.

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April 15, 2021 10:07 pm

That’s utter bullshit. I live near Nambour and the temperature has decreased if anything in the last 3 years.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  John
April 15, 2021 11:08 pm

I did some quick looking online and found the Elders website.

That gives averaged figures for Nambour (not changes unfortunately) but also points out they only have records going back 13 years for this location.

If I read the Elders website correctly they make use of BOM data, which these days could be anything. BOM regularly ‘normalise’ historical records, often using the justification of weather stations in some cases 100s of km away as defence for their actions.

These days asking the BOM for historical data is like asking China for historical proof of Nine Dash.

Reply to  John
April 16, 2021 4:32 am

It’s strange, but I have blueberries in my fridge that are the size of cherries and apples on my counter that are bigger than anything I recall was available growing up, and we have them year round.

Growing up, we used to store our apples in the cellar so they would “keep” as my mother used to say. I kind of like the supplier managing all this, at least when they’re successful. I bet they figure out a way to make it work.

Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2021 5:57 am

Maybe your supplier will become intermittent as part of the “fruits” of climate policy.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  John
April 16, 2021 5:54 am

the temperature has decreased if anything in the last 3 years.

That’s right, exactly the reason for shrinking 😀

Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 17, 2021 5:14 am

Colder weather definitely causes my berries to shrink.

Utter nonsense – warmth is NOT the problem.

Circa 1990 I went for a swim at the Forty Foot at Dun Laoghaire near Dublin, one fine warm summer Sunday morning.

The water temperature was colder than I’d ever experienced – I thought my heart would stop – I swam out to a big outcrop, shot back to the ladder, and climbed out, glad to still be alive.

The little man was littler than he had ever been, and the twins were lost for an entire week.

Reply to  John
April 16, 2021 8:28 am

Where do these bozos get this stuff? The strawberries I get are so confounded big that I need a large knife to cut them, never mind trim the leaves off them.

One of them will easily cover 2+ inches in the palm of my hand, and that’s shrinking????

On what planet, may I ask?

The only times I’ve seen small strawberries that were ripe enough to eat is when they’ve come from a neighbor’s local garden and she’s overwhelmed by the load. Happy to take them off her hands.

Reply to  Sara
April 16, 2021 8:55 am

Lucky you. I bet those small ones taste better too.

Mmmm white chocolate-coated strawberries for dessert this evening. Those idiots are good for something – reminders about how life is good for people who aren’t them.

Reply to  philincalifornia
April 16, 2021 11:28 am

You got that right, Phil!

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  John
April 16, 2021 2:35 pm

And here in Ventura, CA (about 40% of the US crop of strawberries are grown in this area), our berry harvests have been huge. No change in berry sizes at all, or yields.

April 15, 2021 10:11 pm

I would say that the strawberrier at that location will get bigger. Lets wait and see 🙂

David Solan
April 15, 2021 10:20 pm

Generally speaking, warmer temperatures promote plant growth, as long as the plants have enough of the other resources they need to grow. And most plants either stop growing … or die … when temperatures get significantly colder. Have no idea if this applies to strawberries as well, but my guess is that it does!

Reply to  David Solan
April 16, 2021 5:55 pm

What actually causes small strawberries is a lack of water.
The problem most growers face is that too much water swells berries yet reduces the flavor intensity.
Fruits that swell too fast too soon, crack and quickly spoil.

April 15, 2021 10:32 pm

Bullshit has become the speciality of the ABC. It has now even branched out into outright distortion of the News as propaganda for its political aims. If the ABC says that Nambour is getting hotter, Nambour is probably getting cooler.
Smaller strawberries generally taste better than large (Californian) ones

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
April 15, 2021 11:00 pm

The ABC admitted today it had edited in archive footage into another news story to make it appear people were present at an event when they were not actually there. You cannot believe anything you see on the ABC.

Reply to  Chris
April 16, 2021 1:34 am

Yeah – but they did apologise for misleading the public!

Woke is such an ugly cloak.

Reply to  Chris
April 16, 2021 4:04 am

Maybe Nambour growers could be assisted with bags of ABC manure, technical reference: SH 1 T

Reply to  Chris
April 16, 2021 5:16 pm

Is there a link for that? (ABC edit archive footage)

April 15, 2021 10:36 pm

Based on “Field tests”, not historical growers data?
Is the T-rise real or a result of a bad station location?
Any windmills around that prevent nighttime stratification?
Lots of questions…

Reply to  Brad
April 16, 2021 12:27 am

From the linked article:

What we’ve found is as the temperature increased, as you went from winter to spring, the fruit became smaller.

It’s a correlation for sure. It’s also not the only possible cause.

Where I am, within a hundred miles of Toronto, Canada, you couldn’t make a statement like that. We harvest strawberries once. The harvest lasts a couple of weeks. We sure don’t have early season strawberries and late season strawberries.

It sounds like they are getting more than one picking during the season. What else changes during the season besides temperature? A whole bunch of things change.

So, someone noticed a fact and drew an unwarranted conclusion. Surely that doesn’t happen much, does it?

Every year in high school the chaplain would tell a story:

A man was walking along with the Devil. They saw someone bend over, pick something up, and skip away merrily. The man asked the Devil what had just happened. “He found a bit of the truth.” replied the Devil. “Don’t you just hate it when that happens?” asked the man. “Oh no,” said the Devil, “he’s going to turn it into a religion.”

It’s human nature to take a simple fact and use it as the foundation for a castle in the sky.

Phillip Bratby
April 15, 2021 10:44 pm

I grow strawberries in a greenhouse, in a poly-tunnel and outside (in SW England). The ones grown indoors have much higher night-time temperatures and do much better. Huge quantities of strawberries are grown in poly-tunnels in England and I have never heard any mention of the effect of night-time temperature. This is just more of the usual climate change BS and propaganda.

April 15, 2021 10:45 pm

“With [climate change] even here at Nambour the records show the night temperatures have gone up by about 3 degrees over the past 50 to 60 years, which is quite significant,”

3 degrees C hey? Me thinks this is complete crap. Please show the data you used.

Reply to  Mike
April 15, 2021 10:53 pm

Nambour since 1970… about + 0.5 Since about 1955…. 0.0

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike
April 16, 2021 6:27 am

“Nambour since 1970… about + 0.5 Since about 1955…. 0.0”

That’s about right: More lying from the climate alarmists. So the truth is there has been no temperature increases in Nambour in recent history, certainly not an increase of 3C.

More distortions of reality by the climate alarmists.

If they didn’t have lies, they wouldn’t have anything at all. It’s pathetic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
Krishna Gans
Reply to  Mike
April 16, 2021 5:56 am

If, than thanks UHI, in cities etc.

April 15, 2021 10:52 pm

have they release their methology on how they determined that. I know apple grower in MI remove some of the blossoms to get larger apples.

April 15, 2021 10:57 pm

First of all there is no global warming only massive cooling due to the sun.
Second, cooling inhibits growth, otherwise they’d tear down every glasshouse, for fear of getting tiny growing produce.
Thirdly, horticulture makes fruit groan under the weight of artificial enhancers.
Other than that, it is a complete mystery.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ken Ring
April 16, 2021 5:27 am

Most of us groan when under a heavy weight 🙂

April 15, 2021 11:03 pm

I tend to find the cold gives me more shrinkage problems 😉

Peta of Newark
April 15, 2021 11:07 pm

Quote:“Global Warming is Causing Strawberries to Shrink”
Then they might actually taste of something instead of being grotesque tasteless acidic boulders that give you belly-ache and The Shits
Not unlike contemporary tomatoes as it ‘appens

It is possible to get ‘Wild Strawberry’ seed. They grow like weeds and are a joy, especially for kids.
Which we all are, at heart.

Go there. Do that. (re) join The Real World
Have fun before it becomes completely illegalised

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 15, 2021 11:18 pm

For once, I completely agree with you, Peta. Wild strawberries and many other wild fruits are way more tasty. We need more!

Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 16, 2021 8:46 am

I have gardened in Las Vegas off and on for years. It is a real struggle to keep a small garden here, in the Mojave desert. Soil amendments alone cost a ton. But eating fresh from the vine tomatoes is worth it. All the flavor that you don’t get from store bought. The problem with tomatoes is the crop is totally dependent on the spring night time temperature, once the night time temperatures get too high, the flowers won’t set fruit. I have had years when the spring was cool and we picked tomatoes for over 2 months. Other times, when the temperatures went hot early, maybe only a month of harvest.

I also always planted a sacrificial crop of sets as soon as they were available in the garden center. I put them out about 2 weeks before the regular final frost date to draw the killer frost. Then, after they were killed, I could safely plant the crop for the year. It worked almost every time. Occasionally the first planting survived resulting in a good year and enough for canning.

And Peta, I often grew strawberries, specifically for the kids, then grandkids, to go and find and pick and eat. I haven’t for a couple of years, the grandkids are getting older, and I guess I am getting lazier.

Jon R
April 15, 2021 11:11 pm

First gw came for the strawberries, I don’t have to tell you what it’s coming for next.

Alastair gray
April 15, 2021 11:28 pm

Small strawberries taste better. In Scotland and Norway strawberries are. Small and sweet. In S England and California they are big and florid and utterly tasteless. Does that have wider implications?

Richard Gill
Reply to  Alastair gray
April 16, 2021 7:39 am

I think that’s more connected to out of season growing in Spanish greenhouses.
Once you get in-season Kentish strawberry, they are so sweet and succulent.

Reply to  Richard Gill
April 16, 2021 6:04 pm

Sort of…

Those huge flavorless strawberries have several things in common.
They’re raised with copious water, picked green and ripened with ethylene just before delivery to the grocery store.

Just as apples, pears and greenhouse tomatoes are.

All because ripe fruits bruise easily, so they pick and ship them green. Doesn’t matter the season or where they are grown.
It’s picked early, shipped then ripened artificially.

April 15, 2021 11:58 pm

But global warming is causing my hemorrhoids to grow! the horror..the horror…

Climate believer
April 16, 2021 12:02 am

And as smaller strawberries take longer to pick”

Christ! how small are these things?

Taste depends on the variety grown. For a strawberry of old taste grow Mara-des-bois, I don’t bother with anything else.

G Mawer
Reply to  Climate believer
April 16, 2021 12:28 pm

I wonder if they meant to say it takes longer to pick “a pound” of berries???

Stephen Goldstein
Reply to  G Mawer
April 17, 2021 6:30 am

Exactly. ‘Cause that’s how workers are paid and how the berries are sold, wholesale and retail, by the pint or by the pound (in the US).

April 16, 2021 12:31 am

Strawberries grow quite large in warmer weather on the California coast. Fruits grow larger with selected varieties, and the use of cultivation, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers — just like all other agricultural products. If a specialty grower chooses to grow smaller varieties organically, they charge more for the product. Taking more effort to pick causes workers to be paid more than workers engaged in shorter term work.
Consumer price represents grower costs — except in the command economies, seemingly desired by the eco-terrorists and their propagandists, in which strawberries would be a party membership or aristocratic luxury.
Journalists and publishers, on the other hand, can churn out any string of words that satisfies their managers and financiers, without reference to facts, economics, discipline, the concerns of production, or quality.

Reply to  dk_
April 16, 2021 6:06 pm

Taking more effort to pick causes workers to be paid more than workers engaged in shorter term work.”

Pickers are usually paid per carton, basket, crate, etc. Not by the fruit.

April 16, 2021 12:31 am

So, if as XR claim, dairy eg cream is offensive to the lactose intolerant, smaller strawberries isn’t such a big deal- especially for the vertically challenged

Geoff Sherrington
April 16, 2021 1:35 am

The official BOM Climate Data Online web page does not list 50 years of temperature data from Nambour, home of these strawberries.
The nearest long T record I could find was at Gympie. about 60 km away from Nambour.
Here is the annual Tmin for Gympie.
It actually shows a decline over the mentioned 50 years.
Reconcile that??? Geoff S

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 16, 2021 7:00 am

Yes, when we get these absurd claims of rising temperatures from alarmists, the first thing we need to do is examine the regional temperature chart, which will put the lie to their claims of unprecedented temperature increases.

The only thing that shows a steady rise in temperatures is the computer-generated, instrument-era Hockey Stick chart No regional temperature chart from around the world resembles the temperature profile of the Hockey Stick chart. The regional charts all show it was just as warm in the recent past as it is today.

Those who use the Hockey Stick chart can show a temperature increase, but the regional temperature charts don’t show this temperatue increase. Most of the regional charts, starting from the Early Twentieth Century, show flatlining temperatures or a temperature downtrend.

Regional charts are made up of actual temperture readings taken by human beings who were not doing so for political reasons.

The Hockey Stick chart is a computer-generated figment of the imaginations of people who desire to promote the idea of Human-caused Climate Change and it does not represent reality, it represents scientific fraud.

Always check the regional charts when you see outrageous temperature claims which are based on the Bogus Hockey Stick chart..

Ale Cop
April 16, 2021 1:40 am

Claim: Global Warming is Causing BRAINS to Shrink

Pat Maher
April 16, 2021 1:48 am

So let me get this straight. For decades strawberries have been grown in greenhouses where warmth and CO2 were increased to enhance the growth of the berries. The science behind this is not under dispute. No study has ever suggested otherwise

Now they’re saying the exact opposite. That increased warmth and more CO2 are enemies of the berries.

Yeah, right

April 16, 2021 2:02 am

I’ll tell you what doesn’t shrink when it’s warm,but does when it’s cold.And that’s my Johnson.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Tony
April 16, 2021 2:52 am

We now call that a Boris, in cold conditions we call it a bit of a Boris….Carrie on.

Reply to  Rod Evans
April 16, 2021 8:52 am

Oh, I see what you did there. And I’m from the US.

Carrie is the bit’s twit. Good one!

Richard Page
Reply to  Drake
April 16, 2021 12:21 pm

Actually, Carrie is the twits bit. Boris and nut nut.

a happy little debunker
April 16, 2021 2:22 am

Commercial strawberries are grown for size and colour – but not taste.(just like commercial tomatoes)
Why anyone would choose to buy commercial strawberries is just beyond my comprehension…

April 16, 2021 2:25 am

So wouldn’t somewhere else now be the perfect temperature for strawberries?

April 16, 2021 2:39 am

Was this story originally released on 1st April?

Rod Evans
April 16, 2021 2:58 am

Is it something specific to strawberries this aversion to warmer growing conditions at night and helpful levels of CO2 in the atmosphere?
My crop should be good this year, it has been particularly cold overnight this year with yet another frost last night continuing the long, now two week run of April frost here in the Midlands UK.
On the plus side, I bet the strawberries are loving it….?

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 16, 2021 8:21 am

Slightly warmer at night, no hotter during the day, which is what we are seeing for climate change if we are seeing anything, should be better growing conditions.
Too cool at night encourages mold.
Of course, definitions of cold depend on where. My definition of a nice warm day world freeze the yargles off an OZ

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat from Kerbob
Steve Case
April 16, 2021 3:07 am

John Brignall stopped updating his warmlist nearly a decade ago.
In 2015 he posted the reason why:

The time it takes to process a new entry increases approximately with the square of the list length, after checking for duplications, spoofs etc. Starting it was based on the naïve assumption that the rate of appearances would decline as opposing evidence accumulated, but the reverse happened. That’s the difference between science and religion. It was taking over my life, which I did not want to end as a garbage collector. There have since been hundreds more claims of an increasingly ludicrous nature.

Well anyway, shrinking strawberries would have made the list.

April 16, 2021 4:02 am

From my observations when shopping Woolworths supply large Strawberries, must be mutants, a case for the X-Files.

April 16, 2021 4:13 am

Children just aren’t going know what strawberries are.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Rusty
April 16, 2021 5:17 am

Ha Ha ha. Good call Rusty, but maybe they won’t know because all the climate hysteria drivel aka “warming” will have shrunk their brains as well.

Bruce Cobb
April 16, 2021 4:26 am

The solution to the smaller strawberries being more expensive to pick is simple: Hire Ooompa-Loompas. Being smaller in stature, they naturally have smaller hands which can more easily pluck the smaller fruit. Plus, you get singing. Win-win!

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 16, 2021 9:04 am

…. and the in-house chocolate coating technology. Win-win-win!

Patrick MJD
April 16, 2021 4:27 am

Concentrates sugar (Carbon) makes them sweeter?

Tom in Florida
April 16, 2021 5:21 am

“Claim: Global Warming is Causing Strawberries to Shrink”
Only when you put them in the pool.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 16, 2021 8:10 am

That is quite the pool. I’d like to put my tax bill in it.

Abolition Man
April 16, 2021 5:29 am

Neither causation nor correlation; but probably fertilization! Whoever wrote this doesn’t know manure about growing crops, but that won’t stop a true believer from opining!
I’ll bet that if there was any grower experiencing strawberry shrinkage as reported,their field would be found to be deficient in necessary minerals, organic material or both!
My tomatoes get bigger and sweeter with lots of hot weather; strawberries are not heat tolerant, but grow quite well where they get adequate food and water, and avoid DAYTIME heat! That’s why they are grown commercially along the California coast with its summer fogs! Castroville may claim to be the artichoke Capitol of the world but they had a thriving strawberry business as well, and raspberries and blackberries are grown commercially nearby!
Utter BS from the ABC! They should have donated it to the grower instead inflicting it on their readers!

Andrew Kerber
April 16, 2021 5:37 am

My bet is that they have been using different breeds of strawberries. Some breeds are larger, some are smaller. In general the smaller strawberries have better taste…

April 16, 2021 5:52 am

So the bucket of strawberries I recently purchased with all large berries was an anomaly? I actually wanted a mix with smaller berries but I took what was available and they were all huge. Maybe the Australian climate meme is the anomaly.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 16, 2021 8:17 am

I find those giant strawberries normally less tasty, middle range is what you want.

Steve M
April 16, 2021 5:53 am

I don’t know about you folks, but the strawberries I experienced as a child in the 60s and 70s were half the size of today’s strawberries. Today they seem huge!

Krishna Gans
April 16, 2021 5:59 am

Drought may shrink what ever fruit

Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
April 16, 2021 6:02 am

Is it the Mann Berry variety–developed in in a black box always overpriced and oversold?

Nick Werner
April 16, 2021 6:07 am

Oh dear…

Screenshot from 2021-04-16 05-58-03.png
Bruce Cobb
April 16, 2021 6:16 am

Reminds me of a Burt and I joke:
“Where are you headed, Burt?”
“Kind of early for strawberries”.
“It’s my Mother-In-Law”.

April 16, 2021 6:19 am

I’m sure Sheri’s Berries and the like shari’s berries – Bing – Shopping
will be going out of business any minute now! Just like the store shelves are barren of honey due to the great honey bee die off.

BTW at Meijers day before yesterday they had large quantities of huge Strawberries out and on sale and I have some in my fridge right now. I went to get my hair cut by my barber who has a shop in that store and came back with the fixings for fruit salad because the produce looked so good.

Does anyone else get tired of this kind of neurotic BS?

very old white guy
April 16, 2021 6:50 am

Is this a new form of reverse physics, biology, chemistry, cold will reduce the size of fruits and vegetables.

April 16, 2021 7:05 am

I had four varieties of everbearing strawberries. All different sizes and textures. One variety was very small. May be that global warming makes people choose small varieties.

Jeff Labute
April 16, 2021 7:22 am

So, it is the strawberries and not the crop sizes that have reduced? It amazes me these things always happen at the same time. I bet it is more likely some reporter couldn’t tell the different between strawberry size and strawberry crop size which has been reduced by 30% or more. I didn’t see anything mentioned about needing students with smaller fingers.

Reply to  Jeff Labute
April 17, 2021 4:50 pm

That is a pretty reasonable hypothesis given the intellectual quality on display at our ABC. As well as a dearth of pickers, other factors such as competition from the Granite Belt, rising land values and urbanisation around Nambour, and the older farmers not being replaced by a younger generation probably affect the Nambour crops size too. That certainly seems true around Gympie.

April 16, 2021 7:40 am

some more BS to add to the pile

because in the age of the climate crisis no adaption to changed conditions is possible

um how about hybridization? how about direct genetic manipulation? how about just growing the strawberries 300 miles further north?

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  menace
April 16, 2021 8:15 am

South in this case, Aussies being all backwards, upside down and such

Bob boder
April 16, 2021 8:58 am

What bunch of nonesense

April 16, 2021 9:09 am

Oh Noes! Nambour farmers are incapable of picking the correct variety of strawberries to plant in their microclimate. This is just another example of climate disaster that increasing taxation will fix.

April 16, 2021 9:24 am

I remember going to a “pick your own” with my parents and being told to pick the small ones, they taste better.

April 16, 2021 10:54 am

Cytokinin, a plant phyto-hormone, is definitely affected by temperature; it’s levels go down in response to high temperature. Bear in mind that phyto-hormones’ interplay, pulse influence of changing ratios, timing & which tissue are quite convoluted. There are 2 kinds of cytokinin (iso-prenoid & aromatic) with both derived from adenine; for example the main tomato cytokinins are called zeatin & zeatin riboside ( a very active cytokinin).

Before strawberry fruit formation the plant must flower & in plants cytokinin phyto-hormone levels rise at floral initiation. Cytokinin in the floral organ causes increased synthesis of what is called “extensin”; & extensin in turn boosts flower formation.

The “FB” (flower bud) gene is active in pre-floral & floral shoot tips & cytokinin gets “FB7-3” micro-RNA levels to rise in floral bracts. Cytokinin is involved in RNA synthesis.

In zones of dividing cells there is a higher percent of cytokinin activity controlling the cell cycle. Thus, cytokinin is required for cells moving out of what is termed the “G2” step to next enter mitosis; it is needed in mitosis, where it regulates mitotic spindle formation proteins.
Cytokinin keeps dividing plant cells from having the nucleus stymied. Zeatin cytokinin levels peak at the cell growth phase called “exponential”.

Which is to say: that yes, it is conceivable that elevated temperature at an untimely stage of strawberry flowering, seed production &/or fruiting can measurably decrease harvestable strawberry size (because, as stated cytokinin phyto-hormone levels are impacted by temperature).To illustrate the relative temperature impact consider this example: in plant tissue culture when we can generally use 0.2 mg/Lt cytokinin under 17*Celsius (63*F), then for the same purpose would need to consider using from 0.2 to 2.0 mg/Lt cytokinin under 21*C (70*F), & by the time working under 24*C (75*F) for the same purpose generally would use 2.0 mg/Lt. cytokinin.

April 16, 2021 12:14 pm

It’s a metaphor of the Australian economy and science standing.

Robert of Texas
April 16, 2021 12:19 pm

A 3C rise in nighttime temperatures is either fantasy or caused by UHI near where they measure temperatures.

The last time I grew strawberries they grew faster and larger under moderate nighttime warmth, not smaller. If these are growing smaller its due to nutrients, soil type, or water. This should be EASY to debunk by someone owning a greenhouse.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 16, 2021 1:04 pm

Greenhouse strawberry production night temperatures are definitely reduced from daytime temperatures if the grower’s installation has that ability. Some, in the warmer temperate zones, don’t grow them in the summer because the cost of electricity for maintaining ideal temperature ranges makes operating the greenhouse production of strawberries too costly to be worth the effort.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 16, 2021 1:50 pm

As regards to strawberry growth “… due to nutrients…” I might as well point that the plant phyto-hormone cytokinin [detailed 2 comments above as declining in concentration under rising temperature] is integral to nutrient acquisition.

For example: cytokinin increases messenger RNA for the enzyme nitrate reduct-ase, which is a crucial co-factor making a significant form nitrogen taken up into a plant useable form. This is due to cytokinin conjunction with another plant phyto-hormone (“ABA”, abscisic acid) leading to reduced activity levels if that other hormone & that in turn instigates more production of nitrate reduct-ase.

The cytokinins trans-zeatin & trans-zeatin ribosides levels moving from roots upward in a plant fluctuate daily in correlation with the short term nitrogen supply; which is distinct from the plant’s long term nitrogen status. Soil with a low % of nitrogen are problematic because then there is a relative reduction of root synthesized cytokinin, causing less root cytokinin being sent to above ground growth.

When there is low soil nitrogen this causes the plant to expend more energy synthesizing cytokinin in young leaves; which levels (of % cytokinin) is altered by temperature, photo-period & irradiance. Cytokinin in young leaves is elevated & goes down as age of leaf development progresses; in no longer cellular dividing leaves (senescent) cytokinin is way down.

Elle Webber
April 16, 2021 1:34 pm

Utter nonsense. Strawberry plants are treated as annuals by professional growers (that is, new strawberry plants are planted each year). Thus the variety can, and does, change often. The highest prices are always for early berries, and therefore farmers try to plant the varieties that ripen the earliest. Early ripening varieties tend to have smaller fruit (for many reasons).

This alarmist article was written by an urban person who has ZERO knowledge of fruit farming.

Reply to  Elle Webber
April 16, 2021 4:35 pm

Plant varieties & plant breeding for traits is worth elucidating. And again I am going to refer to my earlier subject the plant phyto-hormone cytokinin with, this time, adding that different kinds of the same plant can have different cytokinin activity.

When we look at “bonsai” miniature plants what our eyes don’t see is that the plant cell size is normal; only the cell numbers are less than normal. This relates to the fact that cytokinin, which rules things like a cell cycle is integral to the number of cells. Small size strawberries, compared to commercialized modern supermarket strawberries, are relatively small given adequate growth conditions because of a relatively reduced cytokinin level.

Early strawberries are due to the rise in their pre-floral/floral apices of what is called “osmotin”. Osmotin is in all plant tissue, yet it’s level rises in developing floral organs.

The “flower bud” FB gene (FB7-2) encodes the osmotin protein. And increased “ABA” abscisic acid plant phyto-hormone triggers increases levels of osmotin. As stated earlier in this thread when cytokinin levels go up that leads to a decrease in ABA; which is to say that early strawberries relatively lower level of cytokinin allows a counter-part phyto-hormone (ABA) level to increase & trigger a specific subset of the flower bud gene “FB”.

Late, so to speak, strawberries have their inflorescence stem cell niche (meri-stem) held under wraps (the meri-stem doesn’t initiate a floral organ) by the phyto-hormone auxin. Auxin, in general terms, inhibits the accumulation of cytokinin; yet this is non- linear because the ratio of auxin to cytokinin creates synchronicity between what is called a cell’s “S” phase & cell division.

Later producing strawberry varieties have more sustained auxin phyto-hormone in terms of any inflorescence meri-stem. The inflorescence stem’s pro-cambium cells need cytokinin signaling to sustain the activity development requires from the vasculature. In simple terms strawberry plant breeds are different in their ratio of auxin to cytokinin.

A simplified explanation of strawberry plant differences is that they exhibit cytokinin peculiarities; & homeo-stasis of cytokinin is via the enzyme cytokinin oxid-ase, such thst as this enzyme’s levels go up cytokinin goes down (& vice-a-versa). Different strawberry varieties have different response to this enzyme & can express different levels of the enzyme.

In hybrid plants breeders are manipulating for traits; they are often obtaining results due to altered genetic transcription level of phyto-hormones &/or their relevant degrading enzymes.
All our food crops were originally producing small edible parts; the edible part’s cell numbers were relatively limited & our eyes couldn’t see selection/breeding involved more internal cytokinin dynamism.

Meri-stem (stem cell) activity & the size of the meri-stem is reduced under low cytokinin. One earlier commentator observed getting bigger fruit by culling some strawberry flower buds. De-budding & removal of floral buds provokes an increase in cytokinin that can be directed to a meri-stem stem cell niche.

April 16, 2021 2:16 pm

The title of this article needs to be corrected from:

Claim: Global Warming is Causing Strawberries to Shrink

Claim: White Supremacy is Causing Strawberries to Shrink.

From now on (in most cases), we should replace “global warming” or “climate change” with “white supremacy.” If not white supremacy, then “capitalism” would be an excellent second choice.

This is where this is political left-wing leveraging tool is heading, let’s get ahead of the curve.

April 16, 2021 5:20 pm

Global warming is good for fishin’!

David Maddison
April 16, 2021 5:32 pm

My understanding is that if strawberries are not picked, new strawberries on the same plant will be smaller. It is well known rural Australia has suffered a severe shortage of itinerant fruit pickers due to COVID travel restrictions. A lot of fruit rotted because it was unpicked. That could be what happened if what is claimed by the Far Left ABC is actually true (but they regularly lie or misrepresent the facts).

April 16, 2021 5:50 pm

And as smaller strawberries take longer to pick”

More illogic from the mathematic challenged.
A strawberry is a strawberry is a strawberry. It does not take longer to pick a smaller berry than a large berry. They take exactly the same amount of time.

April 16, 2021 9:03 pm

Maybe they’re getting confused with testicles.

April 16, 2021 9:55 pm

Heres Nambour last 30 years.

April 16, 2021 10:03 pm

I made a complaint to the fact check section of the ABC… lets see where that goes.

April 16, 2021 10:17 pm

Considering how large (and largely tasteless) the strawberries in the shops are now, they must have been the size of apples 50-60 years ago before the nighttime temperatures in Nambour began their horrific rise. I guess no one noticed them getting smaller and smaller until the ABC needed some clickbait.

April 17, 2021 3:19 am

Smaller strawberries because of warmer nights needs fact checking but if they keep producing this non-scientific crap, they’d have something to fertilise the plants with.

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