The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

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javaMan
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The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182240Post javaMan
Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:27 pm

Usual apologies if this has already been covered.

To be quite honest I am fed up with the constant diatribe of doom and gloom we are being fed about the affects of global warning. Yes, it is happening. Yes, Humans have a significant part in it happening. No, it does not mean the end of civilisation and life as we know it.

There will be changes in our lives and lifestyles. Hell, we've been through this before. Perhaps the biggest differences are that we are aware of it, and have the technological capabilities to help us adapt. One being the internet.

I have been mulling over some of the benefits of a warmer climate in the UK, and would in interested in the thoughts of others. I've also thought it high time the was a conference to discuss the benefits; rather than all the ones that appear to cater to the doom and gloom merchants.

So to begin.

Perhaps the most tantalising prospect of a warmer climate is that it offers me to more easily grow what we regard as exotic veggies and fruit. So things like tomatoes. Hang on a mo, I here people say, that is hardly exotic, we grow them already. Yes, I say, but with a fair amount of effort. Growing them outdoors is hit and miss. They really need cover. And this goes for all the other fruits and veggies that require cover. Wouldn't it be nice to grow the likes of aubergines, chillies, okra, etc without huge amounts of effort?

There is the possibility of two crops a year. The 'exotics' I mention above can be grown and harvested in summer, while our current main crops (your carrots, potatoes, swedes, parsnips, cabbages, etc) can be started in autumn, grown over winter, and harvested in spring.

It is conceivable that cities and large towns may never experience a frost or at least very rarely. Thus opening up the possibility of a year long growing season.

I know it is possible to grow the likes of salad plants, pak choy, etc through our current winters, with a little protection, but growth can be painfully slow. A warmer climate would, perhaps, allow greater growth rates.

Land which is currently marginal due to temperatures being too low would now be suitable for growing crops. In fact I would see a steadily northward drift of 'traditional' British fruit and veg, their place being taken, largely, by continental equivalents.

Where conditions get too dry or perhaps too warm, then crops such as olives, citrus fruit, peaches, etc would take over. Apple and pear trees may be only grown in the north.

It is possible that our food would become healthier, as we no longer rely on the potato and other root crops, now having cheap, year round access to fruit and veg we currently import.

Thoughts, comments.

Discuss, as my professors used to say.

franwithaplan
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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182243Post franwithaplan
Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:46 pm

umm, not an expert on this, but depending how far along we are in your scenario, wouldn't we also be experiencing severe flooding in parts of Britain, you know as the polar caps melt and sea levels rise...I know I know I've watched far too many disaster movies...! and I've probably got it all wrong....
Fran :dontknow:
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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182245Post Odsox
Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:13 pm

The phrase "Global Warming" does sound attractive I must admit, but the reality so far is a lot different ... certainly here in Ireland anyway.
We have just got through our FOURTH summer of almost continuous rain, it may well have been warm rain, but wet horrible continuous rain none the less. I have a major project (rebuilding my greenhouse) that I started last February which I estimated needed about three weeks of dry weather to complete. I have done about half of it eleven months later.
I kid you not, we really have had rain virtually every day for the whole of 2009 and on the odd day it didn't rain I had to get stuck in and mow my grass which of course thrived.
As far as growing veggies is concerned it was a washout :mrgreen: with disease rife and nutrients being washed straight out of the water logged soil. If I didn't have the polytunnel it would have been a total disaster, at least in there it only rained when I wanted it to.
So to answer your question, I can't see any advantage to global warming as far as I'm concerned, in fact quite the opposite.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182246Post contadina
Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:28 pm

Nice thought, but I think climate change is and will continue to be highly irregular; and messed up seasons make gardening more difficult.

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Minnesota
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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182251Post Minnesota
Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:40 pm

javaMan,
I will let you know first off that I am a denier of Human caused climate change.
I do respect everyone here as well as their opinions, what ever they are.
well, with that out of the way.

Isn't one of the theories that the melting of the ice caps will dilute the saline in the Ocean, which could change the Ocean's current, which is the source of the UK's warmer Climate (remember you Brits are farther north than I am here in Minnesota USA and you are much much warmer). even though I am a denier, I still believe our climate is changing and this theory could prove itself. Humans will either adapt or move...or both. Lastly, I don't think Humans can change the course of this change, whether we are influencing it or not, there is just too much Greed in this world.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182264Post spitfire
Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:34 pm

i'm with you on that one minnisota, i think we as humans are arogant in thinking that we are the cause of all this global warming. :pirate: the ice-age happened and the greed and technology were not there then. :scratch: we are just an irritating pimple in the great scheme of things. i do however think that we can help slow things down a bit by our efforts in being "green". and conserving the natural resources that the earth has provided. :sunny: and by the use of the three "R's" to make the pimple as small as possible :mrgreen:
WHEN MY IRISH EYES ARE SMILING I'M USUALLY UP TO SOMETHING!!!
NEVER REGRET THAT WHICH ONCE MADE YOU SMILE.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182265Post Helsbells
Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:36 pm

If we are not the cause of global warming then how can our eforts help to slow it down?

Also why do you both think that humans are not the cause of global warming when all the evidence suggests that we are?

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182292Post Minnesota
Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:29 pm

helsbells,
I believe the evidence is corrupted by the Greed.

spitfire,
I don't think we can slow it down by our actions, But our actions will keep us from living among mounds of trash, tainted water and air.

I look at living on earth as a servant of God,
And being a good steward of the land.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182325Post Millymollymandy
Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:22 am

Believe me in a climate a few degrees warmer than the south of England it is not any easier - in fact without your 'lovely' rain it is very, very hard indeed to grow things and garden generally. And it's still very cold in winter! If one believes the hype it is supposed to get a few degrees warmer in summer and be wetter in winter. Now how would you like that! What I'd like is the opposite! :iconbiggrin:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182367Post The Honk
Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:35 pm

What is this warming they speak of? I broke up for the hols on 18 Dec and have been waiting for the compost heap and ground to thaw out so I can get digging it in. Minus 10 and more snow predicted for tonight with another severe weather warning and it's forecast to stay frozen well into next week, That'll be nearly a whole month without a thaw!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/james ... l-warming/

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182402Post MKG
Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:43 pm

With the greatest of respect, Javaman, I get so frustrated at hearing this one.

To sum up what's been said above ... Global warming above a certain level (and this is not theory, but the outcome predicted by every decent model we have) will result in the UK becoming much colder and much wetter.

The "certain level" is the point on which the various models disagree, and figures between 2 degrees and 5 degrees Celsius are bandied around. Copenhagen has just made it a dead certainty that the 2 degree point is going to be reached fairly quickly, and I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for any further political action.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182478Post Endie
Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:00 pm

We don't know whether global warming will reverse the North Atlantic Drift, so we can't reliably predict whether we'll get warmer or colder, yet. No scientist every got funding or media coverage for a project that said everything will probably be fine, so we're only seeing edge cases reported.

The fact is that global warming, for whatever reason it is occurring, does seem to be doing so to some extent, and that a warmer climate is by definition (and I mean that in its literal sense) a more energetic climate. A more energetic climate is probably going to involve more frequent, intense and widespread storm activity. It is likely to produce greater precipitation in certain areas, but it is very hard to predict where.

In the optimistic spirit of the OP, there are liable to be winners and losers. Britain is, as usual, probably on the luckier side (if you're not the sort of person who looks at a flood plain and says "oh that looks like a good place to build a house! I wonder why nobody thought of that before :scratch:" before asking the rest of us to bail you out... literally), whereas the south of France or the Hungarian plain might have more difficulties.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182484Post contadino
Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:22 pm

There is a growing consensus amongst climatologists that the Gulf Stream (which keeps the UK much warmer than other countries on the same latitude) is being weakened by several factors, including the warming of the oceans. In short, your summers are getting shorter, and the winters are getting colder.

I suspect that this is the reason that the term Global Warming has been replaced by Climate Change in much of the media. A 5-year old would welcome the phrase Global Warming, under the impression that it means he could spend longer playing in his sandpit. For the UK, that isn't the case.

So in answer to the OP: By all means go and get yourself some olive or citrus trees, but make sure they're very, very frost hardy.

And as someone who grows in a mediterranean climate I have to say that you're utopian view of a warmer climate is utterly wrong. It is much, much more difficult to feed yourself here than it is in the UK. For example, here the growing season stops from mid-July until mid-Sept, and again from Dec to March. Nothing grows.

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Re: The advantages of Global Warming to veggie and fruit growing

Post: # 182488Post Carltonian Man
Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:47 pm

Just for interest, has anyone read "A hundred years in the Highlands" by Osgood Mackenzie. In brief it's a factual account observed by two men who describe Scottish life between circa 1820-1920. In 1890 the book mentions climate change. The author recalls as a boy, competitively eating home-grown apricots at the Kings birthday celebrations in July. In 1890 he says "the meteorologists tell us the climate isn't changing, and yet we can no longer grow our own apricots". This took place at Gairloch near(ish) to Ullapool, on the same line of latitude as the southern tip of Greenland.
He also recalls as a boy spending the day swimming in the local river, in May. Either he had the resolve of a polar bear or the summer started much earlier then.

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