Study: Warmer Temperatures May Offer California Farmers a Rare Silver Lining: Fewer Frosts

Inside Climate NewsWarmer Temperatures May Offer California Farmers a Rare Silver Lining: Fewer Frosts. A new study finds that the state’s profitable orchard crops will suffer less frost exposure under climate change, saving water and energy.

Few things affect where fruit and nut trees can thrive more than temperature. Nuts and many fruit trees need enough cold hours to produce quality yields, whereas too much cold, especially at the wrong time, can prove disastrous.

Ill-timed frosts have resulted in nearly $400 million in insurance payments to California farmers for damage to perennial orchard crops in the last two decades. But the true cost of frost is much larger, because not all farmers carry insurance and yield losses don’t capture all the money spent on frost prevention.

Now, in a rare bit of good climate news for California farmers, a recent study suggests that orchards may see fewer crop-destroying frosts by midcentury.

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