Yahoo News published an article from Reuters yesterday which noted that many people under the age of 30 have never lived in a world with temperatures below the 2oth century average. The last time that the earth experienced a month with below the long-term average temperatures was February 1985. To read the article, click here.
Changes in temperature over time have resulted in both positive and negative impacts on agricultural producers in the Southeast. The warmer temperatures have extended the growing season in more recent years. A longer growing season provides the potential for different varieties of crops or new crops in some areas. For example, in recent years farmers have started to grow olives and satsumas in southern Georgia. Longer growing seasons unfortunately also allow the development of more pests and diseases, which may thrive in the warmer conditions and become a problem earlier in the year. Warmer winters have reduced heat costs to some extent, although of course the price of heating is driven by the market, which feels many other factors than just climate. Warmer summers have increased evaporation from lakes and reservoirs and have increased stress on livestock as well.