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More “Climate Change Killing Plants” Twaddle

March 4, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Mark E Roberts


The Conversation is always good for a laugh:



Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months. December and January were significantly warmer than average in many locations, followed by February’s intense cold wave and a dramatic warmup.

If you’ve ever seen lilac bushes crushed by snowdrifts, then budding on a warm day just a few weeks later, you may wonder how plants tolerate such extremes. I study how climate change affects the timing of seasonal events in the life cycles of plants, birds and insects in Massachusetts, so I know that species have evolved here to handle New England’s famously changeable weather. But a warming climate is disrupting weather patterns and testing the abilities of many species to adapt.

Climate change scrambles the signals

Plants are highly attuned to temperature signals, so warming driven by climate change is making it harder for many species to withstand winter cold and spring frosts. As spring temperatures get warmer than in the past, trees such as apples and pears may respond by leafing out and flowering several weeks earlier than normal. This can increase their vulnerability to late frosts.

Such late frosts are becoming more common because climate change is destabilizing the jet stream, leading it to dip much farther south, bringing bursts of unusually cold weather.


It’s the same cartload of rubbish we always get at this time of year. Perhaps the author might have checked the NOAA weather data for his own Northeast region, before he made a fool of himself.

Temperatures have always swung wildly from year to year in winter and early spring.

Furthermore it has not been getting warmer in January, February, March or April. And cold snaps in April are now much less frequent than they used to be, rather making a mockery of his claim that ”such late frosts are becoming more common because climate change is destabilizing the jet stream, leading it to dip much farther south, bringing bursts of unusually cold weather”.






Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) (



The author is Professor of Biology at Boston University. I suggest he sticks to trees and avoids writing about matters he clearly does no understand.


  1. Joe Public permalink
    March 4, 2021 4:31 pm

    “Climate Change Killing Plants” Twaddle

    Has anyone updated Aunty’s Enviro Analyst, R Harrabin Esq?

    Which you reported here:

  2. March 4, 2021 5:03 pm

    Context : Granny pays for The Conversation
    The government considers it a public good, so gives universities granny’s tax money to finance it.
    Despite that the TC has a rather censorious comment moderating policy.

  3. March 4, 2021 5:04 pm

    Gaia Vince presenting the R4 Sciency Show 04/03/2021
    blurb With global warming continuing to increase at an alarming rate,
    we need all the help we can get to lock up the carbon that we’ve released into the atmosphere.
    Do we ? .. I’m in no hurry .. in 100 years time proper economical CO2-free fuels will be available)

    Fortunately, plants have evolved to do just this,
    but there’s a whole class of plants that often get forgotten
    : the mangroves and seagrasses that grow between land and sea,
    which are among the planet’s most effective carbon sinks.
    Fanny Douvere, head of the marine programme at UNESCO,
    about its new report that shows the importance of blue carbon
    locked up in its marine World Heritage Sites.
    And Professor Hilary Kennedy, of Bangor University, explains why seagrasses are so effective at locking up carbon.

  4. Gerry, England permalink
    March 4, 2021 5:17 pm

    Solar minimum has changed the pattern of the jetstream and the wild swings from from north to south bring cold weather and south to north bring warm weather. Because the change can be so rapid a part of Germany had over 40C change in temperature within days. What should be a concern is what happens when a north to south swing comes at a delicate time for plants and trees? The frosts of mid-May did for my pear trees last year as well as damaging the apple crop.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      March 4, 2021 7:23 pm

      Conversely, Gerry, here in Burgundy we had the best pear and apple crop in the 10 years we’ve been here. Soft fruit was rubbish except for the blackberries.

      It’s swings and roundabouts, just as it’s always been.

  5. Devoncamel permalink
    March 4, 2021 7:38 pm

    Another scientist with nothing new to say on the climate. How do supposedly intelligent people get persuaded that we can change the earth’s climate? I would refer them to the court of King Canute ( Cnut for the purists).

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    March 4, 2021 8:40 pm

    The professor is clearly making up new ‘facts’ to fit his agenda and the Sacred Theory, as actual observations aren’t much use when they p*ss all over ones climate chips.

  7. Ed Bo permalink
    March 4, 2021 8:40 pm

    I lived in Boston for the 1976-77 winter, which was the coldest in 100 years there — this was the height of the “global cooling” scare. After this long hard winter, we got a weekend in late April with 95F (35C) temperatures. The city exploded outdoors.

    Then on May 9, we got over 6 inches of snow.

    Nothing new.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 5, 2021 9:08 am

      And bizarrely he says the weather there is “famously changeable”. He offers no evidence it has become more changeable whatsoever, just assumes it has because that’s what he’s been told.

  8. Gamecock permalink
    March 4, 2021 10:14 pm

    ‘Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months.’

    [citation needed]

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 5, 2021 2:47 am

    Isn’t the more interesting question whether plants are killing climate change?

  10. March 5, 2021 8:28 am

    Why wouldn’t the ongoing low sunspot cycles since 2008 have an effect on Earth’s atmosphere and climate? Expect more of the same.

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