Are Late Freezes in Southern Hemisphere Indicators of Things to Come

Argentina : Frost affects stonefruit in Mendoza

Mendoza has 55,000 hectares planted with fruit, 22% of the province’s productive area. Of these, 39,400 hectares are stonefruit crops, which were severely damaged by the frosts in last September.

The October 2013 study indicates that, in the case of peaches (fresh and ) and fresh plum, 85% of the crops were lost, 35% of the plum, for processing, 75% of the cherry crops and 90% of the apricot crops were also lost.

Australian: Freeze destroys wine grapes

Some growers have reported losses of 50 to 100 per cent of their wine grape crops in low-lying areas in Murrumbateman, on the southern tablelands of New South Wales, near Canberra. Others say their vines survived unscathed.

Winemaker, Tim Kirk, from Clonakilla vineyard says overall he’s lost 60 to 70 per cent of his fruit.

Chile: Worst cold in 80 years hammers fruit and grapes

The worst frost since 1929 has damaged 50 million boxes of Chilean fruit exports — causing the country to declare a state of emergency in its agricultural sector.

The wine industry was hit hard by the frost as well.

Estimates put the total damage to Chilean crops at $1 billion. The damaged crops include almonds, kiwis, grapes, peaches, nectarines and plums. The U.S. imports about 42 percent of the country’s grapes.

 What do you think.  Antarctica ice is at record levels. Are these indicators of things to come?

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

3 thoughts on “Are Late Freezes in Southern Hemisphere Indicators of Things to Come”

  1. While an October frost in that particular area is not uncommon (still air + clear sky and a strong temperature inversion). We’ve certainly been having some more unusual weather this year in South-East Australia. After a very warm late summer, autumn and early winter, recent weather has become a mix of strong high pressure systems with cold upper air [like the one responsible for those frosts], and more recently ‘cut-off’ lows bringing tropical moisture down a few hundreds of KM further south than they should be.
    I wonder if these particular events have anything to do with the large Sudden Stratospheric Warming event in the NH earlier this year, the El Nino that never was, or possibly the warm temperature anomalies seen (kilometres) over Antarctica recently? (late October, see http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp10anim.shtml or http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp50anim.shtml but note due to square map, the projection is distorted near the poles). Regardless, It all seems to be broadly consistent with the shift toward a drier, more stable autumn (ie. Mar, Apr,May) and an ever more erratic spring (Oct/Nov) over the last few decades.

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