Detroit region’s growing seasons are getting longer

DETROIT – Global warming is throwing a double blow on the Detroit area.

The growing seasons in the region are getting longer. There has been a clear upward trend since the 1970s. In fact, the growing seasons are about 27 days – almost a month – longer than they were in the Detroit area 50 years ago.

A longer growing season means a longer allergy season.

In addition, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more pollen. Current forecasts show that plants will produce around three times more pollen by 2085 than they do today. That means we are going into a future with longer, heavier allergy seasons.

The longer growing seasons mean that fruit trees bloom too early in a few years. These early flowers are killed by frost – that happened in 2002, 2012, and this year (2021). It is still unclear how much the damage will be this year.

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