Gardeners and landscapers may want to rethink their fall tree plantings this year. The U.S. Department Agriculture has released an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which indicates which trees and perennials can survive the winter in a given region. A CPO-funded researcher has recently published a method for improving plant hardiness zone estimates that fully accounts for rapidly rising temperatures.
Dr. Nir Krakauer, a MAPP-funded researcher and an assistant professor of civil engineering in The City College of New York's Grove School of Engineering, calculated how temperature boundaries have shifted over recent decades. Although the latest version of the USDA map shows that planting zones have been shifting northward as winters become milder, this map still does not fully show the recent warming, since it is based on averages over the period 1976-2005.
"Over one-third of the country has already shifted half-zones compared to the current release, and over one-fifth has shifted full zones," Krakauer wrote in a paper published the journal Advances in Meteorology. This work is one element of the seasonal prediction work that Krakauer is undertaking as principal investigator for CPO's Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program and as part of the NOAA Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA-CREST).
Rethinking the New Plant Hardiness Zone Map. New York Times. Sept. 14, 2012.
The City University of New York Press Release
Dr. Annarita Mariotti
MAPP Program Director
Dr. Daniel Barrie
MAPP Program Manager
MAPP Program Specialist
MAPP Program Assistant
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Department of Commerce
Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Copyright 2018 by NOAA
NOAA Privacy Statement|
Web Accessibility Statement|
Disclaimer for External Links|
U.S. Department of Commerce|