Walnut trees threatened by global warming?

So how did they survive the Medieval Optimum and the Little Ice Age?

From a Purdue University media release:

Warmer, drier summers and extreme weather events considered possible as the climate changes would be especially troublesome – possibly fatal – for walnut trees, according to research at Purdue University…

“Walnut is really restricted to sites not too wet or dry. It has an extremely narrow range,” said Jacobs, whose findings were published in the December issue of Annals of Forest Science.

“We suspect and predict that climate change is going to have a real impact on walnuts. We may see some type of decline of the species.”

Specifically, walnuts would have difficulty tolerating droughts that could be associated with a changing climate.

“Changes in moisture could restrict its ability to survive without irrigation,” Jacobs said. “Almost all climate change models predict that climates will become drier.”

Walnuts are also sensitive to cold, so much so that they have developed a defense mechanism against late frosts. Jacobs said walnut trees don’t begin sprouting leaves until almost a month after other trees in the spring.

That defense mechanism could be compromised by extreme weather events associated with climate change scenarios. Late spring frosts after walnuts have developed leaves could kill trees.

“That, on top of the increase in temperatures, would be a problem for walnut,” Gauthier said. “The trees would basically shut down”…

Our guess is that Walnut trees — and all flora and fauna, generally — are hardier than alarmists would have us believe. Otherwise, what would have survived that last 1,000 years of climate fluctuation?

Click for the Purdue media release.

4 thoughts on “Walnut trees threatened by global warming?”

  1. There has to be a name for this. It’s Grant Grovelling. Getting Global Warming funds to investigate what ever you want to investigate.

    Words like “could be affected by climate change” are a sure sign of this

  2. Less than a month ago, one of the major walnut suppliers was threatened for not posting warnings about the terrible health hazards of eating walnuts. Will global warming save us from a terrible walnut induced death?

  3. I live in the UK, I have two walnut trees around 70 years old. One of them nearly died in the 1970’s- we had a couple of really hot years. Since then the trees have prospered. This year has been the best every year for Walnuts of these trees, still got a load left and mighty fine tasting they are too.

    The real bugger is keeping the Rooks and Squirrels away from them when they are just about to drop. I haven’t the heart to shoot the hell out of them.

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