Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

February 19, 2012

In Your View

ASHLAND — Global warming is scientific fact

The little maps on the back of garden seed packets are-a-changin’. They give plant hardiness information and are important to all of us: Gardeners, arborists, farmers, and botanists. Plant hardiness zones from the USDA are based on average low temperatures. New zone maps for 2012 have just been released and are based on 1976-2005 data.

In 2011 zone maps were depicted in 10 degree Fahrenheit zones. Kentucky was reflected to be predominantly in Zone 7 with average lows 10 to zero Fahrenheit, whereas Northern Kentucky and parts of mountainous regions were Zone 6 with average lows ranging from zero to minus 10 Fahrenheit.

 In the 2012 zone maps, two additional zones have been added so that warmer ranges in Hawaii and Puerto Rico are addressed, bringing the total to 13 zones. The map of Kentucky depicts Zone 7a (zero to 5 Fahrenheit) and Zone 6b (minus 5 to zero Fahrenheit) to be dominating, while Zone 6a (minus 5 to minus 10 Fahrenheit) appears to be a smaller area in this temperature range.

Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press points to zone changes indicative of global warming whereas USDA denies the soundness of using temperature lows as a predictor of change. He points out that “nearly entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska, and Texas, are in warmer zones.”

One thing is certain:  A massive change will take place in decisions relating to plant hardiness. This change will be imperceptible to most of us. It will range from label changes on fruit tree seedlings, to changes in seed production, in advice to farmers from county agents, and perhaps to crop loans and insurance. The zone changes will resonate throughout all of agriculture.

For most in the environmental community the evidence of climate change, including warming, is overwhelmingly a scientific fact. Kentuckians can only hope that the palms will be coconut palms.

Gene Nettles, Hickman

Text Only
Opinion
  • Along the river

    Here’s hoping the weather will be as close to perfect as possible on the evening of May 30, as members of the Paul G. Blazer High School class of 2014 gather on the banks of Ohio River for the school’s first graduation on the river that has helped fuel this community’s economy since the time when it was known as known as Poage’s Landing.

    April 22, 2014

  • Good opportunity

    Morehead State University is using a highly successful program for outstanding high school juniors and seniors at Western Kentucky University to launch a similar program beginning this fall on the MSU campus.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO‚Äąregion with its own electrical company.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • In Your View

    Letters to the editor

    April 3, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014