Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Early start to pollen this year

From my Facebook feed from Marshall Shepherd: “Here is one of many examples of how warming winters and earlier warming impact you. UGA geology professor Steven Holland has been tracking emergence of pollen in Athens since 2013. Note that it has gotten earlier and earlier. Already appearing in Feb 2017. Geez. Now, we cannot draw conclusions from such a short data period but this is consistent with CDC and other long term studies on climate change and allergies.”

Note how early the start to the pollen has been this year, although the bulk of it is still coming.  This is consistent with the National Phenology Network showing that we are almost a month early due to the warm winter temperatures.  It would have been interesting to see this graph for 2012, since that was also an early spring, but Dr. Holland did not start taking measurements until 2013.

If you would like to try seeing trends in other phenological measurements, the NPN has an interactive phenology visualization tool at https://www.usanpn.org/data/visualizations which might be able to show them to you.  I haven’t spent enough time with it yet to understand exactly how it works.