One of the first things that tipped me off to the temperature record being a bit bogus (“over adjusted” to put it kindly…) was my tomatoes. Were I live, it is marginal for many types of tomatoes. They must be consistently above 50 F at night for fruit set. When I first moved here, it was “iffy” on the tomatoes. With proper placement, some black mulch, etc. etc. you can reliably grow them. Simple “garden square” with medium sun exposure and white cement border, well, you get late tomatoes, but don’t expect to be eating any on the 4th of July.
Now IF “Global Warming” had validity, it ought to have been getting easier to grow a tomato crop each year and I ought to have been harvesting earlier. It wasn’t… So when I looked at GIStemp (the NASA GISS temperature fabrication program) I adopted the “tag line” of “GIStemp- Dumber than a Tomato!”
I got a nice crop, modestly early, about 1998 and using some Russian low temperature selected vines. Other cherry tomatoes and some heirlooms did OK that year, but mostly harvested a bit late.
Then I let the garden go for a couple of years as I worked in Florida on contract.
Well, this year I’ve got a volunteer tomato came up near the BBQ / Patio area. Medium good dirt with a cement reflector “up sun” in the pavers. Direct sun after about 10 AM (indirect before that). A nice warm spot to be.
Now it’s a volunteer, so no idea what variety it is. Likely something that fell off a hamburger… or from sloppy eating “out of hand”. Yet volunteers have already self selected for local conditions and a harsher start to life. This one looks to be a large bush type vine (so far). It has had flowers on it for about a month now (maybe a bit longer). I’ve fertilized it once with Miracle Grow vegetable mix, but it was doing OK even without that ( a little better growth after). Regular water every few days, as needed. All that as I’ve done with other tomatoes.
Now my Dad always taught me that you knew you had timed your garden well (In Iowa and Central valley California, at least) if you had fresh corn on the cob and ripe tomatoes on the 4th of July. It’s now a couple of week past that.
Not only do I NOT have any ripe tomatoes; but I have no tomato set at all. I’ve inspected the vine. Lots of flowers. Some places flowers had been but had blossom drop when fruit set failed. It is NOT a warm summer when you can’t even get fruit SET by July 4th…
Anecdotal? Yes. Can’t say what limit of fruit set temperature is for this variety? Yes. Yet any ‘special’ set temperatures are to the cold side… it is the 50 F that is the “normal” and I don’t know of any that are selected for a warmer fruit set temperature. So, IMHO, this is a valid indicator.
It just is not warmer. I’ve had about 30 years of growing tomatoes here, on and off. Maybe 40 if you count “near here” about 15 miles away a bit closer to the mountains. Had we been warming for 30 to 40 years the “just barely enough” fruit set temperatures would have turned into “reliable” by now. Instead I’ve got “complete failure to set”. There are pollinators around (at least 2 kinds of bees). Evenings have felt quite cool.
Formally, the news is reporting night temps about 56 F, but that is at the airport. Is it 6 F colder here? Is the night sky letting the plant radiate to cooler than 50F even if the air is, say, 54 F? I can’t say. What I can say is that it has NOT warmed from the prior “normal” and it seems cooler. I can also say the tomato has zero fruit set, and it is mid July. IF I’m lucky, I may get fruit set in August. That would put harvest in late September or October. Barely in time for the start of fall.
To me, the tomato is telling me there has been no global warming. Zero. Nada. Zilch. If anything, it’s a slightly cooler summer than for the last 30 to 40 years. Global warming is “dumber than a tomato”… as, it would seem, are many “climate scientists” and politicians…