Alaska's Growing Season Is Getting Longer Thanks to Climate Change

(Bloomberg) -- If climate change remains unchecked, the growing season in Alaska may get longer, potentially offsetting some losses in crop yields in the contiguous 48 states, according to Earth Interactions, a journal published by the American Meteorological Society.

Models show the growing season extending by an average of 48 days near Fairbanks as early as 2071 and 63 days on the Aleutian Islands, according to a paper published as an early online release. Some areas may see the season increase 87 days, between the last frost of spring and the first one of fall. Rick Lader, of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, was the lead author.

Along with a longer growing season, Alaska may also get more days when heat stress presents a problem for crops. Because of the state’s harsh climate, farmland makes up less than 0.5 percent of its area. Oat, wheat and barley, along with some vegetables, berries and fruits grow there now.

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