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Extension of the growing season increases vegetation exposure to frost

Abstract : While climate warming reduces the occurrence of frost events, the warming-induced lengthening of the growing season of plants in the Northern Hemisphere may actually induce more frequent frost days during the growing season (GSFDs, days with minimum temperature < 0 °C). Direct evidence of this hypothesis, however, is limited. Here we investigate the change in the number of GSFDs at latitudes greater than 30° N using remotely-sensed and in situ phenological records and three minimum temperature (T$_{min}$) data sets from 1982 to 2012. While decreased GSFDs are found in northern Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau, and northwestern North America (mainly in autumn), ~43% of the hemisphere, especially in Europe, experienced a significant increase in GSFDs between 1982 and 2012 (mainly during spring). Overall, regions with larger increases in growing season length exhibit larger increases in GSFDs. Climate warming thus reduces the total number of frost days per year, but GSFDs nonetheless increase in many areas
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Qiang Liu, Shilong Piao, Ivan Janssens, Yongshuo Fu, Shushi Peng, et al.. Extension of the growing season increases vegetation exposure to frost. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 9, pp.426. ⟨10.1038/s41467-017-02690-y⟩. ⟨cea-01877709⟩

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