Anyone looking to get some delicious Chilean fruit this winter is going to be disappointed, as the worst frost in more than 80 years has damaged 50 million boxes of fruit exports — causing the country to declare a state of emergency in its agricultural sector.
The Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association said
that freezing temperatures throughout mid-September hit the country’s
fruit growers with the coldest frost since 1929. Temperatures fell to an
average of 19 degrees Fahrenheit for an average of seven hours in
several of the Chile’s growing regions, contributing to a huge drop-off
in fruit exports.
The wine industry was hit hard by the frost as well.
Estimates put the total damage to Chilean crops at $1 billion. Reuters reports
that between 35 percent and 61 percent of stone fruit crops were
damaged, 57 percent of almonds, 48 percent of kiwis and 20 percent of
grapes. The U.S. imports about 42 percent of the country’s grapes.
“These frosts are the worst that agriculture has faced in 84 years,
impacting the area from Coquimbo to Bio Bio,” the National Agricultural
Because of the lost production, fruit prices are expected to rise.
“All throughout November, December and January, prices of peaches,
nectarines and plums will be higher because there will be shortages,” said Cristián
Allendes, president of the Federation Fruit Producers. ”There will be
half the volume of a normal year, so it is impossible for them to cost
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared
September 2013 to have tied with September 2003 as the fourth warmest
on record. Global surface and oceanic temperatures were 1.15 degrees
Fahrenheit above the 20th century average for that month.
However, September also brought with it record levels of arctic sea-ice coverage — only six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave eliminate arctic sea ice by 2013.
Antarctica also experienced
record levels of sea ice in September, with 7.51 million square miles
surrounding the continent. This beat out the previous sea-ice coverage
record, set in 2012.
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