Climate change is fueling anxiety in Georgia’s peach industry

The average winter temperature in the state of Georgia has risen 5 degrees since 1960. While that may make for shorts weather during the holidays, it’s a problem for the peach. It’s the fruit that Georgia so loves to tout, from on its license plate to cameos in “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (where the reality stars earn their “peach,” or entry to the show, by televised brawling, consumerism, and oversharing). But the South’s favorite stone fruit needs chilly conditions, often under 45 degrees, to show out for the summer harvest; the famous Elberta variety requires at least 800 cool hours to produce optimally. According to National Geographic, climatologist Pam Knox said that rising temperatures could tank the peach industry by 2100. What’s the solution? Maybe the development of new varieties that can stand the heat.

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