Divergent trends in the risk of spring frost damage to trees in Europe with recent warming

Frost events during the active growth period of plants can cause extensive frost damage with tremendous economic losses and dramatic ecological consequences. A common assumption is that climate warming may bring along a reduction in the frequency and severity of frost damage to vegetation. On the other hand, it has been argued that rising temperature in late winter and early spring might trigger the so called “false spring”, that is, early onset of growth that is followed by cold spells, resulting in increased frost damage.

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