Icicles created by drip irrigation are illuminated by a car’s headlights during a cold snap January 17, 2007 in Orange Cove, California. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Few things affect where fruit and nut trees can thrive more than temperature. Nuts and many fruit trees need enough cold hours to produce quality yields, whereas too much cold, especially at the wrong time, can prove disastrous. Ill-timed frosts have resulted in nearly $400 million in insurance payments to California farmers for damage to perennial orchard crops in the last two decades. But the true cost of frost is much larger, because not all farmers carry insurance and yield losses don’t capture all the money spent on frost prevention. Now, in a rare bit of good climate news for California farmers, a recent stud y suggests that orchards may see fewer crop-destroying frosts by midcentury. Frost damage has always been a risk […]