Plant Movement From Climate Change Revealed in Interactive Map
Nationwide, gardeners have been experimenting with their newly assigned plant hardiness zones, a guide provided by the USDA that maps how well a plant will survive winter temperatures in a certain region. The map divides regions into different growing zones based on the average lowest temperature. Since the 1960s, growers have used it as a guide for which plants will survive best in a given climate. This is the first update to the map since 1990.
According to the USDA, the new map is more robust. Data from over thirty years of temperature records and satellite mapping gives greater detail to the map. Users can now determine climate differences between zip codes, identifying heat and cool islands within a few miles. Heat islands are areas that absorb and radiate more heat from the sun, such as a dense urban area.