The weather has been in the news a lot recently, some of it to do with climate change directly, some indirectly such as the floods in Northern England/Southern Scotland and if you were going past the front pages, you might have seen something about the hundreds killed in India by floods.
Almost inevitably, some essential oil production will be affected by climate change. Some species may in some areas do better, other crops will be destroyed be either floods, drought and or heat and some others in the chaos that climate change brings may be destroyed by frost. Sadly, I can not identify a single essential oils in any of these categories. The main reason is that unless you read the right trade journals you are unlikely to find many crops other than food ones mentioned when the effects of climate change are discussed.
However, if you take a herb from your garden and rub it between your fingers and make notes on it several times a year, you will notice differences. I know that horse radish varies in strength depending on time of year. The same is true of most culinary herbs as well as other essential oil plants and trees such as eucalyptus.
Over the next year I will be paying attention to Rosemary and Bay as they are both herbs that are evergreen and able to be monitored throughout the year. I will along with my notes on the aromas I experience be monitoring the weather. Will I notice what the books say, i.e. that the essential oil will be stronger and more concentrated after a spell of hot dry weather? In a years time I will be able to tell you. Sadly I don’t have the equipment to distil small quantities of oil for my tests. If I ever do get the equipment to do this, it will be another thing to learn from.
In the meantime, I shall do some internet searching and to start you off, “The Handbook of Essential Oils” seemingly aimed at those intending to go into production, warns that climate change may well make markets as opposed to essential oils constituents more volatile.