Earlier this past week we were treated to a preview of the annual spring spectacular as Mother Nature warmed and watered the landscape and the result was a colorful display of early spring growth.
City areas which are several degrees warmer than outlining regions get things going with their colorful pink and white Magnolia trees, along with yellow Forsythia bushes and of course our ever present Daffodils.
Along the Route 40 by-pass the white blooms of the Cleveland pear trees are also beginning their show. These trees are very invasive and are quickly filling roadsides throughout the region.
As I write this on Wednesday evening the forecast is for a turn to much colder weather with a good possibility of some lake-effect snows especially in the higher elevations.
As so often happens even with our changing climate an April cold-snap can cause a lot of damage. Last year April and even May saw a series of cold snaps that caused a lot of damage to spring vegetation. Several inches of snow fell across the area on May 9th with morning temperatures in the 20s. The Washington Post reported this week that the Cherry tree blossoms in Japan are the earliest in 1,200 years and over a century of records in Washington, D.C. show the average bloom is now occurring six days earlier.
A series of strong tornadoes have already made their presence in the south and more are to come. The warnings from NOAA report that nearly half of the U.S. is already in drought and conditions are expected to grow worse. This will likely mean a repeat of the disastrous fires that swept through our western states last year.
In the Atlantic, continued warming ocean water spells trouble for our coastal region as the hurricanes have become more frequent and more severe.
Climate issues look to dominate the news in coming days and years as the climate issue now appears to be real. The deniers have pretty much moved to the back seat as the science-based evidence continues to grow and gain our attention.
A rather scary article in the March issue of “The Atlantic” tells the story of how our planet via of carbon dioxide with just a 0.1 change in its composition has meant the difference between sweltering Arctic rainforests or a half mile of ice atop Boston.
At some point in earth’s history, lots of CO2 has vented from the crust and leaped from the seas and the planet has warmed. At other times lots of CO2 has been hidden away in our oceans and rocks and the planet has gotten cold. Sea levels during these differing periods have fallen and risen by hundreds of feet.
Today, atmosphere CO2 sits at 410 parts per million, a higher level than at any point in more than 3 million years and we humans today are injecting more CO2 into our atmosphere at one of the fastest rates ever.
A small population of our particular species of primate has, in only a few decades, unlocked a massive reservoir of old carbon slumbering in the earth, gathering since the dawn of life, and has set off a global immolation of earth’s history to power the modern world.
As a result, half the coral reefs have died, 10 trillion tons of ice has melted, and global temperatures have spiked.
If we keep on this path who knows what will happen. The next few moments are ours and they will echo for hundreds even millions of years.
This is one of the most important times to be alive in the history of life. It is truly up to us.