Reader Inquiry: How’s Your Climate?

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Our regular Down Under commentor, The Rev Kev, suggested a “a state of the nation query about any different weather patterns that people are seeing where they live.”

I hope reader will weigh in on what they see in the way of changes in growing patterns, migrations, presence or absence of certain birds, animals, fish, insects…and snakes, since snakes have been a hot topic of discussion this week.

For instance, in New York City, we by definition have pretty much no wildlife. So my commentary would be mainly on long-term weather patterns. When I first moved here, in the 1980s, there was, virtually without exception, at least one cold spell per winter where the daily high was below 5 degrees, and sometimes below zero. We haven’t had one of those since the early 2000s. Similarly, we’d have usually one, if we were unlucky two, heat waves per summer where the highs would be over 100 degrees for two or three days. Again, I can’t remember the last time we had that happen. I see this particularly change in pattern, milder winters and summers in the Northeast, as a big contributor to climate science denialism in the US. A lot of people in media business live in a part of the US that appears to have benefitted from climate change.

In fact, the summers have become bizarre. Again when I was young, I would stop wearing tights under my jeans by at the latest Memorial Day, and usually not be able to wear them again until after Labor Day. A couple of summers ago, I was able to were the on a couple of days, IIRC later June or even July. Last summer, I wore them even more days. But the last two days, the high temperature was over 90 degrees. Go figure.

This year, we again had a generally mild winter where I didn’t pull out my super cold weather gear. When I visited Alabama in January and February, it was freakish to see so many plants flowing so early. The local said they were a month or even more ahead of schedule. Even though I don’t eat shad roe, that has been running a month or more early for the last few years too.

Another example comes from the Gulf of Maine, which has experienced more extreme warming than 99% of the oceans. My father’s family has lived in that area for hundreds of years as fishermen and farmers.

The Portland Press Herald was not so cheerful. :

The study by seven scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, used a high-resolution global climate model and federal fisheries survey data to model how key fisheries species would likely be affected by predicted warming over the next 80 years.

The results confirmed previous research using other models and methods that found that the Gulf of Maine can be expected to become increasingly uncomfortable for many of the cold-loving species that have thrived here for all of recorded history but are at the southern ends of their ranges….

The scientists caution that the research analyzes just one factor – albeit an important one – the distribution of thermally appropriate habitat for each of 58 species. Their results predict the changes in the amount and location of such habitat but don’t account for many other factors that can influence the future populations of the species themselves, such as what happens to what they eat or what likes to eat them, or how the increasing acidity of the ocean – another product of climate change – will affect each….

The results are sobering nonetheless.

Animated maps at the science center’s website show the habitat of the suitable temperature for many species shriveling away to nothing in the Gulf of Maine 80 years from now, as surface temperatures increase. Among the losers are most of the groundfish that were once the mainstay of New England fishermen: cod, pollock, haddock, hake, flounder and redfish.

So please give your sighting, both where you live and any place you visit regularly.

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138 comments

  1. Disturbed Voter

    Weather here is more irregular, and we are in a drought. But the Great Plains goes thru that 21 year cycle anyway. It simply is simple minded, to focus only on the average temperature. The max ever temperature or min ever temperature is rarely exceeded, because statistics.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      i think the range of temperatures is changing, so the maximums will be increasing in many areas. some places will get cooler, for awhile anyway.

      Reply
  2. skippy

    I had to move to shade during work due to being on the western side of a house at bit after 12 O’clock.

    Paint was screaming, what month is this again in Oz.

    Never mind I should figure a way to profit from it and beat the herd, rational thing to do imo.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      You could put all the loose money you have towards buying some habitable land on Tasmania. If you are good enough at fixer-upping houses, you could fix-up and sell houses to people who are not prepared to believe that Queensland will become humanly non-inhabitable at some future point. The money you make could be spent towards buying and preparing a survival doomstead in Tasmania which will remain humanly habitable after much of Big Australia has become humanly non-inhabitable.

      Why not a doomstead on New Zealand, you may ask. I suspect China has targeted New Zealand for eventual stealth conquest and demographic flooding with Chinese, especially when parts of China become un-inhabitable. But the Chinese may be overlooking Tasmania . . . as many people do.

      Reply
      1. Shane

        All the models I see have the regions closer to the poles going through more extreme changes from their former averages. The tropics barely nudge unless it is in the middle of a large arid continent. So inland Queensland should become a bit more unpleasant (it already is so) but the coastal parts should be fine (except for the bits that might go under with sea level rise). I live in the “mountains” (100 m above sea level- Australia is very flat) in subtropical Queensland and our weather has always been erratic here, so it is hard to make out any meaningful changes. For us it probably just means that a large number of more tropical tree species that would suffer during our occasional frost years will become viable going forward as the frosts become rarer. That said frosts are fairly common in the mountain hinterland behind tropical Cairns as well.

        Reply
      2. skippy

        If find the people here more important than RE or money, not to mention I saw the potential for intercity ring RE referbs back in 95. Same wave of intercity rejuvenation moving from America and other locations, just hadn’t got here yet, capital flows. Seems they wanted to sanitize the poor and druggies which were trapped after urbanization template took off. I declined getting into the scrum over it all even though I would have had a good first mover advantage.

        Too busy setting up family at the time and now looking after wife’s parents. Also helping a young guy expand his business to put a floor under his young family currently.

        When all is said and done I’ll probably start a little bespoke artisan business providing level 4 and 5 finishes.

        Reply
  3. MK

    Upstate/Western NY. It was snowing Sunday. High in the 50s Monday. Upper 70s/80 every day since then. It’s like we skipped Spring and went straight from Winter to Summer

    Reply
    1. Kurtismayfield

      I lived in Western NY in the 90’s. It was almost 70 degrees in January one summer, and then bam the next day it snowed. I also saw snow squalls in May. I don’t think Western NY ever has consistent weather.

      Personal story: last year I did a topographic study on the town I was working in NY, and I showed a few co-workers that their house was built on fill. I then showed them the rate of water rising in the Northeast. I may have caused a few to consider selling.

      Reply
    2. Michael Fiorillo

      My recollection of springs past in NY is that it was far more common to go straight from winter to summer; springs in recent years have been cooler and wetter than I remember… yesterday and today notwithstanding.

      Reply
    3. Jamie

      That is my impression of the change here in Philadelphia. I can’t be certain because I didn’t grow up here, but I recall pleasant spring times when I first moved here about 25 years ago. Now it’s like, one day it’s very cold, the next it is scorching hot, with nothing in between. We also had pretty extensive warm rainfall for about two weeks every spring. This year we had only a few days of cold rain in more winter conditions, but no extended warm rains.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        My mother lives west of Philadelphia. That 12-day stretch of sub-freezing temps sure got our attention during the Christmas holidays. Since then, Mom hasn’t reported anything too unusual.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        When I grew up in the Midwest, there was a quite a long spring.

        Even in Maine in the 70s, there was a long spring (mud season doesn’t count; I’m talking about when flowering begins). That seems to be gone, now. Bam, summer.

        Reply
    4. rd

      This week has been horrendous for hay fever allergies because a month’s worth of pollination is occurring in a week as just about every species is coming out simultaneously.

      The big thing we have noticed on construction sites over the past few years is that we are getting multiple 10 to 100-year rain events in a construction season now for the shorter duration (less than a day) events. The very short duration (15-minute to 2-hr) events have been particularly problematic. We are having to beef up erosion control and other measures much more than a decade ago. Flooding that used to be once per year is now often happening 2-3 times per year.

      Reply
    5. lyman alpha blob

      Skipping spring – happening in New England too.

      Sugaring (making maple syrup) in the spring in New England depends on cold nights below freezing with warmer days to make the sap start flowing. Too cold and the sap won’t run, too warm and it stops running, so there is generally a short window of a few weeks in the spring when syrup can be made, generally in March-April.

      A few years ago in March it went straight from freezing temperatures to a long stretch in the 80s – the weather was so bad for sugaring my family didn’t even tap the trees. I asked my 70 year old dad if he remembered any other time when the weather was so bad they didn’t make any syrup.

      There wasn’t.

      Since then there have been other years where they made very little. Other producers using modern equipment like vacuum pumps which pull sap from the trees are still doing OK, but for people like my family still doing things the old fashioned way, the difficulty in producing syrup is a canary in the coalmine for climate change.

      Reply
      1. Brooklin Bridge

        A canary in the coalmine is a good analogy; sorry to hear of your family’s plight within that trend. I have no idea how the rest of the world -outside of New England- gets along without maple syrup.

        Reply
          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Oh cruel world!

            But yes, I’ve brought Maple Syrup to friends in Europe who have found it waay too sweet and don’t like it at all.

            Reply
      2. bassmule

        Here in the Pioneer Valley (western Massachusetts) we haven’t really had Spring. In early April, we had put our parkas in storage and had to get them out again. Forsythia was really, really late this year. Lots of day/night 30+ degree temperature swings, far off the historic averages. Then on May 2, it hit 90. We’re supposed to have a week of “normal” Spring weather this week, temps in the 60s and 70s.

        Reply
  4. Potato Guy

    In the Rockies I ran into a biologist at 11k’. The report was that the trees and other flora and fauna are being seen at higher elevations over the last 10-15 years. Also the beetles are having there way with things. Could be less burning management.

    On the prairie there have been programs along the waterways to restore habitat and farm less near those edges. We have had an upsurge in critters including raccoons, possum, turkey, big cats(bobcats, not tabbys) as well as snakes and frogs. Also the birds are more abundant. Redtailed Hawks, pheasant, quail and even eagles are becoming abundant. The old timers are talking about it and are quick to remind us that there was a bounty on Hawks in the 60’s and they haven’t seen this level of wildlife since then.

    There is folklore about the persimmon seed. We cut them open in the fall and it is supposed to predict the winter weather. The persimmon seed can indicate a knife, spoon or fork respectively meaning mild, snow or cold. The last two winters the persimmon seed indicated snow yet we had bumpkis. So the persimmon seed has let me down. Also the last two years out spring weather has been about 30 days behind.

    Over the last 30 years or so it seems that eastern Kansas has gotten more reliable rain. That should be easy to check.

    All in all its a big thumbs up!!!

    Reply
    1. For_Christs_Sake

      There’s some historic observation, correlating the changing weather pattern discussion in the central U.S.

      Reply
    2. sharonsj

      Here in Pennsylvania, we use the “wooly worm” (a caterpillar) for winter predictions, which are based on their coloration (the ratio between 13 segments of black and brown rings). The thicker the black rings, the more severe the winter. Our wooly worm predictions are about as accurate as your persimmon seeds. We also have Groundhog Day, which isn’t much better.

      As for local conditions, in northeast PA we were devastated in 2011 by a 50-yr flood, a 100-yr flood and a 500-yr flood that happened all at once during Hurricane Irene. I never saw anything like it in the 28 years I’ve lived here. The Susquehanna River flooded numerous towns, blocked highways, and took out electricity. Some places still haven’t recovered.

      Reply
  5. Ralph Heidenreich

    I’m living in Biberach/Riss Germany () and documenting flowering plants. Around 50 years ago ski-lifts were build in Ummendorf/Fischbach and Eberhardzell/Awengen around 10 miles south of Biberach and basically at the same elevation (600 m above sea-level). This January I shot fotos of more than 20 flowering plants (link: ). Last year in contrast we had what would have been an ordinary January which looked like in .

    Reply
  6. vlade

    I split my time between London and Central Europe.

    When I moved to the UK (15 or so years back), the weather was having swings already, but those are getting more pronounced. I’m told that UK didn’t use to have heavy snows as far down as South East, and now it’s almost every other year (Gatwick and Stanstead had to buy new machinery to deal with snow etc. IIRC, LHR already had it). Same with hot summers, and the April this year had both very cold and extremely hot days.

    Central Europe – comments for last 5 years. Again, much larger swings than what I remember from years and years back, yet at the same time the swings are more random. I.e. the two smells I associate with my childhood are pine resin (summer and winter) and semi-melting asphalt (summer), so 30C summers weren’t rare – but usually there were also -15C winters to accompany them, most usually with some snow, although that started to change as early as mid 90s IIRC. Last “proper” winter here would be 2012-2013, although that one was extreme as it was cold up till late May, and snowed even in early April. 2015 summer on the other hand was extremely hot and dry, although it was pretty dry since then I’d say.

    This year was a collection of extremes, with warm January – usually it’s below 0 (C) in Jan, this year it was closer to 5C above. Feb on the other had a number of days with temperatures hitting -15C during day. Long term average is about 0, while this year it was about -2/-3 IIRC. April was extremely warm, last three weeks it was consistently around 20C or above – we had cherries and peaches blooming in second week of April, and now all fruit trees are done already, when usually I’d expect cherries to start to bloom nowish (early May). In fact, it looked this year as if all fruit trees started to bloom at once, while usually it’s staged.

    Reply
  7. PlutoniumKun

    As the old saying goes, in Ireland we don’t have a climate, we have weather. The good side of this is that our flora and fauna are pretty much inured to unstable weather patterns.

    But the last few months I’ve heard the words ‘climate change’ far more in regular conversations than before. This winter we had a major storm – a unique one in that it developed in the south Atlantic, not the usual storm from the north Atlantic. And then the ‘Beast from the East’ struck, an exceptional cold spell at the beginning of March. Its not uncommon to have occasional bad storms, but those two were highly unusual and brought the country to a halt (much to the amusement of Germans and East Europeans living in Ireland, as they considered the cold snap as just normal winter weather).

    The spring has been exceptionally cold, with bitter dry easterly and southerlies rather than the usual damp south-westerlies. There has been a fodder shortage as grass didn’t start growing until at least a month later than usual, although the main blame is probably overstocking, not the weather.

    The predictions are for much hotter summers and much colder winters here, along with much more frequent floods. So far, to everyones disappointment, we seem to be lacking the hotter summers. But next week is predicted to be very unseasonably warm and sunny.

    Reply
    1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

      I would agree with all of that PK –

      A long hard Winter by Irish standards & as you say not much sign of any compensation in the form of sunshine, breaking through that seemingly perpetual cloud cover that usually turns up around May.

      I recall one Summer around seventeen years ago when I was living in the South, which consisted of constant rain, but during the late October bank holiday the clouds seemingly became exhausted & we had a fabulous couple of days in Connemara in temperatures of around 70 degrees with bright sunshine. Previous to this visit we had set off a few times in earlier years from the Midlands in bright sunshine only to discover on arriving at about Spiddal that the area was always under a thick blanket of cloud. I know a keen amateur photographer whose early morning hopes have only led to too many drinks in bars while sheltering from downpours.

      I do wonder about the present state of the Gulf Stream – I forget which hurricane it was but evidently to the shock of those tracking, it’s Northern extent went right off the standard chart

      Reply
    2. Carolinian

      I long ago bicycled across your soggy isle. If the Gulf Stream is disrupted by Greenland ice melt then that will have a major impact on Ireland will it not?

      Reply
      1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

        The British Isles in totality which according to what I have read, would present us with Canadian Winters – we barely cope now when faced with heavy snow & lower than usual temperatures & our housing infrastructure unlike that of Canada & Scandinavia is not built to cope with what would be a constant extreme.

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Has the Irish government already granted TrumpCo Incorporated the permission it asked for to build a sea wall around its golf resort on the Irish coast? If the government has not yet granted that permission, could Irish activists mount a big enough protest/action/pressure campaign to force the Irish government to deNY the Trumps their request for a seawall?

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Nope it hasn’t got permission yet. But they have applied for a much reduced sea armouring. Its going through the system now. Ironically, the main pressure isn’t coming from Trump (I suspect he has other things on his mind), but locals, that golf course and hotel are a big local employer.

        Reply
  8. synoia

    Recently in Taiwan and Vietnam.

    It is the rainy season in the Northern Hemisphere Tropics.

    Taiwan – Drought, and no Bugs to be seen anywhere.
    Vietnam – the Tropics, also No Bugs

    When I lived in the tropics, I cannot recall no bugs.
    I have not seen a bug splat on a windshield for ages.

    Reply
    1. madarka

      That’s true. I’m in the Caribbean and I can’t remember the last bug that I had to clean from the windshield. The rainy season begins a month earlier, in April. In fact, you can say it never really ends; there was a harsh drought until 2014 I think, and from then on it’s been the wettest I’ve ever experienced. Rain every day for months on end. In this island a couple of lakes have been growing steadily for years now:

      Also hurricane season in the Atlantic is starting earlier; the 1st storm is already forming.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Is a class of insecticides called neo-nicotinoids being used in Taiwan and Vietnam? If they are, that could explain the no bugs.

      Reply
    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Here in Manila our hot dry aircon season barely lasted 2 months. Cool Hawaiian style breezes throughout Feb were welcome, but unusual. And now we are getting into the daily rains (not as unusual).

      We got fairly lucky with 2017 typhoon season, other than the late one that bulldozed poor shattered Marawi. Most of the bad ones hooked north onto China and Taiwan. Normally, we are the windbreak about half a dozen times.

      Reply
  9. eweaver

    Dramatically fewer insects in central Florida as compared to 20 years ago. Certain types of spiders and fireflies are gone. Even the love bugs, which used to come every May and September, have been missing for a couple of years.

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      Yes! I was about to post this. Growing, up mowing the lawn, we had tons of grasshoppers on our lot. I haven’t seen a grasshopper mowing the lawn in at least 10 years. It’s also oppressively hot almost year round in Orlando now, one of the reasons I left. Back in the 80s, there was somewhat of a fall season; not anymore.

      Reply
    2. Phil in KC

      Insects in general seem to be in retreat in the midwest. At the same time, fewer birds and the bats are suffering from some kind of disease, white-nose. So can anyone address the insect situation?

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I read an interview in Acres USA recently with an insect expert who said the Bonfire of the Insects is due to the vast widespread use of neo-nicotinoids. Agri-bulk commodity-crop seeds for planting over hundreds of millions of acres are all pre-soaked in neo-nicotinoids which enter the growing plant and also leach into soil and spread into every growing plant they touch. The neonics are designed to destroy a few selected cells in insect-brains and they do it very well.

        A total and utter Hard Ban on the use of neo-nics for anything anywhere ever . . . would solve that problem, this scientist said.

        If Acres USA hadn’t cancelled its computer presence, I would be able to find a link to that interview. But Acres USA doesn’t offer any computer archives of anything anymore.

        Reply
      2. John Wright

        I was in the Oregon Caves Park last week and they cautioned visitors against wearing their shoes if they had visited any other cave while wearing the same shoes in the recent past.

        The white nose is apparently a type of fungus that kills bats and as I recall, it originated in Europe, perhaps illustrating how the interconnected world spreads disease globally.

        The white-nose disease does not affect the bats in the Oregon Caves and the park wants to keep it this way.

        Bats consume half their weight in insects every day, so they are good at controlling insect population.

        Reply
        1. DeborahN

          We have lots many, many bats in Vermont. It saddens me. They are one of my favorite animals, and are not prolific breeders by any stretch.

          From vermontcavers.org – “In Vermont, populations of cave bats have declined dramatically since the disease was first observed in the state. In particular, populations of Vermont’s two most common bat species, the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat have declined over 90 percent.”

          Reply
    3. marku52

      Yes, I grew up in Gainesville, and remember need to scrape the love bugs off the windshield with an ice scraper.

      I can’t imagine them not appearing at all.

      Reply
    4. Lambert Strether

      Agreed.

      I think the “bug splats on the windshield” is quite telling. Back in the 60s, when gas stations had attendants, cleaning the windshield was a big thing. Now, it isn’t.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        A smaller number of aerial insects driven “through” would certainly explain that. But I wonder if something else might explain that too.

        Up through the 60’s, fuel efficiency was not a concern and therefore aerodynamically efficient streamlining of cars was not a concern, and was not designed and engineered for. By the 80’s , aerodynamic streamlining efficiency of cars was a concern. If windshields were made less vertical and more backward-goingly angled from bottom to top, and the rest of the front and top of the car was also more streamlined; could the better-flowing air currents around the car have carried insects up and over the car as against splat-into the windshield as in the 60’s?

        Could less bug-splats be a beneficial side effect of better airflow over and around the cars of today?

        The only way I could think of to really test that is to drive cars from the 60’s and cars of today through exactly the same air with the same number of insects in it and see if the 60’s cars have more bugsplats on the windshields or not.

        Reply
  10. ChrisPacific

    The main story in New Zealand last summer was the oceanic heat wave, which saw ocean water up to 6 degrees Celsius above normal range around NZ/Aus for much of the season. This meant a much warmer summer than normal, with cooler locations having genuine summers and hotter areas experiencing scorchers (by local standards).

    We continue to have occasional localized heavy rainstorms and flooding, some of which are described as significant events historically. It’s hard to know whether they mean anything, since they have been happening occasionally for as far back as I can remember. We recently had the 50th anniversary of the storm that sunk the Wahine ferry and there has been nothing to match it in the years since (although some have come close).

    The glaciers are also retreating rapidly. New Zealand was one of only two countries that had glaciers coming down to sea level, but both have shrunk to the point where they are no longer accessible by foot. This is predicted to continue.

    Reply
    1. vlade

      Hmm.. Must have wreaked havoc on marine life. I used to dive off Wellington south coast regularly when I lived there, and it was always dry-suit for me as the water was about 6-7C, and even in summer it was high teens tops (and I was still in a dry suit… )

      Reply
      1. ChrisPacific

        Yes, I heard you could actually swim comfortably off the south coast without special gear, which is unprecedented. Oriental Bay was like a bathtub.

        It’s apparently a seasonal thing that happens now and then, but not on this scale. 6 degrees is a huge variation from normal.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      We’ve been to Fox & Franz Josef glaciers many times in the past 20 years, but not recently, and when I saw the photos of the retreat, wow, it’s like Napoleon’s army leaving Russia.

      Reply
    3. Musicismath

      But certain areas are getting hit repeatedly with high rainfall volumes, aren’t they? I’m thinking particularly of the Coromandel Peninsula and I guess Great Barrier Island. At what point does the increasing frequency of intense rainstorms and localised flooding start making those places (even more) economically unviable as places to live and own housing?

      Reply
      1. blennylips

        Add the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand to that list.

        After days of heavy rain last week, some New Zealand residents got a big surprise when a massive six-story sinkhole suddenly appeared. The sinkhole is one of largest ever spotted in the country – so big, in fact, that it exposed earth from the Paleolithic era. The astonishing fissure is 656 feet long, 66 feet deep and 16 feet wide.

        The video Checkpoint report from John Campbell is excellent.

        Reply
        1. Musicismath

          Thanks for that!

          My granddad lived on the coast north of Coromandel township for a long time. Every time a big storm was forecast, I’d worry about him because of the creek at the back of property. And this was back in the early ‘00s. I get the feeling things have only got worse since.

          Reply
    1. Landrew

      Wow, I thought it was just me thinking thoughts I didn’t want to express out loud. These last few years have been very strange having lived near Chicago my entire life.

      Another very odd thing, it’s cloudy, very cloudy. I work in Astrophysics so I tend to watch the sky old school for fun. It’s cloudy all the time without rain, very strange and it would be easy for me to say, I am just sensitive to the thoughts of climate change, this has to be a normal pattern that I am relating to climate change. I may have to create my own luminosity data for Chicago as this was done for a single day

      Reply
  11. Watt4Bob

    Just got back from a trip to Edmonton Alberta and a side trip to Jasper National Park.

    There were vast expanses of dead pine trees within the park, all due to the exploding population of the Pine Beetle.

    Experts blame drought and warmer winters.

    Very sad, locals are considering controlled burns at the borders of the park to try and stop the infestation from destroying the forest industry east of the park.

    They’re looking at spending $20 Million this year, and cutting down and burning 90,000 trees.

    The day trip we made to the park was still a breathtakingly beautiful experience, but at some points included driving through miles of dead, black trees. ( At first the trees turn red, then as time goes by, the needles fall off and it looks as if you’re looking at the results of a forest fire.)

    Reply
    1. rd

      Lodgepole pine (common in the northern Rockies) requires forest fires to have healthy stands. The burn cycle is typically 20 to 50 years. Fire suppression is often preventing natural regeneration of healthy stands.

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        Yes, and we ran into some very friendly birds while hiking near Miligne Lake, Olive Sided Fly Catchers I think.

        We were in the woods and they suddenly appeared as if to say hello, and followed us for a while, by flitting from branch to branch, never farther that a couple feet away.

        We looked them up and found that fire suppression also impacted their well being.

        I would guess that there is more and more thinking being done about the whole fire suppression thing.

        Reply
  12. scoff

    Here in SE GA my two pear trees flowered in January and my blueberry bushes flowered in February. This has happened for the past three years, but, luckily, a late frost didn’t get them this year like it did the previous two.

    A tangerine tree that’s been growing for 25 years in my backyard produced fruit for the first time last year. (I got 5 very sweet, very jucy tangerines out of the deal, seeds for planting.)

    The gardenias scattered about the yard started producing buds about 2 or 3 weeks ago. They usually don’t flower until early-to-mid june, but the past 3 years they’ve started blossoming in mid-to-late May.

    Last year (and so far this year) I’ve seen no sign of the normal deluge of love bugs. For as long as I can remember we’ve gotten 2 batches of the blamed things – one in mid spring and one in late summer. Saw very few last year and only one lonely fellow (who met his fate on my front bumper) this year. There have been many times in the past where a single day’s drive to and from work would result in dozens of the little buggers needing to be washed off the windshield.

    This past February saw a succession of days with temps in the high 70’s to low 80’s that lasted almost the entire month. March, however, was chilly and blustery, and the spring this year has been unusally cool. (For example it was 90 in NYC yesterday, but only a high of 80 here.)

    Reply
  13. taunger

    Just moved to an inland area of new England from Boston metro area. This winter was harsh, one of worst I can remember in entire new England life time. Record cold snap followed by what seems to be the new March nor’easter pattern. In between the river on our property flooded when the cold snap broke with 2 inches of rain, melting the 18 inches of snow cover. Now we have gone straight from cold spring to summer. We were concerned about putting in the garden two weeks ago, now it feels like we are a month behind.

    Reply
  14. Amfortas the Hippie

    Texas Hill Country(same spot for 23 years).
    winters are markedly colder(less differential between cold arctic and warm equator=slow, meandering jet, including polar jetstream “wall”= bubbles of arctic come all the way down here)
    Prior to say 12 or so years ago, we’d get an exceptionally cold winter every decade or so(historical records back to 1875 or so, unofficial).
    used to never get a proper spring, now we sort of do(we had fires in woodstove as recently as a week ago)…rather, winter can’t decide that it’s over.
    summers have been strange, too….very hot and dry is the prior norm…now, that’s interrupted by august monsoon.
    drought a few years ago almost felt like a return to normal to me.
    My skeleton is sensitive to cold fronts(mechanism is unknown; I’ve determined that it ain’t air pressure or humidity), and things like hurricanes. cold fronts hurt, and I’m aware of them before the barometers register, here on the farm.(if I had resources, I’d love to study this. I do my best,lol)
    For this reason, I always look forward to june=> september, because of a high pressure cap that historically settled over Texas during this period.
    last ten years or so, that cap has been weaker…even absent.
    weather doesn’t equal climate….but add up a bunch of weather and you start to see patterns(or even lack of pattern).
    migratory birds(geese, for instance) were late going south, and early going north. same with raptors. mesquite and oak leafed out a month early this year, and what should have been a great wildflower season(for which this area is famous) has turned out not to be…as with the garden, the late cold spells have stunted growth and delayed blooming.
    snakes are late, too
    the combination of early and late seems to be the feature in my observations…like the flora and fauna can’t figure out when to do their thing.
    overall, it’s been getting stranger…in ways that it’s hard to put one’s finger on…especially, I surmise, for ordinary folks who aren’t paying as close attention.
    This citizen reporting should prolly be a regular feature in order to have utility.

    Reply
  15. Zagonostra

    I live in rural Central PA and work in DC. I thought my friend was a little off kilter when trying convince me to to open my mind and eyes to Chemtrails. This past weekend as I was sitting on my front porch having coffee and watching the sun rise I had an awakening.

    I saw the systematic rape of the sky. It was a Saturday and I watched a beautiful crisp blue morning sky turn to a milky haze by noon. I have it all on my phone camera. Next day Sunday, nothing. If these were regular commercial airliners you would think that I would have seen the same phenomena, the weather was similar and the volume of flights are fairly consistent on the weekend.

    Reply
    1. mle detroit

      You commute from Breezewood to the Beltway? That’s quite a chemtrail all by itself. Of course, if the EPA could protect us all from inside-the-Beltway emissions of swamp gas, the world would be a better place.

      Reply
      1. Zagonostra

        I own a home in Hollidaysburg, PA and am there only on the weekends; rent a townhouse in Reston, VA.

        Reply
    2. Michael in Oz

      I live in the Southern Plains, I have to drive to New Mexico to see “blue” skies. The last couple of times there is a form of demarcation around Amarillo.

      Reply
    3. ocop

      Is there a nearby coal plant that may not run on low demand days (i.e. sunday). That could explain the whole sky haziness.

      Reply
  16. Jay Jay

    In New Mexico, our forests have been decimated. Beginning in the 1990s, persistently dry weather gave rise to bark beetle infestation in our pine trees which died and eventually burned, hundreds of thousands of acres at a time. The Gila Wilderness, where my wife, kids and I backpacked fifteen or twenty times, has been decimated. Three huge fires destroyed nearly a million acres in the wilderness and surrounding national forest, including the adjacent Aldo Leopold Wilderness in the Black Range. This was beautiful, remote country through which a person could walk for days without encountering anyone else. Now it’s changed forever. No one knows what will replace the spruce, fir and ponderosa and pinyon pines. A lot of scrub oak has appeared, We won’t really know for a generation. The outlook isn’t good. Our snow pack this past winter was a fraction of “normal” whatever that is these days. Fire season is coming fast.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We too wonder what will replace the tall timber after the beatles tour killed some 129 million, and the thought is that a lesser ground cover will fill in for the fallen. And our pine dead zone is from a little under 4,000 to about 7,500, with relatively few trees effected about that altitude, all the way up to treeline @ around 10-11k.

      An arsonist armed with a jalopy, a full tank of gas and 25 road flares could literally set the Sierra Nevada on fire in it’s full length in a day’s drive.

      Reply
      1. JCC

        Scary. I’ve been in the eastern edge of the lower Sierra Range for 8 years now and I’ve seen pretty big changes in the woodlands between here and Kernville. Dead trees everywhere during the last 3 years and increasing.

        Formerly from the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY and there have been really big changes there. No snow one winter and inundated the next. The streams ing the lakes have emptied of crayfish and the lake trout population is shrinking, a lot, and no more frogs in the local ponds compared to 30 years ago.The fireflies in summer are almost completely gone compared to 40 years ago.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Does that sound like some kind of diffuse widespread chemical pollution buildup at work?

          Reply
          1. JCC

            Chemical pollution (farm runoff) combined with noticeably warmer than normal water temps in the summertime.

            Reply
    2. ef

      Here in Albuquerque, NM, the Rio Grand is REAL shallow. The area north of us, toward Santa Fe and Taos are drier then we are. We were expected SOME rain here this spring but have had as little as none. Just before Easter we went to the mountainous area of Angel Fire hoping to see some snow. There was virtually none.
      The conditions now are “Extreme Drought” or “Exceptional Drought”

      Reply
  17. RickM

    Grew up on the Georgia coast halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville and now live in the middle of Middle Georgia in a former major city of the state. We were previously above the Gnat Line here, but not so much now. These are little black tormentors that swarm, and bite. Having grown up with them coming at you out of the marshes along the coast, I can ignore them, mostly. But they are an irritation. Alligators: They are moving north, too. Common in the Coastal Plain since they became a protected species in the late 1960s(?), they are now found at the border of the Piedmont. Ditto for certain snakes, including cottonmouths, which have always been present, but seem to be more numerous, while their primary predator, the Eastern King Snake is in precipitous decline. Plants: EVERYTHING blooms “too early.” And the nearby peach growers are seeing the end of their livelihood. This year peaches got the stretch of cold necessary for a good crop, and no late frost that killed the buds, but I think we are now down to a 2-in-4 chance of a “normal” crop. One county in South Carolina grows more peaches than the entire Peach State, so that die is cast. And in any case, commercial peaches are more akin to fuzzy cannonballs than anything you would want to eat. No great horticultural loss, but the cultural loss is significant. Weather: Cool and breezy spring this year, which was a welcome change. But we have had stretches of 100F+ in July-August that will sap your will to live in most recent summers. Two years ago, winter never really happened.

    The two recent hurricanes that affected the Georgia coast and inland have been an eye opener, too. Dora in 1964 had been the previous major storm. The storm two years ago knocked down millions of trees but produced little other damage. This past season the hurricane produced open water from the end of the street where I grew up to the barrier islands 4-5 miles across the marsh. Much water damage all along the coast, and a preview of what is in store for a genuine paradise in my grandchildren’s lives. Maybe my children’s. The general consensus among the Trump voters who are my oldest friends is that humans cannot do enough to seriously affect climate. I don’t know how to reach them, but as their fishing grounds disappear and high tides cover previously dry land, something will eventually dawn on them. I’m sure my socialist ass will get blamed.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      Even if they notice the ongoing changes in weather patterns, most deniers will just say that’s it’s simply the occurrence of natural climate cycles. At this point it hardly matters what the cause, since our elites seem interested mostly in how they can escape the coming changes, rather than initiating any preemptive action. Welcome to the next great extinction event.

      Reply
  18. Jerry

    Northwest Iowa gets more rain than it got a generation ago. Even though preferred corn planting time is already behind us for this year, it is still too wet to plant.

    Reply
  19. marieann

    I am in southern Ontario. This winter we have broken records for just about everything….this coming off record fall rainfall.
    April has been the coldest I have ever experienced in 50 years. I am a gardener and getting my plants into the greenhouse has been delayed by 4 weeks….getting the seeds into the ground has been impossible to predict.
    Flowering shrubs and trees are just coming in now 2-3 weeks late….which is just as well I guess if they had flowered in March the buds would have frozen.

    Reply
  20. DeborahN

    Deer ticks carrying Lyme disease spreading northward and becoming an increasing problem. I’m in northwestern Vermont. We now have to watch for deer ticks on ourselves and our dogs as late in the year as November, and as early as February.

    Reply
    1. freedeomny

      That’s what I have noticed in Queens NY – not deer ticks (cause there are none here) but the black, bigger ticks. I NEVER used to see them and starting a couple of years ago, they started showing up in the winter. Everyone I know with a dog has said the same thing.

      Reply
      1. DeborahN

        The moose in northern New England are suffering terribly from the increasing ticks. The calves are dying as a result.

        Reply
  21. Overshoot

    UK, south coast. Air has been distinctly colder over the past few years, throughout the year – when not warmed by the (infrequent) sun. The cold wind on the south coast prompted me to move last year.

    Anecdotal, but observed by many others. I attribute it to the increasingly wavy jet stream pulling down arctic air.

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    I killed the 3rd rattlesnake in less than a week here yesterday, a 3 foot model.

    Called our neighbor to tell them, and she told me she shot a 2 footer about an hour earlier.

    Way more rattlesnakes than ever before, probably on account of Mother Nature’s client list greatly reproducing after the long drought broke.

    Reply
  23. sleepy

    In northern Iowa, between March 29 and April 15, we had 42 inches of snow which is usually the normal snowfall amount for all of winter. Trees are still bare, and other vegetation is about two weeks behind in greening up or sprouting. It’s expected to hit 80 in the next day or so. Like many have said, it seems to have gone from winter to summer with little spring in the mix.

    Reply
  24. SJB

    I lived in Iowa in the 1980’s and moved away, but came back 13 years later. While the winters were cold, the second time the winters were not as frigid as they had been in the 1980’s, especially in the first half of the decade. I have been living in the DC area for the past 10 years, again after having lived here previously (in the 1990’s), left and returned. In comparison with the 1990’s, it seems like the spring and fall weather is felt over a be much shorter time period. Weather patterns used to track more consistency with the calendar. Fall and spring seemed to last longer than they do now. The weather in DC seems to have more of a pattern similar to the pattern I saw in the 1980’s without the bitter cold. I also grew up in southern PA, and there seems to be more snow, over a longer season than there used to be.

    Just as an aside, as an ag economist, I follow the industry press. 13 years ago the farming industry seemed to deny the existence of climate change Now they have quietly succumbed, no longer denying it for the most part, but instead acknowledging that they have to adapt to the new conditions. Some still cling to the belief that climate change is not human-caused

    Reply
  25. jim

    Park City, Utah.weathering the third wave of unimaginable destruction. First the miners turned the entire ridgeline into a Superfund site – and destroyed untold thousands of charismatic megafauna and millions of trees. Then the ski companies turned the mountains into what look like golf courses on a tilt. Now the urban refugees are spreading like wildfire, spilling into the no longer quiet farming villages 20 miles out, everyone dreaming for the 10/10/2 plan – a10,000 sq ft place for $10m they’ll use 2 weeks a year. Or at least getting in on the sale or build.

    Weather-wise, it rains in January and February every year now. It never use to do that. The 45 degree spring skiing days of the early Aprils of my youth are normal now all winter.

    The Aspen are under seige by fungus that used to die in the winter, the moose are under threat by fleas, again that use to not survive winter. The elk herd that winters in the open space across the street is getting smaller, rapidly.

    Reply
    1. Utah

      Hello fellow Utahn! I’m excited to see another NC’er here :) I just wanted to say hi and agree with you about the sprawl and the winters. Very not normal. That said, I think a lot of people who can afford it flee to PC because the air quality is so much better up there than it is along the Wasatch Front. I know it doesn’t get worse every year, but it seems to be worse for me every year.
      I was talking to a friend who had to get their new build approved by the city because it wasn’t big enough. Maybe PC needs some new non-developer folks on the council board. Or maybe they do that to keep PC posh.

      Reply
    2. Susan the other

      I’m seeing that too. Plus stuff that concerns me more – for the last 3 years I have seen the spiders disappear, and the wasps, and the songbirds. Not many mice or squirrels anymore either. I do see the hawks banking through the trees. It surprises me that spiders are so susceptible to the climate, I would not have thought that.

      Reply
  26. L

    Weather in the southeast that I have seen this year has been … erratic. We’ve had more snow and cold snaps than usual and a very uneven spring with temperatures spiking up and down more than most people expected. So even though the average temperature has been close to the norm the pattern was much less predictable.

    Where my family is in the north winter has started much later and ran later than before. Total snowfall is probably about what it was but it comes again in more erratic dumps meaning that the snowpack is less predictable.

    Reply
  27. PKMKII

    My NYC observations would be superfluous, but I have noticed a significant change in the hilly Midwest where some of my family lives. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was very common for winters to never see freezing temperatures. You could go a few years between snowfalls. Now, though, it’s become a yearly occurrence that there’s a long cold snap, like low single digits, that lasts through much of January and February. I saw people from there complaining on social media about getting snow in April, which would have been unthinkable 20-30 years ago.

    Reply
  28. rjs

    northeast Ohio has been colder than normal most of this spring, up until the last week…crocuses remained in bloom till April for the first time in years…lettuce and spinach seed, which normally germinates in a week, took three weeks this year…willow and red maple just broke bud last week, other trees still look dormant…

    however, anecdotes are not climate change…i would like to say that our winters have generally been milder than when i was younger (i’m now 70) but then i remember the polar vortex year of 2014..

    Reply
    1. rjs

      something more telling…last year i had new siding put on my house…as you know, dark colors absorb heat, while light colors reflect it…i chose forest green as the color for my siding…

      likewise, 5 years ago i had a new roof put on, and chose black shingles…i heat 7 months out of the year and don’t expect that to change…

      Reply
    2. rd

      In the northeast US, I have noticed higher lows in the winter but the length of winter seems to be random with years like this year appearing to be endless winter until all of a sudden we set heat records this week.

      Reply
  29. Michael in Oz

    I’ve lived in the Great Plains most of my life, now in the southern plains. We talk about weather a lot here, the heart of tornado alley it is indeed interesting and has its own social culture especially at work where we are “weather aware” and radar is a constant feature on peoples computers this time of year. Here mother nature can all at once deliver such beauty and destruction, thank goodness it is for a short time each year. This year we have had Thunder snow and hail all in the same day, something I’ve never seen till the last few years. It seems like now we have more severe swings in weather. 80 deg. F one day 50 or worse the next in Spring and Fall. For instance I live 10 miles from work all interstate,my house and the temp was 68 I arrived at work after driving into the edge of a cold front literally drawn in the sky and dark as night. Getting out of the truck at work 12 minutes later the temperature was 42. Some of that is expected because geographically this is the ideal spot for mixing large air masses from the north and south. Away from the temperature, the wind here, seems to have got progressively worse. Regular windspeeds in the 30’s, gusts to 50 are routine in the spring. the summer heat of 1980 and 2012 were remarkable, but the last couple of summers have been cooler, think low/mid 90’s but more humid.

    Wildlife in and around here seem to have “urbanized”. We have large groups of deer, almost too many, that live in the area. Many birds of all kinds, squirrels etc. What seems to be missing is insects. I haven’t’ seen a decent cloud of mosquitoes in years here, and while I drive a pick up I seem to hit few of them. The warm winters we have to leave us with more fleas and ticks though.

    Reply
  30. Paul Handover

    We live in a rural part of Southern Oregon. Have been hear since 2012. But moved here from Arizona on fears of our well water running out. Apart from the last Winter being warmer and wetter than previous Winters no real changes have been noticed.

    Reply
  31. Utah

    Here in Utah, wildfires are on my mind. We had a decent snow year, about 75% of average. However, it melted earlier than normal, and that means wildfires. Winter was maybe a little warmer than normal, but not abnormally warm like a couple of year ago. We reached a matching temperature high the other day- it was nearly 90 degrees. And then it snowed two days later, because Utah.
    I have done a lot of climate change research to see what the effects of climate change will bring to my neck of the woods. It’s hard to parse through since there are no “Northern Utah” or “Southern Utah” specifics- even from our local government (they are working on it, according to the state folks I talked to). It’s more of a regional “Intermountain West” that gets studied, so this includes Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Colorado Wyoming, some of New Mexico.
    Not that you’re asking for a dissertation, but we’re not really expected to see much of a decline in overall precipitation, but we are expected to see earlier snowmelt and winter rain instead of snow, and that will be devastating. Early Spring Snowmelt means the ground gets drier sooner which stresses out the trees. We also have a tree bug problem like was mentioned about Colorado and New Mexico, and a lot of our trees are dying in combination with water and temperature stress. And bad fire management has led to a need for controlled burns that don’t happen because the public doesn’t understand that those are good things- so we have a lot of dead trees just waiting for lightning to strike. We’re gonna have a rough wildfire season, I can say that for certain.

    We also have Lake Mead and Lake Powell that are treated as one reservoir even though they are 500 miles away from each other. They are both very low, and with early snow melt this year, they aren’t getting any better. They’re both on the precipice of failing, especially Lake Mead. The Green River s into both and is lower than normal. Las Vegas gets a lot of water and hydropower from Lake Mead, so they are going to be struggling here soon.
    I expect water wars in the West. They’re already starting here between government and conservationists.
    The thing about climate change is that it is shifting the odds of things happening from once in 100 years to once every three years. So expect more 100 year storms or droughts. Expect more 1000 year storms even. Expect longer droughts and longer rains. And bad environmental governmental policy will lead to more disasters like Houston- building in floodplains isn’t a good thing.

    Reply
  32. Punxsutawney

    Messed up in the Pacific Northwest. And it shows in the data. Springs appear to be getting wetter, but ending earlier. Summers are getting hotter, even along the coast, which oddly global warming models indicate shouldn’t be happening yet. I talked to a NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) snow pack manager a couple of weeks ago and he said that over the last 15 years there have been some really wild swings and things are much less consistent than in the 80’s or 90’s.

    The warm summers are resulting in an increase and destructiveness of the fire season, off the charts really. I was presented with a chart just a week ago at a conference where in the 1970’s Washington’s max acreage burned in a season was 300k. And since the 90’s that’s nothing, that’s about average now. In 2015 there were 1 million acres burned, and massive destructive fires are becoming much more common. And the thing is, we are just getting started. Oh joy!

    Reply
  33. Randy

    I have hunted deer in central WI for 40 years. Opening day is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. When I started there was usually snow on the ground opening day and it was cold, sometimes very cold. Lately you can hunt wearing a light coat or even in your shirtsleeves more often than not.

    About ten years ago we had a few hot summers and warm winters. The last 4-5 years summers have been wet, 2014 was really juicy. Summer temps have been near normal and the winters very cold…..and snowy. Usually cold and snow are exclusive of each other, cold with blue skies or warm, cloudy and snowy but it has been cold and snowy at the same time.

    The main change has been more precipitation, I long for a good old-fashioned drought.

    Reply
  34. Frank

    From the Southern Green Mts of Vermont:
    This snippet is from the May 3, VTDigger.org
    “Vermont’s declining moose population has prompted the state Fish and Wildlife Department to drastically reduce the number of hunting permits to only 13 this year — down from 80 last year, 160 the previous year and 265 in 2015.
    The shrinking moose population has largely been attributed to the parasitic winter tick and brainworm. Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said the prevalence of the tick could be the result of climate change, as shortened winters enable the tick to survive longer.”
    I know we have some here on our property ‘cause I saw some moose poop on April 23,’18, but when I moved here nearly 18 years ago they regularly came into our yard.
    For six years I was on our little town’s Selectboard – our biggest expense is our roads. I don’t recall precisely, but I think about 80% of the Vermont’s roads are in small towns, but those towns get less than 10% of their upkeep cost from the state. So we do keep a pretty close watch on what we spend.
    An anecdotal observation is that we are getting an increasing amount of our winter precip in the form of rain and since the ground is frozen that makes us spend more on sand and salt. Its cheaper and easier to just shove snow around, but loading the sand and salt trucks is more costly and … you get the idea.

    Reply
    1. DeborahN

      I’m in northwestern Vermont, and my dog’s vet says that about 50% of the dogs in his practice now test positive for Lyme, though for most of them it doesn’t become a problem. My dog tested positive last year for the first time in 9 years. Deer ticks are everywhere here now. We have to watch for them from February-November.

      Reply
  35. Brooklin Bridge

    Along the islands on the West side of Cape Cod; Nantucket, Martha’s Vinyard, the Elizabeth Islands, seals started appearing on the rocks sometime in the mid to late ’90s. That was new for the Cape as far as I know. Somewhere in the early 2000’s schools of Menhaden – (bait for lobster and stripers) were so thick in the fall you could catch them with a bare hook tossed into the water and immediately jerked up – they just up and disappeared (they have been making a tepid comeback in the last decade). Then we had shark sightings, also in the 2000s, a really big one even made the news. That was new for Cape Cod. The Menhaden were probably just over fished, but I include their temporary disappearance to indicate that it’s often hard to tell what is climate and what is ‘other’ but possibly related. What seems the norm, however, is that things just aren’t normal.

    And weather patterns have become irregular all over New England, but I notice it particularly both on the Cape and in North Eastern Massachusetts where I have lived a good part of my life. Hurricanes seem to have become very frequent. Up until the 1990’s, the big ones tended to be once a decade events with only a handfull remembered by name. Now they are becoming almost regular.

    Over the last decade, but particularly the last 5 or 6 years, it seems as if the seasons have been pushed forward by almost a month or more. We get a longer mild fall, and then a slightly more brief period of intense cold (in late December through January this year) followed by somewhat colder than average months in February through May. February was an exception this year; particularly mild probably just to be different, but it was a welcome rebel. Rains in fall and spring seem more frequent and heavier. Then there are exceptions to the exceptions. 2014, as I remember, was a harsh winter with deep repetitive snow falls that caved in roofs and caused enough Ice Dam damage to start a brief local industry of dare devil roof climbers.

    This winter, the weather people spoke often about a ‘Polar Vortex’ that descended from the Arctic and then settled over central Canada through April and cooled the New England temperature by as much as 10 degrees F over what would otherwise have been a slightly warmer than average period. In the house, the wood burning stove was going pretty much full blast until a little over a week ago. Then just to take the edge off the morning chill till day before yesterday when the temperature shot up to 80F for a three day binge. Another exception that would have been absolutely remarkable in the 50’s.

    Most of these weather ‘events’ are difficult to pin down as ‘trends.’ In the 50’s, I remember winters being fridged, summers being hot, and spring and fall being warm. But then all is relative. I’ll never forget a cartoon I saw where a young child’s arm is poking out through the snow and a liitle hand is holding the father’s glove. The text balloon from the father said, “The snow just isn’t as deep as it used to be when I was your age.”

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      A little reading indicates that the presence of seals and sharks on Cape Cod may have more to do with protection vs. earlier hunting to local extinction than with weather patterns. Again, particularly as a non technical and unsystematic observer, it’s hard to pin down patterns specifically related to weather.

      Reply
      1. Swamp Yankee

        Yeah, I was going to make that observation, Brooklin Bridge, about seals here in SE Mass. They were definitely present historically, it’s that we stopped killing them all. And then come the sharks. The menhaden and herring fluctuate naturally, to be sure, but the other factor here, which is actually an area, full disclosure, of personal obsession having grown up among our beautiful herring runs, is actually two-fold: 1) habitat destruction through dams and nitrification of spawning ponds — much of which is being corrected, fortunately; and 2) massive over-fishing of forage fish when they are in federal waters for things like fish oil pills.

        But overall I’ve observed much the same things you have on the climate. I added my observations lower down in the thread. Things are erratic. There is no sense of regularity in the climate that even was present when I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. This recent blast of heat is unnerving and unpleasant.

        Reply
  36. crow

    Southern New England. I live in a place that’s as rural as it comes here.

    Generally speaking, winter starts later and lasts later into spring. I no long plant garlic on Columbus Day weekend, but early November. March is becoming more like February and April is more like March. It’s cloudier too, compared to when I moved here in 1977. It’s more humid in summer.

    There’s more wildlife in my yard. When I move to the area, to see a deer was a novelty. Now we’re loaded with them. Lots of predators. Coyotes, or more accurately, coywolves. I’ve seen weasels, minks, fisher cats, bobcats and some say they’ve seen mountain lions, which I believe. I’ve seen signs of bears. Lots of turkeys. Thoreau would be amazed. There were fewer insects last year, though that could have been due to hot dry weather and the gypsy moth and winter moth invasions, which defoliated and killed many trees. Salamanders have largely disappeared.

    As for birds, there are fewer swamp sparrows each winter. We use to have a colony of over 100 tree swallows nesting in boxes we put up that would return every spring, but they started declining the year after neonics were introduced. The swallows were gone in 3 years.

    The Democrats, who control this place, are working to destroy what remains of the local natural systems. Republicans would do the same if they could.

    More ticks all the time. I was bitten nearly 100 times last year. Fortunately I can feel them biting and they hardly have a chance to attach themselves. The little suckers gave me Alpha-gal, which means I can no longer eat mammal flesh. But I don’t miss it.

    Reply
  37. Phil in KC

    Have to agree with Potato Guy above that eastern Kansas/western Missouri so far has not been hurt by climate change, but will add that the weather is becoming less predictable and seemingly more intense/less intense. We have been having mild, dry winters (not much snow or ice), punctuated with short but intense cold spells. Summers have been more moderate, and the growing season is longer. Last year, I sowed my grass with clover in late February and had the kitchen garden in by April 15th–a month ahead of schedule. The first frost was rather late, too. This season is altogether different, with below average temps well into April, and then–presto!–suddenly it got warm, but not uncomfortably so. I recall reading some years ago that the Kansas City area would do well (or at least avoid the worst aspects) in the changing climate.

    So much for the climate. I don’t see or hear a lot birds anymore. I remember big flocks of birds as recently as maybe 10-15 years ago. Wind turbines on the high plains? And it is a lot less buggy here. Porch lights after sunset used to swarm with what we call “millers.” Fireflies were everywhere, but now seem precious and few. A long drive through rural areas used to mean you’d have bug splatters all over the grill and windshield. Not so anymore. Butterflies similarly scarce, although I plant a butterfly garden every year. We still have hornets and wasps, but bees are scarce, too.

    Redbuds and dogwoods here didn’t bloom into color until about last Monday, again, about 3 weeks late, whereas last year, spring was 3 weeks early. So, bottom lining it, weather is more unpredictable.

    Reply
  38. Whoa Molly!

    Northern California: winters warmer and drier. 20 years ago rains started in Nov and ended in April. Now we have sunny dry months punctuated by two or three major rain storms a year. Evacuated for wild fires 4 times in last 2 years. Drought 5 of last 6 years.

    Coastal British Columbia (frequent visitor): dead trees in forests, drier winters, high fire danger.

    Reply
  39. Wyoming

    Mountain town in central Arizona

    Last year with rainfall matching the historical average was 1998 (not a typo).

    Average rainfall since 1998 is only about 60% of historical average going back to 1880.

    All time high from 1930’s was 104 F. We have hit 104 and 105 the last two years.

    All time low was negative 20 F from 100 years ago. A low like 15 F makes the news now.

    The forests in our area that burn no longer get news trees as it is too dry.

    Water tables have dropped 25-30 feet and we are running out of water.

    Rains comes hard and fast when it comes.

    Historical snow amounts were about 24 inches a year. In the last 5 years we have had about 24 inches total.

    Bullhead City west of us went over 120 F about 6 times last year.

    Reply
  40. Annieb

    On Colorado’s front range we are happily above average for precipitation since Oct. Our winter was mild though in the Denver area as far as snow. But the Boulder-Denver area is still in a moderate drought, same as always.

    One thing I have noticed is the lack of grasshoppers in the summer. In 80s Colorado I remember a couple of summers with large swarms. Since 2005 when I moved back to CO, grasshoppers have been sparse.

    And the bark beetle infestation is really destroying the forests. I go to Rocky Mountain National Park every summer and it’s worse every year.

    We have moose now in the nearby mountains and occasionally one of them migrates down into Boulder County. Unlikely related to climate change but it is a new phenomenon. Who knows why?

    Reply
  41. Knifecatcher

    At 9000 ft in the mountains outside of Denver we’re finishing off a winter with very little snow overall, and the snow we have had hasn’t stuck around too long. The pine and spruce beetles have devastated pine and spruce forests – drive through wolf creek pass outside of Pagosa springs and you’ll see hundreds of acres of dead trees.

    The beetles are proliferating in part because they aren’t being killed off during these milder winters. My patch has been lucky so far.

    Reply
  42. Wyoming

    Casper, Wyo (where I get my name from)

    I grew up near there.

    When I was a kid we got to minus 30 F every year. Every 5 years or so we got to minus 40 F and I saw minus 50 F once. My father saw minus 60 F once when he was young in the same place. My sister still lives in the house we grew up in and says that it has not hit minus 35F in well over 20 years.

    Reply
  43. Ellie

    North of Chicago near Lake Michigan: I have lived here for 30 years. The most striking change in my observation has been the recent shift in the prevailing winds from west to north. This means colder spring weather as we saw this year in particular. The winds seem to shift more in a crazy pattern, so we get wild swings in temperature and precipitation. For those of us who like to sail small boats off of the western shore of the big lake, it’s a PITA. North and northeast wind means big waves. With prevailing westerly wind, we had smooth water.

    I grew up in western Michigan. The amount of snowfall there has declined dramatically since the 1950s and 60s.

    The number of fireflies in my area has also dropped precipitously compared with 20+ years ago. I miss them.

    Reply
  44. jrs

    Los Angeles area weather valleys is nice recently, I will not complain, thumbs up as I’m sure hot weather is coming, but it could be hot and it’s been coolish.

    In general this seems not news: more heatwaves ALL YEAR ROUND. But at least we still get breaks of many days of decent whether between the scorching heat waves. Last summer in a heat wave I saw a huge tree branch literally crack off in the heat (watch out below!). That’s how hot it gets. A bit more humid than it used to be. Fire season lasts longer into winter for sure, fire season is bad. Winters are definitely warmer overall but with snaps of polar vortex influenced cold that are colder than the normal winters.

    Less insect life for sure but some still exists (so don’t knock L.A. and it’s suburbanism entirely, it probably helps to maintain some of that especially if people don’t dose their lawns with toxic chemicals and plant some natives and bird/insect friendly plants). Different birds than in past years, non-native species, none of the old bluejays of times past.

    Reply
  45. coboarts

    Growing up in SoCal in the 60s there was a definite beginning of the school year pattern. That is when we would get our Santa Anas (high pressure, descending air). The last weeks of August and first weeks of September would be expected to see 100 – 105. After the June gloom, the temperatures rose pretty steady up through July and August, where mid 90s were the norm. When I returned from the Army in 1979 and began rowing, I noticed that we started to get the high pressures in December and the late summer, early falls were more moderate.

    I moved to NorCal in 95, then to SF east bay in 96. The local climate was similar to where I lived in SoCal, cool and wet winter, hot and dry summer. Over the past 10 or so years the patterns have completely broken down. We can hit 100 in spring now and may see mild temps the rest of the summer. The rains have gone completely whacky. At one time, the pineapple express seemed a rather new phenomenon. Now, atmospheric rivers are the norm… Please don’t discount the effects of geoengineering. The presence of persistent chemtrails has been a regular occurrence since the turn of the millennium. I was in Santa Rosa yesterday, and the jets were blanketing the skies with a reflective blanket. And my yearly battle against the yellow jackets has been unnecessary the past few years.

    Reply
  46. Lord Koos

    Here in central Washington state, USA, the weather has definitely become more erratic and hotter. I grew up here from 1951 to 1971, and moved back in 2012 so I can observe differences over time. The biggest difference here is the wildfires — when I was young I recall only once being able to see the flames from a forest fire from our house. Since 2012 there are multiple fires every single year, with smoke filling the valley to the point where I have to leave, as it severely impacts my health. The biggest difference I notice is that it’s now hotter and more windy. In 2016 we had three weeks of over 100 degree temps in June & July. Last year was very hot also. When I was living here as a boy, we would occasionally get three days in a row that were over 100 in the summer. Now every summer is very hot. The other thing is insects — there are far fewer of them than when I was a boy, and in 2016 there were very few bees which was scary. We have a lot of flowering plants so it is easy to notice. Last year was better and this year the bees seem to be back but not in the amount they once were. In 2016 the guy who sells honey in our farmers market was almost in tears talking about how few bees were around.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      I should also add that they spray a lot of noxious crap on crops in this valley, which I’m certain is responsible for the shrinking insect population.

      Reply
  47. pretzelattack

    the weather has been erratic in north texas this year, lots of rain, cooler than normal. i don’t see as many insects as i used to, either.

    Reply
  48. Swamp Yankee

    Writing from Southeastern Massachusetts here.

    The climate has changed noticeably, in some cases even dramatically, in my lifetime (am in my mid-30s). Because there are so many changes, I will list them as bullet points. I echo much of what others say above. The overall summation I would give, though, is that we appear to be changing from a humid continental climate to an oceanic climate. That is, going from something more like Finland or Sweden to something more like Scotland or Ireland.

    – General increase in temperatures summer and winter. Severe heat used to be uncommon in the summer; no longer. 2002 was the first summer I noted where the traditional lack of air conditioning here became uncomfortable. And this February we had temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit in coastal Massachusetts! Unnerving.

    – Erratic temperature and weather patterns. Winter style nor’easters can now occur in June (won’t be snow, but cold, cold, rain). Late May conditions can occur in late December. I remember driving through a state forest here a few years ago and feeling very badly for the frogs that had woken up early (c. Dec. 28th). But also long troughs of severe and extreme cold in the winter.

    – Increase in intensity and frequency of storms. Even though temps are rising, our winter storms are getting wilder and more intense. This last March we had three nor’easters dumping feet of snow and hurricane force winds in about 12 days. Some people lost power for 10 of them! Highest tides ever observed.

    – Change in species. Southerly (mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake) species appearing far north of their usual haunts. Have seen this with woodpecker species, holly (a southern tree), Virginia fish species off the coast, the northward flight of lobsters. Some species in worrying decline, e.g., striped bass, soft-shelled clams.

    – Decrease in snow and ice. Ponds have become dangerous to skate on that used to be frozen throughout the winter. Snowpack used to last from mid-December, have a January thaw, and then reestablish itself through late February early March. No more. The sea ice used to form in protected bays for about six weeks a year; now I’d say it’s 10 days to two weeks, if at all (it was 75F on Christmas day a few years back!).

    Overall, I find this very worrisome.

    Reply
  49. porquoilefoi

    The change in climate over the past decade I have been familiar with Hawai’i is very noticeable. In the past there have been two seasons here, a winter wet season October-March and a dry summer season the rest of the year. Rain generally came in on-and-off showers, often at night. Frontal systems and therefore lightning and thunder were very rare. Now, rain comes in massive storm bursts several times a year regardless of summer or winter, lightning is much more common, and the wet/dry seasons are blurring together.

    Reply
  50. Wukchumni

    We’ve been here in the southern Sierra foothills for 13 years and would see bobcats strolling around once every couple of months, and even named one of them Elvis, a large specimen, with a white and gold diagonal band going up it’s right foreleg…

    And now we haven’t seen one on our many splendored acres in 5 or 6 years, and others have related the same observation.

    We’ve had 6-8 deer always somewhere on either one of neighbor’s property or ours for a long time, and that’s remained a constant, especially after a mountain lion showed up to thin the herd a few years back.

    There’s not as many birds either, and the drought could have played into that, as their routes were pretty goofed up by lack of water in given places @ certain times.

    Plenty of ants, occasional stinkbugs and for a short time period-mosquitoes, and the insect population seems stable. Although like many, i’m not killing as many of the multi legged beasties on long road trips in California & Nevada as much as my handy windshield used to.

    Reply
  51. Oregoncharles

    Willamette Valley here. Spring is definitely getting earlier here, though I can’t tell you just how much because I don’t keep track the way I should. Spring is my busy season, so I notice when it creeps up on me. It’s getting harder to finish the tree pruning before the grass starts growing.

    Beyond that, I THINK the extremes are more common, but it’s hard to tell without statistical analysis. Our pattern here, in a Mediterranean climate, is very mild overall, but with occasional extremes. It doesn’t usually get below 20 in the winter, but 3 years ago now it went below 0. Not impressive to a lot of you, I know, but it killed plants that normally sail through, or froze them to the ground. Some are only now recovering. Longer heat waves than I remember, too. Trouble is, I remember similar events from the 60’s, when I was in college, or right after. We’re also having worse fire seasons than before.

    On the other hand, I’m looking forward to being able to grow oranges and lemons.

    Reply
  52. Tomonthebeach

    We split our time between coastal central Florida and smack dab in the middle of Bulgaria .

    FLORIDA: 2016, we got hit with a roof leak from Hurricane Matthew in October. Otherwise weather seemed normal. 2017, we got clobbered by Hurricane Irma in September (minor damage due to hurricane proofing). The 2017 winter in Florida was unusually mild. Our county trucked in tons of sand to replenish the dunes after Irma. We actually budget for that on a 3-year cycle. Though on A1A, we are not in a floodplain due to healthy dunes. Farther down the coast – till Key West is nearly all floodplain.

    BULGARIA: 2016 summer was mild and uneventful. 2017 summer, Bulgaria got so hot (above 110f) that we fled to the mountains until things improved. When we returned, we bought a window AC unit so we could sleep nights till returning stateside.

    2018, we came to Bulgaria in Spring, as summer in Florida has the beach and ocean breeze, a pool out back, and central air conditioning which makes the heat bearable. I think we should be due for a break in hurricanes in 2018.

    Reply
  53. Daniel F.

    Central Europe.

    It’s a good 4-5 degrees Celsius hotter compared to last year, and, according to reports, it hasn’t been this hot since 1901.
    We had a very short spring at the beginning of February, followed by a return to winter. Freezing temperatures lasted until the middle of March, 0-10°C to the end of March, and since then we have had peak daytime temperatures only rising. Today peaked at 32°C, the local time right now is 1943, and it’s 25°C outside.

    “Proper” winter was a mess. It was pretty mild in 2017 (no “White Christmas”), snow and frost came in January.

    Generally? Traditional seasons don’t really apply any more. Mild winters, multiple heat waves from June to October, sometimes even in November, and then winter lasts into spring. Climate change is definitely a real thing, and we’re way too far past the deadline.

    Reply
  54. readerOfTeaLeaves

    North of Seattle, WA:
    Local land use policies, ‘rape and scrape’ subdivision development (on steroids, due to booming economy in tech, medical, telecom, aerospace, education sectors) have impacted local environments.

    Several years ago, developers were allowed to ‘rape and scrape’ all trees, undergrowth, vegetation from 15 acres to our west.
    We were lucky that our house did not go up in flames from a tossed cigarette in the following months of *record* heat, and I spent 2.5 hours each night watering (which also cost me a small fortune!!) in hopes of tamping down fire risk.

    We lost most of our garden to heat + invasive mountain beavers — once the thick blackberry vines, which had been on this property for 90 years after it had been logged in the ’30s, dried to a crisp from record heat. After they lost their yummy, viciously thorned blackberry vines, a family of starving local mountain beavers found the watered raspberries canes in our garden. The mountain beavers found our moist, almost-ready to bear fruit raspberries downright luscious and gnawed them completely from the roots up. (Watching your treasured raspberries canes vanish inch by inch down a hole is a very unsettling sight.)

    We replanted the following year (about $150 worth of canes), watered them. And then the mountain beavers returned! And the new vines disappeared down mountain beaver holes for a second year. Last year, my spouse dug deep and put some kind of barrier before he put new canes in.

    Meanwhile, the acres of raspberry fields that we used to love going to for U-pick have all been turned into either acres of Christmas trees, or else subdivisions. Because of tax laws, farmers have to pay ‘highest and best use’ tax on their land much of the time — this is a formula for converting farm land to ‘highest tax’ subdivisions, because farmers work themselves to death and simply cannot pay those taxes, and there is a huge, voracious FIRE section ready and willing to buy up their land cheap, then subdivide. This translates into more cars, less farmland, more resource pressure, more traffic congestion, more impervious surfaces (which destabilizes temperatures), lower air quality, and flooding when it rains. But hey, it’s Bonanza Time for strip mall owners, so booyah!

    We have fewer birds.

    Our shameless, feckless bought-by-subdivision-developers-in-cahoots-with-mortgage-bankers local government still can’t get its sh!t together to get adequate tree removal regs, and has failed utterly to protect stream corridors and wetlands. Our biological diversity — both plants and animals — has diminished.

    Because’heritage trees’ are not adequately protected, we’ve had two HUGE impacts:
    (a) our temperatures are whacked — the modulation that we had all those years with 120+ foot cedar and fir is now destabilized, but hey the mortgage business is going bozonkers, so I guess temperature is just one more ‘collateral damage’ eh?
    (b) we have flooding like never before. A big tree (100 feet or more) can hold hundreds of pounds of water, and the wider and larger the root network, the better it is at both absorbing water from the rains, and also at holding soils. We now have too much impervious surface, and the flood control cannot keep up. It’s another example of failed government: regs are too lack, enforcement too weak, and the pressure from the FIRE sector has completely, utterly overwhelmed government resources.

    Maintaining healthy rhododendrons (a plant that used to thrive in this once-maritime climate) is now a full-on, nightly hour+ watering endeavor July, August, and into September. For over two decades, there was enough vegetation and temperature modulation that we never, ever had to water those plants, nor did I have to spend an additional 30 minutes each evening trying to water down my 120 foot cedars and firs in an effort to prevent them from turning into tinder.

    We now have too damn many rabbits, mangey coyotes on the prowl for rabbits + family pets, as the coyote habitat has been nearly destroyed. Time after time, we see signs in local businesses, “If you see Little Sweetie Kitty, please …” and I think, “must be newcomers, because us Old Timers figure that Little Sweetie Kitty got snarfed up by coyotes last night.”

    Somewhat humorously, in a *very* nice area of Seattle, people kept losing little tiny Fido and Kitty – they’d let them out to pee, and never see them again. A few years ago, several large cedar or fir were cut down on the golf course. To the wondering eyes of the tree-cutters, down came a few eagle’s nests full of dog and kitty collars. So I would say, ‘Score one more for habitat loss, and the eagles make do with small pets when the salmon in Lake Washington are hard to find‘…may the remaining eagles continue to prevail.

    And without meaning to insult anyone, we also have a new, more human source of potential disease, crime, and pressure on government services: a tent village of opioid addicts and heaven only knows what else about 1 mile east. Given the pathetic lack of affordable housing, we now have — even in the suburbs! — tent encampments of addicts in what is our small and shrinking wetlands areas. This affects the climate in a weird way that no one understands or documents, but it can’t be a good thing to have a 100 people with no restroom facilities camping in local swamps.

    Several decades ago when we moved here, we could still spot salmon coming up the stream just south of us. Those have vanished at least 15 years ago now. When I moved here, I could buy fresh, line-caught salmon at $4.99/pound. I now buy up as much as I can if I’m able to nab it at a sale price of $11.99/pound. (Farmed fish is cheaper, but having taken a fisheries class at Univ of Washington, I never touch that stuff.) Anyone who protects oceans and fisheries is a hero, as far as I’m concerned; they are the bottom of the food chain.

    Last September, I could not exercise or go outside, and ash was literally falling on the deck, on the rhododendrons (too much ash on leaves suffocates the plants), and on everything. Smoke and ash from forest fires in BC were still so thick that we were having breathing problems in Puget Sound. Three years earlier (2015), we lost vast tracts of forest lands in Eastern Washington state, which are managed both by the feds and by state agencies. We had the same crappy, choking, dangerous air at that time. Very unsettling — to see video clips (via Twitter) of the depraved morons on FoxNews deny climate changes, while we are choking and the air is darkened with smoke that invokes an Old Testament Armaggedon — strongly suggests that the political electeds and appointed currently making decisions at the federal level have no moral compass and are feckless tools of the FIRE sector.

    We had snow in Snoqualmie Pass this year on April 16th.
    And I’ve not even started to relate the climate observations of my eastern Washington farming s 8^(((

    I could go on, and on, and on.
    But this is already long.

    There is a huge need for a shift in economic thinking, as too much of the FIRE section is put on steroids by neoliberal who exalt ‘capital’ even over and above basic annual cycles and fundamental biological processes.

    Without better economic models, we are doomed to servitude and climate disaster at the hands of the FIRE sector (which, IMVHO, is made even more dangerous by global capital flows and tax havens). The new economic thinking is going to have to recognize, and clearly articulate, that government is fundamentally a ‘platform’ and needs to be robust enough to protect biological diversity and climate regulation. It is also going to need more real-time data, to more quickly adapt to temperature, meteorological, and resources data.

    My current political ‘top 3’ are:
    My state’s governor, Jay Inslee, who is doing yeoman’s work on climate issues, on the economically generative sector of renewables.
    US Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, who seems to be the senator most able to articulate climate and fisheries related issues.
    Former MSNBC host, currently campaigning for Congress (NY-21) Dylan Ratigan, who clearly articulates the specifics of how to generate shared prosperity by responding to climate and resource threats.

    Honestly, these people are gems of public service, and given the deep sh!t we are all in, we really need to support people tough enough, and honorable enough, to try and address climate issues on a large scale. Personally, I think that mayors and governors are at the forefront of these issues, and we need to focus more on them, as well as a *huge* emphasis on sustainable urban planning.

    Reply
    1. Punxsutawney

      As a North-westerner, I very much appreciate your insights here. I see many similar things happening here in Oregon. My wife owns some timber acreage, so I can relate to how trees help mitigate climate, but I’m afraid one of these summers it’s going to go up in smoke, no pun intended.

      Reply
    2. tegnost

      This is a fantastic comment, fitting in so much of the gory details of the puget sound region, thanks.. I’ll add this link about the shift in locations that is now underway, and where people are moving when they leave seattle.

      Climate wise the san juan islands had lots of southeasterly winds this year, normally more south/southwest, but otherwise a normal kind of year. Still no starfish. I see a sick one once in a while, and it’s low tide in the daytime these days so if they were there I would see them… not normal.

      Reply
  55. Whythen

    On the Central Coast of California for 50+ years we have seen Southern CA weather and ecosystems move north. Used to have rainy winters and warm summers, with fog. Great climate to grow up in, grass 2 ft tall in the spring, turning golden in summer. The Mexican Ranchos flourished here until drought in the 1800’s wiped out the cattle. Dairies sent butter and cheese to the Gold Rush, but they died out too.
    As a child I recall very rainy winters and occasional droughts of a year or two. In the 70’s a three year drought wrought havoc statewide, gradually rainfall totals fell, then the recent five year and counting dry season began. Persistent domes of high pressure now block the storm track and blast hot air from the east year round.
    Saddest thing is the death of the live oaks. The transverse ranges behind Santa Barbara are another Montecito fire waiting to happen. Regrowth after the fires is much scrubbier, like San Diego and Baja. Bird and animal species are migrating, too. Visiting Northern California I see they now have the sort of weather we used to enjoy, but the change is causing fires up there, too.
    We should pack up and move north, but have family and property ties here and a small dam behind our town that hasn’t dried up yet. Last winter’s rains were a reprieve but this winter was dry and hot again.
    When I first heard about climate change, in the 80’s, it made perfect sense. We have a low carbon lifestyle, next car a hybrid, and are willing to make changes to slow the process. Unless the rest of the world gets involved, which is doubtful, they won’t see the effects until it is too late.

    Reply
  56. impressions from Iowa

    I have lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for close to three decades.

    Many of you are probably aware of the recent floods here, for example, the record-setting Cedar Rapids 2008 flood and the less severe flood of 2016. Less appreciated has been Iowa’s increase in humidity levels since the early 1970’s, which was highlighted in 2017 by the academic community (). Cedar Rapids and Dubuque had the highest increases in absolute humidity, with increases of over 20 percent. We have also had an overall increase in temperature, in rain and severe rain, and in periods of drought (, ).

    Much of the change in fauna and flora can be attributed more largely to factors other than climate, such as the arrival of invasive species (Asian beetles similar to lady bugs; Japanese beetles, first observed in Iowa in 1994; the crop-devastating Asian brown marmorated stink bug, first identified in PA in 2001, with the first IA breeding population observed in 2012; fungus for Dutch Elm disease; bush honeysuckle; garlic mustard, etc.); the decimation of natural predators through hunting that has allowed unchecked population growth of other species, such as deer; and changes in pesticide use, such as the fortunate, dramatic increase in our bald eagle population. If not the absolute presence, at least the earlier spring arrival and increases in population numbers, though, of some of the invasive insects and plants is thought to be related to climate change (). Eye gnats (), which have made it extremely unpleasant to be outdoors for several weeks each of the past few years, and which I do not remember prior, reproduce in moist soil, and spring rain has been cited as a factor in their numbers. Also, my area has had a dramatic increase in the population of the tick that carries Lyme disease (blacklegged tick), The presence of the blacklegged tick is known to track with humidity, so perhaps our increasing humidity partially accounts for the increase in the number of those ticks. (Arid places, such as Montana, have other tick-borne diseases, but not a Lyme problem, and the blacklegged tick nymphs need warmth, but don’t tolerate too high a temperature, so there is less Lyme in the southern states. Also, there is less strong a correlation of Lyme with the deer population than there is an inverse correlation with the red fox population, since foxes eat the mice that are part of the cycle, but all the deer we have now don’t help and do bring those ticks onto our lawn areas.)

    The weather now does seem crazy to me. We had large snowfalls in April this year, and we had days in the 70’s F last year in February. However, while I trust the temperature and precipitation recordings that document climate change, I’d be hesitant to draw conclusions from my personal recollections of the weather, which are colored by my contemporaneous activities and the impact the weather had on them.

    Reply
  57. RICHARD DOMINGUE

    As the oceans are absorbing the majority of the heat, viewing ongoing climate change from terrestrial locations is likely to understate the rate of change. For example, from 2013 through 2016 sea-surface temperature anomalies in the northeastern Pacific (difference from the median) ranged up to 5 degrees C, about 9 F, resulting in massive ecological disturbance. A large algal bloom, termed ‘the blob” dominated the coastal shelf. Fish from more southerly latitudes replaced native species. The assemblage of zooplankton changed radically along the coastal shelf, reducing the nutrition available to valuable food species like salmon. While the temperature anomaly has declined, the ecological disruption it caused appears to take a bit longer to recover. Put another way, if we were salmon, we would be focused on curbing climate change.

    Reply
  58. oaf

    Here, it has been trending a little warmer…something was wrong with the rain yesterday…Several little solar lights which were designed for outdoors; but that I use for night lights were outdoors to charge; as usual…I brought them in, and was curious to find that the coating over the solar cells was now partially to mostly opaque; whitish surface; that wouldn’t wash off!!! They were fine when they were put out that morning…Moderately strong acid??? Wonder what the PH was. That was a first here.
    There’s been signs of more southern plant and animal species taking hold here. Winters are wussy.

    Reply
  59. Eric Anderson

    I have kept close marks on tide levels for more than 50 years where I live in Puget Sound. There has been zero change in low and high tides throughout the year. Our occasional super tides each year were present back in the 60’s with equal results. This last winter there were none. Barometric pressure can easily raise or lower our tides by a half foot. I’m still dreaming of a warmer Pacific Northwest.

    Reply
  60. Edward E

    Moved here on top of the Ozarks from the valley in 2000 convinced by the fear of warming from the alarmists. For eight years it seemed to be going to hot desert. Then it turned totally, way more moisture and cooler overall, though higher humidity. 2012-2014 was an exception, extremely dry and warm.

    Growing up in Arkiefornia the winters seemed brutal, I was relieved when our parents moved us all south into the valley about 1972. Because many of those same alarmist$ were rambling on the ice age is near fear. Then climate turned nice, I moved back to Arkiefornia and went to work at the gangster Mart and then a qc laboratory.
    I have lost my patience with this nonsense. After following them for many decades, Alarmists can go to ‘ell. I’ve narrowed it down to Leif Svalgaard and these guys as to whom to pay any attention to.

    Reply
  61. RBHoughton

    Here in Hong Kong the main change in my opinion has been a dearth of summer typhoons. We formerly had many, now they mostly go north of here to Taiwan and Fujian.

    The wind falls off the equator to north and south with rotation and that cannot have changed but somehow the heavy weather has moved further north.

    Reply
  62. gepay1

    I live in rural VA with the Blue Ridge Mtns and the Shenandoad Valley the last 35 years with most of the 20 years before that in Md suburbs of Baltimore. My grandfather told me to plant peas round St Patrick’s day and that hasn’t changed. Well this year there was snow on the ground around St Patricks day.Last year was the first time I didn’t have sugar snaps around Memorial Day weekend – 2 weeks late. The summers are milder than they were in the 80s and 90s with longer springs and fall weather in the 2000s. I like this better. I heat with wood and it has varied between 6 and 10 pick up loads a year with no pattern. When you live to be 70 you notice the weather is never normal. It kind of drifts between colder and warmer – wetter and drier – earlier or later winters – springs – often in 2 year cycles – averaging out to what is thought of as normal .
    When I first moved to VA there biting noseeums. Haven’t felt these in 20 years.A change for the better. When I lived in the Carribean on St. Croix – 1980-1, a hurricane hadn’t hit in 50 years . Someone told me that the Mayans said these hurricane cycles lasted 52 years with most of them going up the East Coast of the US and then most of them going through the Gulf as happens now. 2 hurricanes hit while I was there and convinced me not to buy a house. There were wild honeybees in the woods but these have disappeared because of varoa mite. Last year was the first time that my windshield didn’t need to be cleaned driving to town at certain times of the year. I still see Luna moths every couple of years. One year large Japanese hornets invaded the house – they are attracted to light – creepy to see them crawling on the windows.Many others in the area had problems with these but not in the last 10 years. Faux ladybugs and stink bugs invaded about 10 years ago. corn borers are still a problem in the garden
    For a change to be a climate change it needs to be a new norm that averages over 30 years. so you need at least 60 years to be sure. have not experienced anything other than the 80s and 90s were warmer the preceding 20 years and the 2000s are as above – nothing alarming for this 70 year old.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      it’s been going on since roughly the start of the industrial revolution from what i understand, lots of 30 year periods in there. people that are older now will avoid the worst, though.

      Reply
  63. The Rev Kev

    Though being a firm believer of the maxim that ‘climate is what we expect, weather is what we get’ I have noticed some changes in SE Queensland, Australia. I think that we are getting more intrusions of untypical weather through the year so that you can get a hot spell near winter time and a cold spell when it is supposed to be the warmer months. In fact, you can have a hot spell in late autumn and as it disappears it drops you straight into cold winter weather. Seems to suggest an instability in the climatic systems.

    Reply
  64. Jeremy Grimm

    This is hearsay of a sort but fitting to this post:
    [http://science.sciencemag.org/content/297/5581/477 POTUS and the Fish by Donald Kennedy Vol 297, Issue 5581, 26 July 2002 ] “Summer is the time for fun—and as I write, looking at today’s New York Times (8 July), there is the president of the United States having some. In a four-color photograph above the fold, he is helping his daughter Jenna boat an impressively large fish. It is not named in the caption but is readily identifiable as Morone saxatilis, called striped bass by us New Englanders, though doubtless known to the White House chef by its Chesapeake name, rockfish.” The trouble is that the author of this Science Magazine editorial remembers from from his schooling in fish biology at Woods Hole it was “…almost a mantra that stripers (and bluefish, another sport-fishing favorite) were relatively scarce north of Cape Cod.”

    Further hearsay from talking with a Postman in in a bar in Eastern Vermont — he told me about when he worked in Maine delivering mailbags to a nearby Post Office by crossing the bay between his office and the other running the mail bags over the frozen bay by Sci-doo — but no more by the time he transferred. Instead he had to take the longer drive around by mail truck. The bay hadn’t frozen in years. He said that was near a decade ago when he worked in Maine … and our conversation took place in the 1980s.

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  65. Wanda

    Hi, I live in Paris, France, for 40 years, so I can testify about the changes in a long run in this place.
    :
    When I was young we never had, never, heat waves.
    We had one in the summer of the 70s, it was so exceptionnal.
    Now, we have heat waves every summer and multiple times.

    And now we even have them at spring, and this is new : last year we had a one week period above 30°C in june.
    And now as I talk to you, we are at the beginning of May, and it’s 28°c in Paris.
    And we had this temperature during one week in April.

    I really see a change, and it’s been really sensitive since 5 years : what was exceptionnal begins to be normal.
    God bless us !!

    Reply
  66. UserFriendly

    Minnesota

    The spring blizzard brought wet, heavy snow and gusty winds to the Twin Cities Saturday, a time of year many had hoped to start thinking about warmer temperatures and snow free bicycle trails on April 14, 2018. Judy Griesedieck for MPR News
    April, which was one of the top five coldest Aprils in state history, ended with an unusually warm day.
    On April 30th, over 50 climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature of 80 degrees or greater, topped by 85 degrees at Marshall.

    It’s been crazy we’ve had some nothing winters and some crazy ones, but this april was just all over the place.

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  67. Synoia

    If we do have regular climate area, what measurements should it include?

    1. Temperature – Thermometer
    2. Rainfall – Rain gauge
    3 Wind speed and direction – Inexpensive suggestion?
    4 Relative Humnidity – wet and dry thermometer

    What else? How measured?

    Reply
  68. Mark Ó Dochartaigh

    I grew up in Amarillo on the High Plains of Texas, average rainfall about 18 inches with drought frequent and broken by heavy thunderstorms. Winter temperatures frequently below 0 F at night and many days during winter where the daytime high was below freezing. The area is heavily dependent on farming and ranching. I left in 1986 at the age of 29 and have returned to visit my sister and to check on rent houses which I sold during the bubble this spring. About seven years ago the area went eleven months with less than one inch of rain. This year there had been no measurable rainfall for about 150 days until it rained last month. These droughts are worse than the dust bowl days, although shorter so far. All agriculture during these extremely dry periods is dependent on the Ogallala Aquifer which in some areas is falling by three feet a year. Winter now is comparable to the winters Fort Worth experienced forty years ago with the temperature rarely falling below 10 F and only a couple of days where the high is below freezing. In gardening terms Amarillo has moved from 6a to almost 7b. The cool summer nights used to fall to the 60’s even when daytime highs were around 110, the nights are warmer now.
    I have retired in Naples,Florida and the winter is much drier than the past averages show. My newly planted mangoes, sapodillas, jackfruit, etc. require daily watering.
    Other than family and friends I find very few people in either Amarillo or Naples who will give any credence to climate change, although it seems a few have worried looks on their faces when dismissing climate change now. Or maybe I’m seeing a reflection in their faces of my own worried face.

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