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Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:08 AM

Can you spot global climate change close to your home?

I have relocated to the awesome Ozarks in Northwest Arkansas. Ever since the remnants of Isaac blew through last week, I have noted that the grasses and wildings along our roadways are finally lush, tall, and waving in unison as cars hurtle by. This put me in mind of recording evidence of global climate change that I have personally witnessed here in these beautiful mountains:

~ This spring, I saw forsythia, daffodils, grape hyacinth and other early flowers in full bloom at least a month earlier than normal. Queen Anne's Lace, wisteria, and countless other flowers made their appearance a month or more earlier this year.

~ Throughout the first half of this year, I've seen most flowers and species of wild roadside weeds come to maturity far earlier than is the norm. Because of the extreme to exceptional drought conditions, most of the roadside flowers and weeds have been stunted and sparse.

~ The drought has killed so many trees, particularly hardwoods, that the hills look like they have freckles--or a bad case of measles.

~ Crops are dry and appear to have very little 'produce' available that's fit for human consumption.

~ Animals are having a difficult time foraging for food. A black bear has raided the pear tree in my roommate's yard, not 200 feet from her back door. He seems unaffected by the humans who furtively took pictures of him with a half-eaten pear in his mouth.

~ Waterways are almost bone dry. Our public water supply is so low, we've been on 'extreme conservation measures' for most of the summer.

I could go on, but I am too sleepy. Instead, I implore you: record herein below your personal observances of global climate change. Please be sure to note your approximate location (general area in your state). I look forward to hearing from you all.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can you spot global climate change close to your home? (Original post)
chervilant Sep 2012 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Sep 2012 #1
chervilant Sep 2012 #6
The Velveteen Ocelot Sep 2012 #7
NickB79 Sep 2012 #11
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2012 #2
chervilant Sep 2012 #8
Skittles Sep 2012 #3
AverageJoe90 Sep 2012 #4
chervilant Sep 2012 #9
stuntcat Sep 2012 #5
chervilant Sep 2012 #10
hatrack Sep 2012 #12
chervilant Sep 2012 #17
hatrack Sep 2012 #18
chervilant Sep 2012 #22
Odin2005 Sep 2012 #13
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2012 #14
marions ghost Sep 2012 #15
chervilant Sep 2012 #16
LWolf Sep 2012 #19
chervilant Sep 2012 #20
LWolf Sep 2012 #21
raouldukelives Sep 2012 #23
chervilant Sep 2012 #24

Response to chervilant (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:12 AM

1. An opossum turned up in my back yard in Minneapolis.

A plant in my garden that is supposed to be an annual in this climate (Dusty Miller) survived the winter. My Honeycrisp apples ripened a month early.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:14 PM

6. I saw an armadillo in town

In an apartment complex where live a passel of feral cats--totally fearless, foraging for food.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:18 PM

7. When I start seeing armadillos in Minneapolis

then I'm really going to worry.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 06:08 PM

11. I have a friend who saw an opossum in Duluth!

The furthest north I've ever seen them was dead on I94 outside of St. Cloud.

I've got Japanese plums and pawpaws, both zone 5 plants, flourishing in my backyard as well.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:17 AM

2. I live near Seattle

35 miles north to be exact. It hasn't rained in 41 days! That ain't normal................

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:43 PM

8. No rain?!

What's the heat index?

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:30 AM

3. they had to spray for West Nile in the DFW area

beause our winter was too mild

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 03:56 AM

4. You live in D/FW too?

Where you at? I'm in Frisco. =)

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:44 PM

9. Fleas and ticks are bad here

and my vet has told me that the preventatives currently available are no longer working.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:24 PM

5. a couple of flowers I bought 2 Springs ago, that weren't supposed to survive our Winter, are back

So now I'm worried about introducing something foreign, but they were flowers hundreds of people around here plant every year. I swear I mostly have native plants!
But if we have another winter like we did a couple of years ago, with so much snow, then it will wipe them out.
That one Winter of 2011 made up the minds of lots of people around here. Showed them that Al Gore is just wrongwrongwrong! There's NOTHING to worry about from that ridiculous global warming

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Response to stuntcat (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:45 PM

10. Yeah,

my current roommate makes snarky remarks about how cold it gets in the winter, and then brings up weather records from the 70s and 80s--as though this negates our current global climate change.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 06:57 PM

12. We went from a Zone 5 to a Zone 6 in about ten years

Granted, that's just lines and colors on a map.

Closer to the dirt, armadillos are pretty much everywhere these days, judging the numbers I see flattened on the highways. I've spent most of my life here (west-central Missouri) and you never, ever saw armadillos even ten years ago, much less "back in the day".

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Response to hatrack (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:21 AM

17. I routinely

hiked one of the highest mountains in Newton County "back in the day." The guy who owned the property raised border collies, all of whom accompanied me up the mountain. We generally left just as day was breaking. One morning, the puppies scared up an armadillo, much to their delight and the wee tank's dismay. It was the first armadillo I had seen in its natural habitat. They were rare then, and ubiquitous now.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #17)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 01:59 PM

18. So you've probably done the Goat Trail and Indian Creek?

Beautiful, beautiful country down there! One of my favorite areas, and favorite rivers (the Buffalo).

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Response to hatrack (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:14 PM

22. The Buffalo River

is still one of my favorite playgrounds. The first time I 'floated' the river, my dad put me, my two sisters, and a friend into ginormous tractor inner tubes lashed together. We had an extra inner tube with a cooler lashed inside, full of ice and drinks and lunch. He put us in at Pruitt, and retrieved us somewhere down river (about seven hours later). As we passed under the Pruitt bridge, we lost count of the copperheads, cottonmouths, and water snakes sunning themselves along the banks of the river.

We used to catch little 'pan friers' and occasional bigger fish out of the Buffalo--enough to feed three hungry little girls and then some.

Most of my favorite hiking is off the 'named' trails--as remote as I can get.

BTW, I had the awesome experience of spelunking in Beauty Cave--to a 40 ft underground waterfall. I wonder if our guide, Ferrell Couch, is still taking groups through that amazing cave.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:35 PM

13. The weather started acting strangely here in Fargo in 2006.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 05:48 PM

14. The father of a guy I was at university recorded the days he cut his grass, for 20 years

It was published in the Royal Meteorological Society journal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Grisenthwaite

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Fri Sep 7, 2012, 10:21 AM

15. Used to have damp periods

with mushrooms, ferns, snails, frogs etc.

They have disappeared in the 2000's.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #15)

Fri Sep 7, 2012, 11:08 PM

16. So true.

I think we had morels once this spring--far fewer than normal.

I don't even want to talk about the dwindling frog population...

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 04:38 PM

19. I'm not sure.

I know I'd love to have an expert assessment of what effect all of that melting ice will have on this winter.

Locally:

3 winters ago, we had a MASSIVE, weeks long freeze, with lows hitting well below zero for extended periods and lots of broken pipes, the non-essential of which I haven't yet repaired. The following two winters were milder than usual, temperature wise, but the winter of '10 -'11 saw a much heavier, and longer lasting, blanket of snow.

The spring of '10 was cool, with frost and even snow through May, and maybe one whole week of hot weather in late July. This year, we had a false spring early, things warmed up, and then we went back to frost, snow, and cool weather through June. We had a month-long heat wave the last week of July through the first 3 weeks of August, then things cooled down to warm, not hot; we've heated up a little the last few days, but temps are supposed to drop 10 degrees tomorrow and another 10 degrees on Monday. It looks like September will be a little cooler than usual.

Anecdotal; I don't know if the mostly cooler summers, and a couple of slightly warmer winters, are the results of global warming, or just the natural fluctuation that occurs.

Is there any where to check to see how this summer's melt off might affect the coming winter? Last winter was warm enough that I used half my usual amount of firewood, which is the only heat source in my house. If this winter would repeat that, I wouldn't need to get more wood. It's too late by the time winter's here to make that decision, though.

Edited to add: in my high-desert area, our range of temperatures is extreme. I'm wondering if narrowing the gap between the day's, or the week's, or month's, or year's highs and lows is an effect of global warming.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 04:46 PM

20. Where?

Our last winter here in the Ozarks had one really cold day. One. The rest of the winter was balmy, like fall or spring days.

We had a continuation of extreme drought conditions through this past winter, and have been under fire bans for most of the last nine months.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #20)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 05:44 PM

21. Central Oregon,

east of the Cascades.

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Response to chervilant (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:25 AM

23. Noticed it ten years ago. It's only gotten much worse.

Here in NorCal the firs are continuing the die off at ever increasing tick. As well as oaks and redwoods to a lesser extent. What remains of strong groves of redwoods has been suffering more from wineries hacking them down for more grapes than the weather, at least that I notice.
All the local creeks are basically spotty mud puddles now full of stagnant water and mosquitoes. Creeks that 10 years ago still ran year round. That 20 years ago still supported some salmon. That 30 years ago were full of them and had good runs. That 100 years ago were so thick with them you'd think you could walk over them, as my grandfather told me.
Getting a lot of new foliage. We have alders here I've never seen before everywhere now. They are traveling up and down the creek beds that have long been dry. I read they actually come in to make the soil able to sustain other trees like the pines that can't grow there and that's great. Just odd to see one about every two feet as you walk the waterways. Areas that as long as anyone can remember were rocky fields that ended at the creek. Now you can't even see the creek, just a forest. So, glad that the other trees will be able to grow there now but it looks like a mud puddle is the new normal. I just pray they remain to run for a little while longer.
The local wildlife has gone insane over the last decade, but especially these last few years. Animals that normally would only be spotted at night like foxes now running across the yard in mid-day. If you ask me, when I look in the eyes of the animals here now I can see desperation. A confusion that is either imagined by myself or is actually there. I'd swear it was real. They look helpless & scared.
Big drops in birds, bees and other assorted insects. Lighting storms like we've never seen setting the forests ablaze and slowly occurring more frequently. Remind me of the desert lighting storms I saw in Tucson years ago. I fear that is where we are headed. San Joaquin North.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 02:39 PM

24. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I have been watching the M$M to see what they're saying about the massive crop failures, and the information is being parsed to mitigate any 'panic' among the Hoi Polloi.

I agree that desertification is inevitable. I think many of our smaller waterways are gone, or will be gone within the next two years.

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