Long time passing. One of the great things about living where we live used to be enjoying the changing seasons. We never had much in the way of spring, but we sure had a whole lot of winter, a long, hot, humid summer and with a bit of luck, a glorious golden autumn.
This year, we got summer and it was definitely hot. Very hot. Very dry. So dry that nothing grew and the rivers dried up. But then, we got a bit of rain and suddenly, we had a beautiful golden autumn and that was great.
But winter never came. It’s February and we’ve had one really cold day. January was warm and it rained more than it has ever rained in any prior January. Saturday was bitterly cold, but by Sunday morning it was a balmy 50 degrees.
So now, we have summer, fall, and something that’s supposed to be winter but feels like spring except nothing is growing.
Climate change has come. We are seeing it in action. Our one day of winter — last Saturday — we recorded up on Mount Washington in New Hampshire — a temperature of minus 109 degrees (minus 78 C) which made it the coldest it has ever been anywhere in the U.S. including Alaska. It only lasted a couple of hours and Mount Washington is notorious for brutal and bitterly cold weather, but still. Minus 109 degrees is pretty freaking cold.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of winter. Will we have more cold weather? Will we get snow? We haven’t had more than a few inches. How confused will be the birds?
Will spring just lolligag along and our not-very-cold winter will slither into summer? How hot will it get this summer?
There are so many questions and so many worried people are asking them. We don’t have answers. We have educated guesses ranging from “the end of life as we know it” to “no big deal.” My best guess? It will be a very big deal and ultimately, apocalyptic. My other question is WHEN.
Categories: #ClimateChange, #FallFoliage, Anecdote, Autumn, climate, Seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter
The seasons are changing. I thought that autumn had disappeared from Adelaide 25 years ago. We still have it in Tasmania but the distinctions between seasons are blurring. People who have lived in Tasmania all their lives have told me that winters in Hobart used to be colder. When it snows on Mt Wellington now the snow doesn’t last long unless it is very cold. At one time it used to be snow covered for most of the winter I’m told. I used to see my spring bulbs flowering as early as June. These might seem like small things but they are indicators of change I believe.
I agree. You see the little things first. For us, it was losing the spring rains. We used to get TONS of snow (literally), then in March the spring rains would come and we would flood. We are still all set up for the flooding we no longer get. We started losing some birds. The Grackles vanished all over the country. We began getting weird invasive plants and insects that never lived this far north.
Last year, though, it wasn’t subtle any more. The weird invasive plants took over, the rain stopped, flocks of birds disappeared. We have never gotten a true spring up here, but we always had winter. Last year, very little snow. This year, NO snow. There are still bugs outside because the winter cold no longer kills them. We have a lot more bugs than we ever had in the past and these droughts are not normal …
When I first knew you eight or nine years ago maybe you were still getting big winter snows so it’s happening faster now I think.
Yes, it has sped up. It is MUCH warmer than it was even five years ago.
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Marilyn, I wouldn’t mind your current winter every so often. I love snow for the holidays, but afterwards, it could rain and be warm and I wouldn’t mind. Suppose I’ve had too many winters of too much snow and cold, huh?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very glad to not have snow. We used to get between 8 and 12 feet of snow every winter. It was beautiful, but it was also dangerous and expensive. Even before the huge rise in prices, getting the driveway plowed was expensive and when it snows every day a little and every few days, a LOT — VERY expensive. I do not mind not having snow and ice and slush and plows. I do worry about seasons and their loss. It isn’t just here, either. All over Europe and Britain, seasons are going missing. Plantings are changing, bird populations are diminishing by the millions. The changing climate is more than a convenience issue.
Our world is becoming different and I don’t think we really know what that means.