Is anybody else seeing signs of climate change?


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Anyone who has an interest in Agriculture or Horticulture, who is fourty plus years old must notice the climate changing. My experience is as follows; when I was an apprentice Gardener back in the mid 70s, we used to mow the grass for nine months of the year from March through to end of November, after November it was impossible to mow quite simply because it was too wet, frosty or covered in snow, anyway the grass just wasn't growing. Nowadays its not uncommon to see folks cutting grass at any time of the year, it doesn't stop growing, so the winters are becoming warmer and summers hotter, storms are becoming more frequent and more ferocious. I believe its no coincidence that skin cancer is on the increase as the ozone layer breaks down. I may be wrong but I can only go by my experiences for what there worth.
Unfortunately, your opinion and experience on the weather is worth nothing as regards climate. Neither is mine or anyone else's. We only "experience" a sliver of a silver of weather in a sliver of time. Weather is variable everywhere and so is climate, and we have two different words for a good reason. They are different things. The Earth's climate is always cycling from whatever it was to whatever it's going to be. It is never static. There have been several major ice ages, most likely the result of changes in the sun. There are long cycles and short cycles and short cycles within long cycles. Volcanoes are responsible for 95% of air pollution, so when we screw-up the air someplace, it's only a small, local portion of the Earth's surface. Many of our cities with poor air quality have it due to poor circulation in that place due to geography. L.A. and Beijing are two good examples. Others do have poor air quality due to the quantity of people living there. Ten or fifthteen million people living in one city ARE going to generate a lot of waste: air, water, solids, et al. They all qualify as a micro climate, and we should clean-up our act. But we don't affect climate. The sun and geography and the Earth's rotation are responsible for climate. Climate can also be altered by close encounters with asteroids and volcanoes. Tambora gave us the year without a summer in 1815.

As to what's normal, good, or whatever positive characterization you want to use: an ocean-run salmon pickled in alcohol long before the commercial use of mercury tested way over the limit when tested in the 1970's(?). Arsenic is a common contaminant in well water in areas with certain kinds of underground rock. That's normal, ~and completely "natural".

The amount of CO2 has varied widely over the eons, and we are at the lower end of the scale now for reasons unknown. All we really know is that the Earth got along just fine when CO2 was at the other end of the scale. It's not a pollutant, in my opinion. But you know what that's worth...
 
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Here living in a very mild part of the UK I'm not convinced about seeing signs of climate change.
However, "man" is damaging our planet and seemingly never seems to learn!
"Experts" push completely opposing views......:(
 
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:)Not so. Yes, the Chinese and Indians are filling their atmosphere with poisons, and they know that is something that needs to change, but they're torn between the progress of their individual citizens and the accumulation of nasty byproducts. They're between the classic rock and a hard place, third world countries passing through second-rate management on their way to first class. It'll get worse before it gets better, but mostly on their own territories. Gathering more and more people into great cities is a bad idea.

In the USA, as each problem has been identified it has been corrected, mostly. We changed the ways we use mercury, lead, coal, aerosols, gasoline, and hundreds of other elements and materials and processes when we found they had bad effects. Clean-ups are always costly and not always done the best way because of people. Everyone has opinions about everything and as often as not people with dumb opinions get elected and run things their way. California is a really good example in dozens of ways, but we can start with wildfires. Back in the Great Depression, the government began an employment program that organized and cleaned-up the forests to prevent and/or minimize forest fires. It took more than 20-odd years to cut fire roads criss-crossing the vast federal and state forests, and cleaning-up downed-wood, installing watch towers, creating a cadre of state and federal Foresters to oversee tracts to continue the process of keeping the forests orderly. There are always going to be dumb people who are careless with camp fires, and lightening will always exist, but the vast forests need to be divided into reasonably small sections with access pathways cut through so when you need to get a fire crew to a fire there IS a way to do it, timely. The Foresters grade timber and manage the many tracts by selling strategic blocks of timber that's ready for market and using that revenue to clear and clean-up problem areas on a continuing basis. There used to be great fires in lots of places when I was a kid, but not for the last 50-60 years. The mechanisms are in place now for continuous management by professionals. Except in California in the 70's when Jerry Brown became "Governor Moonbeam". The Flower Children didn't like logging because it displaced critters. "Hey! We got a good idea. Let's stop the people who make a living chopping down our beautiful forest's, -home to all God's creatures, and let them become... natural, again". Yessiree, natural... burns brightly. It took 20-odd years to clean it up coast-to-coast, and 40 years for it to go to Hell in a handbasket in California, but they did it. Now Californicadia has returned to it's natural geographical self of alternating between mudslide rains and drought wildfires, which will never change, but the size of the wildfires is a product of not managing the forests. When they decide to do it, it will take years and years and cost lots of money.

There are more trees in North America now than when the Pilgrims arrived. Settlers take trees with them wherever they go, and the Indians didn't have the ability to fight forest fires, they burned until they were put out by rain or a natural roadblock.

It takes money to do good things, Capitalism generates surplus money that can be taxed, but socialism does not. Unbridled, anything is problematic. The same things well-managed accrue to the good of many. India and China will reap what they're sowing and make changes, eventually. Europe will run out of OPM eventually, too. The world is not perfect, but it's better than when I was a kid, and we are working on it.
 
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Here living in a very mild part of the UK I'm not convinced about seeing signs of climate change.
However, "man" is damaging our planet and seemingly never seems to learn!
"Experts" push completely opposing views......:(
To your point, I watched a PBS American Experience special last night on, "The Swamp" and the several missteps over a 75 year period of harnessing the Everglades. It took those 75 years of doing it wrong in about as many different ways possible until they finally arrived at the conclusion that it is The River of Grass that provides clean water to the whole of south Florida and that redirection is always going to be misdirection. It illustrates that the people involved all had different ideas on how to use the swampland and the water and that they all had good intentions. To my point, they learned and eventually got it right. I urge everyone to find a repeat showing and watch it.

There was a trailer for the next PBS special, "The Big Burn". I look forward to it and recommend it to everyone even though it may contradict some of my historical facts as above. I'm sure it'll tell a more complete evolution of how we manage our forests. And, learn from our mistakes.
 
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Here in Texas we have been in a severe drought for 9 years, the worst since the 50's. The winters fluctuate, this year it was really cold and last year it was incredibly warm.
I’m in Waco. When I moved here 18 yrs ago we were 7b and now we are closer to 8a-b. Our summers are hotter and much drier. Winters aren’t nearly as cold. We have only had 10 days of below freezing so far. We’ll see if we get anymore
 
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When I moved to Vancouver Island 4 years ago I was in Zone 7a and now it has been reclassified to Zone 8a. Our winters have been very strange. Our snow-on-the-ground days (as I call them) were are follows:
  • 2015-2016: 6
  • 2016-2017: 60 (ten times as long - can you believe it - sure was a shock to us!!)
  • 2017-2018: 14
  • 2018-2019: 1 (so far but winter is not over yet)
This winter has been much milder than the last three. We have only had about 3 days of frost. I have way more green stuff overwintering than I have had in the past.
 
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Back when I lived in Antarctica we could walk to India. I remember Pangea fondly, but times change and continents change. Today, my old homestead is under a mile of ice. The weather was different, but climate changes, too. For the most part the changes in climate are just like the changes in the positions of the continents: a little over an extended time period and only really noticeable on a graph with the minor exception of the occasional collision of a meteor. People are noticing weather variability, not climate change. Is the climate changing? Yes, it is constantly warming or cooling, but we will not know until we can look back on today a few hundred years from now.
 
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Definitely signs of climate change!
Three of my "golf days" have so far been cancelled in the last five days due to freezing temperatures and a snow covered course. Haven't had anything like this in ten years.
 
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Back when I lived in Antarctica we could walk to India. I remember Pangea fondly, but times change and continents change. Today, my old homestead is under a mile of ice. The weather was different, but climate changes, too. For the most part the changes in climate are just like the changes in the positions of the continents: a little over an extended time period and only really noticeable on a graph with the minor exception of the occasional collision of a meteor. People are noticing weather variability, not climate change. Is the climate changing? Yes, it is constantly warming or cooling, but we will not know until we can look back on today a few hundred years from now.
Hey @treeguy don't you mean a few hundred-thousand years from now (i.e. 100,000+)? :unsure:
 
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I personally would base my growing zone information over a period longer than the USDA moving average of 10 years. I base this on a fig tree in my yard that froze shortly after we moved here roughly 20 years ago, and then again about 3 years ago. It burns at 10f a cutoff between zone 7 and 8. In that time our 10 year temp average has moved higher, but then we get socked like we are zone 7 again. It has to be irritating to anyone with a large number of borderline plants to have them damaged because of reliance on a moving average.
 
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This whole zone thing really gets quite silly at times actually. It only measures one temperature and when there are so many other variables involved such as length of days, numbers of days with sunshine, amount of rainfall and so on it seems almost pointless to assume that a plant that grows in zone 8a in Texas is even going to survive in my location (Vancouver Island) which is also zone 8a or visa versa. Look at the high temperatures in these two locations: Texas (say Austin) gets average temps in the mid 90's during the summer; Our record high is 98 and our average summer temps are mid 70's during the summer. I am sure there are numerous other variations to demonstrate my point.

Your thoughts?
 
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This whole zone thing really gets quite silly at times actually. It only measures one temperature and when there are so many other variables involved such as length of days, numbers of days with sunshine, amount of rainfall and so on it seems almost pointless to assume that a plant that grows in zone 8a in Texas is even going to survive in my location (Vancouver Island) which is also zone 8a or visa versa. Look at the high temperatures in these two locations: Texas (say Austin) gets average temps in the mid 90's during the summer; Our record high is 98 and our average summer temps are mid 70's during the summer. I am sure there are numerous other variations to demonstrate my point.

Your thoughts?
I am instantly reminded of the grow natural or local plants ideology. It can wear a person out trying to make something work when a plant really does not want to be there.
 
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Yeah, but we get tired of dandelions up here and y'all don't really want to eat that much canned watermelon...
 
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This whole zone thing really gets quite silly at times actually. It only measures one temperature and when there are so many other variables involved such as length of days, numbers of days with sunshine, amount of rainfall and so on it seems almost pointless to assume that a plant that grows in zone 8a in Texas is even going to survive in my location (Vancouver Island) which is also zone 8a or visa versa. Look at the high temperatures in these two locations: Texas (say Austin) gets average temps in the mid 90's during the summer; Our record high is 98 and our average summer temps are mid 70's during the summer. I am sure there are numerous other variations to demonstrate my point.

Your thoughts?

70s during the summer would be perfect for me.
 
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It's always a matter of what are you willing to trade to escape something. Lots of Michiganders escape the winters, but us fat guys can't handle the 90°F with 90% humidity, to say nothing of the ocational Hurricane. Others trade snow for ocational duststorms, flash floods, 5% humidity and snakes. Each place does have a "nice" season. The trick is to have enough money to own homes in a few places and just get up and leave when it suits your soul. Or, be a hobo.
 

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