Year 4, Month 10, Day 4: Love You To

Crater Lake in Oregon is drying up:

Almost 2,000 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest body of water in the United States, a beautiful gem of southern Oregon. Fed by overhead snow and rain, the lake is one of the cleanest and purest in the world. Gazing upon the breathtakingly bright blue waters of the lake is something you never forget.

But there is trouble in paradise. During the past 21 years, I have spent my summers living in Crater Lake National Park. Looking out my bedroom window, I noticed winters are becoming shorter, warmer and less snowy. It looks to me like it has been raining more and snowing less in the months of May, June, September, and October. This change in the weather has led me to become very worried about climate change.

The science confirms my observation. In 1931, rangers first began keeping track of the average annual snowfall at Crater Lake. Since then, the totals have been trending downward by decade from an average of 614 inches in the 1930s to about 455 inches last decade. Even more alarming, this last winter, 2012-13, Crater Lake received about 355 inches.

Climate researchers expect the trend to continue. They predict the Pacific Northwest will experience even less snow and warmer temperatures in the decades to come.

I gather it’s a lovely place. September 25:

When it comes to confronting global climate change, Oregon’s not alone. Everywhere on Earth, people are discovering that the bill for a century-long carbon binge is coming due. Whether it’s devastated agriculture, rising sea levels and oceanic acidification, extreme and unpredictable weather, or the kind of droughts that are disrupting ecosystems at Crater Lake, we can no longer ignore the warning signs.

There’s a lot of argument about how to prepare for the greenhouse effect’s consequences — but one thing is certain: we will never successfully address climate change if we cannot accept its existence, its causes, and its potential to harm our neighborhoods, our regions, our states, our nation, and our world. The time is past for denial; politicians and media figures who continue to hide their heads in the sand on this planetary crisis are sacrificing the happiness of future generations for a few minutes in the limelight.

Warren Senders

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