Year 4, Month 3, Day 10: Goin’ Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is a Gannett news service for the New Paltz area in New York. They’re noting the evidence of “season creep.”

The high temperature on a recent day amid the forest and ridges of the Mohonk Preserve in Ulster County was 29 degrees; the low was 17.

The preserve’s conservation science director, John Thompson, noted the readings from two thermometers hanging inside a white wood box behind the Mohonk Mountain House resort. His pencil scribblings on a slip of paper would be added to the preserve’s collection of more than 42,000 daily weather observations, a streak begun when Grover Cleveland was in the White House.

That once-a-day trek to the weather box — through the hotel, down the porch steps and past the dock on Mohonk Lake — is a constant in the scientific effort to document climate change and its impacts on the natural world. Studying when annual plant and animal events happen is known as phenology, and growing evidence points to climate change affecting nature’s calendar.

Aaaaaand the hits just keep on a’comin’. Sent March 1:

Humanity has grown and prospered on an Earth with a stable and for the most part benign climate. The steady movement of the seasons and the overall predictability of the weather made it possible for us to build an agricultural lifestyle, to feed our steadily increasing numbers, and to nurture a nascent civilization into a complex web of global interdependence. We are what we are today because we have cooperated with the planet’s natural cycles over spans of millennia.

And what happens when we stop cooperating? We’re about to find out.

Over the past century, our industrialized culture burned eons’ worth of fossilized carbon, releasing into the atmosphere in a geological instant the CO2 that had accumulated over hundreds of millions of years — a trauma to the global environment whch can be recognized in local and regional ecosystems where plants and the insects which fertilize them are no longer in synchrony with one another. We ignore the warning signs of climate change at our peril.

Warren Senders

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