Sonntag, Januar 21, 2007

Freak Winter

Two thirds of January are over and I have yet to see any snow.

This is most unusual. Granted, I don't live in the Alps or even on a hill, but even in the German valleys like mine the first snow usually falls in November. It then melts away soon, but more will come in December, and in January the landscape will be white (or at least mottled white), and stays like that until February or March.

But not this winter. We had record temperatures all through November and December. It's been raining and storming, with no snow and hardly any frost. In the first half of January we even had temperatures up to 15° C, so people where sitting outside in street cafés and the first spring flowers came out - two months too early.

I am worried. What is happening to nature if the climate keeps heating this quickly? I have seen some birds starting to build nests now, in January. Will their eggs survive if it becomes colder next month? What about the trees, which are starting to blossom now - are they going to freeze and die, or will we have cherries in April and apples in June this year? When none of last summer's moths, snails, wasps, ticks and mosquitoes freeze to death (as usually happens), will we be plagued by pests this year?

We will see. But one thing really angers me. Yesterday I heard a radio interview with some meteorologist who still doubted man-made effects in this climate change. How blind or biased can an scientist still be? Of course after a devastating storm which left 25 dead, people love to hear, "You are not responsible for this, it is just freak weather and could have happened at any time."
But it is the wrong kind of message, we need to feel responsible to change something, even if it is too late for the 25 dead of this storm and all the other victims of "freak weather" all over the planet.

1 Kommentar:

amit hat gesagt…

I liked your description of winter in your hometown.

Boston also had a very mild winter with temperatures reaching 60s (F) in February!

I'm hopeful though that we can still make a difference. The number of people/scientists who doubt global warming is indeed small. But I can also understand where they are coming from. In the past, environmentalists have sounded alarms about global freezing etc. which didn't come true. And, I do believe that environmentalists tend to be alarmists (I am one of them) :) :)

So, a bit of healthy skepticism is fine, but I wouldn't mind a cautious approach.

I stumbled on your blog through BollyWhat? . I'm balle_balle, or Amit.