We returned from wet, but very green California, to a very dry brown and gray Twin Cities landscape, but then immediately drove 100+ miles north to spend a long weekend in the Gull Lake area north of Brainerd for a return to a snowy winter landscape.
I never thought I would say that I miss winter, but it’s true this year — during the winter that wasn’t. Our weather columnist reports that “Twin Cities winters are now 5.4 degrees warmer than in 1970”. True fact: Minnesota’s climate is warming, making it more like Missouri than the Minnesota of 50 years ago. True fact: “February 2017 has set over 9800 records for warmth across the U.S., compared to just 250 new records for cold”. (Star Tribune weather, Feb. 27, 2017))
Last week, our newspaper reported that 500-1000 small pan fish (crappies) had succumbed when lake ice melted and near-shore water warmed, leaving the fish without adequate oxygen. Great for local Bald Eagles, not so great for the fish populations in warming lakes.
As climates change, animals and plants get out of sync with their normal cycle; e.g., birds begin migrating and breeding before prey populations are present to support their offspring and plants bloom before or after their pollinators are present. Climate changes are a challenge for all of us.
More on this subject in an interesting article on Vox today: “these maps show how early spring is arriving in your state”.