Friday, October 31, 2008

Global Warming in Champaign

It's Halloween today. The kids are out of school for fall holiday and are getting whipped up into a frenzy of antipication for all the candy they are going to get tonight. Well, I guess not all the kids - the 8th grader really hates all the ghoulish scariness of Halloween and just wants to express her inner princess by dressing up pretty. Good for her, I say.

Halloween is often a marking of the seasons. The time change from daylight to standard used to happen the weekend before, but now it happens the weekend after.

I've lived in Central Illinois for 18 years now, and October has always been the time for raking leaves. We have a lot of trees in and around our yard, so leaf raking usually takes three different sessions. Halloween is signifcant in that Oct. 31st usually marks the time when almost all the leaves are off the trees, and we have only one more leaf raking to do.

But not this year, and not so much for the past few years. This year, we have yet to do our first leaf raking. In fact, many trees have not even started turning color yet. This is looking east on University Ave:


This is looking west, towards Prospect Ave. Nice and colorful, but the trees are still full of leaves:


Here's my actual yard. The leaves are starting to accumulate, but nothing to worry about yet.



As a side note, you can just make out the C. Pius Wiebel for County Board sign. He's a great guy and good friend. I think I'm going to ask him what the County Board can do about climate change in Central Illinois. It's unnatural to start leaf raking in November.

11 comments:

Tim said...

I know you're kidding about the county board fixing global warming, but I don't know how tongue-in-cheek you are about your "evidence" for global warming.

The fact that you haven't raked yet is not evidence of global warming. Remember, two days ago the high was 45, which was unseasonably cold. Some years the leaves turn late, some years it's early.

Laypeople like us can't really detect global warming by looking out the window. That's why we depend on scientists who look at hard data, like average temperatures and such. There's no way that you or me would notice a one degree increase in average temps.

I only bring this up because people who deny climate change do this all the time. Spring started late this year! See, global warming is a myth!

Dan S said...

Well, to be honest, I wasn't being all that tongue-in-cheek about it.

I think the distinction to make is one of evidence vs. proof. If global warming it real, fall should over time be later and spring earlier. But any specific autumn or spring is just one piece of evidence, not a proof.

So, I guess I'm offering evidence, not proof. The thing is, this autumn is so shockingly late that this particular piece of evidence seems dramatic to me. But you are right - it is the hard data that matters, not my vague rememberance of leaf rakings past.

Robert Sievers said...

It's a good thing I am around on this blog.

Here in Florida, we just set a record for cold tempaeratures. We have been as much as 15 degrees below normal here, which in Florida, is unheard of. All of the people here can't figure out why we are having December weather in October.

http://www.bradenton.com/news/breaking_news/story/990421.html

Fingtree said...

God is punishing Florida for the real September 11th (December 12, 2000) and you personally for your narcissism.
From the questionable information about global warming, isn't one of the theories that Alaska would be the new Florida and Florida would turn colder etc..?

Robert Sievers said...

19'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

Amen brother. Thanks for remidning me how much God loves me, and how important repentence is!

Fingtree said...

Forgive them Lord for they know not what they have done...omen

Joe K. said...

You're first picture perhaps shows the reason for the global warming.... All the vehicles are SUVs!

mennomom said...

I'm no scientist, but I thought I read somewhere that the leaves turning have nothing to do with temperature but everything to do with the length of the day; in other words, the amount of sunlight. Apparently the changes begin, albeit very slowly, soon after the summer solstice in late June. However, maybe the length of time the leaves STAY on the trees is determined by temperature, since that has to do with the sap going back to the roots, etc. It seems to me that melting polar icecaps and rising sea levels at speeds unprecedented in history are pretty solid evidence for human induced climate change. I prefer that to "global warming" since the latter term tends to push buttons which confuse the issue. Maybe, God is gearing up for another cataclysmic event like the flood of Noah's time, only this time around we will have only our own foolishness to blame!

Fingtree said...

I believe the answer to global warming or "human induced climate change ",is to drill more holes deep into the core of the earth, suck out millions more gallons of its natural interior insulating liquid and displace it with water. I'm sure the properties of H2O will equally match those of oil and have no detrimental effects.

Anonymous said...

Dan,
You hinted that you wanted cooler weather so I just proclaimed that the County climate become cooler!
SShazzzam!

See. It was easy.

Pius

Champaign County Board Chair

Dan S said...

Wow - Pius, I had no idea how much power you really have. Remind me not to cross you...

Or, is it the SShazzzam that actually does it? :)

And, of course, congratulations on your re-election!