Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Belizean to inspect climate change in Europe again.


Hi y'all,
there was a time between 2000 and end 2008 when I traveled all over Europe. That gave me a chance to observe what's happening in nature, since nature interests me intensely, also fueled by the global warming media hype and controversy.
During these years I've observed gletschers disappear from valleys in the Alps, ski pistes covered by huge sheets of plastic to keep as much of the snow as possible for the next season. I've seen once lush valleys in Spain go brown and bare with just a few hardy little bushes left, mini deserts. I've seen the water level in huge drink water storage dams go emptier and emptier in Spain as well. I've also seen a whole small village in Switzerland the day after it literally slid downhill by 20 meters or so because the permafrost it was built on melted. Water, power, sewage pipes sticking out. The following day these were reconnected on a temporary basis. The ground under the village moved as one piece, the perimeters well away from the houses. I've seen the river Po to barely 4 meters wide, I've seen the Rhine at its lowest level ever recorded, not negotiable to shipping. I've seen migratory birds from the South arrive earlier and leaving later, those from the North arriving later and leaving earlier. Some from the South even stayed the winter in the last 3 years.
The climate is changing whether we agree with it or not, temps up or down is hard to say. Certainly in the last 10 years it has got warmer. I rely on my direct experience from nature to reach this conclusion, not on charts, satellites or whatever. But I'm loath to predict a trend into the future from my experience. 10 years is worth nothing as a reliable time span to predict weather trends.
Since I have a well heeled visitor arriving from Down Under next week I'll be his guide and have a new opportunity to see these places in the next few weeks and have fun driving a hired Porsche. I know the basins in Spain have filled again, it has had a lot of rain this year, maybe the valleys will be green again too. But I WILL be surprised if I see ice in the Alp valleys again. The latest report was that plastic sheeting is still being used on ski slopes.
I'll let you know. Taking pics will be useless as "proof" this time because I have no comparable pics from 10 years ago.

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