Friday, August 19, 2016

Yes Virginia, There is a Sant... I mean, Global Warming


Global warming - two words that can ignite a social firestorm today the way that "interracial marriage" did in the 1970s.  Ironic, because global warming is also causing literal firestorms in California at the moment.  Now some people would say that my second sentence isn't correct, because California has fires every year.  Seriously, Katfrog, why blame climate change for this year's fires?

First, the current Blue Cut fire burst in on Tuesday, burning too fast and too hot for the firefighting operations to keep up for two days.  So far this fire has burned over 30,000 acres and as of now it's only 25 % or so contained.  This is only one out of the 3,874 wildfires that have burned California in 2016.  Second,  the traditional Southern California brush fire season doesn't start until the hot Santa Ana winds arrive this fall.

But, I digress.  Effects of global warming have, are, and will continue to devastate different parts of the world.  In the U.S. alone, Texas went from a drought so severe the lack of groundwater caused sinkholes to form, to flooding so severe people died.  California is in the fifth year of a nasty drought (another factor contributing to the wildfire situation). Extreme winters, extreme droughts, extreme summer temperatures, and extreme rain hit over and over again.

Which brings me to the latest news on the global warming front - July 2016 is now the hottest month in recorded history.  That's right, people began to record temperatures in the 1880s, no month has been hotter that this past month.

But Katfrog, you say, some month has to be the hottest month.  This doesn't mean that global warming is to blame.

Granted, yes, there has to be a highest temperature just as there has to be a lowest temperature.  But 2014 was the hottest year on record, with that record broken in 2015.  Now it looks like 2016 will be the hottest year on record.  This is what you call a trend.  Yes, it's an exceedingly short trend, but as we only have data back to the 1880s, it's long enough.

So what can I do about it, Katfrog?  Seriously, I'm just one person.

Well, one person can make a difference.  The first thing you can do is to call your Congress critter and tell  him or her to start addressing the problem of global warming.  Then comes the tricky part.  You have to keep calling your Congress critter, every week would be best but every month or two works just as well.  Keep asking what is being done to stop global warming.  If enough people do this, something will be done.

We just can't give up.




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Corpse Flower Blooming?!?


The corpse flower (amorphophallus titanum or titan arum) is one of the largest flowers in the world.  It takes between 7 and 10 years for a plant to bloom, and gets its name because it releases odor reminiscent of rotting animals as it blooms.

Currently, the New York Botanical Garden has a corpse flower about to bloom; the above video is the live cam on the plant.  I hope to see it bloom online, though I'm not holding my breath.