“Take that, global warming!” my ten year old daughter proclaimed this morning upon gazing on the white blanket of winter’s first snow. To many (and all the radio announcers I hear on the way in to work), snow is nothing but trouble for their daily commute. To me, a snowfall gives me a little respite from the constant worry about the future of our planet. After all, this is the season it should be snowing!
This particular snowfall came on the heels of a torrential rainstorm, an extreme weather event of the kind predicted by climate change models, as our latest issue of the Huron River Report describes. The lead article explains that we should continue to expect warmer winters, and also more precipitation in the form of heavy snowfalls and rainfalls, followed by quick melts. We will see all the annoyance winter can bring, but less of the enjoyment in the form of ice skating, skiing, and sledding; the Union of Concerned Scientists projects that our region could lose between one-quarter and one-half of its snow covered days by the end of this century.
The toll these rapid changes to our climate will have on our ecology include higher runoff to our rivers, lower inland lake levels, and fewer wetlands. This means more flooding and stormwater runoff, higher water temperatures in our creeks, lakes, and rivers, and compromised habitat for fish and other wildlife.
There is still time to curb global warming. Check out our Huron River Report Special Edition and the following web pages to find out how you can get involved: