Winter 2018/2019

October 20, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run with blurred water due to slow shutter speed.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A chilly start to the day makes for a crisp walk in the woods.

BW photograph of a tree truck laying next to a large rock with direct sunlight.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yesterday morning began with temperatures in the high 30s-the coldest morning of the year thus far.  This morning was a bit different-temperatures were in the mid-50s, but the rain from last night left the air heavy, damp, and a bit cold.  Rain is again in the forecast for tonight followed by temperatures once again in the high 30s for the early morn.

Not to jump too far ahead, but NOAA has released its forecast for Winter 2018/2019.  This is well worth a read for those in the U.S. who are interested.  According to this information, some of the areas affected by the recent hurricanes have “…the greatest odds for above-average precipitation this winter.”  (Several of the hiking trails I frequent are still running with water and/or are soggy and muddy from all the rain that has fallen in this area over the past few months.)  Drought conditions will continue in some areas and be reduced in others.  NOAA’s current forecast also states “No part of the U.S. is favored to have below-average temperatures.”

Time will tell as to the accuracy of this particular prediction-the report explains some of the variables that could change what is actually experienced.  As such, NOAA does update the forecast on a regular basis.

It is useful to remember that weather is local and climate is global.  While the NOAA forecast is more to the local weather-end of that spectrum, and the recent IPCC report is at the global climate-end, they both reflect patterns established by an overall warming planet.  As such, while it may mean that some have less snow to shovel this winter, which may or may not make those folks happy depending on one’s feelings toward snow, the overall socioeconomic impact is much greater.  How will Alaska, for example, cope with its increased and continued warming? (It is worth noting that linked article is from 2016.)

Take care.

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Michael and Climate Change

October 10, 2018

BW photograph of the woods off to the side of Chimney Rock on a foggy morning.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Michael arrived today with all the destructive capabilities as was forecast.  The storm will be moving through Georgia and the Carolinas and then out to the Atlantic.

NPR’s 1A program also had this discussion about climate change-please give it a listen.  It is especially important to pay attention to the information from the recent IPCC report regarding the time frames with which we need to be working and the steps to be taken to mitigate/adapt to climate change.  Time is short, but as the report and 1A discussion indicate, the capability is there-multiple concrete strategies are presented.  It will, however, take individual, industrial, and political will.

Michael, and the other major storms, droughts, and fires of the past few years are reminders of what is at stake.

The photograph is a moment of calm.

Take care.

IPCC, Michael, Whales

October 9, 2018

BW photograph of Chimney Rock enveloped in fog.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today began with a bit of drizzle and quite a bit of fog.  Once that burned off, the day became much warmer.

BW photograph of a pine tree trunk against a foggy background.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a new report-NPR posted this overview and here is the IPCC document.

While it is certainly important for all individuals to do what is possible to reduce their impact on the environment, we are clearly past the point of changing light bulbs and turning off those lights when not in use.  In order to meet the goals outlined in the report, larger scale governmental efforts are needed.  Given that the mid-term elections are right around the corner here in the U.S., and that the U.S. government has dramatically reversed the efforts made to participate in this global effort, it would be quite useful for voters to research where individual politicians stand on the issue of climate change.  This article may be of use should one choose to contact a member of Congress.  Alternately, there are any number of organizations worth investigation for possible support-Charity Navigator has a couple of lists worth a look.

The timing here is more than a little bit ironic in that Hurricane Michael is on track to hit Florida tomorrow as a (most likely) Category 3 storm.  By Thursday, it will be in the Carolinas, which are continuing the recovery process from Hurricane Florence.  NPR also posted this report about the impact of climate change on right whales.  The warming of the waters and subsequent changing of ocean currents are a substantial ingredient in both the development of stronger, larger hurricanes and the habits of ocean-living species.

Speaking of climate change, politics, and Florida, this is an important read.  It is also an example of another course of action that can be taken on behalf of the environ.

Climate change has been a serious issue for quite some time now-denial and obfuscation does not change that.  As the overall climate temperature rises, so does the magnitude and scope of the associated problems.

As an important aside,

Take care.

UPDATE:  NPR has updated their report on Hurricane Michael.

Climate Change

August 9, 2018

BW photograph of the Nisqually Glacier path with the low flow of the Nisqually River.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The cover headline of this issue of The Economist reads “In the line of fire: Losing the war against climate change”-inside are several articles that amplify the concern.  It is worth a read.

Take care.

Detour

August 6, 2018

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Between here and there is the small town of Detour, Md.  My first recollection of Detour was when it flooded in 1972 as a result of Hurricane Agnes.  At the very western edge of the town is the Double Pipe Creek, which has left its banks multiple times over the decades flooding and/or endangering the homes and businesses there.  The above photograph was made at 9:13 a.m. on August 4, 2018…the date of the most recent flooding.

In comparison to many other parts of the world, which are experiencing extraordinarily high temperatures and often accompanying droughts, the local area has been inundated by rain.  This report provides an explanation for the seemingly contradictory weather patterns produced by the overall changing of the global climate system.

BW photograph of a fallen sycamore tree against an overpass.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As a reminder, the above photograph was posted to this blog on May 24, 2018 and shows the water level of Double Pipe Creek just beyond the tree roots in the foreground-a period of very heavy rain had preceded this event.

This past Friday and early Saturday morning brought yet another series of drenching rainfalls.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris is against the bridge.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The above photograph was made at 9:17 a.m. and shows the resulting water level of Double Pipe Creek-the debris pictured here is just about at the point where the sycamore tree trunk is laying atop the bridge in the previous image.

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:21 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris and a flooded fence are in the foreground.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:26 a.m.

Double Pipe Creek had once again broached its banks.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the half-wheel height.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:29 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the two-thirds wheel height.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

11:10 a.m.

Importantly, the water level had not as yet crested when these photographs were made.  Look closely at the wheels of the truck in both:  the water was still rising across that time span.

Meanwhile, today 1A aired this discussion regarding the current administration’s efforts to freeze the standards for fuel economy and emissions-it is worth listening to the disagreements and points made by the various guests, which highlight both the complexity of this issue as well as the conclusions drawn from particular data points.  The environmental impact of auto emissions is the connection to this post-it is also another example of the U.S. withdrawal from longer-term active measures to address climate change, which is the fundamental basis for the patterns of such extreme weather events.

Take care.

 

Evidence

January 7, 2018

BW photograph of an icy Morgan Run and some rocks.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is a follow-up to the previous post.

The bomb cyclone that tore up the East Coast over the past couple of days has moved on, but it is still frigid (single digit if not below zero ambient temps with wind chill factors that makes the air much colder) in many areas.   However difficult this has been, and this is not at all to minimize the loss of life and inhospitable conditions (which was the reason for the homeless statistics previously posted) created by the combination of extreme cold, snow, wind, and flooding, it is still a relatively isolated (chronologically speaking), short-term event.

In Alaska, the problem is a bit different.

In addition, all along the perimeter of the United States, residents are dealing with a much more longer-term issue: habitat loss due to sea and flood-level rise as a result of climate change.  Given the current administration’s on-going commitment to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, this is a very real problem of the now, not the future.

BW photograph of a lone tree against a large rock with layered snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given that mitigation is clearly not an option until there is a willful political change in thinking and action (the mid-term elections later this year?), adaptation becomes a “solution”.  However, as the above report (linked under “habitat loss”) indicates, the funding for such large-scale efforts is sorely lacking, particularly for the more fiscally challenged portions of the country.  Even in relatively affluent areas, the drop in real-estate values makes for an economic dis-incentive.

Economics aside, the need for re-location also creates a titanic change in the culture for coastal residents, particularly for those whose livelihood has been linked to the land and water for generations.

BW photograph of a snowy trail leading into the woods at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are no easy ways to deal with climate change.  Having said that, this is a problem that will only escalate as time moves on and efforts at mitigation are ignored or “rolled-back”.

Take care.

 

 

 

 

Deep Cold

January 4, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, indeed.

BW photograph of a section of Morgan Run frozen by winter temps.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And then there is this and this…take note of the use of the word “bomb” in this context.

BW photograph of a stick laying upon a rock surrounded by crystallized snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given the content of the above reports, there are larger numbers also worthy of attention.  According to the 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness as prepared by Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, the PIT (Point In Time) count yielded 7,352 people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore.  The PIT is done on one night during the last two weeks in January.  According to the same report, the Annualized number (the number served in shelters and other types of housing between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016) grows the population experiencing homelessness to 29,670.

According to the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, there were 549,928 people experiencing homelessness in the United States on one night in January when the count was made.  22% of those were children.  39,471 were Veterans.

Take care.