In 2017 we experienced another record warm winter with very little precipitation, frozen or otherwise, so far this year at Innsbrook. Spring came several weeks early to Innsbrook, although even that was difficult to mark as we never really had a winter. View this dynamic map at https://nyti.ms/2m36XjG to see just how early spring came to the rest of the US, including Missouri.
For several years on a separate Phenology Log website page at https://ibknature.com/phenology-log/ we have recorded how shifts in our local weather are impacting the seasonal cycles of the flora and fauna we so much enjoy at Innsbrook. As example, those of you with property on an Innsbrook lake already know how dry seasons or flash floods adversely impact our recreational water level and water quality. Ticks come out earlier to attach themselves to our pets, or us. Storms seem to be more ferocious dumping much-needed rain all at one time that just erodes and runs off our landscapes instead of soaking in. There are many other changes we have noted in the phenology log.
More recently we blogged about the sadness and distress we feel from the new administration’s proposed budget which promises to decimate the EPA, delete funding to study climate change, and remove hard-fought for protections of the environment. This has now been quickly followed by executive orders rolling back years of environmental progress in the clean power plan, carbon and methane emissions, coal mining, surface mining, fuel efficiency standards, mining on federal lands, and pipelines to carry dirty tar sand oil. We placed a few black bows on our trees as a simple act of bearing witness to these policies which we hope future generations can forgive us for.
This summer we will be collecting more observations and information about climate change across the planet, Midwest and at Innsbrook for this new page under construction. For now the only content we have is a simple poll question asking if you believe what the vast majority of the world’s scientists do, that man-made climate (and ocean) change is real and happening now. We will report the results back in our summer newsletter.