Two days ago, it was nearly 80 degrees here in Western Mass. I was happy to be able to go for a run without bundling up, and we went for a lovely hike up a mountain in the afternoon.
Nonetheless, the weather was unsettling, and I find it increasingly difficult to enjoy these unseasonably warm days no matter how tired I might be of winter.
There are obvious reasons to enjoy the starkly pleasant weather, but many are conflicted by yet another example of our strange new climate interrupting the natural rhythm of the seasons. There’s good reason to be unsettled: Plants and animals that have evolved together over millions of years have trouble adapting to change this fast. In some cases, when animals awake from hibernation, they might miss the emergence of the bug larvae that are their preferred food source– which themselves may have missed the early bloom of the flowers they rely on for food.
Migratory birds and butterflies veering off course are perhaps the most well-documented examples of this warming-induced phenological mismatch. As the trend toward a shorter winter continues, this effect will only grow more pronounced. And as nature de-synchronizes, things like pest outbreaks and crop failures may ha
Yesterday's high temperature was about forty degrees lower than than the previous day and it snowed, though, so I guess there is nothing to worry about, right?