Hi, gentle readers.
We have finally caught up on the mail that accumulated during our very short weekend trip to observe Imbolc (an Irish-Celtic word meaning in the belly or the womb; thus a festival sacred to the female principle). Yes, it snowed up north, but that was overcome by the warmth of our reception. Thanks again, FireHeart.
When we returned we were greeted by blossoms on the two witch hazel bushes* that bracket our front steps. Always the earliest bloomers, they are welcome even if they are a week or so early and presage more global warming. On that subject, the University of Munich has kept records of the blooming of snowdrops for over a hundred years. The snowdrops they observe have never been caught in a late frost. This year they have already bloomed, over a month early. Kew Garden (London) reports that the spring seems to be two months early this year.
What do you know about global dimming? Not much, right? Well, global dimming is the reduction of heat from the sun, caused by jet contrails (or if you prefer, exhausts). After 9/11 all flights were grounded for about three days. During that brief time, the sky became startlingly clear. NOAA in Boulder noticed a two- to three-degree rise in temperature. Worst-case calculations now show that without the jets, temperatures would be as much as five degrees higher. So here we have a situation where the exhaust gases cause a rise in temperature because of their carbon footprint–and a lowering of temperature because of their dimming effest. So far no one has figured out the loss/benefit tradeoff of these effects.
Back to good old global warming: Apparently insects are hatching earlier, so that their larval stage is over before several bird species hatch and can use them for nutrition. So soon, as Rachel Carson foresaw, no birds will sing.
When you next dance around the bonfire, think about it, if even for just a moment.
* Hamamelis vernalis or