Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Adirondack Lake Trout At Risk

Adirondack Lake TroutIn one traditional method of lake-trout fishing, an angler holds in his or her hand a weighted line while trolling from a boat. To collect the line, the angler uses a jerry-rigged Victrola record player with a spool in the middle.

“As they pulled in the line, they turned on their [hand-cranked] Victrola,” said Joe Hackett, a fishing guide from Ray Brook. “Lake-trout fishing is so specialized. That’s something you learn from your father, or uncle, or grandfather.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Driving An Electric Car In Winter

VoltBack in September I wrote a series of three articles about the efficacy of driving electric cars (EV’s) in the Adirondacks. My overall conclusion was that electric cars had a definite, practical future in the Adirondacks.

All of my driving experience however, was in summer and early fall, which accounts for only about a quarter of an Adirondack year. The $64,000 question then, was how would an electric car perform under real winter conditions? With the January we’ve had in Wisconsin I’m ready to report.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Wood-Pellet Projects: Paul Smith’s College

Photos of Paul Smith's College  ©Paul Buckowski 2006Paul Smith’s College is installing a state-of-the-art wood-pellet boiler system, which will heat its three academic buildings.

This project is one of the first uses in New York State of a high-efficiency and low-emission wood pellet boiler heating system to heat multiple buildings.  Paul Smith’s is one of five new sites in the North Country planning to install the technology including the Olympic Regional Training Center in Lake Placid, North Country Community College’s Sparks Athletic Complex in Saranac Lake, the Indian Lake School and the North Country School in Lake Placid. High efficiency wood boilers were pioneered in the Adirondacks by The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 15, 2014

New Report Considers Future Of Lake Trout

Spawning-Lake-troutSince the retreat of the glaciers, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have been the top native predator in Adirondack waters. These northern fish require true cold (less than 55°F) and move downward when surface waters warm in late spring and summer. Consequently, they are isolated to the largest and deepest Adirondack lakes – most of them deeper than 30 feet – where they stay in the dark chilly depths all summer and early fall. The species name namaycush is believed to be an Algonquin term for “dweller of the deep.”

This need for very cold, clean, high-oxygen water can bring to light otherwise invisible changes beneath the surface. Water quality in the Adirondack interior, where we don’t have much industry or farming, can be  abstract. You usually can’t see it, touch it or even taste it. But lake trout make the health of our coldest lakes real and tangible. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

1816: An Adirondack Year Without Summer

Caldera_Mt_Tambora_Sumbawa_IndonesiaLast week’s cold snap, news reports about the Polar Vortex, and a November snowfall of historic proportions in Buffalo and Watertown has some folks teasing that they could use a little global warming about now. Adding to the concern is a recent book by John L. Casey, former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant. Casey claims that it is solar activity, namely sunspot eruptions – and not carbon emissions – that trigger climate changes here on earth. The recent diminished solar activity, he claims, will cause the earth to rapidity grow colder. Casey’s book Dark Winter predicts the worst of the cooling cycle will hit in the late 2020s and a shortened growing season will trigger food riots around the world. His thesis is sure to trigger heated responses (sorry, couldn’t resist) from global climatologists around the world, many of which have been measuring the loss of ice at the poles and warming global temperatures.

All of this has reminded me of a time two hundred years ago when the Adirondacks were, at least for a while, unusually cold. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

NY-21 Candidates Answer Climate Change Questions

voting boothProtect the Adirondacks sent a questionnaire to each of the three candidates running for Congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District, which includes the Adirondack Park and northern New York, about their positions on climate change issues.

The questionnaire included seven questions and was sent to Green Party candidate Matt Funicello, Republican Party candidate Elise Stefanik, and Democratic Party candidate Aaron Woolf.  The climate change questionnaire was sent to each campaign on September 25th. Woolf and Funicello submitted their answers, while the Stefanik campaign has been unresponsive despite repeated emails and phone calls. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NYS Open Space Plan Considers Recreation, Climate

big dropThe public has until mid-December to comment on the newest draft of the state’s Open Space Conservation Plan.

Updated every five years, the plan guides the state’s decisions regarding land acquisitions and sets a strategy for land conservation. The plan is developed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Regional committees throughout the state provide additional input.

This plan listed four urgent priorities: promoting outdoor recreation; addressing climate change; ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy economy; and protecting, using and conserving natural resources and cultural heritage.

In the outdoor recreation section, it specifically mentions promoting recreation for all types of users on both private and public lands, connecting children with nature, and connecting open space corridors. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weather Mysteries: Why Was Last Winter So Cold?

Whiteface ObservatoryIn partnership with SUNY Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the Whiteface Mountain Observatory, The Wild Center will host North Country Climatology: Global Weather Patterns and Impacts on Tuesday, August 5 at 7 pm in the Flammer Theater as part of the Falconer Lecture Series.

Two Meterologists from NOAA’s National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont, Conor Lahiff and Brooke Taber, will unravel the mysteries of weather in the North Country. Why was last winter so cold? How are Adirondack weather patterns connected to more global weather events and to climate change? What kind of weather predictions are being made for the coming years? This event is free and open to the public. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

EPA’s Judith Enck To Discuss Climate Change At Sagamore

judith-enck-photoJudith Enck, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator, will make a public presentation “Climate Change: The Challenge of Our Time” which features details about recent federal actions to reduce greenhouse gas and C02 emissions and what they mean for New York and the northeastern U.S.

Enck’s presentation will start at 11:00 AM, July 6th, at Great Camp Sagamore as part of Protect the Adirondacks’ annual meeting. The presentation is open to the public.

“Climate Change: The Challenge of Our Time” will focus on the EPA’s recent release of new draft greenhouse gas emission reduction regulations for over 1,000 existing power plants. EPA estimates that 83% of greenhouse gas emissions are from carbon dioxide (C02) released into the atmosphere. As a group these coal-fired power plants are the single largest sources of C02 pollution in the U.S., producing nearly 25%. These new rules expect to produce a 20% reduction in C02 emissions by 2020 and 30% by 2030 (based on 2005 levels). The new program is partly modeled after the success of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) amendments, which successfully inaugurated the cap-and-trade program for reducing national emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, the two substances that cause acid rain. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Giant Swallowtail Butterflies Moving North

Giant_SwallowtailIt’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a …? In September of 2012, I spied something fluttering wildly on the lavender phlox in front of my house. At first I thought it was a hummingbird, but as I moved closer I discovered it was a huge butterfly – the largest I’d ever seen, with a wingspan of about six inches. I rushed into the house to get my camera.

The butterfly was a challenge to photograph, its wings a blur as it hovered and darted from flower to flower, sipping nectar with its long tongue. The upper side of its wings were black, with a band of yellow spots from wingtip to wingtip. Another yellow band led diagonally from each wingtip to each wing “tail.” The tails were long, with yellow spots edged in black. On the underside, the coloration was similar to a tiger swallowtail – pale yellow with thin black stripes. I consulted my butterfly guides and determined the fabulous creature was a giant swallowtail, a cousin to our common Canadian tiger swallowtail. » Continue Reading.


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