My father was a young high school teacher in Florida on December 7, 1941. Following Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and made it his career, including in Army intelligence assessing future security threats.
I once asked him what he thought, on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, were our chances of winning the war. His answer was “not good”. He was confident in 1941 that America would fight courageously, and could build a massive military force, and that our role as the arsenal of democracy could prove decisive. But the key question was whether there was enough time left? » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, December 13th and Friday December 14th, 2018. Both meeting days will begin at 9:30 am.
The meeting will address the Lyme Timber Company forest management project; consideration of authorizing a public comment period regarding State Land Master Plan conformance for proposed Ski Trail Guidance; a presentation from Dan Josephson from Cornell University; discussion on State Land Master Plan conformance; and more. » Continue Reading.
Global warming might be a lot more fun if it came with a thermostat. Like most people in northern NY State, there are times when I wish it was not quite so chilly. If I could tweak some climate-dial so my tomato plants could safely go into the garden on May 1, guaranteed frost-free, it would be wonderful. And few of us would complain if we could suddenly grow peaches and oranges in our backyards.
But aside from a complete lack of control over the whole process, my main gripe about global warming is its first name. It’s just that hardly anyone besides astronauts has a decent grip on the massive size of the round lump of water and rock upon which we all live. Whenever there is a cold snap, a lot of us — me included sometimes — wish global warming would hurry the heck up and get on with it. And some of us even question whether weather is actually changing at all. » Continue Reading.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s district has one of the great carbon banks in North America, its public and private forests. Governor Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have, on our behalf, custody of over an even larger carbon bank in the Catskills, Adirondacks, State Forests and Parks and Conservation Easements all across the State.
Yet, despite their vocal and demonstrable commitments to combat climate change, I’ve not heard either official tout the great importance of New York’s forest policies and stewardship to store and offset our carbon pollution. Goals and policies on use of solar, wind, hydro, transportation, batteries, and efficiency are routinely and passionately enunciated and in some cases enacted. Rarely is forest policy in that mix. It’s curious. » Continue Reading.
Even if its precise definition isn’t at the tip of your tongue, most everyone gets the general drift of what is meant by the term biogas — there’s biology involved, and the result is gas. One might guess it’s the funk in the air aboard the bus carrying the sauerkraut-eating team home after a weekend competition. Others would say biogas is cow belches, or the rotten-egg stink-bubbles that swarm to the surface when your foot sinks into swamp ooze.
Those are all examples of biogas, which is composed primarily of methane, CH4, at concentrations ranging from 50% to 60 %. Methane is highly combustible, and can be used in place of natural gas for heat or to run internal-combustion engines for the generation of electricity and other applications. Formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions, it is a greenhouse gas twenty-eight times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The fact that it can be useful if harnessed but dangerous if released is why we need to trap biogas given off by landfills, manure pits, and someday, maybe even cow burps. » Continue Reading.
Lake Trout are designated species of Greatest Conservation Need in NY, based on the reduction of cold, well oxygenated waters in lakes due to climate change.
Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush are one of two native salmonines to the interior Adirondacks, Brook Trout, S. fontinalis being the other.
However, unlike Brook Trout, which can be found from small headwater streams to deeper lakes, Lake Trout reside in the hypolimnion (bottom) of lakes during the majority of the year, where water temperatures are most suitable. The depth of the hypolimnion depends on many factors, including latitude, size of the lake, and the height of surrounding land that offers protection from the wind. » Continue Reading.
“Mom, there’s a really big crow in the compost,” my son said one day early this spring, followed closely by, “Wait. What is that bird? It’s huge!”
I peeked out the back window to find a bird, huge indeed, a red head atop of cloak of dark feathers, sitting on a corner post of the garden fence, peering into the compost heap. Two others perched behind the garden, high in a tall white pine tree. The red head, naked of feathers, easily gave the birds away as turkey vultures. While we see these vultures often during the warmer months, soaring in circles high in the sky, we’d never seen them up close. » Continue Reading.
How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the flow of maple sap? The first crocuses coming up through the snow? Ice out on local lakes? The arrival of the first red-winged blackbirds? The clamor of peepers? Apple trees and/or lilacs blooming?
Meriam-Webster defines phenology, which is derived from the Greek word ‘phaino’ meaning to show or appear, as ‘a branch of science dealing with the relations between climate and periodic biological phenomena.’ Think of it as a timeline or chronology of periodic natural events; such as when insects hatch or arrive; when flowers and plants emerge, bloom, and produce seed; when migrating birds and insects (e.g. monarch butterflies) arrive, mate or nest, and depart; and how all of these function within ecosystems and respond to change. » Continue Reading.
While driving down from Isle La Motte in early December, my son and I noticed a fine skim of ice floating down the Alburg Passage. As it collided with the Route 2 bridge supports, it broke into rectangular fragments. I wondered if what I was seeing was typical, or a symptom of changing climate? But a single observation tells you only about the current weather, and says nothing about climate trends.
To understand long-term patterns requires long-term data. So I reviewed ice formation data on Lake Champlain. I learned that between 1816 and 1916, the lake was “closed” to navigation in 96 of 100 winters. In the last 30 winters, the lake has closed 13 times, and just three times this past decade. At first blush, this might seem like overwhelming evidence for less ice, but again, this is not the whole story. » Continue Reading.
I recall years ago; two young boys having a conversation. “There’s no such thing as Santa Clause,” the older boy insisted. But the younger boy wasn’t buying it. Come Christmas Eve, he was going to stay up all night, just to catch a glimpse of old Santa and his legendary sleigh full of presents. What excited the little guy the most though, was the thought of seeing those remarkable flying “reindeer on the roof!”
“Santa’s reindeer really can fly, can’t they?” he asked me, catching me completely off guard. I hesitated; then told him that reindeer were deer; very much like the whitetails we see around here, but with thicker bodies, shorter legs, and broader hooves. I added that whitetails and reindeer are cousins. And that moose and elk are reindeer cousins, too. Fortunately, he let it go at that. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will host their Ninth Adirondack Youth Climate Summit on November 8th and November 9th, 2017.
Over 25,000 students will be represented by the 250 participants from 30 high schools, colleges and universities across the region. The program has created a White House Champion of Change and sent student leaders to the United Nations and COP 21 in Paris. » Continue Reading.
Ma’ikwe Ludwig, a TEDx speaker and longtime sustainable community activist, will lead a presentation and workshop at the Paul Smith’s College VIC on Nov. 1.
The TED-style talk, which begins at 9:30 am, will be based on Ludwig’s recently published book Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption and touch on ideas such as sustainability initiatives taken at a community level. » Continue Reading.
A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.
The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.
As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.
Jen Kretser is featured as the “Trailblazer” in the September/October edition of theAdirondack Explorer. Read more about Jen in the issue, which you can get through the Adirondack Explorer app. Download it from iTunes or Google Play.
Work on climate change is hard. And emotional, says Jen Kretser, director of programs for the Wild Center and project director for the Youth Climate Program run through the science museum.
It’s devastating, for example, to watch a community in Sri Lanka affected by “crazy flooding” when they themselves produce no carbon emissions at all, she said. » Continue Reading.
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