Hot summer in Pacific NW, climate change?

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by janetdoyle, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    It was suggested by a contributor to another Thread that we start up a Thread on climate change. We are all suffering here in the Pacific NW with a heat wave that has gone on for a good while, and a contributor from a temperate region of Australia added that she has noticed a long-term shift towards warmer and dryer weather, or at least with more extremes, in her region. http://www.lomborg.com/ has some of the discussion dissenting from the view that it is human-influenced, with its author, a Danish scientist named Bjorn Lomborg taking that position. I know other cautious scientists who view it as a cyclical phenomenon, citing a mediaeval warming period which later cooled off... Another dissenting or discussing blog, I believe, is http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/index.php?s=geologist, although I just found it and have not had time to read it very far, and there no doubt are others. Most of us are probably not scientifically trained enough to have followed the pros and cons to really be able to discuss it sensibly, so it may not go very far beyond the obvious. A hot summer, anyway, after a hard winter with lower temperatures damaging considerable numbers of plants in the Pacific NW!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    First it has to turn into Portland climate-wise here - and get worse - before we are outside of the norm. But local climate experts are predicting a serious reduction in Cascade snow pack by 2040.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  3. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Interesting -- I don't know if we are outside the norm in the Victoria area or not -- the newspaper mentions a summer in the 1950's which had high temperatures. I don't get the impression that we are beyond any norm here, and only have in mind informal reports of harder winters in the past in Victoria, from the general media commentary, but the reports on the more "measurable" items like mountain snowpacks and glacier reduction, Arctic ice-pack, etc., are ominous. Australia seems to be a worrisome example. I wonder if long-time gardeners have noticed a more marked move to milder-climate plants -- there certainly have been a lot for sale around here in past springs, things which were marked Zone 10, etc.... but then last winter would have finished those off.
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I can tell you where all your water has disappeared to. It is sitting in my backyard. We are having the wettest summer that anyone can remember -- people who grow vegetables are giving up and tilling over the slug-eaten and mold-ridden remnants of their veggie plots.
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    That's a difficult scenario. Liz, what is the climate like in the north? Is that not a very moist, humid, lush environment? Have any changes been noticed there? Nevertheless, I had a neighbour in Halifax Canada who was from Australia [not sure which district] who although senior in years at the time said she never could waste water -- she always rinsed veggies in a bowl of water, etc... but she may have lived in a desert-like area.
     
  7. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    It is this kind of phenomenon this summer with Maine, and my daughter's state of Massachusetts as well -- and I remember New England as being generally "humid-dry" in the summers -- which makes one wonder how much chance plays a part in all of this. Something to talk about, nothing to draw any real conclusions from.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    In Britain we're having our third cool wet summer in a row . . .
     
  9. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    We are having the wettest, coolest summer we've had in years, as well. Barely any sun, and some of my plants and vines are just dwindling along.

    : (
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  11. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    I just put some more gingerale [Canada Dry] in the frig! I prefer Sussex Golden gingerale from New Brunswick, though, but can't get it here -- more like Jamaican-style ginger beer, darker and spicier. Must refill a few more ice trays. Fortunately not too many here have air conditioning to drain power.
     
  12. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes I think she may have been on tank water re veggies. We are on mains but are very restricted now. Also putting some bigger tanks in. For quiet a few years tanks were banned in suburbia now they can't put them in fast enough. All shapes and sizes including under house bladders (no basements here) and tanks underground where lawn is or driveways. New commercial buildings are also installing to help with things like toilet flushing. A desalination plant is being built at the moment. Grey water recycling is the new fad of the moment for gardeners.

    North Australia had 2 big floods this year and the inland dry salt lake (Lake Eyre) is full of fish and birds. This only happens every few years or so. The really big fill about 1 in 50

    This is a pictorial essay of the floods coming down. It is supposed to be awe inspiring to see this desert come to life. Birds including huge flocks of pelican just appear and fish or their eggs come back to life.

    http://www.wrightsair.com.au/floodwaternews.htm

    Airial photo of the inland drainage system. The big dry is in the states below this area

    http://www.lakeeyreyc.com/Status/latest.html

    Liz
     
  13. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you for this... Fascinating. North American and European populations are just not on your wavelength at all, and most people don't have the faintest idea about what it is like there. A lot of us, unless we have travelled there, think of continuously stable lush land or stable desert-like land, as we saw in National Geographic magazines as a child... Our television is exclusively focused on Washington these days and contributing to North Americans' wide ignorance of other sections of the globe [and what those countries do about health care, which is tax their citizens sufficiently to have public health care and thus enable citizens to spend their resources on education, training, building their trade or business, travel, life enhancement activities of all kinds...I don't think I've seen one single program on American tv detailing health care in European countries or Canada or a South American country like Argentina, Brazil, Chile...it's just ignorance, broadcasting political commentators' misinformation especially about Canada, wilful ignorance and fear of taxes and big government... Europe is another planet, not to be understood... what is going to happen to that country...]
     
  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Just back from our annual camping vacation, this time to San Francisco. Notes on US radio while we were on the road: no mention ever of any foreign country except as places where something happened to Americans - that is, no reference to the existence of non-Americans among the inhabitants of the earth - 99% of the non-religious stuff was right-wing rants ("Caller, share with us YOUR thoughts as to why Obama wants to seize all our money and give it to the Taliban"). I lived in the US for years and my friends were smart and educated; the radio programs sure give the impression that the intellectual and social level has now sunk dramatically, but that must be wrong: Americans are as smart and as well-intentioned as everyone else. I am sure that the American posters on this site would agree, and I hope that the Canadian and English and Aussie and Italian and Hungarian and Malaysian ... posters would agree too.
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Temps. in the hundreds F. being reported from various western WA locations.
     
  16. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    It is very hot here in Victoria, BC. tonight, usually it cools off. My thermometer up here in the cooler Broadmead suburb reads 26 degrees C. inside, 25 degrees C. outside. Usually about 14 outside... Tomorrow may be really bad... mind you we are spoiled, with a usually temperate climate, but as a result few people have air conditioners.

    On the other topic, above -- saw Bill Frist, Republican, and Howard Dean, Democratic, on Charlie Rose. Both eminently intelligent and reasonable men, both anxious to get the health care system in place, whatever form it takes. But, as Soccerdad above says, vast numbers fall for the rants of the ignorant talk radio hosts. My daughter lives in Massachusetts, a liberal state by and large, but she notes these influences there and says it reminds her of the temper of the times in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which she has been reading -- extremists mouthing off, people developing grudges against segments of society, wanting things the way they think it used to be, and imaginary dangers lurking everywhere... I see it as the result of a huge population, much bigger than Canada's, with vast numbers uneducated in the real sense. Look at the focus of the popular media... Oh, they may have high school graduation, but what does that mean if they don't study the history of the world, not just of the USA, and geography, and examine other forms of government... this is what happens when poverty in economics and in ideas takes over. All the wonderful bright and shining Americans we know will just have to stand up and insist that their country lose its irrational fear of taxation and government organization of essential services... the individual states could do much more with health care, for heaven's sake, if they had had more state taxation... I sometimes feel quite pessimistic about that country. And my American friends agree, but feel there is little they can do except vote for the best people they can find. Another Revolution, this time "for" a government that is a government? I fear antagonizing the forum posters who are American, too, but I also think the time has come for them to deal with reality -- improve public education and public health services and enjoy a much healthier, happier, more secure nation.
     
  17. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I would be in real trouble with out our public health. I am on a waiting list re my hip and if I can get the money together I can go private but meanwhile my saftey net is there. I pay a small levy through my taxes each year and I get some back for any doctors bills I incure. My Boston son in law is quiet taken with our sytem. My son, daughter and inlaw have also chosen to take out private coverage as extra because they can afford to.

    If you can't afford a private doctor there are the public hospitals. When a dog I was fostering decided to bite me in the face (big rip) I was in hospital in half an hour and under the surgeon's knife shortly after. Cost was nill for an operation and a week in hospital and I have virtually no scaring to prove it ever happened.

    One of the things I do notice re Australia and it's media we do get a good world coverage on both radio and TV

    I also find the internet a great source. I regularly look up papers from all over. Not sure Australia gets that much coverage but we have managed to be innovative and are great travellers so we at least know some about o/s. School also teaches histories and geography of all sorts of places plus we are very multicultural with many people still with ties to the old countries.

    Liz
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  18. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    38.5 deg. C. yesterday {101 F}, 36 C forecast tomorrow. Record highs.
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Northeast England: 17 degrees yesterday, 14 so far today. And no hot weather in the long-range forecast for the rest of the summer.
     
  20. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Easier day today in Victoria [Saanich], in shady locations... more liveable 24 degrees C. and not such stale air. There is a point at which one revels in it [like now, as long as one is not in a paved parking lot!] and a point at which it becomes a burden. Not so long ago I was surprised to see the temperature pretty low for summertime, especially in the evening, and to remember that Victoria BC is several degrees north of my former home in Nova Scotia...
     
  21. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    34 in Vancouver today - same as yesterday. A record high for this day, just like yesterday was. No one in my house can sleep. My plants all look like it is the end of August.

    I do not know anyone with any air conditioning.

    And I would have died almost 40 years ago if not for socialized medicare.
     
  22. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Really that hot, just across from the Island... well, it was heaven here in Saanich [north of Victoria in the suburb of Broadmead, which has lots of tall trees and is high], very nice temperature, although I was not downtown. We are fairly near Cordova Bay, so can sometimes get a sniff of the sea air coming in from the eastern side of the Saanich Peninsula, just north of Mount Douglas Park, sort of northeast in general from us. That's not a cool direction in this weather system, though. I have had made on the rush an interior canopy for my skylight, which brings in bright sun on our dining table from 11:30 am to 2 pm, so you can imagine what that was like. I should have done it sooner, meant to. Had a canvas shop take a piece of semi-sunblock fabric which permits a little light through and make rod pockets for two curtain rods I will hang on hooks from the frame of the skylight... a cheaper version of those pleated shades. Now to get my handyman to put the hooks up for it and find an extendable-handle grabber for handling it.

    It's 21 C outside, 22.4 C inside now at 9:20 pm and my husband reports that he had to turn the fan off, it was making his home office too chilly. Wonderful! This chilly night air off Cordova Bay is a strange thing -- it creeps in anytime from 9:30 pm to midnight... and sometimes late in the afternoon or early in the evening if the tide is 'way out you can smell the seaweed in the air. During the worst of the heat wave it came later, but it did show up, although the night before last it neglected to do so! Last year this time we had a house guest from Brazil who begged us for a woolly sweater, he was so cold -- being used to heat.

    The plants have been so hard to keep hydrated -- Lobelia does not like this weather and the soil everywhere seems to get so gritty and hard here. How CAN one get enough humus in it to hold moisture or "tilth"? Is there something one can dig in around the plants -- would sphagnum moss help, or seaweed? Seaweed was an addition we used to dig into the garden in Nova Scotia! I used to try to hose it off first, to get rid of the salt, but then just dug it in. What a wonderful addition to the soil it was, I should try that here.

    Well, on that other topic we do have waiting lists, and it looks as though Vancouver Island is going to get some big cutbacks in the health area, I think in nursing and elective surgery. At least, although we don't like taxes either terribly much, I think we will tax ourselves to spread around the cost of maintaining the basics. No one in Canada wants to see people suffer from lack of health care, it seems a miracle of our social framework that most people think that way -- and for anyone who has seen Liz Cheney on Larry King Live and elsewhere, YES Canadians can choose their doctors and help choose their specialists -- that is never done for us. I only wish some spokesperson for Canada would get on that show and tell it like it is. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.
     
  23. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    At 9:50 pm it is 87.4 F outside, 86.3 F inside - 87 F is about 29 C - and we are only about 1 miles from the water. I bet that it is much hotter more inland like in Abbotsford or Hope.

    I am in a high tax bracket, but that is OK. The greatest duty of government is to redistribute wealth and reduce social inequality by taxing and spending. Sure, those of my classmates who were siphoning gas in grade 8 while I was studying deserve nothing but a horrible life, but I have met many people with no money and almost all of them got there through no inherent evil on their part. But then, I used to work with a man who said that God deprived people of money to show his displeasure with their being evil, hence all poor people were evil - and therefore should be treated as badly as possible; amazing to hear such stuff from an educated man...
     
  24. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >How CAN one get enough humus in it to hold moisture or "tilth"? Is there something one can dig in around the plants -- would sphagnum moss help, or seaweed?<

    What you need to do instead is apply coarse organic matter to the surface of the soil, as mulch, where it will shade the soil and greatly reduce the drying effects of the sun.
     
  25. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    That business about those with no money being "evil" or the victim of their own poor judgment -- that must be how Earl Jones and Bernard Madoff thought -- the end [being rich] justifies the means. Good Lord. We are supposed to be taught in kindergarten that you mustn't steal others' things.
     

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