Penna Climate Diary

Keep your head in the sand- its cooler down there

Meteorologist on the tube the other day announced that the average yearly temperature for January in our area is 26 degrees. But this year in our unending quest for more balmy weather, the average for January was 33 degrees. Bruce Christianson Bellefonte 3/06/20

The goose is cooked

I do hope that people are taking notice of the increasing number of geese that are jetting across the skies towards the northern climes this past week and more. Must be ending their winter vacations earlier than normal. Addendum: a friend of mine who works for the National Weather Service told me that we would normally start seeing them in 4-6 weeks. He also informed me that Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina have been seeing numerous tornadoes. Once again, 4-6 weeks earlier than normal. Bruce Christianson Bellefonte

No more pond hockey

Today, February 20th, 2020 marks the 30th day of winter and the ice hasn’t yet frozen on my favorite childhood hockey and ice skating pond. From childhood through my early adult years the winter from January through the beginning of March offered up the opportunity to create cherished memories with friends and family on the ice. We would gather at the local pond to play some hockey or ice skate.  At the very least you could depend on the month of February to ensure it… Read More »No more pond hockey

A break from the heat?

I attend meetings of the Public Services and Environmental Committee of the COG to learn about the good work they are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally.  One of the responsibilities of this committee is overseeing garbage collection and recycling. Recently this committee has been discussing a request from Advanced Disposal and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority to begin collecting materials at 6:00 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m. throughout the summer months.  That way their employees could be finished with their routes… Read More »A break from the heat?

The role of nuclear power

The biggest contributor to reducing CO2 emissions is nuclear power. Over 55% of power generated without CO2 is from nuclear power. But in Pennsylvania the legislature prefers cheapest power to reducing carbon dioxide. And the networks handling power like PJM also put short term cost above carbon dioxide reduction. So in PA we get the shutdown of TMI when, aside from the jobs lost, we could be getting CO2 reduction, along with sulfur dioxide and other contributors to bad air quality. And for natural gas,… Read More »The role of nuclear power

Ice not thick enough for annual event (again)

       For the sixth year in succession, the famous Eagles Mere Toboggan Slide here in PA is unable to function due to the lack of thickness of ice.       This is a quarter mile toboggan slide downhill onto a lake that has been constructed by the fire company every year since 1904 for fund-raising purposes. They require that the ice thickness be a minimum of 12″  thick by February 1st. This year it was only 4.5″. Bruce Christianson Bellefonte 2/02/20

Some personal observations regarding likely impacts of climate change:

My wife and I built a new home near Bellefonte in 2016 so we could be nearer some of our grandchildren. Situated is a rural area surrounded by three active farms, our development is about half a mile from Buffalo Run. All of the farm fields near us (including our backyard) are bordered by mature tree lines, and dense woods are close by as well.  Watching wild birds is a favorite activity, and with this mix of habitat, we anticipated a nice bird community nearby.… Read More »Some personal observations regarding likely impacts of climate change:

When will the ground freeze?

  1-    In the bygone days, one would expect the ground to be solidly frozen by the first of the new year. Well here we are in the fourth week of January and the ground is as friable as if it were July.        I am well aware of this because once a week I will dig my kitchen waste into the garden soil.This is nothing new but it is certainly the latest that I have seen the ground unfrozen.         Anyone for outdoor year round gardening?… Read More »When will the ground freeze?

When it comes to ticks, “we’re number one”

My friend George Etzweiler, who turns 100 this year, grew up in central Pennsylvania—the Lewistown area to be precise. He told me not long ago that he never saw a tick until he was an adult and moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland.  Maryland had ticks. Pennsylvania didn’t.  Well now Pennsylvania has lots of ticks. In fact, the Keystone State is tick-bite central.  Every year, our Commonwealth leads all states in reported cases of Lyme Disease, of which the black-legged tick, also called the deer tick,… Read More »When it comes to ticks, “we’re number one”

Then and Now

Randy Hudson: I grew up in State College.  Contrasting the early 1960s and now: We  played baseball on a clover-filled vacant lot.  We were lucky to end any game without someone being stung by a honeybee or bumblebee. Now, weeks spent outdoors go by, and I rarely see a bee. Lots of my friends collected butterflies. If you went out to vacant fields and meadows (there were lots of them), butterflies were flying everywhere over the flowertops. You could scoop them up with a net.… Read More »Then and Now