This is what climate change looks like in my neighborhood right now. This tree is in a very well-maintained commercial area and has an automatic sprinkler in its bed. It’s still not getting enough water, and after the record high temperatures this summer, it has many leaves that are partially green and healthy but withered around the edges.

I know this is nothing compared to other instances of terrible damage done by weather in the last few seasons, but it tugs at my heart to see such blatant examples. The worst of the heat may be past, but its impact is still with us.

This realization makes me worried for the future, but it also makes me renew my commitments to living mindfully and striving to reduce or offset my negative environmental impacts.

What does climate change look like where you are?

(Photo by the author; if you use it, please link back.)

5 thoughts on “This is what climate change looks like

    1. I know. It’s also strange to me how trees of the same species that are just feet apart, in apparently identical plantings, can be totally different: one is half-dead and the other is apparently fine. I don’t know enough about trees to know what might be causing it – maybe one has a better (deeper?) root system than the other? And of course microclimate influences like building shade play a role. But it’s happening all over.

      It’s also making me wonder about how effective/workable the mini-plantings in the midst of big stretches of impervious (rain-shedding) surfaces are. Again, I don’t know enough about ecology to fully grasp the details, but I have to think that some of the water those trees could have used ended up being shunted into storm drains as runoff from roads and sidewalks rather than being accessible to the root systems.

  1. We seem to be getting a more continental climate in Finland at the moment. Colder winters, hotter and dryer summers. Before that… when I was a child I lived in Oulu. The winters were a time of very short days and lots of snow, and very cold, -25 to -30 degrees C was not rare. Even something like up to ten-eight years ago when I spent only the Yule at Oulu, it was freezing your nostrils just to go outside. Seven to five years ago, it changed completely and the winters there were warm! Approaching zero very often, so if there was snow it was damp, clinging, and melting away in the daytime. Which was not fun when the daylight time is 4 hours. We had had that sort of weather in Helsinki all those years, but I blamed the vicinity of the sea for that and the somewhat more southerly position. I don’t know how the winters are there nowadays: my paternal grandmother died and maternal grandparens spend the winter in Cyprus.

    But now we’re getting proper winters again, even in the south coast, and BOY is everything in chaos and stores out of snow showels when the blizzards hit. (What do people do with them in the summer so that they’re always needing new one anyway?) Last two ones have been cold, snowy and just the way they should in my mind be… so on a local scale and looking at just my preferences climate change is not showing as fully negative for me. Of course it may be a sign of the Golf stream growing weaker, at which point we’re as fucked as Greenland vikings. It’s not like Finland can produce food for itself as it is. We’ve been dependant on food imports since the 19th century at least.

    1. The food issue wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t look like there’s going to be a global economical collapse, which may or may not be followed by the collapse of the current period of large democratically (snarf) governed nations. At least I’ve got a posse, and useful skills for the post-collapse bartering economy. (And only half joking here…)

      1. I understand; I think about things like that sometimes too. And I do think that food-importing nations, along with water-importing areas, have the potential to be major sources of instability in the relatively near future.

        And yet, here in the US, some people are stockpiling inefficient incandescent bulbs rather than convert to compact fluorescents. Goddess help us all…

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