Category: seasons

A fine solstice to you all. 

Today is the equinox – the point in Earth’s orbit where the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun making the day and night each about 12-hours in length globally. Here’s a view of Earth from GOES West and the Himwari-8 organized courtesy of CIMSS. 

Henry David Thoreau’s 160-year-old notebook shows us just how fast global warming is coming:

The researchers have now expanded their work to botanical gardens around the world covering leaf-out times of more than 1,600 woody plant species. They have all repeated the same pattern. As the world’s climate heats up, these natural cycles will grow increasingly out of sync, threatening species’ survival, as well as our own forestry and agriculture unsuited for their current locations.

When plants leaf-out early, animals that migrate or lay dormant during the winter may miss critical periods of abundant food. Plants are also vulnerable to spring frosts that kill off new growth. As if to illustrate this point, many of Japan’s cherry blossoms are blooming in autumn right now, most likely due to a spate of warm weather and typhoons such as Typhoon Jebi in September. While not unprecedented, the scale of the early bloom is unusual.