Local Climate Change

What have you observed in your local climate as a result of climate change?

My local climate is considered Mediterranean where:

  • Spring: Rainy
  • Summer: Dry and hot
  • Autumn: Dry and cool
  • Winter: Very rainy

It’s actually more like:

  • Spring: Humid
  • Summer: Dry, hot, windy, wildfires everywhere
  • Autumn: Dry, cool, windy, wildfires everywhere
  • Winter: Some rain

In my region specifically, there’s an invasive annual mustard that grows as tall, or taller than a grown adult, acting as a perfect fuel for wildfire. This has been the case for as long as I remember. The wildfires occuring yearly is new, though.

To the point that it’s worth looking at live wildfire data and tracking water dropping helicopters, whenever there’s a wildfire:

Related: California/Australia Fires and their roots in Climate Change, Land Management, and Ecosystem Collapse

Note: I’m assuming that :heart: means interesting, not in support of climate change.

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I’m in southern Ontario and while we’ve experienced more drought than usual I would say that the biggest change in this area is the severity of the storms. Quantity of rain fall, increased wind speeds, more tornados, massively damaging hail. Thirty years ago when I was a kid the thunderstorms we had were typically slow moving with brief downpours and infrequent lightning and they often rolled through every afternoon in July and August. Now the huge storm systems build up and then rip across the province leaving destruction in their wake. It’s pretty scary.

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In Texas, more heat: https://www.kxan.com/weather/weather-blog/austin-is-hitting-100-degrees-more-frequently-heres-when-its-most-common/

In New Mexico, we are wrapping up what’s probably the driest spring ever recorded, considering that there hasn’t been measurable precipitation at my house since March.

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In Colorado, the summers have been noticeably warmer. Some recent years we didn’t get our typical monsoon season in the summer. Drought. Long stretches without any rain. Pine beetles killing all the trees. Massive wildfires. Wildfire smoke every summer from other states even if there are no fires locally. Last year we had no snow in Denver until around Christmas, which was the latest first snow ever. The fish struggling to survive in some rivers when it gets too hot.

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Cape Town had 3 drought years.
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) now has watershedding, their dam is empty.

Back to CPT - we have, just recovered from 2 huge fires, thanks to a winter storm with flooding. Kirstenbosch got all their average June rain in one storm! Also a mediterranean climate.

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A lot more extreme weather events of every kind. It’s like they turned the dial up to 11.

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Yeah, the weather here in Toronto has gotten more unpredictable since 2010-ish. I live in an urban area, but rural areas are definitely feeling a heavier effect.

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When Hurricane Irma hit the north coast of the Dominican Republic, the beach restauranteurs and tiki bar owners were surprised that their buildings filled with sand. Those restaurants and bars had been there through many previous hurricanes when that hadn’t happened. There was a meadow behind the beach with several beautiful, mature mango trees, but they all died after Irma because saltwater reached that meadow. Obviously, that hadn’t happened in the time it took the trees to grow that big.

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It’s Continental climate here (Dfb). It can be no snow in January with 100-year record high temps and flowers blooming or metre of snow from October, spring can start in late February or snow will be laying till early June. It may be cool for humans to not see snow, but it’s shown no snow in fall is one of the reason of declining insect numbers. Extreme summer temperatures only were more than 10 years ago, with one crazy year, since then this part is more or less okay.

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Welcome to the Forum!
I used to live in northern southern Ontario (Owen Sound, Penetanguishene area) and used to be a home care worker there. This was early 90’s, and some of the old guys (over 90 at that time) said that things were different than when they were young. My sense is that area is warmer than it was 100 years ago.
My original city is Winnipeg, and I’m there now (since about 2000). Like @marina_gorbunova, we are in the middle of a continent, and our climate/weather is highly variable. We can range from +40 C to -40 C. I have seen both, but not frequently. Last year we had little winter snow, and a summer drought. This year, the winter had nearly record snowfall, and spring has been wetter than normal. 5-10 years ago we had a winter so cold that water pipes 3 m deep froze.That’s how things are here, so it is hard to personally discern long term changes. My sense is that summers are more humid than in the 1980’s, and there are less thunderstorms, but I have no idea if that is true. So for me it is hard to tell what is going on long term. The meteorologists who have longer term data and the models say we are a bit warmer, but it’s hard for one person to see.

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I am living in a small farms-suburban area on the eastern side of Cairo and indeed we feel here that the weather is changing. Last January we experienced at least 7 consecutive nights of frost, which was damaging to the mango trees. Mangoes in this specific area have been cultivated for several decades successfully. Now, most farm owners are thinking of changing the trees to figs and other fruits. However, we were hopeful that Olive trees will be fine and indeed they did not suffer from the frost. In April Olive trees gave an exceptional abundance of beautiful flowers: it was amazing. However, a heat wave of over 40 for 3 days caused the flowers to dry out and drop off quickly.
In the desert, we started having rains in strange times such as August once and May another time. The usual here is October till February.

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The desert and succulent karoo zones of the Richtersveld in South Africa had, until extremely recently, undergone a very dire spell of drought and intense heat. Temperatures in that region are still soaring most days and there are fears that certain taxa of plants could not only be dying out in their growth forms, but in their seed banks as well!

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The region of the Sierra in Ecuador now experiences constant landslides and double to triple the amount of rain normally received.

When we hike in Cajas National Park which is only about 15 minutes away from my front door, we always plan ahead and leave our dog with extra food and water available, in addition to keeping a well stocked go-bag with blankets and a few changes of clothes in case we become stranded.

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I’m in a central european city, temperate continental climate but struggling with the heat island effect. Our rainfall is sporadic, bringing months of rain in a day and nothing for months at time. In combination with development of surrounding hilltops, the soil holds less and less, reducing the water table and cooling capacity of the extant natural resources. The ‘dog day’ peak heat weeks of summer are getting longer and hotter, making it untenable for some species to survive. These old trees are replaced by new ones, which are younger and don’t cool as much, not to mention their reduced chance of survival.
Interesting twist: the nuclear power plant cools with Danube river water, but had to be shut down two years running because the Danube was too warm. (I think they couldn’t release the heated water back into the river without damaging the ecosystem.) People who have the option, vacate for the country for longer or rely more on air con which hasn’t been so necessary before. People who don’t, suffer adverse health effects, as do other species, I presume. As the peak heat increases, we might suffer blackouts. Last year we had a swift fall out of the sky into our garden from heat exhaustion. The breadbasket soils of the nation have begun to sodify from irrigation and water tables have dropped to all time lows.

Winters are milder, but with unpredictable late frosts, so some fruit species don’t get the chill hours they need to produce, some get shocked in late spring and lose their flowers.

I don’t know how to analyze the observations we’ve collected over the last 3 years so we might find out more specifically how our location is affected.

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In addition to persistent drought, tree mortality epidemics, and wildfire severity and frequency, it also seems the severity of weather events are more frequent. Most notable in the past 6 months were 3 wind events across southern Colorado that toppled firs and ponderosa over 100 years old and blew roofs off my neighbors home and several barns. The past 2 years have seen early season warmups followed by late season snow/frost that impacts plants, insects, and likely bird populations.

FYI: Project Budburst is another way to track phenological changes in plants and climate impact.

This year we had a late, heavy snowfall. Gambel Oaks, a common shrub here, were most impacted from about 7500-8500’ in elevation with all leaves and flowers frost killed (it’s the 2nd year in a row this has happened, so no acorns for wildlife). Bracken fern and a few other plants such as clematis were also frost-zapped and have since re-leafed. Flies and bees were out before the late freeze, but only bees seemed to rebound (anecdotal observation). Beetles and moths didn’t seem to be as affected. Hummingbirds had arrived, and other birds were nesting. I found one ground nest (wren?) that had been abandoned after the snow melt (17" deep and lasted several days).

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Here in the Mediterranean climate of Los Angeles, we normally get winter rain and hot, dry summers. This year, we got barely any rain (with only two or three days of rain as far as I can remember) throughout 2022, then, out of nowhere, a thunderstorm came this morning. The weird weather is concerning because the lack of rain means there’s an abundance of dry brush, and the unusual lightning storm provides ample opportunities for a fire. I hope next year’s rainfall is better with El Niño arriving.

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An addendum to my previous comment.
Reading some historical stories, in 1878 there was essentially no winter in Winnipeg. The Red river did not even freeze (I have never seen that!), and frogs were out on 25 Dec. Two years later (1879) winter temperatures got down to -47C, and by 29 Dec. the ice on the Red was thick enough to run a railway line over it. Again, unheard of. So it’s hard to parse out long term trends here!

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