Little Ice on the Lower Great Lakes

Lake Ontario coastline near Sodus, NY Bay
Lake Ontario coastline near Sodus, NY Bay, Feb 2017 (Courtesy: Robert DePuyt)

As we flew along the Lake Ontario shoreline near Sodus Bay, NY this past Friday, we got a quick shot of the shoreline using a mobile phone. As you can see there is no evidence of pack ice along the shore. Compare this with the second photograph showing the more typical ice pack, taken on January 2015 from Durand-Eastman Beach. It is only about thirty miles west of this location; you can see a dramatic difference.

Lake Ontario pack ice
Lake Ontario pack ice, Jan 2015

Year-to-year ice levels will almost always vary. However, the overall trend is for less Great Lakes ice. You can the view graphics showing change over the years, based on scientific data at NOAA’s website.

The Day After . . . in Rochester, NY

Cities across the country held rallies today in opposition to the incoming presidential administration. About 2,000 turned out in Washington Square img_4059Park with signs showing their concerns for social issues they see as threatened under Trump.

The underlying issue is the growing inequality across industrialized countries and the failure of governments to more evenly distribute the “shrinking pie”, due to labor-saving technologies, declining resources, and climate change.

You can see more photos of the day at my online gallery.

Please share your thoughts during this historical time.

Global climate agreement finalized in Paris

A recent BBC article reported on implementing the Paris accord. Central to this agreement is limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning between 2050 and 2100. The report goes on to say that the Paris agreement, even if adhered to, is only a first major step to solving the climate change problem.

I’ve presented data in several of my earlier posts, along with a page of information from reputable scientific institutions. However, although data powerfully persuades scientists, it does not hold as much sway with the public. But photographs do. So here are some photos taken of the Grinnell glacier in Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana next to the Canadian border. In the three following photographs you will see the dramatic recession of this one glacier.

Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 1920
Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 1920
Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 1940
Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 1940

 

Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 2006
Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 2006
Public domain: USGS
Grinnell Glacier Overlook: 2013 (Public domain: USGS)

Although we know that recession would have started shortly after 1850, due to rising temperatures, note the dramatic difference between the 1940 and 2006 photographs. Collectively, these photographs are evidence of  climate change acceleration. Rephotographic evidence shows that all glaciers around the world are receding, and acceleration is fastest at the poles—all inline with historical studies of atmospheric and oceanic data.