This wedding photo from California went “viral” in a visible sign of how there’s no escape from California wildfires.
Over the last few years we’ve heard story after story about massive wildfires in the western USA which threatened thousands of homes and lives and cost people billions of dollars. California seemed especially hard hit, especially last year. For me, the story of a great-grandmother dying in a fire with her two great-grandsons in her arms, is a sadness too great to bear.
So I’ve been glad that this year, I haven’t noticed such news stories about truly horrific gargantuan western wildfires. Until … now. In California.
I wanted to let you all know that later today, Tamino is undergoing surgery. It’s something that’s been scheduled for months now and while it’s nothing life-threatening, he will be laid up for a while and may not be available to post or moderate for the next several days.
I want to take this chance to thank everyone who has donated, especially lately. You’ve been able to help cover my time away from work to stay home and help Tamino recover, and you’ve made a nice dent in the medical bills. It’s easy these days to see awfulness in the world, but I’m thankful to see there’s also kindness and goodness on the Internet as well. Thank you, from both of us.
Tamino will be back soon. Play nice til then.
A fascinating story in the NY Times tells how the National Association of Home Builders got a special deal which guarantees them — the industry supposed to be regulated — 4 out of 11 seats on two committees responsible for updating building codes. They’ve used that power to block almost all progress in energy efficiency for U.S. homes.
Of course they claim the agreement is “appropriate.” Which makes me wonder, if it’s so appropriate, why LIE about it?
While American farmers are still suffering from recent severe flooding, historically our “corn belt” has done a remarkable job increasing food production. The main reason is of course the advances of farming chemistry, genetics, and technology, but throughout the 20th century the U.S. corn belt went farther and faster than other regions of the world (even other regions of the USA).
New research from Partridge et al. might explain why. Climate change has been raising temperatures around the world and across the USA, but while other areas had to contend with the bulk of it, during the growing season our corn belt has heated up much less than most places, while precipitation increased slightly. In other words, we got lucky.
First, thanks to Jean-Pierre Dehottay, Koenraad Machiels, Tim Baumann, and James Vogan for kind donations to the blog. As I’ve said recently, it really makes a difference right now.
We still need help (feel free to visit the donation link below!) but we’re already much better off thanks to the kindness and generosity of the folks who read this blog. Thank you!
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Since Dave Burton was kind enough to remind us how great the danger of sea level rise is, I’m enjoying the recent focus on the topic. I’d like to apply my new alignment technique (including variable station weights) to several regions of eastern North America, to see how they differ and what they have in common in their sea level history.