Editorial: Ain’t no denying climate change around here

While some conservatives continue to deny climate change, most Vermonters believe in what they see, and know that it’s getting warmer out there.
So, while the news that the planet had its biggest temperature spike in recent history in February is shocking—it rose 2.43 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1951 to 1980 average, making it the warmest February on record—it’s also believable. We don’t have a lot of climate change deniers around these parts when lakes freeze later and later, melt sooner, and sugaring season starts in January, as some did this season.
A recent sign of the warming climate is the annual ice-out contests held around the state. This year on Lake Dunmore near Middlebury, for example, the caricature of Lord Dunmore fell through the ice on March 2, the earliest in the event’s 10-year history. Ice out for the past nine years have happened on: April 15, 2007; April 13, 2008; April 1, 2009; March 13, 2010; April 11, 2011; March 18, 2012; March 29, 2013; April 10, 2014; and April 21, 2015. This year was two weeks earlier than the earliest, and almost eight weeks earlier than last year!
But the real game changer this year was the fact that the entire lake didn’t freeze over until Feb. 2 — one of the latest days the lake residents we talked to could remember. That’s not very scientific, we realize, but it pretty astounding. Then consider the accompanying chart from the Japan Meteorological Agency that shows the temperature change planet-wide in the month of February dating from the 1890s to today. That’s a steady march upward, and a helluva spike this February. Hard to decline facts.
— Angelo S. Lynn

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