Climate change is real. There, I said it. At least it is in California’s San Joaquin Valley, anyway.
On the surface, that’s a really odd-sounding statement, I know. But, it’s true. And, air pollution, apparently, is behind the change.
I can explain.
Okay, so I might be skeptical if I hadn’t witnessed the shift with my own two eyes and felt the change with my flesh. But, I have. The Valley is where I’ve made my home for the past 40-plus years.
I remember back in 1977 when I first relocated here from back east and recall during the cold-weather climes essentially three straight months of fog. Even before that while attending California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo closer to the coast, on several occasions with friends we drove to China Peak ski resort in the Sierra, passing, of course, through Fresno and encountering fog – thick fog. That was in both 1973 and 1974.
To visit the Valley today, one is hard-pressed to find the same day-in-and-day-out dense-fog episodes as was so common during the late ’70s period. I haven’t kept actual count, but those foggy-day-and-night encounters are indeed rare – at least here in Fresno.
And, when we get fog around these parts now, it seems as though it completely burns off by late morning at the latest.
The switch from a practically-daily-during-the-winter occurrence to the occasional-bout-with-fog situation, the change was gradual, taking place over, at least, a length of 30 years. That period, however, is enough time to establish a climate trend, according to what experts tell us.
In contrast, the period prior to 1930, based on what I’ve read and understand, is very similar to what we experience winter-weather-wise in the San Joaquin Valley, post-2016. History repeating itself?
What about it being a coincidence?
Not according to research done by a team at University of California, Berkeley, which has studied this matter in depth.
Even if I wasn’t aware of said study, I’ve been observant enough to notice the change as I am sure many others have as well.
What is critical here is to know definitively if polluted air plays into this – if it has any contributory role at all. Here again, the experts say there’s a connection.
That being the case, this has bigger implications – implications for what has been going on in the world related to global warming, the common denominator here being the influence of human activity on it.
Personally, I feel this is all very, very interesting. My gut tells me that ongoing study in this regard should continue. In other words, keep close tabs on the weather and pollution trends.
And, as time goes on, the more data gathered, in this regard, the more reliable the findings should become.
In the meantime, I’ll keep tracking the patterns to see what I can learn.
I welcome others to do likewise. The more eyes focused on getting at answers, decisive answers, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
People everywhere could and should benefit from having this knowledge.
Image (top): AndrewHorne