While the focus of the nation is now on the eastern half of the U. S. under all-time record cold, snow & ice figures, the mild, record-breaking warmth of the Pacific Northwest this winter has created another issue – water! With Mt. Rainer’s snow pack only 39% of normal (melting run-off fills reservoirs that serve cities during the dry summers), Seattle and other jurisdictions are warning of water shortages this summer. This story by Dahr Jamail in Truthout graphically illustrates the deteriorating affects of climate change in our region:
“Species Extinctions, Human Chronic Disease on the Rise, as Climate Disruption Mounts”
“I’m graced to live adjacent to Olympic National Park and have it as my backyard sanctuary.
Recently, I hiked up to an alpine lake at 5,000 feet, where my friend John and I pitched camp and settled in to climb a nearby peak. The clear, rarified air wafting through sub-alpine fir expands the soul, not to mention the power of the incredible mountain views.
But the trip, fantastic weather and summit aside, had a bittersweet edge to it.
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We are at high latitude in upper Washington State, relative to the rest of the contiguous 48 states. The trip was in late January, and on the climb we were well over one mile above sea level, but we never saw the temperature drop below freezing, even at night. Large areas of our route up the peak found us slogging up scree slopes bare of snow, when normally the basin we were in would have required the use of avalanche transceivers and other precautions for traveling in heavy snow on steep slopes.”