Climate Change Alert
March 28, 2007
A warm and dry fohn wind boosted temperatures in southeastern Taitung County to 37.6 degrees Celsius at around noon Tuesday, the HIGHEST LEVEL IN A CENTURY. Officials said it was HIGHLY UNUSUAL for this to take place during the month of March. The temperature for March in the Taitung area averages between 20 to 25 degrees normally. The high temperature of 37.6 degrees is a NEW RECORD WITHIN THE PAST 200 YEARS, breaking the previous record of 37.2 to 37.4 degrees set in 1996. Fohn winds are formed by the compression of air that descends from high elevations, especially from mountain slopes. The sudden high heat can cause certain vegetables and fruits to ripen earlier than anticipated. Many fruits are expected to fall off trees in the next two days. The leaves of some vegetables and fruit trees have already changed color due to dehydration.
WISCONSIN - 100 YEAR RECORD HEAT - On Monday, in Madison, the high of 79 BEAT THE PREVIOUS RECORD for the date (76) set in 1907. A high of 80 at Milwaukee topped the previous record for the date of 75 set in 1998. Even Wausau's high of 77 far exceeded the previous record for the date of 69 set in 1991. Wausau's normal high on March 26 is 44.
ARIZONA - USA Mount Lemmon — a retreat from the desert heat — is becoming hotter and more vulnerable to environmental disaster. Mount Lemmon is one of the "sky islands" — the high, green spots perched above the desert area — that are experiencing UNPRECEDENTED climate change. Summerhaven, the tiny community near the 9,157-foot summit of Mount Lemmon, was usually 20 degrees cooler than the desert floor. Not anymore. Higher temperatures have put Mount Lemmon at risk for catastrophic fires and they are endangering native species. The American Southwest has been warming for nearly 30 years - Mount Lemmon's winter snows are melting earlier, and "predatory insects have taken to the forest that mantles the upper mountain, killing trees weakened by record heat." "A lot of people think climate change and the ecological repercussions are 50 years away. But it's happening now in the West. The data is telling us that we are in the middle of one of the first big indicators of climate change impacts in the continental United States."