While the discussion of climate change often takes place on a global scale, I’ve come upon a refreshing review on a local basis, written by a North Carolina gardener with no axe to grind. Tom Packer has published a remarkably thorough examination of local historical climate trends.
He observes that as recently as 2015 the State Climate Office of North Carolina (located on the campus of NC State University) reported that there was no evidence of global warming in the state . . . although this report has since been deleted from its website. And as recently as 2020, State Climate Office charts indicated that hurricanes affecting North Carolina have decreased in frequency and intensity. (These charts, too, have been taken down from the Office’s website.)
Packer’s report updates one he wrote last year and incorporates 2021 data. Among his findings:
- “All published North Carolina climate change studies have not found significant, enduring and unprecedented changes in the state’s climate to date, even though the most recent one claims some climate change is taking place and predicts changes in the future.”
- “In the central Piedmont region of the state, 2021 was on average a cooler year than 2020, the trend of no unusual increase in severe weather events continued, hurricanes continued their decades-old pattern of decreasing in frequency and intensity, and climatic factors important to gardeners such as average Spring and Fall freeze dates, soil temperature, humidity, growing seasons and growing degree days remain within a historically normal range.”
The article enables the average person to find historical climate records anywhere in the country and it also reviews the history of climate studies in North Carolina, including an analysis of the most recent state-wide study (2020).
Packer also includes images of the types of weather stations used in climate studies. It turns out that many are located in residential yards with a history of uneven and unreliable temperature and precipitation readings. All studies and research he refers to are cited or linked to. Readers can make their own judgments.
You can read the entire article here.
Chrysanthemum image above is by Marjon Besteman from Pixabay.