Spring made her abrupt, untimely appearance here in Columbus, Ohio, recently. For a few days, we exchanged 40-degree weather and winter clothing for temperatures in the 80s. Think shorts, short-sleeved shirts, sandals, air conditioning and an explosion of purple, pink and white blossoms.
Some of our neighbors rejoiced. They rushed out to buy flowers for their yards. Others fretted. It was all just too much, too soon. We still had leftovers from St. Patrick's Day in the refrigerator. The beauty around us, while certainly welcome at one level after the chilly grayness, held an aura of bizarre eeriness. We asked ourselves with dread, "Is this another sign of climate change?"
As we worried about our yo-yo weather, a timely column by Ohio State University biology professor Steven Rissing appeared in the March 25 Insight/Science Section of The Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
"Are we there yet?" he asked. "If we haven't entered a period of human-caused climate change yet, what will it take for us to agree that we have?"
He supplies us with a list of events pointing to global warming. Here are a few of them.