Climate change, a couple things to think about. Dr. Daniel Harwood’s letter to the editor regarding the present issue of climate change made a lot of sense.
Definitely there are changes occurring around us and definitely the climate does change. The question is whether the changes are permanent and how the changes may or may not affect us wherever we live around the globe.
While we have been seeing some weather patterns change over the years, the “experts” have varying explanations and forecasts.
One year the experts are forecasting a soon-to-be new Ice Age and then several years later some have the idea that warming is going to kill off the earth within another decade or so.
Experts analyze and interpret data and help us in our society to understand things, see where the directions are going regarding many issues or concerns. We need experts. However, sometimes the complete data is just not there to find and the person has to fill in the missing spaces himself, utilizing his professional experience.
Remember the Trinity Bristle Snail? In 1980 the Forest Service discovered an interesting snail within a planned timber sale. The Forest Service contracted a well-known malacologist to study the snail and its habitat and provide a report on what was found, how rare or threatened the mollusk might be. The malacologist spent time in the area of the snail, found some more of them, and came up with the conclusion that, yes, it was a rare specimen.
The Monadenia setosa, he reported, was only found in three or four little tributaries of the Trinity River. There were not many of them, and in one creek they seemed to be dying off.
After Forest Service employees happened to find the same snail 11 miles away from where the malacologist said was their only home, the government then paid the fellow through a second contract to come back and look again.
The second time he confirmed that the snail was indeed found elsewhere. Instead of within a few-mile radius, the snail was actually present in probably a 25- to 30-mile area, and within that area they were very healthy.
In Northern California there have been worse droughts than what we have experienced or are experiencing in the mid- to late 1970s and at present (so far).
According to The Trinity Journal of March 26, 1864, the early 1830s saw dry conditions that sorely affected much of California.
It was so severe, there was such a lack of feed that reportedly thousands of cattle in Spanish hands were killed so the animals wouldn’t starve.
The same article relates that miners in the 1850s were told by local Indians that during this same time period the Trinity River was “entirely dry from the mouth of Canon [sic] creek to the North Fork, except occasionally a little water could be found in deep holes in the river bed.”
Archaeological investigation on South Fork Mountain revealed Indian villages that several thousands of years ago prospered in the high elevations all year round, including winter. The study of pollen samples in the region (not at the same location) verified that during the same time period there were many more deciduous trees than conifers, adding to the assumption that for a very long period of time — possibly hundreds of years — the climate was hotter than it has been in our more modern times.
Remnants of tree stumps at the bottom of Lake Tahoe from several thousand years ago suggest the possibility that during that time the lake was not as large as today.