When I present this work, more often than not, I find someone who has a personal story they can share to put these climate changes in real life perspective.
Today, I thought I would share one that has come up twice: ticks.
The Growing Season has changed
For this study, we have taken our calculated climate extreme indices and applied them to better understand ecosystem and environmental changes. For example, as Victoria Coles explains in a previous post, we related the increase in warm summer days to submerged aquatic vegetation die-back events.
But these indices we calculated are not limited to just a handful of “ecological vignettes.” In fact, our hope is that others could use these indices to understand problems they are concerned about!
If you live in the near-shore Chesapeake Bay region, you probably know about ticks. If you work in a marsh, you probably have the routine of “tick checks” down to an art.
When I present this work on the growing season length changes, on more than one occasion, the subject of ticks have come up. Specifically, audience members who have worked outdoors for years to decades, have noticed the “tick season” getting longer. Some have starting seeing ticks year round.
Now this is not a quantitative analysis, but anecdotal. However, I thought it was a great example of how this work can be used to help educate about the climate changes people in the near-shore Chesapeake Bay area have already experienced in their life time.
Personal stories, like a longer tick season, are exciting to hear about (well, the story, not the ticks). So keep them coming!