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Changing Seasons: October’s Climate Change Action Days

Just a couple weeks ago, I paused while cycling along the Cannery Row stretch of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, happy to  answer questions for some tourists.   One of their questions was, “When does it start raining here?”  In giving them my confident reply, I based my answer on 33 years of living in the Monterey Bay region.

But I lied; we had a heavy rainstorm yesterday–way early.  It’s only October 14th, and it’ll be greening up in Monterey now?  That’s unusual.

The Monterey Bay climate is changing.

As I mentioned in my post “Tips for Tourists Bicycling Monterey,” during an hour’s walk on Del Monte Beach, I can easily meet tourists from half a dozen countries or more.  Again and again these visitors say that their climate back home is changing.

Here on the Monterey Peninsula, our usual weather is heavy on the fog, grey skies, and cool temperatures.  If you see anyone in shorts here, chances are it’s a tourist, not a local.

But in the past couple years, we’ve had more sunshine and warmer—even downright hot—temperatures.  This year, you’d often hear locals saying something like this:   “Wow!  What great beach weather!  But it’s so strange for us…I know it has to be climate change.”

After moving to the Monterey Bay in 1976, I experienced four 90-degree days in a row that first December here.  I thought, “Wow, I’m in California!”  But I soon realized that was exceptional weather for the Monterey Bay, even in Santa Cruz, where I made my first home.  (Santa Cruz is the sunny side of the bay, and Monterey, where I’ve lived since 1981, is definitely the foggy side.)

These 28 years in cool Monterey, I could count on two hands the number of years with some days of hot weather that required bringing in my little house fan from its storage spot in the garage.  (I definitely don’t own, and haven’t needed, an air conditioner.)  But the climate’s changing, and my fan has gotten more use in the last couple years than in all the other years combined!   Hot days are great for boogie boarding, and a recent series of warm summer nights felt like a special treat; but neither is the norm for Monterey.

You may want to check out the following links:

On October 15, Blog Action Day 2009 will focus on climate change.

On October 24, there will be an International Day of  Climate Action organized by 350.org.

If you are participating in either of these action days, or if you have thoughts or activities related to climate change that you’d like to share, please post a comment below.

This post was published on 14 October 2009. One or more changes last made to this post on 25 October 2013.

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