Thursday, June 5, 2014

Who Would We Be Without Winter?

2014 Polar Plunge, Minneapolis, March 1. ~0 deg (F).
In the movie about winter in Minnesota, one topic we explore with some tension, is whether Minnesota's winters as we have known them are going away, and who we will be if they do. This is not an easy one for me, or really for anyone. Winter of course, is astronomical and will be there, always. Barring a cataclysmic change in the tilt of our planet's axis of rotation (in which case we would be facing much bigger problems), it will always be the dark and cold time of year. And Minnesota--about as central and far-north in the lower 48 as you can get--will probably enjoy national bragging rights for some time too. But it is pretty clear that the thing we are bragging about is already and will continue to be a lot less impressive than it used to be. Yet it's a big part of our identities here. So, then what?

I recently contributed an essay about the loss of winter in Minnesota Magazine's Summer 2014 issue. This is something that has been on my mind for a while, and the essay is part of a larger piece in which various people from around the University of Minnesota weigh in about what they see as biggest challenges and concerns related to climate change. Anyway, check it out. I'd love to know what losing the season means to us, and to you.

Kudos to Meleah Maynard for being patient and persistent. Dealing with that many academics cannot be easy!

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I saw that; I was enormously pleased that you were among the researchers included in the piece!