Mohonk Preserve tracks one of the oldest records of climate data in U.S.

Volunteers continue to update local climate records begun in the 1880s

By Lauren Harkawik, The Times Union
Aug. 16, 2021

A volunteer checks the rain gauge at Lake Mohonk as part of Mohonk Preserve's daily tracking of climate data, one of the most continuous and consistent climate records in North America.
A volunteer checks the rain gauge at Lake Mohonk as part of Mohonk Preserve’s daily tracking of climate data, one of the most continuous and consistent climate records in North America. Photo by Jolie Parker

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that said climate change is “widespread, rapid, and intensifying.” The earth is rapidly approaching what is seen by scientists as a critical point — a warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius that reflects combined surface air and sea surface temperatures averaged around the globe over a 30-year period.

According to findings in the report, that threshold will be met in the next 30 years — sooner than scientists previously thought — unless the brakes are pumped now on the causes of climate change, such as burning fossil fuels.

“Unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach,” the IPPC report read, warning of increasingly worse ramifications such as drought, extreme heat, a rising sea level, melting ice caps, extreme precipitation, and other catastrophic impacts on ecosystems.

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