FOND DU LAC
During his 25 years as the crops, soils, and horticulture agent for the University of Wisconsin Extension Service in Fond du Lac County, Mike Rankin has kept a close tab on the weather and climate patterns.
Rankin shared some of those observations during an introductory presentation at the 2013 pest management update meeting. He pointed out that what he described as climate change is definitely affecting the growing season, what kinds of pests bother crops, and how control of those pests should be handled.
For example, Rankin noted that the average date of the first significant frost or killing freeze in Fond du Lac County is eight-12 days later than what it had been. He also cited the world-wide findings that the parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which affects air temperature, had risen from 310 in 1960 to as high as 390 in some parts of the world today.
While polling the more than 60 attendees, however, Rankin learned than a significant minority did not agree with the belief that "climate change" is occurring or has taken place. They would assign it to "natural variation" in the weather or climate instead.
Whatever one's current belief on the topic, Rankin invited everyone to check what he characterized as a very readable and understandable Wisconsin Climate Changed Initiative summary report that was issued in 2011. It is available on the www.wicci.wisc.edu website.
For very detailed and localized current and historical weather data, Rankin also referred interested persons to the www.wunderground.com website.