Observed and Projected Temperature Rise
By the end of the century, mid-continental temperatures will rise between 2.5 and 13 degrees, on average, depending to a large extent on what happens in Copenhagen at the climate negotiations.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that was adopted many years ago said that the member nations should make every effort to “avoid serious or irreversible damage.” Solomon says we recently passed that point. Because of the long time that greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere, even if we halted all emissions immediately, the planet will continue to warm for at least another 600 years.
In the past 20 years, most of Tennessee has moved at least one agricultural zone to the southward, and some parts have moved as many as 3 zones. That means we can plant earlier and harvest later, which I suppose is a good thing. It also means that we are now ideal habitat for armadillos, fire ants and scorpions, all of which are pushing our possums up into Ohio.
Of course it is much worse for the trees, which can’t just uproot and move north. In earlier years we have seen blights claim white oaks and dogwoods. This year we are losing more hickories from the weather fluctuations that make droughts, extreme rainfalls, late frosts and early thaws more frequent.
In Boulder, David Yarrow, biochar pioneer, small farmer and permaculture trainer in New York and New England, unveiled a vision of a community-centered biochar lifestyle that obtains fertility, fuel and food in an ecologically responsible cycle between humans and the living natural world. The three economic drivers for biochar development are farm products (including fertilizer, fuels and power); climate services; and carbon-negative community. That third driver is the greening of the human habitat to deliver carbon-negative housing and workplaces — the whole built environment.