Dominating the news, at least at the state level, are the multiple large wildfires burning across much of Texas. We’ve had a few small grass fires within the city limits, but the majority of the wildfires are located on remote ranchland or grassland, or in heavy brush and conifer forest near small towns and vacation home developments. According to the Texas Forest Service, two new large fires developed in West Texas on Saturday, and the Possum Kingdom Complex fire west of Fort Worth, which has destroyed over 150 homes, is 50% contained.
March is normally a (relatively) rainy month for South Texas, however this year we’ve had only a trace of rain over the last 90 days. It’s already quite warm, with daytime temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. Watering restrictions are in place within the city, to conserve the supply in the Edwards Aquifer. Turns out that this is typical for a La Niña event, characterized by cold ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific: in the Pacific Northwest, conditions will be wetter, and in the Southwest, drier and warmer conditions will be experienced. In my suburban garden, some of the lettuce has begun to bolt, and the sugar snap peas were doomed before the vines got started. But as long as I can keep the raised beds hand-watered, the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and zucchini should kick in within a month or two, the green bean vines are flowering at the moment, and the kale and rainbow chard continue to hang in there. Is this year’s La Niña a harbinger of climate change effects for the long term? Possibly, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News; climate change models indicate that summers will start earlier and last longer, and that rainfall may be limited to isolated, sporadic storms.
Know any place in northern Europe where an adaptable developmental neurobiologist, who can teach gross anatomy, embryology, and medical neuroscience, might find a job??