Botanists and zoologists are pondering some species shifts.
If you think your spring flowers have been blooming a little earlier than they used to, or that corn in Illinois fields seems to reach as high as an elephant's eye sooner than it used to, or that the Chicago River hasn't had much ice cover in recent winters, you haven't been imagining things.
Those are telltale signs that climate scientists, botanists and zoologists have noted in recent decades, reflecting demonstrable changes in seasonal timing and weather patterns that are altering delicate balances in the Chicago region's ecosystems.
This is what experts say we should expect in the future: Shorter, warmer winters with fewer but more severe snowstorms; longer, more intense summers with fewer rainfalls and more drought, but also an increase in sporadic, intense, basement-flooding downpours; lower lake- and river-water levels; and less winter ice cover on Lake Michigan and area streams. [More]
This is the same message ag climatologists have been sending about what to expect for crops. Interestingly, Aaron noted that even after huge rains in May/June we are on track to end up below normal for precipitation on our farm.