Perhaps you've noticed the snow and cold—even in places like Atlanta. We're getting a blizzard in Maine right now; I have the soggy mittens and cold cheeks to prove it. Much of Europe too has been hit with unusual cold and snow, including, aptly enough, the Midlands region of England, where the roots of the word blizzard can be found: in the terms blizzer and blizzom, describing something that flashes, or blinds temporarily.
However, lest anyone be blinded by the weather and lose sight of the climate, a forecaster from an atmospheric and environmental research firm offers an explanation of how the Arctic melt-down on our warming planet may be causing the current freeze-up:
Don't know if you watched 60 Minutes last night, but the entire show was devoted to animals: the imperiled wildebeest migration in Kenya, new research on the language and great intelligence of elephants, and revealing discoveries about dinosaurs. You can watch any of those segments on the show's website:
Happy Naturalist's Notebook birthdays go out today (12/27) to Louis Pasteur, the French disease-fighting chemist and microbiologist who would have been a youthful 188, and Johannes Kepler, the German astronomer and mathematician who figured out the laws of planetary motion (among many other things) and would have been looking at a cake with 439 candles on it.