These days, it seems that global warming is a foregone conclusion, as scientific evidence mounts and public discourse on the subject becomes ever more unified around the world. It seems difficult to predict what effect global warming will have on the unique and sensitive ecology of the Adirondacks, except to say that there will certainly be an effect.
Old Forge, now in Zone 3, could find itself in Zone 5 or 6 in the decades to come. This past summer, it seemed that a common refrain among people was, "I've never seen that in all my years in the Adirondacks." Temperatures soared into the 70's in mid-April, huge clouds of lime green pollen descended everywhere in June, just as vast fields of forget-me-nots appeared everywhere. Birds seem to be migrating later in the Fall, and there are far fewer frogs than in decades past. Most visibly, more trees seem to be succumbing to disease and violent storms than ever before.
As I was taking pictures of the lake over Thanksgiving weekend (above), I thought I'd look at similar pictures I took the same time last year (below). And while it doesn't prove anything, it is remarkable to see the difference a year makes.