Monday, April 20, 2009

Ice Out

Getting up late and sipping coffee and scratching Izzie's head are part of what make Monday mornings special.  The sky is blue this morning and the ice on the pond is slowly disappearing. Lots more open water. There was even a bit of open water on the large lake in front of the church. I noticed that the iris and daylillies are beginning to peek through the ground.  It's still below freezing at night, though.

Every year there's an "Ice Out" contest.  People guess the date and hour that the lake is navigable from one end to the other.  Last year I did a plot of the dates (actual, not guesses) and did a linear regression and, sure enough, it looks like global warming is real.  If the ice out date this year were to fall right on the curve it would be around May 3 like it was last year. There are data every year starting with the late 1800s and the average is about a week earlier.  Of course the actual dates vary dramatically, but the trend seems to be real.

Our church is working hard at energy conservation.  We've replaced all of the lights that could be replaced including putting new fixtures in the nave.  We now have programmable thermostats. We replaced the windows in the church and when the siding on the lake side was replaced, additional insulation was added.  We added a fuel catalyst to our oil furnace to help reduce the amount of oil we use.   Our next project is a windmill.  As I've mentioned in earlier blogs the wind really blows here.  Then we'll replace the hot water heating system, which comes off the furnace (that means the furnace has to run in the summer) with an electric hot water heater.  It will be interesting to see how much energy we'll end up saving.  We're going to check out the old freezers in the food pantry to see if any of them need to be replaced.  Our senior warden has been spearheading this effort and has done a fantastic job.


Doorman-Priest said...

Wow, I thought we were late in terms of spring, but I sat in the garden yesterday to a perfect blue sky and the feeling of the sun on my face.

motheramelia said...

DP I was quite amazed last year the day the ice disappeared. It went almost overnight, but it was early May. The US has an incredible range of climates and the difference between here and LA, where I lived for 11 years is, well, indescribable. Ah to be able to have coffee on the deck on a sunny morning. I envy you.