The Karner Blue as another sign from the Year of Odd Weather

Karner Blue butterfly Albany Pine Bush

They find the weather strange, too.

Another effect of the non-winter/early spring: Karner Blue butterflies have managed to squeeze out an extra generation this summer. From an Albany Pine Bush Preserve press release:

Karner blue butterflies typically have two broods per year, one in May/early June and the second in July. The discovery of a third brood is both remarkable and a bit alarming to Preserve scientists because the eggs produced by the July brood of adult Karners typically overwinter to produce adult Karners the following May. An early and very warm spring is the suspected cause of earlier broods this year and the additional late-season butterflies currently flying in the Preserve. The impacts of a third flight of adults to the long-term recovery of the species are unknown. ...
Only time and continued monitoring will determine if the late 2012 hatch will have an impact on the 2013 butterfly population and the longer-term recovery of the species. "We had no idea a third flight in a single season was possible before 2010" said [Albany Pine Bush Preserve Conservation director Neil] Gifford. According to Gifford, it was in 2010 that Karner blue butterfly managers from Wisconsin to New Hampshire suspected that the late season adults they were seeing may be a previously unknown third flight. "We don't yet have a good understanding of what the implications of a third brood will mean for the recovery of the species" said Gifford, adding "it will likely depend on whether the changing climate brings such conditions more frequently."

The preserve says this spring's emergence of Karner Blues was the earliest on record -- 10 days earlier than the previous record, and 21 days earlier than the 20-year average.

To say that the weather over the past year is odd would be an understatement. A handful of the signs and side effects:

+ Hurricane/tropical storm Irene dumped 4.69 inches of rain here (and even more just to the south), causing catastrophic flooding in some areas. It also pushed last August to be the second wettest on record.

+ This past winter was the third least snowy on record at just 23.3 inches. (A typical year is 59.1 inches.)

+ This spring was the warmest on record for Albany, New York State, and the United States.

+ The magnolia trees bloomed in March here, about a month ahead of normal.

+ A large portion of the state's fruit crops were significantly damaged by frost after the trees bloomed way ahead of their typical time.

+ There was a span this summer when there was basically no rain for almost a month.

+ The average temperature for Albany from January to June of this year was the highest in 74 years -- 4.8 degrees warmer than a typical year.

+ This average temperature for this past July was 3 degrees warmer than usual (though it was 1/10 a degree cooler than last year's July).

When there's weird weather, there's always the question of global warming's role. Climatologist are usually quick to point out that any one event shouldn't be linked to the changing climate. They prefer to discuss the situation as a matter of probabilities -- mainly that global warming increases or decreases the chances of some sort of weather event. But one of the most well-known climate scientists -- James Hansen -- recently argued that evidence suggests that specific unusual extreme weather events during the last decade have been influenced by global warming (here's the academic paper). Other scientists say they haven't necessarily bought into Hansen's argument -- but they haven't ruled it out, either. [Washington Post] [PNAS] [Nature]

photo: courtesy of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Hellions vs. All Stars 2017

The Hellions of Troy and the Albany All Stars will renew their roller derby rivalry July 8 at the Rollarama. Tickets are $12 at the... (more)

Albany history, in an app

Driving through downtown Albany on weekends, Susan Holland has noticed groups of people looking up at the buildings. And as the executive director of the... (more)

SPAC x NYCB

The New York City Ballet will be back at SPAC July 5-15. And leading up to residency, SPAC is posting a series of short dance... (more)

Morning Blend

Fatal stabbing in Albany on Grand Street Albany police identified the man fatally stabbed early Sunday morning on Grand Street as 47-year-old Mark Douglas. He... (more)

Gawking at those Nipper statues that now dot downtown Albany

We got a chance during the past week to check out the new "Downtown is Pawsome" statues in downtown Albany as they sit in their... (more)

Recent Comments

I am Dominican so I totally relate. I have thick curly hair (3c) and some of the hair professionals in this area do wonders with fine curly hair but have no idea what to do with thick (ethnic) hair. For the longest I had to take trips to NYC to get my hair done until I found Islenia (you can find her as "Hair by Islenia" in Facebook).She has been doing my hair for over 10 ears and she is excellent! ...

Albany testing system for paying for parking by mobile app and license plate

...has 9 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Gawking at those Nipper statues that now dot downtown Albany

...has 1 comment, most recently from Jeff W

The week ahead

...has 1 comment, most recently from Martha dedrick

The carousel at the NYS Museum

...has 7 comments, most recently from Sarah

Restaurants with really good dining experiences, not necessarily fancy?

...has 33 comments, most recently from Dot Beech