How Temperatures have Changed in the Places I’ve Called Home

First published on .

As a disclaimer to this article, I am neither a statistician nor a scientist, just a curious person with a computer.

Have you ever wondered how much the temperatures have changed? I don’t mean how much they’ve changed globally you’ll see articles about that every couple months. What I mean is how much have temperatures changed where you live? I have. It’s a question that shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. The data is publicly available and the tools to work with the data are also easy to access.

So after a little bit of Google searching, a venture into learning a data anlysis library for the programming language pyhon, and a visit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data request form I present to you how the temperatures have changed in the places I’ve called home from 1950 to the present. I looked, but there was no consistent data for Grove City, PA where I went to college. avg yearly temperature home What you’re seeing are the yearly average temperatures from a weather station in the city that had data for that whole period along with a simple regression analysis from the tool I used to do the graphing I used the python library pandas along with the graphing library seaborn.. And if you’re looking for me to infer from that what’s going to happen in the coming years you came to the wrong website (at least currently). I’m no climate scientist and this was not a systemic look at all available weather data in those three places.

But as I look at the data from three places I’ve loved, I do see superficial changes. D.C. and Roanoke saw average yearly temperatures go up close to two degrees over that period and if we look at the average minimum yearly temperature for that period the average minimum temperature increased even further. This could mean earlier last frost dates, insects that don’t get killed as often by a freeze, and other impacts I’m sure. I find that so interesting. Not because it necessarily says anything about global temperaturesI’m sure it has some relation, but I have no idea how you calculate something like that., but because it says something about the place I call home and my experience of it.

avg minimum temperature home

The days we live in are complicated, messy, and filled with unknowns and there are no easy answers as we try to figure out how to live in them. Part of my answer is paying attention to the weather and learning how its changing. Part of my answer is learning the places and people around me better. And part of my answer is paying attention to the birds outside my window.

There are many ways we can better learn our homes, know our neighbors, and love the world. And I don’t think there’s a single best way to start. I do think the best place to start is to start where you are.

For further reading I recommend reading the poem MANIFESTO: THE MAD FARMER LIBERATION FRONT by Wendell Berry:

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Other things to read

  • Evergreen
    🌲 A poem by D.S. Chapman


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