Global Warming to Shake Up Big Ten

Posted by John Goetz

Jim Nichols of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote an article this past Tuesday (September 16) that has gotten the attention of Ohio State and Michigan fans around the country:

Global warming could send buckeye trees to Michigan

Michigan may be coolest place for it to be

Jim’s article starts out:

Global-warming predictions can send a chill down one’s spine: Melting polar ice caps, more hurricanes, epidemics, coastal swamping, drought and economic catastrophe.

Add to that a new horror scenario: a veritable exodus of Ohio buckeye trees into Michigan.

Could “The Heart of It All” become “The Heat of it All” and the Wolverine State become – arguably – the relatively cooler place to be?

Indeed, a coalition of health, environmental and outdoors groups dubbed Save the Buckeye warned of this Friday.

“It’s kind of ironic that because of climate change, the Ohio buckeye could wind up being more at home in Michigan than it is in Ohio,” said Tom Bullock, a coalition spokesman.

Jim goes on to mention that “garish and ominous billboards” have been put up on the Ohio State campus as part of a public-education campaign in Columbus. These billboards are designed to put fear into both OSU and U of M fans:

A garish and ominous billboard

The article notes that the tree’s range extends from Texas to Green Bay, WI, and that the largest buckeye tree is already growing in Lenawee County, Michigan.

The truly interesting thing I learned from the article is that the “Ohio buckeye” tree is known elsewhere by its less-flattering colloquial nickname of fetid buckeye. Given the way OSU and U of M played this past weekend, “fetid buckeye” is an apt nickname for both!

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31 Responses to Global Warming to Shake Up Big Ten

  1. Gary Hladik says:

    Does Ohio still have any buckeyes dating from the Medieval Warm Period?

  2. Flowers4Stalin says:

    Okay, I am going to take a shot at a prediction that a “scientific study” with computer models will say the reason the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and never will is because of global warming that began right afterwards and will never ever end, which is an indisputable and therefore non-debatable scientific correlation. That will make every human being in Chicago go green.

  3. John B says:

    Well, I see that most buckeye trees live between 80 and 100 years, so it is not likely, but look at the native range of the Ohio Buckeye:

    They grow as far south as Tennessee and Texas (even into the edge of Alabama. So this is all a big publicity stunt–the trees aren’t going anywhere.

    http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_2/aesculus/glabra.htm

  4. Pingback: College Football May Never Be the Same | Skeptics Global Warming

  5. Mike Bryant says:

    The article I read was at physorg .com here:

    http://www.physorg.com/news140503647.html

    Group: Global warming could cost Ohio its buckeyes

    “Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, has a billboard in Columbus warning about the fate of the buckeye tree, …
    The coalition doesn’t have any evidence that the buckeye’s range has been pushed north but says global warming threatens to make that happen.”

    I’m sure that if they do need any evidence, it can be manufactured post haste.

  6. Mike Bryant says:

    I wonder if this could be part of that $300,000,000 ad campaign?

  7. El Santo says:

    So … no word that there are no wolverines in Michigan anymore? Their natural aggression have caused them to disappear from the Wolverine State.

  8. Mike Bryant says:

    The USDA plant hardiness zone maps of 1960 and 1990 show that the US was cooling over those three decades. At least the plants thought so.

    http://www.iceagenow.com/PlantHardinessMaps.htm

  9. Leon Brozyna says:

    Oh good grief! Message for AGW proponents: Get over it. Climate changes; always has, always will; sometimes fast, sometimes slow; we’re just here for the ride.

    Anytime anything changes in the biosphere these folks seem to act as though it’s the apocalypse. Everything is always changing everywhere; that is what living things do; they change, adapt. It seems it’s only the AGW proponents that want a static, predictable, unchanging environment.

  10. AllenC says:

    I’m a retired geology prof from Ann Arbor and I went to college at Ohio State. When the whole AGW nonsense started back in the mid 80’s I pissed off many students when I basically said I thought Mother Earth was a tough old broad and changing climate didn’t matter at all. Thus becoming the anti-Christ the greenie students wanted to at least tar and feather me (most would have preferred crucifixion at least). Anyway, one day when the AGW arguments were running hot and heavy, at the beginning of the class I made a point of staring at the lecture hall’s thermostat and apparently fiddling with it. Toward the end of the heated class discussion I told the class (nearly 100 intro students) that at the beginning of the class I turned the heat up by the number of degrees the worst case AGW models predicted. I polled the class to see how many could tell that it had gotten hotter. A majority of the students said they couldn’t tell any difference. The most vociferous of the AGW gang all were certain that it had gotten much,much hotter. In fact, I hadn’t touched the thermostat at all. Make of that example what you will. Also I took the projections available at that time and tried to match the projected warming on what Ann Arbor would be like if the horrible global warming would occur. Simplistic I know. Anyway, under the worst case scenario, after AGW Ann Arbor would become like that disease ridden, tropical cesspool where life could no longer survive. What would Ann Arbor be like? (drum roll please) – Dayton, Ohio!

  11. Bobby Lane says:

    This is such a ploy! I can’t believe sane people cannot see through it.

    The buckeye is not just a tree, but also, as many people know, the team mascot of a collegiate sports team. Of course, Ohio State fans emotionally identify with the name. The Buckeye belongs to Ohio. And the “fact” that Michigan, identified with the University of Michigan Wolverines, is becoming identified with their beloved tree and symbol of their even more beloved university, Ohio State, is repulsive and frightening on some level. Almost sacreligous one might say. Of course neither Michigan nor the University of that state can really be responsible, so it just MUST be global warming.

    *Sigh* It’s safe to say that environments do change with or without the intervention of man, so even if that was true it still really would not matter on anything except of an emotional level. There is historical evidence of the movement of plants and animals over many thousands of years in North America alone.

    But this is nothing more than an emotional appeal, backed up by tenuous facts, designed to get people afraid in a state that is in play during the presidential election. This “public education” campaign is simply propaganda. True or not, it would simply be unimportant and unnoticed were it not identified with the sports team.

    And here again we have the old refrain from Dr. David Lytle, chief of the Division of Forestry in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, whose departmental budget I am sure is NO way affected by this. He says:

    “Humans are the cause of this warming, and that’s no longer a debate among scientists.”

    Really, not one scientist believes that something other than humans might be a cause for temperature changes in one direction or the other. Does Dr. Roy Spencer, just to name one, not count? How about Dr. William Gray?

    But I guess this is not surprising. I work for a hotel and most people believe the paper key sleeves we give them are supposed to protect their magnetically programmed keys from outside magnetic waves that may affect their programming and functionality. Yeah, paper keeps out magnetic waves. Sure. It’s magic paper…made from buckeye trees too!

  12. Patrick Henry says:

    Temperatures in the midwest are far below normal this year, after near record snowfall and the second coldest NFL game in history last winter.

  13. Bobby Lane says:

    Minor correction. It was Donald R. Zak, an ecology professor at the University of Michigan, that gave the “settled science” quote.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,422503,00.html

  14. OT, sorry, but Climate Audit website appears to have gone down and I’ve woken in the middle of our UK night with an urgent post for them so can you excuse my posting it here jeez? It’s in response to the BBC programme. And as it’s “Propaganda” here too perhaps it’s not even OT. Oh dear….

    PROPAGANDA.

    It’s propaganda, political, partisan, partial.

    The BBC will not like being accused of abandoning their legendary impartiality. Called Climate “Wars”, then the skeptics were only heard via the other side’s edited presentation that makes them look like incompetent, outdated, name-calling idiots… that is clearly violating impartiality. With a bit of luck, BBC have played into our hands. We have IMHO every right to ask to broadcase, in a similar viewing time, our side of the picture. And we need as much time to prepare good quality as Iaian had. Imagine Monckton being allowed to say “this is the say I was portrayed… but this is my position from my own lips…” I wonder if Iain attended the spring conference without anyone there realizing what he was preparing… interesting that nobody was given courtesy captions with names.

    Woke in the middle of the night with all this… back to bed now.

  15. jeez says:

    Climate Audit is still working if you use IE. Of course that is a debate in and of itself. This happens every once in a while. I don’t know how to contact John A.

  16. Bill Illis says:

    Just wait until the billboards say “Global warming will shrink Men’s private parts.”

    That’s about as extreme as the warmers can go with the scare tactics so it shouldn’t be long before we see that up in lights and in your local newspaper.

    [Technically it is "cold" and especially "cold water" that does the shrinking but I imagine the warmers won't think of that before the boards go up.]

  17. jnicklin says:

    Just wait until the billboards say “Global warming will shrink Men’s private parts.”

    I think that one could show a correlation between global warming and breast size in women. The ladies weren’t that well endowed when I was a lad in the 60’s during the cold times.

    And we all know that its cold that causes shrinking of mens private parts. Just try swimming in Canada at any time of the year.

  18. Wolverine Ray says:

    “Fetid Buckeye” has now become part of my lexicon. AGW skepticism aside, I’m horrified by this prospect. We must do something to stop this now!

    Go Blue!

  19. Drew Latta says:

    I am going to put money down on the fact that buckeye’s were a marginal species until the suppression of human fire management of forests in the Big Ten Region. For one thing, they are poisonous to people and livestock (not sure about cervids). And secondly, they are a moist site species. Usually moist site species don’t stand up well to fire.

    I cannot imagine such hubris coming out of anything here in the Hawkeye state. ;-)

    But to give them the benefit of the doubt (since they don’t play our football team this year, and they’d most definitely smash Iowa to a pulp if they did), this sounds like a tongue-in-cheek campaign.

  20. Bobby Lane says:

    I thought I would post a little personal humor for this site.

    This is what happens when one reads too many headlines and articles. So here I am sitting at work, reading and listening to the football game while waiting for the next shift to take over. I checked on the ten day weather forecast for my area (Matthews, NC) and found temperatures later on in the 60s for highs. I was impressed and noticed a little link in red next to the temperature. It was in small lettering, but I still had to laugh at myself after I re-read it.

    When I first read it “take a satanic drive” went through my mind. Why, I do not know for sure. When I rea-read it, of course, it said “take a scenic drive.” Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the connotative contrast between “satanic” and “scenic” funny.

    Anyway, it seems, according to the forecast that between mid-September and late September we are going to down on average another 3-5 degrees. Right now, we are in the upper 70s to low 80s. On Sept 24th we dip to 67 and only bounce up to 74 by the 27th, the last forecast day in the period thus far. Lows are now between 55 and 60 degrees, instead of the lower 60s. Looks like Autumn is coming a bit early here! Suits me fine for now. I used less power heating and cooling my place that way. And the bugs are not near as bad at night when I check my mail after work. But it makes this Winter sure look rather interesting. We shall see. I wonder if I’ll start to see leaves changing by October 1st here. Be interesting to see how they respond to this cooler-than-normal weather pattern.

  21. Hugh says:

    Well, that does it. I have two degrees from Ohio State and one degree from the University of Florida. I may live in Columbus, Ohio, but from now on I am going to consider myself to be a Florida Gator. It’s bad enough that the Buckeyes keep losing to the Gators, but now the Buckeyes are (a) moving to Michigan or (b) giving in to the wackiness of the global warming nuts.

  22. B Dunham says:

    Worried readers in Ohio should understand that since 1930, Michigan temperatures have risen by .09 deg. F per decade while Ohio temperatures have fallen by .02 deg. F per decade. Check this at NCDC’s Climate at a Glance web site.

  23. Doug Werme says:

    This is the type of story which shows how models and media abuse the science. I have seen computer simulations showing autumn Maple colors moving out of New England and up to Canada, as well as Cabernet grapes being pushed out of Napa. In the grape case, I read about a grower who was planting Cabernet in Canada’s northern Okanogan valley because, while conditions were historically too cold, it would soon be a prime spot. He had his entire farm bet on warming.

    This spring half the cherry crop froze up there. I doubt his young vines did much better.

    Yes, CO2 mitigation has some positive elements, but the researchers and the media need to get an accurate climactic story out to the public.

  24. Craig D. Lattig says:

    @Hugh
    Well, that does it. I have two degrees from Ohio State and one degree from the University of Florida. I may live in Columbus, Ohio, but from now on I am going to consider myself to be a Florida Gator. It’s bad enough that the Buckeyes keep losing to the Gators, but now the Buckeyes are (a) moving to Michigan or (b) giving in to the wackiness of the global warming nuts.
    ….
    According to AGW, that should work out very well for you as the warming climate should allow some of our local gators to be right at home in Ohio!
    cdl

  25. Bob says:

    As a Penn Stater, I assume that global warming will cause all Michigan home football games to be 60 minutes and 12 seconds long Like the one 3 years ago when they kept adding time onto the clock until they beat the 12-1 #2 Lions in the last second. I guess Michigan football is like the leadership of Detroit, win at any cost and lie about it.

  26. Jeff Alberts says:

    Worried readers in Ohio should understand that since 1930, Michigan temperatures have risen by .09 deg. F per decade while Ohio temperatures have fallen by .02 deg. F per decade. Check this at NCDC’s Climate at a Glance web site.

    Is that based on the wonderful, high quality network of temperature stations?

    I’m sold!

    NOT!

  27. evanjones says:

    Ahoy, shipmates, There be even dirtier skullduggery afoot!

    Global Warming Causes Pirate Population Decrease

    According to the following chart from Venganza, I am sad to say that we are seeing a steady decrease in the number of pirates in relation to the temperature. It seems these powerful pillars of society are unable to take the heat on the high seas, driving their numbers down.

    http://borkweb.com/story/global-warming-causes-pirate-population-decrease

    Whar thar’s smoke, thar’s fire, I’m tellin’ ye, lads! It were enough t’ take the swash right out o’ yer buckle, me buckeyes.

  28. Rick says:

    Boy, I’m surprised that this is only coming to light! For the past several years here in Michigan we’ve been watching the increasing Buckeye exodus with interest. The kids are always excited to be the ones to spot the a Buckeye heading north.

    I really enjoy them, although it is very annoying when a whole herd of Buckeyes crosses the road in front of us on their way north, so majestic but terribly slow!

    This spring we actually had several Buckeyes stop in our yard on their way North! The disappointing part is that they resumed their exodus, taking the cool treehouse that we had built in one of them. And they are messy, dropping leaves all over.

    I like to have the buckeyes around, but I’m afraid that the global warming will be sending more of them through the area.

  29. Tamara says:

    evanjones,
    Thanks for the chuckle.

    According to http://www.plantguide.org/ohio-buckeye-or-fetid-buckeye-tree.html the Ohio buckeye is in trouble due to mankind after all: “The tree is gradually becoming rarer, for the strong, disagreeable odour exhaled by its bark impels people to cut it down. There is nothing about the tree to offset this disadvantage.”
    Being a combination of “Laker” and “Aggie” myself, I’m wondering why one would choose a stinking tree for one’s mascot?

  30. Andrew Bore says:

    There are several Ohio Buckeyes growing in Zone 3 southern Alberta which is well outside of their natural range.

  31. Derek D says:

    As a born and bred Ohioan, who moved away after nearly 30 years of the most miserable weather imaginable, I can tell you that the suggestion that any person or thing left Ohio because it was too WARM is utterly and completely ridiculous.

    However, if the Buckeye tree becomes the first, it will do little more than even the score.

    If Buckeye trees are the markings of the infamous Ohio weather, then their total departure might actually entice many folks to move back….

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