2017 November 29

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Allegheny National Forest
Brasher State Forest
Christmas Time
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Country Music
Deer
Hyner View State Park
John Boyd Thacher State Park
Mason Lake
Notes
Porcupine Run-Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area
Schenectady County
West Burlington, Pennsylvania

November 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Margie Singleton – Ode to Billie Joe

Margie Singleton's version of Bobbie Gentrie's Ode to Billie Joe. This song got a lot of play on country music stations in the late 1960s but has all been forgotten in the past 50 years. The oldies stations still play Bobbie Gentry's version but I doubt many country stations still play Margie Singleton.

The irony of the song is that the Tallahatchie Bridge is not a good one to commit suicide on. It's only about 20 feet above the river that is fairly deep and muddy, and plenty of people have jumped off it and walked away without a scratch. https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2705/4539269463_edfbbb8d6c_b.jpg

Bobbie Gentry intended for the song to be more ironic then about suicide. Bobbie Gentry's goal with the song called out the callousness of society as the Vietnam War was escalating, with the family noting the suicide in with more mundane business of life.

GISS Land-Ocean Global Means Temperature, 1880-2016

The average land and ocean temperature globally between 1951-1980 was 56.7 degrees fahrenheit. NASA, with it's vast earth monitoring system of satelites and ground based equipment measure temperature around the globe to follow trends over time. They put out GISS numbers monthly and yearly, that look at the difference in temperature between the 1951-1980 average compared to today. Those numbers are widely cited on climate change blogs. While scientifically accurate, their analysis is confusing to the layman who finds it hard to understand negative and positive Celsius numbers of a few degrees.

Most of us know the weather only by Fahrenheit, and rather then use negative numbers and departure from the average, I used actual global temperature averages. In 2016, the global temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, in 1960, the global temperature was 56.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit difference in global temperature over 66 years doesn't seem like a lot, it does mean spring comes earlier across the globe, areas freeze up later, and summer days are somewhat hotter. As the oceans are a powerful heat sink, actual global land temperature changes are less then 2.2 degree Fahrenheit difference between now and 1960, but still there is a noticeable increase there too.

Forces like el nino and la nina, and other weather patterns do change global temperatures a bit from year to year. But as carbon dioxide emissions have rapidly increased, so have temperatures. Within the next 20-30 years, it's almost certain global yearly temperatures will exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big jump from 56.25 degrees Fahrenheit at the turn of the 20th century.

Data Source: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/