Portrait of the Week: Mark Seeley

University of Minnesota Extension Service climatologist Mark Seeley was the subject of a profile I wrote for Politics in Minnesota’s Capitol Report. Prior to the interview, I snapped this photo, which was not published. They didn’t need it—they have a fine photographer of their own, Peter Bartz-Gallagher.

Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Extension Service climatologist. Photo by Kevin Featherly,

Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Extension Service climatologist. Photo by Kevin Featherly.

Here’s the money quote from the story, which details how Seeley took a long time, and absorbed a lot of data, before finally accepting the reality of climate change. His focus is less on remediation—stopping climate change—and more on adaptation. To set it up quickly: Seeley was talking about how he sees Minnesotans beginning to accept that climate change is real. The tide began turning, he thinks, in 2007. That was the year that another of the once-a-decade 1,000-year floods hit the state, this time nearly washing away the small town of Rushford in southeastern Minnesota.

“That is quite convincing. People are saying, ‘No wonder the volume flow on these watersheds have been so erratic in recent years. No wonder the allergy clinics have had to stay open later in the fall season to treat people — the season for allergies has been extended, too. No wonder these bird migration patterns are changing. No wonder these insect species are appearing earlier in the spring season. Our winters aren’t that severe anymore.’”

The full story is here: http://politicsinminnesota.com/2013/08/u-of-m-climatologist-seeley-is-helping-minnesotans-come-to-grips-with-realities-of-climate-change/. But you’ll need to pay to get around the firewall. Sorry.


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