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By Michael H. Brown

Where I sit it's only the beginning of May with nearly two months till summer and temperatures have hovered near ninety even though its the Northeast. In Albany, N.Y., which hit a record 88 degrees Wednesday and 89 Thursday, city officials worried about their annual Tulip Festival: flowers planted for the festival were in full bloom a week and a half before the show was to begin. 

"It has been a season of climate extremes in the Northeast," says the Associated Press. "It was the second-driest April on record in Boston, and one of its wettest Marchs."  

Globally, for the world at large, March was the second warmest month ever recorded

As it said at LaSallette, "the seasons will be altered"; as prophesied, the climate continues to swerve. It may not stay warm. There will be extremes in both directions. Here in the Northeast the August-like weather comes immediately after a long cold winter -- adding all the more perplexity to it. Just weeks ago there was snow and now beaches in New Hampshire are crowded.  

The Vatican has warned that nature will "rise up against" the folly of man. In Ecuador a seer claims she was told that there will be "natural disasters created by man."  

As temperatures fluctuate there are floods, rises in sea level, and more atmospheric moisture (already ten percent more than a century ago) -- which means that though precipitation may be stretched out (while there will be tremendous dry spells in between, such as in the Northeast, where we saw just about no April showers!), when it comes it will come in greater volume.

The National Climatic Data Center says that temperatures have risen at least a degree since reliable global record started in 1880 but no one is sure where they'll go from here. Similar shifts in temperature heralded global disturbances in the Bronze Age, at the end of the Roman Empire, and during the Middle Ages. While there will always be those who dispute the data and while we will continue to receive news that at times seems contradictory, the debate is not over whether the climate has changed but rather the cause. On one side are those who believe it's the result of pollution (what are known as "greenhouse" gases) and on the other those who tend more toward a natural explanation. It's probably a combination. The sun is acting strangely. No one knows what it'll do next. There have been unusual sunspots and magnetic emanations and there are probably other things occurring that our scientists can't detect. 

Expect one thing one month and the opposite a month later. Expect temperatures to be erratic. Expect nature to rise in all forms. Expect unusually calm weather interrupted by unprecedented storms... 

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