Global warming could mean a bad storm season

Large stands of bamboo are likely the safest place to be if caught outdoors in a violent windstorm. This guadua bamboo grove in rural Colombia gives protection from local storms when sturdy structures are not available. (Voltaire Moise/Courtesy Photo)

It is time to worry about summer storms. When it comes to hurricanes, there is an old sailor’s saying, “June, too soon, July, standby, August, a must, September, remember, October, all over, but November, still remember” The hurricane season is upon us in Hawaii and it’s time to take precautions in the garden. Now that we are traveling the jungles of Colombia in South America, and we are actually in an equatorial zone that is considered free of tropical cyclones, typhoons or hurricanes. The forests are very ancient with trees reaching gigantic proportions of 150 feet and more. The understory is rich with palms, ferns and a vast number of species some of which have not even been named. The biggest threat to these magnificent forest ecosystems is rapidly expanding timber cutting and agriculture for oil palm plantations.