Pat Shingleton: "Czech beer and Mobile"
The publication, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology indicates that climate change and warmer temperatures are threatening the quality of beer. Years ago, the Czech Hydrometeorlogical Institute matched data on weather patterns, crop yield and hop quality in the Czech Republic from 1954 to 2006 to determine the effects of climate on the quality of Saaz hops, used in pilsner lagers. Their analysis found that the concentration of alpha acids that give Saaz hops an unusual bitter taste, decreased by 0.06% each year during a specified period. Scientists believe that their decline in growing conditions could be attributed to increasing temperatures in this region. In checking with my friend Gary Mockler on this situation, he noted, “That’s what they get for drinking anything except Budweiser." From beer to another town. Head east on I-10 and you're right in the middle of Mobile, AL. Mobile experienced temperatures below 20 degrees F, snow, freezing rain, a couple of tropical storms and Hurricane Lili fourteen years ago. As one of the wettest cities in the United States, Mobile receives at least 67 inches of rain per year, along with the highest number of thunderstorm days. It comes as no surprise that the University of South Alabama in Mobile houses the Coastal Weather Research Center. The Center is a fully operational weather forecast center. Weatherwise magazine reports that the University of South Alabama is one of the ten biggest in the country, offering more than a hundred undergraduate majors. This self-supporting complex provides everything from emergency warnings to forecast information for business and industry. CWRC is located in Mitchell Center. In addition to the sound of clicking computers, you'll hear the sound of dribbling basketballs where USA's b-ball team is also housed.