As what might be the latest and greatest evidence for anthropogenic climate change leading to uncertain winds and atmospheric conditions, the Chinese weather balloon flew off course and landed on McGraw Tower last night. Cornell climate scientists are analyzing the situation now and climate scientists in countries throughout the world are waiting with baited breath for their analysis.
In order to confirm that the object was indeed a pumpkin, Provost Don M. Randel, convened a group of experts known as the Kingsbury Commission. The experts included Professor Emeritus John Kingsbury from the Section of Plant Biology, Professor Molly Kyle Jahn from the Department of Plant Breeding; the late Professor Henry Munger, from the Department of Vegetable Crops; Dominick Paolillo, from the Section of Plant Biology; and Anusuya Rangarajan from the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science.
After extensive scientific analysis, the Kingsbury Commission concluded, “It is a pumpkin!”
Cornell has been the site of many grandiose hoaxes including the claim that a rhinoceros was loose on campus. So whether the landing of the Chinese weather balloon is evidence of anthropogenic climate change or just a good natured hoax committed by our colleagues in the Cornell China Center is still an open question.