From Spanish hams to snowless NYC, climate change making itself felt in strangest ways

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(A native of England, veteran journalist Matthew Diebel has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations.)

Why I could be hamming it up in Spain for not much longer

Over the Christmas break my family and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Spain. We had a few days in Madrid followed by 10 days in the islands of Lanzarote and Grand Canary.

Among the highlights were the bountiful buffets served by the hotels we stayed at for segments of our vacation. There was usually an egg station. There was always a multitude of magnificent Spanish fruits, such as melons and oranges. And another constant was an array of cured meats, including various sausages — the chorizo, by the way, is different and much better than that found in the U.S. — and hams.

So good! One of them was jamón serrano, a bright pink version crossed with delicious white streaks of smooth fat. The other, though, was the porky pièce de résistance: jamón ibérico. With a darker meat, it has a deeper taste that lingers in the mouth. It is also very expensive — about $60 per pound at retail — and I probably almost put the hotels out of business with the amount I ate.

Imagine, then, the sharp intake of breath I took when I saw this headline: “Spain’s prized jamón ibérico under threat from climate crisis.”…

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