This Hermit Spent 40 Years Alone In The Woods, And Now Scientists Love Him

starfisherPublished: May 17, 201730 views
Published: May 17, 2017

For more than 40 years, Billy Barr has lived in a small cabin in the woods around Gothic, Colorado – one of the coldest places in the United States. This ghost town has been abandoned since the 1920s, but Billy has been calling it home.

One winter when he got bored, he began to measure and record data about the snowpack around his cabin. Since then, Billy has been diligently recording data every winter. In this short film, the legendary local explains how he inadvertently provided scientists with a treasure trove of climate change data.

What he observed and recorded has since been included in several scientific studies and has “become some of the most significant indication that climate change is rearranging mountain ecosystems more dramatically and quickly than anyone imagined” according to a scientist interviewed by The Atlantic.

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