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Good Weather is Global Warming

Illustration // Madalyn Drewno

Colorado’s climate is notorious for being temperamental and unpredictable, especially in the winter. Coloradans can see blizzard conditions during their morning commute and by lunchtime be sitting on a restaurant patio soaking up the sun.

Recently Coloradans have seen a mixture of these weather conditions, but more so in strangely high temperatures. In late February, weather forecasts were reaching the high 60s and low 70s.

But the record high and low temperatures that Mother Nature has falsely blessed Coloradans with should not be celebrated. It should make everyone concerned, and probably a little guilty Only one thing can be blamed: climate change. 

Climate change is caused by the emissions of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.) into the Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses trap heat within the atmosphere, which consequently causes temperatures in various climates to rise, putting 2017 on track to be one of the most interesting years in weather, and the year has barely begun.

Climate change was originally theorized by Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, in 1896. However, it was not a prominent political issue at the time. The notion of climate change became more widely known as a political issue in the 1990s due to an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. In 2006 Al Gore released the documentary An Inconvenient Truth that also explored climate change in the new millennium.

According to climatecentral.org, “NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reports that February 2017 was the second warmest February, topped only by an exceptionally hot February in 1954. The winter of 2016-2017 was the sixth warmest on record in the contiguous United States.” Since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions have increased by more than nine percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and “eight of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.”

The EPA also reports that, “by 2100, the average US temperature is projected to increase by about 3°F to 12°F, depending on emissions scenario and climate model. An increase in average temperatures worldwide implies more frequent and intense extreme heat events, or heat waves.” With so much scientific research backing up this controversial topic, it’s hard not to blame climate change for the recent unusually high and low temperatures.

Climate change is concerning, and it should be. Little changes to everyone’s everyday life can make a huge difference. The EPA suggests a variety of measures that can be taken to aid in lowering energy use and emissions of greenhouse gasses.

When it comes to saving energy at home, do not use more water than needed, recycle, and consider installing solar panels. People can be smarter about car transportation by carpooling frequently and getting routine maintenance. One of the most important things a person can do when it comes to saving energy and lowing gas emissions is spread the word about the scientific research that defends climate change. By letting everyone know that climate change is real, it can be slowed drastically.

Try not to think about the Earth’s impending doom too much while enjoying the nice weather. Or enjoy the nice weather, live life in denial about the effects of climate change, and enjoy breaking out those denim shorts and flip-flops in what would otherwise be a Colorado snowstorm.

Ashley Kim
Ashley Kim

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