Mother Nature Thrusts Climate Change Back Into the Headlines
~ Samantha Lewis
Climate change is an issue that comes and goes in the headlines. At some points throughout the past and present the faltering climate is major news, with people like Al Gore attempting to shine the spotlight on the huge problems that mankind has created that brought havoc to Mother Nature. At other times, the headlines are so difficult to handle in other areas that climate change – and the debate on whether or not it’s even a reality – takes a backseat.
Look at the pictures… The incredible snow white images of Buffalo and the surrounding areas certainly thrusts climate change back into the public minds. Yes, it is definitely a fact that northern New York state, as well as places like Fargo, ND, Green Bay, WI, etc., are known for their snow and ice. Their winters are the epitome of a polar vortex that causes horror in many lives when it comes to rooftops caving in, car accidents on ice-covered roads, and a constant snowfall that locks people into their houses only to have to deal with a warm-up the next day which causes major flooding.
But when a pro football team that actually lives and reigns in Buffalo has to vacate their own stadium and play a game somewhere else because the snow is so horrific they can’t stay in their home base, than this ‘normal’ winter weather escalates into some major concerns that have people on edge wondering what’s about to be delivered over the next few months.
When speaking about New York, the experts call it a mega storm, with totals that are ridiculously high (70 to 100 inches in some areas). This is a direct result of lake-effect snowfall that is not about to end anytime soon. Although temps warm up, the climate change condition causing the lake-effect snow continues on, with Mother Nature expected to deliver feet after feet of snow for the rest of the winter.
There is a book that people still rely on; a book published long ago for the farm and ranch people in order to prepare for what was coming. This,
The Old Farmer’s Almanac, is still printed to this day (and still holds a record for 80+% accuracy when it comes to forecasts). According to the Almanac, this winter will be arctic blast upon arctic blast with above-normal snowfall across the nation. After Buffalo’s storm, I would say they are still very much correct in their estimations. From blizzards to continued droughts; from tornado activity to hurricanes, everyone must be prepared.
But here is where the oddity of climate change comes into play. California will most likely stay in a drought condition even though they will see some winter downfalls off and on. This is just one area that confuses people: After all, how on earth does it make sense that having more snow will come with an ever-increasing warm climate? The answers are a bit hard to follow:
Warmer climate is from warmer water in Lake Erie. Arctic warming will be caused by a jet stream pushing unseasonably arctic air into the eastern U.S. Strange cold air masses mixed with unusually warm lake water temps will cause an extreme temperature change of approximately 45-50 degrees between the lake surface and the air. Just attempting to understand this is like figuring out why on earth people throw themselves into speed-dating.
Fall was slow to arrive, but in the Northeast winter will bring about some huge snow amounts…Buffalo and what happened this past week is only a preview. But the South will not be left untouched. In fact, ice storms and snow events are on tap to cause everything from the Tennessee Valley to Florida some severe annoyance. With constant back-and-forth temperatures, this is one winter season that will most likely make the history books in many ways under many categories.
Can climate change be turned around? Is it too late to fix or at least better the errors we’ve made when it comes to industry, gas, oil, pollution, suburbanization, etcetera, in order to correct the climate? Some say yes; others still believe that we (mankind) had no control over what’s happening now. And still others laugh climate change off as being nothing more than a political issue that people use in order to get elected.
No matter what your belief may be, the weather that’s coming in for 2015 is about to prove that Mother Nature is still in charge; and if we don’t start taking this seriously we may just find ourselves attempting to survive on a dying planet.