Winter has always been the best season for various reasons (in my opinion). None of which could be enjoyed with this year’s “winter.” Ponds and lakes did not freeze and most of the snow on the ski hills is man-made and icy snow. Where did winter go? I remember snow pounding on Michigan and having a solid number of snow days each year. Forest Hills has only closed 3 times due to weather this year and it’s almost spring.
What is causing this and why was it so dramatic this year? Edf.org quoted, “We are seeing the results of global warming the most during winter, as it is the fastest-warming season in 38 U.S. states. In the northeast, winter has warmed three times faster than summer in recent decades. Consecutive days of colder than average temperatures which can be several weeks long have gotten shorter in hundreds of major cities in the U.S. since the 1970s, with dozens seeing cold streaks shorten by about a week.”
Easily proven by worldwildlife.org, the glaciers, and ice caps are showing early signs. Polar ice caps are melting as global warming causes climate change. We lose Arctic sea ice at a rate of almost 13% per decade, and over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95%. This is caused by many factors such as deforestation, the use of transportation, manufacturing, generating power, etc.
Burning fossil fuels is one of the greatest problems and is used by almost everyone every day. The most recent U.S. Census survey found that 92 percent of American households owned at least one vehicle. Energy consumption in the United States produced 4.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021, an increase of seven percent from 2020. That is not just from cars; it accounts for commercial trucks, planes, boats, etc. A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of carbon dioxide. Excess carbon dioxide can deplete the ozone layer which is responsible for the heating of the earth and the lack of “winter.” Supported by Defra.org, the ozone absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation, which heats the stratosphere. It also absorbs infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, effectively trapping heat in the troposphere. With carbon dioxide eating away at this layer, the surface of the earth’s temperature will increase. Global warming is not something new and has been a problem is mid 19th century.
With more and more cities being built, more pollution is being pumped into the atmosphere. It is no secret that scientists and civilians are doing what they can to help slow down or lessen the amount of carbon in the air. While it cannot be stopped, it can be slowed down and is essential for the life of the earth. These include regulation, research, development, and deployment of new technologies, conservation, efforts to increase public awareness, and positive incentives to encourage choices that lower emissions. With more and more of the winter season being taken away, it is imperative that we act fast and act now.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.