Global warming isn’t just warm weather

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

Since I came to Eastern three years ago (2016), I have started wondering about the circumstances around global warming.

I had noticed that winter seemed to start later than usual: By that I mean I noticed that we got snow and the cold temperatures later in the winter season, basically right when spring was about to start, it seemed.

Autumn seemed to be colder closer to December rather than in November.

Everything seemed to be happening later than usual.

On top of that, the earth is getting hotter because greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the average temperature of earth, according to National Geographic. So, that is it, right?

If we do not change anything we will all melt in 100 years and humans and animals and all other life will cease to exist.

The oceans will dry up and the polar ice caps will be small puddles of water hanging on.

Well, you know how we have been experiencing really cold weather recently?

Turns out, global warming can also cause this extreme cold.

Do not let people just tell you that Illinois has weird weather (which it does), but this cold weather is another side effect of global warming we need to start taking seriously.

Specifically, North America could be experiencing harsher, colder weather.

Stefan Rahmstorf, a physicist at Potsdam University, stated (in January) that even though the rest of the world experienced abnormally hot air, the United States experienced cold weather, according to National Geographic.

Rahmstorf also said the polar vortex bringing the cold air to the U.S. may become increasingly unstable.

I know, it does not make sense right away, but it does once you read and think about it more.

As more arctic air flows south, North America can expect to see harsher winters, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience in 2017.

Jennifer Francis, a research professor of marine and coastal sciences at Rutgers University and the author of the study, was quoted by National Geographic as saying this:

“Warm temperatures in the Arctic cause the jet stream to take these wild swings, and when it swings farther south, that causes cold air to reach farther south. These swings tend to hang around for a while, so the weather we have in the eastern United States, whether it’s cold or warm, tends to stay with us longer.”

While it is tragic that we have to save the polar bears, it appears as though we need to save them not only for their sake but for our sake as well.

Otherwise, that cold weather will be staying with us for a while.

And colder weather is not the only worry.

National Geographic states that high altitude, east-to-west winds (jet streams) rely on the difference between cold, arctic air and warm, tropical air to propel them forward.

With the arctic air becoming warmer, those jet streams lag, which prevents normal weather from circulating and causing floods to last longer and droughts to become more persistent.

National Geographic continued and mentioned a study done in October 2018, published in “Science Advances,” predicted extreme, deadly weather events could increase by as much as 50 percent by 2100.

That is our childrens’ and their childrens’ futures.

Even then, scientists have already found that climate change contributed to California’s historic, deadly wildfires and powerful, destructive hurricanes, National Geographic reports.

If you do not trust National Geographic for whatever reason then Yale also reported that the warming helped the fires become worse.

So, yes, the earth is warming.

But Mother Nature finds a way.

And I, personally, think we need to tackle these problems now before she takes her wrath out on us even more.

Dillan Schorfheide is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].