morning word: mud
Stick with me for this one.
Morning word: mud
I'll admit it: I enjoy the 60 degree, sunny winter days as much as the next person—especially in Colorado, where I can take advantage by going for a trail run in shorts during lunch, and biking in the evening with barely a coat on.
But DAMN. It shouldn't be 60 degrees. And I know...I know. I can't immediately point my fingers at climate change; climate change is most accurately analyzed over longer periods of time, and extreme fluctuations in temps is still inevitable, even in a world with an atmosphere that continues to warm.
However, it's eerie. I had mud all over my shoes today, and all last week, and the week before. A sign of snow melting too quickly and mixing with dirt. Our mountains barely dusted with snow, my heavy jackets barely making their debut.
Anyways, whether or not climate change can be to blame for this 60 degree day, here are some basic climate stats that make me feel uneasy. (These are all from NASA.)
The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001 (!!!).
The oceans have absorbed most of this heat, with the top ~2,300 feet of ocean showing a warming of .3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. The ocean is also 26% more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution.
Satellite observations show the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades. Arctic sea ice coverage has also shrunk every decade since 1979 by 3.5-4.1%.
An average of 21.5 million people have been forcibly displaced since 2008 due to climate changed-related weather hazards. Global flooding could also triple, with the number of people exposed to flooding each year at risk of tripling from 21 million to 54 million by 2013.
I care a lot about climate change for a handful of reasons. Our earth is home to not only the people alive today—but for the generations and generations of people to come. My best friend also works in climate advocacy, and has been fiercely fighting to put a price on carbon. Lastly, there is hope: There are so many things we can do to actually make a meaningful contribution towards slowing climate change down. Here's a good article to get started.