While riding my bike to school on a Winter’s day, as an eighties child living in the suburbs of Vancouver I remember biking through slushy streets and breaking through ice puddles. There were Summers where it rained almost entirely and it felt like I was robbed from a glorious break of fun in the sun. Fast forward thirty years and the Winter’s are mild, puddles rarely freeze and the Summer is long and warm. They say that nothing stays the same and that definitely holds true for the weather! They also say that there is Global warming and yes it’s really happening…
Countries have been independently recording temperatures since 1850 and with the collaborative help from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration along with other scientific agencies around the world they’ve found that seventeen out of the eighteen warmest years have happened after the year 2000. Right now the weather conditions across Canada and the U.S.A are extreme. The coldest air in a generation is spilling out from the Arctic creating record temperature lows across the country. I wanted to take the time and question why these two conflicting weather patterns of extreme heat and cold are becoming more frequent? I heard a person in the grocery store say he was “re-thinking Global warming” because we’re in a cold snap! (my husband said the same thing last night) Ugh, hasn’t he heard the weather stats?
This is the scoop. Satellite imagery from NASA shows the Arctic sea ice is decreasing overall. The amount of snow cover and sea ice is less, therefore, the reflection of sunlight decreases and evaporation becomes worse. The scientists figure that this alters the pressure and temperature of the cold arctic winds making them weaken and causing the usually unified vortex to split into two or three. The cold arctic winds usually stay in the Arctic but when the vortex becomes unstable and splits up it spills out into our neck of the woods causing sharp drops in temperatures. Moroccan heat apparently is the reason we’re putting on our “>Elegant Woolen Pea Coats. Last month, the brutally cold air temperatures 20 miles above the North Pole quickly rose by about 70 degrees Celsuis thanks to air flowing in from the South.
What should we do to slow the rise of temperatures around the world? There are ways to make the world a cooler place. We’ve got to slow down… take a day off, stay home. Every day we jump into our cars and commute back and forth to work we’re pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere. Unfortunately for most, we’ve got bills to pay, we’re saving up to buy a dream home, or need enough money for retirement. If so, let’s give the car a break and change things up and take the bus… it’s not all that bad on a bus. Take the time for self-empowerment, listen to a podcast, read a good book, or write. It’s good for you and environmentally friendly too. For a shorter commute, try a different mode of transportation like this “>Electric Off-Road Scooter. It’s a popular alternative in California, gets you outside and offers opportunities for light conversation and friendly waves. If your like many and can’t imagine yourself anywhere else other then the comfort of your car then carpool with friends, family or Co-workers. Who doesn’t want to use the HOV lane?
Meteorologists say we were first introduced to unstable polar vortex winds around five years ago and they figure this one will be worse than the last! The reason is warm air is warmer and there’s more of it. Cold air will keep coming if the sea temperatures continue to rise until there is no more cold air to be re-distributed from the North. If we want to reduce our carbon footprint it helps to look for options outside our comfort zone. Learning to make changes on a personal level for the sake of the environment can create creative moments, a fun activity or a way to connect to those closest to us.