How does global warming affect the nation’s weather?

by Zainab Laghari (Staff Writer) – 2/20/15

                                                            The East coast trying to clear their neighborhood of snow

Being buried in multiple feet of snow this winter, the East Coast is facing meteorological issues that may be connected to global warming.

Many citizens from the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have all been affected by the storm. States such as New York have stopped forms of transportation from 13 counties, as well as cancelling flights to the Northeast. All of them have declared to be in a state emergency. Pennsylvania and cities in Massachusetts have closed schools, and officials in Massachusetts have even mentioned that, “Power could be out to thousands for days.”

Many scientists are claiming the roots of this issue can be found in global warming. Climate scientist Don Wuebbles expressed, “What we are seeing today is completely typical of what you would expect to see in a warming climate.”

Chemistry teacher Kari Kelly agrees to the connection between the storm occurring and global warming. “There have been more extreme weather changes. It’s changed right now, and the extreme is only heading its way again,” warned Kelly. From seeing the changes in weather now, she predicts that in twenty years there will be snow in Los Angeles, California and more extreme weather in the Northeast.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program had a report showed that from 1958 to 2012, there were heavy storms in the Northeast that increased to 70 percent of snow fall. Many statistics have shown the role global warming has played on the climate. shared research done by Stanford showing “a dramatic spike in extreme seasonal temperatures during the current decade [2010 –2019]. Temperatures equaling the hottest season on record from 1951 to 1999 could occur four times between now [2010] and 2019 over much of the U.S.”

Many climatologists like Kevin Trenberth discuss how the ocean warms up from greenhouse gases leading to bigger storms, such as the snowstorm has hitting Northeast states. Other than global warming affecting the results of how intense snowstorms are, he argues it’s also going to make hurricanes fiercer, along with increasing flooding in coastal areas, due to ice melting and an expansion of warm ocean water.

Since Kelly has lived in the Northeast herself, she can imagine what people must be going through in this storm, and she describes the future of “natural disasters” will only get harsher due to global warming.