Warmer winter: what does it mean?

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Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact: slight@cocc.edu)

By Nolan Wironen | The Broadside (Contact: nwironen@cocc.edu)

It’s undeniable that here in Bend, our winter has been significantly different from what it was in 2017. If you by chance watch the news or have glanced at it within the last couple months, you’ve seen that the East Coast is having the opposite experience. I believe the only question to ask now is if this has to do with climate change.

In the last few months, multiple national weather services all over the west coast have been declaring record-breaking heat. Los Angeles National Weather Service has been reporting temperatures between 70 and 87 degrees consistently throughout California in the past three months alone. On the east coast, some parts of New York and Massachusetts have been seeing temperatures under -20 degrees.

Knowing this, would you declare climate change? Some people definitely are. “It’s the trend and the numbers, and there has been a noticeable trend in the numbers of these events,” said Mark Jackson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Los Angeles. “We’ve had very extreme cold before, we’re had extreme heat before, but what’s happening is we’re seeing an increase in the numbers of those events,” Jackson said.

Although multiple scientists from NASA, such as Dr. Eric Fetzer, would argue “Climate refers to longer-term averages (they may be regional or global), and can be thought of as the weather averaged over several seasons, years or decades.”

If the professionals are telling us that this should be looked at as just weather being abnormal, should we view it as such? Plainly accepting these global trends and even our fluctuating local weather as just weather being weird can be debatable according to professional sources mentioned above. What do you think? Are we looking at climate change taking effect or is it just a warm winter for us Bendites?

Submit your own thoughts to The Broadside at thebroadside.cocc@gmail.com for a chance to have your response published.

 

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