Strange weather because of climate change?

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By Savannah Roberson | sroberson8@radford.edu

Here in Radford, the weather lately has been strange, unpredictable, and sometimes even grossly inconvenient without a doubt. From nearly 80 degrees weather in late February to three significant snowfalls after the first day of Spring.

Though Radford has noticed some peculiarities in its weather, Radford is not the only ones subject to these strange weather patterns.

A place that’s been dramatically affected by our current extreme weather swings in Washington, D.C.

Known for its annual display of Yoshino cherry blossoms, the city hosts a yearly festival to celebrate the trees. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, the cherry blossoms were expected to bloom earlier than ever this year—the projected peak for 2018 was March 17 to March 20, and the historical average date for peak bloom is April 4.

Changing peak dates can upset what’s known as the world’s largest U.S.-Japanese celebration, which commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo to the District of Columbia.

While shifts in weather patterns have certainly had a visible effect on events such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, this type of meteorological change is a crucial indicator to issues more significant than the disruption of city celebrations.

TheAtlantic.com reports that the Arctic is currently warmer than it has ever been, recently hovering just above freezing. After studying the increased warming trends of the Arctic, a team of US government scientists has stated that the Arctic “shows no sign of returning to [the] reliably frozen region of recent past decades.”

On the other side of this strong warming trend in relatively cold places, similar to the Arctic, are situations like Radford, which has seen unseasonable Summer-like temperatures in the past month.

This strange phenomenon is being seen in Europe, according to TheAtlantic, with an extreme cold front that many are referring to as “the beast from the east” causing temperatures to drop about 30 degrees colder than average in places like Italy. As we can see, there are several sides to this strange weather— it is clear that the weather is becoming increasingly hard to predict and pinpoint, even seasonally.

The weather is not just unusual in places like the Arctic or Europe, however.

Strange weather patterns have been seen almost everywhere, and according to several top climate scientists, this is what we must keep in mind when dealing with the world’s increasing climate change. It’s everywhere, and it affects everything—not just the extreme hot or cold regions of the world.

NRDC.com advises us that the most significant enemy of climate change everywhere is carbon dioxide. Moreover, if each of us focuses on cutting down on our use of carbon dioxide, we will not only contribute our part to reducing climate change, but we will also save money.

NRDC suggests some lifestyle changes that, if everyone were to adapt, people could help contribute to reducing the climate change that is disturbing our weather patterns in such a great way. Among these are powering your home with renewable energy, investing in energy-efficient appliances, ensuring adequate insulation when it comes to heating/cooling your home, reducing water waste and driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

All of these lifestyle changes will help both the planet and our bank accounts, meaning that these shifts involve very little work on our parts.

According to Climate.NASA.gov, climate change is a big problem that is not going away any time soon, and it’s so multi-faceted that anyone can find something that they care about and can work towards resolving.

From “development plans [such as] how to manage the increasingly extreme disasters we are seeing and their associated risks, how to protect coastlines and deal with sea-level encroachment, how to best manage land and forests, how to deal with and plan for reduced water availability, how to develop resilient crop varieties, and how to protect energy and public infrastructure,” there are a number of things that we can focus on in order to resolve the issue of climate change, which affects our planet in an increasingly negative way.

Photo Credit: (Hailey Scherer-Photography Manager)