Climate change becomes topic amidst winter storm in the south

Photo courtesy of National Grid

The recent winter storm in Texas left many people searching for answers about climate change.

Climate change is a long-term change in weather patterns that define Earth’s local, regional, and global climates. These changes not only affect everyone in the United States but everyone in the world.

The planet has been warming since 1906 and the temperature has risen 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and sea animals are dying at faster rates as a result of climate change.

Although there is evidence of climate change, there are still many skeptics of it. A current argument is that if climate change were real, Texas would not have ‘froze’. The response to this statement is simple.

When the Arctic warms up too fast it disrupts a spinning mass of cold air, the polar vortex. It is a semi-permanent weather system that is primarily present each winter. Normally, the jet stream winds around the vortex and acts like a lasso of sorts, keeping the cold air trapped inside. But when it gets warm in the Arctic, the jet stream weakens and elongates, allowing the cold air to plunge south.

With record low temperatures in Texas all week long, leaving millions without power and water, climate change is a major concern once again. Unfortunately, extreme cold weather is not the only natural disaster caused by climate change. Extreme flooding, hurricanes and droughts are all possible outcomes.

The unique thing about climate change is that human activity plays a bigger role than most people think. There are many different ways people can attempt to combat climate change. The Natural Resources Defense Council suggests things like driving fuel-efficient vehicles, reducing water waste and disconnecting plugs.

These simple steps can prevent events like Winter Storm Uri to re-occur more than usual.

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