Most people are stoked with the weather change. However, we need to take a moment to think about what these warm temperatures mean. This past weekend in Boston, temperatures skyrocketed, allowing for a resurgence of t-shirts to hit the streets as the massive snowfall began to melt into oblivion.
With temperatures reaching almost 60°F this Sunday, we should be questioning whether it’s right for the world to be this warm in February.
Just last year on February 19th the temperature was between 37°/20° across the Boston area. This means that the temperature is almost double what it was last year. Furthermore, the historical average in Boston for the date February 19th ranges from the 40°/25°. Simply put, while the weather is nice and we all appreciate a few days without a coat, this is not how it should be. The effects of global warming are becoming even more prevalent throughout society.
This isn’t just a Massachusetts problem. In Minnesota, there are people playing golf outdoors. Granted, the ground is still incredibly muddy and gross, but temperatures for this state should be in the negatives or mid-teens at this point of the year.
Climate change is nothing to sweep under the rug. Illnesses like cholera are spreading. The data now suggests that the locations where certain pathogens are found have changed. Pathogens tend to live in places that have ideal sets of conditions, and as the temperatures and water levels rise, these pathogens have been found in new ecological niches.
January was reported as the third warmest January on record with certain areas across the globe seeing temperatures up by 9°F. The world’s food supply is being altered as well. That’s right! The quantity, quality, and location of produce grown across the world has been changing as the temperatures increase. It’s predicted that quantity will continue to decrease as the levels of CO2 increase. These CO2 levels will also result in foods with less nutritional value, and areas that were once seen as cold will begin to show more promise for agriculture as it becomes too hot to grow in once fertile lands.
Essentially, this increase in temperature should not make us feel relieved; we should be nervous. The changes in temperature and water level affect more than just our comfort. While change is often good, this is one instance where that is not the case. It might be nice to walk around without a jacket or bulky sweater, but the consequences far outweigh the benefits.