Is spring on its way yet? According to Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in the world, spring is coming soon. At around 7 a.m. Wednesday, he came out of his hole and saw his shadow, a good sign for those looking to see the snow melt and the arrival of sunshine and warmer weather.
Tuesday and Wednesday, a storm hit Oxford that stretched from New Mexico to New England, as USAToday.com reported. While students prepared for the storm, one important thing was one our minds: would classes be cancelled and there be an “ice day?” We got lucky enough Wednesday and some of Tuesday. Sidewalk conditions were slippery and cars were covered in ice.
This kind of wintery storm really makes one long for spring to come. It also reminds us of the question some students jokingly posted recently on Facebook, “where is global warming?” It’s an ironic question because apparently the poles are melting due to the warming of the earth. Are we getting their leftover cold weather and ice?
According to USAToday.com, “carbon dioxide emissions appear headed towards levels that spawned 29-degree increases over today’s global temperatures more than 30 million years ago.” I’m not sure I completely understand how looking at the weather in ancient times can predict our future, but as it’s all just a model, it could be overpredicted or underpredicted. The article also explains that we are rapidly piling carbon dioxide into the air faster than natural processes did in “bygone epochs.” Currently the global annual mean temperature is 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit, versus 57 degrees Fahrenheit during pre-industrial times. Earth was approximtely 28 degrees warmer 30 to 40 million years ago.
In order to verify international climate treaty agreements to limit carbon dioxide emissions, an observation satellite may be required to monitor any non-cooperative countries. The satellite would focus on estimating carbon dioxide emissions because it is the most noteworthy of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. It’s an interesting phenomenon that could help reduce emissions.
So, is the earth getting warmer or are we just going to continue having dangerous winters and strange seasonal patterns? I guess no one really knows for sure, and scientists will continue to create models for predicting the changing climate. Regardless of the future, I know for sure what’s on everyone’s minds right now — where is spring? Hopefully, it’s not too far off. Thank God the groundhog came out Wednesday.