The Earth is getting warmer, but snow storms on the east coast seem more intense than ever. This winter, a series of nor’easters hit the East Coast.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a Nor’easter as a ”storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast.”
Snow storms have impacted the North East, with four major storms happening since 2018 began. Power outages and downed trees were a common result of the heavy snow fall experienced this winter. Cabrini University has cancelled five class days since the semester began due to inclement weather.
Climate change, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, “refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere.” This includes the rise of sea levels, melting polar ice caps and the disruption of crop production.
Global warming is the long-term, overall warming of the planet. Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has risen at the fastest rate in recorded history, with 2016 being the hottest year on record.
One of the prime factors of global warming is carbon emissions and greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere. These gases contributed to the increase the overall temperature of the Earth, 2 degrees since 1880.
Ajeya Rayman, sophomore biology major, thinks people should learn about climate change due to the impacts it will have in the future.
“I believe there should be a greater opportunity for people to learn about climate change because this can turn into a bigger problem later,” Rayman said.
Cynthia McGauley, chemical and hygiene officer at Cabrini University, is also the professor of ecology in Cabrini’s science department. She discussed some results of climate change.
“Long term effects [of climate change] will include a decrease in sea ice and an increase in permafrost thawing. In addition, an increase in heat waves and heavy precipitation,” said McGauley.
Global warming is also linked to other extreme weather conditions. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and Dominica. This storm lasted more than two weeks and was the deadliest storm of the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Research from the National Climate Assessment states that due to higher sea surface temperatures, a storm is able to pick up more energy over the ocean.
While the Earth’s temperature rises, winters in the northeast are still strong. Due to the geographic location on the planet, the ocean and wind patterns, winter can become extreme.
“Reducing emissions worldwide to keep global warming under a dangerous threshold is what the Paris Agreement of 2015 called for,” McGauley said. “We can reach that goal by reducing heat trapping emissions, slow down deforestation and increase the use of renewable energy. Eat less meat and eat more locally produced foods. Recycle and reuse. Educate our children and peers about climate change.”