Eating dinner at Anthony's after seeing the dry lake (previous post), we talked about the drought, the mild winter last year and the early winter this year. I realized that tales of strange weather have been following me around wherever I've gone. When I arrived in Costa Rica, two summers ago, our group was told that this was the hottest, driest summer they could remember. In Oklahoma, this summer was wetter than normal, allowing us to plant grasses late. My grandfather in Northern Mexico has told me that its too cold and wet to plant his regular crops, and he's thinking of switching them out. Each winter since I've arrived in Virginia has been milder than the last, to the point that summer vacation at my highschool started early for two years because of unused snow days.
This commonality of weird weather brings to mind two points for me. The first is that climate change is no longer something we have to worry about for "our children." Its happening now, and people are trying to adapt to their new climate. The second is that climate change is not simple gradual warming, it means a change in everyone's climate in a different direction. The fact that its getting colder and wetter in the Sonoran Desert (my Mexican homeland) doesn't disprove climate change, it confirms it.
There are people out there who will throw a report in your face that says its getting colder here or there, laughing at those "global warming liberals." These people are dead wrong. If climate change wasn't happening, we wouldn't see progressive change in any direction at all. The reason it was originally called global warming was because the average temperature of the planet is going up. We've started using the term climate change because climatologists realized how misleading the term global warming is.
One of the main features of climate change is that extremes in climate tend to increase. Depending on where you are, this could mean flood or drought, a hot summer or a cold winter. Last year, D.C. had a huge dry spell followed by torrential downpours. The main thing to know is that the weather probably isn't going to stop being weird any time soon. So be ready.