In this week’s commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Pace Energy & Climate Center Executive Director, Franz Litz, discusses the effects and implications of the abnormally warm winter.
Many people have attributed this year’s warm winter to Global Climate Change. Litz begins his analysis of this theory by explaining the differences between climate and weather. “Climate,” according to Litz, “is what usually happens this time of year, every year, over a long period of time.” In contrast, “weather is what happens today, this week, this month and even this season.”
The average temperature in this region has risen 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the winter of 1970. That rapid change indicates a large-scale climate change that threatens to destroy ecosystems throughout the region.
While many people outwardly enjoy and support the warmer winter weather, Litz suggests that the cons far outweigh the benefits. He says, “Incredibly complex and interdependent ecosystems that have evolved over centuries to fit a remarkably stable climate now face a relatively rapid change in climate.”
Litz concludes, “We have ourselves a freakishly warm winter to follow a freakishly stormy fall after a decade of record temperatures. Is this climate change? It sure seems like it to me.”