Suspiciously Nice Weather Sweeps the Poconos

Screengrab via PA Homepage The Poconos unusually warm weather in the winter is labelled as a "winter heatwave." As some might refer to the strange weather change as "s'winter."

Natalie Irula

Opinion Editor

Every day, before I pick out what I’m going to wear, I check my weather app to see if I’m going to need a coat, a jacket or just a t-shirt.

I’ve only worn my winter coat twice this semester.

This may not be a big deal in other places, but in the Poconos, a mountainous area known for cold weather, it’s a bit unsettling.

Here I am, hoping for at least a couple of snow days, walking around campus in almost 60-degree weather.

What is going on?

According to AccuWeather, a sort of “winter heatwave”, as they call it, is hitting the Northeast, bringing possibly record-breaking highs this winter.

Other weather reports, such as one published by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, call for a “wetter-than-average” winter for the Northeast.

But, the more serious question on my mind is:

Is climate change upon us?

Well, yes—is the simple answer.

However, is it to blame for this warm weather that seems like a blessing but maybe a curse?

Europe just had it’s warmest January ever, beating out 2007’s record by 0.36 degrees, according to The Washington Post, as France experiences a winter heatwave with temperatures reaching 80 degrees.

It seems the answer lies in greenhouse gas emissions, as the statistics predicted for 2020 in 2000 line up almost perfectly with the weather we are having now.

“What the models correctly told us 20 years ago is that if we continued to add fossil fuels at an increasing rate to the atmosphere, we’d see an increasing range of consequences, including a decline in Arctic sea ice, a rise in sea levels and shifts in precipitation patterns,” Weather Underground meteorologist Robert Henson told USA Today.

These consequences can be attributed to the rise in carbon dioxide.

The NOAA reports a 15 percent rise in the last 27 years.

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, that statistic is definitely concerning.

As a member of Generation Z, by birth, of course, the environment is one of the world’s problems on my mind on a day-to-day basis.

From memes to social media trends to Greta Thunberg, the current environmental crisis seems to be everywhere.

We are recycling, we are using refillable bottles, we are buying from brands that boast sustainability, and yet we are left wondering:

Is any of this actually doing something?

As much as I love cute sandals and a cringe-worthy, Jersey-girl, short-shorts and sweatshirt look, all in due time.

However, some weather stations do report a cold front coming in late February or March, so it seems I will at least get another couple of uses out of my winter coat.

Email Natalie at:

nirula@live.esu.edu

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