If you live in the United States, you’ve probably noticed that this winter has been unseasonably warm, and that the East Coast hasn’t seen much as much snow as it usually gets this time of the year. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the overall snowfall for Baltimore, Maryland has been decreasing over the years. The normal snowfall for the area is around 20 inches, but in the past few years there hasn’t been much snowfall. The average high temperature for January 2020 was 48.5°F, and on the 11th and 12th the daily high even reached 70°F! The lowest daily high for the month was only 34°F on the 20th. Most of the month saw a high in the 40s, which is much higher than is the norm for the month.
So, why is this happening? The answer is global warming, the long-term rise in the average temperature of the earth, along with climate change, a change in global or local climate patterns. These changes can be attributed to the increase in fossil fuel burning, which leads to carbon monoxide being released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide creates what is known as the greenhouse effect, when heat is prevented from escaping out into space and simply circulates within the atmosphere. Many laws have been put into place within the past few decades to help reduce the effects of climate change, including the Paris Agreement, a regulation in which many countries agreed to reduce carbon monoxide emissions, and the Clean Air Act, an act put into place in 1963 in the United States to reduce air pollution from factories.
You, too, can help reduce air pollution that contributes to climate change. Many people have been driving electric or hybrid vehicles, which don’t emit as much carbon monoxide as other cars. Another way to reduce air pollution is to carpool with other people, take public transportation, ride a bike, or simply walk to your destination. This helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road emitting carbon monoxide from the exhaust.
©2020 Weather Forecaster Sarah Cobern
To learn more interesting facts about the weather, visit https://www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/weather-education