Winters are warming faster than other seasons across most of the U.S. Because of this issue it is causing a lot of unpredictable impacts in the states and communities across the country. Both Maine and Alaska are about 5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter on average since the early 1900’s. Winter warming can be seen almost everywhere you go, but in January 2020 it was the recorded to be the Earth’s hottest recorded January on average, and the four warmest Januaries have occurred in since 2016.
How are warm winters affecting our own communities?
California is the nation’s largest economy and is heavily reliant on snow that falls in the Sierra Nevada which is like a giant reservoir. The snowpack lasts throughout the winter and melts by the end of spring, sending a supply of water to farms and cities when they need it most. But with warming temperatures, California’s snowpack is shrinking both because of increased snowmelt and more precipitation in falling as rain instead of snow. Across the West, snowpack has already shrunk by 15% to 30%.
The most visible impact of warming winters in the Mountain West Is on the forests. Millions of trees died from pine, spruce, and pinyon ips bark beetles over the last three decades. Warmer temperatures and low precipitation can make trees more vulnerable to infestation. The most damaged areas are in and around the Rocky Mountain National Park and parts of the San Juan Mountains.
We should stop taking advantage of the warmth and remind ourselves what we can do to help change.
Although the warm weather during the chilly winters are enjoyable, we have to think more than just ourselves and realize there’s a whole world out here that we need to protect and take care of because before you know it the normal winters won’t be so normal any longer, and it can affect you and your home.