By: Will Ridley
Having lived in the south my entire life, it’s no surprise when the weather fluctuates. Every summer in the south is miserably hot and some winter weeks are colder here than up north. It could rain four days in a row and be sunny without a cloud in the sky for the entire week following. I have learned to expect the unexpected and to always check my weather app before leaving my apartment (to make sure I’m dressed somewhat appropriately).
However, this past week proved itself an anomaly with its shifting weather conditions. Monday, February 3rd brought a 70-degree afternoon to start off this generally harsh winter month. Thursday, February 6th was a day of non-stop showers, leading to flooding all over the Upstate. And this past weekend on Saturday, February 8th, there weren’t just snow flurries, but rather the 1-2 inches of snow stuck for the entire day. Greenville County better start warming up the snowplow engines!
Within a span of 6 days, we experienced three vastly different weather patterns, and you’d be in the minority if you did not find this abnormal. From summer-like temperatures to the most rain we have seen in months to the first real snow of the winter season, some may say these are symptoms of climate change. And they’d be right.
Climate change is nothing new. NASA has iterated that even though previous cycles of vastly changing climates have been recorded, “the current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity.” Unstable and constantly-altering weather patterns are just one among the many signs that are attributed to climate change. If the probability is so high that this cycle will prove more impactful than all seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat over the last 650,000 years, it’s time that people get real about global warming and climate change.
While it’s all fun and games to soak up the sun on a Monday, splash in puddles on a Thursday, and build a snowman on Saturday, it should still be noted that the sole explanation for these irregular weather occurrences is climate change. This isn’t just a “wacky week of weather for Greenville.” Until we, as a collective human population, recognize the connection between human existence and the cycles of the natural world, these changes will only start to become more drastic and irreversible over time. Let’s stop debating whether climate change and global warming are real or not, and have a friendly snowball fight instead.