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The Winds of Change

Oryanna Trout, Staff Writer

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During the recent spring break of 2017, I traveled Colorado, hoping for clear skies and safe driving. All went well, but as we were on our way back to Alliance, the clear skies quickly turned grey and heavy snow began to fall. Along the highway and passes, multiple wrecks and crashes were illuminated with the red and blue lights of ambulances and police officials.

A quote from Leonardo DiCaprio during the Oscars of 2016 was, “Climate change us real! It’s happening right now!” In 2017 alone, there have been many unusual weather occurrences. Tornadoes have wrecked homes in Missouri and a late season blizzard brought on more than a foot of snow in some areas. The Mississippi River flooded from post-Christmas rain showers, which isn’t very unusual except for the fact that the river rarely floods in winter. There was also the blizzard warning that took place in Hawaii, a place that never receives snow. The first February tornado was recorded in Massachusetts, and even the lack of snowfall in the Northeast and Great Lakes is odd. So what is causing this unusual weather?

Stephen Stander, an assistant professor at Villanova University states that, “The Earth’s atmosphere typically brings that cold air down to our region, but if there is no ice to cool the atmosphere, there can be no cold air.”

These odd weather occurrences are believed to be caused by the shrinking polar ice caps. Usually, the lack of snow and cold weather would be a relief to many people, but the lack of moisture will eventually cause droughts. The summer of 2017 is forecasted to be a hot and dry one, so savor the cool weather while you can!

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The Winds of Change