It’s difficult for many of us to wrap our heads around, but it is 60 degrees in Chicago today. That’s right, 60 degrees in Chicago, in January. While it’s very hard to complain over this heat wave, let’s not forget that this is what global warming looks like.
Recent studies have shown that the extreme weather and climate changes we’ve been experiencing are largely a result of heat that escapes into the atmosphere from energy consumed throughout the world. Energy that we use to warm our homes, run businesses and drive to and from work is causing the ‘jet stream’ or atmospheric circulation to change, enhancing the flow of winds from the south and causing unusual warmth in places we wouldn’t typically expect, like Chicago.
In related news, the Research Council of Norway recently released new research indicating that global warming is less severe than previously predicted, sparking debate over global warming urgency. The country may be divided on the issue of global warming, however most agree that to ignore the issue and continue wasting energy would be a disservice to our environment and ourselves.
President Obama brought the issue back into focus during his inaugural address saying, “We will respond to the threat of global change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
What can we do? For starters, reduce our energy consumption when possible. We can reduce our carbon footprints in little ways like taking a bike instead of the car, or making our homes more energy efficient. Some of the world’s major cities like London, New York and Los Angeles consume most of the world’s energy and waste heat.