Is it hot in here, or is it me?
It was another sunny day in Massachusetts today, and another January day when I did not have to wear my coat outside. While I am enjoying the springlike temperatures (mostly 40s and 50s, though there were some 60s in the past few weeks), it just plain isn’t the way it used to be. Back when I was a kid (uphill! both ways!), winter in New England was cold. Freezing, even. With snow, and ice, and, you know, cold weather. Long underwear. Hot cocoa. Snow days.
NASA has named 2005 the warmest year on record. With no freak weather patterns like El Nino to blame it on, this is somewhat curious. What is more curious is a glance at the top five warmest years since the 1800s, when such records began to be kept: 2005, 1998 (thank you, El Nino), 2002, 2003, 2004.
Something fishy is going on, with scientists continuing to discuss the roles of fossil fuels and their resulting buildup of greenhouse gases on our increasing temps. As conspiracy theorists gain some buzz and credence with their talk of “peak oil,” and with the number of ridiculously oversized vehicles topping the market, is this even a topic up for debate anymore? We’re warming up, and we’re doing it fairly consistently. And while I enjoy balmier temperatures and a departure from frostbite, I’m not foolish enough to pretend it doesn’t exist. Or that it’s not significant. Or that we haven’t played a role in this.
The last four years were four of the five warmest years in history, yet there are some in power still claiming that global warming is a myth, that this is all a cosmic coincidence. I’ll think about that tomorrow when I once again leave my winter coat at home when I head off to work. In January. In Massachusetts.