Aside from the obvious problem of cold spells, with temperatures far below zero gracing the frigid envelope of winter, another problem is that some people think that this is cause to disbelieve in “global warming”.
“Climate Change” is the more common term, now, as well as the more accurate one. As proven by these polar vortexes, weather events are becoming more extreme, with temperatures hotter in some places and colder in others, torrential downpours and massive freak waves becoming the new normal.
Quick clarification: weather and climate are not the same. Weather is made up of the day to day temperature forecasts and rain showers, etc. Climate is the description used to identify weather patterns, and usually focuses on a region, rather than a specific city or town. When we talk about climate change, we are looking at changes in weather patterns over years, whereas the weather from yesterday could be drastically different from tomorrow’s weather, but likely would not be classified as climate change.
Even places like Chicago and towns in Minnesota that are accustomed to cold winters are dealing with record-breaking low temperatures. One might just say that it is a particularly cold winter, that maybe we should open the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s a freak cold spell… but climate change by definition is long-term changes to weather patterns. Climate change means that over the next decade, several decades, a century, weather events that were once considered “freak” will become more common.
Already, the status of our atmosphere is causing change down on ground-level, and past habits resulting in pollution will cause change regardless of what we do going forward. But, if we want our beaches to stay beautiful, our forests green and full, if we want to keep our lovely Earth to be healthy and clean, we need to be forward-thinking, rather than imposing the problem of climate change onto the future. So grab your warmest coat, biggest umbrella, and don’t blow away!