Is Climate Change Slowly Changing The Windy City into The 'Warmy' City?
CHICAGO, Ilinois — "There have been 31 days at or above 90 degrees at O’Hare this year to date," read the report.
"31 days," I mumbled to myself. "Maybe that's a typo! Instead of 'O'Hare,' perhaps the report meant 'LAX' or some other airport located in a traditionally warmer part of the country."
According to the weather report, last summer was the hottest ever recorded in Chicago's 188-year history. Not only was it the hottest summer but it was also one of the driest too. "The period of July 1 through August 31," according to the report, had "been the driest stretch since 1944."
If you're like most people who noticed how unusually warm last summer felt, well, if Tuesday's record-high temperature of one degree short of 70 is any indication, let's just say Chicago feels like the sun while still rising — it's just getting "warmed up."
Let me say it again: The Windy City — dead in the heart of winter — was essentially 70 degrees two days ago!
If by chance Chicago continues this alarming trend towards embracing another heatwave, to the extent of, say, even topping last year's unusually hot summer, let's just say the voices for climate change will grow louder by the degree.
I'll be the first to admit initially I didn't think much of the whole 'climate change' talk. I viewed the matter similarly to talk of UFOs — I'll believe it when E.T. knocks on my door and mumbles, "Phone home!" But even I, initially a skeptic, with each passing day find myself mumbling:
If this summer The Windy City once again feels like 'Hotlanta', looks hot like Hotlanta, residents swim in April like Hotlanta, then it's probably climate change after all!
Because we meddlesome humans have been "fooling with" Mother Nature for almost a century now, we've in effect distorted "the energy balance of the planet." According to NASA on global climate change, the distorted energy balance comes "mainly through the burning of fossil fuels that give off additional carbon dioxide into the air."
Think of Earth as our home, which it is, but I mean "home" in more of the everyday sense of, say, your apartment or house.
Now, picture if you will, on a hot summer day shutting all your windows and turning off the air conditioner. You then — ahem — turn the oven on to 350 degrees. In short, the "greenhouse effect" is that resultant heat trapped close to the earth's surface, better known as "greenhouse gases."
According to a study, from 1990 to 2015 — "the total warming effect from greenhouse gases added by humans to the Earth’s atmosphere increased by 37 percent. The warming effect associated with carbon dioxide alone increased by 30 percent."
In short, whether climate change is responsible for Chicago's 70-degree temperature in the heart of winter, I can't quite say. But if such warm weather persists, to the point of, say, having another summer with an excess of 31 days at or above 90 degrees, ahem, I'll be compelled to conclude:
The Windy City has turned into The Warmy City!