Western Courier

White Christmas becoming less likely

Rebecca Ruder, Courier Staff

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 I’m sure we have all noticed that it is Dec. 6 and there is an obvious lack of winter weather. We have yet to have our first snowfall of the season, and we are not alone. Most of America currently remains practically snowless. So where is the snow? Its absence points me toward a topic I have discussed before: the effects of climate change on our planet.

 According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, several of the hottest years on record have happened within my lifetime. The winter of 2015-2016 was the hottest on record. A trend of increasingly warm winters is something I have been able to notice just as I have been growing up. It is a deeply concerning issue, seeing seemingly less snow every winter. Many people try to deny climate change, or even just say it is not a problem our generation will have to face in our lifetimes. As comforting as those thoughts are, they are wrong. Although we here in central Illinois probably aren’t as concerned with rising sea levels, we should be concerned when we look out our window on Dec. 6 and see grass on the ground and people walking around in shorts. Within the last few days, the temperatures have climbed as high as the 60s.

 This year especially, it seems the seasons have been delayed. Summer lasted into September and October. We still have leaves on the trees in December. So perhaps the current lack of snow is simply due to a delay of the seasons. Maybe if our winter lasts long into spring, there will be less concern since it will still be present. Or maybe there will be more because of the continued shift of seasons. I’m not a meteorologist, so I cannot tell you what the shift in seasons means. Maybe it is just a fluke, or maybe it is another effect of the changing climate. Either way, it is apparent something is changing.

 However, hope may be on the horizon. Reportedly, a big storm is supposed to come through the Midwest sometime next week. It is unfortunate that this storm has to come at a time where everyone will begin traveling home after finals, but it is some hope that we may perhaps have a chance at a white Christmas after all. For me, Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas without the glistening snow blanketing the ground.

 While I hold on to hope that the snow will make its appearance in time for the holidays, I am hoping more that the increasing temperatures will really show doubters that climate change is real and it is affecting us today. I do not have the knowledge to tell you whether or not the damage we have done to our planet is reversible, but I can tell you that if we don’t change our ways, it will continue to get worse. For our children, a white Christmas could be nothing more than a dream.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
White Christmas becoming less likely