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The Snow Stops OHS

Madelinn Kranz, Writer

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There’s no doubt that the snow has been both a burden and a blessing. We got the most snow that we’ve gotten since the “great snowstorm of 2012” this winter. Compared to other places we don’t have a right to complain but hey, we’re Americans; let us feel sorry for ourselves. There’s quite a bit of diversity when it comes to the snow days, the icy roads and the extended school year, but could the crazy weather be part of something bigger?

To some students the snow days might be a blessing from the gods above but in the perspective of the parents the snow day could be the most unlucky thing that day or week even. “It is not convenient for schools to be closed because I have daily clients I would need to reschedule in an already full schedule,” says Laura Wesen, a parent of an elementary school student.

As a high school student, the snow day means extra time to be with your friends, more sleep, time to do the homework that we all know you didn’t do etc. but is the sudden rush to fit in a lost lesson or two and the copious amounts of homework afterward worth it? “I’m stressed about the schoolwork I’m missing and I’m stressed about going back to school but I’m happy that I don’t have to go to school,” says sophomore, Kody Donaldson.

Despite popular belief, climate change is more than just the heating of the earth (hence that fact that it’s called climate change instead of global warming). Could the odd weather in the Pacific Northwest be related to something as big as the atmosphere of our planet? Well, the annual temperature in the northwest has risen to 1.3°F above average. Now to most people that does not seem like a big difference but by the end of the century temperatures will make somewhere in between 3° and 10° above the average temperature.

Yes, we got snow this year, more than usual compared to the past 5 years but climate change can also cause drier or colder winters.

What does a hotter earth mean to your regions? Most of our water is stored in naturally made winter snow packs. As these snow packs melt, they flow into rivers in areas where there is little rainfall. As the earth heats, specifically the northwest, these snow packs melt faster than the decreasing rate of precipitation. This means that by the time those areas have little rainfall (when they need the snow packs the most), the snow that they usually depend on for water is already melted and gone down the drain, or into the ocean for that matter.

 

More than just the Pacific Northwest will be affected by the change in water flow. 40% of the nation’s hydropower is created in the Pacific Northwest. We could experience large economic losses in hydroelectric power due to an extra 1.3° difference.

That’s only two reasons that climate change is impacting a small portion of our earth. But if one state in the whole planet can have that big of an effect on the nation, then imagine what all the other reasons combined will do. To learn more on the subject visit http://climate.nasa.gov/. Find out what you can do to help.

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The Snow Stops OHS