People across half of the US just experienced unprecedented cold, snow and ice brought in by a record setting winter storm. Climate deniers have been wondering, we thought its gonna be warm with global warming, so why is it so cold? The climate scientists on the other hand have been pointing out that as the Arctic warms we'll experience more frequent and severe intensity winter storms with colder temperatures and more snow-all due to human-made climate change.
I wanted to share a short report from my home town, Santa Fe in New Mexico, where temperatures have not only been extreme this past year, but record setting on both ends of the spectrum.
Last summer Santa Fe broke the high temperature record for both June (100 degree F) and July (100 degree F). While I was reasonably cool inside an old adobe house where I live, such high temperatures are no good news for plants and animals of our region. Between 2001 and 2005 sustained drought combined with high temperatures killed off 90% of mature piñons in northern New Mexico-our state tree. This continuing heat is killing newly planted trees as well, redefining the idea of reforestation in the 21st century. Last summer I wrote about the massive global forest deaths caused by climate change.
If you live in Boston or New York, you might be thinking (if you can afford it) of taking a vacation to New Mexico to warm up. But you'll be surprised to know that on Wednesday Santa Fe broke the minimum temperature record for February with a minus 15 degrees F. Add to that 25 miles per hour wind that brought the wind-chill down to minus 40 degrees F. This is my way of saying it's too cold for New Mexico.