The waters clear, but global warming continues

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Tim Schoon

An unusually late snowfall in Iowa City at the University of Iowa campus on April 17, 2020.

Brooke Goy, Copy Editor

Above average heat along with cold temperatures, extreme dust storms and record-breaking amounts of tornadoes are some examples of natural disasters occurring in 2020. These events give evidence that global warming is in no way disappearing.

Although the coronavirus has allowed the Earth to recoup by clearing waterways and reducing emissions, the slight pause in pollution will not solve the issue of global warming. The damage which has occurred over time already kickstarted the process. As a result, extreme weather remains in effect.

The winter and spring of 2016 remains the hottest year in global history, but the winter months of 2020 came in as a close second. January of 2020 was the warmest January in the US on record, averaging 2.70 degrees Fahrenheit above the highest record. 

Senior Sydney Huber noticed the difference between the winter of 2019 and this year. “This winter had a lot less snow days and I don’t feel like it was nearly as cold as the years before,” she explains.

Contrary to the unusually high temperatures, the more recent months of April and May have been below average in weather, containing many colder days that are producing record low temperatures. 

Huber continues to discuss the weather this spring. “I think that the coldness is lasting way longer than it should usually by this time of year. Normally it starts to get warmer but I feel like it’s stuck at a temperature right now,” she says.

Besides abnormal temperature, dust storms are another effect of extreme weather, occurring especially in desert climates. In January of this year, a dust storm bigger than the United Kingdom swept across Southern Australia, turning the day to night for days in many cities.

The dust storm was caused by a cold front moving across the land, creating high wind speeds and picking up the surface of the soil as it went. A similar phenomena has been occurring in the United States in the form of tornadoes. 

In April of this year, all but three days of the month had severe weather warnings somewhere in the US, making it the second most extreme month in the countries’ history. In the Quad Cities, emergency sirens were set off several different days, and multiple times each day.

The “Earth cleanse” currently occurring is extremely exciting for environmentalists as the planet begins to restore what was once lost, but unfortunately, the atmosphere is an unsolvable issue. Each year, it seems that weather gets increasingly extreme as an effect of global warming, and thus far, 2020 has been a testament to that.