Fun or None in the Sun?


Fun or None in the Sun?

Victoria Mays

Something you may remember about summer ‘22 is the intense heat. So much that the summer of 2022 is considered to be one of the hottest summers on record. Now with the sunny season approaching, what’s the forecast? 

One thing for sure is that it will be a warm summer. According to the NOAA, it’s almost certain that this year’s summer will fall under the top 10 warmest summers. Globally, countries are seeing hotter and longer summers as the years go on. 

Global warming is a major reason why our summers are progressively getting warmer as the years go by. Currently, the largest contributors to global warming are China, by emitting about 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year, the United States, by emitting around 5 million metric tons of CO2, and India, by emitting around 2 million metric tons of CO2 per year (World Population Review).

The Earth’s temperature has been increasing by .14 degrees Fahrenheit each decade since 1980. Summers have been getting warmer by .47 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1980. These numbers may not seem like they would make a large difference but a little change can affect our environment. It is expected that this summer will be hotter than the last. 

A factor that also contributes to our soon-to-be scorching hot summer is El Nino , which refers to when the sea surface is above average temperature, and La Nina – refers to below average sea surface temperature. Although it doesn’t affect the states too much, it can still change weather patterns globally. Currently, we are coming out of La Nina and predicted to go onto El Nino.

Usually, El Nino affects the South with wetter conditions, while the North is predicted to see drier conditions and above average heat. However, in 2015 according to the Boston 5, the temperature was below average and there was above average rainfall during the last cycle of El Nino. 

Despite the fact that the north is usually more dry during El Nino, Massachusetts is actually looking at above average precipitation this summer. Massachusetts will also be seeing above-average temperatures as the probability is 50%-60 according to the NOAA.  

All of this has led to the Earth’s progressive warming over the past decades and will continue to lead us in the same  direction. Some of the effects we are starting to see are longer and more intense heat waves, plants and trees blooming faster, and more droughts. 

Massachusetts is seeing some of the effects of global warming both environmentally and with human health. As a whole, Massachusetts’s most extreme concerns due to global warming are “health and cognitive effects, health effects from degraded air quality, and Emergency service response delays” according to Massachusetts Climate Change Assessment.

Westminster and Ashburnham have different extremes than other regions in Massachusetts. For the central region, where we fall under, our most extreme concerns are freshwater ecosystem degradation, forest health degradation, and a reduction in food and safety.  

Due to global warming, Massachusetts has many problems, some urgent, some moderate. One thing you may have noticed is the extreme tick season. As if last year wasn’t bad enough, the ticks are crawling in every inch of the woods this year and global warming is a reason to blame. Ticks just so happen to thrive in warmer, wetter climates, just like we are experiencing now. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Climate Change has contributed to the expanded range of ticks.”

Overall, expect warm and rainy weather this summer and expect for the seasons to only get warmer.