What has happened to the once common eight-inch, one-eventful snowfall in DeKalb County that we experienced in the 1960’s? And why have sunstrokes during the summer months become more problematic and exceptional?
In a recent interview, meteorologist Carolyn Adcock with The National Weather Service in Old Hickory, Tennessee said, “For the last two-three years, Middle Tennessee’s weather has been under a La Nina, which means a warmer-than-average winter for Middle Tennessee. For the subsequent years, this area has been under a climate change, which focuses on a shift in climate.” Additionally, she also said the weather graphs were indicating “NO White Christmas for Tennessee in 2022.”
For repetitive future reference, a LA NINA is defined in Wikipedia: “It usually means a warmer-than-average winter for Middle Tennessee. A La Nina means cooler-than-normal ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the Equator. This cooler water affects weather patterns in the US, especially during the months of December, January, and February.”
A further synopsis of global warming is:
· “Global temperatures already have risen about 1.8 degrees since 1850,” said NASA.
· “In the past, it took roughly thousands of years for global temperatures to change that much,” wrote NASA.
· And NASA continued, “Such rapid change is alarming and is already disrupting the delicate balance of life on earth.”
(NASA is the abbreviation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Their national headquarters are in Washington, DC.)
Joel Shannon of USA TODAY, a daily worldwide public newspaper, recalled, “Two terms – climate change and global warming - point to the same existential threat: Global temperatures have risen dramatically in the past 150 years and scientists say they’re on pace to radically alter life on Earth in forthcoming decades (DECADE = 10 YEARS).”
Temperatures on our planet have fluctuated based on natural processes many times in the past. But experts say this extraordinary run of warming is different, said Shannon.
“The global warming trend comes as the human population exploded in recent centuries and technological advances spewed enormous amounts of chemicals and gases into the atmosphere. Some of them, called greenhouse gasses, are excellent in trapping heat,” wrote a NASA representative (see below). “A single cold day, a cold snap, or even a cold winter in a particular area are all examples of weather. It takes years and years of daily weather data to understand the global climate and how it is changing.” (ibid)
Another question is “What is causing climate change?” The answer from NOAH remains, “The Earth’s climate changes through a variety of natural processes, but federal scientists say the rapid warming experienced recently is primarily caused by human activities that emit heat-trapping greenhouse gasses. That’s why global efforts to fight climate change are so focused on eliminating the burning of fossil fuels, the most notable source of harmful greenhouses gases,” continued Shannon.
THE FIVE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ibid):
1. RISING SEAS. Warming temperatures heat up oceans, causing water to expand, and melt huge amounts of ice. The higher sea levels aren’t just felt at the coast, but also far inland along rivers.
2. DROUGHT: A “megadrought” in the West has been supercharged by warmer temperatures and a lack of rain.
3. WILDFIRES: Drought provides ideal conditions for wildfires. What’s worse? Fires release massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, which fuels more climate change.
4. RAIN: A USA analyst of a century of precipitation data shows how, east of the Rockies, more rain is falling and in more intense bursts.
5. HURRICANES: Evidence shows climate change is causing wetter hurricanes, but scientist say more data is needed before settling questions over future frequency.
No doubt that climate change has affected all areas in DeKalb County. TN. throughout the years. During the 1960’s decade, my spare time was spent having snowball fights, making snowmen, and enjoying a big bowl of Mom’s Snow Cream.
Today, life in our Middle Tennessee county has totally changed. There have been 60-plus years of daily climate changes in which to familiarize ourselves. Persons are lucky to see a one-inch snowfall, making it impossible to make a snowman or have a snow fight. Regarding Snow Cream, the United States government has issued a warning to all citizens to beware of consuming the delicacy because of the toxic ingredients, which now might be attached to it.
Losing the childhood years was hard. But loosing our winter playmates was harder. Years ago, huge amounts of snow were gladly anticipated and welcomed (if you didn’t have to drive). Today, we’re lucky to have a half-inch yearly total. Then, local schools were closed for weeks. Today, they close if snow is mentioned and not seen! School weather closings are directly related to what the neighboring county is doing or what the televised meteorologists are incorrectly predicting for said county. One snowflake can cause trouble!
In conclusion, I still get excited when I hear the word snow “flurries.” Because, I know my son, Jim, will telephone and we’ll go to a local restaurant for breakfast in the half-inch of snow. For us, it could imaginarily be eight inches of snow!
The snow men and women and the snow cream will only be in our memories, our thoughts, and our dreams.
“Life changes…death erases…but memories live on.”