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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • What does this weather pattern mean?

  • Old man winter decided there just hadn't been enough snow this year, so he decided to dump on us once again.
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  • Old man winter decided there just hadn't been enough snow this year, so he decided to dump on us once again.
    Overnight on Monday and into Tuesday, quite a bit of snow fell across this region. It included some nasty hail and ice, as most people discovered on Tuesday morning.
    Yet even with this latest blast, winter in Wayne County hasn't been anything like it used to be.
    But for places like Boston, winter has been extremely bad, more than normal.
    So what is happening?
    There have already been multiple tornadoes this year in the South and in Texas this week, temperatures were nearing 100 degrees.
    Something certainly seems amiss.
    Weather experts say the country, or world, is experiencing weather extremes. They point to extreme drought in the Midwest last year that nearly crippled barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
    Extreme wildfires devastated much of the mountain west last year.
    We all know what Hurricane Sandy did to the Jersey Shore and other parts of the Eastern Seaboard.
    In other words, it's a mess.
    So what is the root cause?
    Some point at the rising temperatures around the globe.
    It's hard to argue the point when you see the penguin population in Antarctica declining rapidly. They are simply losing ice and the temperatures have warmed dramatically over the past decade.
    A lesser known issue has to do with Monarch butterflies. These beautiful creatures populate this part of the world heavily. Each year, they go on journey of thousands of miles to Mexico, where they repopulate.
    A recent report indicated the Monarch butterfly population has decreased drastically over the past decade and there are now signs of that changing.
    In a related matter, some species of butterflies which only used to be found in the South are now commonly found in areas like northeast Pennsylvania. Scientists theorize that because of warmer climates in the northeast, those species can now live in this neck of the woods.
    We might not think of butterflies all that much, but they are an integral part of the ecosystem. That they are migrating differently and losing numbers drastically should sound an alarm.
    There is no doubt these things are happening. These are facts based on science.
    But what can we do?
    That is an answer nobody seems to know precisely. It seems logical there are certain things we can do, like lower our carbon footprint.
    That, however, is not an easy task. We are so dependent upon so many things, it is very difficult.
    Page 2 of 2 - Think about it.
    Almost every one of us relies on a computer just to get by in everyday life. Whether it's finding a great deal at a local store or looking up directions for your destination, technology is everywhere.
    That means getting our dependence to drop is nearly impossible.
    There are no easy answers to these question. But these are questions which need answers.
    We can discuss these issues day in and day out, but it's time for some action be taken.
    Future generations are counting on us to figure out some of these issues and actually make decisions.
    In today's political climate, making decisions is anything but easy. It seems our leaders are too busy fighting and pointing fingers to actually take some time and make decisions.
    It is sad state of affairs, for sure.
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