HINESBURG, VT– With all the recent winter storms and snow days that the Chittenden County area has recently experienced, some seem to be skeptical of the idea that the Earth is actually warming.
According to the National Weather Service, the Burlington area just experienced its greatest snowfall in the month of January since 2010 (41.3 inches) and only the second instance of 40+ inches of snow in January in the past 40 years.
However, the notion that snowstorms disprove the concept that the world is getting warmer is misguided and simply false, based on the statistics on climate and weather changes.
According to the 2017 Climate Science Special Report, “global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) over the last 115 years.” This report also states that the planet is in the warmest period “in the history of modern civilization.” The report notes that the global average sea level has risen by 7-8 inches since 1900, with almost half of that growth coming since 1993.
In an effort to fend off the negative effects of fossil fuels such as ecological disruption and health problems like respiratory ailments and cancer, many U.S. cities have been transitioning towards the use of clean energy for their electrical needs.
Two years ago, Burlington became the first city in the U.S. to become completely reliant on renewable energy for its residents’ electrical needs. The city has become an example for other communities to follow.
Burlington became the first city to run on 100% renewable energy by investing in a hydropower plant in 2014. More recently, influenced by Burlington’s achievement, other American cities have begun to look at their own natural resources for energy uses. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, there are now 29 cities located in the United States which are run 100% on renewable energy.These cities include Aspen, Colorado; Kodiak Island, Alaska; and Greensburg, Kansas.