New York City’s ‘Global Weirding’

Written by Matt Barrett on . Posted in Learn

Bill Ulfelder, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in New York, recently appeared on NY1’s latest “Going Green” segment to discuss the crazy winter weather much of the U.S. is seeing this winter.

Click here to see the video interview.

Ulfelder observes that everyone talks about climate change when it’s 92 degrees in April (referencing one April day in New York City this past year), but that, not surprisingly, folks don’t typically associate climate change with crazy snow storms. But, Ulfelder points out that climate change contributes to the extreme winter weather too.

“Even in the depths of winter, when we have the blizzards and these snow events, this doesn’t discredit climate change. The trends are clear. The world, generally, is warming. But … some places are going to get more precipitation and some places are going to get less,” says Ulfelder.

“We have staff members who call this ‘global weirding,’” he adds. “Because you get these blizzards and these big rain events – like what we’re seeing in Brazil and Australia. But overall, clearly the world is warming.”

The Nature Conservancy in New York has an interesting list of some of the extreme weather events of 2010.

In the news segment, Ulfelder also relayed a story about a friend he recently visited on Lake Champlain (check out the new Conservancy climate change report on the Lake Champlain). The man, in his 70s, shared with Ulfelder that in recent decades it seems the lake simply hasn’t frozen over like it used to when he was a child and he and his friends would play winter sports on the lake.

So, what can folks do to help address this global weirding?

Ulfelder encourages folks to look at The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Calculator to look at all the ways you’re using fossil fuels and how you might be able to conserve or reduce some of that usage.

See also this previous NY1 segment featuring Ulfelder discussing the Carbon Calculator more in depth.

For additional coverage of the relationship between climate change and weather, check out our recent Planet Change posts: “The Warmest and Wettest Year on Record;” “2010: The Year in Weird Weather;” and “With all this Global Warming, Why is it so Cold?

Matt Barrett is marketing manager for climate change at The Nature Conservancy

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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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