December, a month that engenders snow-filled streets, frigid temperatures, and snowman building, among other winter activities, is everything but this year. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day saw no snow and no cold; there was no need for hot chocolate, firewood, jackets, or gloves for playing in the snow.
In December alone, more than 2600 record high temperatures were recorded. In New York City, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day eclipsed previous record highs and surpassed the national average (71 and 65 respectively). This naturally leads to the question: why is it so warm?
We are currently experiencing one of the strongest El Niños; an el niño is a weather pattern that has warmer than average water tempatures in the Eastern Equatoral Pacific. It affects weather throughout the world, and it is certainly a factor for our unconventional(to say the least) weather.
Human induced-climate change is also a possible variable in this enigmatic weather. CO2 emmisons and global temperatures are on the rise; China, folloewed by the United States and India, are some of the largest carbon dioxide emmiting countries. Recently, in hopes to impede this growing trend, over 190 countries agreed to a historic climate change deal. The goal is to reduce global emmisions and not let global temperatures increase more than 2 degrees centrigrade.
It can be said that this odd winter is due to the warm temperatures from the el niño and warming trend of the earth. Efforts have been made by countries to limit human role in the increasing temperature of the earth, and hopefully we can reduce our carbon footprint and be kind to the earth. The winter is not over just yet, so there is still hope of a glipse of some snow.