Record-breaking temperatures could cause storms, other issues

Commentary by Ngozika A. Nwoko
Times-News correspondent
teens20@thetimesnews.com

As winter to comes to its end, many Americans have been thrown for a loop with unusually warm and record- breaking seasonal temperatures. But these record highs don’t just mean more scorching summers; they also could have an effect on weather conditions and the environment across the country.

All across the country, several states have experienced consecutive record-breaking highs for the months of February and March. According to an article by scientificamerican.com, nearly half of the United States had temperatures 5 degrees F. above average, with more than 1,500 daily records set in the month of January alone.

So what is the cause of this unusually warm and dry winter? According to an article on usatoday.com, scientists believe that warm air coming from theGulf of Mexicofueled the sudden outbreak of tornadoes earlier this year. These warmer waters will likely be the cause of an earlier hurricane season and an increased frequency and severity of tropical storms.

Hotter temperatures and larger-scale storms may not be the only problems Americans may be facing in the coming weeks as scientists suggest another problem known as the Jumanji effect, according to cornellsun.com.

The Jumanji effect suggests that as temperatures get warmer earlier, animals will also awaken from hibernation earlier. This sudden awakening can be a problem because although it feels like spring, animals such as black bears that have burned up their fat reserves will be hungry and with the lack of food usually present in the spring. They may be going after sources of food in trash cans and bird feeders.

The Jumanji effect could also create population booms in animals such as deer and bats, due to less winter- related fatalities.

A population boom particularly in deer could be especially harmful because of a likely increase in ticks and deer-related car accidents. An increase in population can also deplete the food supplies for animals earlier in the year. Pests such as mosquitoes also will be on the rise.

Whatever the cause of this warm winter, the effects of it may soon be made clear, and though many Americans may be enjoying these warmer temperatures now, by the time the summer months officially hit, it may be a different, hotter story.

 Ngozika A. Nwoko is a freshman at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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