In case you missed it, Senator Inhofe brought a snowball (that he made all by himself) onto the Senate floor yesterday to illustrate the fact that global warming simply can’t be real. Why? Well, because “snowball.” Really, unless Elsa had a hand in enchanting that snowball like she did Olaf, everyone knows that that ball of frozen water would be a puddle if this past year was actually significantly warmer than normal.
While we are inclined to believe Sen. Inhofe’s logic is airtight as that Ziplock bag he brought in, suffice it to say we’re not convinced. Firstly, the issue at hand is global climate change, which is not exclusive to extremely hot temperatures. In fact, as we have seen recently, on the flip side of wildly hot summers, massive droughts, and rampant forest fires, are record-breaking blizzards, below freezing temperatures, and what the media has dubbed “slurpee” ocean waves.
Frigid mid-February temperatures have broken national averages across the Eastern seaboard. These images, captured by Jonathan Nimerfroh, of waves in Nantucket, Massachusetts illustrate just how abnormal this cold snap is.
While fresh water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, salt water will only crystallize around 28.4 degrees. Coupled with the constant motion of the waves, the ocean does not freeze over easy.
However, these freezing temperatures are not enough to create this effect. Erin Pettit, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska explained to The New York Times, “I have never seen frozen waves like this. Cold, but calm water is what normally freezes easiest.”
When a glaciologist from Alaska tells you “this is unusual,” then you know something’s up.
As more moisture evaporates into the atmosphere (as a result of temperature rising), it intensifies preexisting weather systems. More water vapor equals a higher likelihood of 10-foot blizzards.
This also means a higher chance of a polar vortex getting hit off its usual path and traveling down to places like Northeastern America – thus creating slurpee waves.
Slurpee Waves, Weird Phenomenon or New Norm?
Local fisherman and surfers in Nantucket have never witnessed waves like these and Pettit posits that this might only happen up near the arctic regions. So, we think it’s pretty safe to say that these are not normal. But, as our global climate continues to fluctuate between extreme heat and extreme cold, we can expect to see more bizarre phenomena like this in the future.
These waves might be really cool to look at, but they are a clear indication that we’ve got to stop contributing to climate change. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and is primarily driven by man-made greenhouse gases. So, the best way to mitigate climate change is to cut our carbon footprints.
This might seem like a behemoth task, but you can actually start chipping away by minimizing the amount that you drive and how much electricity you use. Be sure to unplug all your electronics when you’re not using them. Did you know that 95 percent of the energy consumed by your cell phone happens not when you’re using it, but when it is left plugged into the wall!
So, Sen. Inhofe, we now are throwing the proverbial snowball right back at ya, because pointing out the fact that it is really cold only further proves the existence of climate change … because, well, science.
All image source: Jonathan Nimerfroh