Daily VideoFebruary 19, 2015
Record snowfalls and cold raise questions of climate change
An influx of winter storms has left Boston’s transportation systems crippled and its residents struggling to cope.
Boston has now seen nearly 100 inches of snow this winter, with few thaws between storms. The record snowfall has forced Boston to close its schools eight times and delay the trial of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Trains have shut down, forcing over 200,000 commuters to find alternative transportation.
The heavy snowfall has hurt local businesses; more than 80 buildings have collapsed or been damaged from the snow.
The weather in Boston and the cold temperatures throughout the country have implications in a bigger conversation about climate change. Last year American and Korean scientists published a study in the journal Nature Communications establishing a link between higher temperatures at the North Pole making polar vortex more erratic and driving harsher winter storms.
As global temperatures increase, so have the surface temperatures of the world’s oceans. In the northeast, these high temperatures have raised the amount of moisture in the air above the ocean. Major winter storms feed off this moisture and carry it inland as snow, explained Penn State climate researcher Michael Mann in the Washington Post.
Warm up questions
- Why do you think there has been record snow in Boston this year and record cold temperatures in many parts of the United States?
- What is the difference between climate and weather? How are they related?
Critical thinking questions
- How does record snow and cold affect the discussion of climate change and what to do about it?
- What are the consequences of shutting down schools and public transportation systems?
- How can cities like Boston prepare for more blizzards in the future?
- What might climate change mean for your community?
- Are governments and businesses preparing for the long term effects of climate change?Why or why not?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Hear from the secretary of education and discuss what can be done in your school to address student mental health Continue reading
Learn about the legacy of a man who served in the U.S. military and civilian government during crucial historic moments Continue reading
Find out why one contemporary musician pushed to make a movie out of lost concert footage from decades ago Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: How fires, dry conditions are drastically increasing air pollution across California
Hear from one local reporter about why air has never been as polluted in central California as it is right now Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: Five economic terms your students should know about the global supply chain problem
What does the phrase “American supply chain” mean and and how does it affect you and your family and the economy overall? Continue reading