The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Climate consequences

Winter 2023 further shows signs of climate change

December 2023 broke records.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, it was the warmest December ever recorded. 

These temperatures could in part be explained by the “El Niño” year Americans experienced in 2023. This occurs every two to seven years, warming the sea’s surface level and average temperatures all around the globe. 

But that isn’t the only culprit to blame.

Climate change has played a large role in the heat from December, as well as the sudden cold front that sprung up in early January. It has also affected the 80 degree temperatures seen this April, which is usually warm for springtime. If citizens do not take a stand and help to change what has already started, these patterns may only worsen from here.

“50 degrees (Fahrenheit) is pleasant, 50 degrees is nice. It should not be 50 degrees in February,” environmental science teacher Rachel Brunsell said.

While it is easier to understand and attribute the high temperatures seen in December, the sudden drop in January can be confusing. 

Brunsell says that this can be connected back to the warm winter that ended 2023. 

She says that the northern ice caps have been melting due to the heat, and the excess fresh water they have been depressing has been diluting the salt in the seas. This imbalance caused the polar winds to blow to different areas, causing frigid temperatures. 

“You can be too hot because of climate change and too cold because of climate change,” Brunsell said. “It has a lot of consequences.” 

Since temperatures have been recorded, they have only been going up. The continuous increase of averages affects environments and everything that lives in it. But this rise doesn’t have to continue.

There are numerous things that people can do to help climate change, one of them being voting.

Brunsell said that politicians have lots of power when it comes to what decisions are made to help. Choosing to vote for someone who values environmental change can help push the movement forward. The temperatures will keep climbing higher and messing up the natural cycles if nothing is done to start a change. 

“I would encourage people to look up ways that they can personally help reduce the effects of climate change and see what they can do in their own lives,” Brunsell said.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Barnes
Sophie Barnes, News Reporter
Hey! I’m Sophie Barnes, and I am brand new to The Journal as a news writer. I am a sophomore, and this is my first year on staff. I was never really interested in writing for the school before I took journalism, but after the class I knew it was something I wanted to do. Besides Journal, I am on the Varsity cheer team here at SHS. I also have been dancing at The Dance Refinery for 13 years. Although I compete in almost all styles, my favorites are tap, hip hop and ballet. When I am not at practice, I love to listen to music. I guess I am one of those people who say they like all types of music, because my playlists are always changing. Lately I have been listening to a lot of ABBA and classic rock. I also love watching movies, especially with my mom. Some of our favorites are “Clueless,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Pitch Perfect.” My favorite food is definitely Cheez-Its, I could eat a box a day. I like white cheddar ones, but the original ones are such a classic. Anyways, I am super excited to be on staff this year!

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