Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

False spring is a warning

While students have enjoyed and embraced the warm weather in shorts and light spring jackets, they should be concerned about the implications these unseasonably warm temperatures may have.

Having near-60 degree days for a solid week in February may be pleasant, but according to U.S. climate data, the normal average in Wisconsin during the month of February is 22 degrees.

The arrival of spring earlier and earlier can have drastic effects on the Wisconsin environment we know and love.

Not only are overall temperatures increasing, but false springs are becoming more common.

An environmental research letter by Andrew Allstadt and colleagues of UW Madison explains the term “false spring” as an increase in temperature earlier than normal.
This causes plants to come out of dormancy and begin budding before temperatures drop back down, damaging the plant and destroying a primary food source migratory animals rely on. Agricultural crops, mainly fruit, are often severely damaged by false springs.

It is important for people to be aware of the changes occurring. Immediate effects of climate change can already be seen in Minnesota’s recent severe weather, which included quarter-sized hail and the earliest tornado in Minnesota history, according to the National Weather Service.

Even after Gov. Scott Walker denied climate change and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources removed all mention of it from their website, the state Division of Emergency Management has created a disaster preparedness plan to specifically address the issues of climate change and the likely severe weather and natural disaster trend it will spur.

NASA’s Earth Observatory site explains that although the earth does have a natural cycle of warming and cooling, recent changes have come about too swiftly to be attributed solely to the natural process.

Changes can be made to slow the cycle, like small lifestyle changes such as recycling and composting. Something as seemingly insignificant as taking part in online polls and forums can also have an impact.

I strongly encourage UW Oshkosh students to educate themselves on the evidence and implications regardless of their views. The evidence exists and it is time to accept it and make whatever preparations are necessary to adapt to the new environment.

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Elizabeth Pletzer, Web Editor

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