February went out like a lamb

Thermometer of the hot sun. Photo courtesy: Canva by Xurzon

It is no secret how unseasonably warm the weather has been this February. With summer still months away, and spring hardly around the corner, Tallahassee is starting to experience hot weather too soon.

According to Weather Spark, the month of February in Tallahassee experiences essentially constant cloud cover and cool weather. However this year, oddly enough, residents can’t seem to beat the heat.

“Daily high temperatures increase by 5 degrees F from 65 degrees F to 70 degrees F, rarely falling below 53 degrees F or exceeding 79 degrees F,” this data collected represents the abrupt heat wave this early in the year. Climate change is not a new concept and is responsible for the latest change in weather. The climate is changing because the earth is warming.

People have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by 40% since the late 1700s, stated the Environmental Protection Agency. Another factor of climate change is the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. These gases are increasing and warming the surface exponentially.

The primary factor causing climate change is human activity. Humans change land from forests to farmland and consume fossil fuels. Mankind has burnt an increasing amount of fossil fuels and converted a sizable portion of forest land to agricultural use.

What does that mean for the state of Florida? David Zierden, Florida State Climatologist, said “high temperatures so early in the winter could also affect the state’s agriculture, especially in Northern Florida.”

“Fruits like peaches and blueberries require a certain number of ‘chill hours’ or hours below 45 degrees. If fruits don’t get an adequate number of chill hours, they can’t produce buds and flowers, and crops may be reduced,” said Zierden.

Although climate change is difficult to manage, there are plenty of ways to delay its effects. Some of these methods include simply protecting our green spaces, reducing our use of energy, and using substitutes to replace fossil fuels.

While the heat may be overbearing, the population of Florida won’t receive much relief in years to come. According to the Healthy Journal “ in 30 years, 1,023 counties, including some of those same counties on Florida’s gulf coast will experience temperatures above 125 degrees-the highest level of the National Weather Services’ heat index.”

Unfortunately, residents may need to begin prepping for summer sooner rather than later so grab some sunscreen and put on those shades because you’re in for a sizzlin’ spring.