We Have a Warm Winter, What are the Consequences?

The United States has almost made it through another January, a month where the streets are usually covered with snow, in the northern parts, like New York. Trucks with plows affixed to their fronts move snow to the sidewalks and sprinkle salt on the streets. Business owners, throw salt on the sidewalks outside of their establishments, we all know what winter should have been this month, but it wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t the usual season we have come to expect. Normally, January is the most bitter month of the year, with what seems like snow on the ground every day. This year’s winter has been a bit warmer, with almost no snow in December and very little in January. A warm winter has negative consequences for our food supply, and wildlife in New York and across the country.

First, we should ask ourselves why we have had a warmer winter this year. The answer is the fact that our planet is heating up, causing our winters to be warmer. This is because of the bright white ice in the arctic, that deflects the sun, and keeps our planet at moderate temperatures is melting due to CO2 emissions. Without this ice to deflect the sun, the dark water absorbs the heat, and warmer winters lead to our food supply being harmed, as well as an increase in diseases.

Typically, the insect population is kept in moderation because the cold winter temperatures, are lethal to insects. Warm winters bring out an excessive number of pests like mosquitos, fleas and ticks, in the spring, summer and winter. Too many of these pests and the diseases they carry, like Malaria, West Nile Virus, and Lymes disease, cause an increase in the risk of catching these fatal diseases.

Our crops can be hurt by a warm winter as early emerging insects are much larger when crops emerge and they can cause significant damage to young plants. This leads to a diminished number of crops. Sellers of the crop, like supermarkets, having a shortage, will lessen our food supply.

Insects such as bees that are pollinators, suffer from early blooming plants like hydrangeas and rhododendrons that provide pollen for bees. When these plants bloom early, critical food supplies may have dwindled by the time the female bees emerge from hibernation and further threaten bee populations. Bees are crucial to our environment, and more importantly what we eat regularly. We rely on bees to pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90% of most of the world’s food. Without bees pollinating plants, we would have a serious shortage of food across the globe, especially because bees pollinate alfalfa, a plant that is grown to feed livestock, which provides our meat and dairy.

As New Yorkers, a warm winter is accepted without question, especially at City and Country, where the block yard and ball yard are much more enjoyable in warm weather. However, this year's warm winter has a serious impact on multiple industries, our food supply across the country, and wildlife that is unadjusted to the abnormal temperatures. So before you wish for a warm winter, be mindful of all the negative repercussions that it can cause for our country.

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