The Reality of Climate Change Freezes Much of U.S.


A glimpse of the weather in Texas.

Gabriela Danger, Writer

For the past week or so, the US, namely the mid and southwest, have been experiencing some extreme weather never before seen at such a capacity. While some seem to think that this increase in cold and even freezing weather across the country disproves climate change, in reality it does just the opposite. Professor Dev Niyogi from the University of Texas discussed this with PBS’ Amna Nawaz.

According to Niyogi, cold weather is nit unusual, especially in Texas, which is being affected by this weather disproportionately to some of the other areas. He commented that the speed and severity to which this weather is changing is what makes it unusual.

When Nawaz asked him why he thinks thus weather is ramping up now, of all times, Niyogi commented that it may be a combination of La Niña, climate change, and that bad weather sometimes just happens.

“This season is being affected by what is happening with the ocean. And, of course, what is happening in the season is also a signature of what is happening in the long run,” he added.

As I’m sure many of us are thinking, including Amna Nawaz who asked Niyogi this question, how does cooler temperature point to climate change? Shouldn’t it be getting warmer, not colder?

On this fair point, Niyogi explained that the term “climate change” doesn’t only mean warmer temperatures, rather, “these wild swings, both in terms of temperature, rainfall, also in terms of the manner in which storms are coming.”

He concluded that this situation “unfortunately [has] been predicted.”

Luckily, this spell of cold winter storms has barely affected South Florida. Nevertheless, I asked some of my fellow juniors about what this change of weather might mean for the future of our country and our friends in the West.

Katrina Diaz Balart hopes that this unprecedented bout of extreme weather “will convince people that climate change is real.”

Maria Meyer looks to our nation’s leaders. “Hopefully, the Biden administration will take action like they promised.”

Finally, Mia Castellon’s heart goes out to those Americans up North. She knows the situation has become unsafe, and that “being without resources is frightening and difficult to go through.”

“If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is,” Castellon concluded.

My personal thoughts and prayers go out to Americans in the Midwest and Southwest. Hopefully this weather will abate soon, and the nation may feel more inclined to deal with climate change thereafter. As Niyogi told PBS “..what is really important is to understand that this is happening now.”

For more information about this crisis, here is an article from PBS with Niyogi’s full interview, as well as words from other experts and people close to the issue.