It is February 22nd, and the past few days have felt like spring. In Augusta, GA, flowers are in bloom. Yesterday, people in Maine were wearing T-shirts, and Central Park reported 76 degrees. Sure, it's nice when it's "nice out." However, I find this pretty alarming. Our climate is warming up.
I lived in the Northeast until I was 22 (first in NJ and then in RI). During that time, I never experienced a February day that boasted 70 degrees. Yesterday, some of these places hit the 80s. In fact, it was the hottest February day ever recorded in Newark, NJ history. (1) And this was not unique to Newark. As Sabrina Shankman of Inside Climate News noted, "Feb. 20-21, 2018, were days for the books," as temperature records were broken all up and down the East Coast. (2) So if footage of polar bears starving and glaciers melting haven't convinced you yet, take a look around. Climate change is real, and it is directly affecting us today.
Now, although temperatures have returned to normal in many places, but I wouldn't dismiss this as a fluke. Global warming is slow and persistent. Just this past week, the Arctic continued on a hot streak, seeing temperatures 45°F above normal. (2) Not to mention, the past decade (2000 to 2009) was hotter than any other decade in the past 1,300 years. (3) So even though things may feel back to normal, the proof is in the numbers. Our earth is getting warmer, and I cannot help, but see these "spring" February days as a warning of what's next.
I created this look a year ago in response to our melting earth. As expressed in the colors of the Pom-Pom Blanket, which move from snowy white into watery blues, this piece tells a story we are living out right now. The earth's ice caps are disappears into the ocean, and our winters are fading away.
That is the path we are on now. And although we cannot turn back time, we can speak up and act. Whether through pressuring the industries that contribute to greenhouse emissions or who we elect into office, we can be a part of environmental improvement. There are also many small adjustments we can make in our daily lifestyles (some are listed here) to make a difference. Let's work on this together, and let's start right now.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Eryn of @silverwinteroak ( IG )
CREATIVE DIRECTION: Brittani Bumb @untitledthoughts + Eryn of @silverwinteroak
GARMENTS: RESPONSIVE TEXTILES
NECKLACE: @kimivaledesigns ( IG )
MODEL: Victoria Rose @vaudevilliangypsy ( IG )
HMUA: Maddie Mansell @maddiemarissa ( IG )
ASSISTANTS: Brittani Bumb and Astrid von Winter
(1) Len Melisurgo, NJ.com: February or June? Temperatures break records across N.J.
(2) Sabrina Shankman, Inside Climate News: East Coast Shatters Temperature Records, Offering Preview to a Warming World
(3) Melissa Denchak, NRDC: Are the Effects of Global Warming Really that Bad?