This is written by Maureen Reno, Moms Clean Air Force Supermom in New Hampshire:
As a true New Englander, I’ve grown to really appreciate autumn. Like a young school girl, I get excited with the first signs of the season — the crisp morning air, a hint of bright color in a random tree, and even the seasonal debut of pumpkin ale. My young daughter, Satori, was also excited about fall this year. As the official first day of autumn approached, Satori became more enthusiastic about picking pumpkins and decorating the house for Halloween. However, picking pumpkins in 80 degree sunshine just seemed wrong.
As we waited in the sweltering heat to purchase a variety of funny looking gourds, Satori asked, “Mommy, why won’t the summer go away?” I responded by explaining that changes in weather patterns and an increase in extreme weather events trap heat-producing gases, like carbon, in our atmosphere. These gases are released from burning fossil fuels, and other human activities. I also told her that warmer Octobers are becoming the norm, in contrast to the cool, crisp autumns of my childhood, dare is say, nearly half a century ago.
I explained that noticeably warmer autumns are a sign that our climate is changing, and in other parts of the world, these weather patterns may take different forms, such as extreme droughts and floods…and these weather events are related. As our climate changes, the intensity and frequency of such extreme weather events will increase.
In fact, most scientists agree that New Hampshire’s climate is getting warmer. The Union of Concerned Scientists reported that New Hampshire might be headed for climate much like Charlotte, North Carolina or Atlanta, Georgia. According to a study released last spring by the University of New Hampshire, average annual temperatures in New Hampshire will likely rise by 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme precipitation events may double by mid-century. Summer temperatures are expected to have the most dramatic change, up 11 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The frequency of extreme heat days is expected to increase, affecting children’s health.
Maureen Reno has been a Moms Clean Air Force Supermom in New Hampshire since 2012. She applies her education as an economist to fighting for policies that help Americans choose renewable energy and energy efficiency as a means to a cleaner, energy independent environment. Maureen, her husband and daughter live in Derry, NH.