Groundhog Day and climate change: sucky weather for Punxsutawney Phil
Photo: alemaxaleUpdate: Phil didn’t see his shadow, so supposedly we’re in for a short winter. Thanks, climate change!
“Groundhog Day is a lot like a rock concert, but the people are better behaved and there’s a groundhog involved,” the editor of a Punxsutawney newspaper told National Geographic.
Just in time for this year’s furry rock concert, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Northeast, including Jefferson County, Penn., home to Punxsutawney. The region can expect several inches of snow and hazardous weather. Overall, the storm could affect more than 100 million people in the Northeast.
But how will it affect everyone’s favorite groundhog? Hard to say whether Phil will see his shadow, but either way, he’s gonna need a shovel.
Extreme weather like this is — counterintuitive alert, deniers! — actually a sign of global warming. Climate change contributes to more precipitation, which translates into more snow. So the question isn’t “Will the little guy see his shadow?” as much as it’s “How the heck do we get people in snow boots to reduce their carbon emissions?”
What’s that? You’re still hung up on the shadow thing? Compulsive texters can get the official Groundhog Day verdict sent to their phones by texting “groundhog” to 247365. (Phil’s only accurate about 40 percent of the time, though, so don’t put too much stock in it.)