Letter to the Editor
Solaflect CEO Bill Bender reflects on the recent climate change report
The latest international climate change report makes it clear that three-quarters of human-caused global warming has occurred in my lifetime. We are just starting to see the impacts that have been predicted for decades, including more wildfires, extreme flooding, more intense storms, melting glaciers, migrating viruses, and mass human migration caused by depleted livelihoods. In the past decade, the earth surpassed average temperatures seen any time since the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. In general, land warms more than oceans, and winters warm more than summers. As a result, New England winters are one of the most affected parts of the mainland U.S. Average winter temperatures are approximately 5 degrees warmer in a bit more than a century, and on current trends, the increase will be much more this century. In the first two decades of my life, there were only 5 winter days when the top of Vermont's Mt. Mansfield stayed above freezing all day. In the last two decades, there have been 29 such days, nearly a six-fold increase. This is only one of millions of data points that indicate how the earth is warming.