Shenzhen China with its subtropical climate is usually a warm place to live. If asked to list words that describe the weather here, the first words that pop up are hot and humid. On a typical summer day, you are hit with a blast of warm air that forms a bubble around your body. The moment you take a step outside, sweat instantly begins to pour down the side of your neck like a waterfall, making you feel as though you are getting steamed alive. Located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, many typhoons hit the area throughout the year. The thought of rain amidst the boiling heat may sound nice, but typhoons only raise the humidity in the air, thickening that bubble that surrounds you when you are outdoors. What about the winter time? Winter in Shenzhen is usually not that bad. The average temperature in January is around 15 to 20℃, making winter in Shenzhen a little chilly, but not too cold. A thin jacket or two does the job. Now let’s compare this with what has been going on this year…

Summer of 2015 was as warm, hot, and humid as always. The only difference may have been the fact that summer had seemed to continue on forever until just a couple of weeks ago. By the end of October or by the beginning of November at the latest, the temperature in Shenzhen usually begins to decline. This was not the case this year though. Though the temperature went down once, it got warmer again that people began wearing t-shirts and shorts! It was just a couple days ago when we were suddenly hit with winter, real winter. In just a few days time, the temperature dropped down to 1℃, a layer of snow covering the mountain tops in the far distance. The last time it snowed in Shenzhen was apparently back in 1929, eighty-seven years ago. What is going on?

This is not something that is only happening in Shenzhen. This extreme change in weather patterns is something that is happening in China, in Asia, in countries all over the world. Throughout the course of the last couple of years, there has been reports about plants blooming during wrong seasons and natural disasters happening in places that expected it the least. The recent snowfall all around the globe is no exception to the change in weather patterns being observed on Earth. 

Learning that greenhouse gasses are creating greenhouse effects which is causing global warming, people may think that snow must be a good sign, right? Everyone talks about the polar bears suffering from the ice glaciers melting in the poles, therefore the fact that it is snowing is a good thing, right? The issue with climate change and global warming is not that easy. Scientific studies now support the fact that there is a correlation between the world warming leading to heavy snowfalls. In order for snow to form, the air needs to be moist (Warm atmospheres hold more moisture) and the temperature has to be just right, a few degrees below freezing. Applying these concepts to the current situation, it is possible to see how global warming is a reason for the snow being observed everywhere. Currently both the northern and southern hemispheres of the Earth are facing extreme weather patterns. The north experiencing cold while the south experiencing hot, both at extreme ends of the spectrum. With the rise of the surface temperature in the south causing evaporation, there is more water in the atmosphere to be turned into snow.

Seeing snow may be exciting, especially for people who usually do not get a chance to see snow in the winter in their country; however, the extreme snowfall all over the world is a warning to us that climate change and global warming are ongoing problems taking place all year long. Knowing the truth behind the snowflakes, they are not as beautiful as they may have seemed before.

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