Today we had the first snow of 2021! What a beautiful way to start the new year. Today I also went for my first run of the year. My run allowed me to reflect a bit upon the significance of experiencing the very first snow today. Because it is in fact the first snow in Denmark in a while. Alright alright, we did have some snow in December – nonetheless, 2020 was the year with the least amount of snow in Denmark. Ever.
This is because December has become warmer and wetter due to climate change. The average temperature in December in 1961-1990 was just 1,6 degrees Celsius, but since 1991 it has increased to 2,8. That is not optimal conditions for snow…
In addition to being remarkably snow-poor, 2020 overall was the second-hottest year – topped only by 1990 – recorded in Denmark. We haven’t experienced a so-called ‘ice-day’ (isdøgn), where the temperature is below freezing for 24 hours straight. This is unheard of and has never been seen before. We were also hit by five storms throughout 2020, which is not at all common.
(Oh and we also haven’t ever experienced a darker December since 1960, which is unfortunate for a sun-loving soul like myself. I don’t know if this is related to climate change though. Anyone?)
What I am trying to say is: Weather is acting strange! Like The Day After Tomorrow strange. And it’s because of the climate change that we humans are responsible for. And although some people might enjoy the prospect of warmer weather (I myself love the heat), there will be consequences: Some countries will experience more rain, rising water levels and flooding and more powerful storms. Others will experience desertification, droughts, wildfires. Agriculture will struggle, and people will starve. Species will go extinct and biodiversity lost. All of this honestly sucks for us people.
So let’s try to take action, shall we?
Some of the things we can do starting from the new year is:
- eat fewer animal products
- reduce waste of all kinds
- travel more by foot, bicycle and public transportation and less by car and airplanes
- buy fewer clothes
- spend less electricity
- clean up our e-mail folder and stream less entertainment (data centers have a huge climate impact)
- more free exercise like running (will not in itself save the planet, but will keep us from doing stuff that destroys the planet 😉)
No one can do it all, but we can all take steps to be more mindful consumers and beings on this Earth. Added bonus: All of the above steps will save you money, which you can then save up or invest (sustainably) to achieve financial independence. Neat, huh?
Now back to why I even mentioned my run: It wasn’t just my first run of the year. It was my first run since probably September. In other words: a new habit in the making. So here’s to starting new, healthy and climate-friendly habits in 2021.
Sources: DMI (Denmark’s Meteorological Institute) – has measured meteorological events since 1874; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
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