West Virginia and climate change

By: Carley Posey

I’m sure we have all noticed that in the last couple of years our seasons sometimes seem out of whack. Could climate change have something to do with it? I think back to just this previous year and how I was driving to my parents for Christmas Eve with the windows down,  how the worst snow we got came in late February and March, and how even in late April we are dipping down into the 30’s at night and sometimes not warming up much during the day. One thing we are getting is plenty of rain, but we have other states struggling with drought like California. Yet with all of this going on as a state we can’t decide how to teach climate change, yet I think we are living it.

climate change

Climate change refers to a change in weather patterns over a long period of time such as a decade or longer. I hesitate to call this climate change for West Virginia, but it sure seems like the last decade of weather has been changing as we have gotten snow earlier and earlier and sometimes even late into the season. Last year we has so much rain it was hard to actually dry out.

climate change2

The Environmental Protection Agency has said that Earth’s overall temperature has risen 1.4 degrees in the last century and they look for it to raise another 2 to 11.5 over the next century.  Not only does climate change affect our weather, but it has been tied to some health problems. It can worsen smog and increase pollen production which can gravely affect breathing for some West Virginians. We could also deal with extreme heat that could lead to dehydration and heat stroke, and with more heat comes more insects especially those that carry infectious diseases such as those carried by mosquitos.

However, not everything goes together. West Virginia has already experienced times of drought, flooding, and just extreme weather in general. The swings of the weather will only become worse as climate change becomes worse. In 2011 alone, West Virginia counties broke heat, rain, and snow fall records.

Not all of the problems with climate change are solely linked to weather though, West Virginia school boards have been debating for the last year or so how to proceed on teaching climate change in school. In December 2014, the board decided to alter the way climate change was being taught in West Virginia schools. The change was thought to encourage students to debate on climate change and be able to form their own opinions on it. However, just a month later the board voted to go back to the old way of teaching because students need to learn the facts about climate change.

There is a lot more research that needs to be done on climate change, but sadly I think a lot of it will just need to be observed to be understood.


5 thoughts on “West Virginia and climate change

  1. I have never experienced crazier weather than in my three years in West Virginia. We can go from one extreme temperature to another within a day. I hate to think the climate change is going to worsen, this winter was awful, especially the storm in the beginning of March. I think it’s very interesting that the WV school boards were changing the way climate change was going to be taught. It’s a shame that the changes did not stick because I think it is important to teach within a way that allows to students to debate and form an opinion on their own.


  2. The main problem here in states like West Virginia is the amount of carbon emotion that is released in the atmosphere. With the coal industry so profitable here, the economic benefits result in environmental consequences that will eventually need to be taken into consideration before climate change becomes even more serious of a threat.


  3. There are so many problems caused by humans that affect life in WV and global warming is definitely the largest factor that affects everyone in the world. I like how you started out this post just talking about the crazy weather and then brought it all into perspective about the Earth basically dying. We joke about the bipolar weather here in Morgantown but what we really should be doing is worrying more about slowing down global warming.


  4. Global warming is such a scary issue. Sadly, it’s getting worse and worse each day. I like how you engaged with the morgantown community with the crazy weather patterns. We all can definitely relate. In my moral ethics class, we were talking about the water shortage in California. Some guy, said, “Can’t we just use the water from the ocean?” I was like, “are you serious? Have you ever heard of global warming?” Our earth needs an increase in awareness. Hardly, anyone is thinking long term…


  5. We can all relate to the crazy weather patterns here in Morgantown. As for the air pollution in Morgantown, it’s caused by a number of factors. I actually wrote a paper that was similar to this in a geography class. I’m talking just about the air pollution in Morgantown in general. With all of the factories and industries around here, plus all of the heavy traffic, air pollution is with out a doubt a problem for students and residents living here. I mean we have a factory right on Beechhurst that emitting who knows what kinds of gas pollution. I will be interested to see how this turns out. I did like how you used all of the weather patterns and brought them together to talk about global warming, because it is a serious problem that I don’t think enough people are aware of.


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