Climate report warns of worsening of global warming

By 2085, snow days could become a memory of the past while a month’s worth of temperatures higher than 100° Fahrenheit become the reality for Fairfax County residents.

The Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (FCOEEC) recently released a climate report as a part of their Resilient Fairfax initiative. The report detailed the county’s predictions for weather and climate in the upcoming years. 

In a higher risk scenario, where we continue our current projections of fossil fuel emissions into the year 2050, the report predicted that we would have less than three days of snowfall. And by 2085, the county might have less than one day of snowfall by that year. 

Although there might be a decrease in winter precipitation, there will be an increase in rain and stormy weather. Additionally, the report describes that “very hot days at, or above, 90 degrees Fairenheit  in Fairfax County are projected to rise significantly from 29 days per year today to more than 60 days per year in 2050”. 

These alarming predictions are made due to high emission rates. Although some hoped emission rates would remain low after the beginning of the pandemic, in 2021, carbon emission rates increased by almost eight percent. In 2019, the United States emitted 6,558 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, according to the EPA.

Simple activities like driving a car, running the lights too long, turning on the heater, and much more all release greenhouse gases into the environment. In 2017, transportation accounted for 14% of emission rates while electricity and heat production accounted for 27.5% of emission rates  as reported by the NRDC. Additionally, industrial emissions account for more than one-fifth of the emission levels.

Even if efforts are made to be more conscious of our carbon footprints, global warming is still likely to worsen, just at a slower rate. Slowing the rate requires full cooperation from individuals everywhere. The report details that the county should begin preparing for any scenario. 

“Fairfax County is not immune to the effects of climate change and this report is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we prepare our community to be more resilient in the future,” commented Kambiz Agazi, Director of the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination. 

Though the climate will see drastic changes within the next 50 years, it is still possible to slow this process down by being more environmentally conscious and making our best attempts to reduce our carbon footprints.