Is climate change the reason for Chicago's record winter warmth?

FOX 32 NEWS - It has been a record setting month in Chicago with no snow and possibly the warmest February temperatures ever. So is this a clear sign of Climate Change or something else?

Something you should know about climate change is that sometimes it can be very unexpected.

Climate is basically like weather on steroids. Some CO2 in the atmosphere is good and keeps our planet warm, but too much CO2 increases the odds of big weather events just like steroids may change the odds of hitting a home run. It's not until the end of the season that statistics show the effects of it.

"Were quite sure that the climate change we are seeing now is real and serious, and here and now, and mainly human caused. The controversy is a political one,” said Dr. Richard Somerville.

Illinois was given a grade of 'D' for Climate Change preparedness by Climate Central, a non-political scientific institution. Which begs the question of why?

"When people hear about Climate Change, they get some of them apprehensive about the policies that might be put in place if climate change was taken seriously,” said Dr. Somerville.

Last year was the warmest on record for our planet. We have also experienced the 10 hottest years with the highest levels of CO2 in the past 2 decades, and the trend is for warming to continue in the future.

But there is concern that policy may now be about to trump science.

"There is a global momentum moving forward with climate action and that's going to continue. In the United States the new administration is going to have an influence, but we're not sure what yet. Some of the rhetoric has not been encouraging for climate action, but we have to wait and see who is actually put in place for these policies and what their decisions are,” said Bernadette Woods-Placky of Climate Central.

"We've got our hand on the thermostat of what the climate future holds and it's up to us, our generation, people alive now to do something about weaning the world from fossil fuels,” said Dr. Somerville.

As we look ahead, climatology shows that Chicago has average or above average temperatures 87 percent of the time following warm winter months.

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