Delta’s roads are hazardous during 2020:

How can students be safe and educated?

Travis Cantonwine, Writer

In the parking lot, not only do students see many disturbances by classmates and sometimes teachers, they have also been seeing large amounts of slick ice sheets. Due to changing weather conditions in short amounts of time, ice is more frequent on Delta’s roads than it was years before. Specialists can use their knowledge of weather to help keep students safe when driving on icy, rural roads.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an annual report card that tracks the trends of the arctic’s overwhelming heating and changing weather patterns, and provides a look into the future. This year’s report card was curated by over 130 specialists from 15 different countries, and it includes 16 essays that inform the public at the annual American Geophysical Union convention. They also included graphics that displayed the minimum and maximum temperatures of the North Pole, and how those temperatures are about two times more effective melting the ice than the 30 year average in which it was compared to. 

Understanding the implications of global warming, and knowing the importance of safe driving, teacher Danielle Lopez encourages students in her math classes and her speech team to adapt to changes outlined in the arctic report card. 

“The climate is clearly changing,” Lopez said. “..the change is undeniable!”

These conditions have caused observable car crashing incidents throughout the multiple counties of the Western Slope, including Delta. The main concern for Lopez is the safety of students, rather than the political arguments about the environment. 

“Everyone should be cautious. It’s one thing to risk your own life/safety. It’s another thing to risk someone else’s,” Lopez said. 

For in-depth explanation of the significance of the icy roads this year: the Colorado weather, especially in this area, has recently been regarded by some locals as variable, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous. These are affects of the global warming, which is increasing according to NOAA’s study. 

Scientists that participated in that study were qualified to confirm that the arctic is in fact decreasing due to the lack of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The rise in sea level contributes to large scale versions of the weather conditions. On September 9th, NOAA records the hottest summer on record for the United States. 

The evidence suggests violent changes in weather in a short period of time. Their website is quoted below:

“August 2020 will be remembered for its extreme heat and violent weather: The U.S. endured heat waves, hurricanes, a devastating derecho and raging wildfires out West.”

“Ft. Collins, Colorado, picked up at least 2 inches of snow on Sept. 8, topping their previous record earliest measurable snow by four days.”

Humans cannot go back in time, but they can improve their driving on icy roads. Malman Law explains on their website that accountability is still required, and snow is not an excuse for irresponsible driving: “…drivers must drive with more skill and care than when these conditions aren’t present. Weather is not an excuse.”

Lopez acknowledges science and understands the responsibilities students must have while driving. She wants to suggest ways to students on how to drive safe during a snowstorm, so she wrote down these methods on December 16th of this year:

“[Take] alternate routes, [engage] 4WD if possible, [and] get a ride from a better driver. Youthful people make decisions that end up hurting themselves or others.”