March 28, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 42°F


Editorial: Man-made causes are to blame for snow droughts

Climate change effects are everywhere, even in things people do not seem to notice. One of these ways is snow droughts, which are unusually small amounts of measurable snow for the winter months, and New York City is experiencing a snow drought this year. 

Even though Ithaca is not experiencing a snow drought, the climate is changing in the area. According to data from Weather Spark, 20 years ago the first snowfall in Ithaca occurred in October, while in 2022, the first snow was in November. This shows how the atmospheric temperatures are rising in Ithaca. It is important to note that having a couple of nice days during winter and less snow does not identify climate change, rather, comparing the differences throughout the years is what shows climate change effects. 

Snow droughts are not only caused by human actions; there are natural fluctuations as well. When low-pressure centers increase and disturb atmospheric circulation, snow droughts occur. These movements in low-pressure centers occur during La Niña winters. However, a big part of the fault is still on people and the use of fossil fuels, which directly and indirectly affect water supplies

Regularly occurring snow droughts can result in a shortage of water supplies. In a lot of cases, people rely on snow to refill reservoirs and become a water supply. Even though people tend to ignore the harm it is going to cause in the future, the effects of the snow drought will still be severe. Not only will snow droughts decrease the water supply, but the reduction of steam flow and soil moisture will impact irrigation, vegetation and wildfires.

The harm we cause our natural world will backfire on us sometime soon if we do not start improving. As much as it depends on our daily choices, it is ten times more up to the people in power. People who created businesses from nature need to be held accountable for all the damage they caused the Earth. After all, we are part of nature and as much as we damage it, we damage ourselves.

The Ithacan can be reached at or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline