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The Severity of Climate Change

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The Severity of Climate Change

Samantha Zakrzewski, Writer/Editor

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Ever since elementary school, we’ve all been taught about the controversial subject of climate change. Climate change has sparked the debate about whether it’s real or one great big lie. Many people believe that these crazy weather patterns are perfectly normal and aren’t related to greenhouse gases. Others recognize the potential for destruction that global warming poses.

A little note before I begin- I am by no means a scientist, so these explanations may not be as in depth as they could be. However, I’ll try my best to incorporate all of the vital information to help this article make sense.

For starters, the weather that we’ve been experiencing has been extreme. The changes in temperature are far from normal as they are reaching all time highs, even for places that are typically hot. According to States At Risk, Reno, Nevada is the “fastest-warming city in the US” and it’s temperatures are rising at .6℉ per decade, since 1970, along with other states in the west (Climate Change Central, 2015).

Scientists predict that these extremely high temperatures will create uninhabitable areas in the future. According to Aria Bendix, author of Scientists Say These 10 Major Cities Could Become Unlivable within 80 Years, Chicago is bound to face another fatal heat wave at any moment. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai may also suffer from severe heat waves (Bendix, 2019).

Not only do the rising temperatures cause heat waves, but they also cause the rising sea levels. Due to this, coastal cities such as New Orleans and Miami may experience catastrophic flooding by 2100 (Bendix, 2019). According to the National Ocean Service, these rising sea levels are caused by thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets (National Ocean Service, 2018). For those of you who aren’t good with science terminology, thermal expansion is essentially caused by the rising water temperatures.

Now that you’ve been informed about climate change, here are some of the many ways that you can help prevent climate change:

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
    • We’ve all been taught about recycling from a very young age. Many schools promote this through numerous lessons and projects. However, the reason that I mention it is to emphasize recycling’s importance as it can have a tremendous impact on our environment. Trash rots in landfills and pollutes the air, water, and land with chemicals (Josephson 2018). Recycling allocates more room in landfills for those biodegradable (objects/substances that can be broken down by microorganisms rapidly) items.
  2. Carpooling
    • Although this one may not seem to have a major impact on helping the environment, it does more than you think. Carbon dioxide from cars has caused major problems and simply carpooling to school, work, etc. could really make a difference as you’d be emitting less carbon dioxide into the air. An even better alternative to carpooling would be walking or riding your bike.
  3. Plant Trees
    • While this one may come across as silly, it could really help. By planting trees, you’re helping prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the air, which will help prevent climate change.
  4. Use Natural Resources in Your Home
    • By using renewable resources, you’ll help reduce carbon pollution. Not only that, but you’ll also reduce your energy bill!

Although many of these climate change issues are problems that future generations will have to deal with, people today should still care. Even if some of us won’t be alive when these climate change problems become severe, our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. will. Why would we leave our future generations with such catastrophic problems? We can run from the problem and pretend that it doesn’t exist, but eventually it will catch up to us and we’ll be forced to deal with it.

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