Sadly, fires burning farther and faster aren’t our only concerns that need to be tackled immediately. California made history this past summer with their record-breaking temperatures of 120 degrees in parts of Los Angeles and touching 130 degrees in Death Valley. Not only have our summers gotten increasingly hotter, but our winters are following suit. To some, these warm weathers mean beach visits and pool parties but more importantly they’re the cause of unpredictable disasters in communities everywhere.
While some say the connection lies between hot weather and an increase in unemployment, unfed families and the relocation of whole towns, science continues to point to climate change. But despite overwhelming amounts of scientific evidence, dismissive authoritative and influential figures stand in the way of a progressive conversation about climate change and what needs to be done.
The idea of climate change is that increasingly large amounts of emitted carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere and the withheld heat causes the planet to get warmer, known as the greenhouse effect. However, the problem doesn’t lie within the planet getting warmer itself but instead the speed at which the planet is getting warmer, which is far quicker than scientists had hoped for.
Currently, we are one degree celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. The United Nations says that by the year 2100 an increase by half of a degree to two degrees is an acceptable rate but unfortunately at our current rate of methane and carbon dioxide emission we are expected to increase by half a degree by the year 2030, 70 years before expectancy.
| Photo courtesy of Michael Held |
Climate change causes more troubles than just wildfires and unhealthy air quality. Because of the warmer temperatures, ice caps melt at an alarming rate and add onto the rising sea levels which are already rising because of the expanding sea waters caused by warm temperatures. Animals living on ice are threatened as their habitats begin to melt away underneath them, and coastal communities face the threat of their homes being flooded as well.
Factors such as dry land and melting glaciers can easily be glossed over when downplayed and boiled down to simpler terms. But when it’s something serious such as the future health of our communities, we may want to rethink our thoughts towards the validity of climate change and its contributing factors.
Mirroring the butterfly effect, one change in an environment will issue a response from the rest of the environment. Warmer weather causes glaciers to melt which then causes sea levels to rise. Rising sea levels pose a threat to both surrounding people and animals but they also go as far as to impact our food production and trigger food shortages.
Climate change is a popular topic dubbed as “controversial” but there's nothing controversial about our community being destroyed right in front of our eyes with a large amount of scientific evidence to support it. Science shows that carbon dioxide and methane emissions are steering our future towards an unpleasant one. And officials in power like Donald Trump who possess a dismissive attitude towards scientific evidence will only speed up that process.
| courtesy of Marco Allaiso/Pexels |
Created with an image by Michael Held - "untitled image"