Climate change is here with the hottest year on record


Yahir Zapata

Felix experiences the effects of climate change.

Yahir Zapata, Reporter

Climate change is already wildly impacting the planet. This can be changed but it will take a lot of money and commitment. Climate change is a delicate topic and if nothing is done people will face the heat.

The Climate Assessment Report released by the U.S. government, Nov. 23 states that if specific steps are not taken, damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the American economy. This quietly released 1,656 page assessment lays out devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment including record wildfires on California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Still, President Donald Trump does not believe in anything that is written on this assessment.

Climate change is evident and ongoing, many scientists acknowledge that the climate is changing, but leaders such as Trump think it is false. Over the years there have been many changes to the environment including super hurricanes such as Harvey that hit Houston, and wildfires including the California Camp Fire. In Antarctica ice cores, ice cylinders made of snow compressed into ice over long periods of time, show that the temperature from the last 50 years has increased by 1.8 degrees. Scientist Charles David Keeling showed the world that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was anthropogenic and is accumulating much faster.

Some say that climate change is a natural occurrence but many scientists agree that people are causing this phenomenon. Burning fossil fuels as a power source is causing a greenhouse effect  trapping the sun’s warmth in a lower atmosphere, in turn making the earth hotter. Any type of carbon based material such as oil or coal emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. CO2 controls the amount of water vapor thus the force of the greenhouse effect it makes the earth warmer.

Glaciers have shrunk and continue to shrink, the ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier in the year, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. Changes that scientists had predicted are occurring now including loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more extreme heat waves.

Climate change can be solved but everyone has to act. First people have to stop burning coal, oil and eventually natural gas. Another solution is to live closer to work since transportation causes greenhouse emissions. People have to be more efficient and consume less, use less plastic and less materials. Becoming a vegetarian is another solution. Cutting trees needs to stop too. These are the tough solutions necessary to avoid facing the heat.

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