The Crisis of Climate Change

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The Crisis of Climate Change

Paola Hernandez Olvera, Reporter

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Over time, the Earth’s climate has been changing drastically from moderate temperatures and a clean atmosphere to highly unpredictable temperatures and a polluted atmosphere. Although the climate is different in each part of the world, with sizzling heat in China and snow in the U.S., there was a time where the climate in each part of the world could be easily predicted. Now it is best to over prepare when going out.

To most people it may seem obvious that climate change is real because of the drastic change in temperature and air quality, but that is not the case. Some agree that climate change is true, but others don’t, and some don’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity at all. Senior Scott Dubee agrees that climate change is real, pressing and caused largely by humans.

“The cars that [people] use, burn fossil fuels that put gases in the air that weren’t there at first,” Dubee said. “The climate started getting warmer and really cold in some spots. In Chicago right now it’s freezing, and winter is always cold in Chicago, but it’s been getting colder and colder as time passes.”

According to CarbonBrief.org, an online science website on the world’s climate, the Earth’s atmosphere has been affected by human activity since the mid 1800s when industrialization first began. Greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and cause the Earth to warm up, are one of the main reasons that climate change is so profound.

“[People are] impacting the globe in a negative way because of car emissions, burning fossil fuels and unnecessary greenhouse gases,” Dubee said. “The greenhouse gases in the air weren’t there before.”

According to NASA, climate change is a cause for concern not just now, but in the future as well because the Earth 200 years ago is considerably different from the Earth today. Moderate and predictable climates have changed to be as wayward and unpredictable as can be, and the air quality has changed for the worse as well. Junior Freya Libero said that she has noticed changes not only in the United States, but in other places around the world.

“Factories are releasing chemicals that are polluting the air and making it hard for people to breathe,” Libero said. “Especially in China, where air pollution is really bad and people have to wear masks before they go out.”

According to Our World in Data, a website that shows how global living conditions and the Earth’s environment are changing, climate change started centuries ago with the burning of coal in homes, but large-scale changes started occurring at the start of industrialization from the 18th and 19th centuries. Widely known as the Industrial Revolution, the era was the start of the use of machines and factory systems, which required coal and other sources of power that caused air pollution. During the 1750s, countries had little to no carbon dioxide emissions, but in 2016, 193 out of 195 countries had a carbon dioxide emission higher than 209,190 tons, with the United States having the highest levels at 394.38 billion tons.

“We have the technology to use greener alternatives like wind power and solar power,” Libero said. “Nothing is necessarily stopping us now from doing something about climate change. If people don’t take action as fast as possible, by not using biodegradable products, letting factories continue polluting the air and the water with toxic chemicals, if people don’t do anything in the present, it will cause a larger [negative] effect on the future.”

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