• The Crestiad

Climate change: fact or fiction?


Depicted here is a polar bear drifting on an piece of ice that has melted from global warming.

Photo credit: Ralph Lee Hopkins of National Geographic


Erika Reynolds

Writer


The presence of climate change on the planet is becoming too much to bear, as the practices humans engage in are consequently destroying the natural climate patterns all over the world. The damage is coming mainly from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. These fuels combine with the oxygen in the air to create CO2. This elevated atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is mixing with the gasses that are already present in the atmosphere, contributing to an overwhelming greenhouse effect and increased global warming.


The greenhouse effect is a process that warms the Earth’s surface with the Sun’s energy naturally. Rather than letting the heat go off into space, the greenhouse effect allows that warmth to stay in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a habitable planet. According to the EPA, the atmosphere’s warming effect has increased over 37% in the last 25 years. The consistent contribution of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere continues to force the planet’s temperature to rise from a comfortable and habitable place, to a place hanging on by a thread. The rise of temperatures is affecting the Earth’s creatures in so many ways. In fact, NASA has projected that the Arctic is going to become ice-free before the mid-century hits. Additionally, this heat is expected to cause sea levels to rise with overbearing amounts of precipitation, creating many issues for those on the coast as infrastructures will be damaged and some oceans are expected to be more acidic. These weather changes are reflected in the Old Farmer’s Almanac. This winter is projected to be cold, wet, and snowy in the North-Eastern states.


Some people believe that treating this topic with urgency is frivolous. People are claiming that this is a natural cycle that will even itself out, while others see no cause for concern because they believe that life will find a way. These ideas are merely grasping at straws with a topic that is truly concerning. 


This is no natural cycle as temperatures have shown a distinct difference for the last 40 years. The changes the planet is experiencing are progressing too quickly and far more monumentally than any natural cycle would.  Life simply cannot find a way due to the cities and roads humans have built. As the climate would get colder/hotter, animals and plants would uproot themselves and settle at a more suitable place to evolve and live comfortably. With the presence of so many urbanized communities, it would be difficult for these animals to find solace before it is too late. 


“As yet, the wind is an untamed and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming and harnessing of it,” Abraham Lincoln said about climate change in the future. So together, the people of this planet must make the unanimous decision to care for Mother Earth like never before. 


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