Analysis: climate change

Ani-ya Beasley, Editor

Over the past few years, the number of natural disasters has increased astronomically. Just this year,  The western hemisphere have had some of the worst natural disasters in a long time. Beginning with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, then to Hurricane Irma which struck Florida and other areas, which generated the strongest winds ever recorded in an Atlantic hurricane, to Hurricane Maria which devastated Puerto Rico and much of the Caribbean. Additionally, wildfires rage in California has caused a frenzy with the death toll of 23 and over 3,000 people in shelters leaving many to say that so many natural disasters in a short amount of time that are arguably linked to climate change.

In basic terms, climate change is actually what it sounds like; it’s the change of the average climate of a region or just earth period.

Global Warming is a term that frequently gets mistaken for Climate change, but it is completely different. Global warming refers to the earth’s surface temperatures, which is connected to Climate change but is not the same.

A lot of people seem to know what climate change is but they do not know how it works. It starts off when greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2), trap heat in the atmosphere that manages the climate. These greenhouse gases exist naturally but humans add more by using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are oil, coal, gas, etc. The more gases in the atmosphere the more the earth warm up. This impacts the oceans and its sea life.

Why do we need greenhouse gases In the first place? Greenhouse gases are what make the earth livable. Without them, the earth would be too cold for humans or any other living organisms. Greenhouse gases are not specifically the issues it’s the increase, due to humans, that make them an issue.

But climate change doesn’t just affect the oceans and the atmosphere; it also affects the economy.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $18.57 trillion. Eighteen percent of that is linked with agriculture and food-related industries. Everything people eat comes from the earth, whether its ingredients or the actual plant. If the earth’s temperature were to go up by even just 2 two degrees, it could drastically impact the Earth’s food and money supply.

Opponents seem to believe that the scientific reasoning for global warming is weak. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe has even called it, “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Despite the overwhelming facts that support it.

According to NASA, however, Carbon Dioxide stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years even if restrictions were placed on greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and climate change will continue to impact the future generations.  Scientists over the years have come up with many different solutions to our climate change issue including limiting fossil fuel use, asking people to consume and commute less and even having people go vegetarian.

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