Climate change: hitting hard, or a hoax?

If homes started disappearing or becoming uninhabitable, we would freak out. Yet, this is happening to species all around the globe and we barely lift a finger, while some ignore it completely.

In 1989, mountaintop cloud rainforests disappeared due to a drought which was caused by climate change, leading to the extinction of the Golden toad. Climate change is also causing waters to warm, so species that are sensitive to temperature will not be able to survive.

On Feb. 11 2016, some cities in Oklahoma, such as Magnum, were facing temperatures of 97 degrees Fahrenheit; Magnum’s temperature’s are usually around 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

In San Luis Obispo, temperature has been up four to five degrees higher than last year, which is shown in the image below.

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February’s temperature has gone up by four degrees fahrenheit from last year. Screenshot from cal-adapt.org.

Waters are beginning to rise, which is a major problem since some major cities are around the coast. Tammy Seale, director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Services team at consulting firm PMC, discusses some of the effects of climate change:

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Tammy Seale | Photo courtesy of Seale

Seale works with local counties in California to understand what climate change means. Each state has its own choice on how it will handle climate change, says Seale. Cities in California are not required to prepare climate action plans, but there is a lot of incentive for them to, such as grants.

“It is really important to know how our decisions can affect climate change,” says Seale. Everyday actions contribute to climate change and by being conscious of your actions, you can help slow it. In order to limit her effect on climate change, Seale buys local groceries, or uses her bike instead of a car.

Climate change can have a significant impact on our economy and environment if we continue to ignore it says Seale. In California, we have a lot of vulnerable populations, such as elderly and people on fixed incomes, and the effects of climate change will have major impacts on them.

Despite the change in administration, Seale says that as Californian’s we are fortunate, because our government will continue working toward lessening our impact on climate change.

Climate change is the increase in carbon dioxide and other “heat-trapping gases in the environment.” This increase in carbon dioxide is caused by humans, and nations and states are attempting to lower their impact on climate change.

Climate change is real, and rather than denying it, we should start working toward decreasing our impact on it. Since 1880, temperatures have been recorded. In all 137 years of recording, 2016 was officially declared the hottest year. And the hottest year prior to that? 2015. And I bet you can guess what the hottest year before that was: 2014.

Featured image by geralt | Public Domain | Pixabay

 

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