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How to Deal with Climate Change

Weather is all around us, everyday, all the time. However, over the decades weather records have emerged with patterns and averages that are not in our favor. Temperature, Wind, and Precipitation patterns have all shown negative comprise in the condition of the world’s climate. Over long periods of the time the global weather records have shown us that weather does shift within specific areas of the world. Although, the climatic shifts within the last century have been considered on the scale of extreme; severe droughts, drastically high temperatures, and even higher sea levels have occurred at an accelerated rate. We have abused our environment causing the world to develop the problem of global climate change.

One factor that has significantly contributed to our climate change is the unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide levels. Scientific evidence has proven that greenhouse gases are exponentially increasing at an alarming rate with in the last few decades. While some greenhouse gasses occur naturally - an unnatural amount is harmful to our environment. We have generated an overage of harmful greenhouse gases by interfering with the planet's atmosphere through burning fossil fuels and deforestation. The overage of CO2 in our atmosphere acts as a blanket by trapping solar heat which causes shifts in how much rain or snowfall is distributed throughout the world or at which rate our icy polar caps melt.

In 1760, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution is when scientists first began to understand the possibility of the human interference and influence on the global climate system. This new knowledge caused climatologists to begin documenting all climatic shifts. The first extreme climatic change was recorded in the mid-1950’s and ever since the world has experienced more drought, wildfires, floods, and heatwaves, each disaster more intense and frequent than the last. In efforts to reduce this ongoing climate change in 2010, the National Research Council ordered the United States to take immediate action in reducing greenhouse gases and to create a national plan to adapt to the results of the constant climate change.

Unfortunately, scientists predict that as the climate further changes our precipitation cycles are going to intensify causing the Northeastern states to become wetter while the Southwestern states experience extreme droughts. Coastal cities will also be forced to create updated evacuation plans due to the increase in hurricanes, flooding, and storm surges. Scientists also forecast that nationwide, the temperature average will rise approximately between four and eleven degrees Fahrenheit. This could mean that one hundred and fifty days each year the mercury levels will rise above ninety degrees Fahrenheit. These climate shifts could have detrimental effects on the world such as shrinking our food supply as the erratic rainfall patterns and temperatures cause inefficient crop supply.

Climate change has negative effects on wildlife as well. For example, species of polar bear have diminished in Canada’s Hudson Bay because the ice pathway to their normal hunting grounds have melted. Water birds such as geese and ducks have also begun to shift their migration patterns due to the extreme droughts and floods the states are currently experiencing. Not to mention, Mosquito and tick populations(disease carriers) are also shifting which puts the United States at risk of inviting the West Nile virus or Lyme disease to spread across the country. The world at large is experiencing intense heat waves, droughts, torrential rains, and flash flooding - each of these disastrous storms threaten our public health, agriculture, and wildlife.

The United States must do its part in protecting the planet. Each american needs a plan of action; whether that means joining Habitat for Humanity or simply making small climate positive changes each and every day. Harmful Global emissions can be reduced if we all make a collective effort together. One way to reduce emissions is to purchase high-efficiency light bulbs and appliances that are marked with the ENERGY STAR label -these specifically marked items are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Or start your own garden by using your very own compost from leftover lawn and food waste! Carpooling, bicycling, and/or riding the bus is also a great way to reduce emissions in our atmosphere. In general a good mantra to embrace while attempting to preserve the environment is to always repeat 'reduce. reuse. recycle.'