The Dangers of Climate Change

The Dangers of Climate Change

Katie Guerra, Senior Columnist

Throughout the years, our climate has been changing. Climate is the general weather in a region, and just in case you didn’t know, there is a difference between climate and weather. Weather occurs for a short period of time, which can usually change; meanwhile, climate is the weather over a long period of time.

Climate change becomes more of a problem every single day.  With so many contributing factors, our climate has become a serious problem with increasing temperatures throughout the world. Without knowing it, you contribute to this climate change every day.

So what causes climate change? Greenhouse gases are huge contributors to climate change. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide. These gases trap the infrared radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the planet to warm up. These gases are exposed to the environment easily, and believe it or not, every single one of us contribute to the exposure of these greenhouse gases every single day.

Activities such as burning fossil fuels, cutting down trees, solid waste landfills, and driving cars contribute to the release of greenhouse gases. Burnt fossil fuels and solid waste landfills also produce carbon dioxide and methane. Deforestation (the cutting of trees) supplies carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane to the atmosphere. Motor vehicles also expose excessive amounts of carbon dioxide, which has become a leading factor of carbon dioxide exposure.

But why is this so important? Why are greenhouse gases such a big deal? Over time, these gases increase the heat on the Earth’s surface, creating holes in the ozone layer, and allowing more radiation to enter the surface. With these increasing temperatures, we will have to adapt to the leading effects that the planet’s warmth brings such as more droughts and wildfires, rising sea levels, stronger storms, less snow and ice, and thawing permafrost.  Not only does it affect our ecosystems, but it also makes it harder for us to adapt to these changes.

Therefore, instead of driving a car every day, you should consider riding a bike; instead of throwing away paper, you should consider recycling it for the future of our world.