Climate Chaos | Arthi Chandra
“There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of climate change,” noted President Barack Obama at the 2014 UN Climate Change Summit. It is terrifying how quickly this threat has become relevant in modern day. Despite numerous scientific warnings, global warming has now become a reality. According to the NASA Global Climate Change Vital Statistics, 2022 is tied 5th for the hottest year since 1880. Furthermore, NASA researchers state that the last 9 years have been the warmest on record. Climates and environments have been changing all over the world in response to the shift in temperatures. Most recently, the bomb cyclone affected most of the United States and Canada over the December holidays. The bomb cyclone was caused by air near earth’s surface rising quickly in the atmosphere. Arctic air was being pulled into the atmosphere along with warmer air and temperatures due to climate change, leading to more evaporation. When this occurred, it picked up and absorbed more moisture and also dropped more moisture, causing heavy rain and snowfall. This affected families all over the United States and Canada trying to reach their loved ones during the holiday season. The unexpected storm also caused power outages all over different states and cities and made it harder for citizens to gain necessities. At least 59 Americans died during this weather catastrophe directly linked to global warming.
Climate change also impacts places in daily life closer than one would expect. Despite heavy rainfall all over California, the state is still undergoing an intense drought. As climate change worsens and global warming becomes a more pressing issue, droughts become intense and long. In the early 2000s, drought in California was intermittent and interspersed with normal rainfall. Just 20 years later, drought has become an ongoing reality, despite the amount of rainfall that occurs. There are many things that can be done to fix this underlying issue and lessen the effects of it in the future, however, much of it is not being done. Ideas voiced by the youth and future generations of America are being brushed to the side as leaders address “more pressing” concerns. Currently, Climate action is the thirteenth United Nations Global Sustainable goal. With the rapid change in global climates, it is difficult to say if it will be too late to make sustainable changes once the world has reached “number thirteen”.
At an individual community level, it is vital to spread awareness regarding the impacts of global warming. Making small changes to one’s routine can be extremely important to reducing energy demands and lowering the carbon footprint. Examples include cutting back on flying, using carpools or electric public transportation, increasing solar energy, or even just reducing the time of a hot shower. Although these actions may be small, sustainable changes across multiple communities can make a big difference in society. Locally, student advocacy is also a key driver to change. Joining clubs and non-profit organizations that help support climate action can ensure that there is funding for key projects like expanding solar energy and increasing electric public transportation options. Global efforts that are currently being put into place are setting up UN summits to make the issue heard and addressed both in first world and third world nations. Students make up a key work force needed to fight to preserve the earth for many generations to come. For further information, donate and sign up to non-profit organizations such as 350.org.