Climate change: Earth’s most pressing issue


Kaila Low, Writer

Once considered a matter for the distant future, climate change is currently one of the biggest problems we face as a whole. Between massive heat waves, rising sea levels and increased coastal flooding, and the destruction of marine ecosystems, the Earth as we know it is and will forever be changed by the actions of our society. 

Across Europe throughout the past few months, there have been record breaking heatwaves; meteorologists have said that this past July has been the hottest ever recorded in European countries. Scientists warn that temperatures can become even worse due to climate change and that current temperature changes are in line with predictions made years ago. One might not think that higher temperatures can change much; however, it is the exact opposite. These small temperature changes can raise the risk of major droughts, wildfires, and cause heat stress in the body (which could be deadly). It could also affect energy and electricity, causing the ability of transmission lines to carry power to lower. 

The average global sea level has been rising since at least the start of the 20th century. Precise data gathered by satellite radar has shown a 16-21 cm rise in sea levels since 1900. Sea levels are projected to rise another 2.4 to 7.4 feet within the next 80 years. The warmer climate of Earth is what causes this, melting glaciers and causing land ice to melt. The warmer the water gets, the more it expands. Because of the rising sea levels, the risk of coastal flooding is expected to increase within the next century. This poses challenges for coastal communities for obvious reasons, but also to wildlife who rely on coastal habitat. 

Climate change is very likely to change the wind and water circulation around the ocean environments. These changes would influence the oxygen availability and certain nutrients for marine organisms. The burden of climate change will further degrade valuable ecosystems, posing a threat to their ecological sustainability and to us, for it could affect the goods provided to us. The rise in temperatures causes stress to coral reefs, which in case causes them to die. The importance of coral to marine habitats is crucial because it protects our coastlines from damaging effects of waves and tropical storms, and it provides shelter for marine life. The rising temperature and sea levels affects the metabolism and lifestyles of aquatic species. 

While some think climate change is a pressing issue that needs to be dealt with sooner than later, others have their own opinion about the situation. Some think that it isn’t real at all and refuse to educate themselves on this very important topic. Those same people then feel it is their duty to come up with insane solutions to our problems, such as sending the Air Force to turn around hurricane winds, dump ice into our oceans to cool it down, and even sending nuclear bombs into hurricanes to weaken their power (which would cause hurricanes to become radioactive and bring upon more destruction to communities affected by these storms). 

Climate change is the biggest problem we face now. It is up to us to act upon it and reverse what could be the downfall of our society. Join a clean-up crew, recycle, limit your use of plastic, non-biodegradable products, and change the world one day at a time.