Heated Consequences

Braden Dennis, Photo Editor

The world is constantly changing and adapting to new environments and climate conditions, but with the  increasing trace of carbon emissions in the atmosphere and widespread use of pollutants, the world is warming.
This global warming can be associated with the changing climates in the world and new weather changes and patterns arising in different parts of the world.
“Climate change is the change in the weather patterns and the trends we see now vs the trends we have seen in the past,” NHS biology teacher Kari Hanks said.
The production of fossil fuels around the globe creates a high amount of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is then trapped in the atmosphere, heating up global temperatures in a greenhouse effect.
“Carbon dioxide creates a layer around the Earth that allows the heat to through, but does not allow the heat back out,” Hanks said.
Climate change has been linked to causing different and unnatural changes in the world.
“It’s damaging the air, the animals, using up precious resources — the list just goes on,” senior Lauren Huff said.
Global warming affects much of the environment around the world. However, some do not agree on its causes.
“I know climate change is real, but I’m not so sure about global warming or it being caused by gases,” junior Bryce Paoli said.
Paoli sees the sensitive topic differently.
“Climate change is just a measurement of how the climate has changed over the history of the Earth, but global warming is the idea/theory of the Earth warming due to greenhouse gases,” Paoli said.
Countries and businesses are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint in the atmosphere.
“The reduction in burning fossil fuels and addition of new organisms capable of removing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, such as plants, are good ways to combat climate change and global warming,” Hanks said.
By adjusting to a more environmentally friendly source of energy, the production of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases can decrease.
“We need to place restrictions on chemical companies, use more eco-friendly materials and renewable sources, plant more trees and reduce the use of fossil fuels,” Huff said.
Pollution in the air by the burning of fossil fuels is another strong driver for climate change and global warming.
“The best way to reduce these effects would be to simply cut down on the generation of pollution and certain energy sources, but the long route to that is getting other countries and the world to agree,” junior Julia Hines said. “Most companies and businessmen make money off of these energy sources and don’t want to lose money, thus the problem.”
Agreements have been formed between countries despite the debate spiraling around the issue. One of these is the Paris Agreement.
“The main policy with these issues is the Paris Agreement, which is involved with several countries in order to combat climate change and global warming,” Hines said. “It’s trying to limit the Earth’s temperature.
Experts say that in several years, the effects will be irreversible.
“Climate change has led to mass extinctions of species on the Earth and if we experience some climate change, it could lead to our extinction,” Paoli said.
Huff said humans should make changes to prevent extinction.
“Death to humans is a large concern,” Huff said. “If the Earth dies so do we, and large scale weather patterns are changing as well that are already affecting us. For example, ocean levels are rising.”
The state of an area or environment can drastically change due to the effects of climate change.“In areas where we see a temperature increase, you can end up with areas of drought from the heat and more water evaporating from the surface of the planet,” Hanks said. “This combination leads to things like an increase in the severity of the storms and landslides from the hard ground. … We will slowly lose more habitats and inevitably see more of our creatures and animals go extinct. The main concern is the inevitable end of the world as we know it.”
It is hard to find the right answer to climate issues.
“I think we need to invest a lot more in research and development of cleaner options,” Paoli said. “Right now just creating a battery that would be required for running an electric vehicle or solar panels causes more pollution than not using it.”
Over time, policies will likely be put in place to reduce the damage done.
“I believe that people understand this process much better now and we are working to reduce the carbon footprint,” Hanks said.