Earth’s Not That Cool

Desi Salinas, Staff Writer

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The world around us is changing every day. From the deforestation of the rain forests to the melting of the snow caps, it is hard to deny that the Earth’s climate is changing as well. It is estimated that by the year 2040, the Arctic Ocean will be ice free during the summers, decades sooner than previously estimated. The reason for this? The rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The rise of carbon dioxide is mostly caused by humans. “Human activity currently produces over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year,” said the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This rise of carbon dioxide has caused the planet to gradually heat up. This heat increase causes the ice caps to melt and puts many animals in danger. The polar bears will lose their main hunting ground, and more than one million species face potential extinction from the declining habitats and changing ecosystems.
Humans will also be affected by the increase of Earth’s temperature and decline of ice caps. Many indigenous people have adapted to ice fishing as a large source of their meals, but with the increase of temperature the ice has been thinner than usual which makes it too dangerous for these people to fish. This forces them to have to adapt to other ways to stay alive.
There are ways to fix this. We as people could try to use our cars and other major contenders to the carbon dioxide increase a lot less. A decrease in these machines will help decrease the amount of carbon dioxide being produced. We could also plant trees to filter out the carbon dioxide from the air to be converted to oxygen. With and increase in trees and a decrease in carbon dioxide creating machinery, the amount of carbon dioxide will help decrease the Earth’s temperature and keep our very important ice caps.
Another issue appearing is the rise of sea level through out the years. This issue is mainly caused by the expansion of sea water as it warms and the melting of the ice caps. It is estimated that “the sea level will rise 1-4 feet by the year 2100,” said NASA. To many that may not seem like a lot, but “for every inch the ocean gains vertically, it spreads 50-100 lateral inches (inches inland),” said NASA. This means that by the year 2100, the ocean will be 50-400 feet further inland, causing flooding in major coastal cities. Major coastal cities are already affected by the rise in sea level and even Miami is in the midst of a five-year, $400 million effort on upgrading their storm water pump program to help fight against the flooding.
Currently an estimated 147 million to 216 million people live in areas that will be affected by the rise in sea levels and some low-lying island countries have a plan in place for when the sea levels do become too high for those countries to live in. This plan is for them to move their population to a country that has safe land for these people to live on.
It is unfortunately too late to stop the rising sea levels, but we can reduce the rate that it rises at. With a decrease in fossil fuels being burned, there would be less carbon dioxide to melt the ice, resulting in a decrease in the rise of the sea level.
Since humans are a major cause of these problems, let’s try and be the solution. Let’s take care of our planet and give our future generations a healthier Earth.

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Earth’s Not That Cool