Time on Earth is running out

Scientists say drastic changes need to happen to save climate


Illustration by Sarah McAtee, Graphic by Chloe Meredith, made by Free-use photos from Google

Scientists have discovered everyday items humans use harms Earth by putting out gases that create a “Greenhouse Effect.“ Earth’s temperature will naturally change, but if humans proceed to treat the environment how they are now, it will not end well.

Clara Oesterling, Reporter

The average global temperature has been rising slowly, and has increased a total of 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to ucar.edu. Although this number is small, scientists say its impact is big.

Although global warming has been proven to be real, there are still skeptics who refuse to believe it. The climate change problem is urgent, and many scientists urge it should be addressed immediately. Animals have died, homes have been abandoned, and the atmosphere has grown worse.

Science teacher Rachel Pearce recognizes global warming and stresses the validity of the worsening condition of the climate.

“It’s not something that you can believe in or not because it is science, and, it’s true.” Pearce said. “So, we have the data and the facts to back up that it’s true.”

According to Pearce, global warming is the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature. Earth’s temperature naturally goes through changes such as the Ice Ages and periods of increased heat worldwide due to the Greenhouse effect.

Pearce compared the Greenhouse effect to wearing a sweater on a hot day. It doesn’t help.

However, human activities, including driving, animal agriculture and the use of everyday products, has drastically increased the rate at which Earth’s temperature rises. Environmental Engineer Wade Kohlmann concludes this by following global warming for 40 years.

“The climate data worldwide shows that climates are changing, the Earth and the atmosphere is warming, and sea levels are rising,” Kohlmann said. “Certain areas, like California, have gone for years in drought, and then get massive amounts of rainfall.”

There are many factors that come into play when talking about what specifically causes global warming and climate change. Pearce attributes carbon dioxide as being the main source of the worsening of the atmosphere. According to her research, 13 percent comes from transportation, and 18 percent comes from animal agriculture.

There are many ways to lessen the rise in temperature, but it takes an effort from everyone to make big changes according to Pearce.

China took a step in putting an end to the problem by stopping their purchase of coal. They now use solar power systems and use more renewable sources, Pearce explained.

After many countries signed the Montreal Protocol in September of 1987, the country agreed to reduce the use of harmful substances in refrigerants, air conditioning, fire protection, agriculture, electronics, and chemicals such as hairspray. When these chemicals are released into the air, it makes the atmosphere thick and damaging.

At this time in 1987, there was a major hole in the ozone caused by pollution from humans. Since then, the hole has substantially gotten smaller and has almost completely repaired itself thanks to the amount of carbon dioxide being reduced, a result of countries’ collective effort, Kohlman explains.

Even though global warming has been proven to be real, there are people who refuse to accept and believe what is happening right in front of their faces. A lot of politicians deny global warming because they don’t want to believe the science.

But there are those who have their reasoning. Laboratory aide Ljubica Jordanovic believes there is not enough data to conclude whether or not global warming is real, explaining the climate change has not been tracked for long enough for her to make a final conclusion.

“I don’t know how I feel to make up a decision. It takes time to know,” Jordanovic said.

She also says that there has always been pollution on the Earth, from volcanoes in the dinosaur age to vehicles in the 21st century. She believes there needs to be additional research because there has always been carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Earth’s temperature will naturally change, but if humans proceed to treat the environment how they are now, it will not end well.

“Earth will survive humans. Humans may not survive this earth,” Pearce said.