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Climate Change and Why We Need to Stop it

By: Derek Sun

Climate change has been greatly affecting Planet Earth for many years now, and it’s time to take action.

Many factors can cause climate change, such as volcanic activity and earthquakes. But humans cause by far the most climate change.

Earth’s climate has always been changing. But in the past 100 years, the climate change exploded. As a matter of fact, the 21st century is the warmest of the past 10 centuries, and the 2011-2020 decade was the warmest decade since modern record keeping.

Humans burn a lot of fossil fuels to convert into energy. When those fossil fuels burn, they are converted into smoke. Smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to the environment, such as carbon dioxide. Human activities also emit greenhouse gases like methane and chlorofluorocarbons.

Humans don’t just pollute the air. We also cut down trees at an alarming rate. Every day, around 80,000 acres of forest is chopped down. In rainforest regions alone, an average of 150-200 species goes extinct every day! This is more than 1,000 times the rate of what it would be if humans did not cut trees down. Most of the land cut down is used for agricultural purposes.

Burning so many fuels and sawing down so many trees has a huge effect on Earth’s animals, air, and even us! Burning fossil fuels pollutes the air badly, and trees absorb a lot of these bad chemicals. But with a lot less trees, a great percentage of that gas goes to the atmosphere and damages the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a layer in the atmosphere that absorbs the Sun’s harmful UV radiation. With a damaged ozone layer, UV rays pour into Earth, which can cause many types of skin cancers.

Another noticeable effect of climate change is extreme heat. There have been a lot more heat waves and deaths from extreme heat recently. Glaciers in polar regions are also melting away, which causes high water levels and floods. The capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, is expected to be underwater in the next 8-10 years! The President of France, Francois Hollande said “[w]e have one mission: To protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.”

Earth is 70 to 80 percent water, but only about 1 percent of it is fit for human use. In dry areas like Africa and the Emirates, water is very, very scarce. Western and Southwestern North America is experiencing the driest weather in over 1,200 years!

Despite these results of climate change, many politicians are ignoring these things. They are still funding use of fossil fuels and simply don’t care about our dying Earth.

But just because some lazy politician doesn’t care doesn’t mean that our Earth is dead. In one decade, wind energy got three times cheaper, and solar energy got a whopping 10 times cheaper! These natural resources are much cheaper than any fossil fuels.

One major flaw in renewable energy is that it needs things like expensive batteries to be an efficient power source. Fortunately for us, batteries have decreased by a staggering 97% in the past 30 years!

All of these efforts will slow down and deteriorate climate change. Though this will take many, many, our climate situation will become better.


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