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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Columns

Climate change is as apparent as its skeptics


Only five months after a major storm and accompanying flood, Louisiana residents are in rebuilding mode again.

Following the storm that submerged Baton Rouge, well known scientist, often referred to as Bill Nye the science guy, took a step back from humor to address the flood and the controversial issue of climate change.

Nye told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” that global warming is the reason behind the devastating flood which killed at least 13 people and destroyed close to 60,000 homes.

His message was clear: It will happen again.

Although the body count was considerably lower, compared to the death toll of behemoth storms like hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the impact is nevertheless calamitous. But humans have yet to learn their lesson.

“As the ocean gets warmer, which it is getting, it expands,” Nye said. “And then as the sea surface is warmer, more water evaporates. And so it’s very reasonable that these storms are connected to these big effects.”

Houston has seen its fair share of flooding in 2016, as more than 17 inches of rain battered the city within a 24-hour period in April, leaving seven people dead and over $5 billion in damage.

After years of ignoring the threat of climate change, it seems the time of reckoning has come to the fore.

Climate changes in 2016 have continued to break records. July will go on record as the warmest month worldwide. The Arctic sea ice caps continue to melt at an alarming rate.

The existence of climate change for years has been touted as a farce in the interest of political agendas, but the proof speaks for itself. Every year, storms on the Gulf Coast have become progressively worse. Each storm brings the water an inch higher than it was the time before.

Scientists warn that coastal cities all over the world will be completely underwater as melting ice sheets cause sea levels to rise. This would mean “so long, farewell” to Galveston, New York City, Miami and Atlantic City, to name a few.

Although flooding is one of the greater foes when it comes to climate change, it is not the only condition that comes with global warming. In Europe, where the weather straddles mild more often than not, a new trend of heat waves has emerged due to an increase of human-generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In Siberia, the melting of Arctic permafrost released anthrax spores, which landed over 90 people in the hospital and resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy. The culprit: A thawed out caribou that had been frozen for 75 years.

By that time, the anthrax had already spread to 2,300 caribous. Indigenous groups that populated the area had to be evacuated.

Because of the varying conditions of each region of the world, global warming has affected each continent differently.

From droughts to floods, heatwaves and anthrax outbreaks, the world is making its health known in startling displays. The data is all there, and Earth is on a steep decline.

It’s what humans choose to do with the facts that matter. Some have already given up and the search for a new planet to inhabit is already underway. Yet what is the point of finding a new world to live when we don’t know how to appreciate the one we have?

Without acceptance of responsibility, humans are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

Climate change is real, and Earth has begun to speak out against its inhabitants. If humanity can agree to make Earth’s conditions better for both them and subsequent generations, then the fight for the planet is not over.

Opinion Columnist Caprice Carter is a communication junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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