Letter: Climate change is critical

I am writing today to express my deep concern on the issues climate change is presenting to our planet. Climate change is a worldwide issue that has to be addressed now and into the near future. At the rate we are going right now, the Earth will warm 0.2 degrees Celsius every decade. This is why we need to take action now, before it’s too late.

Heat from the sun travels through the Earth’s atmosphere and warms the surface. As the surface heats up, the heat energy gets sent back into the atmosphere. There are certain gases in the atmosphere that keep heat from escaping. Some of these gases are carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor. When humans emit more and more carbon dioxide, it disrupts the natural balance of carbon dioxide being naturally emitted and the amount being removed from the Earth.

Evidence has been gathered to come to the conclusion that our planet is experiencing global warming. Things like sea levels rising, global temperatures rising, sea temperatures rising, glaciers melting and a decrease in snow cover all are effects of global warming. It isn’t that these are just rises in temperature, they are rapidly rising at a faster rate each year. For example, the sea level has risen 17 centimeters in the past century, which is almost double the rise than that of the prior century. The top 2,300 feet of oceans have experienced a .302 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperatures since 1969. Sea surface temperatures have been higher than ever in the past three decades than at any other time since we started observing it in the 1800s.

There is a handful of scientists who disagree with the common theories as to why we are experiencing global increases in temperature. Skeptics say that the temperature is only varying naturally or that it’s still really cold where they live. People get confused between weather and actual climate change. Just because there is one blizzard where you live doesn’t mean that the Earth isn’t getting warmer. Climate change is over long periods of time and weather is something we see from day to day. There also is evidence proving that the Earth and its oceans have gotten warmer in the past century. These increases in temperature is not simply just temperature variations and fluctuations but is global warming. With all of these statistics, there is no way that this can just be a coincidence.

Climate change is one of the most important issues we are facing as a country but also as an entire planet. This problem can not be overlooked anymore and has to be one of our top priorities. Fixing this problem will by no means be easy but I do know that it will be easier to stop it now than it will be in 10, 20, or 30 years when it could be too late. Thank you for your attention to this critical situation.

Lizzy Harding