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A Climate Change Cheat Sheet for Deniers

Global temperature data from NASA

Global temperature data from NASA

Lila Joffe Lifestyle Editor '21

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On April 22, otherwise known as “Earth Day” my social media feed was bombarded with my friends’ and classmates’ beautiful pictures taken all over the world.  These posts, captioned with the cliche “Happy Earth Day! Take care of our planet” really irked me for some reason. Suddenly these people care about the earth, just in time to post a perfectly posed picture of themselves in the Bahamas or Bora Bora. Do they even realize the danger that Earth and its inhabitants face? It is disturbing to me just how many global warming deniers I know, most of them being teenagers my age. In order to save our planet, or at least lower the harm we contribute, education about these global issues is essential. I am no scientist nor am I completely versed in the subject, but I plan to define climate change and global in a way that my classmates can understand.

What is climate change?

Climate Change, according to NASA, is a change in the usual weather found in a place, as well as a change in earth’s normal climate and temperature. As a reminder, weather changes in a few hours, but climate takes hundreds to millions of years to change.

 

What is the difference between climate change and global warming?

Climate change and global warming are related ideas, but the key difference is that global warming relates only to the heating temperatures on earth’s surface, while climate change refers to the warming itself as well as the effects of the warming on the earth, like differences in weather and in environments.

What is causing climate Change?

Part of climate change is natural, and humans can’t control it. Things like the sun’s energy, the oceans, or even a volcano eruption, can minorly affect the climate. Human- controlled climate change is influenced by things like driving cars, heating and cooling homes, as well as drilling for oils. All of these actions release CO2 into the atmosphere, changing the earth’s climate as it grows warmer and warmer.

Where is the “proof” of climate change and global warming?

The global temperature has risen 1.62 degrees Celsius since the 19th century. The warming oceans also provide proof, absorbing more heat than usual, with a warming of .4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. The shrinking ice sheets in the Arctic show further warming, with Greenland losing 286 billion tons of ice in 2016, and Antartica 127. The rate of ice loss has tripled in the last ten years. Sea levels are also rising constantly, and in the last two decades the rate of rising has doubled and continues to accelerate every year.

Sources: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/whats-difference-between-global-warming-and-climate-change

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html

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