Extreme Weather Changes

Graphic by Jonathon Carmona El Paisano Media

Graphic by Jonathon Carmona El Paisano Media

Climate change is a real and serious matter. Our planet, as a whole, is warming up at a speed that has increased over time. You may ask, “Why?” There is a multitude of reasons, but the simple answer would be; humans.

What We Have Done

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), human activities, and the things we’ve created are the main contributors to climate change. Activities such as driving our gas-powered vehicles every day lead to greenhouse gases being thrown into the atmosphere. The cars people drive give off these greenhouse gasses through the burning of the fuel they are using.

Gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere where they will stay and fester for years to come. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gasses are all considered greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse Gases

The EPA states that deforestation and soil degradation also leads to more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Methane is emitted from livestock, agricultural practices, and even organic waste that is rotting in landfills. So the food that people throw away can be harmful to the environment as it releases methane as it rots.

Nitrous oxide is released during the combustion of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are formed naturally in the Earth’s crust from decomposing dead animals and plants. These fuels are harvested and burned, which allows nitrous oxide to harm the atmosphere. 

Fluorinated gasses, also known as F-gasses, are man-made gasses containing fluorine. F-gasses are used in everyday industrial and household products. The products containing F-gasses are things such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, and aerosol cans. 

Gas and Effect

Greenhouse gases are detrimental to the atmosphere as stated by the EPA. Since the atmosphere is weakening, the powerful rays from the sun hit the Earth with less protection. Think of this process as like using sunscreen but it isn’t waterproof. 

The atmosphere is Earth’s sunscreen, projecting the planet and humans from the radiance of the burning sun. Without any sunscreen, the Earth will get sunburned and no aloe vera would save those wounds. 

The atmosphere depletion leads to warmer temperatures worldwide. The EPA states, the 10 hottest years worldwide on record have happened between 2005 and right now. The EPA also says that extremely hot days, and unusually hot nights, have been happening more frequently as well. The unusually hot nights indicate the planet is “cooling-off” less and less. 

Not Getting Any Colder

The changes in the weather cause heat waves and other natural occurrences like extreme storms and hurricanes to happen more often and last longer. Since the 1960s, heat wave periods have gone from an average of two per year to an alarming six heat waves per year, according to the EPA. This gives an indication of how badly the Earth’s atmosphere is being affected. 

It is obvious, something needs to be done. Humans, in general, need to be more mindful of their actions, especially actions that harm the environment. The damage that has been done can be reversed, but it will take time and needs to start now. If the atmosphere keeps depleting, the effects will be felt quickly.

Solutions and No Pollutions

What we can do, is stop doing the things that cause harm. Large industrial companies should cease any damaging actions and be forced to find alternative ways of dealing with their businesses. Now, governments are looking to tax companies, like Exxon and Chevron, that pollute the Earth. This is a good step in the right direction. 

Cars should not be run on oil anymore, a cleaner alternative needs to be produced to replace oil. Electric cars are a good development for this. They help keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. It would be better if, over time, everyone uses an electric car.

Instead of cutting down trees to make more space for buildings, we should be planting more trees and plants, especially in areas where greens are almost nonexistent.

One Planet

We only get one life, one Earth, why spend it damaging the planet? Changes need to be made so that extreme weather changes do not happen. The Earth is counting on us.