Warming

Vivian Wiggins, Staff Writer

 An Unseasonably Warm Day

 

Ugh, such a blessing! This weather is just delightful! This is the sort of chatter I have been overhearing in the past couple weeks. However, I fear many are failing to recognize (or perhaps we are all subconsciously suppressing our concerns) is that this springlike weather could prove pernicious in the near future. In the beginning of the month, the Philadelphia Metropolitan area experienced record breaking temperatures coming in at a high of 69°F on January 11, 2020. Gorgeous day, yeah? Maybe, but throughout the duration of my time spent outside, I could not shake the lingering sense of dread I feel for our Earth. The average global temperature has risen 1.9°F since 1880, and the effects of this rise in temperature are less than discrete. 

 

  • The Arctic ice mass is now declining at a rate of 12.85% per decade.
  • Sea level is now rising at 3.3 millimeters a year.
  • Carbon dioxide, an important heat-trapping gas (released by human activities such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels) has risen to 412 parts per million; This is the highest it has been in 650,000 years. 
  • 2019 was the second warmest year recorded in history, regarding global surface temperature. 

 

I am not going to explain the effects from these few statistics that will soon appear if nothing changes. We can all envision it; Cities underwater, lands which were once fruitful now barren in drought, food shortages, among additional, more grim consequences. We will look back and examine how did we get to this point, and why did people in history treat our earth so poorly. We are the people of history, we would be the people who treated our earth so poorly, and we very well may be the last generation who can redirect these trends and statistics. Now, I am not attempting to endure the daunting task of informing you how to fix this, we all know there are theories, disagreements, personal ignorance, corporate greed and finance, and individual complacency disabling us from doing what is necessary. We must accept what is happening to all of us, right now, today. Allow the fear to light a fire under you and run with that. I promise you once this revolution starts, it will spread like wildfire. So, when the next unseasonably warm day rolls around, sit back and reflect about what you can do to help. Wait, Wait! Don’t sit back and reflect, put your feet on the ground, and make change happen, today. For the sake of you, your cohabitants, your children and grandchildren, do not wait until it is too late. 

 

  • “Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.” NASA, NASA, climate.nasa.gov/.