Green Corner: Climate change flaunts shorts in warmer February

The daily decision of what to wear has many students feeling weathered. This winter has been full of drastic changes in temperature, resulting in a spike of outfit changes, layering and general bewilderment.

When asked about recent weather changes, Jade Blocker, junior music major, said, “The weather overall is too warm for winter. Yeah, there’s some cold days here and there, but it’s mostly more mild than I’ve ever seen.”

But this recent rise in temperature, forcing us to dig out the spring skirts and sneakers a month early, might be the least of our worries. The extreme rise in global temperature over time has caused Arctic sea ice to melt at a progressively faster rate, raising the temperature in the Arctic at twice that of anywhere else in the world, according to Weather Underground. This phenomenon is bringing about more than just this uncharacteristically warm weather. It is contributing heavily to species endangerment and enhancing the speed of climate change.

“Global warming is here and it’s scary,” Blocker said.

According to Weather Underground, the planet is losing about 12 percent of its Arctic sea ice every decade. What was once a vast sheet of white covering the Arctic, reflecting 90 percent of the sun’s radiation and keeping our planet cool, is now a dark blue abyss with speckles of white, fighting to keep our planet’s temperature in check. If the ice were to continue at this rate, Weather Underground projects that the Arctic will be ice-free by the year 2030 or sooner. With the sobering implications of climate change at our doorstep, this projection seems too close for comfort.

These unpredictable ebbs and flows in our weather have concerned Rider students with more than just what to wear; routines are being broken, the flu and fevers are running rampant and the underlying sense of fear for what our planet may look like in 20 years has many students worried about what their future will be in a world enslaved by climate change.

The majority of scientific research shows that this is, in fact, a man-made problem; though many believe the melting sea ice and corresponding weather and precipitation patterns to be a natural phenomenon, scientific evidence from Science magazine points to the Arctic following a 2,000-year cooling trend, a process that has since been virtually reversed by the increase in air and water temperatures over the years. As we continue to pollute our planet’s air and water supply, Earth’s temperature will begin to rise, the ice will continue to melt and our planet will begin to see severe weather conditions unlike anything recorded in history. Unless drastic corrective measures are taken, you may never have to box up your summer dresses again.

Without Arctic sea ice keeping our Earth’s temperature in check, the U.S. specifically will see an increase in droughts, and a much stronger impact in monsoons and other weather phenomena. It is unfortunate that the melting has become so severe that the continuous warming of our planet has begun to border irreversible territory.

In the words of Blocker, “The Earth is in serious trouble.”

—Pauli Kamenakis

Westminster Eco Rep

—Pauli Kamenakis

Westminster Eco Rep

 

Printed in the 2/22/17 issue.

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