Climate Change


Wendolee Garcia Martinez, Staff Writer

The earth’s climate is changing faster than it ever has and is causing a big threat to our well-being. Climate Change is a major change in weather for an extended period of time.  Natural activities such as volcanic eruptions, a difference in the earth’s orbit and changes in the sun’s intensity are possible causes, but the biggest threat to the planet are humans by creating greenhouse gases emissions or cutting down forests. 

Global warming and climate changes are being caused by the increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, although these gases are naturally present in the atmosphere the release of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and industrial production have amplified the greenhouse effect. “What the models correctly told us 20 years ago is that if we continued to add fossil fuels at an increasing rate to the atmosphere, we’d see an increasing range of consequences, including a decline in Arctic sea ice, a rise in sea levels and shifts in precipitation patterns,” Weather Underground meteorologist, Robert Henson, told USA TODAY.

Human activities have caused the earth’s temperature to increase which affects the melting of the polar ice caps and the increase of world-wide sea levels.Since 1992, the global sea level has risen a total of 78.3 millimeters, according to NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 5.2 trillion tons of ice melted off the greenland ice sheets from 1993 to 2018, and The Antarctic ice sheet lost 3 trillion tons of ice from 1992 to 2017, according to The Journal Nature. “Sea level rise will affect every county in the US, including inland areas,” said Dilkina, the study’s corresponding author, and associate director of USC’s Center for AI for Society.

The United States has had 212 natural disasters since 1993 which have cost $1 billion each and $1.45 trillion dollars in total. That’s 7.8 disasters per year, compared to 3.2 per year from 1980 to 1992, according to NOAA. The number of acres burned in wildfires has increased from 3.3 million acres in 1990 to 7.6 million acres in 2018. “It’s now clear that droughts in California are much more likely to be ‘hot’ droughts, and this has laid the groundwork for longer, more devastating wildfire seasons,” Henson said. 

Senate president, Karen Spilka, announced in a social media video that the Senate will pass the climate change bill that state senator, Mark Pacheco, has pushed for years. Spilka claimed that it was the activism of young people that urged politicians to take action. 

“We have a climate emergency, I hope we will move forward as quickly as possible to deploy offshore wind. We want to do more with solar,” Pacheco said.