Guest Blogger – Alex Hutcherson
Alexander Hutcherson is a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri in the Mass Communication department. He completed his undergraduate work May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Production with an emphasis in Film. His dream job is to work as a content creator at Blizzard Entertainment in their marketing department and then hopes to one day complete his Ph.D. and become a college professor.
With the recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastating the south eastern coastal areas the discussion around global warming has once again had a resurgence. Put simply global warming is the rise in the average global temperature (MacMillan, 2016). For more perspective on climate change MacMillan states that “all but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000” (MacMillan, 2016).
image credit: https://www.nrdc.org
Why should we worry?
Global warming is happening because of humans. Carbon dioxide prevents the sun’s light rays from escaping our atmosphere. Instead of bouncing off the Earth and back into space light rays hit carbon dioxide and bounce back to Earth. National geographic shows statistically that “we’ve increased the amount [carbon dioxide] in the air by nearly half, mostly since the 1960’s” (Seven things to know about climate change, n.d.). For further proof ninety percent of scientists agree that “our carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming” (Seven things to know about climate change, n.d.).
Reasons to care
- Ice is melting fast
- Species are being disrupted
- Weather is wreaking havoc
(Seven things to know about climate change, n.d.)
In explanation by National Geographic, if the ice continues to melt there will be a rise in sea levels and less sunlight will be reflected by ocean rather than ice. With the environment in such an unnatural state of flex species are beginning to fade. Many species continue to adapt to new environments and habitats, but it cannot last forever. Global warming does not cause disasters, but it makes them much worse. “It’s not just the heat: Global warming adds moisture to the air, removing it from land and ocean” (Seven things to know about climate change, n.d.).
image credit: https://www.nbcnews.com
After seeing the destruction of Harvey and Irma the question has been raised, does this have anything to do with global warming? PBS cites Jeff Masters, “The U.S. has never been hit, since we started collecting records in 1851, by two Category 4 or stronger hurricanes in the same season,” in an article discussing why hurricane Harvey and Irma were so powerful (Akpan, 2017). The first reason for the massive hurricanes is a weak wind shear (Akpan, 2017). Think of a hurricane as a spinning top and wind shear as a gust of wind hitting the bottom of the top, causing it to tilt and dampen its force (Akpan, 2017). Using Masters’ expertise Akpan continues to explain the other two factors as “warm Atlantic ocean temperatures,” and “high levels of moisture in the air,” (Akpan, 2017).
National Geographic believes that renewable energy is the answer,
“The switch from fossil fuels is still just beginning. Every little bit matters: Every ton of CO^2 we emit melts 32 square feet of Arctic ice, according to a 2016 study, which means the average American melts 525 square feet a year. Every energy-saving building, retired gas-guzzler, and acre of preserved forest helps. But none of it will help much if the world doesn’t switch to a carbon-free energy supply soon.” (Seven things to know about climate change, n.d.).
Do not ignore the evidence; together we can save the planet. It is not too late. Walk to work, carpool, plant some trees, spread the word.