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Our Changing Climate

20 May 2014  |   Hannah Blatt

There were numerous articles written last week about the current and future impacts of climate change on our everyday lives. These articles made one thing crystal clear: it’s time for our leaders to listen to climate scientists and start tackling this challenge. President Obama is confronting the problem head on with his Climate Action Plan, which will help to combat climate disruption and reduce our carbon footprint. 

NASA and 97 percent of climate scientist agree human activity is the main force behind climate change, and the National Climate Assessment confirmed that we are already seeing the impacts on communities all across the county, including through more extreme weather like stronger storms, increased flooding and record-breaking heat waves. For example, California continues to face one of the harshest droughts in its history, and to make matters worse, the drought has set the stage for more intense wildfires, which are being powered by brush and brittle trees. In fact, San Diego County had to evacuate thousands of residents last week because of nine wildfires burning more than 14 square miles of land, and firefighters were working to contain them in temperatures nearing 100 degrees with gusty winds. 

Also last week, scientists raised the alarm that a large section of the West Antarctica ice sheet is melting at a pace that appears to be irreversible, and climate change is partly to blame. This could further destabilize the sheet of ice, and in the coming centuries, it could result in sea levels rising 10 feet or more. Meanwhile, a new study, led by a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, found that hurricanes and typhoons are increasingly peaking closer to the North and South poles and away from the tropics. "The tropics are becoming less hospitable for tropical cyclones, and the higher latitudes are becoming less hostile," said Jim Kossin, the climate scientist at NOAA.  

The science is clear that our climate is changing, and the climate-fueled extreme weather events that we are currently experiencing are only going to become more frequent and intense. President Obama is using his authority to combat the climate crisis by proposing the first-ever national limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants can spew into our air. These commonsense safeguards are the single largest step we can take to curb carbon pollution, which is the driving force behind climate change. Join the millions of people who have already voiced their support for President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  

(The Photographs were taken by CraneStationdsleeter_2000wavian,thewrongglass)

  



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