Fri09222017

Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm

Opinion

Natural Disasters Everywhere

Is There Truth Behind Climate Change?


Natural Disasters EverywhereThe South is flooded and the West is in flames. If there was ever a time to believe in the science of climate change, it is now.

It is amazing that this is a topic that is still up for debate. It is 2017. There have been two hurricanes that destroyed everything in their paths in the last three weeks, and another one is on the way. Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and soon to be Katia have displaced and devastated thousands.

Harvey had winds reached seeds of 132 miles per hour. But this was almost calm compared to what came next, Irma. Irma brought wind with speeds up to 137 miles per hour at landfall and was classified as a Category 5 hurricane when it swept through the Caribbean islands and forced the residents of the state of Florida to evacuate. On islands such as Barbuda, almost all buildings and homes were leveled.

The West is hot, so hot that it is literally on fire. Dozens of wildfires are ablaze across Montana, Oregon, and California. Sure, there are normally wildfires that start because of careless campers or droughts throughout the summer months. But not like this. Who would have thought that after a snowy winter, the West would experience such a hot and dry summer?

Last winter, there were days when the temperatures reached the low sixties. As I walked to class I looked around and saw people in their summer attire. They were donned in their summer skirts and sandals. I know New Jersey is typically warmer than my home in Pennsylvania, but it was not supposed to be that warm. It was January. It was that sweater weather in the morning and tank top in the afternoon kind of weather.

Then there was “Spring Break,” when super storm Stella dumped up to thirty inches of snow along the east coast and covered Monmouth University in a white blanket. Instead of flowers blooming and birds chirping in the March, spring weather, the flowers were buried and the birds were huddled together for warmth. So much for enjoying spring break at the beach. Everyone was either shoveling snow or bundled up with a good book and Netflix by the fire.

I have been surrounded by the concept of climate change my whole life. Elementary, middle school, and high school teachers all spoke of the human induced weather changes, showing an Inconvenient Truth in-class. When most people think about climate change, they probably think about polar bears dying or the ozone layer depleting. That is all true, but there is more to climate change.

Sea levels are rising. Droughts are more dramatic than ever. Weather patterns and storms are becoming more extreme and storms that would only happen every other decade are happening every other week.

The presence of climate change is more evident than ever. It is on every weather forecast and news station across the country and the globe. These are not acts of God, but acts of science.

PHOTO TAKEN by Alexandria Afanador

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