Is Climate Change Real?

Sorah Lee, Contributor

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President Trump recently claimed that climate change is a hoax and that he wants to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Despite his actions, I believe that climate change and global warming are very real problems that need to be addressed.

One of the reasons why global warming has become a problem is due to the increased amount of greenhouse gases, which are absorbing heat from sunlight. Gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (NO2) are being released into the atmosphere in great amounts and trapping heat, causing the planet to warm in a process called the greenhouse effect. These gases, mostly CO2, are released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and solid waste. In the past century, the Earth has warmed 0.7 degrees Celsius, which is 8 times faster than the warming of the planet after ice ages in the past, changing 4 to 7 degrees over a span of 5,000 years.

“Paleoclimate data show that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in the past 800,000 years,” says Rebecca Lindsey of NASA. “There is no plausible explanation for why such high levels of carbon dioxide would not cause the planet to warm.”

Humans are definitely a huge reason why the Earth is warming, and that is why in December of 2016, President Obama made the U.S. a part of the Paris Climate Agreement to help decrease the use of fossil fuels and lower the warming rate of Earth. The reason why there is so much CO2 in the atmosphere is because humans have been burning fossil fuels for hundreds of years.

“Climate change is absolutely real,” says Mrs. Field, a science teacher at SWHS. “I don’t think humans are the sole cause for it but we certainly are contributors to it. I think it’s at a point where we can’t stop it, but we can certainly slow it down, and pulling out of the Paris Agreement makes us look foolish to the rest of the world. The bottom line is it’s made many, many people in this country stand up and say ‘we’re still going to follow what that agreement said even if the President thinks we shouldn’t be a part of it.’ It takes 3 years to get fully out of it so it kind of makes it a moot point.”

Throughout his campaign, and even before he ran for office, President Trump has made it known that he believed that climate change was fake news. On June 1, President Trump proclaimed that he wanted to pull the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement because it would put a harsh financial drain on our country.

“This agreement is less about the climate, and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” says President Trump.

With the Earth’s temperature rising faster than ever, I think it is wise for our country to stay in the Agreement because we share this world with billions of people, and it would be unfair if our country proclaims that we will not be a part of the agreement that will improve our planet’s atmosphere.

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