Photo by Charli Burdick-Kitchell
The increase of environmental climate change is not an if anymore, it has been affecting everyone yesterday, today, tomorrow and across the globe to personal yards.
Climate change is a cause-and-effect tree. It starts with greenhouse gases that are warming up the environment, branches off to rising temperature, which leads to droughts, to fires, to air quality diminishing, to farms becoming less fruitful, to increase of grocery prices. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has recorded that Minnesota has had an increase of temperature by 3 degrees Fahrenheit and has been experiencing more frequent and extreme precipitation events.
Dr. Jessica Hellman, Director of the Institute of Environment at the University of Minnesota, said about climate change, “answer to that it’s not about belief. It’s about evidence collected over, by many different people in many different disciplines… I’ll say it the other way if you don’t believe, it’s just wishful thinking.”
“It’s that enhanced greenhouse effect making the world warmer that changes our weather patterns, how organisms live, how they move, causing fires, and extreme events, flash floods, and droughts, all a result of the enhanced greenhouse effect,” Hellman explained.
Fires have been destroying the environment by rapidly increasing greenhouse gas and decreasing the air quality with more smoke. This is making it dangerous for people to breathe and destroying nature. People are losing their homes and being displaced. In Brazil, about 5.4 million acres of the Amazon forest have burned. In California about 6,900 accidental fires happened, destroying about 1.7 million acres of land this fire season.
“I do worry, my sister lives in California, I keep wondering if maybe she should be living there anymore because the smoke is so bad, I feel it’s not good for my nieces,” Hellman said.
Minnesota has seen an increase of about .2 degrees per decade. Just this year it has been the hottest summer in Minnesota on record. There has also been an increase in more severe precipitation weather events. From 1959 to 2012 there has been an increase of 20% in precipitation.
Science teacher Timothy Roser has noticed Twin Cities’ winters have gotten significantly warmer since he moved here. Roser said that with these severe weather events people are also missing school which affects teachers which affects families, and parents cannot go to work.
Harvests have been coming back much less fruitful. Farmers are seeing the side effects of climate change with the increase in temperature, droughts and fires destroying their fields. Shoppers are also seeing the effects of this with the increase in the prices of groceries.
“My uncle is a farmer in Western Minnesota and he had no crops this year” Paige Kaess, a manager at Panera Bread said.
“As a mom, it also breaks my heart,” Hellman said. “You guys will have even more consequences to climate change to deal with,” and adds, “We need to be much more aggressive because it’s our responsibility to leave the planet for our children and grandchildren,”.
The new generation will have to deal with even more consequences. Timothy Roser has, “a lot of faith in this coming generation”, in what they can do to reduce climate impact and start reversing the damage that can be undone.
Dr. Jessica Hellman, Director of UMN Institute on Environment at the University of Minnesota, said “As a mom, it also breaks my heart,” and, “you guys will have even more consequences to climate change to deal with,” and added, “We need to be much more aggressive because it’s our responsibility to leave the planet for our children and grandchildren,”.