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Plants and Climate Change

Being born and raised in New York City for pretty much my whole life, there is one place I feel that every New Yorker should know about, or at least look into: the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, located here in Brooklyn. It is also located fifteen minutes away from my home on foot. This place has been a small piece of my childhood, as I have gone there on many school trips throughout my middle school and elementary school years. It can also be a staple for school trips for most children and young adults in New York City.

Inside one of the greenhouses at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Photograph by City Tech Blogger Yaw Buadi

 

Growing up is both a blessing and curse, but in this case, it is a blessing. The reason is because I almost never appreciated the Botanical Gardens when I was younger. I viewed every other trip to the Botanical Gardens as something that was dull and pointless. In my youth, I believed that the plants were nothing more than being displayed for show. Growing up provided with the maturity to realize how wrong my mindset was. Regarding the plants that were being grown there, it never occurred to me that the plants were being raised and grown in a greenhouse — a building that is made of glass. These plants rely on the greenhouse for protection from the cold weather. I also learned that the plants in the greenhouse are being used for several purposes, such as growing crops and fruits.

Plants are versatile living things. They assist in the reduction of the greenhouse effect, which is a result of an increase in gases like carbon dioxide in the air. Said gases are trapping the heat from the Sun, and as a result bring about a slight rise in the Earth’s temperature. This is where the plants come in and help in this process. The plants absorb the carbon dioxide to photosynthesize, thereby decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases. However, even though plants are versatile and useful, at the end of the day they are still plants, which means they are relatively fragile and require high maintenance compared to other living things. According to an article called The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth by Justin Worlan, it states that “…Climate change affects a number of variables that determine how much plants can grow.” With the rather unstable weather interchanging from really hot to cold, the plants exposed to these dangerous extremes are at risk of destruction. In addition to that, the article states that climate change can stunt the growth of plants.

To sum this all up, I want to thank my recent trips to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and my science classes in both high school and college, for giving me a new perspective on plants. Aside from being varied and aesthetically pleasing, they do a lot for the Earth, and not many people seem to know about it and take it for granted. With climate change impacting more and more life forms, these little hard workers are suffering from the effects of it like the rest of the living things on Earth. Combating climate change is surely going to be a difficult task for a lot of us, especially because it is a very huge task that involves taking care of the planet. Slowly, but surely, we will be able to combat this wide-scale issue.

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