The question I’m asking you today: Is climate change real or not? Before I can explain my view on climate change, we must understand what climate change is. According to climate.nasa.gov “Climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. These human-produced temperature increases are commonly referred to as global warming.” Colder winters, stronger hurricanes and hotter summer days — all these weather changes yet people still question if climate change is real.
Let’s look at the facts and let me know when you’re done reading if you think climate change is real or not. I will explain a few of the effects of climate change in the Caribbean and those I’ve seen first-hand living in the Caribbean. First, let’s talk about the effects of greenhouse gasses. According to the oxford dictionary greenhouse gas is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, e.g., carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons. The greenhouse effect is the warming of the earth surface that results when gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun that would otherwise escape into space and keep the world cool and temperatures normal.
Trapping greenhouse gases also raises the temperature of the oceans. Let’s close our eyes and take a dive in the big blue, beautiful colorful coral reef filled with life. What comes to one’s mind is with warmer air and ocean temperatures the corals are now bleached, this is where corals loose their color and die. The ocean is now 26% more acidic than in 1990, between the years of 2016 and 2017 there was a great bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, fish are now migrating towards colder waters due to the increase of water temperatures in tropic areas.
Another effect climate change is having on our oceans is the rise in sea levels resulting in the drowning of wetlands and extensive flooding. This sea level rise is endangering the coral reef and sea grass meadows of drowning. Let’s get a dry off and look at the effects of climate change on land. Let’s talk about the effects it has on our homes. In the US floods are the most common and deadly natural disasters in the U.S., which will likely be exacerbated and intensified by sea level rise and extreme weather. $27,000 in damage is an estimate by FEMA if one inch of floodwater enters in an average-sized home. This has caused home insurance rates to increase more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2015. I’ve experience firsthand the effects of stronger weather changes. In 2004 a hurricane call Ivan passed through the Caribbean hitting my home Grenada. Ivan was one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Grenada. I was only 3 but I can still see pictures of all the commotion in my head. I was laying between my parents in the living room because it was the safest place in the house at the moment because at certain places the roof. It did not only caused damage to thousands of homes, but it also ruined more than half of the island’s vegetation Grenada was known for its production of spices especially nutmeg and cocoa however after the hurricane the islands production went to immediate low. With my father being a farmer, it took him months almost a year to get his land back to full vegetation as it was once. Experiencing this firsthand made me realize how real climate change is and why my generation needs to find new and innovative ways to reverse the many effects climate change has had on our planet.