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Climate Change From My Eyes

Over the years we have heard the term climate change being used in so many different ways. We hear what climate change has caused or things we can do to prevent it. But we never get the actual definition of what climate change is or where the term comes from.

To simplify the definition, climate change is a large change in the normal conditions for a specific place and time. For example, on January 4, 2023 in New York City, the temperature for the day was approximately 66 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so warm that it broke the previous record for the warmest winter from the year 1932.

Now that you have that image in your head, we can see why climate change has become such a huge topic in the recent years. Because of climate change we have experienced abnormal things such as glaciers melting, having a non existing ozone layer, wearing a hoodie during winter because it’s in the mid 60’s when it should be below 40.

But where does the term come from?

The term was actually first known as global warming. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when Wallace Broecker published an article and named it climatic change. From then on, it has been known as climate change. As the human population grows we have caused climate change to speed up. Cars, agriculture, landfills, deforestation are some of the things we have done to contribute to speeding up the process.

You are probably wondering how agriculture contributes to climate change . Well, agriculture produces something called Greenhouse gases, according to npr.org, agriculture actually “contributes 25% of annual greenhouse gas emission.”

Even though that’s only one contributor, the biggest one in my opinion is cars and the exhaust the gas produces. Co2 or carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor when it comes to climate change. The co2 from the exhaust traps the heat in the earth and prevents the earth from cooling off. Even though in the last couple of years we as a society have tried to decrease this number by creating electric cars and promoting the use of them, they still contribute a huge amount of emissions. According to climate.mit.edu, “One source of EV emissions is the creation of their large lithium-ion batteries. The use of minerals including lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which are crucial for modern EV batteries, requires using fossil fuels to mine those materials and heat them to high temperatures. As a result, building the 80 kWh lithium-ion battery found in a Tesla Model 3 creates between 2.5 and 16 metric tons of CO2 (exactly how much depends greatly on what energy source is used to do the heating).1 This intensive battery manufacturing means that building a new EV can produce around 80% more emissions than building a comparable gas-powered car. A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This number can vary based on a vehicle’s fuel, fuel economy, and the number of miles driven per year.”

Overall, climate change will continue to occur until we as a society find a better solution to help slow down the number of greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere. Who knows, maybe in the future electric cars wont create any carbon footprint.

 

References :

https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle#:~:text=2%20per%20mile.-,What%20is%20the%20average%20annual%20carbon%20dioxide%20(CO2)%20emissions,around%2011%2C500%20miles%20per%20year.

https://climate.mit.edu/ask-mit/are-electric-vehicles-definitely-better-climate-gas-powered-cars#:~:text=One%20source%20of%20EV%20emissions,heat%20them%20to%20high%20temperatures.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/08/08/748416223/to-slow-global-warming-u-n-warns-agriculture-must-change#:~:text=Right%20now%2C%20agriculture%20generates%20an,as%20clearing%20vegetation%20and%20plowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. So do you mean to tell me that electric cars contribute more to climate change? I genuinely thought that electric cars were going to be the alternative to driving ordinary gas cars to reduce climate change and global warming! What are we all doing then? Gasoline and lithium ion batteries both cause emissions to the environment and at the same time, we need transportation to get to places. What happens when these kind of batteries fail and cause huge dangerous hazards such as explosions and deaths to the people who operate them? That can also be a major risk. I know an alternative to all this is biking or walking but that’s perhaps for people who live in certain areas where that’s more common, or people who have the energy to walk and bike long distances to where they need to go on a daily basis. Some people need and depend highly on cars and other means of public transportation. What we need to do on a daily basis vs. what we are doing in our environment. What do you expect all of us to do? Have all of civilization revert back to using horse drawn wagons? No way! I think there needs to be a compromise to all of this. If you think or predict that electric cars in the future won’t cause any carbon footprint, how do you suppose we are going to get there? What are the steps that people have to take to create such a magnificent invention?

    Look at the hoverboard and how popular it got in the mid-2010s. It was later proven to be a bad invention due to how people of different ages mismanaged it. People not knowing how to control it well, the hoverboard always malfunctioning, the hoverboard catching fire due to it also running on lithium ion batteries if left charging for too long or bursting into flames while in use. Some people have died both outdoors and in their homes even when not using their hoverboards; a new electronic skateboard that ran on one set of wheels. It never really had a proper sense of direction when you were using it and many people got into quick accidents. My point exactly, the dangers of using said machines to go from point A to point B while it still contributes to a carbon footprint in our environment doesn’t help in anything. We need something that will guarantee the direct opposite to all those things. A safer means of travel while also being environmental friendly that is not walking or biking or electric cars.

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