Imagine this; happening so fast, you see the world change in ways that it’s not supposed to. You look to the right, and you see the last polar bear suffering from heat in what was supposed to be a breezy country. To the left, a child, once who enjoyed playing in the sun, struggled to live in the cold with no food.
Let me tell you a fact; the earth is getting hotter than it’s supposed to be. Is that a good thing? No, not exactly. It’s actually dangerous. Let me tell you the things you need to know about climate change, the heating up of this planet. Climate change is the long changes in temperature shifts or weather patterns. Climate can be mistaken for weather, but weather can change day to day, whereas climate is different. Climate change can cause the weather to be a bit less predictable and can cause unexpected weather.
Now let me tell you another fact; I bet if you didn’t know already, there is ice literally melting in Antarctica. That’s not supposed to be right; it’s supposed to be freezing cold there! But all because of climate change, the ice is melting. And because of the ice melting, sea levels have risen around the world, and some say that the Maldives will sink within years. But to understand why this is happening, you must know the science of climate change. Since the 18th Century, humans have been the reason for current climate change, and the earth is 1.1ºC warmer than in the 1800s. When burning oil, coal, and fossil fuels and cutting trees, natural gas releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, such as CO². And mostly because of this, greenhouse gasses trap the heat from the sun's rays in the atmosphere, which makes the earth feel a lot hotter.
Okay, so why is this so dangerous? Well, the reason is that in different parts of the world, climate change has been the reason for droughts (no water for days!), severe fires or wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice and probably more. Unpredicted weather could also damage crops which global food systems rely on. In late 2019 and early 2020, Australia had a wildfire which had burnt an estimated 24,000 square miles, and the blazes killed around 1.5 billion animals. Coral bleaching in the deep beautiful seas has ruined the colourful corals and turned pale due to the changes in temperature, which have unfortunately affected the sea as well. The glacial ice sheets in Greenland as well have been melting, and if it melts entirely, global sea levels could rise to 20 feet.
This doesn’t mean no one has been taking action. The use of solar panels has been great so far, using the heat to get electricity and energy. People around the world are reducing the use of electricity and heat powered by fossil fuels, oil and coal. Taking a walk and riding a bicycle can help with transport and can give you a nice workout. You could also use the 3Rs; Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle. It helps you to recycle things rather than throw them away. You could also save energy at home and limit the use of your devices. Various engineers are making transport electric and powered by solar panels so it will reduce CO². But if you would like to do more, you could be one of the braves to speak up about climate change and the effects of it, and donate to charities that contribute to fighting climate change.
Now you know about the dangers of climate change and what people are doing to reflect it. Don’t be afraid to spread this information! Each year and day passes, climate change is getting stronger, but many have useful ideas on how to stop the heat, which is great to know. Even if you don’t want to go all out on climate change, give advice, spread awareness, and live a healthy life!
Imani Abdulla Shafy is a twelve-year-old sixth grader who aspires to be an author and a musician when she grows older, though having a bit of a long way to go. Ambivert and social, she does basketball, music, rollerblading and writing to keep herself company. Sometimes though, she enjoys watching movies with her family, hanging out with friends and cousins, or just making the most of her own time.