Hillmen Messenger

Climate change and plastic pollution is causing detrimental damage to the earth we inhabit

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By Alexis Porterfield

Messenger Staff Writer

 

Planetary pollution and drastic climate change are issues that affect every country and every person on this planet. This is an issue that absolutely needs to be solved. There is no time for disputes across borders—this planet needs to be saved.

 

According to several scientific sources, including NASA, the carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere are higher now than they ever have been.

 

A NASA article explains, “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

 

Apparently, the surge in large and powerful hurricanes over the last decade is due to rapid climate change.

 

“We know that climate change is making these storms stronger. The storms feed off of warm ocean waters, and those waters are warmer now because of climate change,” John Abraham, The Guardian staff writer brings to light.

 

Not only is this change in temperature causing more natural disasters, but it is also causing total landscape alterations. Countries and regions that are typically covered in ice and snow are now experiencing less and less of their usual winter weather. The worst part is that many polar dwelling animals are losing their habitats and will have nothing left to stand on soon. Sea turtles will lose nesting beaches due to higher water levels. Polar bears are losing land because of melting ice. Even hibernating animals are thrown off schedule because of quicker warming temperatures.

 

Though climate change is not entirely human-caused, people still have a serious effect on how quickly this is occurring. Even if humans defeat the climate beast, that is just one of the problems with this dying planet.

 

Plastic pollution is a huge problem on land and especially in the oceans. According to DoSomething.org, “In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that ocean-based sources, such as cargo ships and cruise liners had dumped 14 billion pounds of garbage into the ocean.”

 

Though this study was done in 1975, it can be assumed that this has increased greatly over the decades. The current amount of trash and plastic in the ocean is killing hundreds of millions of marine animals every year. Many animals confuse the colorful plastics for their common dietary foods, causing mass ingestion of the toxic material. Because plastic is impossible for the animals to digest, it almost always results in their death. As if animals eating the plastics and other pollution was not bad enough, many marine animals get entangled in the floating debris; typically leading to asphyxiation.

Based on current climate patterns, experts say we have just over a decade to adjust our habits using CO2 gasses before it causes detrimental damage to the atmosphere. On top of that, polluted plastics are on a road to cover every surface the Earth’s oceans. A change must be made, many believe they cannot make a difference as they are just one person, but when a billion people step up, a strong force can be created. Results can be produced, we need only try.

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The School Newspaper of Placer High School
Climate change and plastic pollution is causing detrimental damage to the earth we inhabit