Climate change threatens Earth

Grace Schoening, Reporter

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With more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than any time in human history, it’s fair to say the climate is changing. The way the world is responding politically, environmentally, and even locally has the potential to have drastic impacts on future generations.

KETV meteorologist Matt Serwe explains the kinds of weather that could be expected if the atmosphere continues to warm.

“Climate change amplifies the extremes,” Serwe said. “With an increase in temperature, it leads to the atmosphere holding more water, which leads to the ability for more severe flooding,  more severe weather seasons, and it could lead to more intense weather seasons.”

It is not uncommon for United States citizens who experience brutal winters to question if Earth’s atmosphere is warming.

“If you get a really strong ridge to heat the North Pacific and Alaska, it’s gonna dislodge more extreme cold weather over the middle of the country,” Serwe said.

Meteorologist for WOWT, Rusty Lord provides his insights on how exactly climate change could impact severe weather, specifically hurricanes.

 “A warming planet will translate into warmer ocean waters and that warm ocean water is what fuels hurricanes,” said Lord. “If the earth continues to warm at its current pace we would likely start to see the extremes gradually get a little more extreme.” 

The climate change issue does not just have the potential to have effects on the environment, but it could also have an impact on policies in the United States.

Beth Chalecki, author and Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha explains the way the United States is approaching this issue.

“The way the US is handling climate change is definitely different, and it’s definitely worse,” Chalecki said. “Other countries are ahead of us on this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t catch up.”

There are many different ways to approach this debate, but some methods will be more beneficial than others.

“If we could make one big change, we need to clean up elections again,” said Chalecki. “We need to repeal Citizens United, and undo gerrymandering and clean up the election system.”

If policy changes are applied, it is expected that many aspects of American citizens’ lives are going to change, including the way farmers farm, and consumers eat.

Local Iowan farmer, Rob Dittmer explained the sacrifices needed to make for farming to become more eco-friendly.

“The biggest sacrifice would be what you eat,” Dittmer said. “Having the same food year-round is not sustainable.” 

Consumers would not be the only ones to see changes in agriculture. Farmers could, too.

“Farmers may have to change what kind of crops they grow and where they grow them,” said Dittmer.

Whether the climate is changing due to humans or not, it should be suspected to see shifts in future policies, and the future of the Earth’s environment.