If you’ve never had the amazing experience of seeing a sea turtle, don’t worry! I took the liberty of putting in a photo of this extra cute one:
Now that you’ve seen what you’ve been missing, we have to talk about some serious problems facing these beautiful creatures and many more. We are officially in El Niño, which is a normal fluctuation in the ocean water’s surface temperature. The ocean naturally changes between La Niña and El Niño, colder and warmer, respectively. The environment is used to these changes, but with the increase in climate change, these have changes have reached extremities and are now threatening our buddy above and many other aspects of marine life.
Because of the endless greenhouse gases humans have been emitting into the atmosphere, the Earth is warming, magnifying the effects of the El Niño cycle. This weather whiplash will only continually throw the climate into extremes as humans’ pollution only increases.
So, if these cycles are getting worse, what does it mean for marine life? During El Niño, marine life suffers because there are less cold currents to bring diversity. Oceanic life, for the most part, thrives in colder waters, and with El Niño bringing warmer waters, animals are having to look harder for their food sources in the colder waters. This, in turn, affects the entire food chain, including land animals that feed on marine life. Basically, if you ever want to see some of the most amazing animals on the planet, stop burning fuel at this alarming rate.
I know this may seem infeasible, but the effects may be closer to home. Maybe you’ll be more convinced to make a change when your desert home gets dumped on with a record-breaking two feet of snow. Last week, Arizona was smothered in three feet of snow, approximately 36 inches of snow. This is Arizona’s highest single-day snow total in the 126 years that records have kept. It shatters the previous one-day total of 31 inches, which had stood since 1915. So if you don’t believe in climate change, I’d like to see you argue under three feet of snow.
With all these changes happening, its important to remember that although it “may be a gradual process, but set on that backdrop are these extreme warming events that might be becoming more common that can have more dramatic consequences,” said Robert Miller, an associate research biologist at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara. These extreme weather phenomena will only worsen, killing marine life with El Niño, land animals with less food, and deeply affecting our own lives too. It’s time to look at the facts and understand the climate change is upon us, and if we don’t do anything to stop it, we could be facing a new way of life sooner than we thought.