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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Spring in Missouri is known for being temperamental. One day it’s 70˚F and sunny, the next we’re shoveling snow off our sidewalks. Each year, summers seem hotter and snowy winter days seem more sporadic. All to blame on climate change, well sort of. 

Climate change occurs when fundamental shifts in weather cause abnormal weather patterns throughout the year. This change is due to the increased average temperature of the planet (global warming).

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the climate takes years or decades of heating or cooling to cause change. This change can occur naturally from changes in the distance from the sun or unnaturally from pollutants. 

Harmful pollutants, like CO2 emissions in the air, can come from factories, transportation and consumption of natural resources. Practically everything humans do creates water or air pollution that could potentially build up and be harmful to the environment. 

So, the planet is slowly heating, what does this mean to you? 

If nothing is done to slow the heating of the Earth and to stop pollution, animals and plants may be in danger of going extinct. 

Contaminated water sources and lack of vegetation causes endangerment of animals. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 41,415 species are currently on the “Red List of Threatened Species.”

In addition to various animals being threatened with endangerment, climate change may make environments too warm to grow specific foods. The World Economic Forum states that foods like avocados and chocolate may go extinct if nothing is done about rising average temperatures. 

If losing your morning avocado toast isn’t enough to convince you there is an issue, clean air and water sources are continuing to be polluted by human made pollution.

Water is not only important for our daily water intake, but it is also a necessity for livestock and other food sources. 

Learning about climate change is the first step towards preventing further damage of the planet due to temperature increases.

Local governments and the large corporations we support constantly make decisions that have impacts on the environment. Voting in local elections and supporting corporations with green initiatives can make an impact on the level of emissions polluting the atmosphere. 

The effects of climate change can’t be reversed overnight; government intervention and correspondence with large corporations is needed. Making personal changes such as ordering from sustainable brands can be a first step towards helping slow climate change. 

Climate Change Info Graphic
Original illustration by Adrian Maddox

Adrian is an undergraduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Jordan Thornsberry is a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying magazine journalism. In her free time, Jordan likes to travel, read and catch up on the latest celebrity drama. You can find more of her writing at jordantberry.com and on social media at @jordantberry.