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Dear Trump Administration – Climate Change is Real

I reach out to you as a bioenvironmental scientist and a human being to implore you to accept that climate change is real. It is not a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, it is scientific fact. And despite what you believe, the scientific community did not just decide to change the name ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’; they are two separate things. Global warming is specifically “the average global surface temperature from human emissions of greenhouse gases.” (NASA) Climate change is a more broad term used to describe a “long-term change in Earth’s climate.” Global warming is included under the large umbrella of climate change along with other side affects – like the melting ice caps, changes in rainfall patterns, more severe droughts and rising sea levels, just to name a few.

These side affects can all be attributed to human activities. We as humans have accomplished many great things, the industrial era being one great example of our ingenuity. We have discovered sources of energy that have changed the way our world runs. But these sources of energy have also caused almost irreversible damage to the planet we live on.

This is not a topic you should take lightly. The future of our planet and the future for our children rely on the changes we make today. We have the opportunity to acknowledge the climate changes and start working to fix what we have broken. Every minute we wait our planet suffers, until soon we won’t even have the chance to try to save it. Stop trying to deny the signs, they are all there:

1. Rising Global Temperatures

If you haven’t already noticed, 2016 has been one of the hottest years on record. Scientists have recently released preliminary data that shows that 2016 temperatures are approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (WMO) This change is happening all around the world, from Artic Russia, to South America, and Southern Africa. This affects everyone.

2. Climate Instability


Many people think rising temperatures couldn’t possibly be a sign of climate change when parts of the world are also facing extreme winters, but those extreme winters are a sign of climate instability. The increase in floods and hurricanes is also a prominent sign of climate change. Hurricane Matthew is one such extreme weather event that scientists attribute to the rising sea levels associated with climate change.

3. Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is the decrease in the pH of Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We humans are putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus affecting our oceans. By acidifying our oceans, we are impacting the many animal and plant species that live in our oceans that cannot adapt to the rapidly changing pH. There is a loss in biodiversity, which affects our fisheries and aquaculture. This threatens the food security of millions of people around the world, along with the economies of communities who depend on these jobs.

4. Damaged Coral Reefs

The warmer temperatures caused by climate change stress coral reefs. Corals become bleached when the algae they depend on for some of their food leave their tissue because of the higher temperatures. Without coral reefs, the marine species that call them home no longer have shelter and an entire ecosystem is altered. The fishing industry is affected by the loss of fish habitats. Today, more than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef has suffered from bleaching.

5. Melting Ice Caps

Our rising temperatures have led to the melting of our ice caps. In fact, 2016 saw a new record low for the winter maximum extent. In additions, as our ice caps melt, less sunlight is reflected, which leads to our planet absorbing more heat. This starts the cycle all over again. The melting ice caps also contribute to rising sea levels, which changes the ocean circulations.

6. Rising Sea Levels

The rising sea levels caused by melting ice caps have devastating effects on coastal habitats. It leads to erosion, flooding, contamination of drinking water, and loss of habitat. Millions of people are displaced from coastal areas because of rising sea levels. In fact, entire countries are in danger is disappearing into the ocean.

Please, for our children and for their future, honor the committment President Obama made to cleaning up the environment. Continue with the Paris Agreement that so many countries agreed upon for the sake of our planet.  Climate change is real, it’s happening right now and we need to do something about it. 

Victoria is a senior at Texas A&M University studying Bioenvironmental Sciences. She is a Chapter Advisor for HC National as well as a Contributing Writer for HC TAMU. She is also a Projects Coordinator with AGEISS Inc. Following graduation in December 2016, she will begin work in the environmental sector.
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