Are we witnessing effects of climate change?

Extreme weather signals growing effects of climate change around the world

Everybody knows that the weather during the past year has been anything but consistent. From heavy hurricane rain flooding roads, to driveways being covered in two feet of snow, and then to people walking outside in 70 degree weather all in a matter of months, it’s no surprise that we are experiencing more and more extreme weather. However, is the worsening weather conditions due to human activity?

According to a report from the United Nations, 7,348 natural disasters occurred globally from 2000 to 2019, costing 1.23 million lives and $2.97 trillion in global economic losses. To put those numbers in comparison, there were 4,212 natural disasters from 1980 to 1999, which led to the loss of 1.19 million lives and $1.63 trillion.

Climate-related disasters increased by 83 percent, including double the amount of massive floods, and noticeably major rises in droughts, wildfires, and heat waves. There is only one feasible explanation for this rapid incline: climate change.

It has been proven time and time again that human activity has threatened the global environment. Over the past century, greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels have caused an elevation of carbon dioxide and methane into our atmosphere, which lead to a rise in global temperatures. However, even though the globe may seem like it’s getting warmer, the increased water vapor trapped in the air is what causes more powerful winter storms, along with stronger hurricanes, severe flooding, and longer droughts in certain areas.

We are seeing these effects become more severe in front of our own eyes, especially with millions of families in Texas losing their power to massive amounts of snow and California facing more wildfires than ever. Corporations need to take into consideration how much coal, oil, or gas they are burning and people need to take actions to reduce their carbon footprint to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same environment we do.