Most people are probably enjoying the warm and sunny weather that Radford University has been having lately. Temperatures in 60’s and 70’s, a nice bright sun to keep you warm, a cool breeze every now and again; it’s great weather for sitting on Heth lawn and relaxing. In fact, that’s what many people have been doing. We’ve had quite a few people in shorts and t-shirts (or even just shorts) outside enjoying the weather and playing games; they’ve been all over campus. The only problem is that it’s the middle of February, and the weather should be freezing with ice and snow, not warm like it’s the middle of spring. The unusual weather is due to the effects of global climate change, which is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.
Some people do not believe that this drastic change in climate is even real, despite the amount of evidence for it (1). Firstly, we need to get rid of a common misconception and frequently made argument against climate change. There is a difference between climate and weather. The weather is whether or not it is sunny or rainy outside, or warm or cold, on that specific day, while climate is part of the specific environment of an area. If you are in a desert then you have very hot temperatures, and if you are in the Artic then you have very cold temperatures. The issue is that these temperatures are steadily increasing to the point that these environments are becoming uninhabitable.
A particularly cold day or cold season does not mean that climate change is a hoax; some of the gasses that we have added to the atmosphere have created an ozone hole over the South Pole, causing that part of the stratosphere to become colder. This colder stratosphere causes faster winds that reach as far as the equator which then affect tropical circulation and rainfall (2).
Global climate change is due to the increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. These gasses absorb and hold onto the heat that we receive from the sun, so the more we put into the atmosphere, the warmer our planet gets. This is a real problem; glacial ice is melting and subsequently causing sea levels to rise. This means landmasses that are close to the sea level will be wiped out. Environments are getting destroyed due to the increasing climates and sea levels. We are hurting ourselves by ignoring this issue, and something needs to be done soon before it is too late.