Storms – Nature’s Response To People’s Actions

Since the first single-celled organism developed on Earth, life has found a way to survive on this green planet. When one organism becomes more prevalent than another, life corrects the error and tries to re-balance that particular ecosystem. Everything in life needs to be balanced in order to have sustainability. The Earth has had primitive life for billions of years because its ecosystems have been able to thrive off one another. When the population of deer in an ecosystem begins to develop rapidly, the wolves also begin to develop and survive much easier. Overtime, when the deer’s population starts to decrease as a result from the wolves, the wolf’s population goes down with it. A balance is necessary to keep an ecosystem alive and when both populations decrease, they reach a level where they are both equal. However, Humans have pushed that balance to one side by so much that it’s on its breaking point. Nature is sending warnings through horrific storms and events that are leaning towards to the end of the human race.

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Humans are at the top of the food chain on planet Earth and they are known as the most intelligent species. The greediness that human possess however eventually took its toll and gave birth to the Industrial Revolution. This was the start of a long-term expansion of greenhouse gases being flooded into the atmosphere causing the Earth’s climate to change. The desire to make profit of automotive, factories, and other big businesses allowed for mass production of items, but as a result greatly increased the amount gases being sent around the world. With not a care in the world, we began turning the planet’s atmosphere into a garbage can by disposing all of the harmful gases that were used to make a quick buck. The number of factories being used to produce more material increased at an exponential rate allowing for countries to become competitive and produce as much as they possibly can to be on top. This competition began to change the way we treat our home and the responsibilities we took to take care of it. Overusing the Earth to see who is stronger is not a game that life enjoys playing. The actions that humans have taken these past hundred has caused the next mass extinction that if not stopped, will wipe out the human race. However, we won’t win this game that we started, life will always win as a result and continue to live on.

In the current year 2019, the impact of the Industrial Revolution left its mark and completely changed the views of future generations. The greediness and desire to make money only continued to worsen as time went on. Due to this, the increase of greenhouse gases that humans are producing has drastically changed over the years and “according to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880”. The increased global temperatures have been catastrophic to the worlds systems and ecosystems. Recently, we have our begun to deplete Earth’s ozone layer which protects humans from most of the UV rays the sun emits. Studies show that “around 90% of skin cancer cases are of the non-melanoma variety (BCC and SCC) with BCCs being approximately four times as common as SCCs. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is considered to be a major etiological factor for all three forms of cancer” so the rate of skin cancers has been changed dramatically as more of the UV rays touch the surface. The depletion of the ozone layer has occurred because of all the greenhouse gases we have emitted into the stratosphere. The amount we are emitting has not been slowing down so this will continue unless we cut back on using greenhouse gases. As a result, life is starting to become unbalanced and agitated. This unbalance has created more frequent and powerful storms that bring chaos to the surface. Industries and businesses have impacted the climate so much that the earth’s natural cycles have been corrupted and it has created terrifying threats to all humans living on planet Earth.

One of the biggest threats to humankind specifically in America as well as the entire world is the recurring storms created from increased ocean temperatures. Since the ocean plays a major role in creating storms, it is crucial that we keep the planets oceans under control. However, we have clearly failed to do so because in recent studies, scientists and researchers have worked to together to create data showing the rise in sea levels and “the researchers estimated a global rise of between 0.7 and 1.2 meters – adding that if emissions are not curbed as soon as possible it will be even greater”. The parts of America that are experiencing this rise the most are the coastal regions, due to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans being at their doorstep. Warmer temperatures in the oceans can create incredibly strong winds resulting in bigger and more abnormal hurricanes that reach further inland. Almost all-natural occurring storms such as blizzards, lightning storms, tornadoes, and hail storms are all expected to become more noticeable as the heating of the Earth continues. Not only this, but the warmer temperatures are currently melting immense glaciers and parts of northern countries giving rise to the sea levels. All of these factors are the reasons for the planets heightened storm activity and coastal flooding. These notorious events will continue to occur and become more frequent if we continue to put high intensity pressure on the Earth’s atmosphere.

The amount of storm activity that has been occurring in recent years has been catastrophic in terms of damage and relocation. Frequent hurricanes have been aggressively attacking the south east part of the United States as well the southern parts. Citizens living in those regions already must deal with constant flooding from sea level rise and now with the increase in hurricane activity, they are being brutally reminded that the climate is changing. Hurricanes are the reason for the destruction of many towns and cities on the coast dealing billions of dollars’ worth of damage. Data shows that “North America has the highest average damage of US$26 billion per year, which is half of the global damage. East Asia and Central America – Caribbean average damages of US$15 and US$10 billion yr−1 respectively” which shows just how much is needed to be repaired in many cities. These storms continuously take the lives of many people due to the increasing intensities of them and they leave hundreds of people with no place to call home. Another natural disaster that is a result from these frantic climate changes are droughts. California has always been known for having dry periods but recently it has reached an all-time high. Since dry seasons are becoming a more common occurrence, it’s increasing the rate of wildfires significantly. These fires have stretched for hundreds of miles burning everything in its path and destroying many suburban neighborhoods. Studies show that “the 2007 wildfire season in southern California burned over 1,000,000 ac (~400,000 ha) and included several megafires” which is caused by the sudden fluctuation in rainfall around the world. American citizens have been traumatized by these events and left them with scars within their hearts. These scars will only continue to get deeper within humans as the storms become stronger.

Many humans look past the thought of the planet’s climate changing and believe that it doesn’t affect them. However, those people couldn’t be more wrong because this occurring event that we have caused has many consequences. When civilizations first began, they thrived because they built their civilizations right next to water sources. Even today almost every civilization depends on water as a way of survival, but sources of freshwater are starting to disappear or dry up. Due to America and the rest of the world creating so much pollution and transferring it into the atmosphere, the remaining freshwater left is starting to become contaminated. For example, when company’s start fracking in certain part of the United States, they dispose the contaminated left-over water onto sheets, so they can evaporate into the atmosphere. All the chemically induced water is left to evaporate into clouds and then eventually rain down causing harm to other freshwater resources and environments. The amount of water in lakes in rivers is also changing drastically because climate change is resulting in the overproduction of rain in one area but absolutely no rain in another.

When natural disasters such as droughts and floods occur, it kills many of the crops that farmers produce. Crops in America are sent around all the states and with a shortage of yearly crops, there’s less food to go around. The significant increase in rainfall in many states has also caused supreme flooding to occur all throughout different cities. Transportation systems become less active due to recent flash floods making it more difficult to get around which decreases the rate of trade systems as well. This can result in many delays throughout major cities and stop people from working. In September 2018, Hurricane Florence hit many of the main areas in North and South Carolina causing supreme damage. Much of the damage was due to flooding but “within Hurricane Florence’s pathway it has taken out power to over 90,000 people. The Washington Post has stated that five lives have already been taken” and due to this recent event, the increasing strength of the hurricanes are becoming visible from people not only in America, but all over the world. Although storms have been present ever since the earth was created, this is the first time that these storms have been influenced off of human involvement with the planet’s natural cycles.

One of the most frightening parts about the recent storms is their sudden change in degree in such a short amount of time. In an article written by Daniel Levitt and Niko Kommenda, many of the hurricanes that took place in 2017 were discussed in detail. They showed different data tables showing just how much storms have increased since the 1940s. The main point of the article was to show how much climate change has changed recent storms and they state that “what’s particularly worrying is when a storm transforms from a category 1 hurricane to a Category 5 monster in less than 24 hours” which greatly justifies the spine-chilling results of climate change. These hurricanes can be amplified to great magnitudes in a very short amount of time which gives citizens very little time to act and evacuate. It’s extremely rare for a hurricane to change categories that quickly at such a great extent. We will see this happen much more often however as the oceans continue to rise and heat up.

The great shift in America’s storms is only continuing to get worse as each human expels greenhouse gases into atmosphere. Future generations will not only have deal with these problems we created, but they will be punished much harder for something they didn’t even produce. These heavily generated storms are just the beginning of a long line of events that are yet to come. The actions humans have taken will mostly likely affect the earth for thousands of years to come unless we are the age that stops it from becoming any worse. If there was ever a time where humans had to come together to tackle an enemy, the time would be now. There isn’t much time left before these events become irreversible and by then, all hope is lost.

01 February 2021

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