By Lizz Panchyk
It feels as if every day we hear about a new storm. Earlier this month, the east coast received a large amount of rain leftover from hurricane Ida, which led to floods, trees falling, house damages and even people missing or killed. On Thursday, Sept. 2, the day after the rain, cars could be seen stranded all about the Long Island Expressway as well as many other main roads, and even cars that were left on the streets were picked up and moved around due to flood currents. This led to immense traffic as these cars and trucks had to be towed out safely. According to Fox 5 NY, in just one hour, Manhattan received 3.15 inches of rain, which is a record amount.
Hurricane Ida, classified as a category 4, was forecasted to hit the U.S. exactly 16 years after the terrible hurricane Katrina. Just a week prior to Ida was hurricane Henri, which being a category one, wasn’t nearly as bad, but caused enough damage after its storm surges that it was a wonder more damage wasn’t done.
2020 was a record year for hurricanes, being a total of 14, which was the most since 2005, according to Statista. So what do these storms mean for climate change around the globe?
We’ve been hearing for years now that the ice is melting, and the years are getting warmer, and the rate of the temperature rise is much faster. 2016 was among one of the warmest years, which is something that I’ve learned in my oceanography class this semester.
It’s scary to think about what this means for both our future and the earth’s future. We can probably expect to see more hurricanes as the climate warms up, making the bodies of water a forming spot for cyclones of all kinds. With these storms, damages can make it hard and costly to rebuild, especially with how consistent they’ve been. Especially for those who are poor, if their homes are taken away by flooding and destruction, where are they to go?
What doesn’t help is the lack of belief in climate change, when it’s happening right before our eyes. Humans in general are no help in fixing climate change, as we are the ones to cause it. Carbon dioxide and gas emissions are a huge part in making each decade increasingly warmer than the one prior. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), without human involvement, climate change at this rate would be rare at most. Of course, this issue can be fixed, but it may take years.
In my opinion, while we have blossomed as a society, with transportation and jobs and places to live, there’s a lot of damage that has been done to the earth, and more people need to realize that. It’s really a domino effect as we’re slowly killing the earth. The facts are all there, whether people believe in them or not. Just because it still snows does not mean that global warming and climate change do not exist.
I’m frightened for the future as we cannot change the damage that’s already been done. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and the only way that we can try and help our earth is by first acknowledging the damage that’s been done already and finding a way to take better care of our home.