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Seniors Annabelle Paquin and Ellie Boisen measuring the nonexistent snow

Seniors Annabelle Paquin and Ellie Boisen measuring the nonexistent snow

Nick Sande

Nick Sande

Seniors Annabelle Paquin and Ellie Boisen measuring the nonexistent snow

Nick Sande, Staff Writer

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The first day of spring, March 20, has already come and gone.  Now in April we can likely expect rain cold, a different cold from winter, and thoughts of a warm summer ahead.  There has been spurts of warm weather in the past weeks, but the real warmth is still yet to come. However, warmth is coming in more ways than expected.

Climate change is the combination of the increase of the earth’s temperature and the effects caused by the rise in temperature.  This should not be confused with global warming which only addresses the rise in the earth’s average temperature.  Climate.gov said, “Global warming refers only to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, while climate change includes warming and the “side effects” of warming.”

Climate change will affect the weather in the world.  Although it may not be observed on an extreme scale in current day Minnesota, weather can be observed as more extreme in other parts of the world.  Extreme weather can be observed through tundras, droughts, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, etc.  All of these can affect agriculture, homes, and the habitats of other animals.  This is a cause for greater concern than the question of climate change’s existence.

The one of the issues of global warming, a part of climate change, is that it is part of a natural cycle to cancel out cooling.  However, this is not the case.  Humans have taken part in the increase of temperature in the earth. OHS teacher Mr. Sullivan said, “Humans on earth are increasing carbon dioxide emissions which is the general cause of global warming which comes from all human activity.  Carbon dioxide is also a small portion of our air, so even a small carbon dioxide increase can have larger effects.”  So, when humans breathe they do not have a great effect, but rather climate change is caused by the emission of greenhouse gas, and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the emissions are increased due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Now, on a large scale there is not much that an individual can do, but the actions of an individual can make a difference.  In the household and community there are things that can help the environment.  They include, but are not limited to, conserving water, properly insulating houses, using higher efficiency appliances, recycling, repurposing or reducing the amount of energy one uses.  As a community, one can organize clean up days for a local park or supporting local farmers markets.  Owatonna does have a wonderful Farmers’ Market.  If everyone did one little thing every day to better the earth there can be a positive impact made.

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