By: Shreeya Indap
Long time, no see to the Dandilyonn Community! It’s been a while since we’ve last checked in but we hope all of your summers are going great. We imagine many of you must be taking vacations to beautiful tropical areas such as Hawaii or the Caribbean. But consider this while you’re taking your trip: if we don’t put it any action against climate change now, we probably won’t ever get to visit these places every again. Because as much as we love our oceans and seas, we’re going to have too much of them.
You’ve most likely heard about rising sea levels because of climate change. (If you haven’t, it’s basically because melting ice sheets, along with expanding seawater caused by higher temperatures, will add more water to our oceans. Here’s a similar article we wrote about the causes of stronger storms.) So, what would happen if we continued at our current rate of carbon emissions? Global temperatures would increase around 4°C (7.2°F). And if we managed to adhere to the upper limit set by the Paris Climate Accord, we’d decrease that number to 2°C (3.6°F), although with the way our current administration deals with environmental issues, it doesn’t seem likely that the United States will reach its goals. (See our articles on the Paris Agreement’s premises and why the US pulled out.)
But, what do these numbers really mean in terms of real world impacts? You might think, “So what if the temperature goes from 60° to 64°? I can handle that.” We’d love to write essays on essays about why you’d be wrong but we’re sure many other, more qualified scholars have already done that for us. So this time, instead of telling you what will happen in the future, we’ll show you.
Let’s take the Caribbean as an example, one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. Here’s what will happen to water levels with a 2° and 4° increase in temperatures:
The next time you visit any of these amazing places, remember how easily they can go from at-risk to completely drowned. Do your part in any small way you can think of: reuse and recycle, save water, use environmentally friendly products, spread the word, donate to the cause, and most importantly, remember to vote this coming November! Just the little things you can do to join this fight against climate change.