The Climate Crisis is More Visible Than Ever

Sometimes it's easy to think that climate change, “Well, it's coming, but it's not here yet.” But if you log onto the news, you'll see that instead, it's here. It's everywhere.


"Wildfire" by NPS Climate Change Response is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

The climate situation is getting more dire by the day, and we need to start doing something about it.

Mady Seeber, Contributor

As I write, Australia burns under bush fires, while Venice sinks under itself. Natural rainforests fly up in flames for animal agriculture. Thousands of Californian homes perish. Layers of permafrost preserved for decades are under flames. The arctic shrinks. Glaciers that have existed for decades, melt. The climate crisis is here.

 How can people deny this when it exists around them? It’s not a lie. And it’s not purely coincidence. This is real. This is a problem.

Take Australia for starters. While the claim has been made that the fires can’t yet be attributed to climate change, Australia hasn’t reduced it emissions as it said it would. Now, “The average temperature in Australia is now running about 1C above the long term average,” said Richard Thornton, chief executive of the Bushfires & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Center.

In addition to this, fire seasons have shown to be starting earlier, and “fire danger” areas are only increasing. Glenda Wardle, an ecologist in Australia, agreed. She stated that one event – the fires – cannot be contributed JUST to climate change, but that “when you look at the trends… it becomes undeniably linked to global climate change.” Others agreed, saying that the fires show a direct link to climate change.

 On the opposite end of the spectrum, Venice, Italy is flooded with what Australia needs right now; water. Ironically, the flooding occurred after it decided to reject measures to fight global climate change.

 This is the worst flood that has hit Venice in over 50 years. The waters have peaked at a height of almost six feet high. Not even Venice’s flood proofing could stop this. The damages will “leave a permanent mark,” mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro said.

 He even called out the Italian Government, and Venice’s council saying that “these are the effects of climate change, [and] the costs will be high.”

 Flooding like the one in Venice is due to what is called, “Acqua Alta” or high water. Which occurs when high spring tides and meteorological storms collide. The event is usually considered rare, but when mapped with the increase of emissions, and climate change, it lines up. Acqua Alta occurrences have grown exponentially in the last ten years. So has climate change.

 These events have only become known in the past couple weeks. But for years, other issues have been prominent. The arctic and glacial melt used to be the biggest one.

 This first was revealed to be a large problem through several projects. One of the biggest was Chasing Ice. The film depicted glacial melt over several years. Others have depicted satellite images of the Arctic year after year, smaller than before. And while it wasn’t considered climate change yet, something was changing. Climate change and global warming quickly grew in recognition. Now we know that temperatures are rising. Corals are bleaching. Hundreds of species are dying every day. Wildfires rage across the surface of the earth.

 Greta Thunberg said it best, “The climate and ecological emergency is right here, right now. But it has only just begun. It will get worse.”