World affairs

Some Burning Climate Change Questions

by Chitransh Sharma

How will climate change affect biodiversity?

Rising sea levels threaten the beaches. Changing seasons are increasingly out of step with the conditions species have evolved to depend on. One study predicted sudden die-offs, with large segments of ecosystems collapsing in waves. This has already started in coral reefs.

Will our drinking water be safe?

Drought: Rising temperatures are reducing the snowpack that supplies drinking water. Rising seas also push up groundwater levels, causing septic systems to stop working, pushing unfiltered human waste into that groundwater.

Is the weather becoming more extreme than scientists predicted?

Climate scientists have said for a long time that global warming is causing the intensity and frequency of many types of extreme weather to increase. And that’s exactly what has been happening.

What kind of trees is best to plant for the planet?

The ecological benefit of planting native species holds true for people’s yards. Doug Tallamy worked with the National Wildlife Federation to develop tools to help people find native trees, shrubs, and flowers that support the most caterpillars, which in turn feed baby birds.

Does producing batteries for electric cars damage the environment more than gas vehicles do?

Mining the metals and minerals used in electric car batteries comes with sizable costs that are not just environmental but also human. Still, consider that batteries and other clean technology require relatively tiny amounts of these critical minerals, and that’s only to manufacture them. Once a battery is in use, there are no further minerals necessary to sustain it.

The topic, like the planet, is vast. Overwhelming. Complex. But there’s no more important time to understand what is happening and what can be done about it.