Start Listening

by Anna Haas ‘23

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be releasing its once-a-decade report on the normal climate temperature on May 4th. It will be announced that there is going to be a new, even higher baseline temperature. From 1981-2010, the baseline temperature was 52.8 degrees Fahrenheit. From 1991-2020 the baseline temperature bumped up to 53.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like a noteworthy change, but even the slightest temperature change can cause an increase in disastrous natural events. Earth has warmed about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-20th Century, and it has continued to warm in recent decades. Scientists have been warning people for years that if the Earth warms more than 3 degrees, there will be unavoidable and disastrous consequences. The problem is that humans are not listening. This year’s temperature report provides scientists with an opportunity to show and explain how quickly things have been changing and how this temperature change is going to affect their everyday lives. Unfortunately, people have started to become used to the increasing number of floods, fires, and hurricanes, but still fail to make the connection between them and the warming climate. What people do not understand is that higher temperatures also mean higher food prices, lower water supply, and the spread of vector-borne disease. Humans are rapidly running out of time to do anything about climate change, and it is time that they start listening.