From advocacy to political policy, people are running to Capitol Hill to seek solutions for global warming. NASA released a report showing 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record and the warming trend is expected to continue. The UN reported the world is on thin ice.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released a report confirming what many scientists say we’ve known for years: methane is one of the leading causes of warmer weather. This gas traps heat 87 times more than carbon dioxide. Landfills, oil, natural gas systems and livestocks are the most common sources of methane emissions.
Dr. Hugh Willoughby, an earth and environment professor at Florida International University, who’s been a working meteorologist since 1970, says this warmer weather has been causing intense hurricanes over the span of many years.
“Kerry Emanuel published a paper in the eighties that relates hurricane temperature, ocean temperature to hurricane intensity,” said Dr. Willoughby. “There’s no reason to doubt that isn’t right. I consider it the greatest advance in understanding of the field in the last 50 years.”
Nasa emphasized that global warming is a present problem causing intense heat waves, sea ice loss and sea level rise. Anna Weber, who is the senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, specializes in climate adaptation that is addressing the threats climate change poses on communities, both now and in the future.
“Taking steps to make sure that you and your family are more prepared for extreme weather,” says Weber, “all the way up to advocating with your local, state and federal representatives to make sure that we are doing more as a country to prepare for the effects of climate change.”
FIU student Nayla Alcocer-Martos is a legislative intern at the office of Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor. She is learning the inner workings of environmental and climate policy and she hopes to one day make one of her own.
“Some specifically that I would like to see would relate to energy and also food production because that is an aspect that I feel some people neglect,” said Martos. “No matter where you’re located, rising temperatures, other impacts of climate, food production is going to be a real problem if we’re not able to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Weber mentioned that in her line of work, there’s something called climate-smart decisions. You take the information of what we know about climate change and you apply it to your everyday choices. Whether that’s using public transportation instead of your car one day or starting a recycling bin in your office, these choices are little but mighty when it comes to climate care.