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California Drought and Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Jerry Camilien

Climate change is drastically affecting the west coast of the United States, especially California which has experienced major droughts due to the lack of long rain. While living in California, I experienced the after-effects of a long drought, which devastated the state. In 2014 California the safe levels in reservoirs were severely decreased and was when California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He also ordered mandatory regulations to conserve water for the first time in the state’s history. California agriculture was dramatically affected by the drought from 2012-2014, when farmers saw their crops yielding less and less. State officials estimated that more than 100 million trees die during the drought because of stress and infestations from bark beetles.

In June 2014, Lake Shasta was at 37% of capacity due to the long California drought. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

How does the changing climate cause these droughts?  Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently issued a study showing more frequent droughts in California. They have linked the disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic and the buildup of high ridges of atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean, and the ridges push winter storms away from the state, causing drought. The rapidly melting Arctic sea ice now threatens to diminish precipitation over California by as much as 15% within 20 to 30 years. In California we have also see the air quality greatly affected by climate change. Many different species of fish are dying during the droughts as well. The dry forest regions have sparked forest fires across the state killing the wildlife in those areas. These after effects still remain throughout the California region.

My college major is information technology and I believe the gathering and analyzing data is one way to impact climate change. Utilizing big data through data collecting and data analyzing, will allow officials to make proper judgement calls so they can mitigate climate change in the state.

 

 
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Bring in the Aerodynamic Battery Powered Semi-Truck by City Tech Blogger Jorge Rivas

I believe that we as a society should strive to lower the amount of pollution caused by the vehicles we use, especially when it comes to trucks, our country’s main mode of transportation when it comes to shipping goods. While most of us do not drive trucks, we buy products these trucks deliver.  Trucks contribute to the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the main causes of climate change. It is nice to see that an influential company such as Telsa is looking to change the paradigm. Not too long ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, an aerodynamic battery powered semi-truck. Anheuser-Bush, a beer-brewing company, ordered 40 Tesla Semis and stated that incorporating these trucks will allow them to reduce their carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025. While the trucks have yet to be built, they show promising potential and if many companies switch over to an electric alternative, I believe that climate change can be slowed.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310732

What I do not understand is that Semi trucks are not treated in the same manner as passenger cars. What I would especially like to emphasize is that many passenger cars are designed to be aerodynamic, therefore reducing the amount of gas needed to move the car from point A to point B. All of the trucks I have seen, most are blocky in design and look as there has been no innovation to the overall their design. I believe that any change that can help environment should be implemented.

 
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Fossil Fuels and Global Warming by City Tech Blogger Lok Ting Wong

Humans have come to rely heavily on fossil fuels but most people don’t know how they affect the climate. In this decade, climate change is the world’s biggest problem. How do we solve the problem of climate change? This is an important problem we all need to think about. Global warming has been, in part, characterized by extreme weather patterns. There is no doubt that fossil fuels are one of the main causes of climate change. Currently, our main energy sources are derived from utilizing fossil fuels. However, the use fossil fuel comes at a cost to the environment. Climate change is having a significant impact on animals, plants, and sea levels. Most of the greenhouse gas such as CO2 comes from burning fossil fuels, which causes the greenhouse effect. In order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels we need to invest in reasonable energy sources.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

The graph above is the Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Gas. The data shows the carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. It is released mostly by human activities such as burning fossil fuel, industrial processes, deforestation, and improper uses of land. Methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases are other greenhouse gases which cause a rise temperature.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

The graph above is the Global Carbon emissions from fossil fuels, 1990 – 2014. The data shows that levels of carbon dioxide have increased each year. This means the rise in temperature is directly related to the use of  fossil fuels. By utilizing renewable energy sources we can steadily reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

https://www.popsci.com/burning-all-fossil-fuels-could-raise-sea-levels-by-200-feet#page-2

The image above depicts various carbon emission scenarios and the affect on glaciers. The data shows that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate due to high levels of CO2 and how those levels are seriously affecting the environment. The picture also shows when there is a decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the environment improves, and therefore, I believe we can preserve the environment but conserve energy.  Finally, we can see the relationship between burning fossil fuels and global warming. Each year the effects of global warming are getting worse. People should think about ways we can stop climate change. One of those ways is to use renewable energy sources, which will reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

 

 
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How Climate Change Affects My Home by City Tech Blogger Eduardo Bravo

For the past 10 years I have experienced many natural disasters that have affected New York City. People are starting to take notice that the unusual weather patterns we are experiencing might be due to climate change, a hard reality to accept. In December 2015, I can remember the temperature being around 60°F during Christmas Eve. I was surprised by that registered temperature. Usually, in December we register very cold, wintery temperatures, not spring-like temperatures.  According to scientists, the earth is closer to the sun, therefore, producing colder temperatures, so most of the time it will snow around Christmas Eve.  This event and others like it piqued my curiosity and I started to question why we are experiencing these unusual temperatures. I read that the greenhouse effect was the main reason.

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/effect-green-house.html

The exchange of incoming and outgoing radiation that warms the Earth is often referred to as the greenhouse effect and is a natural phenomenon where solar energy passes through the atmosphere and warms the Earth. The absorption of excess sunlight forms greenhouse gases are released into the earth’s atmosphere instead of reflecting back out into space. But burning fossil fuels and deforestation, to name a few human activities, have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, trapping solar energy and heating up the earth’s atmosphere. The change in temperature on earth is having a clear impact on the climate, which is changing and which we know as global warming.

Climate change not only affects temperature, but it also affects disease. For example, the high concentration of ultra violet rays in the atmosphere can increase cancer. Cancer develops when our cells do not function properly. Our cells carry out different mechanisms to keep us alive, and these mechanisms require a specific amount of light to be carried out. Also needed is DNA, which contains the information in our genes that tell a cell how to function. The constant exposure to ultraviolet light will cause our genes to undergo mutations, and these mutations will cause the DNA base pairs to change affecting how they are supposed to function. The accumulation of these mutated cells will then develop into cancer.

http://www.nyharbornature.com/uploads/6/9/1/8/69187715/131939822-11n_orig.jpg

I live in College Point close to the East River, where I often visit a park nearby my house, and I started to notice how the sea level was rising. 6 years ago there was a public space for people to exercise near a river. 2 years ago, this same area closed because the city deemed it unsafe due to the rising sea levels. If climate change continues and the sea levels keep rising,  my city and areas that we frequently use will have to remain closed because they will be unsafe.

 
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Climate Change as Art: The work of Melissa Fleming by ClimateYou Editor Abby Luby

Artists and scientists have a lot in common, even though their respective passions may seem at opposite ends of the creative spectrum. When literature, music, or visual work is inspired by science, or vice versa, it’s a true melding of both worlds that foster innovation and the unconventional with often incredible results.  If you are a visual artist passionate about climate change, what would your work look like? How would you use your sense of aesthetics to reflect what you know about global warming and what would your message be? One such artist is Melissa Fleming who explores the myriad of ways art and science interact. Fleming is also an environmental communicator who reports on issues related to weather and climate change on her blog The Weather Gamut. Her artwork has been exhibited and collected internationally and is, what she refers to as “largely an exploration of the transient and often unseen aspects of the natural world.”

On Saturday, April 7 at 2 pm, Fleming will be giving a presentation entitled, The Art and Science of Climate Change, at the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh, NY, where Fleming is showing pieces from her Under Glass series in the current group exhibition entitled Anthropocene,  curated by  Virginia Walsh. Fleming will discuss the basic science of climate change and explore how artists from around the globe are reacting to its various impacts and possible solutions; she will also highlight the metrics from her recent national poll that shows art to be a powerful tool to broaden a public conversation on climate change.

Her “Under Glass” pieces are elegant and powerful; they give us a strong sense of how both art and science require our perceptive scrutiny whether it’s examining objects or data. For this show Fleming has placed a piece of wood and a piece of coal under Victorian-style glass domes with engraved labels such as “Energy” or “Memory.”

Ann Street Gallery  104 Ann Street in Newburgh

Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and – 1:30 – 4 p.m.
Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Newburgh Last Saturday until 8 p.m.

 

 
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