Increasing threat of climate change

According to USGS recent studies, the temperature of the Bay Area is expected to rise between two and seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2099. Despite partisan divides that reveal opposite opinions about how to handle the reality of global warming — or even disputes about the credibility of scientific studies that explain the dangers of rising global temperatures — it remains a fact that the world is getting hotter.
“There are still people, and I mean educated people, that don’t “believe” in climate change, like it’s something to be believed in or not. I find this very disturbing. Climate change is not a religion … climate change is a fact. There is real scientific data that support this,” said Jennifer Lynn, AP Environmental Science teacher.
2016 was the warmest year on record, breaking the previous records of 2015 and 2014, and climate change is only expected to keep increasing unless people do something to halt it. In recent years, San Jose has adopted a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Strategy in attempts to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions San Jose releases and thereby halt rising temperatures. Despite efforts such as these, however, studies from Stanford University have shown that San Jose weather will be comparable to current San Diego weather if the warm trends continue.
“San Jose, along with other urban cities, should dedicate more resources toward becoming more bike-friendly by creating more bike paths and preserving what green spaces we have left,” said Michaela Lucas, junior and member of Leigh’s Environmental Action and Awareness Club (EEAC).
In addition to government efforts to curb the effects of global warming, there are ways people can fight changing temperatures in their daily lives.
“People can contribute by planting trees which is always beneficial to our air quality. I love the idea of canopying parking lots, greenhouses, and painting towns white,” said Andrea Hwang, senior and president of the EEAC.
Other cities have taken alternative approaches to slowing temperature increases. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has launched a project to reduce the effects of urban heating by covering black asphalts and roofs with a new material intended to reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it; this will ideally lower LA temperatures to be similar to those of surrounding rural areas.
“If we just look at San Jose, some things that would reduce burning of fossil fuels would be: expanding and improving public transportation, like expanding the services of BART and light-rail, and making ALL public buses hybrid vehicles….install[ing] solar panels on ALL city government buildings/offices, and provid[ing] more tax incentives for people who already have solar in their private homes,” said Lynn.
Climate change is an increasing threat both in San Jose and all over the world; yet, if people pitch in to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, people may be able to stop global warming before too many detrimental repercussions occur.