The Beginning of the End

Written by Alex Parker, ESLLC 2015-2016


A recent study by the Global Agenda Survey has dropped climate change to no.9 on the list of the worlds’ biggest issues. The leaders include the unstable global economy and the European Union. Business leaders are more worried about the economic and financial crisis across the globe. Although climate change doesn’t appear to be an immediate threat, let me riddle you this. The temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska 198 miles south of the Arctic Circle was 79F. An all-time high for the month of May in the town, previously set in 1930 (The average temp for May is in the 60s), the same day Denver, Colorado was hovering in the mid-60s. If this doesn’t stress climate change you should just stop reading.

The past winter was one of the warmest on record in Alaska, the ice on the river’s gave out in early April, an unheard of occurrence. Average temps usually dip below zero for the winter months in Alaska but this year the average is hung up around 20-30F. Growing up in Alaska I have had my fair share of cold winters but coming back in March to 40F weather and skiing in shorts and a T-Shirt is rare. I’m worried that a majority of the Earth’s population doesn’t see climate change as a threat because they aren’t on the frontlines, the Arctic. Over 70% of the Earth’s population lives in the tropics, a place not yet affected by Climate Change.

As the planet begins to heat up many fragile ecosystems will begin to move farther north as rain forests become dry and desolate. Water, as the planet continues to heat the ice caps and glaciers will continue to melt. Many of Alaska’s pristine glaciers are beginning to show signs of significant retreat without advance. Glaciers are 77% of the Earth’s fresh water, Antarctica has begun calving as large ice sheets sheer into the ocean and melt. These dangers cannot be emphasized enough, but the waiting game will continue until the very end.


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