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What is the Cause?

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Ava Meltzer, Student Life Editor

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For the third straight year, Earth has reached a new, record-breaking heat. According to NASA, for the past three years the Earth’s temperature repeatedly beats the prior year. In 2016, Earth reached its highest temperature on record, beating the previous record of 2015, which broke the record set in 2014. This trend remains strong for 2017. This last January was much warmer than average, especially on the East Coast.  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that, with 95% confidence, “more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature . . . was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.” In simpler terms, the IPCC is almost certain that humans are a major cause of global warming, if not the main. However, doubt of human contribution to an increase in global temperature, as well as the questioning of threats such an increase poses, is rising.  

This debate over the source of temperature change can be found at Pikesville High. Opinions about the rise of temperature and the leading cause of such heat varies among students.  

Many students found the change in weather to be ordinary. Sedric White, (’18) states, “there are natural cycles of warm and cold periods. The planet’s temperature has always been constantly changing. No one blamed people for the Ice Age, so people shouldn’t be so sure humans caused this rise in temperature.”  

Alexa Fleming, (’19) disagrees. Fleming says, “This kind of heat in winter is scary. Science shows humans contribute to global warming, and I hope this 60 degree January prompts change.”  

In the middle ground, Laniya Blakey, (’20) says “I think people and nature cause this weather. I don’t think anyone can be too sure of only one cause.”  

Shown by the clashing voices of Pikesville High School, there is not a universal agreement on the cause of climate change. The debate will most likely continue until the year that January becomes the new August. 

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What is the Cause?