Climate change Trumps

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Kristine Lindborg

One of Oahu's beautiful beaches. How will Hawaii be affected by climate change?

By Stefanie Wong, Staff Writer

During the presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump had been put under fire for his numerous comments on climate change. He has refuted those comments, but the proof was in his own tweets stating:

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

– DONALD J. TRUMP (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012

Trump has since continued to state that climate change was a hoax that scientists were making up to get grant money. He has vowed to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency if elected president, and would withdraw from the Paris agreement, in which nearly 200 countries agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, Trump has plenty of company with his skepticism of climate change.

Trump has threatened to strip funding for NASA’s Earth science division. He feels that it is unnecessary and there are enough Earth-centric agencies that can attribute to monitoring the Earth and the theory of climate change. This will put research back a few years and climate change development studies in the dark. It seems we are taking a huge step back instead of a step forward in resolving and controlling climate change.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Earth’s average temperature has risen more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the next hundred years. Climate change is real, we see it affecting our weather and oceans.

If we’ve learned anything from this year alone, we’ve seen how drastically the weather can change. Temperatures were increasing so high, that according to Weather.com, 2016 is likely to be the Earth’s warmest year on record.

Living in Hawaii, we only really know two seasons, spring and summer. We’re so used to the humidity and occasional rain with the trade winds, but with climate change, we’re seeing the effects on the marine ecosystem.

Climate change is leading to warmer oceans, which is then leading to coral bleaching and disease outbreaks in coral reefs according to U.S. Global Change Research Program. Global Change also mentions that the increasing temperatures or even the decreasing rainfall in certain areas will stress out the native Pacific Island animals and plants and increase the exposure to invasive species, which could increase the risk of extinction.

Climate change in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands could mean life-altering changes. This could mean that there is a decrease in freshwater supplies, rising sea levels which could cause flooding and erosion, higher air temperatures especially at higher elevations, and higher sea surface temperatures.

We see the weather changing everywhere. This summer in Washington state, a typical summer is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperatures have been increasing and we saw the temperature get to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, there are arguments that there isn’t enough historic data, significant temperature changes, etc. to believe that climate change is real. The flaw with these views is that the technology back then was unable to allow us to now retest the accuracy of data from the past. Climate change will always have believers and skeptics, but I find it would be to our benefit to continue researching and studying ways we can counter the damage that has been done.

Whether you believe in climate change or agree with Trump and think it’s a hoax, we can all agree that pollution is bad and there are steps we can all take to reduce pollution (and climate change inevitably). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are moves we can make at home, at work, on the road, and at school to help reduce, such as: reduce, reuse, recycle, using public transit or biking to work, composting, planting trees, etc. Any step we take, can affect our Earth.