While not everyone is on board that climate change is a real issue, the effects are increasingly felt across the globe. From higher ocean levels to warmer temperatures, one cannot argue that the environment has not changed over the years, whether the belief that it is the fault of civilization or not. An article out last week, via CNN, provided evidence that the last decade was the hottest. Although the title is a bit sensationalized, there are some good points to understand: the magnitude of the “heat spike” has never been recorded, a long-range study is necessary, parallel results are seen across a range of studies, etc.
In Buena Vista, Colorado, climate change is an issue as well. As a small, rural town that thrives off tourism, the rise in atmospheric temperatures plays a noticeable difference. The intense winters in the Rockies bring a large amount of snow, which in turn melt during the late spring and run-off into the valleys. Like BV, many surrounding communities need this run-off as a water source – for people and for the Arkansas River. Not only does the run-off play a vital role as a water source for residents, but tourism, as mentioned above, as well. BV is not a snow destination, as much as it is a summer river destination. Kayaking, fishing, and camping are just a few of the summer attractions bringing massive amounts of people to the small town (kayaking especially). Water shortage (run-off from the mountains, especially,) is important, indispensable; the rise in climate temperatures has allotted less snow during the winter and droughts in the summer.
The rise in temperatures is not just felt on islands and coasts; Coloradoans are feeling it too. Whether a skeptic or believer, education about the aspects of climate change is vital.
Credits: Images by Katie Poppel. Data Linked to sources.