Global Warming in Oregon

Kerryann Heyberger, Staff Reporter

As we roll into the new year, we as a community are continuously contributing to world problems that few may consider a quandary. Roughly 200 years of global warming has been easily caused by the rapid growth of our countries, especially in America. Planet earth has been growing warmer and warmer over the years, which is partly caused by big industries manufacturing products to the American residents. Machinery with fuels conduct mass productions of gases like carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide and many more, which are polluting the air we breathe in and is affecting our day-to-day lives.

In Oregon, climate change is affecting us by limiting our clean water sources. As the heat increases, the amount of evaporation increases as well, causing water sources to accommodate less water. Another example of affected environmental disruptions caused by climate change includes warmer winters. Because of this, bark beetles are able to survive throughout the whole winter and end up terminating the trees. With active deforestation wiping acres, these beetles are only adding on to the  unfortunate situation.

According to the Oregon Department of Energy, Lesley Jantarasami claims that “[warm weather] affects rainfall and droughts to where our sources have less water.” Warmer weather due to climate change is affecting our water sources and is even affecting our wildlife. This is especially important because when our sources are limited, we will have less water to use. This includes drinking water, water used to flush toilets, and water that runs in showers and sinks. Although this may affect the water us humans use, it is also significantly affecting an animals’ habitat in the forests. Deer, elk, and many other animals who rely on these water sources will have to face more competition. Since the availability of water is reduced, animals will have less energy. This may affect the food chain in which keystone species may actually go extinct, so it is crucial that we all make an effort to reduce our usage of energy.   

Jantarasami also says that the “largest amount of greenhouse gases come from electricity and transportation.” This also means that when we burn coal, we produce such gases. People who are responsible for these emissions of gas may even include “everyone who is driving”. We may rarely think that when we drive, it is impacting the world around us, but when we use transportation, we emit gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, particle matter, pollutants and many, many more. With these pollutants, they alter the air we inhale and it can have an impact on our bodies, involving our lungs which can create asthma and other respiratory diseases, heart disease and damage to kidneys, nerves, and brain.

Another thing that global warming alters is the temperature in Portland, Oregon. It is greatly affected and will continue to grow warmer. The low on average during winter of 2017-2018 is 38ºF, compared to 2015, the average low was 30ºF. This shows that in the span of 3 years, the average temperature has been rising. This is due to expansion of factories, products, and people. Products such as cars convert gasoline to many different types of gases. This is also known as “exhaust”. Thousands of cars are driven every day and about 3% of people own an electric vehicle. Other products like phone chargers and the light bulbs that brighten a room use electricity. Much of that electricity is made from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and gasoline, which is adding on to why climate change isn’t just happening in Oregon, but is happening all around the world.

Although human expansion may be inevitable, we can still do things that may possibly prevent global warming from growing in the slightest by using electric powered cars and reducing the amount of energy we utilize by using scarce amounts of unnatural lighting, water, and phone usage. We can also reduce it by buying items with recyclable packaging and use energy-efficient home appliances. Climate change is a big part of the world today and for many years to come, we are easily affected and are changing from pollution.