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Climate Change In South Carolina

Climate change is a very important problem that our world is currently facing, but what exactly is climate change?

Climate change is a current change in climate patterns that is strongly associated with greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation are the main causes of climate change.”

Since the climate change is such a present and severe problem, I chose to research it and raise awareness in order to help our planet recover.

To see how much everyone knows about the climate change our world faces, I put together a quiz that I invite everyone that comes on my website to take.

Create your own user feedback survey

 

The Causes

I had an email interview with Joelle Teachey from TreesGreenville that helped me a lot with my research. Like everyone else on this planet, she wants to

look up and see a blue sky.” 

When I asked what Mrs. Teachey thought of as the factor most contributing to the climate change, she said that there is no question and the increase in greenhouse gases is the most contributing factor of climate change.

Greenhouse gases are gases like carbon dioxide that collect in the earthen atmosphere and capture the heat that enter the atmosphere.

The increase of greenhouse gases is caused by deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels by humans, used to get energy. 

 

The Carbon Cycle

The Carbon Cycle describes the series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, chiefly involving the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels.

As you can see in the picture above, plants, specifically trees, are extremely important in the absorption of carbon dioxide, but with the trees cut down and the burning of fossil fuels increasing the amount of carbon dioxide, there is more and more carbon dioxide but less and less trees to absorb it. 

What we can do about it

However, we can do something about it; by conserving energy and reducing our energy consumption from fossil fuels, we can decrease the amount of fossil fuels burnt and thereby decrease the emission of CO2. Another way to reduce greenhouse gases is offering the same amount of taxes for green energy than for energy won from the burning of fossil fuels. Since the taxes on green energy like solar and wind are higher than coal, nuclear, and oil, people choose the cheaper option which increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  

Preserving and planting trees is one of the easiest ways to reduce carbon dioxide because trees filter CO2 out of the air. A mature tree can take up a lot of CO2, when it is cut down, however, it releases all of the CO2 it captured back into the atmosphere. Planting trees strategically around your house can save you a lot of money on energy by blocking out the sunlight and thereby the heat and keeping the inside of the house cooler so you do not have to keep the A/C running on a high level. Trees also act as insulation because they keep the heat inside of the house and the cold outside. This way you can save money and do something for the environment. 

Since there is so much deforestation in my area at the moment, I decided to concentrate on the effect of deforestation on climate change. In the time I did the project, there were large areas of forests cut down around my school to make space for more development. As you are reading this post, there are more and more trees cut down not only in the Greenville area, but all over the world. 

 

Greenville Area at the beginning of the school year

 

Greenville area now

 

Raising Awareness

As a part of raising awareness regarding the climate change, I have been concentrating on the value of trees in our community. Since there are so many trees cut down in our community at the moment, I had a great opportunity to raise awareness of how many trees are cut down for reasons like making space for new factories or new living spaces or roads that make it easier or faster for some people to get to work and home. The pictures above are just a few months apart but they are a good way for me to show others how many trees are actually cut down every year.

In order to raise awareness of the current situation, I organized a tree-tagging for a few of the middle-schoolers at my school. We tagged four different sized trees in our school garden to show them that when a large tree is cut down, a smaller tree will not replace it in the aspects of carbon dioxide reduction, energy savings, and other environmental factors. It was really nice to see how engaged they were and how much they enjoyed tagging the trees and getting to know more about the climate change. The thing they enjoyed most though, was giving their trees names. 

 

How-To: Tree-Tagging

Tree-tagging is a very easy way to raise awareness not only in the people that are participating in the tree-tagging, but also in the people that walk by the tagged trees and see how that tree helps our environment. All you need is a tree-tag that you can either buy or print out yourself, a pen, and a device that you can access treebenefits.com on. treebenefits.com is a website that tells you how much your tree saves in energy cost based on its location, the CO2 absorption, and much more. Once you enter the species of tree and its diameter, the calculator tells you everything you need to know.

 

 

1.Look for a tree that you want to know more about and find out what type of tree it is. 

 

2.Measure the circumference at about 4.5 feet and calculate the diameter of the tree using the following formula: diameter (d)= circumference (c) / pi  

where pi= 3.14

3.Put both the diameter and the species of the tree into the treebenefits.com calculator and let the website tell you everything you need to know about the tree.

 

4.Using a permanent marker (you want the tag to be readable for a while), write the information on the tag.

5.Attach the tag to the tree in a way that is obvious so that it can be seen by others passing by the tagged tree.

 

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COMMENTS: 3
  1. April 28, 2017 by Ben W.

    Felix, Thanks for choosing the important issue of climate change for your project. I like that you involved teaching middle schoolers with the tree tagging project, because then they become inspired to keep addressing important environmental issues. Does the project include removing the tags at a later time? It was interesting to hear how many pounds of CO2 a tree absorbs each year on average.

    • April 28, 2017 by Felix R

      Ben, I am glad you like my post. I am planning on removing the tags when they are about to fall or have fallen down to keep the environment clean

  2. April 29, 2017 by Emma C

    This is such a cool project! I loved the quiz you included to give the viewers some more interaction with your page. My favorite part of your page is the “Greenville at the beginning of the year and Greenville now” pictures – the different between the two is truly shocking and really accurately presents what is happening to our planet. I also loved the “Tree-Tagging” portion of your page – is something that you think you will continue being involved with? It is such a good cause and I am sure they need more and more helpers every day!

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