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Climate change activists call for action

Published: Oct. 13, 2019 at 7:34 PM CDT
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This year's weather has cast an ominous spell over South Dakota leading to some historic conditions and some attribute it to climate change.

Many people are speaking out to combat the climate crisis all over the nation.

Since the use of fossil fuels, some climate activists say the atmosphere has changed dramatically seeing a concerning amount of warming across the nation.

Looking out your front window doesn't show the true picture of climate change.

Major weather changes have swept across the nation bringing rain, snow and higher than normal temperatures. That's why climate activists are now speaking out including the youth filing in behind Sweden's Greta Thunberg.

"I applaud their efforts. We need to put as much pressure on our elected leaders to address this because there is such a thing as waiting too late," Member of Citizens Climate Lobby, Kasey Abbott said.

He and others are urging people to call for action. He's been fighting this fight for the last 15 years and wants to eliminate fossil fuel emissions.

"We’ve accelerated the use of fossil fuels that we've dramatically changed our atmosphere and now we have 50 percent more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than we've had in the last 800,000 years," Abbott said.

Just by looking at graphics you can see a dramatic change to the atmosphere when fossil fuels started to be burned.

Other maps show just how much the sea surface temperatures are warming. State Climatologist Laura Edwards said that greenhouse gases are causing a problem and it starts with the human population.

"It's both increasing emissions but also taking away those natural ways that can help regulate the climate system," Edwards said.

With the recent weather changes, she says we can't tie a single winter weather event to problems with climate change.

"If you know that there is a problem out there you've got an obligation to speak up and propose solutions," Abbott said.

Warming in the artic is a big concern because it affects weather changes everywhere. Rising temperatures are melting permafrost which is ground that remains frozen for at least two or more years.

It acts like a giant freezer which we can relate to on a smaller scale. A freezer door left open will likely spoil goods.

The State Climatologist says that what's been unusual about this fall is how cold it's been adding that South Dakota doesn't usually have a trend for colder falls.