LETTER: Langley student dives into the importance of water

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Mya/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Mya/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change. Presented are a selection of their writings online and in print.

Dear Editor,

Climate change affects the earth’s waters, which affects humans.

Climate change is like coronavirus – you can get rid of part of it, but that does not fix everything. Just because we were able to reduce the cases, does not mean it is over. Variables will appear and cases will rise.

This is like climate change. For example, if we improve air quality, that does not mean that suddenly the Earth is fixed. What about the life that lives beneath the surface of the water? Chemicals and man-made products are affecting marine life in so many different ways, leading to a loss and shift in plant and animal species. But it is not just plants and animals that are affected.

Humans depend on oceans and freshwater for many things. Because of the polluted waters, we are having health concerns that affect our economy, and us personally. We need to learn about climate change, so we can be the change that decides how our futures are on this blue planet.

The burning of fossil fuels has two main effects on the earth’s oceans. The first one is increased carbon dioxide being trapped by the oceans. This leads to the oceans being more acidic, causing coral reef bleaching and weakening of animal shells.

The second effect is increasing ocean temperatures. This means that there is less oxygen in the water. Fish and other marine life inhale this oxygen through their gills. Because of pollution and climate change, they are not only inhaling chemicals, but there is also less oxygen int their bodies.

If humans weren’t around, or we just took better care of the earth, plants and animals would have a food chain and a way of life. But humans have made it so that there is no “normal.” Species of plants and animals have had to adapt to their abnormal environments which can affect the food chain and the ecosystem.

Animals that migrate depend on the climate to tell them when to leave, but animals such as the monarch butterfly, get confused from an altered climate. Turtles lay their eggs in the sand of warm beaches. Baby turtles know when to hatch because of the temperature of the air. If the air is too warm, they hatch too early. If the air is too cold, they take longer to come out of the egg, which negatively affects their life cycle. Herbivores eat plants as their only food source. With a lack of rain in some areas, the plants dry up and die, leaving animals that depend on those plants hungry which can potentially kill them. Carnivores eat other animals. But with most of their prey being herbivores, in which the population is declining, they cannot find the food they need to survive. This places the animal kingdom at risk and makes it unbalanced.

Animals are our friends. They give us food to eat, some help us work, but most of all, they are a part of this earth that need to be protected.

You may think “why should I care about the ocean?”

Oceans not only support life for plants and animals, but they also are extremely important to our survival as humans. We have already seen the effects of what climate change and pollution has on our oceans. Some countries, especially in Africa and Asia, lack the amount of water they need to survive. The people of those countries travel several miles each day just to get some water. That water is dirty and transmits bacteria and life-threatening diseases to their bodies. Even then, ponds, rivers, and creeks where people expect to get their daily water supply from, have dried out, leaving millions of people thirsty.

The warming temperatures makes heat loving insects more active and raises their population. This means that diseases such as malaria, will spread quickly, and will have worse consequences on our bodies, with or without a vaccine. Climate change melts icebergs, making that melted water go right back to the ocean. This must stop soon, because scientists estimate that by the year 2050, many cities will flood, and eventually will end up under the ocean surface. This leaves millions of people of as refugees.

These are just a few of the ways that humans are affected by polluted waters. If we know the consequences, why aren’t we taking action?

Climate change is affecting earth’s water. Accumulating CO2, decreased oxygen, and increasing temperatures is affecting sea life. Marine lives, shells, and respiration can be affected. Humans are affected by climate change also. Polluted drinking water can lead to illness and death. Billions of people rely on seafood as a major part of their diet. So, altering the marine life population will reduce people’s food supply, and will cause health concerns and possibly even death.

We need to take action on climate change and pollution to protect plants and animals as well as future generations.

Mya, Grade 7, Gordon Greenwood Elementary

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