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A new normal 

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The sweltering summer may seem like a long time ago, but climate change is here to stay. Weather in the south of the United States has gotten hotter and hotter each year, breaking record temperatures, but this year it hit a new extreme. 

An article in The New York Times reported that in states such as Texas, Arizona, Louisiana and New Orleans, temperatures rose to what “felt like 115 degrees or higher.” Excessive heat warnings were issued throughout the country, and in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky and Nebraska, July was the hottest month recorded on earth. 

While some may dismiss the reality of climate change, Dr. Kirtman, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami agreed in a recent interview that “heatwaves are normal, but these heat waves are lasting longer and are much more intense than usual.” As a scientist, Kirtman has no doubt that the earth is progressively getting hotter. 

Nicolette Xydas 25’, a junior diver at Carrollton, is also worried about climate change. “Our actions today that quicken climate change impact not only ourselves but all of the aquatic life around us. We need to make a change.” 

In fact, climate change is not good news for the United States as wildfires, floods and droughts have increased due to this intense shift in climate. This year, more severe storms and flooding are expected from the Rockies to the Midwest. This is because warmer temperatures increase evaporation. More moisture eventually turns to rain.  

Here in Miami, Carrollton students noticed the change in temperature, especially at the beginning of the school year. “It is hard to stay cool out on the water,” said Paulina Freyre 25′, a junior sailor. “I find myself taking more breaks for sips of water.” But it is not only athletes that have felt the strains of these temperatures. 

It has also affected Carrollton students’ ability to stay focused. Alejandra Martinez Fraga 25’ reported that staying engaged during the school day is more difficult when she gets overly hot. “I definitely think it affects reaction time, and it’s harder to concentrate.” 

As temperatures get hotter year after year, it is important to stay cool. The World Health Organization recommends wearing light, loose-fitting clothing, as well as staying hydrated and avoiding too much sugar and caffeine. If possible, it also suggest keeping your living spaces below 89.6during the day, and resting in the coolest room in your home, which should be kept around 75.2

Kirtman believes that changing personal habits as well as combating climate change will become more necessary in the future. “Climate change is our whole way of life,” he said. And as temperatures cool in the coming months, the importance of fighting climate change is something he hopes is not forgotten until next summer. 

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About the Contributor
Meredith McKenna, News Editor
Meredith McKenna is a current junior at Carrollton and the editor of News for The Beat newspaper. Meredith writes news articles on current events while also vlogging important topics within the school. She is a part of the sailing team, campus ministry and an ambassador for the Miami Learning Experience.  She was also  awarded with an Honorable Mention in News Writing last year at the National Journalism Education Association Convention in San Francisco, CA.

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