Temperatures at Antarctica exceeded 20 deg Celsius for the first time ever on Feb 9. The reading of 20.75 deg Celsius was taken at a monitoring station on Seymour Island, which is off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula at the northern end of the continent.
This follows the previous record high reading of 18.3 deg Celsius on Feb 5, recorded at the same peninsula.
Alarming as it sounds, scientists note that the readings are not a good indicator of a broader climate trend. “We can’t use this to anticipate climatic changes in the future. It’s a data point,” said Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer. “It’s simply a signal that something different is happening in that area.”
Climate change is real
Regardless of the significance of the data recorded in Feb, it is already clear that climate change is real and is making its presence known in tangible ways.
The United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has already noted that temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have increased nearly 3 deg Celsius in the past 5 decades. During that time, over 80% of the glaciers on its west coast had retreated, and showed an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years.
January 2020 was also Antarctica’s warmest January on record.
5 things we can do to fight climate change
Knowing this, what can we do to fight climate change? Here are 5 simple suggestions you can start with today.
- Reduce vehicular emissions
Whenever possible, consider swapping your car for a bicycle or walking when taking a short trip to the nearby minimart. For longer distance travel, take the ubiquitous MRT or public bus service. If you need to use wheels to get to more remote locations, consider a carpooling service, or driving an electric or hybrid car.
- Use energy efficiently
There are many ways you can reduce excessive energy usage at home. Switch your regular light bulbs for energy efficient ones and use energy efficient large household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.
You can also save energy by unplugging electronics when they are not in use.
What’s more, saving energy also saves you money so it is a win-win for everyone.
- Eat for the environment
You could also help the environment by purchasing organically or locally grown food, eat more meat-free meals, not waste food, and growing your own herbs and vegetables wherever possible.
- Consume less
Our culture of consumerism disproportionately hurts the environment, as excessive consumption also leads to excessive waste. This is a good time to take stock of our consumption habits, spend less, and live with less.
- Reuse more
If you need to purchase something, you could also consider purchasing from second hand markets, renting, and swapping, which would mean fewer reusable items get trashed.
Spread the word
Fighting climate change takes more than an individual’s effort. So if you are convinced about the need to do more for the environment, then spread the word to your friends and family. Demonstrate how your simple steps can make a big difference, and influence someone else to take their first step towards fighting climate change too.
This article is sponsored by OrangeTee & Tie. At OrangeTee & Tie, we have embraced sustainability as a crucial and indispensable part of our business growth. We are building a sustainable business for a sustainable world.