With Earth Day Comes the Recognition of Recent Environmental Disasters

Giovanna Brunetto, Staff Writer

   This April 22, Earth Day will be celebrated by over 193 countries around the world, bringing attention to current world events that are slowly damaging our environment.

  California’s recurring storms are causing atmospheric rivers. The Scientific American website said, “…they are long, narrow currents of exceptionally wet air that shoot across the ocean, capable of dumping massive volumes of rain or snow on landfall” (scientificamerican.com).

   According to CNN, “California has already seen at least 12 atmospheric rivers this winter season that ravaged communities, displaced residents and prompted emergency declarations as floodwater inundated neighborhoods, swelled rivers, damaged roads and sent mud and rocks sliding down hills” (cnn.com).

“Atmospheric rivers could become increasingly dangerous due to climate change. Rising temperatures (which are expected to rise even more) evaporate more water from the ocean, which can hold seven percent more water vapor for each additional degree of temperature. In a few years, atmospheric rivers could become larger, and more dangerous,” according to a website about the dangers of atmospheric rivers (english.elpais.com).

   According to The New York Times, “On February 3, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in eastern Ohio, igniting a fire that covered the town of East Palestine in smoke. Fearful of an explosion, the authorities carved out an evacuation zone and carried out a controlled release of toxic fumes to neutralize burning cargo inside some of the train cars” (nytimes.com).

   The effect the derailment had on the health of certain animals made residents of East Palestine fear for their own health. A reporter for The New York Times said, “The spill affected about seven and a half miles of stream, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and killed an estimated 3,500 fish as of February 8” (nytimes.com).

   Aquatic animals weren’t the only ones affected. According to the Prism news website, “Other residents told reporters that after the intentional burning of fuel, their pets and livestock became ill or died” (prismreports.org).