Students at Weber State University got a front row seat to tour Utah’s future.
On Feb. 11, Dan Bedford, geography professor at Weber State University, showed students the drastic changes Utah and other countries will see in years to come due to climate change in his presentation, “Food, Agriculture and Climate Change.”
“The world is getting warmer,” said Bedford. He showed the audience diagrams and examples of how the climate change is affecting the world and Utah.
Warmer weather means drier conditions affecting Utah’s water supply in the coming spring and summer time. Water supply is grim this year due to less precipitation and record high temperatures.
The warmer weather will also have a negative influence on Utah’s agriculture, which includes cattle, dairy, hay and hogs.
Higher temperatures will affect food supply as well. Climate change makes it more difficult for crops to grow. With a slim water supply it only makes harvesting more challenging.
WSU student Jeff Bednarik thinks that climate change and the negative effects it specifically has on our water supply is going to be a major issue down the road.
“Everyone uses water; everyone participates in things that are harmful to the environment, but being aware of that we are better able to change our habits,” said Bednarik. “It takes more than one person to change. It’s everybody doing something. Educate others by the things you do.”
Scientists are confused and blown away, especially with Utah’s more recent record-breaking high temperatures.
“2012 was the warmest year on record,” said Bedford, “Because of the added carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.”
Habits people continue that distribute carbon dioxide, some we participate in daily, slowly have a big influence in our world’s future.
The output of fossil fuels to produce electricity for offices and homes is the largest single source of carbon dioxide output.
The burning of gasoline to transport people and other equipment is the second largest amount of carbon dioxide.
Industrial processes emit carbon dioxide and are the third largest output of carbon dioxide.
WSU student Mitch Orne believes one way students could help with these issues is carpooling. “I didn’t totally believe in global warming at first, but I also didn’t know about the carbon dioxide … the presentation informed me a lot,” said Orne.
“What does this mean for Utah?” asked Bedford. Studies predict and are showing a much warmer Utah if people don’t cut back on use of carbon dioxide.
Jacob Norris, student at WSU, believes that once students get educated about these issues then they can get involved and make a difference down the road.
“It’s in our capacity and in our power — there are things we can do to mitigate these problems,” said Bedford.
Bedford said that we don’t have to see these drastic changes if we make changes in our habits. Everyone can help make a difference.