• blog,  Climate,  Environment,  Sustainability

    The Plastic Problem

    A topic that’s been gaining a lot of traction not only in the science world but also among social media is the problem of plastic waste. Most people have seen this video of the sea turtle with a straw lodged in its nose, which is essentially what jumpstarted this plastic obsession. This problem continues to gain more awareness as people continue to share pictures and videos of the long-lasting effects human waste has on the environment. So What’s the Big Deal? We live in a society built on convenience. From soda cans, disposable cutlery, take out containers, and plastic to-go cups, we are constantly bombarded by a take-it-to-go mentality. And…

  • blog,  Environment,  Lifestyle,  Sustainability

    Going Vegan is Great for the Environment, Right?

    If you ask people who have tried the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle why they chose to make this drastic dietary change, you’ll probably hear something about how passionate they are about animals, they want to reduce their impact on the environment, they think the meat industry is cruel, or they think it’s better for their health. And while all of these are valid reasons, it’s hard not to wonder if a vegan lifestyle actually has that great of an impact. With a continuously growing population and reliance on fossil fuels, scientists are looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact. And the question on where and how we get out food is…

  • blog,  Climate,  Environment,  Weather

    Climate Change in Des Moines Contributing to Weird Weather Patterns

    This past summer was filled with less than ideal weather in not only Des Moines, but across the country. Average summer temperatures made the once mild Junes feel like August, and several residents experienced flooding from the heavy rain storms. Between 1901 and 2016, Iowa’s average annual temperature has risen by nearly half of the global temperature raise, which is already having major effects on Iowa residents.  While this increase is less than 1 degree Celsius, Connie Mutal writes in her article in the Iowa City Press-Citizen that “higher temperatures naturally increase water’s evaporation from lakes, rivers, and soils. And warmer skies can hold more moisture than cooler skies”. This water…