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A central issue that has been going on for more than just decades now is the change in climate. But first, what is climate change? According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), climate change is a change in the typical or average weather of a region or city. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year, or a change in a place’s usual temperature for a month. People often confused climate with weather. NASA stated that weather is the short-term changes we see in temperature, clouds, precipitation, humidity, and wind in a region or city. This can change every day, and sometimes within the same day. Due to this, there is a growing interest in finding a way to counter climate change for everyone, especially for students, during regular days or during calamities like typhoons in the Philippines. One specific problem that is related to climate change is sudden rainfall. According to the Philippine, Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), rainfall is the most important climatic element in the Philippines. The mean annual rainfall of the Philippines varies from 965 to 4,064 millimeters annually. Clark (2011) reported that changes in rainfall and other forms of precipitation will be one of the most critical factors determining the overall impact of climate change. Rainfall is much more difficult to predict than temperature but there are some statements that scientists can make with confidence about the future. Overall, sudden rainfall is something that should be issued as a serious matter because it greatly affects everyone, mostly the students since it can happen anytime, anywhere and could bring flash floods that could damage the entire community.
A huge number of students are affected by the change in climate, with one of the primary victims being students and workers. This has been a problem ever since because not all students can afford paying for their transportation services. Since the Philippines is a country that has a tropical rainforest climate, meaning that the climate is very humid because of all the rainfall, it is more prone to sudden rainfall which could happen anytime and would have a sudden but heavy downpour on land. Calonzo (2009) described that the rainfall brought by tropical storm Ondoy to Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours on Saturday was the most in recorded history, surpassing the previous record for the metropolis in 1967. Nathaniel Cruz, weather services bureau head of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, told GMANews.TV that the total rainfall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday surpassed the highest 24-hour rainfall that the weather bureau recorded 42 years ago. This could be again a manifestation of climate change. Due to climate change, we should expect more extreme weather events like extreme rainfall, he said. According to The National Center for Safe Routes to School (2013), the number of people who walk to / and from school increased significantly between 2007 and 2012, from 12.4% to 15.7% in the morning; and from 15.8% 19.7% in the afternoon. Lake (2015) observed that a fair number of workers walk to get to work, which is right around four million people. Montenegro (2015) supports a study that was published in the journal Climatic Change. The study, made by Jascha Lehmann, Dim Coumou and Katja Frieler, has found that an increase in record-breaking rainfall levels after 1980 can be related to rising global temperatures. We show that over the last three decades the number of record-breaking events has significantly increased in the global mean, the study said. In the case for students, most public schools that are experiencing heavy rainfall would mean that they’d expect that the students wouldn’t come to class anymore due to flooded areas that affect their way going to school and vice versa, for the students who need to go home but can’t because they don’t have the transportation to do this. This is really a problem that needs attention and awareness because these are for the children and for the community.
Walking and riding a bicycle being the only modes of transportation for students and workers, they are usually caught in some number of minutes of rain, and sometimes even rainstorms. Since they are caught in the rain, everything they carry around with them ends up wet, sometimes even if they are using an umbrella. Even those who commute are affected by the rain. In October 2016, a news article reported that several incidents occured in Pittsburgh during a Thursday morning to commute due to heavy rain. This shows that even though commuters are inside a vehicle, they can still be affected by rain and sometimes in worse ways than someone who is walking or riding a bike to get to their destination.