History was made at the conclusion of the international Climate Summit in Paris this December.
For the first time, country leaders from all socio-economic backgrounds agreed to reduce their emissions, which is something that had not been required for developing countries in the past.
A graduate from Bishop Kelly High School is currently studying at Yale University back East. Catherine Martini is working toward earning a master's degree in environmental management. She not only spoke at the Paris Summit but tracked the negotiation process and disseminated the progress in real-time to media outlets.
Martini says this is a task that no one, or group, has ever taken on.
There are plenty of scientists and country leaders that believe humans are contributing to global warming. They say the effects are being felt everywhere and site recent floods, hurricanes and wildfires as proof.
President Obama said in a speech leading up to the 2015 climate summit: "There is one issue that will define the contours of this century [global warming]."
Martini is among them and spoke at the summit about her own tropical-related research, besides disseminating information in real-time to the public through ParisAgreement.org. While there, she sensed a feeling of unity among the leaders.
She attributes this to the fact the summit occurred amid the terrorist attacks on Paris.
"There's never in the history of man been 150 heads of state in one room... ever," Martini said.
With a focus to get everyone on the same page, Martini said it was the first time in decades the summit proved to dole out the responsibility evenly.
"It's something that the whole global community is doing together, instead of just a subset, which is a rather historic shift," Martini said.
She also points out that we, as individuals, can do our part whether it's walking or biking to work, buying local, when possible, and recycling.
It may take change on all of our parts, Martini says, to preserve the earth for generations to come. She thinks we're currently on the right track.
"We're in a much better place, as a global community, to collectively address this issue and if we match that ambition in 5-year increments, we definitely have a chance to keep global warming below two-degrees Celsius," Martini concluded.
Not everyone agrees with leading researchers' findings on global warming. Skeptics argue the changes in the weather are natural and are not caused by humans.