Wednesday, April 13, 2016

You Don't Have To Be A Scientist

to wonder what is happening to our planet.  All you have to do is to be paying attention and you will see the something here and something there that is new and appears to be telling us that we might be in danger, maybe in great danger of events beyond our control.

For example,
Emerging from a winter that has had staggeringly warm Arctic temperatures, scientists monitoring the vast Greenland ice sheet announced Tuesday that it is experiencing a record-breaking level of melt for so early in the season. ...
Dramatic increases in sea level over the next few years are possible due to the melting Greenland ice. And this is having another impact on our planet.  The North Pole which has been slowly moving towards Canada has been diverted by the loss of mass from melting Greenland ice towards England, specifically along the Greenwich Meridian.


And wildfires:  Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer:
The first Alaska wildfire of 2016 broke out in late February, followed by a second there just eight days later.
New Mexico has had 140 fires this year, double the number in the same period last year, fueled by one of the warmest, driest winters on record.
And on the border of Arizona and California this month, helicopters dumped water on flames so intense that they jumped the Colorado River, forcing the evacuation of two recreational vehicle parks. 
Fires, once largely confined to a single season, have become a continual threat in some places, burning earlier and later in the year, in the United States and abroad. They have ignited in the West during the winter and well into the fall, have arrived earlier than ever in Canada and have burned without interruption in Australia for almost 12 months.

And our oceans:  The Largest Coral Atoll In The World Lost 80 Percent Of Its Coral To Bleaching:
[R]eefs that have grown up over centuries can die in a matter of weeks.
“This is a huge, looming planetary crisis, and we are sticking our heads in the sand about it,” Justin Marshall, a coral researcher at the University of Queensland, recently told the New York Times. Since coral reefs are often out of sight, their destruction can also — unfortunately — be out of mind.


And in Africa, the best efforts can be dashed to the ground.  
The power generated from the Kariba — one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams, in one of the world’s largest artificial lakes — contributed to Zambia’s political stability and helped turn its economy into one of the fastest growing on the continent.
But today, as a severe drought magnified by climate change has cut water levels to record lows, the Kariba is generating so little juice that blackouts have crippled the nation’s already hurting businesses. After a decade of being heralded as a vanguard of African growth, Zambia, in a quick, mortifying letdown, is now struggling to pay its own civil servants and has reached out to the International Monetary Fund for help.

Unless or until the world finally decides what all of us need to attend to, the consequences of global warming, these kinds of things are just going to keep happening,  More than just happening, they'll be more frequent, and more devastating.