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A global threat Is approaching, and there’s no time to waste

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A global threat Is approaching, and there’s no time to waste

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The largest threat to the Earth as we know it isn’t terrorism, or gun violence.

Look up- It’s right above you.

In the past five years the media has been ablaze with stories about the widespread and massive destruction from storms, fires, and blizzards.  It seems like every other week a new record is broken, whether that be the highest temperature in recorded history, deaths from wildfires or hurricanes, or a sudden cold storm.

These extreme weather phenomena are almost certainly stemming from what is often incorrectly dubbed global warming.  But ‘warming’ doesn’t seem to entirely describe what’s going on, because climate change shows its effects in a spectrum of disaster.

Sea levels are rising.  Plastic is being found in the water you drink.  A new federal report by the US Global Change Research Program shows that the Earth’s atmosphere’s concentration has a CO2 concentration of 400 ppm- the highest in three million years.  The climate report says that the effects of this could be ‘potentially large and irreversible’, and then goes on to say that  ‘The incidence of large forest fires in the western United States and Alaska has increased since the early 1980s and is projected to further increase in those regions as the climate changes, with profound changes to regional ecosystems.’

Those ‘profound changes’ are occurring right now- Arctic ice is melting.  That’s just a fact.

A lesser known fact is that some of that ice holds trapped ancient carbon dioxide that could thwart many efforts to reducing emissions.

This has happened before.  During the last ice age, which occurred 2.58 million years ago, a huge chunk of ice that was acting as a cap on a large amount of trapped carbon dioxide melted, and released thousands of tons of the gas into the atmosphere.

White Arctic ice also does a much better job of reflecting ultraviolet rays from the sun away from the Earth than ocean water.  An article from BBC says that the melting of arctic ice would release as much CO2 as 20 years of manmade emissions.

Truthfully, there isn’t anything we can do about the 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit that the global temperature is going to rise.  Even if we stopped all carbon emissions right now, the damage would be done- but that’s certainly a better alternative than the predicted 9 degrees.

The truth of climate change isn’t a hotter summer, or more expensive AC bills.

Annual trends toward earlier spring melt and reduced snowpack are already affecting water resources in the western United States and these trends are expected to continue. Under higher scenarios, and assuming no change to current water resources management, chronic, long-duration hydrological drought is increasingly possible before the end of this century,”  reports the CSSR assessment released in 2017.

It’s global catastrophe.  It’s limited access to clean water, safe food.  It’s reducing the amount of land suitable for human life, or any life.  It’s entire cities and coastlines going under. Millions of migrants fleeing their homes.  It’s new diseases sweeping over continents because mosquitoes are carriers adapted for heat.  

 

And it’s happening now.

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A global threat Is approaching, and there’s no time to waste