“We need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by politics and greed.”
2015 was the warmest year on record, and January 2016 was the warmest recorded. Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin have enjoyed a mild winter. The winter warmth has been pleasant, and because this is just weather, it will probably be brutal next year. It is the long-term trends that are troubling. Sadly, the problem lies in our oceans. Eighty to ninety per cent of this heat goes into the oceans. So of course the oceans are rising with the melting glaciers. Also, as the oceans heat they expand taking up more space. With record warm years, no wonder that the oceans are rising at a very fast rate.
Our planet is already in crisis as migrants are leaving Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. We haven’t seen anything in compared to the migrant crisis that will be created by the rising oceans. Those living on the ocean coasts and the islands that will be inundated and disappear will need to find new homes .
The Syrian crisis was caused in part by our warming earth, the continued rising of warm oceans will create migrant problems that will be an even greater challenge! Miami, Venice, Bangladesh and London are a few that could disappear. Where will these people forced out of their disappearing cities, farms, and villages go?
Denial of our man-made climate crisis will not continue to work, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints. Just committing to turning off lights and to drive less can make a big difference. What is one thing you do?
Over 90% of global warming is in the oceans. A decades long research on 235 lakes shows that, “Lake Superior is one of the more rapidly warming lakes” The big lake is warming even faster than the oceans! My unscientific observation is that it seems like the days the wind off the lake are fewer. But that happens when warmer winds from the west and south dominate! Also part of our warming climate.
So why is it important?
1. Toxic clouds of algae can bloom. And run-off from the land makes this worse!
2. Fish populations are altered, which has been going on for a while!
3. The worst: Invasive species can find a new home!
Yes, it has been a hard winter for most of us in North America. Drought, heavy snow, and the Polar Vortex all have contributed. Minnesota has experience the 6th coldest meteorological winter on record and Wisconsin the 5th coldest. Yet Alaska, and most of the earth are hotter than average. Globally it has been the 8th warmest winter! See map below. A few weeks ago I heard Mark Seeley from the University of Minnesota, http://www.climate.umn.edu/ speak on climate change. Seeley says that the climate data is, “slapping us in the face” telling us the climate is changing.
Several things he said were new and interesting. First, not all places are experiencing climate change to the same degree. The Southeastern part of the United States has not seen the changes we have experienced in the north. Second, there a latitude bias–The further from the equator the more evidence of change. Third, there is a winter bias, winters are showing more temperature warming. Fourth, the minimum daily temperature is warming more than the high daily temperature. In other words, our night temperatures are warming! Finally, there is more moisture in the air which he says is the “ultimate greenhouse gas.” And more moisture in the air can cause more violent storms.
Unfortunately, the change is happening so fast we will have to adapt quickly. We need to limit the carbon we are pumping into the air, and make preparation to prepare for the future.