As climate change continues to roll along, our government is ignoring the biggest issue of our age.
Here’s a look at the mess we’re in right now.
NASA called it a “major melting event.” A European heatwave at the end of July scorched Greenland, and the ice is melting there, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. From July 30 to Aug. 3, about 55 billion tons melted and ran off from Greenland, more than twice the average of past decades.
According to the new study, which is published on January 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the largest sustained ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013 came from Greenland’s southwest region, which is mostly devoid of large glaciers.
“We knew we had one big problem with increasing rates of ice discharge by some large outlet glaciers,” Bevis said. “But now we recognize a second serious problem: Increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as melt water, as rivers that flow into the sea.”
Most severe in Alaska and Siberia, the fires are unusually flaring up in June, ahead of the heart of the wildfire season.
“Arctic wildfires are especially worrisome as particulate matter is more likely to settle on icy areas,” noted the weather service in a statement. “This darkens the ice, leading to sunlight being absorbed rather than reflected, which could exacerbate global warming.”
The fires are bad enough to send smoke over cities such as São Paulo and several Brazilian states, as seen from space. “This is without any question one of only two times that there have been fires like this,” National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Thomas Lovejoy told the magazine.
July was also the 415th consecutive month where temperatures beat the average for all months from 1900 to 1999, an unmistakable sign of a warming climate.
Climate scientists say, such effects of climate change in comprehensive reports published since the 1990’s. Whether the obvious arrival of climate change will spur any serious responses is the only thing that now looks uncertain about the future.
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