Runaway climate change has surpassed nuclear war as the most dire threat to the end of humanity. This of course is the opinion of an American and being an American who cares about climate change has become an oxymoron since trump became President of the United States. I assure you this is not a political satire intended to prompt conversation and debate concerning runaway climate change, but rather quite the opposite. It’s a dire warning.
There are many fools in the world and somehow some of them have become political leaders of very powerful countries. If stupidity or fear are the reasons for ignoring the problem, I hope to enlighten with facts. If their ignorance is prompted by greed and selfish motives, then I’m wasting my time on them, but perhaps will stir an emotion of patriotism in people who can change the course of self indulgent dictators, real and wanna be.
The information presented is not sensationalized to prompt a fear response, it doesn’t have to be, as it’s devastating enough on its own merits. There was a 1950’s television detective show called “Dragnet” featuring detective Joe Holiday. His famous statement to witnesses he was questioning was “Just the facts .. and nothing but the facts” is what he wanted. Here are some facts and nothing but the facts on runaway climate change.
- The planet’s average surface temperature has risen 1.62 degrees F (0.9 C) since the late 19th century. Scientific studies verify this temperature increase is the direct results of increased carbon dioxide and other man-made emissions emitted into the atmosphere. The fear factor is most of the increase in warming occurred within the past 35 years, the warmest years on record taking place since 2010, with no signs of it slowing.
The world’s oceans have absorbed most of this increased heat, with the top 2300 feet (700 meters) warming more than 0.4 degrees F since 1969. Well, 0.4 degrees F definitely isn’t much of an increase and shouldn’t be the reason for hysterical runaway climate change charges. Right? Here’s a few of the resulting effects a 0.4 degree F rise in ocean temperatures.
The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have decreased in mass. NASA studies show Greenland lost an average of 281 billion tons of ice and Antarctica lost 119 billion tons of ice, with the Antarctica ice loss tripling in mass in the last decade. Where’s this water suppose to go but to the sea?
- Global sea levels rose @8 inches in the last century. This rate has doubled in the last decade and is accelerating slightly every year with no sign of slowing. It’s virtually impossible to imagine, but how much landmass do you think has been lost to the ocean with the 8 inch increase? 8 inches probably equals 4 feet of loss beach and land times the perimeter of every island, sea shore, cove, etc over the entire face of the earth. Billions of acres? Trillions?
- We’re not only talking sea bound ice, but glaciers are retreating everywhere in the world including the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa. Satellite images reveal less snow cover on mountains in the Northern Hemisphere and what’s there melts quicker and earlier.
- The number of record setting high temperatures in the United States have been increasing, while record low temperatures are deceasing since 1950. The US is also experiencing increased numbers and intensity of rainfall and water events, such as hurricanes.
Rising Water Levels
Humans are animals. Mammals to be specific and mammals are heat producing machines and must continually cool down, like a dog panting. In order to cool body temperature down the ambient air temperature must remain low enough to act as a refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin allowing the engine to continue without overheating.
Here’s the problem. Should the average temperature rise 7 degrees F and maintain, life around the equator could end especially in the tropics. Why? How? In the jungles of Costa Rica, for instance, humidity levels of 90 percent plus is normal. Combine the humidity with 105+ degree temperatures and simply walking around outside would be lethal. Within a few hours the human body would be cooked to death both from the outside and inside.
Runaway climate change skeptics will point out, with great glee, that the planet has warmed and cooled many times before and we survived. For the simple minded that’s enough justification to ignore climate change. They fail, intentionally or through ignorance, to recognize human life has a very narrow temperature span in order to survive. An 11 or 12 degree rise in temperature will result in more than half the world’s population, where they are now living, would die of direct heat. It’s doubtful we will reach this critical temperature in our lifetime, but maybe that’s the problem. Those who can change things know they won’t be effected by the deadly results of a runaway climate change.
Take the Rose Colored Glasses Off:
How bad are things really? Well, let’s look at some events and near future forecasts. Since 1980 the planet has experienced a 50 fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat. The 5 hottest summers in Europe since 1500 all occurred since 2002 and the IPCC warns that simply being outdoors during the summer will be unhealthy and possibly lethal for people in bad health.
- In 2015 the cities of Karachi and Kolkata suffered mass heat related deaths. Should this trend of rising temperatures continue and maintain, the cities will be dangerously close to being uninhabitable.
- The European heat wave of 2003 killed an estimated 2000 people a day. An unfortunate fluke? It’s predicted these conditions could become a normal summer.
- The US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration forecast without relief or reversing of the trend any kind of outside labor in the Mississippi Valley would be life threatening. The entire US population east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Experts estimate heat stress in New York City will exceed that of present-day Bahrain, which is one of the hottest places on earth.
- By the end of the century the World Bank estimates the current highest temperatures in the tropical South America, Africa and the Pacific tropics will the lowest temperatures they will experience. The Persian Gulf and Middle East could endure temperatures of 164 degrees F, which has already sporadically occurred.
Runaway Climate Change and the Food Chain
- Like many things in life there is no concrete rule, but the accepted basic theory is that for a staple cereal crop grown at optimal temperature, for every degree of warming, yields decline by 10 percent. Some argue 15 to 17 percent is more accurate, but we’ll low ball it. Based on this, we very well may be faced with 50% more people, population steadily increases, with 50% less grain as production dwindles.
Climate change denying plant physiologists will dispute the theory, claiming warming temperatures will allow places like Greenland to begin growing food replacing the lost production of historical growing places. That land replacement theory is a particularly weak argument as it is impossible. The tropics are already too hot to efficiently grow grain and if current optimum growing areas are decimated by excess heat, there isn’t enough newly available ground to replace what is lost. One must remember potential newly opened ground in Canada and Russia will not have suitable quality soil in which to grow grain. That takes centuries to occur.
Nothing growing here
- Drought might pose an even bigger problem than the unrelenting heat. The world has huge swaths of land which are arable which will quickly turn into desert. It’s historically difficult to forecast precipitation, but every credible projected prediction anticipates unprecedented drought conditions by 2080.
- Should these predictions bear fruit southern Europe, most of the Middle East, populated parts of Australia, Africa, South America and the breadbasket areas of China would cease to be reliable growing areas.
- For the United States. Would the droughts be bad enough to create conditions dry enough to equal those that created the dust bowl era of the 1930’s. Hang on for this. NASA predicts the droughts will be the worse in a 1000 years, including the droughts between 1100 and 1300 AD which caused the complete drying up of every river East of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
It must be noted under current conditions the world has a huge hunger problem. An estimated 800 million are undernourished and this years early drought in Africa and the Middle East has killed an estimated 20 million people, mainly children. Think climate change won’t exasperate the problem?
Runaway Climate Change and Plagues:
Ever wonder what will happen when the Bubonic ice melts?
Fossils of prehistoric animals are sometimes encased just under the surface in rock not more than a few feet or sometimes a few inches deep. Ice works the same way as a climate ledger and as a frozen piece of history, but unlike items trapped in rock, which are dead, items in ice can be reanimated when unfrozen.
There are currently diseases trapped in the frozen Arctic ice that have not circulated in the air for millions of years, long before humans were around to encounter them. Our immune systems would have no idea how to combat a prehistoric plague emerging from the melting ice. One only needs to look at how normal diseases that European explorers brought with them decimated native Indian people whose immune system could not fight the illness. Some entire civilizations were wiped out by a cold or the flu. Who says we’re immune to the same fate against an UN-encountered germ?
The Arctic ice also harbors terrifying diseases from more recent history. In Alaska researchers have already discovered remnants of the 1918 flu that infected 500 million people, killing as many as 100 million, which was about 5% of the world population at the time. Scientist suspect small pox and the bubonic plague germs are trapped in the melting Siberian ice. These suspicions have recently been verified and scientists are attempting to discover methods to refreeze the tundra.
Let’s be real real optimistic and assume any and all deadly diseases, known and unknown, do not survive the thawing period. They all die.. no problem. Runaway climate change proponents will cheer, but epidemiologists are not celebrating. Their main fear is the relocation, rewiring or re-evolving of current scourges. Even with the transformation from wooden sailing ships to supersonic flight, the intertwining of populations, our ecosystems have done a pretty good job of restricting and maintaining massive outbreaks of diseases. For instance, if you live in Maine or France you don’t worry about contracting Zika or dengue. But, as the tropical temperatures creep northward, along with the pests that migrate and thrive in that environment, suddenly contracting these diseases become a distinct possibility.
Choking Forest Fire Smoke
Runaway Climate change will create a rolling smog that will suffocate millions.
Obviously we breathe oxygen, but there are other gases included in that breathing mixture including carbon dioxide, which is fine in appropriate concentrations. However, the percentage of carbon dioxide is growing, just recently crossing 400 ppm. It’s estimated that by year 2100 the percentages will surpass 1000 ppm. At that concentration human cognitive ability declines by 21 percent making many people unable to function. Imagine breathing the outside air making you fall down drunk, as that’s a reasonable comparison.
Additionally, pollution will increase in intensity due to the heat, creating more ozone forms of unhealthy smog. The National Center for Atmospheric Research has projected by year 2090 as many as 2 billion people globally will be breathing air above the WHO “safe” level resulting in increased deaths, illness and problematic pregnancies of increased Autism in new born babies.
The US Forest Service has stated that climate change has extended the wildfire season by 78 days since 1970. They estimate by 2050 339,000 people will die yearly from wildfire smoke inhalation. The wildfires will be twice as destructive as today and in some areas could grow five-fold.
*** This is extremely ironic as today 11/18/2018 president trump stated the reason for increased wildfires are we are not raking the forest floors and it has nothing to do with runaway climate change. Go figure? ***
He doesn’t lie all the time
There is also the terrifying possibility that rain forests like the Amazon, which in 2010 suffered its second “hundred-year drought” in the space of five years, could dry out enough to become vulnerable to these kinds of devastating, rolling forest fires — which would not only expel enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere but also shrink the size of the forest. That is especially bad because the Amazon alone provides 20 percent of our oxygen.
Runaway Climate Change Poisoning the Oceans
- Barring a radical emissions reduction the oceans will rise at least 4 feet and possibly 10 feet above sea-level by 2100. Ever consider a third of the world’s major cities are located along the coast. Including ports, navy bases, power plants, oil refineries, farmlands, river deltas, marshlands, rice-paddies which feed a large portion of the world’s population. All of these things could end up underwater, as well as being at risk and prone to increased flooding. Land mass doesn’t have to be indefinitely underwater to be deemed worthless for food production and living space.
- As carbon is sucked out of the air into the ocean, which sounds great, another deadly matter arises called “Ocean Acidification” This creates many additional issues, one of which is “coral bleaching” which is the dying of coral reefs. Coral reefs support as much as a quarter of all marine life and supply food to a billion people.
- Ocean acidification will fry fish populations directly, too, though scientists aren’t yet sure how to predict the effects on the stuff we haul out of the ocean to eat; they do know that in acid waters, oysters and mussels will struggle to grow their shells, and that when the pH of human blood drops as much as the oceans’ pH has over the past generation, it induces seizures, comas, and sudden death.
- That isn’t all that ocean acidification can do. Carbon absorption can initiate a feedback loop in which under-oxygenated waters breed different kinds of microbes that turn the water still more “anoxic,” first in deep ocean “dead zones,” then gradually up toward the surface. There, the small fish die out, unable to breathe, which means oxygen-eating bacteria thrive, and the feedback loop doubles back.
- But the drowning of those homelands is just the start. At present, more than a third of the world’s process, in which dead zones grow like cancers, choking off marine life and wiping out fisheries, is already quite advanced in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and just off Namibia, where hydrogen sulfide is bubbling out of the sea along a thousand-mile stretch of land known as the “Skeleton Coast.” The created Hydrogen sulfide is so toxic that evolution has trained us to recognize the tiniest, safest traces of it, which is why our noses are so exquisitely skilled at registering flatulence. Hydrogen sulfide is the gas responsible for wiping out 97% of life when the dinosaurs disappeared — it’s the planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust.
I am definitely pushing the normal person’s attention span, therefore I’ll wrap this up. Many people have stated these and additional facts much more eloquent and precise, but I don’t know how else to say it,” runaway climate change, if not stopped, will destroy all of mankind and possibly the entire world. “