Here are 3 reasons why every citizen concerned with climate change needs to attend and put themselves on the frontline between those who can see through the madness of free market pimps like the oil industry and those who would sacrifice tomorrow for a profit today.
Since this post was originally published, the heat wave has continued. As of Thursday morning, it appears that average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere have breached the 2 degrees Celsius above “normal” mark for the first time in recorded history, and likely the first time since human civilization began thousands of years ago.* That mark has long been held (somewhat arbitrarily) as the point above which climate change may begin to become “dangerous” to humanity. It’s now arrived—though very briefly—much more quickly than anticipated. This is a milestone moment for our species. Climate change deserves our greatest possible attention.
Greenland’s vast ice sheet is in the grip of a dramatic “feedback loop” where the surface has been getting darker and less reflective of the sun, helping accelerate the melting of ice and fuelling sea level rises, new research has found.
The snowy surface of Greenland started becoming significantly less reflective of solar radiation from around 1996, the analysis found, with the ice absorbing 2% more solar energy per decade from this point. At the same time, summer near-surface temperatures in Greenland have increased at a rate of around 0.74C per decade, causing the ice to melt.
This winnowing away of the ice, exacerbated by soot blown on to the ice from wildfires, means that Greenland’s ice is stuck in what is known as a “feedback loop” that will make it ever more vulnerable to warming global temperatures. The study predicts that the ice surface reflectivity, or albedo, will drop by 10% or more by the end of the century, which will trigger further melting.
Thursday, while the nation debated the relative size of Republican genitalia, something truly awful happened. Across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, if only for a few hours, apparently crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above “normal” for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization.
That’s important because the governments of the world have set two degrees Celsius as the must-not-cross red line that, theoretically, we’re doing all we can to avoid. And it’s important because most of the hemisphere has not really had a winter. They’ve been trucking snow into Anchorage for the start of the Iditarod; Arctic sea ice is at record low levels for the date; in New England doctors are already talking about the start of “allergy season.”
This bizarre glimpse of the future is only temporary. It will be years, one hopes, before we’re past the two degrees mark on a regular basis. But the future is clearly coming much faster than science had expected. February, taken as a whole, crushed all the old monthly temperature records, which had been set in … January. January crushed all the old monthly temperature records, which had been set in … December.
The fight back must start now. Bring everyone to Sky City on the 21st of this month.