Autumn Is Almost Upon Us.

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You wouldn’t think there was a climate crisis on such a beautiful afternoon, but there is. Here are the facts.  The level of carbon dioxide has been rising since the industrial revolution and is now at its highest for about 4 million years! The rate of the rise is even more striking – the fastest for 66m years – with scientists saying we are in “uncharted territory”. Billions of tonnes of CO2 are sent into the atmosphere every year from coal, oil and gas burning. There is no sign of these emissions starting to fall rapidly, as is needed. The planet’s average temperature started to climb steadily two centuries ago, but has rocketed since the second world war as consumption and population has risen. Global heating means there is more energy in the atmosphere, making extreme weather events more frequent and more intense. Greenland has lost almost 4 trillion tonnes of ice since 2002 – mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Andes to the Alps are also losing ice rapidly as glaciers shrink; a third of the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ice is already doomed. As heating melts the sea ice, the darker water revealed absorbs more of the sun’s heat, causing more heating – one example of the vicious circles in the climate system. Scientists think the changes in the Arctic may be responsible for worsened heatwaves and floods in Eurasia and North America. Sea levels are inexorably rising as ice on land melts and hotter oceans expand. Sea levels are slow to respond to global heating, so even if the temperature rise is restricted to 2C, one in five people in the world will eventually see their cities submerged, from New York to London to Shanghai. The felling of forests for timber, cattle, soy and palm oil is a big contributor to carbon emissions; also a major cause of the annihilation of wildlife on Earth.  (Source: The Guardian Online, 20th September 2019)

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About mirrenaudax

Slightly greying, bequiffed and enterprising visual artist from Up North.
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