We are not willing to do now those things that we could do to make things less bad.
We just capitulate to the inevitable disaster that we can see approaching us. Science is unified regarding the outcomes that cannot be avoided on our present course. Some conclusions are certain. By the year 2050, some species of animals now in existence will be extinct. According to some data, that extinction could be in the range of 25 percent of now living species.
Planetary conditions for the living, surviving species, at that point will present very different habitat from present day circumstances and will make life more difficult. We hope and believe that humans will be among the surviving group (nuclear war excepted)... and we know that life will be more difficult.
We could ease the pain by doing things today that will alleviate certain aspects of human suffering in the near future. But, largely due to present day economic considerations, we choose not to solve our upcoming problems. By judging our present level of concern and actions, one can see clearly that things will have to become much worse before we attempt any type of correction.
It would appear to be absolutely insane, under the circumstances, to be fracking and drilling and mining and all of that other stuff to maintain our fossil fueled status quo.
So, how much worse must things become, and when will we finally attempt correction, and will it then be too late ???
Unprecedented Bleaching Event Portends Mass Death of World's Coral Ecosystems
'It's time to shift this conversation to what we can do to conserve these amazing organisms in the face of this unprecedented global bleaching event'
from Common Dreams by Nika Knight
The world's oceans are enduring the longest-lasting and most widespread coral bleaching event ever recorded, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
And the massive bleaching event is predicted to get even worse—extending into a third, unprecedented year.
The current bleaching event has already all but destroyed Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and NOAA's experts say that warm ocean temperatures will soon trigger bleaching in the northern hemisphere, "including around Hawaii, Micronesia, the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico," the Guardian reports.
Bleaching occurs when overly warm ocean waters cause coral to expel the algae living inside of it, which turns the coral white and erodes its structures, as Common Dreams has reported.
NOAA's Coral Reef Watch has described the growing swaths of bleached and dying coral as "ghostly underwater graveyards."
"It's time to shift this conversation to what we can and are doing to conserve these amazing organisms in the face of this unprecedented global bleaching event," said the director of NOAA's coral reef conservation program, Jennifer Koss, to the Guardian.
"Coral in every major reef region has already experienced severe bleaching," the newspaper adds.
"Climate change has caused global sea surface temperatures to rise by about 1C over the past century, pushing corals closer to their bleaching threshold. A strong El Niño, as well as other weather phenomena, raised the temperature further this year," the Guardian notes.
Extended bleaching events eventually kill a reef—as has already been happening to large stretches of the Great Barrier Reef.
And as with many effects of climate change, the poorest and smallest nations will likely suffer the most from the catastrophic bleaching event. Mark Eakin, director of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch, told the Guardian, "The biggest bleaching threat over the next six months is to the reefs in two U.S. freely associated states: Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. Islanders there are very dependent on their coral reefs and diving tourism is a major contributor to their economies."
"This event may have major ecological and economic impacts on those islands," Eakin said.
Dead coral reefs "are perhaps the starkest reminders—like the melting Arctic--that a thickening blanket of greenhouse gases is irrevocably changing the face of the Earth," as Inside Climate News recently wrote.
As Southwest Burns, Climate Scientists Warn: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
"If we continue with business-as-usual burning of fossil fuels, by mid-century what we think of as extreme summer heat today will become a typical summer day."
from Common Dreams by Nadia Prupis
Firefighters huddle for shelter while battling a fire in Southern California this week. (Photo: Reuters)
Wildfires in the Southwestern U.S. continued to rage on Wednesday, as the combination of extreme heat and erratic winds fueled the devastation and firefighters warned that blazes near Los Angeles were only about 10 percent contained.
As residents flee and emergency crews attempt to contain the infernos, climate scientists are warning that these deadly fires are climate change in action.
More than 20 fires are also burning in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington state, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico. Meanwhile, record-breaking heat reached 123°F in Palm Springs and 115°F in Phoenix. Death Valley recorded the country's hottest temperature on Monday at 126°F. At least six deaths have been attributed to the extreme heat.
Michael Mann, a professor of meteorology at Penn State University who was in Phoenix for the Democratic National Platform committee meeting last weekend when the temperatures hit 106°F, told the panel that the extreme weather was "an example of just the sort of extreme heat that is on the increase due to human-caused climate change."
The California cities of Azusa and parts of Duarte were evacuated as twin wildfires burned through the San Gabriel Valley, destroying more than seven square miles combined. Firefighters with the Angeles National Forest service told ABC News that the conditions were the hottest they'd ever encountered.
Mann warned on Tuesday that the worst is yet to come.
"The likelihood of record heat has already doubled in the U.S. due to human-caused warming, and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg," he told the Huffington Post.
The high temperatures have stymied emergency workers' efforts to extinguish the fires, which began burning even before the heatwave hit.
Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told the HuffPost that there was no question the fires and scorching temperatures were the result of human-caused climate change.
The added heat from rising greenhouse gases equated to "running a small microwave oven over every square foot, at full power for 6 minutes, for every month of drought conditions" in the affected region, Trenberth said. "So what used to be a regular heat wave now has extra oomph, and the danger is not just heat" but also a wildfire risk.
Mann also warned that, absent immediate action to curb climate change, scorching heat in the region could become the new normal by 2050.
"If we continue with business-as-usual burning of fossil fuels, by mid-century what we think of as extreme summer heat today will become a typical summer day," he said.
Arctic feels like late June or July say experts as sea ice shrinks to what many believe will be a record low
from Climate Change News By Ed King
Arctic sea ice levels are on course to hit a new record low as warming at the North Pole accelerates.
Snowmelt has started at the earliest date yet in 73 years, according to the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“It looks like late June or early July right now,” said David Douglas, research biologist with the US Geological Survey.
“Polar bears are having to make their decisions about how to move and where to go on thinner ice pack that’s mostly first-year ice.”
US climate agency: 2016 on course to be hottest on record
Veteran Arctic biologist George Divoky described the change as a “train wreck you can’t look away from” warning an early spring would impact wildlife and tundra plants.
“You never know what you’re going to see and this year’s as big a mystery as any,” he added.
Temperatures in Alaska hit 11C above average this winter. In December a storm sent what experts described as a “pulse” of heat to the region, spiking mercury from -30C to freezing.
“Satellite photos from mid-May depict an early sea-ice breakup with an ominous series of openings, known as leads, extending deep into the Arctic,” said a statement from NOAA.3