If you want to be truly depressed about Earth's future, reading a recent article by an international group of scientists will produce feelings of horror, anxiety, and helplessness. Even the title was bleak: "Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding A Ghastly Future".
They laid out in depressing detail how life on Earth and its future is far, far worse than we realize. It's all due to our inability to come to terms with and take action on biodiversity loss (massive species extinctions!), increasing population and consumption, and climate change. Which is accelerating and getting worse year by year.
The 17 scientists reviewed more than 150 studies to produce a summary of the state of our natural world. They stress that environmental conditions in the future on Earth will be far worse than we generally realize. The loss of biodiversity, the accelerating climate change in the coming decades, along with ignorance and inaction, is threatening the survival of all species, including humans.
The bottom line: We (governments, individuals, corporations, industries) must all take action now to avoid the worst case scenarios, including extinction of our species. As the researchers said: "The science underlying these issues is strong, but awareness is weak."
It's getting hotter! NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) just released a short dramatic video stating that 2020 tied 2016 for the warmest year on record. They also released an article pointing out that while the last few decades have shown a "dramatic warming trend", the last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record.
The NASA video (under 1 minute):
It is expected that Earth's temperature will continue increasing (climate change!), and that records will continue to be broken. Rising temperatures are resulting in a loss of sea ice, sea level rise, longer and more intense heat waves, shifts in plant and animal habitats, etc. Temperatures are increasing due to human activities, specifically emissions of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane.
Are humans up to the challenge of climate change? We have no choice.
It's hard to believe in this month of cold and snow, but climate scientists are saying that 2020 is almost tied with 2016 to be the hottest year on record. This past decade has been the hottest ever recorded, and the last five years were the hottest since 1880.
Note that with each new broken heat record, the baseline is now set higher. The heat increases have no end in sight, and so the future will be hotter. This is climate change change.
One example: This summer Phoenix, Arizona experienced a record-breaking 145 days above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The city also had 15 days above 115 degrees F (double the previous record).
At what point will it be too hot for humans? It's up to us - governments, corporations, individuals - to make decisions to control what happens in the future and to stop the runaway heat increases.
With just a few weeks left, 2020 is in a dead-heat tie for the hottest year on record. But whether it claims the top spot misses the point, climate scientists say. There is no shortage of disquieting statistics about what is happening to the Earth....continue reading "This Was A Really Hot Year"