1. POLAR CONDITIONS SEA ICE MAXIMUM & MINIMUM EXTENT:
In the southern hemisphere (summer) sea ice was measured at its lowest minimum extent ever.
In the northern hemisphere (winter) sea ice was measured at its lowest maximum extent ever.
Feedback Loop: Melting sea ice doesn't contribute to sea level rise because the ice is already in the water. However, when solar radiation strikes open black water, it is absorbed into the ocean, raising the temperature. As the temps rise, more ice melts, a classic positive feedback loop.
ICE SHELVES: COASTAL ICE BARRIERS COLLAPSING.
The coasts of Greenland and the Antarctic continent are lined with floating ice shelves that hold back the massive land-based glaciers behind them. As ocean waters warm, the ice shelves are melting from below. Massive chunks (chunks the size of states) fall into the ocean, where melting accelerates.
Larsen Ice Shelves A B and C in West Antartica are collapsing |READ|
LAND ICE/GLACIERS: Both Greenland and Antarctica are huge land masses covered by trillions of tons of ice.
Greenland: RATE OF LAND ICE LOSS 2011 - 2014 IS 2X THAT OF 2003 -2008.
269 billion tons of snow/ice are lost annually through surface melt (as opposed to calving). Warming temperatures are amplified by microbes, algae, soot and dust that darken the ice, increasing absorption rates. This phenomenon is similar to the positive feedback caused by increasing open waters.
Cryoconite cones filled with black soot accelerate melting as do deposits of airborne soot and algae.
Greenland's Zachariae Isstrom glacier began a rapid collapse in 2003. It contains enough water raise sea levels another foot and a half.
2. UNSTABLE TUNDRA/METHANE RELEASES
As the permafrost in Siberia, Alaska and Northern Canada thaws, it becomes unstable. Methane and carbon trapped for thousands of years in the soil and under lakes and ponds is now emerging, with unsettling results. Buildings and infrastructure are collapsing.
|READ / VIDEO|. Methane is a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than CO2.
THE PINGO THING:
New methane domes driven by thawing permafrost discovered under the Arctic Seas
J. Phillipines are enduring a record drought and famine in the north.
K. Louisiana continues to sink into the Gulf at the rate of about a football field of land per HOUR.
L. A three year Caribbean drought is threatening Haiti with starvation for 1.5 million. According the UN, the numbers have doubled over the past six months.
M. India continues to break all time heat records as an epic drought sucks up severely depleted water supplies. The country is experiencing an epidemic of drought related suicides. |READ|
P. Climate Refugees The indigenous inhabitants of Isle de Jean Charle, LA and Shishmaref, Alaska join the islanders of the Pacific and millions in North Africa compelled to leave their homes by heat and rising seas. |READ|
4. OCEAN EFFECTS
RAPID SEA LEVEL RISE:
Sea level rise is caused by 1) land based ice melt at both poles 2) expanding volume of the ocean as it heats up.
East Coast USA is experiencing coastal flooding even when there are no storms and innudation innudation of fresh water supplies. South Floria, Virgina are among the worst.
Climate Refugees The indigenous inhabitants of Isle de Jean Charle, LA and Shishmaref, Alaska join the islanders of the Pacific and millions in North Africa compelled to leave their homes by heat and rising seas.
Tasmania is losing its shoreline rapidly to the rising ocean
ACIDIFICATION/WATER CHEMISTRY: The oceans have also become about 30% more acidic since the mid-nineteenth century as billions of tons of Carbon are absorbed by the seas. The early effects of this process - which is understood to be irreversible - is that shellfish, crabs and other marine animals are having problems forming shells. There have already been early panics in these fisheries as the problem spreads.
Global Toxic Algae Blooms: Record incursions on the Pacific Coast, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, China, Black Sea and around the globe.
GULF STREAM/GLOBAL CIRCULATOR
As fresh water pours into the oceans from melting land ice, the density of the water layers changes. The different densities at different depts is what powers the Gulf Stream and the entire Global Circulator. Weakening of these ocean mega currents is changing climate patterns and could have devastating long term effects in Europe. This process is also taking place at the South Pole as bottom waters become fresher. This process will change global circulation. |READ|
MASSIVE CORAL BLEACHING Coral reefs are dying all over the planet as oceans warm. |READ|
MOVEMENT OF MARINE SPECIES TOWARD THE POLES: Marine animals of all kinds are following the warmer waters, or in the case of commercial fish such as cod, are moving north to find cooler waters.
Jellyfish are on the move globally, causing problems in Japan, the North Sea, the Mediterranean and Australia.
5. EXTREME WEATHER
The UN reports that incidents of extreme weather events have become a daily occurence. Violent storms and floods are becoming more common virtually everywhere on the planet. Incidents or earthquakes and also pandemics are also related to global warming.
Globally, the frequency and intensity of hurricanes/cyclones is setting new records. The most powerful storm in history occurred in 2015.
Massive Flooding India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangaladesh
23 dead in Karachi, the world's fourth largest city as floods inundate Pakistan capital. One third of Bangaladesh remains under water from earlier floods across the region; thousands are dead and millions are displaced.
6. GLOBAL WATER EMERGENCY
The planet is running out of fresh water, with many places already in drier straits.
PERUis building 20 hydroelectric dams on the Marañón River, the main source of the Amazon River. The dams are for the benefit of mining companies, but will cause untold damage to the entire Amazon basin. Also, a lot of people who won't make money from mining will have to move.
Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath the Great Plains and is largest water source in the world. It is being pumped dry at an alarming rate. When it is gone, it will be gone for good.
Sao Paulo, Brazil and the surrounding region are about out of water.
The collapse of a mining waste tailings storage dam has created an "environmental catastrophe" in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. The contamination of the Rio Doce and other waterways will last for generations.
Lake Baikal used to be renowned for its pure water, but now it's unsafe to drink even for animals. |READ|
Drastic Glacier Shrinkage In China Threatens Water Supply for 1.5 billion
Western Africa is in the midst of a drought-driven famine that threatens the lives of 20 million people.
Global Glacier Collapse: In terms of fresh drinking water for billions, the consequences of rapid glacier shrinkage are a bit more frightening than is commonly understood. Andes Glacier Collapse: Melt rates in South America's tropical glaciers are accelerating, causing further stress on water supplies in countries such as Bolivia.
Drastic Glacier Shrinkage In China Threatens Water Supply for 1.5 billion
ARCTIC REINDEER DOWNSIZING the Arctic reindeer species is getting smaller and their body mass is now 12% less. This real time evolution is a result of long term changes to their habitat related to fast moving climate change, directly caused by their inability to get to their food source. The average mass has dropped from 121 lbs in 1994 to 106 lbs in 2016.
Cloud Forests disappearing in Costa Rica. As the climate warms, the clouds that defined this very specialized micro climate are moving up the mountains, along with the species that live in them. Uphill migrations are observable throughout the tropics. Species Migrations
Wren, Robin and Sparrow habitats are moving rapidly northwards, with traditional migration patterns already significantly disrupted.
As temperature ocean waters warm to tropical, herbivorous species, such as rabbitfish, silver drummers and sea urchins begin moving into ecosystems such as kelp forests, destabilizing them.
Organizations that "believe" in global warming:
US Navy US Coastguard | MunichRe | NASA | Alberta Provincial Government