Melting/Changes Transforming Arctic
New Climate Records Transforming Arctic
The latest report on the Arctic by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds dwindling sea ice and temperatures as much as 3C (5.4F) above average are disrupting walrus and fish populations and having major impacts on the ecosystem.
SAN FRANCISCO – After decades of rising temperatures, Arctic conditions have reached new heights again this year, the latest assessments show, signaling dramatic changes for the Arctic and its inhabitants under relentless global warming. Walrus populations in the Pacific Arctic have plunged as dwindling sea ice forces them to haul out onto land in crushing crowds, and the Arctic’s small native fish may stand little chance against large competitors moving northward as polar waters warm up.
These and other threats to Arctic biodiversity and resources were detailed in the 2015 Arctic Report Card, released Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The report is a peer-reviewed, multinational research collaboration involving 72 researchers from 11 countries that has been produced by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annually since 2006.
“The impacts of the persistent warming trend over 30 years are clearly evident,” said Kit Kovacs, a biodiversity researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute.
A number of new climate records were set this year. Winter air temperatures over Arctic lands were the warmest since measurements began in 1900. Between October 2014 and September 2015, temperatures were 1.3C (2.3F) above average, amounting to a 3C (5.4F) gain since the beginning of the 20th century, primarily due to human-driven climate change.
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Worldwide Extreme Floods Sep-Dec 2015 (And this doesn't even cover all of it.) Happy New Year. (?)
So while people are standing in Times Square in NYC and the world over once again this New Year's Eve with their lighted balls and fireworks in a vain attempt to escape and deny reality, that reality of the world we have all made continues to make itself known and will continue to do so in 2016. I really hope that 2016 gives us some hope, but I am not as hopeful as I once was.
COP 21 was called "historic" by politicos even though it once again was sponsored by fossil fuel companies and once again kicks the can down the road to 2020 touting "working towards" a 2 degree C limit that has already been surpassed when taking into account amplification and cumulative effects. The only voices being heard at these conferences are the elitists who have once again ignored the poorest who are suffering most from the effects of this crisis as well as voices like mine who have been writing and warning of this for years.
Indigenous rights were written out of the final charter and there was really no adequate plan regarding our oceans, water scarcity, agriculture, refugees, nor any sort of true climate justice and intense global effort to decarbonize at a pace consistent with the abrupt changes we have put into motion. Carbon trading and REDD are simply mechanisms to once again allow polluters to pollute while holding indigenous peoples hostage.
Therefore, for 2016 the grassroots that were out there in mass outside that fake conference hall are the ones who will now save this world and us. Politicians have already clearly shown what side they are on and it isn't ours. The Arctic is proof of that as they now also work to control its resources at the expense of our ecosystems.
Make no mistake, Syria and the Middle East are a huge part of this as well. Climate change and geopolitical policy are tied together in this but of course that was conveniently ignored in Paris as well.
I therefore hope above all that this coming year is one of TRUTH. The lack of it is bringing the human race to a crossroads we could have avoided otherwise and making a world our children do not deserve.
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