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The confronting reality of our warming world

Welcome to a special edition of SnippETS, in which we shift away from our normal focus on positive climate change and sustainability articles, to bring attention to the reality of our present warming world.

These articles are confronting and alarming. They are also real and based on sound science. The world is at its warmest in 125,000 years, extreme weather is being felt in the US with Vermont receiving two-months of rain in as little as two-days, Phoenix AZ recording nineteen continuous days at over 110F, melting glaciers in Norway, record ice melt in Greenland, lowest ice levels in Antarctica, droughts in Uruguay and Argentina and floods in Japan and India. In short, this is truly a global event and nowhere is safe.

And yet it is not all doom and gloom, as we know what the solution to all this is. We have to get away from the consumption of fossil fuels. Plain and simple. Nothing else will work. And if the world can pull this off, then we still have hope of avoiding the very worst of extreme weather events, that will come with a temperature rise over 2C. It won’t be easy as the fossil fuel companies have effectively declared war on humankind and biodiversity, in the relentless of pursuit of profits. But collectively we can do this.

As Al Gore recently told the New York Times.

Despite the apocalyptic weather news, Gore is also hopeful.

Clean energy is cheaper than ever, and electric vehicle sales are surging, turbocharged by government subsidies. Put that all together, and Gore thinks developed economies could draw down their emissions with surprising speed.

“If you sketch out what the potential curves take you to by 2030 or 2040, it becomes increasingly realistic to say, ‘Yes, these expansive goals definitely are achievable,’” he said.

To make the point about how quickly renewable energy is growing, Gore quoted the economist Rudiger Dornbush “Sometimes things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen faster than you thought they could.”

But Gore was quick to add that every second counts. The faster we stop burning fossil fuels and releasing other planet-warming emissions, the more quickly global temperatures can stabilize.

“We know how to fix this,” he said. “We can stop the temperatures going up worldwide with as little as a three-year time lag by reaching net zero,” he said. “And if we stay at true net zero, we’ll see half of the human-caused CO2 coming out of the atmosphere in as little as 30 years.”

Floods in America. Wildfires in Canada. Deadly heat worldwide. There’s no other way of viewing it. Things are looking bleak. The world is hotter than it’s been in thousands of years, and it’s as if every alarm bell on Earth were ringing. We are creating a planet where the conditions are starting to exceed what can support life and the link between climate change and weather disasters are clearer than ever. The only question that remains – when will the alarms be loud enough to make people wake up? Read more...

Unfortunately for us, the symptoms of catastrophic climate change won’t wait for us to wake up. Our ecosystems are already stressed and are changing. Climate extremes will only worsen and accelerate the pace of these stresses. Even just one collapsed ecosystem could have knock-on effects on neighbouring ecosystems. This is an example of “ecological doom-loops” – and yes, it’s as grim as it sounds. There is no way to restore collapsed ecosystems within any reasonable timeframe, and unlike banking collapses, there are no ecological bailouts. Read more....

According to scientific findings, the Earth is experiencing some of its hottest weather in thousands of years due to climate change. Rising global temperatures and extreme weather events are consistent with long-term climate trends. This ongoing trend highlights the urgent need for climate action and focuses on the impact human activities have on our planet. Scientists emphasise the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing sustainable practices to mitigate further warming and its potential existential consequences for all biological life. Read more....

The breaking of multiple climate records simultaneously has raised questions and concerns about the reasons behind this phenomenon. Scientists attribute the occurrence to the compounding effects of climate change, natural climate variability, and specific weather patterns. The increase in extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires can be linked to the warming climate. Factors like rising greenhouse gas emissions and changes in atmospheric circulation contribute to these record-breaking events. Understanding these are crucial for effective climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, to address the escalating impacts of global warming. Read more....

The impact of melting Arctic glaciers on global temperatures and the release of methane, is alarming. Recent research indicates that melting glaciers are causing the release of long-trapped methane, further exacerbating climate change. The Arctic plays a significant role in driving global climate patterns and there is now an urgent need for collective action to mitigate the effects of glacier melt. The potential consequences are catastrophic, such as rising sea levels, ecosystem destruction, and increased extreme weather events. read more....

There is a pressing need for immediate action to address the melting Greenland ice sheet. Ice loss in Greenland has started accelerating, which could spell disaster for coastal inundation, and their communities and ecosystems. The Greenland Ice Sheet alone holds the equivalent of 7.4 metres of potential sea-level increase - we cannot afford to wait on taking action. And we now know what we need to do: reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement sustainable policies. Read more....

The debate about the existence of climate change is now fried to a crisp, in 110F-degree heat (40 plus degrees C), asphyxiated on wildfire smoke or drowned in a flash flood. These collective events are getting harder to ignore or explain away as, ‘they happen’ from time to time’. Global temperature records being set this July, coupled with all the extreme weather events, makes climate change real, even for doubters. The graphics in this article are very compelling, with record temperatures and people having personal experiences standing out. Read more....

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