KAYAK VOYAGES TO THE NORTH POLE will soon be on the list of things-to-do for the more adventurous among us. The dynamics of weather itself are changing because of the thawing of the Arctic ice masses and it should probably be the biggest “news story” of our time if we humans paid attention to things that move so slowly. At least, slowly by human time—it’s rushing forward at breakneck speed in planetary time.
The article “The Melting Arctic Is a Real-Time Horror Story — Why Doesn’t Anyone Care?” addresses this and related issues. Written by Jeff Goodell for Rolling Stone, its sub-title is “Recent epic wildfires and other extreme weather events have a root cause.”
“What’s going on is not a future concern, or simply a tragedy for polar bears; the warming Arctic is already having a tremendous impact on our world and may help explain much of the recent extreme weather, especially in the U.S. and in western Europe. To oversimplify this only slightly, you could argue that 2018’s historic wildfires in California were predicted by heat in the Arctic.
The warming Arctic is not only causing ice to melt, but changing the weather dynamics for the entire planet. More heat means drier soils, causing more drought and wildfires. It also means more extreme rain, given that a warmer atmosphere can suck up and then release more moisture).
The dynamics of weather itself are changing and it should probably be the biggest “news story” of our time!
German climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf wrote: ‘It’s not just that the weather is doing what it always does, except at a higher temperature level. Rather, there is growing evidence that the dynamics of weather itself are changing.’
More extreme weather is not the only immediate and alarming consequence of a melting Arctic. Another is the thawing of permafrost, the vast realm of permanently (until now) frozen ground that lies beneath the snow and ice in the Arctic. Trapped in this frozen soil and vegetation is more than twice the carbon found in the atmosphere.
As the permafrost thaws, who knows what else will be revealed? One real but still-unquantifiable risk [is] long-frozen bacteria and viruses like anthrax and smallpox could emerge, triggering an epidemic that plays out like a climate change-driven remake of The Andromeda Strain.”
To read the entire article, click here.The dynamics of weather itself are changing because of the thawing of the Arctic ice masses and it should probably be the biggest ‘news story’ of our time if we humans paid attention to things that move so slowly. Click To Tweet