the dynamics of weather itself are changing

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

The weather itself: photo of an iceberg stranded near a village in Greenland.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page shows an ice­berg stranded near the vil­lage of In­naar­suit, in the Avan­naata Mu­nic­i­pality, north­western Green­land. (Photo: Karl Pe­tersen EPA-EFE/REX and cour­tesy of Shutterstock.)

 

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