*Earth is roasting right before our very eyes.
The heatwaves in Siberia and Lapland have begun with fury, again. Alaska recorded its hottest spring on record. It’s warming at 2.2C (3.96F), or, twice that of continental United States.
The more fossil fuels burned, the faster the globe heats. That means less polar ice and more global heating methane and laughing gas from the thawing soils. A deadly feedback loop.
At the melting North Pole, researchers have linked Man-made heat from fossil fuel combustion with the jet stream’s erratic sinuous behavior.
In the past, the six-mile high tropical, mid-latitude and polar jet streams reached wind speeds averaging 300 mph, powered by the difference in temperature between the tropics and Arctic.
Today, the northern hemisphere jet stream winds repeatedly sputter. Instead of tightly hugging tropical, mid-latitude and polar bands, huge jet stream waves are stretching across the northern hemisphere. Climate instability has broken loose. Not just in the winter.
Epic flooding across the U.S. this spring has prevented farmers from planting corn and soybeans. Some estimates predict as many as 10 million acres were under water or too soggy and late to plant. 125-year flooding records were squashed and there’s more flooding ahead.
Heatwaves and droughts are wreaking havoc amongst Earth’s emerald crown, its largest remaining tracts of ancient forests. It’s tinderbox dry across northern Canada. Firestorms are raging. One out of control monster, the Chuckegg Creek Fire, is roaring near Alberta’s fossil fuel tar sands. It’s 50 percent larger than last year’s record breaking Mendocino Complex Fire in California.
Across Canada, 87 wildfires are scorching the land and incinerating wildlife. 6 million acres are charred each year. It’s doubled since the 1970s. The fires season is beginning sooner, burning hotter and lasting longer into the autumn. Human fossil fuel fingerprints are all over this crime scene.
Forests are the lungs of Earth, vital climate stabilizers. The more subsidized fossil fuels that are combusted, the faster atmospheric oxygen tumbles.
Further south, along the U.S. eastern seaboard, Gulf coasts and elsewhere, intense polar heat is very evident as sea level rise is also killing the forests. Greenland is melting almost six times faster than the 1980s. It lost two billion tons of ice on Thursday. Unprecedented.
Saltwater intrusion is the culprit. It seeps into forest soils causing the trees to die of thirst because their roots are unable to draw in water with high salt content.
These graveyard ghost forests have spread 150 square miles across the Chesapeake Bay, 57 square miles across Florida’s Gulf coast and elsewhere. The death rate is accelerating.
On the other side of the world, India a nation of 1.3 billion humans is broiling. Earlier this week, the capital of New Delhi broke its all-time high of 48C (118.4F). A day later, a merciless heat dome smothered many millions of people as the mercury soared to 50.6C (123.1F). India has a water shortage. How will they contend with the next decade?
In the middle of winter, the South Pole, too, is melting at an unprecedented rate. Vast holes the size of South Carolina and larger are splitting open sea ice. There’s so much fossil fuel heat stored deep within the Southern Ocean, it’s begun to surface and devour sea ice with vengeance.
Earth is losing its white reflective surfaces everywhere. While these Man-made telltales are flashing code red, rapacious bankers are instructing corrupt politicians to greenlight more fossil fuel plays and disregard all scientific warnings.
For example this week in Queensland, the government rubber-stamped a water permit enabling the Indian-based Adani Group to drain a rare oasis, the Doongmabulla Complex Springs, for a new behemoth coalmine.
If that isn’t heartbreaking enough, the Carmichael coalmine contamination will seep into the Great Artesian Basin, the largest aquifer on Earth. That ancient freshwater is vital for all life especially as the climate gets hotter and drier in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and South Australia, or, 22 percent of the area of Australia. To poison that sacred life-sustaining water and knowingly fricassee our only home is deranged ecocide!
We must all do our part to protect our glorious planet and our brethren, the animals.
- Vote for lawmakers who will protect the people, the animals and the planet, not the planet-killing fossil fuel oligarchs and their loathsome bankers.
- Join the Resistance.
- Reduce fossil fuel emissions now.
- End annual$5.2T fossil fuel subsidies immediately.
- Dovetail all industries within all 197 countries to attain a zero-combustion economy by 2030.
- Refuse plastics.
- Reuse glass.
- Consume less.
- Travel less.
- Plant trees everywhere.
- Switch to a plant-based diet
The Gen Zs make up 25 percent of the world’s population. Yet they own 100 percent of the future. It’s up to each of us to ensure that they have the right to a livable future.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is