High Temperatures and Their Effect on the Environment.
MK Nature Design speaks of the effect of high summer temperatures on our environment. Forest fires, drying up of lakes and algal blooms are a few of the things that summer high temperatures have resulted in.
NASA warns that temperatures are higher than in 1000 years (The Guardian, Aug 30, 2016). It goes further and states that it does not believe that the world will remain within the 1.5’C of warming agreed to by the world in the COP21 Paris agreements. Schmidt (NASA) predicted that 2016 would be the warmest year ever due to a strong El-Nino effect. Five more years of carbon dioxide emissions at current levels will result in a temperature increase of over 1.5’C. Over 5000 years the temperature rose 4-7’C when the ice age was over. In the last century temperatures rose ten times faster than this. NASA predicts that the temperature will rise twenty times faster than the norm in the next century. Carbon dioxide emissions from power generation, transport and agriculture will increase and result in a three foot sea level rise by the end of this century and a possible 70 foot level rise of oceans in centuries to come. This will result in flooding and in uninhabitable areas in the Middle East and North Africa.
High temperatures have resulted in wildfires in Fort McMurray in Canada, and in ten wildfires in the Western United States (Ecowatch, Aug 24, 2016). More than 33,000 acres in central California have burned and also areas in Yellowstone National Park. More than half the Western US states have experienced the highest wildfires since 2000.
Drought has resulted in draining Lake Mead and Lake Powell in Colorado (Ecowatch, Aug 15, 2016) to the low level experienced today. This is due to climate change. And things might get worse. The lakes could actually dry up completely. Diversion and damming of the Colorado River will result in the drying of the Lake Powell as well. A proposed solution is to buy water from farmers to allow Lake Powell to exist as well as the hydroelectric facility found near there. This is however unlikely. MK Nature Design predicts that there will be increased conflict over water in the future…water that will become a very valuable asset to whoever controls it. This will happen in North America but also as far away as the Mid East. Water has just become a luxury to many.
With rising temperatures comes another problem, that of toxic algal blooms (The National Geographic, Aug 19, 2016). Algal blooms result with high water temperatures (sometimes due to shallow lakes warming up or due to high ocean temperatures), and the presence of nutrients such as phosphorus (from animal or human waste or fertilizers). Sea lions, birds and porpoises have died because of toxic algal blooms. Toxins have been found in anchovy meat and in a pelican feeding off of anchovies. The algal bloom on the West Coast of USA in 2015 was the worst one ever recorded. But from the fjords of South America to the Arabian sea there are algal blooms resulting due to higher ocean temperatures. MK Nature Design predicts that there will be more algal blooms and this will become a widespread problem on oceans coasts but also in inland lakes.
We have had the hottest summer recorded in history. This is due to man’s effect on climate change through rising carbon dioxide levels resulting from the use of carbon fuels. This increase in temperature will result in rising sea levels which will result in the flooding of small islands and coastal cities. It will result in the drying up of water sources (lakes and glacier fed streams and lakes) and water will become a dwindling resource. It will result in widespread wildfires and the burning of our precious forests that are a carbon dioxide sink (which means it uses up carbon dioxide and therefore helps stop climate change). It will cause toxic algal blooms that will kill marine life and are a potential threat to our food supply. Isn’t it time that we listen to the people who say that renewable energy is what is needed….help stop climate change! Reduce your carbon footprint since it takes carbon to release the carbon dioxide into the air from carbon based fuel. Reducing your carbon footprint means to use or buy items that have not used much gasoline to get to you. That means buy from local farmers and local manufacturers. Start in a small way and buy from local farmers and do not buy food that had to be transported a great distance to get to your local grocery store. Pay the carbon tax as the carbon you are burning is contributing to the carbon dioxide that is causing climate change. But also ensure that your government is actively involved in implementing renewable energy and also in providing funds for research into renewable energy. Insist that solar powered vehicles be made affordable to the average person. This is a crisis situation. We as stewards of our planet must be vigilant for the sake of our children and our grandchildren.
Help stop climate change!
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