|global climate change
A disaster to take everyone's breath away
Deep in the heart of the world's greatest rainforest, a nine-day journey by boat from the sea, Otavio Luz Castello is anxiously watching the soft waters of the Amazon drain away.
Every day they recede further, like water running slowly out of an immense bathtub, threatening a worldwide catastrophe.
Standing on an island in a quiet channel of the giant river, he points out what is happening. A month ago, the island was under water. Now, it juts 5m above it.
It is a sign that severe drought is returning to the Amazon for a second successive year. And that would be ominous. New research suggests that one further dry year beyond that could tip the whole vast forest into a cycle of destruction.
thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!
Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away
The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet.
Gripping a bottle of Jack Daniel's between his knees, Jay Zwally savored the warmth inside the tiny plane as it flew low across Greenland's biggest and fastest-moving outlet glacier.
Mile upon mile of the steep fjord was choked with icy rubble from the glacier's disintegrated leading edge. More than six miles of the Jakobshavn had simply crumbled into open water.
thanks to Politics in the Zeros
The Threat to the Planet
Animals are on the run. Plants are migrating too. The Earth's creatures, save for one species, do not have thermostats in their living rooms that they can adjust for an optimum environment. Animals and plants are adapted to specific climate zones, and they can survive only when they are in those zones. Indeed, scientists often define climate zones by the vegetation and animal life that they support. Gardeners and bird watchers are well aware of this, and their handbooks contain maps of the zones in which a tree or flower can survive and the range of each bird species.
Those maps will have to be redrawn. Most people, mainly aware of larger day-to-day fluctuations in the weather, barely notice that climate, the average weather, is changing. In the 1980s I started to use colored dice that I hoped would help people understand global warming at an early stage. Of the six sides of the dice only two sides were red, or hot, representing the probability of having an unusually warm season during the years between 1951 and 1980. By the first decade of the twenty-first century, four sides were red. Just such an increase in the frequency of unusually warm seasons, in fact, has occurred. But most people —who have other things on their minds and can use thermostats—have taken little notice.
Animals have no choice, since their survival is at stake. Recently after appearing on television to discuss climate change, I received an e-mail from a man in northeast Arkansas: "I enjoyed your report on Sixty Minutes and commend your strength. I would like to tell you of an observation I have made. It is the armadillo. I had not seen one of these animals my entire life, until the last ten years. I drive the same forty-mile trip on the same road every day and have slowly watched these critters advance further north every year and they are not stopping. Every year they move several miles."
thanks to Conscientious
The Long and Warming Road
Bush's greatest crime against humanity is one he picked up from his predecessor
Here in the coastal Maine town where my wife spent her childhood, my brother-in-law has lived his entire life. He doesn't talk much; makes his living running the town's water system, and in his spare time does wonderful stone masonry work. He's an avid hunter and outdoorsman. I have no idea what political party he tends to vote for, or whether he votes at all. He seems to tend to think of all politicians as corrupt. He's no fool.
And he has noticed that the weather is changing.