HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

The Slow Motion Crash by City Tech Blogger Wei Yan

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC AR4”), a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change, says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people. The date, which falls well within the lifetime of many people alive today, is based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1-degree C. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.

The global average temperature has been increasing over the long term, and since 1891, it has risen at a rate of 0.68°C per 100 years. The temperature increase is particularly significant at the high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Dozens of people have died across Japan as the country continues to swelter under scorching summer temperatures. At least 44 people have died since July 9, with 11 dying on Saturday alone according to Kyodo News. In Kumagaya, a city near Tokyo, the mercury rose to 41.1 degrees (105.98F), the highest ever on record in Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, almost 12 degrees hotter than average temperatures at this time of year. Climatologically speaking, temperatures are ranging from 4°-7°C above normal for many cities, so factor that in with the humidity for many days on end and the heat stress on the body can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The sea level is on the rise due to the thermal expansion of the oceans and increased runoff from melting glaciers and ice sheets, and ocean temperatures are also increasing. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC AR4”) has concluded from these observations that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” According to Washington Post report on July 14,  an 11-million-ton iceberg is parked precariously close to the tiny village of Innaarsuit —  a glacial faceoff that pits 169 residents of Greenland against the biggest iceberg many have ever seen. Their fate could be entirely dependent on the weather forecast. The iceberg is 650 feet wide — nearly the length of two football fields — and rises 300 feet above sea level. In terrifying pictures, it literally casts a shadow on a hilly outcropping of Innaarsuit, dwarfing boats, homes and businesses.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. The global atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased 40% from a pre-industrial value of about 280ppm to 390.9ppm in 2011, and the rate of increase became larger, reaching 2ppm per year in recent years. Source: Ref. 1, 2 The IPCC AR4 clearly states: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” Using the multi-model approach, observed changes in the global average surface temperature in the 20th century have been simulated only when the increase in anthropogenic forcing has been taken into account, and not when they have not; that means that temperature increases in the second half of the 20th century cannot be explained without considering anthropogenic influence. In conclusion, climate change is no longer theoretical. It is real, it is all around us, and it is going to get much worse. As more and more people and their families live through the effects of climate change, it will become hard to ignore.

 

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

2 Responses

  1. This year’s United Nations Climate Conference was held in Poland. The conference was first started in Copenhagen 2008. The political leaders of the world are either climate experts or UN intergovernmental climate groups. They hope to reach a variety of different agreements. This year’s meeting in Poland is particularly important. The reason is that since the Paris Agreement of 2015, global carbon emissions have not declined at all. According to the latest report, global carbon emissions increased by 2.7% in 2018. It was hoped that it could be reduced, and then it could be controlled. The result was not only not falling but also rising.
    The COP24 (conference of the Parties 24) in Poland is the world’s most important climate conference after the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 because it is focusing on a new set of standards of action. To understand the results of national efforts and financing methods, especially to the most flexible and most lenient countries in the poorest countries. The problem is that developed and developing countries have always been confronted with how to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets. The funds promised to be in place have so far been less than half expected.
    Poland hosted the UN climate conference for the third time, but even the host country itself is struggling with the problem of how to break up with this major source of energy, because 80% of the electricity in Poland is from coal-fired power generation. In the past, coal was widely used and equipment was outdated. In the coldest months of the year, the local cities are almost covered in heavy smog. The New York Times reported that: “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a “Speeding Freight Train” in 2018”. Just as the United Nations is preparing for the annual climate negotiations, global carbon emissions will increase by 2.7% in 2018, and the rate of increase will reach the fastest level in seven years. China, India and the United States are the three top countries that have increased carbon emissions. At this time, the Trump administration intends to overthrow the regulations limiting production in coal-fired power plants. This will make it possible for the United States to add more coal-fired power plants in the future. According to the statistics of the World Meteorological Organization, the hottest 20 years have been recorded in the past 22 years, and the hottest four years are the past four years. The CO2 concentration is the highest in 3 million years, and carbon emissions are now increasing again. Climate change is happening faster than we are able to control it. This is a matter of life or death. Unless humans take enforcement actions to control greenhouse gas emissions, the fastest coastal areas in the end of the century, especially in the tropics, may face six climate-related disasters. We are currently facing a man-made disaster on a global scale, a huge threat for thousands of years. If we do not act, the collapse of our civilization and the extinction of most of the natural world is foreseeable.
    Reference:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/climate/greenhouse-gas-emissions-2018.html

    1. Thanks, Dung Mai.
      Your comment added much needed information to the blog posted by Wei Yan; you might have referenced the blog you were commenting on at some point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CONSEQUENCES

SCOTUS Poised to Handcuff the EPA

In the wake of reactionary rulings by the Supreme Court that seized a woman’s right to abortion after the Justices had unleashed potentially lethal freedoms to gun owners, one can only shudder at the prospect of the court’s upcoming decision on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

CITY TECH BLOG

How We Help to Slow, Stop or Solve Climate Change by a City Tech Blogger

If everyone could stop in a minute to acknowledge the harms we are causing on our planet, what would earth look like in the next 10 years or is it too late?  To quote George Bernard Shaw: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their

CITY TECH BLOG

My take on Climate Change By A City Tech Blogger

  In the recent decade, I personally observed that temperatures started to get warmer and the winter season isn’t as cold as it once was. There have usual changes in temperature such as temperatures normally near zero degrees in the wintertime being in the twenties and thirties. In

Take action in the fight against climate change