I plan to use this site to post news, commentary, and analysis of current environment and development issues. Of course, I reserve the right to rant about politics now and then.
Living in Richmond, Virginia for my whole life, I have really started to notice the trend of increasing temperatures. When I was little, it seemed as though we would always have at least one or two good snow storms. Not always something huge, but at least a few inches. In the past few years our couple of snow storms has turned into no more than an hour of flurries that don't even stick to the ground. Also our seasons are becoming less distinct. Have we always had weeks in the middle of winter that are 75 degrees? Maybe it's that I don't remember if this happened when I was little. It's wierd that this past weekend it was 75 and today its in the thirties.
There has been talk of global climate change for years but I think that this winter, because of the extremely warm weather, is the first time I have become extremely concerned with the issue. Though science classes have stressed the importance of reducing CO2 emissions because of possible extreme negative effects I always believed that no significant change in climate would occur during my life time. Reading the statistics in this article make me realize it is very possible that we will have serious problems in the near future. NASA says that the polar ice cap is melting at a 9% rate per decade. This means that in 100 years over 60% of the polar ice cap will have melted, assuming the rate stays constant.
The article mentioned the drought in the Amazon and I can honestly say that it was very scary! Although we all have noticed the increase of temperature, especially in the cities, I guess no one was prepared for what happened, specially the government. It’s natural to think that the rivers in Amazon are very large so it mustn’t be so bad after all, but the truth is that hundreds of rural and a indigenous communities are only accessible by river and a lot of them, with the drought, were isolated and couldn’t get any supply of food and fresh water. An emergency task were arranged to throw food and medicine from helicopters. There was thousands of fishes decomposing cause it couldn’t be stored. I might have been even more terrified because at the time I worked in a indigenous foundation and they were desperate because their family were directly affected by that. So, if you’re all worrying because the winter is a warmer here, I’m sure you can imagine how concerned I am!
I did too notice the increased temperatures this year and I suppose that the very few highly industrialized nations are to blame. A further link to the article states that the Earth’s energy imbalance is due to increased pollution. As a result, they show, heat is trapped within the earths atmosphere. I wonder if this energy imbalance problem will persist in the future. Because if it does, the industrialized nations like USA or Australia who have high pollutant emissions will necessarily have to think about a solution to this problem. In retrospect, USA and Australia should have signed the Kyoto protocol, but Bush Administration refused to cooperate because our economy might have suffered. Well, if we don’t do something very soon, this energy imbalance issue will start to affect everyone’s economy, USA’s included.
I love the winter and wish it would be cold enough for some snow to accumulate this year. It bothers me that we have not had a White Christmas in Baltimore for several years and I am beginning to believe that the effects of Global Climate Change are more imminent than we originally thought. If I had enough free credits at this point I think it would be very interesting to take the Global Climate Change class offered at W&L. However, I will not be able to do so. Anyone with a little more knowledge want to discuss this, please do.
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