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Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Arctic, Siberia
It would probably be an understatement to say that Australia and Brazil did not have their best year in 2019 in their existence. World leaders are tripping over each other to offer their assistance to Australia and the troubled Brazilian government, who are still struggling to get a grip on the problem. Meanwhile, hectares and hectares of forestland are catching fire with each passing minute.   Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Artic, Siberia While the Amazon is grabbing headlines with these historically fierce and ferocious fires, it is not the only part of our world that is on fire. Central Africa is facing some of the worst wildfires in its history as well, standing by more or less helplessly as vast areas of savanna are ablaze. And just before those started, we were confronted with the startling headline that the Artic is on fire: with Siberia, a place usually associated with icey cold tundras, now in danger of being burned to the ground. And what about Australia? Its bushfires threaten thousand of people, natura, cities, animals like Koalas. Recommended:  Heatwaves Worldwide: Nothing New! How To Protect Your Self The one thing that really stands out here is that wildfires are becoming much more severe - and occurring in places where these was previously unheard of. Many are exclaiming that this surely means that the world is ‘on fire’, and climate change is shifting to a higher gear. While this does make for some interest-grabbing headlines, it surely would be too easy to say that climate change has caused these fires. Or wouldn’t it be? What we can safely do, is turn the matter around. We do know for a fact that wildfires are active contributors to climate change. They kill millions of trees and vegetation, which function as the lungs of the earth. With fewer trees and plants, the earth cannot remove as many harmful emissions from the air - while a wildfire is pretty much the equivalent of a cigarette, releasing a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Think of it as smoking one pack of cigarettes per day at a time when your lung function is decreasing rapidly as the result of a lung disease of sorts. Wildfires Globally: What On Earth Is Going On? Wildfires Globally. What are the different types of wildfires? There are three basic types of forest fires: Crown fires burn trees up their entire length to the top Surface fires burn only surface litter and duff Ground fires (sometimes called underground or subsurface fires) occur in deep accumulations of humus, peat and similar dead vegetation that become dry enough to burn The numbers are - staggering, to say the least. Take Siberia, where some six million acres have been burned to a crisp. Or Alaska, another part of the Artic, which has already lost 2.5 million acres to wildfires. This is a huge loss for the Artic region, which is actually already suffering disproportionally from global warming, warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Potentially catastrophic, especially as this will lead to an increase in lightning - a leading cause for fire. Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Here, it seems as if we are entering some sort of vicious circle. As the world gets warmer, wildfires will become more prevalent. And as there are more wildfires, it will leave us with fewer vegetation and higher carbon emissions. This will only serve to speed up global warming, particularly if those wildfires occur in regions - like the Amazon or Arctic - that are powerful catalysts for our climate system.   Complicating matters even further is the unpredictability and variety of wildfires: there is no easy way to categorise them, nor is there a single root cause that can be identified that causes those fires. Some fires may be set intentionally, to obtain land for agricultural purposes, while others are accidental or perhaps more directly linked to global warming, as in the example of the Artic. Wildfires Globally: Australia. First Impression In Australia, beds are burning. So are entire towns, irreplaceable forests and endangered and precious animal species such as the koala. {youtube}                                  Deaths, losses mounting in Australia's disastrous bush fires, 1 of January 2020                                              Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Artic, Siberia What are the linkages between climate change and extreme weather events. The Great Barrier Reef, one of the great wonders of this planet. Subject to the twin assaults of warming-caused bleaching and ocean acidification, it will be gone in a matter of decades in the absence of a dramatic reduction in global carbon emissions. Wildfires Globally. How does a wildfire form? Sometimes, fires occur naturally, ignited by heat from the sun or a lightning strike. However, the majority of wildfires are the result of human carelessness. Causes include arson, campfires, discarding lit cigarettes, not burning debris properly, playing with matches or fireworks. The Blue Mountains, another of Australia’s natural wonders, known for its lush temperate rainforests, majestic cliffs and rock formations and panoramic vistas that challenge any the world has to offer. It too is now threatened by climate change. Wildfires Globally: Australia Gone are the vast expanses of rainforest framed by distant blue-tinged mountain ranges. Instead there are now smoke-filled valleys, with only the faintest ghosts of distant ridges and peaks in the background. The iconic blue tint (which derives from a haze formed from ‘terpenes’ emitted by the Eucalyptus trees that are so plentiful here) was replaced by a brown haze. The blue sky, too, had been replaced by that brown haze. Locals, would volunteer that they have never seen anything like this before. Some even uttered the words ‘climate change’ without any prompting. Wildfires Globally. Does fire reproduce? Fire is a self-sustaining chemical reaction where heat produces flammable gases, which burn and produce more heat. So to answer your question, “Can fire reproduce?”, reproduction is a process by which living creatures perpetuate their species. Fire is not a living thing and therefore does not reproduce The brown skies observed now in the Blue Mountains are a product of human-caused climate change. Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated. Wildfires Globally: Australia, New South Wales In the worst-affected state, New South Wales, fires have burned more than 4 million hectares (9.9m acres) destroying more than 900 houses. Across the country, 12 people have died - including three volunteer firefighters - with most of the casualties in New South Wales. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Current Situation NSW Hot, dry weather combined with prolonged drought and strong winds have created perfect conditions for fire to spread rapidly. Around 100 fires are burning across the state, with up to half as yet uncontained by firefighters and continuing to threaten lives. The fires have been exacerbated by 40C temperatures and strong winds, creating difficult conditions for the 2,500 firefighters deployed in the field. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Source: new South Wales Rural Fire Service. 31-12-2019 The small town of Balmoral, south-west of Sydney, was largely destroyed and scores of homes were razed amid catastrophic conditions on 22 December. In northern NSW large fires are burning in the region between Port Macquarie and Byron Bay. Wildfires Globally: Australia, Balmoral: A VW Beetle on fire In the countryside to the west of Sydney, there are fears that the vast Gospers Mountain fire, which originated in the Wollemi National Park, may merge with the Green Wattle Creek blaze in the lower Blue Mountains. The fire in the Blue Mountains, a world heritage area and popular tourist destination, has burnt over 64,000 hectares, though much of it is now being controlled, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Fire crews in the region took advantage of cooler conditions last week to perform 'back burning', where small areas are deliberately burned to create breaks to stop or slow the main fire. Smoke from bushfires has periodically blown south-eastwards to reach Sydney, causing severe air pollution in Australia's largest city. Further south of Sydney major roads have been closed major roads have been closed at several times during the last week with emergency-level fires spanning a 500km (310 miles) area across New South Wales and the neighbouring state of Victoria. An Australian farmer was forced to shoot 20 of his cows after they were badly injured in the bushfires ravaging the coastal areas of southern New South Wales. Steve Shipton from Coolagolite, between the hard-hit towns of Cobargo and Bermagui, was consoled by neighbouring farmers after the heart-wrenching task of putting down the cattle which had been severely burnt by fires that swept through his property. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Source: new South Wales Rural Fire Service.  To put the fire damage in New South Wales in perspective, 1.8 million hectares burned in the 2018 California wildfires and some 900,000 hectares were lost in the 2019 Amazon fires. Flames up to 70m (230ft) in height have been reported. Wildfires Globally: Australia. The Situation In Other States? In Victoria, the state's Country Fire Authority issued emergency warnings across the region of East Gippsland telling 30,000 people to leave the area before roads became too dangerous. Fires have been burning in the area since late November but the latest warnings for East Gippsland are of bushfire-driven thunderstorms, which would increase the risk of the fires spreading further out of control. In the small town of Mallacoota residents fled to the beach following a warning siren, with only a change in the wind direction keeping the fire from reaching them on the shore. In the state of South Australia, the Cudlee Creek fire is reported to have destroyed more than 80 homes in the Adelaide Hills region. The fires are also thought to have destroyed up to a third of the vines that provide grapes for the Adelaide Hills wine industry. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Are Bushfires Getting Worse? Many Australians are asking that very question and whether these fires are linked to climate change - but the science is complicated. Scientists have long warned that a hotter, drier climate will contribute to fires becoming more frequent and more intense. Australia's deadliest bushfire disaster was 'Black Saturday' in February 2009, when some 180 people died in Victoria. Data shows that Australia has warmed overall by slightly more than one degree Celsius since 1910, with most of the heating occurring since 1950, the Bureau of Meteorology says. Australia is getting warmer Wildfires Globally: Australia. Hottest Day On Record Australia broke its all-time temperature record twice in December. An average maximum of 40.9C was recorded on 17 December, broken a day later by 41.9C, both beating 2013's record of 40.3C. By the end of the month every state had measured temperatures above 40C - including Tasmania. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Maximum temperature 29 December 2019 The main climate driver behind the heat has been a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) - an event where sea surface temperatures are warmer in the western half of the ocean, cooler in the east. The difference between the two temperatures is currently the strongest in 60 years. Wildfires Globally. Are wildfires good? Wildfires, when allowed to burn in areas where they do not impact human development, are regenerative for the forest, revitalizing for the watershed, renew the soil, and reset the clock for the ecosystem. As a researcher on wildfire and streams let me recount the many ways that natural wildfire is beneficial. The Amazon And Indonesia: Intentionally Set Fires The Amazon, though, is a perfect example of a wildfire that was set intentionally. Brazil is looking to expand its presence on the economic world stage, for instance through its growing export of soybeans and cattle. These agricultural products require more land, which can, in the Brazilians’ minds, easily be obtained by ‘borrowing’ it from the rainforest. Recommended:  Brazil Is Burning For Your Beef: Amazon’s Nature, Our Luxury New president Jair Bolsonaro is more focused on the economic gains and is, in doing so, rolling back all kinds of measures that were put in place to protect both the environment as well as the indigenous groups living in the forest. All of this has certainly added to fears of further deforestation, and while numbers of the exact amount of forest that has gone to waste are not yet available, fears are that it will only get worse in years to come. Firefighters at a palm oil plantation in Pekanbaru, Indonesia Southeast Asia is looking at a similar issue. Under pressure to live up to rising demand, more and more agricultural land is ‘forged’ in countries like Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia. Up to 71% of so-called peat forests have gone to waste in the past three decades, making room for farms producing palm oil. This hazardous practice does not only significantly add to global warming, as peat releases some of the most damaging and polluting gases, it also poses a significant risk to those living around it. Although the government has attempted to call a halt to this trend, it has not really had much of an effect yet: as wildfires are back in full force this year. Recommended:  Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers Wildfires Worldwide: The Arctic An area that is new to wildfires is the Arctic, including Alaska, Greenland and Siberia. These areas have not dealt with the issue previously, but are facing the worst effects of global warming thus far - with temperatures rising to record heights and plants and vegetation becoming drier than they have ever been. Combined with the increased likelihood of lightning, it is kind of like throwing a lighted match into a stack of hay.   In total, 180 megatons of carbon dioxide has been emitted as a result from the Arctic wildfires - a massive number that is a multiple of the amount as emitted by entire countries. This is essentially speeding up global warming, the very same thing causing the Arctic to suffer so badly from wildfires and melting glaciers. Wildfires Globally. Why don't trees burn in fires? Trees in fire-prone areas develop thicker bark, in part, because thick bark does not catch fire or burn easily. The species also drops lower branches as the trees grow older, which helps prevent fire from climbing up and burning the green needles higher up the tree. Indigenous leaders call for Arctic cooperation against wildfires California And Africa: The Seasonal Cycle Of Burning One other category of wildfires are those that are expected and - one could say - even needed. The western part of the United States and Africa, to mention just a few, have a seasonal cycle of fires that actually ‘replenish’ the landscape. Take the lodgepole pines, for instance, a staple tree that requires the wildfire heat to release its seeds. In Sub-Saharan Africa, savanna ecosystems are used to their periodical ‘burn’ and will flourish once again not long after the fires have passed. Wildfires Globally: America, California This does, however, not mean that we should stand by and idly watch those wildfires destroy large pieces of land. Often, the root cause will be accidental - like someone dropping a cigarette or a campfire gone wrong. This still sets in motion an event that is potentially dangerous and disastrous to the surrounding area, and that is bound to become even more so in years to come as the direct result of climate change. Research has shown that the Californian wildfires are a staggering 500 percent larger than they would have been without it. They are unnecessarily large, so to speak, endangering both human and animal lives in the process. Wildfires Globally. What plants grow after a fire? Fire-activated Seeds Perhaps the most amazing fire adaptation is that some species actually require fire for their seeds to sprout. Some plants, such as the lodgepole pine, Eucalyptus, and Banksia, have serotinous cones or fruits that are completely sealed with resin. This World Is On Fire While it may feel and look as if our world is quite literally on fire, one should always consider the root cause first. And while some of those huge wildfires that have been raging in the past months have other causes, there are a few that can already be traced back to global warming directly - and all of them can, without a doubt, be considered a major contributor. Funny how it works: global warming-induced wildfires ending up accelerating that very same phenomenon. Although one might wonder if ‘funny’ really is the most appropriate word. Cover photo: Five Australian children were reunited with their parents after their grandparents helped them dramatically escape from blazing bush fires by clinging to a wooden jetty for three hours. Grandfather Tim Holmes alongside his wife and and his daughter's five children had to shelter in the sea to survive the potentially deadly inferno that raged on the shore. Recommended:  Climate Change And Its Effects Like Droughts: The Heat Is On Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about climate change? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
It would probably be an understatement to say that Australia and Brazil did not have their best year in 2019 in their existence. World leaders are tripping over each other to offer their assistance to Australia and the troubled Brazilian government, who are still struggling to get a grip on the problem. Meanwhile, hectares and hectares of forestland are catching fire with each passing minute.   Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Artic, Siberia While the Amazon is grabbing headlines with these historically fierce and ferocious fires, it is not the only part of our world that is on fire. Central Africa is facing some of the worst wildfires in its history as well, standing by more or less helplessly as vast areas of savanna are ablaze. And just before those started, we were confronted with the startling headline that the Artic is on fire: with Siberia, a place usually associated with icey cold tundras, now in danger of being burned to the ground. And what about Australia? Its bushfires threaten thousand of people, natura, cities, animals like Koalas. Recommended:  Heatwaves Worldwide: Nothing New! How To Protect Your Self The one thing that really stands out here is that wildfires are becoming much more severe - and occurring in places where these was previously unheard of. Many are exclaiming that this surely means that the world is ‘on fire’, and climate change is shifting to a higher gear. While this does make for some interest-grabbing headlines, it surely would be too easy to say that climate change has caused these fires. Or wouldn’t it be? What we can safely do, is turn the matter around. We do know for a fact that wildfires are active contributors to climate change. They kill millions of trees and vegetation, which function as the lungs of the earth. With fewer trees and plants, the earth cannot remove as many harmful emissions from the air - while a wildfire is pretty much the equivalent of a cigarette, releasing a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Think of it as smoking one pack of cigarettes per day at a time when your lung function is decreasing rapidly as the result of a lung disease of sorts. Wildfires Globally: What On Earth Is Going On? Wildfires Globally. What are the different types of wildfires? There are three basic types of forest fires: Crown fires burn trees up their entire length to the top Surface fires burn only surface litter and duff Ground fires (sometimes called underground or subsurface fires) occur in deep accumulations of humus, peat and similar dead vegetation that become dry enough to burn The numbers are - staggering, to say the least. Take Siberia, where some six million acres have been burned to a crisp. Or Alaska, another part of the Artic, which has already lost 2.5 million acres to wildfires. This is a huge loss for the Artic region, which is actually already suffering disproportionally from global warming, warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Potentially catastrophic, especially as this will lead to an increase in lightning - a leading cause for fire. Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Here, it seems as if we are entering some sort of vicious circle. As the world gets warmer, wildfires will become more prevalent. And as there are more wildfires, it will leave us with fewer vegetation and higher carbon emissions. This will only serve to speed up global warming, particularly if those wildfires occur in regions - like the Amazon or Arctic - that are powerful catalysts for our climate system.   Complicating matters even further is the unpredictability and variety of wildfires: there is no easy way to categorise them, nor is there a single root cause that can be identified that causes those fires. Some fires may be set intentionally, to obtain land for agricultural purposes, while others are accidental or perhaps more directly linked to global warming, as in the example of the Artic. Wildfires Globally: Australia. First Impression In Australia, beds are burning. So are entire towns, irreplaceable forests and endangered and precious animal species such as the koala. {youtube}                                  Deaths, losses mounting in Australia's disastrous bush fires, 1 of January 2020                                              Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Artic, Siberia What are the linkages between climate change and extreme weather events. The Great Barrier Reef, one of the great wonders of this planet. Subject to the twin assaults of warming-caused bleaching and ocean acidification, it will be gone in a matter of decades in the absence of a dramatic reduction in global carbon emissions. Wildfires Globally. How does a wildfire form? Sometimes, fires occur naturally, ignited by heat from the sun or a lightning strike. However, the majority of wildfires are the result of human carelessness. Causes include arson, campfires, discarding lit cigarettes, not burning debris properly, playing with matches or fireworks. The Blue Mountains, another of Australia’s natural wonders, known for its lush temperate rainforests, majestic cliffs and rock formations and panoramic vistas that challenge any the world has to offer. It too is now threatened by climate change. Wildfires Globally: Australia Gone are the vast expanses of rainforest framed by distant blue-tinged mountain ranges. Instead there are now smoke-filled valleys, with only the faintest ghosts of distant ridges and peaks in the background. The iconic blue tint (which derives from a haze formed from ‘terpenes’ emitted by the Eucalyptus trees that are so plentiful here) was replaced by a brown haze. The blue sky, too, had been replaced by that brown haze. Locals, would volunteer that they have never seen anything like this before. Some even uttered the words ‘climate change’ without any prompting. Wildfires Globally. Does fire reproduce? Fire is a self-sustaining chemical reaction where heat produces flammable gases, which burn and produce more heat. So to answer your question, “Can fire reproduce?”, reproduction is a process by which living creatures perpetuate their species. Fire is not a living thing and therefore does not reproduce The brown skies observed now in the Blue Mountains are a product of human-caused climate change. Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated. Wildfires Globally: Australia, New South Wales In the worst-affected state, New South Wales, fires have burned more than 4 million hectares (9.9m acres) destroying more than 900 houses. Across the country, 12 people have died - including three volunteer firefighters - with most of the casualties in New South Wales. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Current Situation NSW Hot, dry weather combined with prolonged drought and strong winds have created perfect conditions for fire to spread rapidly. Around 100 fires are burning across the state, with up to half as yet uncontained by firefighters and continuing to threaten lives. The fires have been exacerbated by 40C temperatures and strong winds, creating difficult conditions for the 2,500 firefighters deployed in the field. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Source: new South Wales Rural Fire Service. 31-12-2019 The small town of Balmoral, south-west of Sydney, was largely destroyed and scores of homes were razed amid catastrophic conditions on 22 December. In northern NSW large fires are burning in the region between Port Macquarie and Byron Bay. Wildfires Globally: Australia, Balmoral: A VW Beetle on fire In the countryside to the west of Sydney, there are fears that the vast Gospers Mountain fire, which originated in the Wollemi National Park, may merge with the Green Wattle Creek blaze in the lower Blue Mountains. The fire in the Blue Mountains, a world heritage area and popular tourist destination, has burnt over 64,000 hectares, though much of it is now being controlled, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Fire crews in the region took advantage of cooler conditions last week to perform 'back burning', where small areas are deliberately burned to create breaks to stop or slow the main fire. Smoke from bushfires has periodically blown south-eastwards to reach Sydney, causing severe air pollution in Australia's largest city. Further south of Sydney major roads have been closed major roads have been closed at several times during the last week with emergency-level fires spanning a 500km (310 miles) area across New South Wales and the neighbouring state of Victoria. An Australian farmer was forced to shoot 20 of his cows after they were badly injured in the bushfires ravaging the coastal areas of southern New South Wales. Steve Shipton from Coolagolite, between the hard-hit towns of Cobargo and Bermagui, was consoled by neighbouring farmers after the heart-wrenching task of putting down the cattle which had been severely burnt by fires that swept through his property. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Source: new South Wales Rural Fire Service.  To put the fire damage in New South Wales in perspective, 1.8 million hectares burned in the 2018 California wildfires and some 900,000 hectares were lost in the 2019 Amazon fires. Flames up to 70m (230ft) in height have been reported. Wildfires Globally: Australia. The Situation In Other States? In Victoria, the state's Country Fire Authority issued emergency warnings across the region of East Gippsland telling 30,000 people to leave the area before roads became too dangerous. Fires have been burning in the area since late November but the latest warnings for East Gippsland are of bushfire-driven thunderstorms, which would increase the risk of the fires spreading further out of control. In the small town of Mallacoota residents fled to the beach following a warning siren, with only a change in the wind direction keeping the fire from reaching them on the shore. In the state of South Australia, the Cudlee Creek fire is reported to have destroyed more than 80 homes in the Adelaide Hills region. The fires are also thought to have destroyed up to a third of the vines that provide grapes for the Adelaide Hills wine industry. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Are Bushfires Getting Worse? Many Australians are asking that very question and whether these fires are linked to climate change - but the science is complicated. Scientists have long warned that a hotter, drier climate will contribute to fires becoming more frequent and more intense. Australia's deadliest bushfire disaster was 'Black Saturday' in February 2009, when some 180 people died in Victoria. Data shows that Australia has warmed overall by slightly more than one degree Celsius since 1910, with most of the heating occurring since 1950, the Bureau of Meteorology says. Australia is getting warmer Wildfires Globally: Australia. Hottest Day On Record Australia broke its all-time temperature record twice in December. An average maximum of 40.9C was recorded on 17 December, broken a day later by 41.9C, both beating 2013's record of 40.3C. By the end of the month every state had measured temperatures above 40C - including Tasmania. Wildfires Globally: Australia. Maximum temperature 29 December 2019 The main climate driver behind the heat has been a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) - an event where sea surface temperatures are warmer in the western half of the ocean, cooler in the east. The difference between the two temperatures is currently the strongest in 60 years. Wildfires Globally. Are wildfires good? Wildfires, when allowed to burn in areas where they do not impact human development, are regenerative for the forest, revitalizing for the watershed, renew the soil, and reset the clock for the ecosystem. As a researcher on wildfire and streams let me recount the many ways that natural wildfire is beneficial. The Amazon And Indonesia: Intentionally Set Fires The Amazon, though, is a perfect example of a wildfire that was set intentionally. Brazil is looking to expand its presence on the economic world stage, for instance through its growing export of soybeans and cattle. These agricultural products require more land, which can, in the Brazilians’ minds, easily be obtained by ‘borrowing’ it from the rainforest. Recommended:  Brazil Is Burning For Your Beef: Amazon’s Nature, Our Luxury New president Jair Bolsonaro is more focused on the economic gains and is, in doing so, rolling back all kinds of measures that were put in place to protect both the environment as well as the indigenous groups living in the forest. All of this has certainly added to fears of further deforestation, and while numbers of the exact amount of forest that has gone to waste are not yet available, fears are that it will only get worse in years to come. Firefighters at a palm oil plantation in Pekanbaru, Indonesia Southeast Asia is looking at a similar issue. Under pressure to live up to rising demand, more and more agricultural land is ‘forged’ in countries like Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia. Up to 71% of so-called peat forests have gone to waste in the past three decades, making room for farms producing palm oil. This hazardous practice does not only significantly add to global warming, as peat releases some of the most damaging and polluting gases, it also poses a significant risk to those living around it. Although the government has attempted to call a halt to this trend, it has not really had much of an effect yet: as wildfires are back in full force this year. Recommended:  Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers Wildfires Worldwide: The Arctic An area that is new to wildfires is the Arctic, including Alaska, Greenland and Siberia. These areas have not dealt with the issue previously, but are facing the worst effects of global warming thus far - with temperatures rising to record heights and plants and vegetation becoming drier than they have ever been. Combined with the increased likelihood of lightning, it is kind of like throwing a lighted match into a stack of hay.   In total, 180 megatons of carbon dioxide has been emitted as a result from the Arctic wildfires - a massive number that is a multiple of the amount as emitted by entire countries. This is essentially speeding up global warming, the very same thing causing the Arctic to suffer so badly from wildfires and melting glaciers. Wildfires Globally. Why don't trees burn in fires? Trees in fire-prone areas develop thicker bark, in part, because thick bark does not catch fire or burn easily. The species also drops lower branches as the trees grow older, which helps prevent fire from climbing up and burning the green needles higher up the tree. Indigenous leaders call for Arctic cooperation against wildfires California And Africa: The Seasonal Cycle Of Burning One other category of wildfires are those that are expected and - one could say - even needed. The western part of the United States and Africa, to mention just a few, have a seasonal cycle of fires that actually ‘replenish’ the landscape. Take the lodgepole pines, for instance, a staple tree that requires the wildfire heat to release its seeds. In Sub-Saharan Africa, savanna ecosystems are used to their periodical ‘burn’ and will flourish once again not long after the fires have passed. Wildfires Globally: America, California This does, however, not mean that we should stand by and idly watch those wildfires destroy large pieces of land. Often, the root cause will be accidental - like someone dropping a cigarette or a campfire gone wrong. This still sets in motion an event that is potentially dangerous and disastrous to the surrounding area, and that is bound to become even more so in years to come as the direct result of climate change. Research has shown that the Californian wildfires are a staggering 500 percent larger than they would have been without it. They are unnecessarily large, so to speak, endangering both human and animal lives in the process. Wildfires Globally. What plants grow after a fire? Fire-activated Seeds Perhaps the most amazing fire adaptation is that some species actually require fire for their seeds to sprout. Some plants, such as the lodgepole pine, Eucalyptus, and Banksia, have serotinous cones or fruits that are completely sealed with resin. This World Is On Fire While it may feel and look as if our world is quite literally on fire, one should always consider the root cause first. And while some of those huge wildfires that have been raging in the past months have other causes, there are a few that can already be traced back to global warming directly - and all of them can, without a doubt, be considered a major contributor. Funny how it works: global warming-induced wildfires ending up accelerating that very same phenomenon. Although one might wonder if ‘funny’ really is the most appropriate word. Cover photo: Five Australian children were reunited with their parents after their grandparents helped them dramatically escape from blazing bush fires by clinging to a wooden jetty for three hours. Grandfather Tim Holmes alongside his wife and and his daughter's five children had to shelter in the sea to survive the potentially deadly inferno that raged on the shore. Recommended:  Climate Change And Its Effects Like Droughts: The Heat Is On Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about climate change? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Arctic, Siberia
Wildfires Globally: Australia, America, Africa, The Arctic, Siberia
How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing!
Can nature itself be our leading example in solving climate issues? Yes: this artificial leaf might be one of the solutions for global warming. With new and low-cost technology where CO2 is converted into liquid fuel by sunlight, scientists of the University of Waterloo may be able to solve the enormous problem of rising greenhouse levels. A Breakthrough In Converting CO2 Into Liquid Scientists from the University of Waterloo claim that their artificial leaf can be a breakthrough in converting CO2 into liquid. The new technology can turn carbon dioxide into fuel, with Mother Earth as an inspiration. The artificial leaf mimics photosynthesis in nature, hence the invention’s name, ‘leaf’. With the help of a cheap red powder called cuprous oxide, CO2 can be converted into methanol and oxygen – and these substances are again converted into fuel. This cuprous oxide is found in abundance in nature. What is cuprous oxide? Curpous oxide, or red copper oxide or Cu2O, is a red coloured crystal of powder, and oxide of copper - and found in nature as cuprite. Fuel Efficiency Larger Than Natural Photosynthesis Oil buble abstract {youtube}                             Artificial Leaves Designed By Scientists Absorb More CO2 Than Natural Leaves                                                How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing! The inexpensive technology can hopefully help in the fight against rising greenhouse gas levels. The research team of the University of Waterloo's motivation to develop this artificial leaf is to ‘reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas, and hopefully reduce global warming and to provide sustainable energy.’  It seems to be working: lead researcher Yimin Wu said: "This technology has achieved the solar to fuel efficiency about 10 per cent. This is already larger than the natural photosynthesis (about one per cent)." Recommended: Global Cooling Will Kills Us All. No, Wait Global Warming Will Kill Us! What´s Next For The Artificial Leaf? How does photosynthesis work simple? Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and other things make food. It is an endothermic (takes in heat) chemical process that uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into sugars that the cell can use as energy. As well as plants, many kinds of algae, protists and bacteria use it to get food. It could take a while for the artificial leaf to be commercialised. Further research is needed to increase the amount of ethanol during the process before the technology is offered to industrial companies. In a partnership with industry companies, more efficient artificial leaves can be developed – but this can take up to a few years. Professor Wu says that oil, steel, and automotive companies will take advantage of the technology to help reduce their carbon emissions. On that note, he tells Independent: “I’m extremely excited about the potential of this discovery to change the game. Climate change is an urgent problem, and we can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions while also creating an alternative fuel.” Lead researcher Yimin Wu Before you go! Recommended:  Breaking: Did You Know, All You Read About CO2 Rise Is Half The Truth Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about CO2 Absorbing Techniques? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Can nature itself be our leading example in solving climate issues? Yes: this artificial leaf might be one of the solutions for global warming. With new and low-cost technology where CO2 is converted into liquid fuel by sunlight, scientists of the University of Waterloo may be able to solve the enormous problem of rising greenhouse levels. A Breakthrough In Converting CO2 Into Liquid Scientists from the University of Waterloo claim that their artificial leaf can be a breakthrough in converting CO2 into liquid. The new technology can turn carbon dioxide into fuel, with Mother Earth as an inspiration. The artificial leaf mimics photosynthesis in nature, hence the invention’s name, ‘leaf’. With the help of a cheap red powder called cuprous oxide, CO2 can be converted into methanol and oxygen – and these substances are again converted into fuel. This cuprous oxide is found in abundance in nature. What is cuprous oxide? Curpous oxide, or red copper oxide or Cu2O, is a red coloured crystal of powder, and oxide of copper - and found in nature as cuprite. Fuel Efficiency Larger Than Natural Photosynthesis Oil buble abstract {youtube}                             Artificial Leaves Designed By Scientists Absorb More CO2 Than Natural Leaves                                                How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing! The inexpensive technology can hopefully help in the fight against rising greenhouse gas levels. The research team of the University of Waterloo's motivation to develop this artificial leaf is to ‘reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas, and hopefully reduce global warming and to provide sustainable energy.’  It seems to be working: lead researcher Yimin Wu said: "This technology has achieved the solar to fuel efficiency about 10 per cent. This is already larger than the natural photosynthesis (about one per cent)." Recommended: Global Cooling Will Kills Us All. No, Wait Global Warming Will Kill Us! What´s Next For The Artificial Leaf? How does photosynthesis work simple? Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and other things make food. It is an endothermic (takes in heat) chemical process that uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into sugars that the cell can use as energy. As well as plants, many kinds of algae, protists and bacteria use it to get food. It could take a while for the artificial leaf to be commercialised. Further research is needed to increase the amount of ethanol during the process before the technology is offered to industrial companies. In a partnership with industry companies, more efficient artificial leaves can be developed – but this can take up to a few years. Professor Wu says that oil, steel, and automotive companies will take advantage of the technology to help reduce their carbon emissions. On that note, he tells Independent: “I’m extremely excited about the potential of this discovery to change the game. Climate change is an urgent problem, and we can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions while also creating an alternative fuel.” Lead researcher Yimin Wu Before you go! Recommended:  Breaking: Did You Know, All You Read About CO2 Rise Is Half The Truth Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about CO2 Absorbing Techniques? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing!
How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing!
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Ski Resorts Water Use How do ski resorts make fake snow? Snowmaking is the production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a "snow gun," also known as a "snow cannon." Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. The production of snow requires low temperatures. The threshold temperature for snowmaking increases as humidity decreases. One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Are there chemicals in artificial snow? There are two main kinds of artificial snow: powders and spray-on aerosols. The powders that turn into artificial snow flakes when mixed with water are sometimes called instant snow. The mixture is almost entirely water (99%), but a very small amount is made out of a non-toxic polymer. {youtube}                                       Behind the Scenes - How Snowmaking at Ski Resorts Works                                       Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts Recommended:  COP25: Can Paris Accord Signatories Beat The Fossil Industry Skiers Wildlife  Disturbance How bad is skiing for the environment? The impact of skiing in mountainous environments is negative as trees need to be cut down to make way for the skiers and ski lifts. Not only is the lack of trees affecting the environment, but it is also affecting the animals that live in the trees. It can be said that skiing is bad for the environment in this sense. Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Photo by: Mike Lane. Two Black Grouse fighting Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Ski Trails Land Use Change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Recommended:  Deforestation: No! Celebrate National Tree Day With WhatsOrb Fossil Fuel Energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. Recommended:  Carbon-Negative Fuel Set: Burning The World To A Better Place A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What did they use for snow in old movies? And it wasn't the only film set to use asbestos in the 1930s. Over the years, filmmakers have used a number of other substances to create the illusion of snow: marble dust in Dr. Zhivago (1965), salt and flour in Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925) and plain old salt in 1978's Superman. The Wizard of Oz, where asbestos was used to make 'fake snow'  Initiatives You Can Take Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your wintersport experience? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Ski Resorts Water Use How do ski resorts make fake snow? Snowmaking is the production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a "snow gun," also known as a "snow cannon." Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. The production of snow requires low temperatures. The threshold temperature for snowmaking increases as humidity decreases. One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Are there chemicals in artificial snow? There are two main kinds of artificial snow: powders and spray-on aerosols. The powders that turn into artificial snow flakes when mixed with water are sometimes called instant snow. The mixture is almost entirely water (99%), but a very small amount is made out of a non-toxic polymer. {youtube}                                       Behind the Scenes - How Snowmaking at Ski Resorts Works                                       Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts Recommended:  COP25: Can Paris Accord Signatories Beat The Fossil Industry Skiers Wildlife  Disturbance How bad is skiing for the environment? The impact of skiing in mountainous environments is negative as trees need to be cut down to make way for the skiers and ski lifts. Not only is the lack of trees affecting the environment, but it is also affecting the animals that live in the trees. It can be said that skiing is bad for the environment in this sense. Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Photo by: Mike Lane. Two Black Grouse fighting Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Ski Trails Land Use Change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Recommended:  Deforestation: No! Celebrate National Tree Day With WhatsOrb Fossil Fuel Energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. Recommended:  Carbon-Negative Fuel Set: Burning The World To A Better Place A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What did they use for snow in old movies? And it wasn't the only film set to use asbestos in the 1930s. Over the years, filmmakers have used a number of other substances to create the illusion of snow: marble dust in Dr. Zhivago (1965), salt and flour in Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925) and plain old salt in 1978's Superman. The Wizard of Oz, where asbestos was used to make 'fake snow'  Initiatives You Can Take Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your wintersport experience? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Is Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate And The Paris Accord?
Greta Thunberg was recently named Time’s Person of the Year, beating famed nominees like Donald Trump, Keanu Reeves, Meghan Markle and Mark Zuckerberg in the process. It is hardly surprising, considering the past year. Climate activism has become a new buzzword, with Greta as the shiny poster girl. With her Scandinavian appeal and her no-nonsense attitude, she has managed to give a voice to a large group of youngsters.   Our Climate And The UN Climate Change Conference Neoliberalism is protested against by a group that is angry as the world that they still have to grow up in is destroyed by older generations. And they are not alone. Protests against neoliberalism serve to increasingly question the validity of governmental measures that have had such a dire impact on all kinds of social programs, including action on climate change. Recommended:  Who’s Greta Thunberg’s Rival On Climate Facts, Naomi Seibt? Hong Kong, La Paz, Paris, Port-Au-Prince, Quito, Barcelona, Beirut and Santiago. Just a number of cities that have experienced uproar and growing unrest amongst new governmental policies. People are taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction and anger, calling out to those in charge.   Whether they are protesting rising fuel prices, extradition of criminals, corrupt politicians or tax increases - it all comes down to the same thing: the system of neoliberalism crumbling and falling apart at the seams.   Neoliberalism, what is the concept? Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. As such, neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including democracy. Only last week, 25,000 people attended the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, or COP25, in Madrid. Originally, this conference was to be held in Santiago, Chile. Yet in an unprecedented move, the city was overtaken by huge numbers of angry citizens, protesting a simple increase in their transport rates.   Recommended:  COP25: Can Paris Accord Signatories Beat The Fossil Industry If one million angry Chileans protesting a price increase of their train ticket does not alarm you, very few things might. Fact is, these mass demonstrations are just another illustration of how fed up the world is with neoliberalism’s failings. This includes the proactive avoidance of real action meant to cut down CO2 emissions. Politicians are more concerned with their own agenda than with saving the world. Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate: Permafrost ‘Tells’ The Story {youtube}                                              Neoliberalism: The story of a big economic bust up | BBC Ideas                                                 Is Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate And The Paris Accord? Neoliberalism has been hurting our planet for quite some time. Just look at the Arctic, one of the most important elements of the earth’s climate system. Before, the Arctic served as a carbon sink, taking out more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it put in. It basically acted like the lungs of the world, taking out the pollution and ‘clearing’ the air. Which country is the biggest polluter? The top 8 nations with the highest CO2 emissions are: China United States European Union India Russia Japan Germany South Korea Just recently, under the pressure of neoliberal measures and failures to act, it appears that the Arctic has become a chainsmoker. Instead of serving as a carbon sink, it is now rapidly becoming a carbon source. The net emissions are greater than the net absorptions, meaning that the Arctic will start to add to climate change instead of possibly relieving it. This shift represents a drastic turn for the worse in our earth’s climate system. Looking at our paleo climate history, this seems to ring in the end of a climate era. Permafrost research has confirmed that the region as a whole appears to move away from being a carbon sink to being a carbon source - a prelude to drastic climate changes and, indeed, a move away from life as we know it. Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate: Inequality Neoliberalism is causing inequality One possible explanation for the rise in income inequality is the emergence of neoliberalism: the implementation of policies meant to privatize the economy. However, neoliberalism increases income inequality by rewarding those who are already wealthy, while providing fewer nets for poorer populations to fall back on. While climate change is rapidly moving to the point of no return, inequality is growing. Not just income inequality, or wealth inequality - although this has certainly spurred many people to take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction. Those who ‘have’ are hesitant to change the status quo, afraid of losing their ‘haves’, while those who ‘don’t have’ are becoming more and more upset. Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation Neoliberalism has deregulating economies. In an effort to grow economies, the economic world stage has spent the past few decades deregulating industries. This has only served to increase inequality, with employers reaping the benefits from workers fighting for a place to work and, hence, forfeiting any illusion of a seat at the negotiation table. The working class is barely protected and left largely to their own devices. Neoliberalism's Failure And The Climate Crisis It is not just the worker’s position in the workplace that is being threatened. Their home environment is threatened in a similar fashion, with climate change standing on the doorstep. It is ironic that those who had the least to do with it will be hit the hardest, unable to afford the literal higher ground or protective measures.   Inequality in a global warming stricken world: it appears to be the imminent future. The climate crisis will hit all of us, unless drastic action is taken today. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that drastic action is not one of the strong suits of neoliberal politicians. Their doubt and indecisiveness have already led to all of those protesters going out to express their anger. Will we let it lead to the destruction of our planet as well? The answer should be no. This means that, if we are to combat climate change, we might have to look at the larger picture. Find a way of kicking neoliberalism to the curb and find a way of governing countries that is more in tune with today’s needs. In a way that will, eventually, protect workers’ rights and solve this climate change crisis.   All of these protests that the world has seen in the past year are nothing if not indicative of one thing: the masses seem to realise that ‘politics as it was’ does not work anymore. Now it is up to us to find an alternative. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the effect of climate change in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Greta Thunberg was recently named Time’s Person of the Year, beating famed nominees like Donald Trump, Keanu Reeves, Meghan Markle and Mark Zuckerberg in the process. It is hardly surprising, considering the past year. Climate activism has become a new buzzword, with Greta as the shiny poster girl. With her Scandinavian appeal and her no-nonsense attitude, she has managed to give a voice to a large group of youngsters.   Our Climate And The UN Climate Change Conference Neoliberalism is protested against by a group that is angry as the world that they still have to grow up in is destroyed by older generations. And they are not alone. Protests against neoliberalism serve to increasingly question the validity of governmental measures that have had such a dire impact on all kinds of social programs, including action on climate change. Recommended:  Who’s Greta Thunberg’s Rival On Climate Facts, Naomi Seibt? Hong Kong, La Paz, Paris, Port-Au-Prince, Quito, Barcelona, Beirut and Santiago. Just a number of cities that have experienced uproar and growing unrest amongst new governmental policies. People are taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction and anger, calling out to those in charge.   Whether they are protesting rising fuel prices, extradition of criminals, corrupt politicians or tax increases - it all comes down to the same thing: the system of neoliberalism crumbling and falling apart at the seams.   Neoliberalism, what is the concept? Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. As such, neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including democracy. Only last week, 25,000 people attended the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, or COP25, in Madrid. Originally, this conference was to be held in Santiago, Chile. Yet in an unprecedented move, the city was overtaken by huge numbers of angry citizens, protesting a simple increase in their transport rates.   Recommended:  COP25: Can Paris Accord Signatories Beat The Fossil Industry If one million angry Chileans protesting a price increase of their train ticket does not alarm you, very few things might. Fact is, these mass demonstrations are just another illustration of how fed up the world is with neoliberalism’s failings. This includes the proactive avoidance of real action meant to cut down CO2 emissions. Politicians are more concerned with their own agenda than with saving the world. Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate: Permafrost ‘Tells’ The Story {youtube}                                              Neoliberalism: The story of a big economic bust up | BBC Ideas                                                 Is Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate And The Paris Accord? Neoliberalism has been hurting our planet for quite some time. Just look at the Arctic, one of the most important elements of the earth’s climate system. Before, the Arctic served as a carbon sink, taking out more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it put in. It basically acted like the lungs of the world, taking out the pollution and ‘clearing’ the air. Which country is the biggest polluter? The top 8 nations with the highest CO2 emissions are: China United States European Union India Russia Japan Germany South Korea Just recently, under the pressure of neoliberal measures and failures to act, it appears that the Arctic has become a chainsmoker. Instead of serving as a carbon sink, it is now rapidly becoming a carbon source. The net emissions are greater than the net absorptions, meaning that the Arctic will start to add to climate change instead of possibly relieving it. This shift represents a drastic turn for the worse in our earth’s climate system. Looking at our paleo climate history, this seems to ring in the end of a climate era. Permafrost research has confirmed that the region as a whole appears to move away from being a carbon sink to being a carbon source - a prelude to drastic climate changes and, indeed, a move away from life as we know it. Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate: Inequality Neoliberalism is causing inequality One possible explanation for the rise in income inequality is the emergence of neoliberalism: the implementation of policies meant to privatize the economy. However, neoliberalism increases income inequality by rewarding those who are already wealthy, while providing fewer nets for poorer populations to fall back on. While climate change is rapidly moving to the point of no return, inequality is growing. Not just income inequality, or wealth inequality - although this has certainly spurred many people to take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction. Those who ‘have’ are hesitant to change the status quo, afraid of losing their ‘haves’, while those who ‘don’t have’ are becoming more and more upset. Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation Neoliberalism has deregulating economies. In an effort to grow economies, the economic world stage has spent the past few decades deregulating industries. This has only served to increase inequality, with employers reaping the benefits from workers fighting for a place to work and, hence, forfeiting any illusion of a seat at the negotiation table. The working class is barely protected and left largely to their own devices. Neoliberalism's Failure And The Climate Crisis It is not just the worker’s position in the workplace that is being threatened. Their home environment is threatened in a similar fashion, with climate change standing on the doorstep. It is ironic that those who had the least to do with it will be hit the hardest, unable to afford the literal higher ground or protective measures.   Inequality in a global warming stricken world: it appears to be the imminent future. The climate crisis will hit all of us, unless drastic action is taken today. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that drastic action is not one of the strong suits of neoliberal politicians. Their doubt and indecisiveness have already led to all of those protesters going out to express their anger. Will we let it lead to the destruction of our planet as well? The answer should be no. This means that, if we are to combat climate change, we might have to look at the larger picture. Find a way of kicking neoliberalism to the curb and find a way of governing countries that is more in tune with today’s needs. In a way that will, eventually, protect workers’ rights and solve this climate change crisis.   All of these protests that the world has seen in the past year are nothing if not indicative of one thing: the masses seem to realise that ‘politics as it was’ does not work anymore. Now it is up to us to find an alternative. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the effect of climate change in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Is Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate And The Paris Accord?
Is Neoliberalism Hurting Our Climate And The Paris Accord?
Fragile Earth
With the event of satellites the marvel that is the view of our planet seen from space has gained almost universal notoriety, so that today we are inured to its beauty and oblivious to its fragility. The Earth's atmosphere is a thin veneer and all that protects and suports life. Fragile Earth: The Tenuous Nature Of The Existence Of Life Nothing brings home the tenuous nature of the existence of life on Earth like the full view of its atmosphere, in profile, that so starkly illustrates the flimsy capsule of gases that is the only barrier between us and the absolute void of space. Trees, grasslands, wetlands, oceans, all play some role in this awe-inspiring whole, yet each depends on such a gossamer web of bacteria, fungi, humus, tendrils of fine roots seeking out moisture, retaining particles of soil, clinging to existence. Photosynthesis, respiration, evapotranspiration, feeding on soil, light, air and water, transforming them into the very fibre of our living Earth. First Life On Our Fragile Earth Yet today countless industries and those employed by them, recklessly and relentlessly hack away at the very composition of that capsule, threatening its stability, due not to some intrinsic function of the planet, but to this network of ephemeral life that has evolved to maintain it. {youtube}                                                             Origin of Life - How Life Started on Earth                                                                                      Fragile Life August minds have examined the probability of life appearing spontaneously on any one planet, and all agree that certain prerequisites must exist for this to happen. The planet must not be too hot or too cold, too dry or to wet, exposed to powerful, destructive radiation and shielded from cosmic rays. Recommended:  New Equation Tallies Odds of Life Beginning The question of whether the creation of the first molecules could have happened by chance, as a result of random chemical and electrochemical reactions, or whether intelligent design is the prerequisite for the momentous – if microscopic – events, is the subject of much debate and sometimes ac rimonious arguments. But the fact remains that we have in the Earth’s life-sustaining biosphere a veritable micracle, of probabilities, if not of actual creation. This begs a question: with the likelihood that the unique and prerequisite conditions may never be repeated, how dare the human race, that has benefited of the products of this wondrous chasin of improbabilities, pillage and plunder this planet, and taking its every life form onto a path to extinction? Project Mass Distraction Versus The Fragile Earth Those who, like me, were born in the 1950s, were indoctrinated into the tacit acceptance of our 'progress' and the inalienable right of Man to not only dominate, but also take what it will from the world and indeed the universe. No-one taught us, as chlidren, that we belong to the whole, not the whole to us. And yet by the 1960s-70s many of us had reached that conclusion, and rebelled against materialism, exploitation, appropriation, colonialism and all the other forms of predation that, pieced together, amount to parasitism! It took sex and drugs and rock’n roll, the entertainment industry and much societal distraction – from music, to movies, tourism, television and computer games – to distract our and our children’s generations, and the entertainment industry grew rich on 'project mass distraction'. But the inevitability of outcomes, of physics, biology, ecology, hydrology, and their effect on climatology, spells the end of the great age of waste, leaving us to face the age of endings. Fragile Earth's Destruction So we can expect an end to free water for all, even as the likes of Nestlè, Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola suck our artesian basins dry for profit, leaving human communities and wildlife to die of thirst. Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation We can say goodbye to the endless fields of golden wheat, swaying in the breeze, as the land dries to a dustbowl, leaving only shrivelled husks and the bleached bones of cattle, in the vanishing pastures. When the last of the forests has gone, then what shall we humans do? What good will the oil reserves the rich will have amassed be, when we cannot grow food or find water to drink? And when those great forests that produced our oxygen have gone, when the algae of the oceans have died, that also contributed to our oxygenated atmosphere, in the acidic seas of our making, what will the technology of our mad genious avail us? Recommended:  Breaking: Did You Know, All You Read About CO2 Rise Is Half The Truth Genesis Again? Underground habitats, where the Elite will hide, like rats in burrows? Or a mass exodus for a planet not all that dissimilar from our dead Planet Earth? Or is the expectation that, once 90% of humanity has died off, the remaining 10% will terraform the Earth again, and restart the clock on a new Genesis? Will the elite hide, like rats in burrows? Those who may so believe are deluded, because the clock will no longer be, extinction is forever, and when microbial life is gone from the soils, when all the fungi have dried to dust, no tinkering on the edges, no “seeding” of the seas will restart it. And so the time for sulutions is now! A combination of technology shifts, linked to a corresponding effort to support the natural ecosphere, are the dual action that could yead faster results. The key shopping list of actions that many around the world advocate is not long, but it can work, and fast! shift to electric transport preferably by converting existing vehicles*, to reduce impacts introduce measures to reduce and combat ocean acidification , and protect reefs from this threat increase afforestation and pay Countries to NOT fell trees or develop their mature forested regions curb activities that affect wetlands and protect them, globally * See my other poste, here on WhatsOrb Not Just Climate Impacts But Global Uprisings Our children and their children have been raised in a world of unprecedented wealth of information of every kind, and they are gorwing up with the science that daily reveals new threats created by the previous generations. And so Extinction Rebellion, Fridays For the Future, and other Climate activists the world over are coming to understand their precvarious position, and how it is they who will pick up the tab for our inaction. It would behove us to pay attention, because today’s Activists, working in the hope that they can save their world, will be our judges and juries, when they realise that all hope is dead! Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your experience with the environment in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
With the event of satellites the marvel that is the view of our planet seen from space has gained almost universal notoriety, so that today we are inured to its beauty and oblivious to its fragility. The Earth's atmosphere is a thin veneer and all that protects and suports life. Fragile Earth: The Tenuous Nature Of The Existence Of Life Nothing brings home the tenuous nature of the existence of life on Earth like the full view of its atmosphere, in profile, that so starkly illustrates the flimsy capsule of gases that is the only barrier between us and the absolute void of space. Trees, grasslands, wetlands, oceans, all play some role in this awe-inspiring whole, yet each depends on such a gossamer web of bacteria, fungi, humus, tendrils of fine roots seeking out moisture, retaining particles of soil, clinging to existence. Photosynthesis, respiration, evapotranspiration, feeding on soil, light, air and water, transforming them into the very fibre of our living Earth. First Life On Our Fragile Earth Yet today countless industries and those employed by them, recklessly and relentlessly hack away at the very composition of that capsule, threatening its stability, due not to some intrinsic function of the planet, but to this network of ephemeral life that has evolved to maintain it. {youtube}                                                             Origin of Life - How Life Started on Earth                                                                                      Fragile Life August minds have examined the probability of life appearing spontaneously on any one planet, and all agree that certain prerequisites must exist for this to happen. The planet must not be too hot or too cold, too dry or to wet, exposed to powerful, destructive radiation and shielded from cosmic rays. Recommended:  New Equation Tallies Odds of Life Beginning The question of whether the creation of the first molecules could have happened by chance, as a result of random chemical and electrochemical reactions, or whether intelligent design is the prerequisite for the momentous – if microscopic – events, is the subject of much debate and sometimes ac rimonious arguments. But the fact remains that we have in the Earth’s life-sustaining biosphere a veritable micracle, of probabilities, if not of actual creation. This begs a question: with the likelihood that the unique and prerequisite conditions may never be repeated, how dare the human race, that has benefited of the products of this wondrous chasin of improbabilities, pillage and plunder this planet, and taking its every life form onto a path to extinction? Project Mass Distraction Versus The Fragile Earth Those who, like me, were born in the 1950s, were indoctrinated into the tacit acceptance of our 'progress' and the inalienable right of Man to not only dominate, but also take what it will from the world and indeed the universe. No-one taught us, as chlidren, that we belong to the whole, not the whole to us. And yet by the 1960s-70s many of us had reached that conclusion, and rebelled against materialism, exploitation, appropriation, colonialism and all the other forms of predation that, pieced together, amount to parasitism! It took sex and drugs and rock’n roll, the entertainment industry and much societal distraction – from music, to movies, tourism, television and computer games – to distract our and our children’s generations, and the entertainment industry grew rich on 'project mass distraction'. But the inevitability of outcomes, of physics, biology, ecology, hydrology, and their effect on climatology, spells the end of the great age of waste, leaving us to face the age of endings. Fragile Earth's Destruction So we can expect an end to free water for all, even as the likes of Nestlè, Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola suck our artesian basins dry for profit, leaving human communities and wildlife to die of thirst. Recommended:  Consumerism In ‘The West’: A Society Built On Exploitation We can say goodbye to the endless fields of golden wheat, swaying in the breeze, as the land dries to a dustbowl, leaving only shrivelled husks and the bleached bones of cattle, in the vanishing pastures. When the last of the forests has gone, then what shall we humans do? What good will the oil reserves the rich will have amassed be, when we cannot grow food or find water to drink? And when those great forests that produced our oxygen have gone, when the algae of the oceans have died, that also contributed to our oxygenated atmosphere, in the acidic seas of our making, what will the technology of our mad genious avail us? Recommended:  Breaking: Did You Know, All You Read About CO2 Rise Is Half The Truth Genesis Again? Underground habitats, where the Elite will hide, like rats in burrows? Or a mass exodus for a planet not all that dissimilar from our dead Planet Earth? Or is the expectation that, once 90% of humanity has died off, the remaining 10% will terraform the Earth again, and restart the clock on a new Genesis? Will the elite hide, like rats in burrows? Those who may so believe are deluded, because the clock will no longer be, extinction is forever, and when microbial life is gone from the soils, when all the fungi have dried to dust, no tinkering on the edges, no “seeding” of the seas will restart it. And so the time for sulutions is now! A combination of technology shifts, linked to a corresponding effort to support the natural ecosphere, are the dual action that could yead faster results. The key shopping list of actions that many around the world advocate is not long, but it can work, and fast! shift to electric transport preferably by converting existing vehicles*, to reduce impacts introduce measures to reduce and combat ocean acidification , and protect reefs from this threat increase afforestation and pay Countries to NOT fell trees or develop their mature forested regions curb activities that affect wetlands and protect them, globally * See my other poste, here on WhatsOrb Not Just Climate Impacts But Global Uprisings Our children and their children have been raised in a world of unprecedented wealth of information of every kind, and they are gorwing up with the science that daily reveals new threats created by the previous generations. And so Extinction Rebellion, Fridays For the Future, and other Climate activists the world over are coming to understand their precvarious position, and how it is they who will pick up the tab for our inaction. It would behove us to pay attention, because today’s Activists, working in the hope that they can save their world, will be our judges and juries, when they realise that all hope is dead! Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about your experience with the environment in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Fragile Earth
Climate

Climate change! Currently, the most discussed topic in the world. Climate change occurs when changes in Earth's climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, and maybe for millions of years. Climate change can also result from ‘external forcing’ and include changes in solar output and volcanism.

Human activities can also influence our climate. Debates, posts and answers on (social) platforms about the role of humanity in the climate change process regularly lead to heated discussions

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