Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pollution



You have no doubt heard Mother Earth is in serious trouble. Actually, it is life as we know it that is in big trouble, as Mother Earth will surely clean up our mess in due time. We are gravely concerned, so hope to inform others of the great dangers we face. Due to the reality of feedback loops inherent in the environment that will multiply the problems and are near or past their tipping points we must act quickly if we and our descendants are to thrive, or even survive. The following is general information on climate change and links to news articles culled from various sources that highlight the urgency of the threats. Read one or all, but please look with compassion and forgiveness on our shared plight.


Fast Facts on Global Warming/Climate Change
The industrial age started in 1750. Glacier retreat was first noted in the early 1800's. An increase of 2000 billion tons of CO2 have been added to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide is up 36%, since 1750. 3/4 from burning fossil fuels: 43% from coal, 34% oil, 18% natural gas. Methane also up 148% since 1750. Positive feedback loops make it much worse due to ice, cloud, tundra loss, and CO2 and methane gains.

The "global ocean conveyor belt" (see thermohaline circulation) will eventually fail to circulate ocean water and cause major cooling  in the North Atlantic, North America, and Europe, and likely causing ice ages in some areas. This would also cause the oceans to become stagnant and loose vital oxygen levels due to lack of circulation and cause major extinction events.

Co2 passed 400 parts per million in May of 2013. The last time it was this high was 4.5 million years ago and the oceans were 50-85 feet higher as a result. It may go to 540-970 ppm by 2100. 30-40% of the carbon dioxide has been soaked up by the oceans but that causes ocean warming and creates carbonic acid so crustaceans can't make shells and corals reefs bleach and die. 

Warming since the 1950's is unprecedented over thousands of years. Global temps are expected to rise 3.1-8.6 by 2100 and cause rising seas, floods and changing rain and snow patterns, expanding deserts, extreme weather, heat waves, extinctions, crop failures, and droughts. Climate "inertia" slows change but is persistent for better or worse lasting tens of thousands of years. 16 of 17 warmest years have occurred since 2000. 

2016 was the warmest ever. The last 39 years have consecutively been above average. Greenhouse gases, cloud cover, and other factors also effect temps. Global warming was first discovered in 1950 and first noted in print in 1952. In 1986 and 87 NASA scientists went before congress so the term was widely adopted and awareness was raised significantly. One fifth of plants face Extinction. They are the lungs of the earth providing a huge carbon sink.
Arctic temps rise twice as fast. The West Antarctic is melting fast due to warm ocean water below. If it melts it will add 10 foot ocean rise. If Greenland melts it will also be 10 feet, but if the East Antarctic melts it will add 200 feet to the oceans. Warmer oceans put more water vapor into the atmosphere creating killer waves and storms. 

Of the 500 reefs coral reefs in the Northern Great Barrier Reef only four show no signs of bleaching. Most have severe bleaching. The arctic ice cap used to be solid but is now fractured and vulnerable. It is in crisis and also affects weather around the globe. Deep sea life diversity is highly susceptible due to acidification and low oxygen. Current ocean warming is unprecedented in human history.

Fifty four percent of people worldwide consider warming a very serious problem but the Chinese and Americans who are the worst offenders and are concerned the least. Climate change causes extreme storms, heat waves,  fires, ocean acidification, wind storms, hurricanes, coral death, droughts, and mass extinctions. Donald Trump and much of the Republican party consider human driven climate change to be over rated or a hoax (as of 1/17)
 
Starting with clouds, oceans, and aquifers: 
New NASA data shows how the world is running out of water

Next The story of ice:

Marine and land life:

California news: 

And lastly climate change overall:
 
You may (and please do) further research any of these subjects on the internet through Google, Wikipedia, etc. Personally the problems became up close and personal on a trip to the high sierra mountains in 2016. The sight of thousands of trees, and many of them that were young and healthy that had turned a deathly yellow/orange was devastating.

A live one man show in Yosemite featuring a spot on manifestation of the spirit of John Muir cemented the urgency into place. If he were here he would be pounding on the doors of capital hill and every heart and mind willing to listen to save the gentle giants that are the trees and in so doing save ourselves.

Time is short. You might say the bomb has already gone off, and our job now is to limit the damage as the shock waves roll across the world. We like to say climate change is our first priority at Cowboy Dharma, but it is the climate of fear and denial we personally have that is first and foremost in need of attention. We must break through to the best part of us and others that we may come together in hope, help and healing to save life as we know it.

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