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Why This Matters: Some of the Earth’s major circulatory systems are being altered by climate change, and now we can prove it.
The changes to weather and to the distribution of species on land and in the ocean could be devastating.
For example, the ocean currents study suggests these shifts will squeeze commercially important fisheries, especially in the Pacific Ocean because they are trapped with no more “room” to migrate north, and will also make sea-level rise much worse.
And warmer weather may seem like a nice thing, but it also brings with it diseases such as mosquito-borne West Nile Virus, dengue, and Zika, as well as tick-borne Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis.
As Inside Climate News explains, there are “[e]ight major wind-driven ocean currents, known as gyres, circulate around vast areas of the ocean” and “these rotating currents shape the weather and ocean ecosystems in coastal regions such as the Gulf Stream along the U.S. East Coast. It is hard to detect the movement of these gyres, but now with 40 years of satellite data, it is possible to see the changes. And the study’s lead author warns that there is no reason to believe that the changes will slow down or stop in the years ahead. “As long as the global temperature keeps increasing, this movement of the currents cannot really stop, because the climate is not in equilibrium with CO2 levels. In our lifetime, I don’t think it will stop,” the author said.
Warmer Weather May Explain Tennessee Tornado
Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle used to be famous as tornado alley, but now those storms seem to have shifted east in what is now called “Dixie Alley” — the large number of tornadoes in the southeastern U.S. is associated with above-average tornado counts for the United States according to one NOAA research scientist. Just this year, In January, there was a rash of 90 tornadoes, 82 of which occurred over the two days of Jan. 10 and 11. According to NOAA, those tornadoes were the result of a strong, spring-like storm weather system that brought heavy rain, and also damaging winds to numerous states across the south and southeast, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. And the lastest tornado outbreak in Tennessee fits this pattern as well.
According to a new analysis by Stanford University, climate change has doubled the number of extreme-risk days for California wildfires. As Scientific American explained that researchers found that temperatures rose about 1.8° F statewide while precipitation dropped 30% since 1980. That doubled the number of autumn days—when fire risk is highest—with extreme conditions for the ignition […]
A recently-published study in Science Advances found that climate change predictions that relied only on historical data underestimated by about half the actual number of extremely hot days in Europe and East Asia, and the number of extremely wet days in the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. This paper illustrates how even small increases in global […]
Among the sea of online posts, hashtags like #ClimateStrikeOnline, and #FridaysForFuture continually pop up to show hundreds of videos and photos where people are coming together to protest in a new way.
Why This Matters: This new form of climate protest being taken on during the global pandemic is quickly becoming a part of our new reality due to a crisis caused by our unsustainable practices.