As someone who studys history, it is very aparent, especially around the 14th to 18th centuries, that climate change is always a factor in how societies, cultures, and mankinds well being, are determind and affected. It has always shaped our lives, some, however are saying that this year maybe the year in which future historians look back and see some of the most significant changes in climate at the highest frequency.
Within the last few months the world has been hit with many events that can only be asumed are caused by the ever worsening climate change. Events such as record heat waves, water shortages, massive wild fires, rainforests catching fire and people dying from heat waves, are just some of the massive changes that have occurred this year.
Unforunately, along with all of these devastating events comes more bad news. We all remember James Hansen, the man who in 1988 shocked the world with the realities of climate. Recently, he and his team have determinded that sea levels are actually rising 10 times faster then they had originally predicted and that by the year 2065 sea levels will have raised by 10 feet.
The fact that this a reality could mean huge social and economic issues for our planet. Migration would become a huge factor with the sea levels rising and Hansen even says that the planet could become unmanagble if this is the case. His prediction: if emissions aren’t cut, this will be a reality.
Hansen also brings up the reality of how unpredictable the climate is at the same time. Ocean temperatures are rising at an alarming rate but in some cases the colder areas where the ice is rapidly melting, the temperatures are actually cooling which results in the currents slowing down and causing weather patterns to go crazy.
This would cause major problems for the United States and Europe. Both draw some of their energy from the oceans and if one particular spot is cooling while the rest have rising temperatures, it would mean that the sea level would rise even faster and would cause even worse storm activity in these areas.
These changes in the climate and sea temperatures don’t just effect humans, it’s having a huge impact on the marine life as well. The warmer temperatures are forcing smaller sea creatures such as krill into the cooler areas closer to shore which is attracting some of the bigger marine life such as whales to come closer to shore.
Walruses too have been seen in lager quantities on beaches such as the one in Alaska where 35,000 gathered together. As amazing as a spectacle as it is for humans to see so many at once, it’s harder on the animals than we realize. These creatures no longer have the ice they favour to stay on so they are coming on shore in large hoards to rest.
Marine life are adapting to the warming water by moving farther north to keep up with the cool waters but it is becoming harder for them to reach the habitats they need.
These predictions and realities are a scary thing to think about. Not just for the changing lives of these animals but for how it will eventually effect our own lives in time. Perhaps it is time to take a stand and finally face the “inconvinient truth”.