the temperature in the Arctic once rose above 0 °C, which was nearly 30 °C higher than the normal temperature in winter in the past, and was approaching the high temperature in midsummer.
Citing satellite data, NASA said that El Niño in 2016 was more severe than expected and could reach the intensity of 1997 and 1998, the highest on record, and affect atmospheric circulation, weather patterns and Arctic temperatures. cause an impact.
In December 2015, the chairman of the Paris Climate Change Conference (the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference) and French Foreign Minister Fabius announced that the final text of the conference was unanimously approved by nearly 200 participating countries around the world, and a new global climate agreement was reached. Make arrangements for global action on climate change after 2020. In the face of many crises in nature, what kind of answer will the Paris Climate Change Conference, which is regarded as “the last chance to save the destiny of mankind”, give us?
For many, global warming is still an abstract concept. We’re not feeling a significant rise in temperatures, but carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing, and if we don’t take action, it will continue to increase. The steady state of each system has its critical point. A little pressure, such as a slight rise in temperature, may not have a big impact, but a continuous shock will cause the system to collapse, which is called a detonation trend. In fact, some phenomena happening around us also seem to confirm the harm caused by climate warming.
The reindeer herd is dying
Due to global warming, about 25% of the amphibians and reptiles in the United States will be at risk of extinction, and the bamboo species, the favorite species of giant pandas in Southeast Asia, will be greatly reduced, which will greatly threaten their food sources; due to rising water temperatures, Freshwater crocodiles will deliberately reduce the frequency of long-term diving and reduce the awareness of natural predators necessary for reptiles; if the momentum of global warming is not curbed, the rare species of mountain cuscus in southeastern Australia will become extinct by 2020 ; The continuous melting of Antarctic glaciers will cause the number of emperor penguins in Adele Land, Antarctica, to drop sharply from 3,000 to 500-600 around 2100; warming will allow bacteria and viruses to invade the Arctic, but polar bears have nothing to compete with. Immunity; fish migration north in search of cooler waters, depriving animals that depend on fishing for their sustenance… All in all, global warming is causing the worst effects on animals that have adapted to their environment harm.
As heat builds up in the global climate system, some places are hit harder than others, such as the Northwest Arctic, Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories, where life is on the front lines of battling global warming. Cold winds in winter can drop the temperature to -56°C, and local organisms have already evolved the ability to adapt to the severe cold. Today, the region is warming, and species that have lived there for more than a million years, such as caribou, face a dire existential crisis.
“The Poképan River caribou population peaked in 1989 at about 187,000, and has since steadily declined to 120,000,” said Steve Arthur, a researcher with the Alaska Fish and Game Service. What is the message of the disappearance of the reindeer? Is their disappearance a natural cycle of life, or evidence of a species trapped by rising temperatures? Arthur discovered a strange phenomenon in the summer of recent years: many valleys were full of food and grass but were idle, while reindeer herds often haunted the highlands such as rocks and ridges, where the grass was poor and it took a lot of physical effort to climb. So, why do they give up lush meadows and seek farther? Arthur suspects the reindeer are avoiding Alaska’s “true state bird” — the mosquito. Mosquito swarms can suck a tablespoon of blood from a reindeer every day, and to avoid these little devils, the reindeer have to hide in the strong winds on the mountains that can repel mosquitoes. The summer life of the local reindeer is an uphill struggle, and the warmer the weather, the longer the insects’ breeding season, and therefore the larger mosquito populations that pose a more serious threat to the reindeer. “They have to spend time driving mosquitoes, and they also need to eat and rest. The more time they spend driving mosquitoes, the more energy they spend, and the less energy they have to forage and eat,” Arthur said.
In winter, it is more difficult for the reindeer to find enough food. Rising temperatures increase the amount of snowfall. The higher the snow, the deeper the food is buried. They dig dozens of snow pits every day to find lichens to fill their stomachs. The deeper snow also makes it more difficult for reindeer to avoid predators such as wild wolves. By. And when winter rain seeps into the snow and freezes on the surface, it also creates an impenetrable barrier that keeps the reindeer from eating.
Without food in winter and constant harassment of mosquitoes in summer, the reindeer will naturally become weak. Insufficient calorie intake by reindeer, more adult deer will die, and fewer calves will be born, both of which will reduce the number of reindeer. What’s more, they have to deal with another corollary of rising temperatures – more snowstorms. In recent years, the snowstorms that occur each spring have caused huge damage to the Pokpan River reindeer herds, and the migration has been delayed, and the young deer are born during the migration.
Living in polar climates for more than 10,000 years, the Gewishns are keen observers of nature and have seen their reindeer populations dwindle. They use the resources of the land to hunt elk, wild sheep and ducks in the forest and fish from the river, but the reindeer are what they depend on for survival. Jereth Elias, a descendant of the Gwichan Aboriginal people, said: “From the time we grow up in our mother’s womb, many nutrients come from the reindeer, which is the source of our life, and we grew up on it. , eating its jerky and bone marrow gives us energy and a healthy body. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to survive here.” The Gulchon culture is one of the oldest in the Americas, and the Gulchon people are closely related to the local ecosystem. Coexisting for tens of thousands of years, if the reindeer become extinct, humans will eventually suffer.
marine life dying
Migration is equally important to marine life as it is to terrestrial life. The daily up and down of zooplankton is arguably the most spectacular migration scene on earth, and billions of zooplankton join it. The warming climate increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing ocean carbonation and killing a large number of microorganisms. Once the bottom of the ocean food chain disappears, the food chain will quickly break from bottom to top and spread beyond the ocean.
Zooplankton are at the center of marine food webs, and marine biologist Bill Peterson and his team tracked one of the larger planktons, the krill. From the 1980s to the early 1990s, Peterson watched with concern the dramatic decline in krill populations on the Pacific coast of Oregon: “The zooplankton population was 20 percent lower than it was in 1950, and they were barely visible in the ocean, and everyone was worried. “But in the late ’90s, things suddenly improved.
Scientists believe that the increase or decrease in the number of zooplankton is closely related to the reorganization of cold and warm currents in the water. When there are cold currents off Oregon, zooplankton thrive; if the waters warm, their numbers decrease. Ocean currents can bring nutrient-rich deep-sea water, and when the warm water layer on the ocean surface thickens, the nutrient-rich ocean currents from the deep sea are cut off, which is the reason for the sharp decline in krill in the 1980s and early 1990s. The return of the cold cycle made the krill situation better in the 1990s. The temperature changes in the Pacific Ocean have been quietly going on for a long time, but in the current context of global warming, this law will change. “This cold cycle will soon be replaced by a hot one, because global warming continues all the time,” Peterson said. Some researchers worry that when this water temperature change peaks, it could push zooplankton populations up to 100 percent. critical point, making it impossible to recover its numbers. Once this happens, it is very difficult for humans and animals to survive in these waters.
At the Hopkins Ocean Station in California, the dramatic effects of rising temperatures on offshore areas are already being observed. The species of life in California’s tide pools has begun to change, and some animals have been forced to move north due to warming, but not every creature can adapt to the new environment after the migration. Meanwhile, biologists are worried about the future of remnants. Most of these tide pool creatures are tough, and they have to be tough to survive. Here, creatures have to endure endless pounding waves, and the back-and-forth tides can cause temperatures to fluctuate dramatically throughout the day. Biologist George Sommero said: “These animals were originally exposed to a low temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. When the tide recedes and the sun rises, the temperature will rise to 35 degrees Celsius. This is a change in the biological state of the organism. It’s a severe environment, and they’re under extreme stress.”
In response, biologists were determined to find out the maximum temperature these creatures could withstand. In one experiment, Jonathan Stillman collected different baby crabs in a tide pool, hooked them up to heart rate monitors, put them in the water, and gradually raised the water temperature. Unexpectedly, the maximum temperature these little crabs can withstand in the ocean today has almost reached the limit. And once these little crabs become extinct, the creatures that feed on them will also be life-threatening. The nature of the food web is like this, and it affects the whole body. With the intensification of global warming, life on earth will face a reorganization.
Chain reaction of rising sea water
The effects of global warming are not limited to animals, but humans are also suffering from it. The climate is slightly warmer, and the feeling of rising temperatures is not obvious, but on Maracas Beach in Trinidad and Tobago, there are very strange cases. Is climate change really causing strange diseases?
Michelle Montier, a doctor at the University of the West Indies, has always believed that Trinidad is the best place for children to grow up, but in recent years she has begun to question it because she faces a shadow that shrouds her every day. Mysterious diseases throughout the region. For local children, simple breathing has become a challenge—asthma is a common disease in Trinidad, and cases continue to rise.
In fact, Montier is not the only investigator of the mysterious disease outbreak in the Caribbean. Ginger Gleeson, a marine biologist at the USGS, has been fascinated by the coral reefs of St. John’s Island more than two decades ago. But in recent years, coral reefs have gradually become unrecognizable, and even contracted a mysterious disease, and become disfigured. The gradual decline of coral “sea fans” in the Caribbean is as puzzling as the growing number of asthma cases there. What are the causes of these diseases? Why is it happening now? An unexpected clue will tie the puzzles together – all of which have to do with the dust common to the locals, from thousands of miles away.
Fifty years ago, Lake Chad in Nigeria was the fourth largest lake in Africa. The entire lake was endless and once full of fish. However, a prolonged drought has reduced the size of Lake Chad to one-twentieth. As the lake dried up, the communities that depended on Lake Chad for survival were rebuilt in sequence on the edge of the remaining low and shallow waterways. Local residents could only rely on grazing and farming to support their families, and farming was basically only possible during the rainy season. The region is constantly experiencing cycles of dry seasons, but this drought, which coincided with the outbreak of Trinidad’s asthma, was extremely severe. So far, it’s impossible to say whether this is caused by global warming, but whatever the reason, the result is more dust. More and more dust was swept up into the air, blowing thousands of kilometers into the Americas.
Back in Trinidad, Dr. Montier suspected that Saharan dust was the main cause of the surge in children’s asthma, and she began analyzing case data to find a link between asthma attacks and African dust: “We found that once the Saharan dust appeared, The dust haze formed by the dust will cause more asthmatic children to come to the emergency room for medical treatment, and the symptoms are very severe.” At the same time, Gleason’s investigation of the cause of sea fan disease has gradually been located in the Saharan dust storm. Because of the large scale of coral disease outbreaks, she suspects that the cause is some kind of airborne infection, perhaps an unknown harmful pathogen carried in the dust. And the discovery of an American microbiologist convinced her that she was on the right track. The microbiologist discovered that a fungus in the soil called Aspergillus may be the culprit in making sea fans sick. Gleeson immediately contacted the man and asked him to analyze the samples he had collected: “In the first samples I collected from the Virgin Islands, he found the bacteria of aspergillus, and this is what he found to make the sea Today, while the link between Saharan dust storms and diseases in the Caribbean has soared, a vexing question remains to be answered: why are these dust storms coming from Africa traversing the Atlantic for millennia now? question?
Atmospheric scientist Jim Harrell is devoted to studying the inner workings of Earth’s climate system, especially the amazing atmospheric system over the Atlantic Ocean. Every winter in recent years, the patterned and violent oscillation of the atmospheric system in the North Atlantic caught Harrell’s attention. He believed that the system was stimulated in some way, and locked in a main suspect – the global increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. warming. Using computer models, he began to focus on one region where average temperatures were rising especially rapidly: the Indian Ocean. When he factored the warming of the Indian Ocean into his computer, the fixed pattern of the North Atlantic suddenly reappeared. Harrell concluded that the warming of the Indian Ocean had affected the North Atlantic atmospheric system: This heat energy traveled through the atmosphere like ripples in a pool of water, and when it reached the North Atlantic, it increased the energy of the North Atlantic oscillations and also sent more African dust. Blow to America.
The complexity and global nature of the whole process is unbelievable: the increase in temperature in the Indian Ocean then affects the North Atlantic Oscillation, which in turn affects the dust in the Sahara, so that a lot of dust is blown into the Caribbean Sea. , resulting in outbreaks of childhood asthma and sea fan disease… Warming sea conditions are having catastrophic effects on entire ecosystems.
The deadly threat of melting glaciers
In the 20th century, global temperatures rose by an average of 0.6°C, a much larger increase than in the previous nine centuries. As temperatures rise, Earth’s ocean waters are slowly heating up. Once ocean water warms, its volume expands, which means sea levels will rise. Warming ocean waters can also trigger severe tropical storms and hurricanes, and if combined with the melting of polar ice sheets, the situation will be even worse.
All over the world, all kinds of ominous omens are happening: the year-round snow on the roof of Africa – Kilimanjaro is slowly disappearing; Glaciers are slowly drying up. Every day, polar ice sheets lose 500 tons of ice, which has alarmed scientists because one-tenth of the Earth’s surface is covered by ice sheets. Once these staggeringly large polar glaciers melt, low-lying coastal areas could be wiped out, and some island nations in the South Pacific could sink entirely to the bottom of the ocean. In Bangladesh, tens of thousands of disaster victims have had to leave their homes and become climate refugees. In many large cities in the United States such as Miami, Baltimore, New York and Boston, many expensive coastal facilities will be inundated.
Melting glaciers have long been a threat to local residents. Melting glaciers in Peru sparked a huge avalanche that caused panic among local residents. Ecological researcher Daniel Fagre said: “The ice that falls from these glaciers mixes with the volcanic ash on the mountain and becomes a kind of volcanic mud, similar to liquid cement, which flows down the mountain quickly, which will bring Destructive destruction.” Not only that, but in some places, mountain lakes formed by melting glaciers are in danger of flooding at any time. In the alpine regions, glaciers act as natural reservoirs, and 87 percent of the water for residents of the western United States comes from glaciers. “Once these glaciers melt, local residents will have to find other sources of water, or simply move.” The rising ocean will also inundate farmland, towns and cities, but unlike previous floods, once the sea floods, it will not stop. . If the polar ice caps melt to a certain extent, the consequences can be imagined.
On islands in the South Pacific, residents are battling waves that erode coastlines. The average elevation of Tuvalu Island is only 1.8 meters. If the sea level continues to rise, the entire island will face the danger of being swallowed up. In Bangladesh, rising seawater has seeped into the nation’s drinking water system, and the rice fields that feed millions of people may disappear under the salt water. Without fresh water and rice, Bangladesh’s 30 million climate refugees could be uprooted. For a country, such a large-scale population movement can bring chaos. Anthony Zinni, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, co-authored a report on the potential threat to national security posed by environmental change: Where we live, there are often serious health problems, which also have an impact on the security of the country. We may lose some resources, which may be necessary for us, which will cause some economic problems, lead to conflicts, and threaten the security of the country. , having a direct impact on the nation’s military.”
Signals of warming are also happening in the Arctic, where some melting permafrost releases methane into the atmosphere, a type of greenhouse gas that will exacerbate the greenhouse effect. As Arctic waters heat up, whales, walruses and seals will change their diets and migration patterns, making it more difficult for local residents to hunt them. Misfortunes do not come singly, as the local Aboriginal people face severe food shortages, the rising sea is bit by bit eroding their homes.
As glaciers melt, the white parts of the Earth’s surface that reflect light shrink and are replaced by soil and oceans. And these darker surfaces absorb more heat, accelerating the melting of the glaciers, which scientists call a “feedback effect.”
Severe tropical storms and hurricanes triggered by warming seas are also adding to the woes. The heat needed for a hurricane comes from the upper layers of the ocean, so if the ocean heats up, the hurricane will absorb more heat and be more powerful. In the Chesapeake Bay, residents have noticed that 13 islands have completely disappeared in the past 100 years. Not only will they lose their homes, but also the natural barriers that protect them. The islands act as natural speed bumps as a hurricane moves inland, reducing the power of the hurricane; the waves slow down again as they pass through the wetlands. So, by the time the waves hit the populated areas, most of the force has already been dispersed. Losing the protection of “speed bumps” such as islands and wetlands, many coastal cities like New York, Miami and Baltimore are exposed to waves and hurricanes. During the 20th century, 167 hurricanes hit the Gulf of Mexico and eastern seaboard in the southeastern United States, but three of the six most intense storms occurred in just 52 days in 2005. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes that global warming should be responsible for the occurrence of these severe storms.
Defend our homeland and fight climate warming together
There are many factors that cause global warming, and the main cause in the world at present is the excessive emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This goes back to the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century. At that time, factories started burning chemical fuels, and millions of tons of carbon dioxide and many other greenhouse gases were released into the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide was like a blanket, which was very effective at intercepting the heat emitted by the earth and then emitting that heat back. Earth. In addition, human factors such as rapid population increase, atmospheric pollution, marine ecological environment deterioration, land destruction, sharp decline in forest resources, acid rain hazards, accelerated species extinction, water pollution, and toxic waste pollution, as well as volcanic activity and the cyclical orbit of the earth Changes and other natural factors have also exacerbated climate warming.
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the future could look like this: coastal cities on every continent are at risk, tens of millions of people are forced to migrate, and fresh water and food are increasingly scarce.
Experts are calling for stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions. But even if we limit emissions, most greenhouse gases take a long time to dissipate in the atmosphere. “This is a problem that will take 20 or even 30 years to solve, but if we don’t do it now, it will be too late when the disaster hits, and we’ve lost the best time to reduce its impact,” Anthony Zinney said. “To this end, what we need to do is: completely ban chlorofluorocarbons and develop alternative energy sources; protect forests, implement large-scale afforestation work, and strive to promote forest regeneration; limit the exhaust volume of automobiles and locomotives, and suppress ozone and methane. Greenhouse effect gas; improve the fuel usage of automobiles and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels; improve the energy efficiency of various occasions, especially the heating and cooling equipment of houses and offices; encourage the use of natural gas as the current main energy source, and encourage the use of solar energy; implement Total carbon dioxide control, proportional taxation on the production and consumption of fossil fuels, taxation on pollution and emissions, etc.
According to the new draft of the Paris climate conference, countries aim to control the temperature increase by the end of the 21st century to no more than 2 degrees Celsius before the industrial revolution, or even 1.5 degrees Celsius. After 2020, developed countries will allocate at least $100 billion a year to help developing countries implement measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
In order to publicize the necessity and urgency of popularizing environmental protection, and let ordinary people know the benefits, various media have used their brains. The Wall Street Journal started with people’s daily life and designed an interactive map to focus on vehicle exhaust emissions. The British “Guardian” uses multimedia technology to describe the troubles brought by global warming to the Mekong River Basin. The New York Times and the Associated Press released a video of the melting of glaciers taken by drones in the Arctic: The once endless ice surface has broken apart in a few years, and many glaciers have melted into bridge-shaped ice caves. A small river was also formed in the middle, and the melting ice water sloped down like a waterfall. “Bloomberg Businessweek” uses a set of visual charts to analyze the factors affecting the process of global change: From 1880 to 2015, the earth’s temperature showed a rising trend; while some natural factors did not change much, only greenhouse gases The growth curve is comparable to that of global warming. The Financial Times has created a climate change calculator on its website to create data models based on the plans and possible measures that countries have published to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Humans have unknowingly raised the temperature of the earth, and global warming has brought a deadly threat to the earth – the extinction of life, air pollution, melting glaciers… In order to avoid disasters gradually becoming a reality, let us act urgently , to defend their homeland!