Climate change is happening, it's real and it's our fault. The evidence is overwhelming — our planet is changing faster than it ever has before. Here are 10 stories from the past year demonstrating how Earth's climate has gone completely off the rails.
A polar bear invasion(opens in new tab)
Earlier this year, 52 hungry polar bears occupied a small work settlement in a remote Russian Arctic archipelago, much to the displeasure of the town's residents. It's not uncommon to see polar bears near Russia's southern coasts, where they regularly converge in winter for seasonal seal hunts. But thinning sea ice caused by global warming likely drove the bears inland in search of food. The allure of edible waste in the town's garbage bins and dump sites likely stopped the bears from migrating farther north and prompted regional officials to declare a state of emergency.
Read more about the unwelcome polar bear invasion.
Record-breaking carbon dioxide levels(opens in new tab)
This year, scientists measured more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years — since before our species evolved.
In May 2019, the levels of the greenhouse gas reached 415 parts per million (ppm), as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at its Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. During the ice ages, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were around 200 ppm. And during the interglacial periods — the planet is currently in an interglacial period — levels were around 280 ppm, according to NASA. Humans are burning fossil fuels, causing the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. And as a result, every year, the Earth sees about 3 ppm more carbon dioxide in the air.
Read more about our atmosphere's skyrocketing carbon dioxide levels.
The Arctic permafrost is rapidly disappearing(opens in new tab)
This year, we learned that in the Canadian Arctic, layers of permafrost that scientists expected to remain frozen for at least 70 years have already begun thawing. The once-frozen surface is now sinking and dotted with melt ponds and from above looks a bit like Swiss cheese, satellite images revealed.
This was shocking news because climate experts had predicted that air temperatures wouldn't be warm enough to melt the frozen ground until after 2090. However, researchers believe higher summer temperatures, low levels of insulating vegetation and the presence of ground ice near the surface contributed to the exceptionally rapid and deep thawing.
Read more about the rapidly melting Arctic permafrost.
Alaska got hotter than NYC this summer
This year, for the first time in recorded history, Anchorage, Alaska, reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). That sweltering temperature, recorded on July 4, meant that the normally snowbound city, which is just 370 miles (595 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle, was hotter than New York City. (NYC hit 85 F that day, according to timeanddate.com.)
The previous record-breaking temperature in Anchorage was 85 F (29 C), which occurred June 14, 1969, according to KTUU, an Anchorage broadcast station affiliated with NBC News.
Read more about Anchorage's record-breaking heat.
Arctic fires were visible from space
The wildfires that burned large swaths of Russia generated so much smoke last summer that they were visible from space. NASA's Earth Observatory captured images of the 100-plus wildfires burning in the Arctic in late July.
The Arctic is heating up faster than other parts of the world, making it easier for fires to thrive there. The largest fires — blazes likely ignited by lightning — were located in the regions of Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Buryatia, according to the Earth Observatory, and together, had burned over 500 square miles (1,295 square km) of land.
Read more about the Arctic wildfires visible from space.
More than 200 reindeer died from starvation
This summer, researchers found more than 200 dead reindeer on the island of Svalbard in Norway. The animals starved to death because climate change disrupted their access to the plants that they typically eat.
Climate change brings warmer temperatures to Svalbard, which results in more rain. After the heavy December rain hit the ground, the precipitation froze, creating "tundra ice caps," a thick layer of ice that prevented reindeer from reaching vegetation in their usual winter grazing pastures, and the reindeer eventually starved to death.
Read more about how climate change is killing reindeer.
July was the hottest month ever recorded
July 2019 was really, really hot. It was at least as hot as the previous warmest month ever, recorded in June 2016, and it may have even been hotter. The record put 2019 on track to be among the top five hottest years in history.
Read more about July's record heat.
More than half of the Greenland ice sheet melted
A staggering 217 billion tons (197 billion metric tons) of meltwater flowed off Greenland's ice sheet into the Atlantic Ocean this July. The worst day of melting was July 31, when 11 billion tons (10 billion metric tons) of melted ice poured into the ocean.
This massive thaw represents some of the worst melting since 2012, according to The Washington Post. That year, 97% of the Greenland ice sheet experienced melting. By July of this year, 56% of the ice sheet had melted, but temperatures — 15 to 20 F above average — have been higher than during the 2012 heat wave. All told, this July's melt alone was enough to raise global average sea levels by 0.02 inches (0.5 millimeters), according to the Post.
Read more about Greenland's melting ice sheet.
September temperatures also set a record
September also joined the list of hottest months on record. This September tied the record for the warmest September on the planet since record keeping began 140 years ago, and it was the warmest ever recorded for North America. However, it wasn't just September that experienced unusual warmth; 2019 also saw the second-warmest January through September ever recorded, according to a NOAA climate report.
Read more about September's record heat.
"Flesh-eating" bacteria are spreading
This year, scientists released a report describing how "flesh-eating" bacteria that live in the ocean may be spreading to previously unaffected beach waters, thanks to climate change.
The report authors described five cases of severe flesh-eating bacterial infections in people who were exposed to water or seafood from the Delaware Bay, which sits between Delaware and New Jersey. Such infections have historically been rare in the Delaware Bay, as the bacterium responsible for the disease, called Vibrio vulnificus, prefers warmer waters, such as those in the Gulf of Mexico.
But with rising ocean temperatures due to climate change, V. vulnificus may be moving farther north, making these infections more common in areas that were previously off limits, the authors said.
Read more about the spread of "flesh-eating" bacteria.
- 6 Unexpected Effects of Climate Change (opens in new tab)
- 5 Ways Climate Change Will Affect Your Health (opens in new tab)
- Photographic Proof of Climate Change: Time-Lapse Images of Retreating Glaciers (opens in new tab)
That said, I’m also VERY concerned with making sure that the aforementioned offspring maintain the same LIBERTY as was bequeathed them by the brilliant Founders of this nation (USA), which means that I’m highly skeptical of any environmental “solutions” that seem far too simplistic, contrived, and prone to corruption by greedy, self-serving individuals in the government. To wit: the so-called “carbon tax.”
Now, before I go on, I will ask my fellow Earth denizens to be, above all things, good scientists who practice skepticism (by which I do NOT mean “scorn” or “ridicule,” but the real meaning of the term) as ideas for various “solutions” arise; and I’ll go one step further... I’ll ask you to deeply consider not only the merits of the potential solutions, but also the potential political aspirations behind the ideas advanced– regardless of who offers them, or from whence they seem to come.
Let me explain:
Consider this “carbon-tax” idea... Please ask yourselves as scientists if you had any concerns initially about this “solution,” or if you were OK with it from a scientific standpoint (for now, let’s presume you agreed with the idea’s intent, sufficient to be willing to ‘give it a try’). If you did NOT, that’s OK— we’ll deal with that in a moment.
The reason I present this in this way, is that when the whole “climate change” issue became a hot-button political topic, there was immediate pressure to “accept” the concept, with religious fervor— and anyone who expressed skepticism at first, found themselves the literal targets of a political and professional Inquisition.
The “science was SETTLED,” and there was to be NO insubordination from the scientific community, or the penalty was swift, certain excommunication— from their community of peers, in many cases also from their JOBS, and in ALL cases, from any further FUNDING for research.
It was profoundly disturbing to me to see the manner in which the “scientific” community responded to the phenomenon, how rabidly they ‘defended’ it, and how willing they were to instantly justify the persecution of their peers in the university setting, for failing to be “early adopters,” (to borrow a marketing term).
From my perspective, the phenomenon “blew up” here in the US, near the end of Obama’s first term in office. It had apparently been an issue of importance in European universities for some time prior to that, but was brought to Americans by Obama’s demand that Congress immediately pass the “carbon-tax” law. “IMMEDIATELY!.. Right NOW!!”
But wait, shouldn’t we examine the prob— “NO! No TIME! Must be passed NOW!!”—lem, and have Congress debate the— “NO!! Gotta PASS IT FIRST!! No TIME! The sky is FALLING!!”— possible consequences to our economy, and more important, our FR—“NO!! NOTHING is more important than PASSING THE LAW NOW!!!”—EEDOM?!?
Needless to say, the authoritarian urgency under which it was DEMANDED that we comply with the carbon tax (right on the heels of Obamacare, no less) caused no shortage of pushback.
Still, it was surprising and concerning that so many people just BOUGHT-IN with ZERO argument— but I digress.
I wasn’t alone in immediately suspecting something was “off,” but once I learned more, I recognized right away that the carbon-tax was a TOTAL SCAM.
So did a lot of other people.
But that was NOT ALLOWED. University professors (tenured, no less) lost their jobs for suggesting there wasn’t enough evidence to claim anthropogenic cause of climate change– graduate students lost funding, and state attorneys general actually threatened “deniers” with JAIL!
This all really happened. No joke.
Think about it. There was TREMENDOUS pressure to pass a law (again, without even reading it, just like the ACA) without any debate, which would give the federal government control over how Americans use energy, and how MUCH we could use.
The tax would be collected by the Feds, and doled out to those who came up with the very best “green energy” ideas— all while “solving” the excess atmospheric CO2 “problem” by giving government power to LIMIT how much energy individual Americans consume.
Seriously?!? Americans actually BOUGHT this line of garbage— because unfortunately most Americans have no idea how willing are the people they elected, to waste our money– or to use it to line their own bank accounts– or to subject them to tyranny.
Most people who’ve been adults for more than a couple of years recognize that the LEAST efficient way to get ANYTHING done is to let the federal government do it.
What a LOT of people didn’t notice, is that the carbon tax was never intended to be a solution to “climate change.” ...Nope. Not at all.
Makes you wonder... Did the AG’s who threatened to put people in jail for “denying” climate change actually BELIEVE in man-made climate change? Or were they just the ‘ram rods’ to get it done?
The carbon tax is about CONTROL, not about the environment.
Once established, and accepted by citizens as just a “cost of doing business,” to save the environment, people would hardly complain about the tax. Then, as time goes on, they’d barely make a peep when government starts getting specific in the way it charges people for their “carbon output.”
How many working-class folk would question when they have to start paying more, because the government says their “carbon-footprint” had increased? They just PAY it, right?
Until they begin to notice that just like the “social-credit” system in China, only the people who don’t kiss the asses of bureaucrats get their fees increased— or they find out that some ass-kissers use TWICE as much fossil fuel and put out twice the CO2, but pay only a FRACTION of what YOU are forced to pay– because you’re a skeptic...
When you try to rebel, they just crank up your “carbon tax.” If you discover the truth and start speaking up, they just revoke your “carbon points,” and make life so difficult and miserable that you finally either shut up and go along with the program, or you starve to death. (You think you’re gonna get a straight answer about how your footprint is calculated? HAA!!)
Why would they do this?... POWER.
The whole point is to CONTROL you, and the carbon tax becomes the method by which they inflict economic pain upon you, if you don’t comply with what they expect of you.
YES, there ARE people who want to control the world, and keep the best of what the world has to offer for themselves, and their children... YOU?! You can go pound sand!
Oh, and the OTHER purpose for the carbon tax, besides controlling the behavior of you peons?... It’s to make CERTAIN there can never be another ‘Donald J. Trump’— they will work quickly to make it clear that THEY are the “Ruling Class,” and that YOU are the peon. They can’t tolerate any upstarts from the working-class accruing enough wealth to become a political challenger to those who control the carbon-tax receipts (because you peons might find out that most of it goes to the “party leaders” of the Ruling Class, for luxurious estates and rich, lavish lifestyles— they can’t have that, because it would upset the order of things).
Disbelieve this scenario at the peril of your liberty, and that of your future generations.
That plan was WELL under way, and has been interrupted ONLY by a kind, gracious God, a handful of real, modern-day Patriots, and the man who was miraculously elected President in 2016, against ALL odds.
If Hillary had won, their plan would’ve advanced right under our noses, and none of us would have known until it was too late to stop the momentum.
Why do you think he has been under such CONSTANT, unrelenting attack by the Deep State, by European politicians, and by the huge corporate DNC-affiliated media??
He’s disrupting their 20-year plan (thank heaven), and God willing, he’ll be allowed to finish his work.
You can disbelieve me, or think I’m a crackpot, and I don’t care. I have no interest in forcing you to see my point of view, or to know what I know...
Just as long as you folks studying the climate keep one eye on the politicians, who would gladly let you be the suckers who give them control of the whole economy, under the LIE of “saving the environment.”
The BEST WAY to solve any REAL issues of the climate is to allow the free market, and the brilliant minds of 330 million Americans to find the most efficient, least expensive ways to do it— without having to impose tyranny on a single soul, or enslaving the future generations of America.
This time we dodged the bullet by the grace of God... we had better learn the lesson of what “eternal vigilance” means, because next time we might not be so lucky.
Look, last I checked the solutions proposed to fix global warming are mostly coming from the commercial sector, not some communist dictatorship, and yes the brightest and best minds are working on it, and here's the thing: NONE OF THEM MAKE MONEY - Most all of the solar companies from the last 20 years? Bankrupt, because they couldn't compete against oil which holds a huge corner on the market. You know what does make money? Oil. Lots of it ... it makes lots of money. More than anything. The one downside of capitalism ... the goal is to make money at the expense of all else ... including the planet, and it's an unstoppable train.
Yeah, oil ... they industry responsible for this mess. They're not going to clean it up. They don't care, and their protestations to the contrary sound just like your own.
But solar ... efficiencies doubled and costs cut by 90% ... couldn't be done without subsidies necessary to develop the technology. We'd still be looking at 8% efficiencies costing $10/watt. Now it's 16% on average, costing $1/watt. Before subsidies.
But there's the other thing that REALLY renders your argument moot ("they want to control the world"): The last time I checked Democrats, Greens, Tree Huggers, Conservationists, your favorite person to hate-on ... NONE of those people have exclusive rights ... or have really any premium stock options, that you can't invest in yourself. None of them. Nobody has a corner on this market and has locked you out. NOBODY.
You and your like-minded skeptics have just as much capability to go buy stock in the most earth-saving technology as any of them. Yes, free market ... which is what completely destroys your argument that they have some kind of power against which you are powerless. You can buy stock in 100 different companies that are working on solving this problem (FYI ... Exxon is even working on it, so go crazy and buy all the stocks you can if you think they're in pole position. But I would recommend buying a more pure play stock).
So your argument that this is a power-play by the worlds elite falls flat when anyone, including you, can start to invest in those same companies. If you really want to heal the world, put your money where your mouth is, or you're just running your mouth and frankly ... in 100 years your misguided rant about how you're somehow excluded from being part of the solution will look like exactly what it is: A partisan pitch, which by the way I've never understood ... conservatives (which I am, incidentally) should be working on conserving what we've got.
The first part of the comment I think was dead-on; it is a testament of the kind of Simian behavior I've long seen pervading the field; and is one of many reasons why I think that the job of the scientist (including the AI researcher) needs to be fully automated with the human element completely removed from the picture ... along with the rest of the STEM sector.
Can you imagine what it would be like, if you still had humans carrying text messages back and forth by horse or doing arithmetic computations for all the scientific and numeric modelling systems? Well, that's what I see here.
I can't even begin to describe the clumsy, bumbling inefficiencies and gaffes and stumbles that pervade the world of monographs and peer review publications -- especially its low-rent variant: the symposia/colloquia call-for-paper, rush-to-deadline, meet-in-person, present, publish cycle. Just one example of many: when even a book regarded as the bible of the field in General Relativity complete boggles the definition of the Riemann curvature tensor?! That's when you begin to know things need fixing.
Never mind the hazing rituals that characterize the process of becoming "established" in a field, or the territoriality exhibited by the fields and their specialists, or literature that gets littered with insider folklore (reviewers are supposed to flag folklore, not give them free passes), or conflicts of interest, or the free passes given to monograph sources (which reviewers are not supposed to do), and many other things besides that.
Just like the Gas Station Attendant, the Computer (originally a job title, not a machine), or (soon) the Truck Driver, it's all got to go - and it will. And, you're welcome.
The rest of the comment, I couldn't process or read. It is difficult to read things that are in all capitals or interspersed things that are; and it was not an effort I was willing to invest.
Lets start with volcanoes. "Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day,......" and that is just one of about 50-70 volcanoes that erupt every year. That is 7,500,000 to 21,000,000 tons of co2 annually! Not much we can do about that! To try to stop them would be utter disaster for Earth!
What can we control? Defund the HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program) which Dr. Walker admits the HAARP devices were designed to control the ionosphere and they have moved on to others ways of controlling it (speaking of 'giving' the HAARP station in Alaska to a college for science experiments)! There is plenty of information on Youtube look for HAARP, Ionospheric Heaters, or air force controls the weather! It's not a conspiracy theory - they have admitted they are 'experimenting' with Earth! They can create earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and devastating weather! How much CO2 is released when these 'seeding' operations are executed?
An increase of 1 Celsius in the atmosphere is more than enough to initiate a significant weather perturbation. Bear in mind that all gases move from high to low pressure, and gas pressure is directly proportional to its temperature. Colorado admits it has a weather modification program. The most recent weather modification policy statement of the American Meteorological Society (AMS 1998) states that, "Whereas a statistical evaluation is required to establish that a significant change resulted from a given seeding activity, it must be accompanied by a physical evaluation (emphasis added) to confirm that the statistically observed change was due to the seeding." Texas also has a weather modification program - does your state? Nebraska has a weather modification 'injury' law! Just a guess but super heating the ionosphere might be having negative effects on the Earth! ,Yes they have admitted they have been, currently are, and will in the future be heating the ionosphere by as much as 20 degrees Celsius!
On to the devastating radiation being emitted from various nuclear sites including Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan, Seversk, Russia, Hanford site, Washington, Mayak, Russia, Puerco River At The Church Rock Uranium Mill, NM, Sellafield, UK, The Coast In Somalia, Chernobyl, Ukraine, Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakhstan, Fukushima, Japan! These sites are devastating to the environment including the air, water, and ground! Especially Fukushima which at last observation was dumping around 2 billion becquerels a day into the ocean. Radioactive particles specific to Fukushima were found in St Louis , MO.
After learning ALL of this you still want to blame the burning of fossil fuels for the increase in CO2 in our atmosphere, believe that 'taxing' offending companies will force them to reduce emissions, mistakenly believe that 'electric' cars are better for the environment, and driving the price of electricity and fossil fuels up will force people to limit their use of these modern conveniences!
It was a man, Adam, who stood by and accepted the fruit from Eve.
Women have done great things.
If you're trying to use religious evidence, do it right. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that women are inferior to men and know nothing about how the real world works and have no connection with God. Men and women are made in God's image and favored equally by Him.
Do you know of Deborah the Judge? The word of God came to her, and she sent Barak into battle. But Barak was afraid and would not enter battle without her. And so God gave to glory of the victory, not to Barak, but to Deborah.
Do you know of Rahab the Canaanite? She was not even a Jew but she helped the men who came into Canaan to capture it. She trusted God and hid them. Meanwhile, Moses the man who led the Jews out of Egypt broke the word of the Lord and God killed him before he could see the Promised Land.
Do you know of Queen Esther? She saved the king from a plot to have him killed, by a man. Later she saved her entire Jewish people from death as well.
Do you know of the Virgin Mary? She trusted the Lord to give her a child, Jesus, and she did what the Lord asked of her. Joseph almost left her when she was pregnant (though I admit, he did think he had a good reason) but God had to tell him to stay with her.
These are only a few of the many women in the Bible whom God chose to deliver and accomplish his will. These are only a few of the men in the Bible who chose to disobey God. Eve did not mislead Adam; Satan misled both of them. God have humanity the Earth to protect it and use it. Seeing the warning signs at long last that we've been abusing it is not wrong. We have not been taking care of the Earth the way we should have been. A lot of people have never heard of God and don't care about ever trying, so naturally things have gone wrong. What do you mean, climate change isn't real? This is real data you're seeing here. Real things that actually happened. Hickok did a good job of not putting too much personal opinion in this article, giving true facts and not being biased. God made man and women, in equality, both to His own image. You can't simply disown the word of women. They are an essential part of life, this world, and everything. They can come up with good ideas that men have a hard time seeing. People like you tell women they aren't good enough but you know what? That's wrong, and unfortunately for the men on Earth, a stupid notion. Honestly, I'm quite disappointed in you. I understand maybe someone told you this once, or you learned it from birth and of course you'd never want to give it real thought and run the risk of proving them wrong. Of course, I totally understand. Not even being sarcastic here, I understand but I don't think it's right. You see, when you don't think, that's when you get ideas like this. And not thinking gets people into a lot of serious problems like believing that all women have no connection to God and are some sort of servant to Satan. No. There's no way you could have possibly ever thought about this seriously, because if you had, you would realize you were so wrong. I feel a little sorry for you. It must be a hard life not thinking about anything.
So, please do not keep living your life with this idea in place. It is not right and there is ample evidence to show it. You're like an ostrich putting its head in the sand: "Nope, it's not happening, if I can't see it then it's not there." Really? Honestly? If you just tried to think about it you would realize how pointless that is. Like our current pandemic, people think it's not real because no one they know has died. Or they think, "it's just the flu! People die from the flu!" Some people are so inconsiderate of others they even throw "corona parties" to see who catches it. People dying is serious, the world slowly dying is serious, and people who never think about anything at all is very serious indeed.