Canadians used to say that "Canada is not a country, its winter." Others suggest that Canada has two seasons: Winter and road construction. However, winters are now significantly warmer and shorter than they were in the early 1980's. This means a lengthening of the growing season, which is causing the northern boundary at which species of plants can grow to have moved more than 700 kilometers (440 miles) northward. 1
Ranga Myneni of the Department of Earth and Environment, at Boston University2 is a co-author of the paper" "Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands." 3 It claims that by 2091, the north will have seasons, temperatures and possibly vegetation comparable to those found today 20 to 25 degrees of latitude further south. He said:
"If we don’t curb carbon emissions, Arctic Sweden might be more like the south of France by the end of the century. ... We are changing seasonality…. The north is becoming like the south, losing its sharp contrasts ... [among] the four seasons."
He predicts that seasons and temperatures in Alaska and Canada’s Baffin Island by 2099 may be similar to those found currently in Oregon and southern Ontario. Plant species that could grow only up to 57º north in the early 1980's can now grow at 64º north.
Co-author of the report, Terry Callaghan of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the University of Sheffield, UK. said that the change is:
"... easily visible on the ground as an increasing abundance of tall shrubs and tree incursions in several locations all over the circumpolar Arctic."
Scott Goetz, deputy director and senior scientist, at Woods Hole Research Center, in Falmouth, MA, said:
"The way of life of many organisms on Earth is tightly linked to seasonal changes in temperature and availability of food, and all food on land comes first from plants. ... Think of migration of birds to the Arctic in the summer and hibernation of bears in the winter: Any significant alterations to temperature and vegetation seasonality are likely to impact life not only in the north but elsewhere in ways that we do not yet know."
Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, notes that sea ice in the Arctic Ocean does not normally begin to break up until at least April. However, satellite images taken in 2013-FEB showed large fractures in the sea ice.
A paper titled "Superstorm Sandy: A Series of Unfortunate Events?" published in the Journal of Oceanography for 2013-MAR showed that because the loss of summertime Arctic sea ice affects the jet stream, the latter "... helped Hurricane Sandy take a powerful turn west instead of steering northeast and out to sea like most October hurricanes. Loss of sea ice is not simply an interesting statistic; in the case of Hurricane Sandy, it cost $65 billion over a few days and was the most serious natural disaster in the world during 2012. 4.5.7
Researchers from the Netherlands and the United States wrote in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that if the climate change continues:
"We believe that the mass loss [of sea ice] is irreversible in the foreseeable future.". 1
2013-JUL: Study warns that rising sea levels will seal the fate of 316 U.S. cities:
A study released by the National Academy of Science in late 2013-JUL has concluded that a rise in ocean levels has:
"... already sealed the fate of at least 316 American cities, including Miami and Jacksonville, but if global warming keeps up its current rate through 2100, the number of towns and cities doomed by water could easily go up to 1,400. [Prior greenhouse gas emissions] have already locked in four feet of future sea-level rise that will submerge parts of 316 municipalities." 5
Benjamin Strauss, a scientist at Climate Central, a non-profit research group based in Princeton, NJ, and author of the paper described it as an "invisible threat"
whose timing isn't clear and could take centuries. He wrote:
"“It is much easier to know that a pile of ice in a warm room will melt than to know exactly how fast it will melt."
The following interactive graphic is supplied by ClimateCentral.org:
There is a near consensus among atmospheric scientists that the main cause of the warming is greenhouse gas emissions which in turn is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. It increases ocean levels in two ways:
It melts glaciers covering Greenland, Antarctic, and other land areas. This pours water into the oceans.
The increase in temperatures across the globe causes oceans to heat up and expand in volume.
Many people believe that if we could drastically reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the future that temperatures and sea levels would quickly return to normal. Unfortunately, this is not true because the existing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will take centuries to dissipate.
Jason Thistlethwaite, the director of University of Waterloo’s Climate Change Adaptation Project, commented:
"I was shocked by how much sea-level rise is already predicted to occur. ... Even if we do a good job fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are looking at seven to 10 feet (of) sea-level rise by the end of century. ... There’s a pattern of evidence that we have been seeing for the past few years. ... When big cities have significant damage, there is spillover effect for the economy."
"Tobs" posted a simple explanation of global warming/climate change to the article in the Toronto Star from which the above information came. She/he wrote:
"Radiation from the sun arrives at the earth in various wavelengths. Some of it hits the earth and is reflected back. When it is, it’s reflected back as infrared radiation.
Carbon dioxide, CO2, has the property of being able to absorb infrared radiation, which in turn warms it. In fact, this phenomenon is a natural one, and if it didn’t exist the average global temperature on earth would be about -15 degrees Celsius [+5º F].
But it follows that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the more the temperature will rise. That’s what is taking place today."
Some more environment/climate change articles that may be of interest to you:
Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.
Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.
Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.
Part 5:2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species.
Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.
Part 6:2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."
Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Con't). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.
Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth
Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.
Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.
Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.
Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 Promised Plans on Energy and the Environment.
Part 13: 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.
Part 14: 2017-JAN: Recent Climate Change Measurements!
Part 15:2017-JAN to APR:
Climate Change Debate is Changing. What if All the Earth's Glaciers Melted?
Part 16:2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High.
Part 17:Studies of the Effects
of Sea-level Rise in California between Now and the Year 2100.
Part 18: President Trump Decided that the U.S. Will Quit the Paris Agreement.
Explosive Reactions to his Plan, nationally and globally.
Part 19: More Reactions to the U.S.
Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Record high temperatures in SanFrancisco and elsewhere.
Part 20:2017-AUG/SEP : Group of 20 summit meeting, Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas. Is climate change increasing the
severity or frequency of hurricanes?
Part 21:2017-SEP: 2017-SEP: Can government regulations help? U.S. record high temperatures. Did God send Hurricane Harvey to attack TX?.
Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, GA. Hurricanes Jose & Maria.
Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message?
Conflicts, climate change cause rise in hunger.
Part 23: 2017-OCT to 2017-DEC: All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement. Government report contradicts the President. Comment by
the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Part 24:2018-JAN to MAY: New temperature records. President signs bill increasing research."Onion's" amusing fake news. Sea levels rising; cities under water.
Climate change beliefs as function of age.
Proposed Mount Trumpmore project. Volcano in Hawaii. How global warming is affecting California.
Animal, Insect, & Bird Ranges Shrink.
Nutrients in rice reduced. California Governor's comments.
Part 25:2018-JUN & JUL: During 2018-JUN: A very few encouraging signs. Hurricanes slowing as winds increase. Changes in Antarctic ice and environment. Norway's growing season increased. A new world highest temperature. Future ocean levels.
Part 26:2018-JUL: New York City reports to the UN. Impacts of
humans burning up all our fossil energy. WWW.CLIMATECENTRAL.ORG's tools.
Death Valley, CA, sets new record. Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern lands. Hurricane Florence.
Part 27: 2018-AUG & SEP: Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern countries. Hurricane Florence attacks the Carolinas. Pat Robinson's "Shield of Protection" doesn't work.
Part 28: 2018-SEP & OCT: Trump Admin. predicts: 7ºF temperature
rise by the year 2099. Impact of climate change on women.Green Building Week & commitment. New IPCC report predicts a "Strong Risk of
as early as 2040.
Part 29: 2018-OCT & NOV: Southern Baptist Convention downplays IPCC Report. Climate changing Fall season. Ozone layer continues to heal.
Trump Confuses Weather
Part 30: 2018-NOV: Hope for people who have no access
to clean water. Trump Administration releases National Climate Assessment report.
Reactions to the report.
Part 31: 2018-DEC: How to lie about climate change. UN head repeats warning. Major report on Arctic climate. Greenhouse gases soar. Can climate scientists be trusted?
Part 32: 2019-JAN: Collecting plastic trash from the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Public opinion on the environment.
Status of climate change at the start of 2019.
Part 33:2019-JAN-MAR: If Ocean Cleanup fails.... Public opinion on environment.
Climate change in early 2019. Sea rise from Antarctic melting. Denmark fights cow flatulence. Disconnect between the EPA and climate scientists. Change is urgent NOW!
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.