Global climate change: Moscow burns, Pakistan floods, Greenland melts, and U.S. scorches
As the U.S. congress turns its back on climate legislation, by taking the summer off, climate anomalies around the world continue to break records and worry scientists.
According to a report in the Guardian.co.uk, regions across the world have been buffeted by extremes of weather, drought and floods. Sometimes an area is hit by one extreme, followed soon after by another.
A glacier in Greenland calved a massive iceberg, which was described to be four times the size of Manhattan. The floating island is the largest in the Northern Hemisphere. As with any iceberg, only 10% of it can be seen, while 90% of it is under water.
Parts of South America are under a cold snap, which has resulted in snow storms in Argentina, and millions of fish and marine life dying from 32 F. degree temperatures in Bolivia. The tropical region rarely gets below 68 degrees during the summer.
Winds have cleared the air somewhat around the city of Moscow, but hundreds of fires still blaze across Russia.
In recent weeks, residents of the city were subjected to breathing air so laden with toxins it was compared to smoking four packs of cigarettes per day. Normal temperatures in Moscow, has rarely ever hit three digits, but in recent weeks, the heat has risen to 108 degrees in some areas. Air conditioners are a rare commodity and people have been advised to stay home and cover their mouths with masks, even indoors. Asthma and respiratory diseases have been claiming 700 lives per day. Concerns have been raised over the possibility of radioactive smoke being produced by fires burning over land that was soaked with nuclear waste material by the Chernobyl explosion. Such contaminated smoke could spread across parts to Europe.
Pakistan has been soaked by torrential rains for almost a week and more is anticipated to come. Most of the country is under water, from Islamabad to Karachi near the sea. Casualties have exceeded 1,300 dead, with 14 million people adversely affected and in need of shelter, food, and supplies.
"The extremes of rainfall are getting heavier and are entirely consistent with climate change predictions," said Helen Chivers, a spokeswoman with the Met Office, in the UK.
China is still shoveling out from under major mudslides in that country, launched by record rain, which has killed over 300 people.
Parts of Australia, still suffers from a decade long drought that has been labeled “the big dry”.
Eastern areas of the United States, was scorching under a record heat wave for several weeks in July.
New York Mayor Bloomberg warned that heat exhaustion was a real concern and ordered cooling centers to be set up around the city.
A report derived from an array of independent data sources was released in July by NOAA and says in part:
If the land surface records were systematically flawed and the globe had not really warmed, then it would be almost impossible to explain the concurrent changes in this wide range of indicators produced by many independent groups. The warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
The greenhouse gases most likely responsible for that warming, such as carbon dioxide, continue to accumulate in the lower atmosphere.
Without a change in direction, some experts warn the human race could become extinct in 100 years.
***Jean Williams 2010