Tom Yulsman| February 8, 2018 5:39 pm177
北极地松鼠在天气变化进程中所起的功用比原本想象的要大。化学家们开掘北极地松鼠正在忘寝废食永冻层内的温棚气体的投放。位于极地的永冻层聚焦了宏伟容积的碳。以下是 BBC 报事人 Rececca Morelle的通信：
大家的碰到是大家生活的严重性组成都部队分。大多数人竟然不知道导致天气变化是人类。由于我们的行动，动物和持有的当然都面前境遇负面影响。依照“天气变化的熏陶”，“地球的南北四极对于调度地球的天气至关心珍视要”。两极都特地轻松遇到全世界变暖的影响，影响全部地区或任哪儿球。融化的冰川相当的大地影响着大家世界的淡水生态系统。海洋和河水的水位正在上涨，也吸取了二氧化碳气体，以免备其流向大气层。全球变暖扩张了“二氧化碳浓度使海洋更加中性（neutrality）”。海洋中的海洋生物也许杜绝或被损坏。植物能够随着温度和碳水平小幅度变动而病逝，而别的海洋生物需求在大洋，湖泊和江湖中适应和生存。 “温暖的空气得以维持较高的含水量”，那表示随着水位的不平衡，干旱，极端天气模式和雨涝也许产生。淡水生态系统被“排水，疏浚，拦水，污染和开荒”所制订，那么些都是全人类的表现。这个行动进一步抓好了气象的负面影响。天气格局影响某个地段的植物或自然物种。依据天气变化的影响，雪豹，犀牛，大象，北极熊和更加多的动物也非常受震慑，“天气变化发生得太快，大多物种都适应”。动物的山河一向在萎缩，由吉瓦尼尔多·胡尔克上涨水平或融化的冰川，让动物搜寻新的地区商品房或恐怕根除。一些动物依靠天气变化影响的天气情势。 “敏感的珊瑚和藻类”是“从氪气中饿死”的。那意味珊瑚能够漂白或大概杜绝。动物注重珊瑚和藻类食品，栖息和潜伏于捕食者身上。这个都以由于动物遭到的天气变化而致使的结局。
Arctic Sea Ice Just Set Another Record Low—In Winter
Arctic ground squirrels might not look like climate villains - they're small, fluffy and rather cute. But this research suggests they're speeding up the release of greenhouse gases from the Arctic permafrost, a vast frozen area that contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere。
And what’s happening in the New Arctic isnot staying there
I shot thisiPhone photo of Arctic sea ice in the Davis Strait between Greenland and Baffin Islandwhile flyingfrom Icelandto Denver on Jan. 30,
- (Photo: ©Tom Yulsman)
Another month, yet another record low forArctic sea ice extent in a warming world.
January’saverage ice extent in the Arctic was 525,000 square miles below the 1981-to-2010 average, making it the lowest January extent in the satellite record. This is an astonishingly large loss of ice — equivalent to 80 percent of Alaska.
But what happened in January was equally, if notmore significant, for its timing. Ithappened when the Arctic was grippedby frigid, polar weather.
Record lows in the Arcticonce occurred mostly in September — at the end of summer when relatively warm temperatures naturally cause the frozen lid of sea ice to shrink to an annual minimum extent. With human-caused warming added on top of relatively mild summertemperatures, recordmelt-backs in summer perhaps arenot sosurprising.
But now, dramatic reductions in sea ice are occurring more and more often during the cold season.
“Now we are seeing winter really get into the act as well,” says NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “The shrinking Arctic sea ice cover is no longer something that just stands out in summer.”
Thisshift to record lows in winter,scientists say, is yet another indication that human activities have already transformed the region into what they’re calling “the new Arctic.”
No surprises here: average January #Arcticsea ice extent was the lowest in the satellite record…
— Zack Labe February 2, 2018
Why should those of us who don’t live in the Arctic care about what’s happening up there?
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary — obviously not an Arctic nation — answered that question in this way, during an address to theArctic Frontiers conferencein Norway last month: “Whatever happens here in the Arctic has a direct and immediate impact on the rest of the world, and especially Europe.”
I don’t know about “immediate,” but there are myriadways that changes in the Arctic are affecting the rest of the world — for example, changes to fisheries as fish stocks move north, and possible (but still unproven) effectson weatherfar to the south.
Shrivelingsea ice also has turnedthe region into something of a new frontier. Many nations are eyeing the Arctic’s opening sea routes, its strategic position between Eurasia and North America, and its potentially hugereserves of oil and gas, as well as other resources.
This, in turn, is having geopolitical consequences. Among them: Russian military moves that some analysts believe are designedto bring down an “ice curtain” in the region — intended todeny other nations access to large swaths of the Arctic.
As sea ice growth last monthwas lagging far behind normal and heading for its record low, politicians andscientistsattending the Arctic Frontiers conference were discussing the ramifications of thenew Arctic. Among the scientists was Ingrid H. Onarheim,a researcher atthe University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.
She began anoverview talk about Arctic sea ice by putting the trendinto a long-term context: “The recent sea ice loss is unprecedented,” she said, at least during the last 160 or so years.
Modern satellite monitoring of sea ice could not by itself reveal that insight, because it dates back only to 1979. So fora longer term perspective,researchers fromNSIDC and elsewhereturned to noveldata sources. These includedwhaling ship logs,sea ice chartsfrom the Danish Meteorological Institute, compilations by U.S. Navy oceanographers, observations from aircraft, and other sources. All of this disparate informationhad to be digitized and then synthesized to be compatible with one another.
The resulting database, going all the way back to 1850, showsthat at least since then “we’ve never had as little ice as we have now,” Onarheim told her colleagues at Arctic Frontiers.
Here’s what that looks like in graphic form:
Source:“A database for depicting Arctic sea ice variations back to 1850,” John E. Walsh et al, Geographical Review, 11 July 2016
Before getting into what these maps show,I shouldpoint out that there is a typo in the oneon the left. It should be 1850-1900.
With that correction in mind, let’s turn to the details. The left-handmap above shows the concentration of sea ice during September of1854. Thenew databaseshows thatthis month had the smallest ice extent duringthe entire 1850-1900period.
The other maps in the triptych show what sea ice looked like for the lowest September in each of those respective periods.
The take-away message from the triptych is pretty clear. As theauthors of the paper describing the new long-term database wrote:
It is apparent that the recent September minimum of 2012 is far less than the minima of the two earlier . . . periods. This comparison indicates that the summer ice minima of the past decade have no precedents in earlier decades back to 1850.
But as last month’s record low ice extent shows, significant sea ice losses are no longer mostly confined to the warmer months. I think you can see that pretty well in this graphicshowing how Arctic sea ice fared during each of the 1,956months between1850 and2013:
The status of Arctic sea ice month-by-month (vertical axis) and year-by-year (horizontal axis). Blues indicate ice extent that’s below the long-term mean. Reds indicate the opposite. (Source: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, after a figure by Julienne Stroeve, National Snow and Ice Data Center)
The first thing that jumps out atme is the dominanceof blue, meaning lower than average sea ice, starting around 1975. It’s most pronounced during July, August and September, the warm months. But recently, deeperblues have been spreading out into the cold season months ofNovember through April.
“We are losing sea ice in all seasons now,” Onarheimsaid, echoing the NSIDC’s Mark Serreze. “The changes in ice are spreading from the summer to winter season.”
There is no doubt as to what’s behind the accelerating decline of the sea ice at the top of the world: warming fromhumankind’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. There is also no doubt that the Arctic is actually ground zero for climate change — it’swarming twice as fast as the globe as a whole.
But the Arctic is a very big place, and the regional patterns are just as important as the overall trend.
No region has been affected more than the Barents Sea, located north of Norway and Russia, and the nearby waters just north of the archipelago of Svalbard. And as it turns out, thestrongesteffect in this part of the Arctichas been — you guessed it — during winter, according to Onarheim.
Scientists are working hard to explainwhy this is so, and research suggests that the answer can be summed upthis way: In this region, the Arctic isexperiencing what some call “Atlantification.”
The Gulf Stream, carrying warm Atlantic water, moves north along the Norwegian coastanddivides into two main branches, one on either side side of the island archipelago of Svalbard. In the Arctic Ocean, this Atlantic water becomesdenser as it cools and therefore sinks. After circulating, the now cold water leaves the Arctic Ocean, mainly through the Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland.(Illustration: Audun Igesund, Norwegian Polar Institute).
Scientists have known for 100 years that warm Atlantic water rides north on the back of the Gulf Stream, and that extensions of that massive current take it all the way up into the Barents Sea and over the top of Svalbard. (See the map above.) Research has shownthat increasingly warmAtlantic Ocean water carried on thesecurrents — about 1 degree C warming since 1979 — isinhibitingsea ice from forming, even as winter air temperatures continue to plunge well below freezing.
Research by Onarheim and her colleaguesshowsthat warming Atlantic waters arriving north of Svalbard on the currents are having several specific impacts. To start with, theypush underthe sea ice that does form, inhibiting further growth and even causing it to melt from underneath. This leaves the ice thinner and less extensive than it otherwise would be.
With less floatingice forming a cap on the sea during winter, the relatively warm sea water is able to give upmore heat to the atmosphere. And that helps explain a nearly 7degree C increase in mean air temperature north of Svalbard in winter, according to Onarheim’s research.
As air temperatures naturally warm in the spring, the thinner ice can melt out faster. That leaves the water exposed to sunlight for longer periods. So it absorbs more energy and heats up— inhibiting the formation of ice when cold air temperatures return with a vengeance in the fall. And that means still less sea ice in the winter months.
Here is how energy has been accumulating within Earth’s climate system, thanks to humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases. As the graph shows, most of the energy has been been absorbed by the oceans. The rest has gone to melting ice, warming continental land masses and the atmosphere. (Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report)
The oceans make up 70 percent of our planet’s surface.And water is particularlyadept at soaking up heat. So much so, in fact,that Earth’s oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat that has accumulated in theplanet’s climate system due to our emissions of greenhouse gases.
As we’ve now seen, some of that heat has a tendency to come out — nowhere more readily than in the Arctic, where the frigid atmosphere is practically begging to absorb heat, and where the Gulf Stream’s northernmost extensions have been only too happy to oblige.
Onarheim’s overarching take-away message during her Arctic Frontiers talk was this: Computer modeling of the climate system suggests that unless we significantly rein in CO2 emissions soon, Arctic waters could be sea-ice free during summer by about mid-century. Sea ice would still form in winter. But the models also predict that continuing warming would lead to ice-free Arctic watersin winterbetween 2061 and 2088. (The rather large range represents the possible impact of natural climate processes.)
In other words, the models are saying that in just a little more than forty years, Arctic waters could be ice freeyear ’round. That would give us a radically new Arctic — and a verydifferent planetthan the one we live on today.
One lastthing: Sofar, Arctic sea ice has been disappearing more quickly than the models have predicted. So we may not have to wait four decades for completely ice-free Arctic waters.
“If we want to keep the ice cover, we have to reduce the CO2emissions,” Onarheim says. “The faster we emit the CO2, the faster we will lose the sea ice.”
Research in Siberia has found that the squirrels' underground burrows are warming frozen soil and they're also disturbing vegetation. The result is that they're unlocking more greenhouse gas from the ground than had previously been accounted for。
Researchers are already worried that warmer temperatures will cause the permafrost to thaw. But now it seems the impact of wildlife should also be considered。
Imagine a polar bear kit and its mother surrounded by water. Only a tiny piece of ice was drifting under their feet. The ice was slowly breaking apart. The kit drifts away, squeaking with terror. Shivering and drenched with water, the kit curled up. The mother edges closer as the tiny iceberg was slowly getting smaller and smaller. No ice was near them for miles. The mother needed to find food, but she was already exhausted, trying to keep her kit alive. One hundred and fifty glaciers have been reduced to twenty five in the December of 2016. Why is this happening? Climate change and global warming need to be taken seriously and humans need to act now because it changes nature, animals, and humans. Climate change affects human health and can make animals endangered or extinct. Although the process of slowing down global warming is slow and can be an arduous task, people still need to take action before it’s too late.
Our environment is a big part of our lives. Most people aren’t even aware that humans are the ones that are causing climate change. Thanks to our actions, animals and all nature are being affected negatively. According to The Effects of Climate Change, “Earth’s north and south extremities are crucial for regulating our planet’s climate”. The poles, especially, are vulnerable to global warming and the impacts of it can affect an entire region or the entire globe altogether. Melting glaciers greatly impact our world’s freshwater ecosystems. Ocean and river water levels are rising, which are also absorbing carbon dioxide gas to prevent it from reaching toward the atmosphere. Global warming has increased “carbon dioxide concentration which make oceans more acidic”. Sea life in the ocean could go extinct or be damaged. Plants could die as temperatures and carbon levels change drastically while other organisms need to adapt and survive in oceans, lakes, and rivers. “Warmer air can hold a higher water content,” which means as water levels become unbalanced, droughts, extreme weather patterns, and flooding can occur. Freshwater ecosystems are contrived by “drainage, dredging, damming, pollution, and extraction,” which are all acts of human beings. These actions furthermore strengthens the negative impacts of weather. The weather patterns affect plant or nature species in certain regions. According to The Effects of Climate Change, snow leopards, rhinos, elephants, polar bears, and many more animals are also being affected and “climate change is happening too quickly for many species to adapt.” Animal’s territories have been shrinking due to rising sea levels or melting glaciers, leaving animals to search new areas to shelter or possibly going extinct. Some animals depend on weather patterns, which are affected by climate change. The “sensitive coral and algae” are “starved from oxygen”. This means that coral can bleach or possibly become extinct. Animals depend on coral and algae for food, shelter, and to hide from predators. These are all the consequences due to climate change that is animals are affected by.
Furthermore, some think animals are the only ones affected, but humans are being affected too. Humans don’t realize that everything they are doing are destroying themselves as well. According to The Impacts of Climate change, a study had been about the amount of deaths from extreme weather that had risen over years, due to climate change. Damage to buildings and towns need billions of dollars to replace supplies and structures each year. The preparation of the extreme event also add on the cost. In many regions after flooding or other extreme events, it sends people swarming for new land to settle in and emergency attention. According to Global Warming Affects, people's health are also affected due to “extreme heat, disasters, diseases, air quality, and carbon dioxide amounts in the air”. The dangerous chemicals that we produce break the atmosphere’s ozone layer that protects us from harmful sunlight. Harmful elements in sunlight causes heat waves and droughts. Human’s respiratory and cardiovascular failures are all results of air pollution, also causing conditions like asthma or allergies. According to Impacts of Climate Change, “Loss of internal temperature control can result in a cascade of illnesses.” Increasing greenhouse gases can cause heat strokes, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and hyperthermia. In extreme cold, frostbite and hypothermia can occur. Areas that are already experiencing climate changes have increased intensity, causing more dangerous diseases and health effects. Abrupt changes in extreme weather do not allow people to adapt if they could. Mentally, climate changes cause anxiety, stress, depression, and suicidality. Social relationships can strain, stress disorders can strengthen, and aggression, violence, or crimes can be performed. These are all consequences of our careless actions that we are committing too.
On the other hand, to slow down climate change comes with a price and a myriad of time and tactics. People need to act now while it is within out power to fix it. According to National Geographic, if we leave this problem carelessly, things that changed might stay, even if we end climate change. When arctic glaciers melt, they never just suddenly appear with a snap again. Animals that live in the arctic such as walruses, polar bears, and seals can’t swim forever if the glaciers fade away. Not just in the arctic, but other animals are losing their homes due to temperature changes that they can’t adapt to. Unless we start slowing climate change, one action of the environment, such as the melting permafrost, it can lead to a chain of events, making climate change even more deadly. Permafrost “releases carbon dioxide and more potent methane”. Permafrost is icy, frozen ground that has trapped carbon for thousands of years. This process worsens climate change even more. Others say that it’s just a problem that we can fix anytime, permafrost is only one problem. There are many other problems about climate change. Water ph levels lowering, endangered animals, extinct animals, and withering nature.
Therefore, all of these problems had started with people, so humans are the ones to fix it. Essentially, people need to stop or at least slow down global warming for the good of the planet. Global warming affects the world in many different ways, such as causing animal extinctions and affecting humanity itself. One could easily do much to help the environment, saving many organisms. Actions people can take are speaking up against climate change, saving energy at home, stop using air conditioning, or even something as easy as not wasting food. Global warming is a serious problem, and people need to take action now before it's too late!
- Rumi Liao