Think climate change is a far-off thing affecting only future generations? Think again. Check out these headlines from just the last TWO DAYS:
The global climate is changing faster now than it has at any point in the past 2,000 years. That’s the conclusion of a trio of papers published July 24 in the journals Nature and Nature Geoscience that examined the global climate over the past two millennia. The researchers showed that none of the past fluctuations — that is, not the Little Ice Age, the warm period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly or any other famous shift — had the global reach that modern climate change is having. Past fluctuations tended to be localized, affecting primarily one region at a time. Modern climate change, by contrast, is messing with the entire world.
Wildfires burning large swaths of Russia are generating so much smoke, they’re visible from space, new images from NASA’s Earth Observatory reveal. Since June, more than 100 wildfires have raged across the Arctic, which is especially dry and hot this summer. In Russia alone, wildfires are burning in 11 of the country’s 49 regions, meaning that even in fire-free areas, people are choking on smoke that is blowing across the country.
Scientists may have unraveled the mystery of what triggered decade-long droughts during medieval times in the American Southwest. These so-called megadroughts were so devastating that entire civilizations may have collapsed in their wake. These findings suggest the risk of megadroughts may rise due to global warming, scientists added. From the 800s to the 1400s, about a dozen megadroughts struck the American Southwest, and all lasted longer than a decade.
The world’s glaciers are melting and dumping water into the ocean. If you’ve read about climate change, you probably know this. But now, once again, the rate at which all that extra water is flowing into the ocean has to be revised upward. Researchers have revealed that ice on the submerged bottoms of ocean-edge glaciers may be melting at a much faster rate — possibly 100 times faster — than current models predict. And that could have serious implications for the rate at which the seas rise.