Hurricane Sandy blows climate change back on the table
Today is election day in the US, but climate change should have been on the campaign agenda months ago. It shouldn't take a disaster like superstorm Sandy to finally bring it back into the conversation.
(Page 2 of 2)
Continued melting trends in the Arctic have the potential to fuel even higher temperatures. As snow and ice melt in the Arctic, the area loses albedo, or reflectivity. Less reflectivity means more heat is absorbed, leading to increased temperatures. Increased temperatures accelerate melting, which can cause glacial surges and increased calving of ice into the ocean. Melting also occurs within the land surface in areas of permafrost, or frozen ground. Some permafrost contains stores of greenhouse gases, which can be released into the atmosphere upon melting.Skip to next paragraph
Gallery Monitor Political Cartoons
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
We are dealing with a large snowball of aggregated environmental issues, and we are coming dangerously close to pushing that snowball over the edge.
It’s hard to keep the effects of climate change in mind when much of what we experience in North America is isolated events or storms. But we have to keep climate change at the forefront; the Arctic is severely suffering from our consumerist and carbon belching lifestyle. And the issue isn’t just melting ice.
The international nonprofit WITNESS has partnered with other groups on its TRUST campaign, using video storytelling to highlight the effects of climate change in the lives of American youth. Nelson Kanuk, age 17, can only watch as melting permafrost in Alaska brings his home closer to the riverbank each year. Inuit are losing their ability to survive off of traditional subsistence hunting and are thus at risk for losing much of their identity and home. A multitude of species are experiencing range shifts and decreased numbers. Remember those adorable polar bears? Some have turned to cannibalism in order to skirt starvation.
In 2006, Time Magazine ran a special report on global warming with large, bold letters: “Be worried. Be very worried.” There is significant evidence of the insidious effects of climate change worldwide, and more obvious effects in the Arctic. If we ever want to see serious American climate change policy, we need to come to a greater consensus. Climate change is real, and it’s taking the land right out from under our feet.