Sally Ann Ranney
“It always seems
until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela
Need to Know
The Australian Fires Are a Prelude to Our Climate Suffering
The fires could just be the beginning in a slow-motion climate reckoning of rising sea levels, unprecedented storms, and hellish heat waves.
The evidence mounted all year. Temperature records were broken in France, Germany and elsewhere; the Greenland ice sheet experienced exceptional melting; and, as 2019 came to a close, broiling temperatures contributed to devastating wildfires that continue in Australia. Now European scientists have confirmed what had been suspected: 2019 was a very hot year, with global average temperatures the second highest on record. Only 2016 was hotter, and not by much—less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. More…
The Nation | Tom Engelhardt | Jan.28, 2020
The ice we’ve lost to climate change this past decade, visualized
As polar and mountain regions have warmed, the extent of sea and land ice has declined.
One of the most poignant climate moments of 2019 was a funeral for ice: an August ceremony in Iceland for the country’s Okjökull glacier. As can be seen in NASA satellite images, the glacier declined dramatically between 1986 and 2019.
“In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque reads. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you will know if we did it.”
The loss of Okjökull (officially stripped of its glacier status in 2014) was one of many deeply troubling milestones this decade in the world’s frozen regions, known collectively as the cryosphere. The Arctic in particular is warming twice as fast as the global average and experienced many historic heat waves. The warming, in turn, is causing an unprecedented amount of melt in the world’s ice.
The ice sheets on land have critical effects on seawater levels around the world. If all the ice on Greenland were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by 20 feet. If all the ice in Antarctica melted, it would raise sea levels by 190 feet. More…
Vox Media | Umair Irfan | Dec. 23, 2019
Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
Ten impacts of the Australian bushfires.
After initial devastation of the fires, impacts are ongoing. An estimated billion animals, and many more bats and insects, are likely to die in total over the coming weeks and months as a result of lost habitat and food sources. This loss is part of a much bigger picture of a world where biodiversity is in steep decline. We are losing wildlife at an ever-increasing scale across the planet, with impacts to ecosystems vital for our own global food production.
The world’s terrestrial biodiversity is concentrated in forests: they are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. So, when forests burn, the biodiversity on which humans depend for their long-term survival also disappears in the inferno. With over 1 million species currently facing extinction if we continue with business as usual, extreme weather events such “megafires” become an increasing matter of concern for species survival. More…
UN Environment Program | Jan. 22, 2020
Photo by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Handout via REUTERS
Learn More About Sally Ranney
Climate Change Solution Strategist
Wildlife & Biodiversity Activist