Our Planet's Health

Planetary Responsibility and Personal Involvement


This web page is focused on providing you with a small collection of issues and events regarding climate change, that are growing in geographic scope, frequency, and severity. It is by no means a comprehensive list of events or concerns. It is my hope that it will give you a desire to learn more about this climate crisis we are now in, and that you will take some productive action to help lessen it.

We are ALL responsible for being good stewards of the Earth.

Unfortunately, we are contributing to the rapid eradication (i.e., extinction) of species (plant & animal) due to:

These factors are altering climate and habitats faster than natural processes would normally account, or can compensate, for.

What is currently being affected

On September 10, 2020, citing the 2020 Living Planet Report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a National Public Radio (NPR) news article (NPR article) stated that in the past 50 years, human activities have caused a two-thirds drop in world wildlife populations.

In May, 2019, a 1,500-page report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPEBS) was approved by over 130 nations, including the U.S. They warn that over 1 million of the Earth's 8 million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction due to humankind's actions (or inactions) on the planet. These include:

A report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) states that since 1970 there has been "a 60% average decline in population size across thousands of kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. The growth of human consumption (specifically through agriculture and the overexploitation of various species) is the biggest driver of the drop in biodiversity." - TIME magazine, November 12, 2018 issue


* - The Bramble Cay melomys (a small, brown chubby-cheeked rat), found on a small, low-lying sandy island (i.e., the Bramble Cay) between Australia and Papua New Guinea, was last seen in 2009 and declared officially extinct in 2016. Rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms inundated the island with seawater, particularly between 1998 and 2014. This led to a 97% drop in vegetation cover which is thought to have contributed to the extinction of this animal. - Audubon.org, March 4, 2022
(For more information on the relationship between species extinctions and climate change, click here. )

* - The Chinese Paddlefish has not been seen since 2005 and was recently declared extinct. - CNET.com, January 9, 2020

* - The last male Sumatran Rhino named "Tam," died on Monday, May 27, 2019. "He was rescued from a palm oil plantation in 2008 and placed in a managed care facility at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Sumatran rhinos, believed to be the closest living relative of the woolly rhinos of the ice age, are the smallest of the species and the only Asian rhinos with two horns, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Prolonged poaching for their horns contributed to the dwindling population size and their habitat was lost and degraded by invasive species, road construction and encroachment for agricultural expansion."- ABCNEWS.go.com, May 28, 2019

* - A 14-year old, Hawaiian land snail, named "George," died on January 1, 2019 in a lab in Kailua, Oahu. He was the last of his species. - TIME magazine, January 21, 2019 issue

* - The world's last male northern white rhino, named "Sudan", was euthanized to end his age-related suffering. (He was 45 years old.) As the last male, this leaves his species on the brink of extinction. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue

* - In a press release on January 22, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that the Eastern Puma (a.k.a., cougar or mountain lion) is now extinct and removed it from the federal "Endangered Species" list. (Read more at The Center for Biological Diversity's web site.)


* - The Northern Long-earred Bat is now on the Endangered Species List due to "White-nose Syndrome" (a fungus). In the U.S. and Canada, 80% of the bat population has been impacted by the disease. By 2025, all of the bats' range will have been affected. New protections, that are to go into effect in 2023, are a "last ditch" effort to save the bat from extinction. - The Weather Channel (video) November 30, 2022

* - October, 2022, for the first time in recorded history, the state of Alaska canceled its Bering Sea Snow Crab season due to a crab population drop of 87% (from 8 billion in 2018 to 1 billion in 2021). Adding to the concern, is a phenomenon observed by marine biologists of a "mass cannabalism frenzy" believed to be caused by the warming waters of the Bering Sea and its effects on the life cycle of the crabs. - TIME magazine, November 7/November 14, 2022 issue

* - On July 21, 2022 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), based in Gland, Switzerland, listed the migratory monarch butterfly, as "Endangered." The IUCN's "Red List" identifies over 41,000 species that are currently threatened with extinction. (See www.iucnredlist.org)

* - In data released by the Australian government, Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent. In the brushfires of 2019-2020, more than 8 million hectares (19.76 million acres) of land were burnt which lead to the deaths of 1-3 billion animals. (Some animals of concern mentioned in this news article mention the Bandicoot, Duck-billed Platypus, and Koala Bears.) - BBC News (via YouTube), July 19, 2022.

* - Australia's Great Barrier Reef is currently experiencing another mass bleaching event. This is the fourth mass bleaching in seven years due to abnormally high ocean temperatures (up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit above average). Such repeated bleaching events leave no time for the coral to recover. Similar climate change-related damage is happening to reefs around the world. Between 2009 and 2019, 14% of the world's coral died. A quarter of marine species rely on coral reefs during some point in their life cycles. - National Public Radio (NPR), March 26, 2022 (For full article, click here.)

* - A new record for deliberate deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest was set in February, 2022. Forest clearing reached 77 square miles (199 sq. km) for February, which was an increase of 62% for the same month in 2021, based on data published by the national space research agency INPE. During the first two months of 2022, destruction of the rainforest was three times higher than for the same period in 2021 (about 243 square miles, or 629 sp. km.). Brazil contains about 60% of the world's largest rainforest. The rainforest is vital to mitigating severe climate change because it absorbs such large amounts of greenhouse gases. Scientists fear that this continued destruction is pushing the rainforest to a tipping point where the land will dry out and turn into savanna, which would result in the release of large amounts of greenhouse gas. - Reuters (online), March 11, 2022

* - Koalas in eastern Australia have been officially listed as endangered, as of Feb. 11, 2022. The causes have been identified as deforestation, bushfires and disease. - TIME Magazine, February 28/ March 7, 2022 issue

* - 2021 has been the deadliest year on record for Manatees in Florida. Almost 1,000 manatees have died in Florida (as of 10/15/2021), which is about 10% of their population. Causes include motorboat strikes, but also loss of seagrass (a manatee food source) due to pollution from agriculture and septic systems. - Science Friday podcast (from NPR), October 15, 2021

* - With heatwaves increasing in frequency, intensity, and duration, baby bird deaths are already rising in North America. Scientists with the National Audubon Society (U.S.) have determined "that 389 species of birds are at risk of future extinction if governments and industries fail to reduce global carbon emissions." (Article) - Audubon.org, August 13, 2021 (For a list of which birds are at risk, and for which regions of the United States, click here.)

* - It is estimated that polar bears will be all but extinct by 2100, because of the effects of climate change, per research published July 20th. - TIME Magazine, August 3/August 10, 2020 Double issue

* - Due to climate change, Australia's bushfires (July 2019 - February 2020), have placed the black-tailed dusky Antechinus (a mouse-size marsupial), which was discovered just five years ago, at risk of extinction. - TIME Magazine, January 27, 2020 issue

* - There are only 80 Florida Grasshopper Sparrows left in the wild. - NPR News ("All Things Considered"), September 23, 2019

* - A new scientific paper states that the U.S. bird population has dropped by 30% since the 1970's. (This is about 3 BILLION birds.) - NPR News, September 19, 2019

* - In a landmark study published in the journal Climate Change, 60% of plants in the world's richest forests are at risk of extinction in the next century unless stronger measures to combt climate change are put into practice. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue


A Partial List of Recent Weather/Climate Events

When the atmosphere heats up, it means you'll not only have droughts and wildfires, but you'll also have more atmospheric energy for severe storms (including winter storms), and floods. Climate change also means that there will be unexpected and drastic changes in hot & cold, dry & wet weather, in extremes that we've never seen before; and in places we wouldn't expect to see them.

As global temperature increases, the speed and amount of melting polar ice also increases. Ice and snow reflect heat from the sun back into space (i.e., albedo), and this helps keep the Earth cool. As we lose this snow and ice, temperatures increase. The melting of large amounts of polar ice also leads to global sea level rise, which will eventually put coastal populated areas and infrastructure, as well as island nations, underwater. Rising sea levels also change the salinity of the oceans, which can change the properties of ocean currents.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, if you can remember back to the 1980's (or earlier), you probably noticed that even your local climate has changed. Here's a very short list of some significant recent weather events (read from the bottom up):

  1. July, 2023 was the hottest month on record, according to climate scientists. - The Washington Post, August 2, 2023
  2. Twenty-one consecutive days in July, 2023 (from the July 3rd to the 24th) were the hottest recorded on Earth. - ABC-TV News (via YouTube), July 24, 2023
  3. July 4, 2023 broke the record for Earth's hottest day on record, that was set the previous day, with a temperature of 62.9ºF. According to the Univeristy of Maine and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, this breaks the two previous heat records of July 24, 2022 and August 14, 2016. - Forbes Breaking News (via YouTube), July 5, 2023
  4. Scientists from the European Union (EU) state that June, 2023 was the warmest June on record. - DW News (via YouTube), July 9, 2023
  5. July 3, 2023 was the hottest day on record globally, with an average temperature of 17.01º C (62.6ºF). - CBC News (via YouTube) - July 5, 2023
  6. The Mississippi River drops to record low levels, causing the reduction of movement of barges carrying grain, petroleum, and other goods, which have supply chain consequences. The decreased river level is also allowing salt water to come further up the river and potentially threatening the drinking water for New Orleans. - CBS News (via YouTube.com), October 18, 2022 (Note: Low river levels overseas have occurred this summer on the Rhine (Germany), the Po (Italy), and the Thames (England)).
  7. The Swiss Academy of Sciences reports that glaciers in Switzerland shrank by 6% during 2022 due to a drier winter and hotter summer. The Academy describes it as "disastorous." - BBC News (via YouTube.com),September 28, 2022
  8. Since 1983, Lake Mead in Nevada, has now dropped to a record low level of 27% capacity due to the prolonged drought caused by climate change. - ABC News (via YouTube.com), July 21, 2022
  9. July 19, 2022, the U.K. set a new record of 40ºC (104ºF). The previous heat records were 35.9ºC (96.6ºF) in 1976, 38.5ºC (101.3ºF) in 2003, and 38.7ºC (101.7ºF) in 2019 - BBC News (via YouTube), July 19, 2022
  10. Fresno, California hits 105ºF (40.6ºC) and Witchita Falls, Texas hits 113ºF (45ºC) as a record-breaking heat wave blankets major portions of the U.S. - NBC News (via YouTube.com), July 19, 2022
  11. The Great Salt Lake in Utah (U.S.) has dried up to one-third its normal size due to climate change-induced drought. This threatens several ecosystems, and numerous species that depend on the lake. Also, a variety of particulates (including arsenic and mercury) which settled into the lake's bottom (some from decades of mining in the area) are now at risk of being released into the air by winds blowing over the now exposed dry lake bed. - ABC News (via YouTube.com), July 18, 2022, and Science Friday podcast, July 22, 2022
  12. A heatwave in Europe is fueling wildfires in Portugal, France, Spain and Turkey. - BBC News (via YouTube), July 14, 2022
  13. The world set a new CO2 (carbon dioxide) record in April, 2022 of 420 parts per million (ppm), the highest level ever recorded. - The Weather Channel, May 16, 2022
  14. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said on April 22, 2022, that 2021 was the "hottest summer ever". Temperatures were 1.8ºF above normal. - TIME magazine, May 9/May 16, 2022 issue
  15. On March 15th, 2022, the Conger Ice Shelf in eastern Antartica, which is 460 square miles in size, broke off. Generally, the ice in eastern Antarctica has been considered more stabe and less vulnerable to global warming than western Antarctica. - The Washington Post, March 26, 2022
  16. During the week of March 18, 2022, parts of eastern Antarctica saw temperatures jump 50-90 degrees above normal. Unusual because Antarctica was entering autumn, when there are about 25 minutes less sunlight per day. - The Washington Post, March 18, 2022
    Temperature records were set on March 18, 2022 in Antarctica with a high of 11.3ºF, which is 70ºF above normal. - TIME magazine, April 11/April 18, 2022 issue
  17. 2021 was the 6th-warmest year on record going back to 1880. It was also the 45th consecutive year (since 1977) that had temperatures rising above the 20th century's average, with 2013-2021 ranking among the top ten warmest years on record. - NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) , January 13, 2022. (For more information, go to: https://www.noaa.gov/news/2021-was-worlds-6th-warmest-year-on-record)
  18. 2020 had the smallest extent of Artic sea ice on record - "Arctic Drift" (documentary), PBS (Public Broadcasting System), October 13, 2021.
  19. August 29, 2021 - Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane with 150 MPH sustained winds and initial storm surge over 6 feet. Ida has tied two other hurricanes for the strongest landfall to hit that state: Hurricane Laura in 2020, and an unnamed hurricane in 1856. - The Weather Channel, August 29, 2021.
  20. August 13, 2021 - July was the hottest month ever recorded since recordkeeping began 142 years ago. In the northern hemisphere, land temperatures were an unprecedented 2.77º F (1.54º C) above average, which beats the previous record set in 2012. Regionally, Asia had its hottest July on record, beating its previous 2010 record. Europe had its 2nd hottest July on record (tying its 2010 record), and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July - NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) News, August 13, 2021.
  21. August, 2021 - Wildfires now burning in Siberia, are bigger than all of the current wildfires in the U.S., Canada, Turkey and Greece COMBINED. The Siberian wildfires have so far released as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as the U.K.'s ANNUAL CO2 emissions (according to an estimate by a European agency). - ABCNews (via YouTube.com), August 11, 2021.
  22. June, 2021 was the hottest June on record in the 48 contiguous states of the United States, with an average temperature of 73ºF. 4ºF higher than Junes in the 20th century and sets a new record. The previous record for June was set in 2016. This year's temperature was 1ºF hotter than that. - NPR News, July 9, 2021
  23. February 3, 2020 - ClimateCentral.org reports that since the 1970s, snowfall in the United States has dropped by 46% due to rising global temperatures. Snow is not only important for refilling reservoirs during the winter months, but also snow reflects up to 80% of the sun's energy back into space, thus, keeping the planet cooler. - ClimateCentral.org, February 3, 2020. (For the full report, go to: https://www.climatecentral.org/news/report-the-case-of-the-shifting-snow)
  24. November 25, 2019 - The World Meteorological Organization reported that in 2018, an all-time high for carbon dioxide emissions was reached of 407.8 parts per million. Rates of two other greenhouse gases (Methane and Nitrous oxide) have also increased. The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high was about 3 million years ago when the Earth's temperature was 5.4ºF (3º C) warmer, and sea levels were as much as 65 feet (20 meters) higher. - CNET.com, November 25, 2019
  25. September 29, 2019 - The northern Rocky Mountains in Montana get 40 inches of snow. - The Weather Channel
  26. 2019 - New temperature records were set in Germany, France, Belgium and other countries in western Europe due to a heat wave. - TIME magazine, September 23, 2019 issue
  27. August 18, 2019 - Scientists in Iceland held a funeral for the Okjokull glacier, which is the first glacier to be lost to climate change. It had once covered 6 square miles. - TIME magazine, Sept. 2/Sept. 9, 2019 issue
  28. August 1, 2019 was (by volume) the largest one-day loss of Greenland's ice sheet (12.5 BILLION TONS of ice melted in 24 hours). - TIME magazine, August 19, 2019 issue
  29. Summer, 2019 - Temperatures in Jacobabad, Pakistan and a neighboring province, reach 124ºF (51.1ºC), and regularly reach 122ºF (50ºC) in the summer months. - TIME magazine, August 23, 2019 issue
  30. July, 2019 was the Earth's hottest month on record since recorord keeping began 139 years ago - TIME magazine, August 19, 2019 issue
  31. July 25, 2019 - Paris, France hit 107ºF, beating it's old record of 104.7ºF set back in 1947. - ABCNEWS.GO.COM, July 25, 2019
  32. July 4, 2019 - Temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska hit 90ºF which broke an all-time heat record. (The previous record high was 85ºF on June 14, 1969). It was also the driest June on record for Alaska.- NPR.org, July 5, 2019
  33. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, has reached 415 parts per million (ppm), up from 400 ppm in 2013. High CO2 like this was last seen more than 3 million years ago, when sea levels were about 50 feet higher than today. - TIME magazine, March 27, 2019 issue
  34. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, produced by the U.S. government, from the early and mid-20th century, fewer than 20% of U.S. counties had an annual disaster. Today, it is about 50% that do. - USA Today, March 5, 2019
  35. January, 2019 saw global temperatures 1.58ºF above average, tying the record for the third highest. - TIME magazine, March 4, 2019 issue
  36. "Since 2009, Antarctica has lost almost 278 billion tons (252 billion metric tons) of ice per year, the new study found. In the 1980s, it was losing 44 billion tons (40 billion metric tons) a year. The recent melting rate is 15 percent higher than what a study found last year." - ABCNEWS.COM, January 15, 2019
  37. On October 8, 2018, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations stated that a global temperature rise of 1.5º C (2.8º F) will cross a line which will cause some of the worst effects of climate change. These include the disappearance of some island nations (due to sea level rise because of melting polar ice), unpredictable weather patterns, and the destruction of ecosystems. As of 2018, the planet's temperature has already risen 1ºC (1.8º F) as a result of human activity. The planet could pass the 1.5º C threshold by 2030 (12 years from now). -TIME magazine,October 22, 2018 issue
    To see the IPCC's report in detail, go to this web address: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
  38. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that in 2017, weather and climate cost the U.S. economy $306 billion (this includes everything from damage to homes, to crops being wiped out). - TIME magazine, August 20, 2018 issue
  39. The costs for weather and climate damage in 2016 and 2015 were $49 billion and $24 billion, respectively. - from NOAA's website (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/2016 and https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/2015)
  40. In a study published in the journal Nature on June 13, 2018, scientists have found that Antartica is dumping ice into the ocean at the staggering rate of about 2 billion tons per year. And as big as this amount is, it is getting worse. Of the nearly 3 trillion tons of ice loss since 1992, 40% has happened in the last five years. - TIME magazine, June 25, 2018 issue
  41. May 17, 2018, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announce that April, 2017 was the 400th consecutive month of above-average temperatures for the planet. Also of note:
    • April, 2018 (globally) was the third warmest on record,
    • Europe had its warmest April on record, and Australia, its 2nd warmest,
    • in the town of Nawabshah in southern Pakistan, the temperature reached 122.4º F on April 30th, which may have been the wamest April temperature on the planet, according to Meteo France,
    • North America had its 13th coldest April since 1997, with an average U.S. temperature of 48.9º F (which was 2.2º below average),
    • carbon dioxide (one of the notable heat trapping gases, and produced in large quatities by mankind's burning of fossil fuels) in Earth's atmosphere reached 410 parts per million (ppm) which according to the Scripps Institue, is the highest level in at least 800,000 years. - USA Today, May 17, 2018
  42. May 6, 2018: Phoenix, Arizona has a temperature record of 106º F for that day. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News"
  43. According to the World Bank, climate change could lead to the mass displacement of people (est. 143 million) by the year 2050. Much of the displacement is expected to occur in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. It is expected that such mass movements of people will put strains on national and local governments. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue
  44. As of January 20, 2018, following three years of unprecedented drought, the city of Cape Town in the Union of South Africa, has projected that its reservoirs will run out of water by April 21, 2018 (~90 days). Planners have determined that taps will have to be turned off (except for essential services) once reservoir capacity drops to 13.5%. "Residents will be allowed to collect 6.6 gallons of water a day from municipal water points" (which are to be protected by armed guards) after that. - TIME magazine, January 29, 2018 issue
    (For a more detailed, first-person account, see the TIME magazine, February 19, 2018 issue.)

    (UPDATE 9/18/2018: After getting people to follow strict water rationing (50 liters per person per day), heavy fines for households that exceeded that limit, and people limiting toilet flushes to once per day, the "day zero" event has been pushed out to 2019.)
    (UPDATE 3/26/2022: The "Day Zero" event was averted. By the end of 2018, Cape Town got more rain than average, but it didn't come during the usually expected seasons. Some drastic environmental measures have since been taken to try and reduce the chance of such a water shortage repeating. - BBC, November 10, 2021 (For the full article, click here.))
  45. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana shuts down due to extensive ice and temperatures down to 21ºF, which broke a record of 23ºF set in 1977. - NPR News, January 17, 2018
  46. Penrith, Australia hits a new record temperature of 117ºF (47ºC) on January 7, 2018, making it the hottest place on earth for that day. - TIME magazine, January 22, 2018 issue
  47. According to NOAA, the cost of damage caused by natural disasters in the U.S. in 2017 was $306 billion, making it the most expensive year on record. - TIME magazine, January 22, 2018 issue
  48. December 1st-13th, 2017 marks the warmest December on record in Alaska. - The Weather Channel, December 14, 2017
  49. The winter of 2015-2016 was Europe's warmest ever, with snow cover in the southern French Alps just 20% of its typical depth, with December of 2015 being its driest in 150 years of record keeping. - TIME magazine, December 11, 2017 issue
  50. From 1960 to 2017 the snow season in the Alps has shortened by 38 days; starting an average of 12 days later and ending 26 days earlier than normal. - TIME magazine, December 11, 2017 issue
  51. A study found that ocean acidification, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, to be a great danger to marine life. The report found threats like plastic pollutants had affected organisms' ability to withstand acidification. - TIME magazine, November 6, 2017 issue
  52. Only TWO Adélie penguin chicks that survived the breeding season in an eastern Antarctic colony of 18,000 pairs. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "unusually extensive sea ice" formed in late summer which meant parents had to trek farther than usual to find krill, and their babies starved to death waiting for them to come back. - TIME magazine, October 30, 2017 issue
  53. July 12, 2017, A colossal iceberg having almost twice the volume of Lake Erie, broke off from the "Larsen C" ice shelf in Antarctica. It has been estimated to weigh over 1 trillion tons, and covers 2,240 square miles (5,802 square kilometers), which is roughly the size of the state of Delaware. - from Accuweather.com
  54. January 2017, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announces that 2016 has now become the WARMEST YEAR on record, with average global land & sea temperatures 58.69ºF (14.83ºC) which is 1.69ºF ABOVE the 20th century's average. This broke 2015's record by 0.07ºF. (This record has been broken five times, in 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and now, 2016.) - from NOAA's website
  55. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in 2016. This is a threshold that even pessimistic climate-change scientists thought wouldn't be reached for decades. - from TIME Magazine from Oct. 24, 2016 issue
  56. Global wildlife populations shrank by almost 60% in 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). According to the WWF's findings, mammals, birds and fish dropped by 58% from 1970-2012. They forecast that the world might lose two-thirds of wildlife populations by 2020. - from TIME Magazine from Oct. 27, 2016 issue
  57. June 5, 2016, Tropical Storm "Colin" is the third "named" storm this year. The earliest on record for this many "named" storms. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with David Muir"
  58. January 20, 2016, NASA and NOAA announce that 2015 was the WARMEST YEAR (by the widest margin) for the planet on record since record keeping began in 1880. It is also the fourth year since 2000 that a global record has been broken. - from a National Public Radio (NPR) newscast, November 19, 2015
  59. October, 2015 was the WARMEST October on record. The average temperature for the month was 1.76ºF (0.98ºC) degrees WARMER than in 2014. This includes both air AND ocean temperatures. - NOAA
  60. January, 2014, 1,100 temperature records were broken.- National Climate Center
  61. August-October, 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada received 4.7" of rain. More than the city gets, on average, in an entire year.
  62. June, 2012 over 3,282 heat records broken, or tied, throughout the U.S. in this month alone. - Climate Central web site
  63. The warmest spring on record. The average temperature throughout the U.S. for March through May, 2012 was 57.1°F (13.94ºC) which is 5°F above average. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  64. Spring, 2012: A "record for breaking [weather] records" in the U.S. Heat records are broken in scores of American cities all over the country in March & April. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  65. April, 2011, a monthly record number of tornadoes (542) hit the U.S. - from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Information (https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/tornadoes/201104)
  66. September, 2010: 135 daily rainfall records were broken along the East Coast of the U.S. (e.g., Wilmington, North Carolina got 19.7 inches of rainfall in 3 days.) - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  67. 2010 beat 1998 as the hottest year on record. - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  68. August, 2010: An ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from the Greenland glacier. (Manhattan is 22.7 square miles. Approximately 13.4 miles long and 2.4 miles wide at its widest.) - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  69. Summer 2010: 153 of 1,218 U.S. weather stations recorded their hottest summer since 1895. - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  70. Summer 2010: Moscow (and much of western Russia) suffers its first major heatwave in centuries. It is estimated that approximately 55,000 people died due to the excessive heat. - Nature.com, October 29, 2014
  71. September 27, 2010: Los Angeles, California has its hottest day on record - 113℉ (45ºC) - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  72. December 15, 2010: Parts of Florida drop to 19ºF (-7.22ºC). - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  73. December, 2010: Syracuse, New York gets 72 inches of snow before Christmas. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  74. 2000-2009 has been the warmest decade on record worldwide. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"

Some consequences of on-going climate change

By the early 2000's the U.S. had one summer of severe drought in the southwest U.S., followed by severe flooding in the southeast, followed by another year of severe drought in the central west, followed by a year of severe drought in the southeast. (Do you remember the legal battles that Florida, Georgia and Alabama had over water rights to their shared rivers because of the droughts back in 2008-2009?) As of July, 2022, the long-term droughts in the southwestern U.S. have caused Lake Mead to drop to 27% capacity (nytimes.com, July 22, 2022), and Lake Powell to drop to 28% capacity (theguardian.com, July 13, 2022). These drastic drops in water are affecting numerous species in the related ecosystems, and placing threats on agriculture and the availability of water for human use & consumption.

Prolonged droughts also can lower river levels, which can affect commerce & trade. When river levels drop too low, ships carrying goods must either carry fewer goods (so that the ship can ride higher in the shallower river(s)), choose alternative waterways, or ship goods by other means. This can mean:

• fewer goods get to market, which lessens the supply of goods, which can raise demand and, therefore prices,
• goods get to market more slowly, which can also lessen the supply, thus raising demand and, therefore prices,
• goods may need to be trasported by other means (e.g., truck or plane) which can mean more greenhouse gases from these vehicles' exhausts contributing to more climate change.

Also to be considered, are the variety of problems that come with climate change-related events, such as the:

(Remember, the climate doesn't care about borders or where you live.)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

(Assessment Report #6 - Released August 9, 2021)

This most recent IPCC report states the serious climate situation that we are now in, how long it is likely to last, and the urgency for governments to take immediate action.

A brief press release/summary of the report, and an explanation of what the IPCC is, can be found here: https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/

Assessment Report #6 can be found here:

Video of the August 9th, 2021 press conference can be found here:
(Please note: Some difficulty with viewing this video from this link has been noted. You may want to try copying and pasting this link into its own browser tab.)

The Importance of Trees and Climate Change

Trees are vital to helping combat climate change/global warming because they:

In 2023, hundreds of wildfires burned (many of them out-of-control) in the U.S., Canada, and Greece, in part, due to the effects of climate change. (For example, as of July 13, 2023 there were 908 active fires burning in Canada, of which 576 were classified as "out-of-control" - CNBC, July 13, 2023)

2022 saw the destruction of millions of trees around the planet. Some, by deliberate deforestation as in the Brazillian Amazon Rainforest due to ever-increasing cattle ranching. Between January and June (2022), approximately 1,540 sq. miles (3,988 km) of forest were cleared. For the same period in 2021, 1,192 sq. mile (3,088 Sq. km) were destroyed. (For more on this, see: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-62103336) From 2019-2021, more thn 12,800 square miles of the rainforest were lost. - TIME magazine, November 21/November 28, 2022 issue

Wildfires also destroyed uncountable trees in the U.S., Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Georgia, Greece, Kazakstan, Morocco, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K. in 2022.

As of 2019, Mumbai, India had lost 40% (about 9,000 acres) of its mangrove forests between 1991 and 2001 due to rapid urbanization. (Mangrove forests are a group of trees and shrubs that live in coastal intertidal zones. Mangrove forests stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. The intricate root system of mangroves also makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators. Because of their ability to absorb water, mangroves are also important in helping to prevent coastal flooding.)

How do trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere?

To learn more about HOW trees sequester carbon (and produce oxygen), check out this short, 3-minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ9yzkwX5N8

What YOU can do

Regardless of whether you believe that climate change is natural or man-made, the fact of the matter is YOU are one of the factors that can possibly help bring things back into balance.

Below, you will find links to a variety of environmental web sites. Find one that suits you, and contribute. Whether it's donating your time, energy, knowledge, skill, or money (a.k.a., a "checkbook activist"), every person's involvement can make a difference over time. But time has grown quite short.

It may help you to remember, you're not really "saving the Earth," because the Earth will go on just fine even if mankind suffers and goes extinct. You're really helping to preserve your OWN skin (and those of any descendants you have, or HOPE to have).

LEARN more. Get reliable information from trustworthy, credible sources.

Get involved now, and do something to help reduce or eliminate the problems of climate change NOW.

And THANK YOU for taking the time to read this web page.

(CLIMATE CHANGE TIP #1: If you're sitting in your parked car for any length of time, merely looking at your smartphone, turn off the engine. You are both wasting fuel, and adding to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere which increases climate change. If you need to either stay warm or cool, go inside.)

(CLIMATE CHANGE TIP #2: Vote for politicians/leaders who have a proven track record of working to protect the environment.)

(CLIMATE CHANGE TIP #3: Planting a few trees can create a microclimate that can drop the ambient temperature by up to 9ºF (5ºC). - TIME magazine, September 29, 2019 issue)

Links to Environmental Organizations

The Ocean Conservancy The Nature Conservancy The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) The Adirondack Council
The Cousteau Society The Sierra Club The Land Conservancy of NJ Defenders of Wildlife
The Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) The Wilderness Society
Center for Biological Diversity American Rivers Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Union of Concerned Scientists
The Trust for Public Land The Conservation Fund The National Parks Conservation Association The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The 5Gyres Institute Earthjustice International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


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    Page updated on August 5, 2023 9:56 AM