Regardless of the fact that a small group of skeptics and climate deniers negate the human contribution to global heating, it is a fact that our actions severely impact the current state and the future of the world.
According to experts, since the mid-20th century—when human impacts on the environment rapidly accelerated via nuclear weapons testing and global industry’s exploitation of fossil fuels, our planet entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene—a combination of the Greek word Anthropos (“human”) and kainos (“new”), where human society became the primary geological force that determines the future of the entire Earth system, causing the mass extinctions of multiple animals and plants.
The fast-heating conditions in the Arctic predict a climate disaster threatening the planet, as this July, it saw an absolutely shocking rise in temperature.
July was the hottest month in all of recorded history, and according to the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Global Climate Report, a remote weather station in northern Sweden on the southern edge of the Arctic Circle hit a stunning 94.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or 34.8 degrees Celsius).
The extreme temperature was recorded on the afternoon of July 26 and was additionally vetted and analyzed by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, and confirmed by NOAA climate researcher Deke Arndt as the “highest temperature north of the Arctic Circle” for the country.
And while this data is already shocking, the situation becomes more dramatic if we consider a host of other maladies leading to climate crisis, from no sea ice within 125 miles of Alaska to the unruly fires ravaging Siberia.
The same report revealed a temperature record of 96.1 degrees Fahrenheit (35.6°C) in the Norwegian town of Saltdal, the highest-ever temperature reached north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, while Alaska reached 90°F (32°C).
A new July record low for #Arctic sea ice extent was set: 19.8% below avg and 30,900 sq miles below the previous record in 2012: @NOAANCEIclimate https://t.co/gzv7jcUf2x #StateOfClimate pic.twitter.com/McApPDcab7
— NOAA (@NOAA) August 15, 2019
According to the report, the most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across parts of the Northern Hemisphere, specifically Alaska, northwestern Canada, and central Russia.
Furthermore, vast stretches of the Arctic are smoldering in massive fires, which are too frequent, intense and severe. These fires reduce older-growth forest in favor of young vegetation and pour more carbon into the atmosphere at a time when carbon dioxide concentrations are setting new records.
New data from NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, on board the Aqua satellite, reveal the movement high in the atmosphere of carbon monoxide due to fires in the Amazon region of Brazil.
This time series maps carbon monoxide at an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) from Aug. 8 to 22, 2019. As the series progresses, the carbon monoxide plume increases in the northwest Amazon area then moves in a more concentrated plume toward the southeastern part of the country.
Lightning flashes a mere 300 miles (483 km.) from the North Pole have also been reported, and the sweltering conditions have also sent temperatures soaring across Europe this past summer.
Over the course of 5 days, (July 30 – August 3), around 90 percent of the Greenland ice sheet underwent a severe melting period, and total ice lost in Greenland over the summer has exceeded 250 billion tons.
June 2019 was the hottest June ever recorded.
In the Arctic, sea ice cover was the 2nd lowest in 41 years, says @NOAA.
That’s not a blip. Arctic summer sea ice has been below average for 20 consecutive Junes. pic.twitter.com/bt53R99Nwx
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 30, 2019
The ongoing heating has been pushed forward by the ocean’s loss of reflective sea ice, which makes the ocean’s darker water to absorb more solar heat, and the heat waves have devastated marine ecosystems.
Taken together, all of these are indicators of an altered atmosphere and increasing temperatures, they blend into the unmistakable portrait of human-induced climate change.