Polar Ecological Collapse

Arctic mapThe result of humanity's burgeoning populations and emissions of industrial pollutants can best be seen at the poles. This year's Antarctic ozone hole is the biggest ever [more]. While expected to eventually recover by itself, the discovery and policy formulation to address the ozone hole illustrate humanity's lack of awareness of planetary ecological functions and their impacts thereon, as well as the ability of humanity to unite to address global ecological issues. In the Arctic polar region, Greenland's melting ice is accelerating beyond even the grimmest predictions of possiblities due to global heating. Meanwhile Canada – itself falling partially within the Arctic – is abandoning Kyoto emission reduction targets. We are witnessing the disintegration of the global ecological system upon which humanity is utterly dependent, and our leaders are failing us. An unprecedented global ecological apocalypse of disease and refugees [more] calls for dramatic responses – immediately dramatically reducing emissions, ending old-growth logging and ensuring access to water as a human right. Buckle your seatbelt, humanity is in for the ride of its life.

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7 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    OK, green house gasses…. Implies that they make the earth warmer right? And, having had a greenhouse I noticed that plants grow a lot faster in a warm greenhouse. Don't plants process the CO2 and lock away the carbon? So, the warmer the earth is the more the plants grow, the more CO2 gets removed from the atmosphere, the cooler the planet gets. Am I missing something here?

  2. Is my family the only one in the whole world that gives a damn about this?
    I am in fear for my children.

  3. Kenny Bain says:

    Joe, the rise in CO2 is too great and too rapid to be mitigated by plants. Research on their growth rates in high CO2 levels shows they are almost overwhelmed as it is. Plus, as the ground warms, billions of tonnes of methane are likely to be released. Then the human race will be run. And guess who will have lost ?

  4. ewoc says:

    Joe,
    Beyond Kenny's comments, recent research demonstrates that plant growth rates can increase for some time in the presence of increased CO2, IF plants can access additional water, nitrogen, and other critical nutrients. This is what you might call a “big if.”
    After a period of increased growth, however, research shows that the ability of plants to benefit from increasing CO2 diminishes and eventually disappears. We also know (from sophisticated computers models whose predictions and data support what we are seeing in the natural world around us as it warms) that increased temperatures will lead to extremes of temperature and irregular rainfall patterns that will harm, and may eventually eliminate, many plant species. In addition, we are producing so much carbon emissions that no amount of increased plant growth could absorb most of the additional carbon loading our species is currently responsible for, from fossil fuel combustion, methane production, or event from deforestation.

  5. Geert Haagh says:

    Hi Joe,
    You're not the only one who is afraid of what is happening right now. I have got the same feeling as you. It seems that everyone around me is asleep. I have a son (4) and a daughter (2) and very worried about their future on this planet. Well somehow have to join forces now!
    Regards,
    Geert

  6. Anonymous says:

    [b]ewoc wrote:[/b]
    Beyond Kenny's comments, recent research demonstrates that plant growth rates can increase for some time in the presence of increased CO2, [b]IF plants can access additional water, nitrogen, and other critical nutrients…..[/b]
    This is very important information.
    Here are a couple of links for further study:
    [b]Stanford Report, December 5, 2002
    High carbon dioxide levels can retard plant growth, study reveals[/b]
    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2002/december11/jasperplots-124.html
    [b]April 12, 2006
    HIGHER CARBON DIOXIDE, LACK OF NITROGEN LIMIT PLANT GROWTH[/b]
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2006/2006041222108.html
    Earth’s plant life will not be able to “store” excess carbon from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as well as scientists once thought because plants likely cannot get enough nutrients, such as nitrogen, when there are higher levels of carbon dioxide, according to scientists publishing in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.
    That, in turn, is likely to dampen the ability of plants to offset increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    “We found that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may rise even faster than anticipated, because ecosystems likely will not store as much carbon as had been predicted,” said Peter Reich of the University of Minnesota, lead author of the study, which was conducted at the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Minnesota.
    “As a result, soils will be unable to sustain plant growth over time [as atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase],” said plant ecologist David Ellsworth of the University of Michigan….. (continued)
    Please note that the above-posted references are only two of many on this issue.
    The point is that Earth's vegetation and oceans cannot be expected to just suck up all of our excess carbon dioxide emissions indefinitely. It seems to me that a lot of people are counting on things to work out that way…..

  7. Dave says:

    Global warming is my right. I just don't think you all have any right to take it away from me. There have been warmer periods in recorded history. 1300's I think. And the northern hemisphere was more productive for farming then.

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