Published in the Center City Concerned Citizens Review June 2019 Philadelphia PA
By Joseph Batory
It just may be the Number One challenge endangering future generations here in the USA and worldwide.
The latest report from the United Nations offers a mind-boggling portrait of one million plant and animal species now on the verge of extinction, with alarming implications for human survival.
The landmark UN report from universities across the world goes further than previous studies by directly linking the loss of species to human activity. It also shows how those losses are undermining food and water security, as well as human health. Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are probable,” the report says.
In a prepared statement, Robert Watson, a British chemist who served as the panel’s chairman, said the decline in biodiversity is eroding “the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”
Nearly 150 authors from 50 nations worked for three years to compile the report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services — a panel with more than 130 countries, including the United States. Representatives of each member nation signed off on the findings.
The warming climate is a major driver that is exacerbating the effects of overfishing, widespread pesticide use, pollution and urban expansion into the natural world.
Likewise, the recent NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report similarly indicates that last year was one of the warmest on record globally. This United States climate conditions report, details areas that saw record-breaking temperature and precipitation levels throughout 2018, nationally and internationally.
The last five years were the warmest on modern record, according to NASA. Last year fell behind 2016, which sits in the top spot as the warmest, followed by 2017, 2015 and 2018.
In addition to warming temperatures, the report also cited an increase in precipitation. In the contiguous U.S., there were nine states that had their wettest year on record, with record-breaking rainfall. Some areas across the country even saw more than 100 inches of rain for the first time in a calendar year. This all happened while other parts of the country experienced drought and significantly more dry conditions than usual.
“The key message is, the planet is warming, the long-term trends are extremely robust. There’s no question about those trends existing however we slice it, and our understanding of why those trends are occurring is also robust,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York said Wednesday.
Along with the increased precipitation in some areas and warming temperatures, there were more weather and climate disasters that caused damage and losses of $1 billion or more.
The warming is widely considered a result of the increased emissions of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide from human activity into the atmosphere. That warming is causing significant changes in the Arctic, especially where the loss of sea ice continued in 2018 as it has in previous years, contributing to sea-level rise. These calculations for the 2018 measurements come with a 95 percent certainty from NASA.
Refusal to confront this reality is a path of insanity!