The brutal long drought in Australia:
Farmers sense climate change is very real
August 02, 2018
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(INTERNATIONAL) – If you’re a farmer in New South Wales Australia you’re likely not having philosophical debates with your neighbors over whether the science behind climate change is real or that climate change is happening moment by moment.
The Great Convincer is what they see and experience every day. Parts of eastern Australia are “suffering their worst drought in living memory as a lack of rainfall in winter hits farms badly,” reports the BBC.
Consider this from the New York Times three days ago: “The cattle are more bones than meat, the dirt more dust than soil — and the rain, the glorious rain, just never comes. The drought that has been suffocating Australia for months just keeps tightening its grip.”
Farmers are sinking fast. Things are so bad that government officials in New South Wales recently unveiled a new aid program worth about $370 Million (US) that expands existing loan programs for farmers and subsidizes transportation for shipping feed and water to farmers.
Most ominously, that aid package also includes funding for “mental health” treatment for farmers who have of late been committing suicide .
Recently, a Reuters photographer David Gray took photos from the air of what that drought looks like. The BBC has published some of the images here
The 2-degrees Celsius demarcation point
In April 2015, John D. Sutter, a columnist for CNN said he planned to spend the rest of that year reporting on just one story: 2-degrees Celsius and why that number is the most important number you've never heard of.
Here is why it matters so much, according to Sutter:
"If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes. Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans.
We don't want to cross that mark. Humans never have lived in post-2-degree world."
If it sounds ominous, that's because it is according to some scientists. For once we let that 2-degree genie out of the bottle, we can (probably) never get it back in and that new 2-degree world will set into motion some very unpleasant challenges and hard choices for humans on this blue planet.
For years the earth has been experiencing accelerated climate change due to unprecedented warming. In fact, earth is warming at a rate never before documented in human history (due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide).
Nine of the ten warmest years on record, have occurred since the year 2000.
Carlo Jaeger, chair of the Global Climate Forum, based in Germany, and author of a paper on this history of 2 degrees told Sutter, "If we start warming the planet way beyond what humans have ever experienced, God knows what will wait for us."
And now...the bad news
NASA, which actually does science and believes in hard science, has a scary chart about global warming (or the more politically correct term these days, “climate change”) right here . Check it out.
They also show in condensed form on that page some of the real science behind what is really happening here on earth based on core samples of ancient ice, measurements of retreating glaciers, photos of earth from space, etc.
There’s also this bit of information on that NASA page: “The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.
Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year — from January through September, with the exception of June — were the warmest on record for those respective months.”
One final note. NASA says the science shows that Arctic sea ice has not only been shrinking in surface area in recent years, it’s becoming younger and thinner as well.
In a NASA animation (link is below), “where the ice cover almost looks gelatinous as it pulses through the seasons,” as NASA says in an intro to the animation, cryospheric scientist Dr. Walt Meier of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes how the sea ice “has undergone fundamental changes during the era of satellite measurements. “