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Climate Mission

We are in the middle of a global warming of the sea and the lower atmosphere. This can lead to mass eradication of animal and plant species.

The increase is largely due to human activity such as combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and fossil gas. This results in elevated levels in the atmosphere of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. These let the solar radiation through but largely prevent the resulting heat radiation from passing out through the atmosphere with elevated temperature as a result.

This has far-reaching effects on the earth's climate. The increasing temperature interferes with the usually stable ecosystems, in which plants and animals have been adapted to often very narrow temperature ranges during a very long time.

If these organisms cannot migrate to cooler areas, usually north, and there also find a similar biotope (habitat), The species becomes extinct because climate change occurs faster than adaptation through evolution is possible.

Even animal species that have the physics to migrate to the north are usually hampered by for them insurmountable barriers in the form of roads, cities, farmland, industries, rivers, mountains, seas ...

In the long term, this means that southern and equatorial areas become depleted of species, while northern areas receive more species.

The change also causes the food specialists to be extinguished while the species that can use different types of food survive, which means that the difference in species diversity between different areas decreases globally with a smaller number of species as a result.

25% of all marine species live or propagate in coral reefs. As the sea temperature rises, the photosynthetic algae that live in corals die. These algae satisfy most of the coral’s nutritional needs. If the temperature stays elevated over a long time, the corals also die. Furthermore increased carbon dioxide levels in the ocean cause the sea to be acidified. This makes it even harder for corals and other organisms that store lime in shells and skeletons to survive.

The ever-higher temperature melts glaciers with increasing sea levels as a result. The sea level has already risen 20 cm in the last 100 years and may be increased further 50-100 cm in the next 100 years. This will submerge many islands and the life there and also put large coastal areas of the continents under water with a major impact on plant and animal life.

Even the sea ice melts which make it difficult for polar bears and seals to find food and reproduce respectively. The reduced ice and snow cover also reduces solar beam reflection, which further contributes to increasing temperature.

The recently changing weather conditions with plus and minus degrees north of the polar circle makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for wild reindeers and muskoxen to scratch themselves through the ice layer that covers the snow to access the lichen they feed on. This causes mass death or causes the females to feed malnourished kids with weak bones. This causes poorer health and fitness, delayed puberty and higher mortality in the growing animals.

Organic material in Siberian fields, which has been bound by permafrost for a very long time, now starts thaw and decay and release methane gas, which speeds up the warming of the climate. It is estimated that as much as 70 billion tonnes of this very powerful greenhouse gas can be released. In addition, if the permafrost in Antarctica is thawed, 1 000 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide can be released from organic matter.

So it looks dark for the planet's animals and plants, and for humanity, if the temperature continues to increase.

What can we do to reduce the temperature rise?

  • Stop the forest devastation
  • Plant more forests
  • Cultivate climate-smart
  • Eat all food we buy
  • Eat less meat
  • Eat fish from land-based fisheries
  • Minimize the use of fossil fuels
  • Seal and isolate our homes
  • Minimize water consumption
  • Use renewable energy
  • Utilize solar energy
  • Use LED lighting
  • Disconnect electrical devices when not in use
  • Take public transport
  • Consume less
  • Buy near-produced
  • Invest in climate-smart products

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Source:

Jan Westin, PhD                                    

Scientific Director

The Perfect World Foundation / Member of the board 

Updated: 2018-02-01

(Photo: Shannon Wild) 

 

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The Perfect World Foundation

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