What global warming can do to us – Part 2
TEMPERATURES IN AUSTRALIA.
In my new book, The Shale Controversy, one chapter is called Australia – Poster Child for Global Warming. I visited my old country in August 2019 for almost a month, and ran headlong into a number of events that seemed to shout, “Global Warming is here”.
The annual average temperature in Australia has been rising steadily the past 70 years – see figure 1.
My home state of South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent of the world.
Emergency warnings were issued when superhot temperatures of 45°C (113°F) were recorded on November 20, 2019, some very close to my hometown of Jamestown.
The southern state has endured its driest first nine months [in 2019] of any year on record. 2018 was Australia’s hottest summer on record. Figures also show 2018 and 2017 were Australia’s third- and fourth-hottest years on record.
Australia emits 1.1 percent of the whole world’s greenhouse gases but has only 0.3 percent of the population. This imbalance simply means the country has one of the highest emissions of carbon dioxide in the world, per person.
WILDFIRES IN AUSTRALIA.
Global warming played a significant role in generating long-lasting heat waves that fueled Australia’s deadly 2019–2020 wildfire season, as a new study by an international team of scientists has concluded.
Wildfires burned in Australia from November 2019 through February 2020 across about 73,000 square miles, an area nearly as big as Nebraska, killing at least 34 people and an estimated one billion animals.
WILDFIRES IN WEST COAST OF USA
The following is adapted from an article in BBC News on 18 September 2020.
Dozens of wildfires have been burning their way through swathes of the US West Coast over the last month, killing more than 30 people and forcing tens of thousands from their homes.
Scientists say the region’s wildfires are the worst in 18 years and have linked their increasing prevalence and intensity to climate change.
Plumes of smoke from the fires are so large, they have crossed the US and the Atlantic Ocean, carried by the jet stream, and have reached the skies of Europe.
The US National Interagency Fire Center has said firefighters are battling 106 large wildfires across the western US.
California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state has seen 7,606 blazes this year compared with 4,972 in 2019. And according to Cal Fire, five of the top 20 largest fires in California’s history have occurred in 2020.
The August Complex fire, in Tehama County, California (see figure 3), has become the state’s biggest recorded fire ever, covering more than 750,000 acres.
The fires have devastated several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing more than 30 people.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TEMPERATURE AND BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS.
Figure 4 gives the history of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning of fossil fuels by country. The total CO2 emitted worldwide starts to rise much faster after 1950 (70 years ago).
This jump corresponds to the increasing Australian temperature rise in figure 1 that also starts around 1950. In the USA, the temperature rise also starts around 1950 – 1960 as can be seen in figure 4 of Part 1 of this series.
It’s very hard not to associate the enhanced temperature rise of these two countries, starting 1950 -1960, to the accelerated burning of fossil fuels that emit 70% of the problematic greenhouse gases.
You can blame global warming for the wildfires in Australia and the West Coast of USA. You can blame a persistent temperature rise since 1950 caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the upper atmosphere. You can blame about 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions on burning of fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas.
This is why some people argue to stop fracking, because this is the technique that allows more oil and gas to be pumped out of the ground.
Australia is a poster child for climate change based in part on over 100 intense wildfires in late 2019 that raged through Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.
And I’m sad to say that the West Coast of the USA is another poster-child, with over 100 persistent wildfires raging in September 2020.
1. Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, “CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Our World in Data, last revised December 2019 See Creative Commons license link https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/.)
BLOG TOPICS: I write content (in-depth) blogs about a mix of topics: Inspiration and Hope, Health and Hiking, Science and Energy.
The Gray Nomad ….. Focusing on the data.
Beloved, if God loved us so very much, we also ought to love one another.
[Book of 1 John, chapter 4.]