Saturday, November 26, 2016

Climate Watch: "The Arctic Is Seriously Weird Right Now"

Instead of expanding during this cold, dark time of year, sea ice is shrinking

The sun set on the North Pole more than a month ago, not to rise again until spring. Usually that serves as a cue for sea ice to spread its frozen tentacles across the Arctic Ocean. But in the depths of the polar night, a strange thing started to happen in mid-October. Sea ice growth slowed to a crawl and even started shrinking for a bit.

Intense warmth in both the air and oceans is driving the mini-meltdown at a time when Arctic sea ice should be rapidly growing. This follows last winter, when temperatures saw a huge December spike.

Even in an age where climate change is making outliers—lowest maximum sea ice extent set two years in a row, the hottest year on record set three years in a row, global coral bleaching entering a third year—the norm, what’s happening in the Arctic right now stands out for just how outlandish it is. Read More

Related Articles:
Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level
Jet Streams, Weather, and Climate
Climate change and the jet stream
Does climate change impact the church? The answer is “yes.” Anything that impacts a local community also impacts the churches in that community. Hotter summers and colder winters, two of the effects of climate change, will affect the cost of cooling and heating the church building as well as church attendance. Severe weather conditions in the local community also affect the aged, the homeless, and the poor, and other groups to which church commonly minister. Among the effects of climate change are droughts, flooding, and wild fires. They will also impact a local community, its economy, and its churches.

Churches also feel the impact of climate change’s effects outside of the local community. As drought and desertification take greater hold in some parts of the world, the resulting large-scale crop failure, starvation, and population dislocation will also place greater demands upon churches and networks of churches involved in famine relief and ministry to displaced persons. As climate change impacts the nation’s agriculture and the agriculture of other countries which supply the United States with food, churches can anticipate higher food prices and widespread food insecurity for vulnerable segments of the population and even periods of food scarcity. These developments will produce demographic changes that will impact churches as well as strain church resources.

Climate change is definitely not something that churches can ignore or dismiss. With this thought in mind I am adding Climate Watch as an occasional feature on Anglicans Ablaze.

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