Sunday, July 14, 2019

The coming mass extinction?

No one would support President Trump is they understood that more than half our oxygen comes from the ocean. That seems like an odd thing to say, but it isn't.

Climate change is heating the ocean waters. This heat could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting photosynthesis. The oceans are heating up faster than previously thought.

This could happen within the lifetime of a young child today. If the oceans stop producing oxygen, mass extinction is possible.

Many don't realize yet what we're dealing with. It's profoundly distressing. It only takes a modest investment of time to get understand the basics of this problem. 

The breakdown of our climate system isn't easy to discern on Guam. The island's climate remains relatively stable. The island's daily temperatures stay within a narrow band, or so it will seem to anyone the continental U.S. Climate change is very obvious in places such as Alaska and Siberia, where temperature extremes have become norm.

The ocean waters have always been warm, and the ocean-related changes around Guam have not been significant unless you dive. Guam's most obvious problem is the decline of coral reefs.

But there is more heat in the oceans and air and this may be energizing typhoons. Guam is built to withstand powerful storms, and faces a fair risk of one in any given year. Time will tell what this may mean for Guam.  

Trump denies that climate change is a threat. It's a wilful, ideological-driven ignorance. It is shaped by fossil fuel interest and Republican belief that remedies to climate change will amount to an attack on capitalism. 

It's hard to realize how much damage we are doing because we see it in isolation. Just small parts of it. But the collective impact is massive. By the time we truly wake up and begin to address our problems, it may be too late. 

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