More than 310,000 activists from around the world took part in yesterday’s People’s Climate March in Manhattan yesterday. Included in the crowd were including Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Leonardo Di Caprio, Sting and Mark Ruffalo, to name but a few. The marchers made their way from the Upper West Side to Mid-town, demanding changes to reverse global warming trends that are wreaking havoc on our planet before it is too late.
The March (one of nearly 2,7000 corresponding events in 150 countries) preceeded a climate summit scheduled for today at the United Nations, which will be attended by President Obama.
“We are here to say there are other ways to move forward without burning fossil fuels,” Ruffalo stated. “When (elected officials) don’t answer the will of the people, we will remove them or go around them.”
The worldwide call to action came just as a report by the Global Carbon Project announced that emission levels of carbon dioxide reached historic high with more than 39.8 tons of the poisonous gas released into the atmosphere from oil, gas and burning coal last year alone. That was “778 million tons more than in 2012,” they stated. The biggest culprits of these emissions are India (which grew by 5.1%), China (at 4.2%) and the US (2.5%). At this rate, scientists predict that this will cause a rise in the earth’s temperature by 2°F within the next 30 years.
In the meantime, scientists reported that there are now drastic chances occurring in the polar ice caps at even more alarming rates. While Artic ice continues to melt at never before seen rates, Antarctic ice is increasing. In fact, long before people began talking about how global warming and greenhouse gases, etc. there were those who said that the changes in the climate could be a sign that the earth was gradually preparing itself for another periodic change in its magnetic poles, particularly with new evidence showing that while arctic ice is melting at alarming speeds, Antarctic ice has been increasing for an unprecedented third year in a row, Antarctica’s sea ice is poised to smash a new record this month. In fact reports from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) show that this year “Antarctica’s unrelenting winds and frigid air froze ocean water into 7.6 million square miles of ice this southern winter,” and with still several weeks to go, that number could climb even higher. It was also noted that “only 88,800 square miles of sea ice separated the 2013 and 2014 high marks. Several studies also found that “the southern polar vortex is blowing closer to the continent as a result of the ozone hole and greenhouse gases.”
While sea ice shrinks and expands at both poles each year with summer heat and winter cold, some ice sticks around in the Arctic each year, and are referred to as “multi-year ice floes.” This year, leftover ice from 2013 served to prevent an extreme melt, because mult-year ice is thicker and more resistant to heat than thin, young ice, according to the NSIDC. In addition, “ Cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in much of the region also meant more ice lasted through the summer.” Several studies also found that “the southern polar vortex is blowing closer to the continent as a result of the ozone hole and greenhouse gases.”
Note: The rate of reversals in the Earth’s magnetic field has varied widely over the planet’s lifetime, with no fewer than 51 believed to have occurred in a 12-million year time span “centering on 15 million years ago.”