Facing another very hot summer in Southern California, it's become a rite of spring to dread the inescapable heat waves that now roll in from the hot Arizona desert. What happened to spring and to fall? We now hit a wall of heat in May and don't see relief until nearly the end of October. People's winter wear now consists of a sweater, not a coat. Our landscape and forests are brown and bleached from the lack of water; millions of trees in the Sierras are dying. If we look at our scientific surveys and satellite studies, we see that polar sea ice is now at record lows in the summer.
We are seeing temperatures in the summer that are breaking all previous records. By a lot. If the Earth’s temperature increases by 2 degrees Celsius, the benchmark agreed upon in the landmark Paris climate agreement, the entire Greenland ice sheet could experience the same accelerated melting that the island’s coastal glaciers and ice caps are facing. At this point, Greenland's coastal ice caps have melted past the point of no return. We are losing our planetary ecological home that is supposed to support 7.5 billion of us.
This process is not immediately apparent, but the NASA studies show conclusively that Greenland is melting significantly. There is no question that the scientific consensus is that Earth's climate is warming, and this warming is accelerating. This accelerating meltdown is a critical red flag to our global civilizations, but like the endless wars in the Middle East, it's a profit center for those who mindlessly control fossil fuels and weaponry for money. The military budget for the USA, far exceeding those of all other countries combined, is the match held to the fuse.
This warming process from fossil fuels leads to an unstoppable, runaway climate change that is fueled by the carbon and methane emissons from the ice and permafrost melt at the poles, which is already observable by science teams and satellites, and puts the destruction of our ecosphere and our planet on an irreversible path. The pace at which species disappear is picking up as temperatures rise, and this is devastating in the tropics which are disproportionately impacted. We cannot stop this once it sets in, the processes ignite themselves with monstrous emissions from the melting poles.
So this is how the Anthropocene ends. In a blaze of greed and ignorance.
Update 6/27/17: Tipping points are real: Gradual changes in CO2 levels can induce abrupt climate changes
Update 6/28/17: Climate Change and Devastating Heat Waves
Update 6/29/17: Current emissions could already warm world to dangerous levels: study
Update 6/30/17: The looming catastrophe of feedback emissions
Update 7/1/17: Seven facts about the Arctic methane timebomb
Update 7/2/17: Top Scientists Warn of Catastrophic Sea Level Rise
Update 7/3/17: Experts warn: three years to save humanity from climate change
Update 7/4/17: New study confirms the oceans are warming rapidly
Update 7/5/17: Warming hits 'tipping point' (from 2005)
Update 7/6/17: Hopes of mild climate change dashed by new research
Update 7/7/17: Rising temperatures are curbing ocean's capacity to store carbon
Update 7/8/17: NOAA Study Confirms Global Warming Speed-Up Is Imminent
Update 7/9/17: High temperatures and extreme weather continue
Update 7/10/17: Earth faces "biological annihilation" in sixth mass extinction, scientists warn
Update 7/18/17: Carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere to avoid extreme climate change
Update 7/20/17: Today's Extreme Heat May Become Norm Within a Decade
Update 7/24/17: It’s fair to say we have passed the point of no return on global warming