From the Guardian:
New research suggests that the Arctic summer sea ice loss is linked to extreme weather. Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francispoints to the phenomenon of “Arctic amplification”, where:
“The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme weather.”
Extreme weather events over the last few years apparently driven by the accelerating Arctic melt process – including unprecedented heatwaves and droughts in the US and Russia, along with snowstorms and cold weather in northern Europe – have undermined harvests, dramatically impacting global food production and contributing to civil unrest.
US national security officials have taken an increasing interest in the destabilising impact of climate change. In February this year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) released its new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which noted that global warming will have:
“… significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life-sustaining resources like food and water.”
The words “it is about freakin’ time” come to mind. The costs of climate change – both economic and other, are likely to be so great that this should have been at the front of the national agenda. Sadly, they weren’t when it would have been most useful, and the crisis we’re facing is vastly more serious than it had to be. But isn’t that the truth about all the crises we’re facing?
Better late than never.