UPDATE: See new research from international university scientists about planetary boundaries for safe human operations. We are reaching thresholds for biosphere integrity. (1-18-15)
We are continuously receiving information about the warming of this planet and its oceans, landscapes, and atmosphere. So what’s the big deal?
We are the example of what it means. Human body temperature is normally 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. A few additional degrees higher can threatened our lives and even cause death. How? We are made up of molecular structures, atoms held together by bonds. With increasing internal temperature, atomic bonds lengthen and can even break — denature is the scientific term. Proteins, which are the structures that “run” the functions of our body, basically stop working.
It is the same for every living organism on earth. That’s the big deal. As the oceans absorb more and more heat each year, the smallest creatures are at risk. These are the plankton at the base of food chains in oceans (also lakes). Collapsing food chains happen in “cascades” because every living thing exists in interrelationships. When organisms in that food web die, others die, too, until, like stacked dominoes, the whole system crashes eventually.
Investigate what scientists are reporting with links below and on the side bar of this blog. I like Vitals Signs of the Planet best because it is a snapshot of many indicators scientists are monitoring.
The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists.
The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.