Going Green and living more sustainably are becoming increasingly necessary as well as more attractive and satisfying. This “Green Page” will look at one sustainability topic each month, with ideas to consider and steps to use individually and as a congregation to care for and honor God’s amazing creation.
Climate Change and Weather
The effects of climate change are happening now and will worsen in the decades to come. Major effects of climate change and global warming include rising maximum temperatures, rising sea levels, higher ocean temperature, both longer droughts in some areas and an increase in heavy precipitation (heavy rain and hail) and flooding in others, tropical storm activity, an increase in cyclones and hurricanes, and shrinking glaciers. Even as winters are getting milder and shorter, recent winters have brought intense snowstorms and record-breaking frost, because as the warming atmosphere traps water vapor later and later into the year, that precipitation leads to heavier snowfall when the temperature drops. Another factor is the rapidly warming Arctic, which some scientists believe is weakening the jet stream and causing disruptions of wind and low air pressure near the North Pole, which normally lock cold air over Arctic. When that system breaks down, icy air can escape south in the form of freezing winters. Global sea level is projected to rise another 1 to 8 feet by 2100 as the result of added water from melting land ice and the expansion of seawater as it warms: in the next several decades, storm surges and high tides could combine with sea level rise and land subsidence to further increase flooding in many regions. As the western United States region grows hotter and drier, wildfires are growing in ferocity.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country. More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events are expected to cause increased damage to the infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities. People who are already vulnerable, including lower-income and other marginalized communities, with a lower capacity to cope with climate-related events, will experience even greater impacts.
It is not scientifically possible to assign individual weather events to the current climate change, however, it can be statistically proven that global warming will increase the probability of extreme weather events. Experts caution against blaming climate change for every extreme weather event. On the other hand, long-term changes in climate can directly or indirectly affect many aspects of society in potentially disruptive ways. Frequent and intense extreme weather events can cause loss of life and population displacement, damage property, and disrupt essential services including transportation, telecommunications, energy, and water supplies.
Mark your calendars for the April Earth Forum:
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
50 Years of Earth Day!
Theme: Recycling, More Sustainable Practices