Author: Maria Angella Fortich Fraija
It is no secret to anyone that every year the seasons present extreme variations in their temperatures. These changes can be seen mainly in extreme summers and winters, some of the clearest examples in different parts of the world are Canada, Texas , the European Union and the Amazon.
Extreme winters in North America
This year, two regions of Canada are experiencing the lowest temperatures in the last 6 years. In Ontario there have been strong waves of cold crossings since the beginning of January that pass through the currents of the bays and rivers, it is estimated that they go at 70 kilometers per hour in some areas. Some of these cold air masses come from the Arctic, allowing lake-effect snow squalls to develop. In the region's capital, Toronto, temperatures will reach as low as -20 C , but it will feel much colder due to the air currents.
On the other hand, in Ottawa the effect of winter will be felt more because they come from a very hot summer, but in this part of the country it will not be a prolonged low temperature. They call this phenomenon “quick shot” of cold weather.
This is not a big surprise, we have become accustomed to these extreme climates; Every year the temperature of the Earth increases due to the current climate crisis. Also, the growth of carbon emissions alters the environment and the effects come to light in each season.
These extreme temperature conditions are mainly due to all the change in the Arctic, if it warms up the chances of ice loss or spillage increasing will increase snow cover, not only in Siberia, but in many parts of the Arctic. that northern area which can lead to disruptions in the stratospheric polar vortex .
Photo taken from https://ici.radio-canada.ca/
According to Judah Cohen , a climate change scientist, the reduction of Arctic sea ice in the seas together with the increase in Siberian snow has created a combination of warming and cooling that amplifies a tropospheric wave fueled by temperature differences on land. and the ocean. But even so many scientists, despite agreeing that the constant increases in carbon emissions cause temperatures on planet Earth to be higher, say that the behavior of the cold and jet streams, and the polar vortex it is due to natural climate change and variability.
Photo taken from: alnavio.es
Summers with record temperatures
These extreme changes are not only reflected in winters. Last summer, the US National Weather Service issued an excessive heat advisory for places like Washington, Oregon, Philadelphia and Boston. These heat waves have become frequent and the inhabitants have normalized them. Heat waves start when high atmospheric pressure pushes hot air toward the earth; That air when compressed, gets hotter and that's when temperatures rise and you start to feel hotter, wind and cloud cover is minimized which makes the air more stifling. This causes the effect of the heat wave to last several days in the same areas. Global warming has made the earth's base much warmer, which contributes to more frequent extreme weather changes, and this effect prolongs heat waves. For example: the Canadian town of British Columbia last summer broke its record for hot temperatures reaching 46.6 degrees Celsius for the first time since the summer of 1937.
What is expected in the future if the effects of heat waves are not reduced?
It is estimated an 80% probability that by 2061 the summers will be much hotter than any summer that has been experienced so far. The only thing that can help the situation is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions , it would not drop to zero, but it would drop to 41%.
The adaptation of warming affects the environment and its inhabitants in a cyclical way. The increase in temperatures increases the risk of suffering more health problems and generating new mutations of some diseases; Also, it damages the crops with the increase in drought and the variations would appear in the agricultural environment. That means that the concentration of greenhouse gases shows that each summer will be the hottest on record if emissions continue as they have done so far. The reduction of emissions would benefit many regions of the world, especially Latin America, Central Europe and eastern China, since these areas have the world's largest population.
The Amazon jungle, a current victim of extreme summer
One of the cases that should be taken into consideration as an example of what is happening with climate change is the entire Amazon area. So far this year there have been more than 1,200 fire alerts compared to 280 in the same period last year.
Photo taken from carcacol.com.co
The causes of the fires in the Amazon come from soybean cultivation and cattle ranching, deforestation and the carpentry industry, and the lack of compliance with environmental laws.
One of the countries that causes the most damage in the Amazon and that has a little more power in the green lung of the world is Brazil. They are the main exporters of beef globally, which is why the economic policies of President Jair Bolsonaro have increasingly encouraged deforestation in these areas to promote the livestock market and establish a growing economy. Similarly, the carpentry industry is responsible for the illegal felling of trees in this area. When this activity occurs, the natural cycles of rain are altered, which makes the base drier, which favors fires being generated more easily.
Also, little interest in enforcing environmental laws and believing that the only sanctions that should be given are economic ones alter nature. This causes many companies to do whatever they want and have few regulations on their trade in these areas because they know that they pay a monetary penalty and are spared from any lawsuit.
Government and international entities must be tougher in terms of compliance with the laws already stipulated for environmental care. The Amazon is not only responsible for 10% of the biodiversity of the entire planet, but it is also that of 37 indigenous communities that have no voice or vote in the illegal and excessive activities carried out by outsiders in their homes. It should be noted that these communities help care for the environment and are the first to connect with planet earth.
If this does not change, the Amazon will begin to emit more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases will skyrocket, which will decrease the capacity of the forest to regulate and retain itself. If it is not stopped in time, then it may be too late to save the ecosystem and mitigate the deterioration of nature, which, after all, the only ones affected will be the same ones who damaged it.