Author Topic: Climate change is already here. How bad it gets is still up to us - Discuss  (Read 96642 times)

Offline thejbs

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Pretty sobering reading in the NYmag from David Wallace-Wells: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

Offline Trada

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The biggest ever iceberg recorded has broken free from the Arctic 4 times the size of London and weighing over a Trillion tonnes.

I guess that will take years to melt and I wonder how far it will drift. 

Offline Trada

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 All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws

A recent heatwave in Siberiaís frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions

Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. Last August a boy died of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, and 20 other infected people were treated and survived. Anthrax hadnít been seen in the region for 75 years, and itís thought the recent outbreak followed an intense heatwave in Siberia, temperatures reaching over 30C that melted the frozen permafrost.

Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people.

More recently, a huge explosion was heard in June in the Yamal Peninsula. Reindeer herders camped nearby saw flames shooting up with pillars of smoke and found a large crater left in the ground. Melting permafrost was again suspected, thawing out dead vegetation and erupting in a blowout of highly flammable methane gas.

Over the past three years, 14 other giant craters have been found in the region, some of them truly massive Ė the first one discovered was around 50m (160ft) wide and about 70m (230ft) deep, with steep sides and debris spread all around.

There have also been cases of the ground trembling in Siberia as bubbles of methane trapped below the surface set the ground wobbling like an airbed. Even more dramatic, setting fire to methane released from frozen lakes in both Siberia and Alaska causes some impressive flames to erupt.

Methane is of huge concern. It is more than 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and a massive release of methane in the Arctic could pose a significant threat to the global climate, driving worldwide temperatures even higher.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/20/hell-breaks-loose-tundra-thaws-weatherwatch?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 05:50:39 PM by Trada »

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Offline thejbs

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Out of curiosity, is anyone who's not a vegan/veggie trying to reduce meat intake? Found it tough going full veggie but I'm down to 2 meat eating days per week at most (with 'ethically' farmed meat). Some days I go full Vegan. Some of my veggie friends think it's a cop out, but surely every little helps.

Offline Red-Soldier

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Out of curiosity, is anyone who's not a vegan/veggie trying to reduce meat intake? Found it tough going full veggie but I'm down to 2 meat eating days per week at most (with 'ethically' farmed meat). Some days I go full Vegan. Some of my veggie friends think it's a cop out, but surely every little helps.

That's great, well done to you.

I eat mostly a plant based diet, simply because it's more healthy, cheaper (good, ethical, healthy meat is expensive), and better for the environment.

I very rarely eat meat, the meat I do eat is always organic or free-range.  I like fish, but will only buy MSC certified products, or from small, local fisheries that only use day boats.

Here's a couple of links that might be of interest:


https://www.msc.org/

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/greenhouse-gas-emissions-livestock


« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 12:40:58 PM by Red-Soldier »

Offline Tepid T₂O

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That's great, well done to you.

I eat mostly a plant based diet, simply because it's more healthy, cheaper (good, ethical, healthy meat is expensive), and better for the environment.

I very rarely eat meat, the meat I do eat is always organic or free-range.  I like fish, but will only buy MSC certified products, or from small, local fisheries that only use day boats.

Here's a couple of links that might be of interest:


https://www.msc.org/

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/greenhouse-gas-emissions-livestock



Hmm, eating organic or free range meat is a less intensive method of rearing meat.  It's producing lesss product per acre so is almost certainly worse for climate change...
More ethical though..
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Online elmo_swatloski

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Hmm, eating organic or free range meat is a less intensive method of rearing meat.  It's producing lesss product per acre so is almost certainly worse for climate change...
More ethical though..

On the face of it yes, but on the other hand if the whole world went organic there would be famine on a massive scale.... we wouldn't be able to produce enough food.

Offline Tepid T₂O

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On the face of it yes, but on the other hand if the whole world went organic there would be famine on a massive scale.... we wouldn't be able to produce enough food.
Quite true..
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Offline Eerie Alan_X

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That's great, well done to you.

I eat mostly a plant based diet, simply because it's more healthy, cheaper (good, ethical, healthy meat is expensive), and better for the environment.

I very rarely eat meat, the meat I do eat is always organic or free-range.  I like fish, but will only buy MSC certified products, or from small, local fisheries that only use day boats.

Here's a couple of links that might be of interest:


https://www.msc.org/

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/greenhouse-gas-emissions-livestock


Organic farming isn't better for the planet. It's largely ideological nonsense and as others have pointed out uses far more land and resources to produce the same amount of food.

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/organic-farming-is-bad-for-the-environment/

The best hope for feeding the planet is GMO not organic. It's not as touchy-feely though.
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Online elmo_swatloski

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In addition to not being able to produce enough food for humans, the extra farmland needed to produce food would result in the destruction of more and more natural habitats of already endangered animals. We need to produce food as efficiently and using as little space as possible.

Offline Red-Soldier

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Hmm, eating organic or free range meat is a less intensive method of rearing meat.  It's producing lesss product per acre so is almost certainly worse for climate change...
More ethical though..

Yes and no, you have to look at the inputs too, feed etc.

Organic / subsistence farming is a low input, low output system.

Intensive farming is a high input, high output system.


Being good for the environment is not just about direct impacts on climate change, it's about reducing the number of harmful chemicals and monocultures too, which result "green deserts," harming our pollinators and polluting our water systems.

There can be issues from ammonia runoff from free range chickens though, no system is without it's issues.

There is a genral consesus that we all should be consuming less meat though.

Offline Red-Soldier

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In addition to not being able to produce enough food for humans, the extra farmland needed to produce food would result in the destruction of more and more natural habitats of already endangered animals. We need to produce food as efficiently and using as little space as possible.

We already produce enough food for everyone, it just doesn't get to all the people.

I never said that organic / free range is the future, because you will never produce enough food using that method to feed everyone, it's common sense.

But there is little doubt that it's better for the animal and us.

Offline Red-Soldier

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Organic farming isn't better for the planet. It's largely ideological nonsense and as others have pointed out uses far more land and resources to produce the same amount of food.

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/organic-farming-is-bad-for-the-environment/

The best hope for feeding the planet is GMO not organic. It's not as touchy-feely though.

Can you point out where I said that it was the best hope to feeding the planet?????

There is already more than enough food produced in the world at the moment, it just doesn't get to everyone that needs it.

I agree that GM is one of the answers when it comes to food security.  I wrote a 3,500 word essay on it last last.

I've been working in the conservation and agriculture industry for the past 7 years, and would currently call myself an ecologist.

I don't need to be patronised and taught how to suck eggs by people who probably know less than what I do.  Don't take that the wrong way.


In reference to the first bolded part, that's a lovely sweeping statement there.  I have to disagree that it is "largely idelogical nonsense."

I've already stated in one of my other posts, there are pros and cons to all farming systems, there is not a simple "good or bad " answer.

Here's the abstract from the paper below:

Organic farming practices have been promoted as,inter alia, reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. This meta-analysis systematically analyses published studies that compare environmental impacts of organic and conventional farming in Europe. The results show that organic farming practices generally have positive impacts on the environment per unit of area, but not necessarily per product unit. Organic farms tend to have higher soil organic matter content and lower nutrient losses (nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions and ammonia emissions) per unit of field area. However, ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions per product unit were higher from organic systems. Organic systems had lower energy requirements, but higher land use, eutrophication potential
and acidification potential per product unit. The variation within the results across different studies was wide due to differences in the systems compared and research methods used. The only impacts that were found to differ significantly between the systems were soil organic matter content, nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions per unit of field area, energy use and land use. Most of the studies that compared biodiversity in organic and conventional farming demonstrated lower environmental impacts from organic farming. The key challenges in conventional farming are to improve soil quality (by versatile crop rotations and additions of organic material), recycle nutrients and enhance and protect biodiversity. In organic farming, the main challenges are to improve the nutrient management and increase yields. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of farming in Europe, research efforts and policies should be targeted to developing farming systems that produce high yields with low negative environmental impacts drawing on techniques from both organic and conventional systems.

https://host.cals.wisc.edu/agronomy/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2014/04/Tuomisto-et-al-2011.pdf
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 09:32:10 AM by Red-Soldier »

Online elmo_swatloski

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We already produce enough food for everyone, it just doesn't get to all the people.

I never said that organic / free range is the future, because you will never produce enough food using that method to feed everyone, it's common sense.

But there is little doubt that it's better for the animal and us.

We produce enough food to feed the world where the majority of it is not organic.....

It may be better for you as an individual, but is it better for animals and humans as a whole?

Offline Tepid T₂O

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We produce enough food to feed the world where the majority of it is not organic.....

It may be better for you as an individual, but is it better for animals and humans as a whole?
Organic probably isn't even better for you as an individual...
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Online elmo_swatloski

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Organic probably isn't even better for you as an individual...

Yeah I'm not an expert but have heard such claims. Wasn't going to pretend I know one way or another though.

Offline Red-Soldier

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We produce enough food to feed the world where the majority of it is not organic.....

It may be better for you as an individual, but is it better for animals and humans as a whole?

Can you please point out where I said we should produce all our food organically?????

That would be impossible to do.

Online elmo_swatloski

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Can you please point out where I said we should produce all our food organically?????

That would be impossible to do.

So you want to eat organic food for yourself because it is better for you but don't support everyone else getting the same benefit?

Offline Red-Soldier

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So you want to eat organic food for yourself because it is better for you but don't support everyone else getting the same benefit?


???????

Not at all, you seem to be trying to create and argument that isn't even there or warranted.

Organic farming is a niche farming practice thast will probably always remain that way, however, it still has a role to play in our current and future agriculture industries.

Offline RedRabbit

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???????

Not at all, you seem to be trying to create and argument that isn't even there or warranted.

Organic farming is a niche farming practice thast will probably always remain that way, however, it still has a role to play in our current and future agriculture industries.

What role do you see it playing, as a matter of interest?

Online elmo_swatloski

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???????

Not at all, you seem to be trying to create and argument that isn't even there or warranted.

Organic farming is a niche farming practice thast will probably always remain that way, however, it still has a role to play in our current and future agriculture industries.

Sorry not trying to create an argument....

But the logical conclusion if you believe organic farming to be good for you is that either 1) you would want other people to benefit from it, in which case organic farming would no longer be a niche practice and would lead to the issues raised in this thread or 2) you don't want others to get those health benefits (if they actually exist)

Who decides who gets to benefit from this niche practice?

For the record, I grew up in a household that ate organic food since long before it became a thing and was widely available in supermarkets. I understand the appeal but I've come the conclusion that unfortunately it is not sustainable with current world population growth.

Offline Eerie Alan_X

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Can you point out where I said that it was the best hope to feeding the planet?????

There is already more than enough food produced in the world at the moment, it just doesn't get to everyone that needs it.

I agree that GM is one of the answers when it comes to food security.  I wrote a 3,500 word essay on it last last.

I've been working in the conservation and agriculture industry for the past 7 years, and would currently call myself an ecologist.

I don't need to be patronised and taught how to suck eggs by people who probably know less than what I do.  Don't take that the wrong way.


In reference to the first bolded part, that's a lovely sweeping statement there.  I have to disagree that it is "largely idelogical nonsense."

I've already stated in one of my other posts, there are pros and cons to all farming systems, there is not a simple "good or bad " answer.

Here's the abstract from the paper below:

Organic farming practices have been promoted as,inter alia, reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. This meta-analysis systematically analyses published studies that compare environmental impacts of organic and conventional farming in Europe. The results show that organic farming practices generally have positive impacts on the environment per unit of area, but not necessarily per product unit. Organic farms tend to have higher soil organic matter content and lower nutrient losses (nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions and ammonia emissions) per unit of field area. However, ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions per product unit were higher from organic systems. Organic systems had lower energy requirements, but higher land use, eutrophication potential
and acidification potential per product unit. The variation within the results across different studies was wide due to differences in the systems compared and research methods used. The only impacts that were found to differ significantly between the systems were soil organic matter content, nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions per unit of field area, energy use and land use. Most of the studies that compared biodiversity in organic and conventional farming demonstrated lower environmental impacts from organic farming. The key challenges in conventional farming are to improve soil quality (by versatile crop rotations and additions of organic material), recycle nutrients and enhance and protect biodiversity. In organic farming, the main challenges are to improve the nutrient management and increase yields. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of farming in Europe, research efforts and policies should be targeted to developing farming systems that produce high yields with low negative environmental impacts drawing on techniques from both organic and conventional systems.

https://host.cals.wisc.edu/agronomy/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2014/04/Tuomisto-et-al-2011.pdf

Deleted my last post as I'd missed this one. Fair enough and happy to read alternative views. I'd stand by the ideological comment because the principle of organic farming does not allow for mixing of organic and conventional farming methods.

The problem with discussing a subject like this is that there is a wide variation in experience and knowledge and most of us are anonymous. I made a sweeping statement because this is a football website and getting a broad idea across to non-scientists is more useful than a nuanced discussion. The big message that I think is worth stating is that organic food has no significant health benefits and uses more land than conventional farming. And the corollary is that GMOs are not the work of the devil.

No one was patronising you because no one knows what your qualifications and experience are.
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Offline Devon Red

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GM versus organic is a false dichotomy. One of the most promising uses of GM is in growing pest and disease resistant strains which reduce the need for pesticides or other chemicals. Ideology is getting in the way of rigorous science.

People are going to have to start getting their heads around nuance because the whole area of food security is massively complicated.

IN GENERAL farming animals is more resource intensive (inputs v outputs) than farming crops, BUT there are some landscapes such as hill areas or moorland where animal farming is far more practical than growing vegetables.

IN GENERAL we over-exploit the oceans and the fishing industry globally is unsustainable, BUT there are many fisheries which are totally sustainable and in order to feed everyone we are going to have to harvest food from the seas.

IN GENERAL organic certified food is better from a biodiversity point of view and, yes, there is some evidence for health benefits, BUT there are a huge amount of variables (large or small scale, which standard of certification, grass fed or grain fed, food miles travelled, water usage etc) that are more important than certification. Personally I look at local, less intensive and higher welfare standards before I look at organic.

IN GENERAL we all need to eat less meat, BUT veganism has it's own shortcomings and removing all animal products from our diets would hugely restrict our opportunities to farm, hunt and fish in areas of the world where crop growing is restricted or impossible.

IN GENERAL intensive systems produce more food, BUT they are also tend to be more energy intensive, produce more waste, reduce biodiversity, result in poorer soil quality (a big issue in long term viability) and have lower welfare standards.

Offline Red-Soldier

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Deleted my last post as I'd missed this one. Fair enough and happy to read alternative views. I'd stand by the ideological comment because the principle of organic farming does not allow for mixing of organic and conventional farming methods.

The problem with discussing a subject like this is that there is a wide variation in experience and knowledge and most of us are anonymous. I made a sweeping statement because this is a football website and getting a broad idea across to non-scientists is more useful than a nuanced discussion. The big message that I think is worth stating is that organic food has no significant health benefits and uses more land than conventional farming. And the corollary is that GMOs are not the work of the devil.


No one was patronising you because no one knows what your qualifications and experience are.

That's true, I was just a bit irate as I had three people questioning me at the same time.  I know it's just a footie forum, but it's always good to try to educate and spread the good word.  :)

It's a subject that I know a fair amount about and something that I'm very interested in.

It's ironic that we now seperate organic and conventional farming, as organic farming was the convention, right until The Industrial Revolution.

One of the big issues facing us as a species in the near future is "Feeding the 9 Billion."  By 2050, there are predicted to be over 9 billion people on the planet and we will need to use a multitude of methods in order to feed those people in an environmentally and sustainable way.

GM crops will be one of those tools required.  Of all the research I have read, I haven't come across any that provided evidence of GM crops being bad for us, or bad for the environment.

Again, I disagree with your broad statement that "organic food has no significant health benefits."  There is no definitive "yes / no" answer, lots of variables involved.

Here's an abstract from the paper below:

Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer

The multi-billion dollar organic food industry is fueled by consumer perception that organic food is healthier (greater nutritional value and fewer toxic chemicals). Studies of the nutrient content in organic foods vary in results due to differences in the ground cover and maturity of the organic farming operation. Nutrient content also varies from farmer to farmer and year to year. However, reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties do provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods. While being higher in these nutrients, they are also significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. In addition, with the exception of wheat, oats, and wine, organic foods typically provide greater levels of a number of important antioxidant phytochemicals (anthocyanins, flavonoids, and carotenoids). Although in vitro studies of organic fruits and vegetables consistently demonstrate that organic foods have greater antioxidant activity, are more potent suppressors of the mutagenic action of toxic compounds, and inhibit the proliferation of certain cancer cell lines, in vivo studies of antioxidant activity in humans have failed to demonstrate additional benefit. Clear health benefits from consuming organic dairy products have been demonstrated in regard to allergic dermatitis. (Altern Med Rev 2010;15(1):4-12) Introduction Organic food consumption is one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. domestic foodstuffs. Sales of organic food and beverages grew from $1 billion in 1990 to $21.1 billion in 2008 and are on track to reach $23 billion in 2009. (1) Consumers generally perceive these foods to be healthier and safer for themselves and the environment. (2,3) A plethora of studies in the last two decades have assessed whether organic foods have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals than conventionally raised foods and whether they have fewer pesticide residues. Far fewer studies have been conducted to assess either the potential or actual health benefits of eating organic foods. Factors Affecting Nutritional Content of Produce Determining the potential nutritional superiority of organic food is not a simple task. Numerous factors, apart from organic versus inorganic growing, influence the amount of vitamins and phytochemicals (phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, etc.) in a crop. These factors include the weather (affecting crops year-to-year), specific environmental conditions from one farm to the next (microclimates), soil condition, etc. Another major factor not taken into account in the published studies was the length of time the specific plots of land had been worked using organic methods. Since it takes years to build soil quality in a plot using organic methods and for the persistent pollutants in the ground to be reduced, this can significantly affect the outcome of comparative studies. The importance of these different factors is apparent from a review of the recent studies examining the nutrient content in tomatoes. Differences between Growers and Soil Quality Of six recent studies of nutrient content of organic tomatoes, only one showed no significant differences between organic and conventional farms. (4) This study, conducted in Taiwan, did find that while there was no difference...

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA225739685&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=fulltext&issn=10895159&p=AONE&sw=w&authCount=1&isAnonymousEntry=true
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 05:07:16 PM by Red-Soldier »

Offline Sinister Pumpkin

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Organic farming isn't better for the planet. It's largely ideological nonsense and as others have pointed out uses far more land and resources to produce the same amount of food.

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/organic-farming-is-bad-for-the-environment/

The best hope for feeding the planet is GMO not organic. It's not as touchy-feely though.

Interestingly enough, I have done a fair amount of work for organisations in this fields. They attempted to adopt a neutral stance, expecting that the evidence would lead to pressure for GMO. GMO has a role to play in certain environments - crops such as Golden Rice meet very real local nutritional needs. Surprisingly enough, the consensus after the project I was tangentially involved in, was that there was a pressing need to make more use of traditional plant sciences. Seed producers tended not to tailor varieties to local conditions, leading to monoculture and reduced yields. Also education was the key factor. On the ground in much of the developing world, the poorest farmers are not particularly knowledgeable about their crops. And an education program to spread basic farming information - and enable better access to markets had a far bigger impact than simply switching seeds. GMO is a tool, not a panacea.

Offline Red-Soldier

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Interestingly enough, I have done a fair amount of work for organisations in this fields. They attempted to adopt a neutral stance, expecting that the evidence would lead to pressure for GMO. GMO has a role to play in certain environments - crops such as Golden Rice meet very real local nutritional needs. Surprisingly enough, the consensus after the project I was tangentially involved in, was that there was a pressing need to make more use of traditional plant sciences. Seed producers tended not to tailor varieties to local conditions, leading to monoculture and reduced yields. Also education was the key factor. On the ground in much of the developing world, the poorest farmers are not particularly knowledgeable about their crops. And an education program to spread basic farming information - and enable better access to markets had a far bigger impact than simply switching seeds. GMO is a tool, not a panacea.

Agree with this, GM is just one of a variety of tools that we need to use to ensure our food security moving into the future.

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Re: Climate change is already here. How bad it gets is still up to us - Discuss
« Reply #1987 on: September 23, 2017, 06:02:27 AM »

We Charted Arctic Sea Ice for Nearly Every Day Since 1979.
Youíll See a Trend.

By NADJA POPOVICH, HENRY FOUNTAIN and ADAM PEARCE SEPT. 22, 2017

Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Data on the extent of Arctic sea ice was collected every other day in years 1979 through 1987, but daily thereafter. In the charts, daily data is based on a five-day running average.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/22/climate/arctic-sea-ice-shrinking-trend-watch.html

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Re: Climate change is already here. How bad it gets is still up to us - Discuss
« Reply #1988 on: September 26, 2017, 11:03:51 PM »
Not sure if this has been posted before. It's only just come up onmy facebook page.

http://truthcommand.com/2017/09/heres-world-will-look-like-ice-melted-terrifying/