I ALWAYS look forward to the “ber months.” It usually signals the start of the cool, mild sunny days. Whew, October came and went.
Now it’s already November and Bacolod is experiencing heat. Crazy! Weather is getting so erratic and unpredictable.
And now we get the news. It’s not just Bacolod, not even the Philippines but worldwide.
According to Washington Post’s article last week, the world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that the Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead.
Over the past quarter-century, reported by the American broadsheet, Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, published in the journal Nature.
The difference represents an enormous amount of additional energy, originating from the sun and trapped by Earth’s atmosphere — the yearly amount representing more than eight times the world’s annual energy consumption.
The higher-than-expected amount of heat in the oceans means more heat is being retained within Earth’s climate system each year, rather than escaping into space. In essence, more heat in the oceans signals that global warming is more advanced than scientists thought.
“But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”
The world already has warmed 1 degrees Celsius (C°) since the late 19th century. Scientists backed by the United Nations reported in November that with warming projected to steadily increase, the world faces a daunting challenge in trying to limit that warming to only another half-degree Celsius. The group found that it would take “unprecedented” action by leaders across the globe over the coming decade to even have a shot at that goal.
The problem is that in this grave peril, the top three greenhouse gas emitters — China, the European Union and the United States are not getting their acts together. Yet the three contribute more than half of the total global emissions, while the bottom 100 countries only account for 3.5 percent, says the World Resource Institute.
Collectively, the top 10 emitters account for nearly three-quarters of global emissions. The world cannot successfully tackle the climate change challenge without significant action from these countries.
Unless these three leading polluters forget their national interests and start thinking of global interests, the planet is doomed. Frankly, I doubt that’s going to happen.
The good news — if it can be called that — is that I would have crossed the Great Divide. My concern is those I will leave behind.