Europe’s in the Fire, But Can We Put Out the Flame?

“Climate change evident across Europe, confirming urgent need for adaptation,” a new post from Skeptical Science, has confirmed that, as the title suggests, Europe is definitely heating up. What exactly does the author, John Hartz, have to say about it?

The report, Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012 finds that higher average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe. The Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and many glaciers across Europe are melting, snow cover has decreased and most permafrost soils have warmed.

Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused rising damage costs across Europe in recent years. While more evidence is needed to discern the part played by climate change in this trend, growing human activity in hazard-prone areas has been a key factor. Future climate change is expected to add to this vulnerability, as extreme weather events are expected to become more intense and frequent. If European societies do not adapt, damage costs are expected to continue to rise, according to the report.

Uh-oh. What we are looking at here is such blatant proof of global warming, it’s almost a slap in the face to anyone who still refuses to believe that it’s happening. These numbers aren’t just one or two outlying hot days, but higher average temperatures overall. Not in just one or two countries either, but all across Europe. People in the Americas or other continents may be thinking, “Oh, it’s ok we still have time to act just let me finish this one thing.” No, pull your head up and look around, the Arctic’s ice is melting, fast, along with the Greenland ice sheet, and multiple glaciers. We are way past ok by now. The flame gradually engulfing the earth has grown; it’s time to actually do something about it. This should be our boiling water, like the frog in An Inconvenient Truth, it’s time to jump out, not just wait to be boiled alive.

So here we are again. Hopefully this time when you leave this page, you’ll feel a little more motivated to change, even just a little, because just a little change can cause a ripple effect. As the great Michael Jackson has said “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m telling him to change his ways” I know I’ve changed, in my small ways, but when is the rest of the world going to catch on?

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