AuthorTopic: Official Population Overshoot Thread  (Read 4831 times)

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🌍 7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 02:35:43 AM »
https://theconversation.com/7-5-billion-and-counting-how-many-humans-can-the-earth-support-98797

7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?
July 9, 2018 6.28am EDT


Humans are the most populous large mammal on Earth today, and probably in all of geological history. This World Population Day, humans number in the vicinity of 7.5 to 7.6 billion individuals.

Can the Earth support this many people indefinitely? What will happen if we do nothing to manage future population growth and total resource use? These complex questions are ecological, political, ethical – and urgent. Simple mathematics shows why, shedding light on our species’ ecological footprint.
The mathematics of population growth

In an environment with unlimited natural resources, population size grows exponentially. One characteristic feature of exponential growth is the time a population takes to double in size.

Exponential growth tends to start slowly, sneaking up before ballooning in just a few doublings.

To illustrate, suppose Jeff Bezos agreed to give you one penny on Jan. 1, 2019, two pennies on Feb. 1, four on March 1, and so forth, with the payment doubling each month. How long would his $100 billion fortune uphold the contract? Take a moment to ponder and guess.

After one year, or 12 payments, your total contract receipts come to US$40.95, equivalent to a night at the movies. After two years, $167,772.15 – substantial, but paltry to a billionaire. After three years, $687,194,767.35, or about one week of Bezos’ 2017 income.

The 43rd payment, on July 1, 2022, just short of $88 billion and equal to all the preceding payments together (plus one penny), breaks the bank.
Real population growth

For real populations, doubling time is not constant. Humans reached 1 billion around 1800, a doubling time of about 300 years; 2 billion in 1927, a doubling time of 127 years; and 4 billion in 1974, a doubling time of 47 years.

On the other hand, world numbers are projected to reach 8 billion around 2023, a doubling time of 49 years, and barring the unforeseen, expected to level off around 10 to 12 billion by 2100.

This anticipated leveling off signals a harsh biological reality: Human population is being curtailed by the Earth’s carrying capacity, the population at which premature death by starvation and disease balances the birth rate.

Ecological implications

Humans are consuming and polluting resources – aquifers and ice caps, fertile soil, forests, fisheries and oceans – accumulated over geological time, tens of thousands of years or longer.

Wealthy countries consume out of proportion to their populations. As a fiscal analogy, we live as if our savings account balance were steady income.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental think tank, the Earth has 1.9 hectares of land per person for growing food and textiles for clothing, supplying wood and absorbing waste. The average American uses about 9.7 hectares.

These data alone suggest the Earth can support at most one-fifth of the present population, 1.5 billion people, at an American standard of living.
A man works recycling plastic bottles outside Hanoi, Vietnam. REUTERS/Kham

Water is vital. Biologically, an adult human needs less than 1 gallon of water daily. In 2010, the U.S. used 355 billion gallons of freshwater, over 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) per person per day. Half was used to generate electricity, one-third for irrigation, and roughly one-tenth for household use: flushing toilets, washing clothes and dishes, and watering lawns.

If 7.5 billion people consumed water at American levels, world usage would top 10,000 cubic kilometers per year. Total world supply – freshwater lakes and rivers – is about 91,000 cubic kilometers.

World Health Organization figures show 2.1 billion people lack ready access to safe drinking water, and 4.5 billion lack managed sanitation. Even in industrialized countries, water sources can be contaminated with pathogens, fertilizer and insecticide runoff, heavy metals and fracking effluent.
Freedom to choose

Though the detailed future of the human species is impossible to predict, basic facts are certain. Water and food are immediate human necessities. Doubling food production would defer the problems of present-day birth rates by at most a few decades. The Earth supports industrialized standards of living only because we are drawing down the “savings account” of non-renewable resources, including fertile topsoil, drinkable water, forests, fisheries and petroleum.

The drive to reproduce is among the strongest desires, both for couples and for societies. How will humans reshape one of our most cherished expectations – “Be fruitful and multiply” – in the span of one generation? What will happen if present-day birth rates continue?

Population stays constant when couples have about two children who survive to reproductive age. In some parts of the developing world today, couples average three to six children.

We cannot wish natural resources into existence. Couples, however, have the freedom to choose how many children to have. Improvements in women’s rights, education and self-determination generally lead to lower birth rates.

As a mathematician, I believe reducing birth rates substantially is our best prospect for raising global standards of living. As a citizen, I believe nudging human behavior, by encouraging smaller families, is our most humane hope.
Save As Many As You Can

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TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE)
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 07:32:07 AM »
On this site you can watch the world population clock tot up births I n real time as we rush toward the Seneca cliff of population overshoot. China and India tip the scales at a billion and change, and the US is third with 326M.

Interesting site. Follow the link for much, much more including growth rates, forecasts, etc..

TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE)

TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE)

1 China1,415,248,554
2 India1,354,598,933
3 U.S.A.326,851,451
4 Indonesia266,898,088
5 Brazil210,925,959
6 Pakistan200,954,109
7 Nigeria196,060,166
8 Bangladesh166,430,601
9 Russia143,963,793
10 Mexico130,817,815
11 Japan127,174,404
12 Ethiopia107,630,346
13 Philippines106,570,833
14 Egypt99,443,047
15 Vietnam96,526,085
16 D.R. Congo84,104,103
17 Germany82,300,020
18 Iran82,042,954
19 Turkey81,960,054
20 Thailand69,188,507

World Population: Past, Present, and Future

(move and expand the bar at the bottom of the chart to navigate through time)
World Population : 610000000  | July 01, 1700
300400500600700800900100011001200130014001500160017001800190020002100200000000040000000006000000000800000000010000000000
Datetime World Population
Jul 1, 200 190,000,000
Jul 1, 600 200,000,000
Jul 1, 700 210,000,000
Jul 1, 800 220,000,000
Jul 1, 900 240,000,000
Jul 1, 1000 275,000,000
Jul 1, 1100 320,000,000
Jul 1, 1200 360,000,000
Jul 1, 1400 350,000,000
Jul 1, 1500 450,000,000
Jul 1, 1650 500,000,000
Jul 1, 1700 610,000,000
Jul 1, 1760 770,000,000
Aug 1, 1804 1,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1850 1,200,000,000
Jul 1, 1900 1,600,000,000
Jul 1, 1927 2,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1950 2,536,274,721
Jul 1, 1951 2,583,816,786
Jul 1, 1952 2,630,584,384
Jul 1, 1953 2,677,230,358
Jul 1, 1954 2,724,302,468
Jul 1, 1955 2,772,242,535
Jul 1, 1956 2,821,383,444
Jul 1, 1957 2,871,952,278
Jul 1, 1958 2,924,081,243
Jul 1, 1959 2,977,824,686
Jul 1, 1960 3,033,212,527
Jul 1, 1961 3,090,305,279
Jul 1, 1962 3,149,244,245
Jul 1, 1963 3,210,271,352
Jul 1, 1964 3,273,670,772
Jul 1, 1965 3,339,592,688
Jul 1, 1966 3,408,121,405
Jul 1, 1967 3,479,053,821
Jul 1, 1968 3,551,880,700
Jul 1, 1969 3,625,905,514
Jul 1, 1970 3,700,577,650
Jul 1, 1971 3,775,790,900
Jul 1, 1972 3,851,545,181
Jul 1, 1973 3,927,538,695
Jul 20, 1974 4,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1975 4,079,087,198
Jul 1, 1976 4,154,287,594
Jul 1, 1977 4,229,201,257
Jul 1, 1978 4,304,377,112
Jul 1, 1979 4,380,585,755
Jul 1, 1980 4,458,411,534
Jul 1, 1981 4,537,845,777
Jul 1, 1982 4,618,776,168
Jul 1, 1983 4,701,530,843
Jul 1, 1984 4,786,483,862
Jul 1, 1985 4,873,781,796
Jul 1, 1986 4,963,633,228
Jul 11, 1987 5,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1988 5,148,556,956
Jul 1, 1989 5,240,735,117
Jul 1, 1990 5,330,943,460
Jul 1, 1991 5,418,758,803
Jul 1, 1992 5,504,401,149
Jul 1, 1993 5,588,094,837
Jul 1, 1994 5,670,319,703
Jul 1, 1995 5,751,474,416
Jul 1, 1996 5,831,565,020
Jul 1, 1997 5,910,566,295
Jul 1, 1998 5,988,846,103
Oct 12, 1999 6,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2000 6,145,006,989
Jul 1, 2001 6,223,412,158
Jul 1, 2002 6,302,149,639
Jul 1, 2003 6,381,408,987
Jul 1, 2004 6,461,370,865
Jul 1, 2005 6,542,159,383
Jul 1, 2006 6,623,847,913
Jul 1, 2007 6,706,418,593
Jul 1, 2008 6,789,771,253
Jul 1, 2009 6,873,741,054
Jul 1, 2010 6,958,169,159
Oct 31, 2011 7,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2012 7,128,176,935
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2017 7,550,262,101
Jul 1, 2018 7,632,819,325
Jul 1, 2019 7,714,576,923
Jul 1, 2020 7,795,482,309
Jul 1, 2025 8,185,613,757
Jul 1, 2030 8,551,198,644
Jul 1, 2035 8,892,701,940
Jul 1, 2040 9,210,337,004
Jul 1, 2045 9,504,209,572
Jul 1, 2050 9,771,822,753
Jul 1, 2060 10,222,598,469
Jul 1, 2070 10,575,846,551
Jul 1, 2080 10,848,708,184
Jul 1, 2090 11,050,055,193
Jul 1, 2100 11,184,367,721
30040050060070080090010001100120013001400150016001700180019002000
Datetime World Population
Jul 1, 200 190,000,000
Jul 1, 600 200,000,000
Jul 1, 700 210,000,000
Jul 1, 800 220,000,000
Jul 1, 900 240,000,000
Jul 1, 1000 275,000,000
Jul 1, 1100 320,000,000
Jul 1, 1200 360,000,000
Jul 1, 1400 350,000,000
Jul 1, 1500 450,000,000
Jul 1, 1650 500,000,000
Jul 1, 1700 610,000,000
Jul 1, 1760 770,000,000
Aug 1, 1804 1,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1850 1,200,000,000
Jul 1, 1900 1,600,000,000
Jul 1, 1927 2,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1950 2,536,274,721
Jul 1, 1951 2,583,816,786
Jul 1, 1952 2,630,584,384
Jul 1, 1953 2,677,230,358
Jul 1, 1954 2,724,302,468
Jul 1, 1955 2,772,242,535
Jul 1, 1956 2,821,383,444
Jul 1, 1957 2,871,952,278
Jul 1, 1958 2,924,081,243
Jul 1, 1959 2,977,824,686
Jul 1, 1960 3,033,212,527
Jul 1, 1961 3,090,305,279
Jul 1, 1962 3,149,244,245
Jul 1, 1963 3,210,271,352
Jul 1, 1964 3,273,670,772
Jul 1, 1965 3,339,592,688
Jul 1, 1966 3,408,121,405
Jul 1, 1967 3,479,053,821
Jul 1, 1968 3,551,880,700
Jul 1, 1969 3,625,905,514
Jul 1, 1970 3,700,577,650
Jul 1, 1971 3,775,790,900
Jul 1, 1972 3,851,545,181
Jul 1, 1973 3,927,538,695
Jul 20, 1974 4,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1975 4,079,087,198
Jul 1, 1976 4,154,287,594
Jul 1, 1977 4,229,201,257
Jul 1, 1978 4,304,377,112
Jul 1, 1979 4,380,585,755
Jul 1, 1980 4,458,411,534
Jul 1, 1981 4,537,845,777
Jul 1, 1982 4,618,776,168
Jul 1, 1983 4,701,530,843
Jul 1, 1984 4,786,483,862
Jul 1, 1985 4,873,781,796
Jul 1, 1986 4,963,633,228
Jul 11, 1987 5,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1988 5,148,556,956
Jul 1, 1989 5,240,735,117
Jul 1, 1990 5,330,943,460
Jul 1, 1991 5,418,758,803
Jul 1, 1992 5,504,401,149
Jul 1, 1993 5,588,094,837
Jul 1, 1994 5,670,319,703
Jul 1, 1995 5,751,474,416
Jul 1, 1996 5,831,565,020
Jul 1, 1997 5,910,566,295
Jul 1, 1998 5,988,846,103
Oct 12, 1999 6,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2000 6,145,006,989
Jul 1, 2001 6,223,412,158
Jul 1, 2002 6,302,149,639
Jul 1, 2003 6,381,408,987
Jul 1, 2004 6,461,370,865
Jul 1, 2005 6,542,159,383
Jul 1, 2006 6,623,847,913
Jul 1, 2007 6,706,418,593
Jul 1, 2008 6,789,771,253
Jul 1, 2009 6,873,741,054
Jul 1, 2010 6,958,169,159
Oct 31, 2011 7,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2012 7,128,176,935
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2017 7,550,262,101
Jul 1, 2018 7,632,819,325
Jul 1, 2019 7,714,576,923
Jul 1, 2020 7,795,482,309
Jul 1, 2025 8,185,613,757
Jul 1, 2030 8,551,198,644
Jul 1, 2035 8,892,701,940
Jul 1, 2040 9,210,337,004
Jul 1, 2045 9,504,209,572
Jul 1, 2050 9,771,822,753
Jul 1, 2060 10,222,598,469
Jul 1, 2070 10,575,846,551
Jul 1, 2080 10,848,708,184
Jul 1, 2090 11,050,055,193
Jul 1, 2100 11,184,367,721

The chart above illustrates how world population has changed throughout history. View the full tabulated data.

At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was approximately 5 million. Over the 8,000-year period up to 1 A.D. it grew to 200 million (some estimate 300 million or even 600, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be), with a growth rate of under 0.05% per year.

A tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987).

  • During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.
  • In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.
  • Because of declining growth rates, it will now take over 200 years to double again.

Wonder how big was the world's population when you were born?
Check out this simple wizard or this more elaborated one to find out.


Sources:
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2019, 05:56:38 AM »
Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030



As civilization faces existential threats, Trump is trying to end long-term climate studies. Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically.
SAWITREE PAMEE / EYEEM


Dahr Jamail

Outside on my front porch, alder chip smoke billows out of my small smoker. The racks inside the tin smoker are filled with wild-caught Alaskan Coho salmon, provided to me by my friend Jonathan. He and his wife take their three daughters in their fishing boat and head north from our town on the north coast of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula for the late summer salmon runs in Southeastern Alaska. They return with a hull full of frozen fish, for those of us here lucky enough to have placed our orders for it.

Several friends here attached to the land where I live are also outside, busy doing their own things: one is preparing his sailboat to launch in a week, another is working in the garden, two others are pitching a tent, another is out working his summer job with the Washington Conservation Association, and still another is reading and contemplating what she might write in the next column we co-author for Truthout.

It is truly idyllic. A dream I’ve had for decades is finally coming true: I’m living in a way that is close to the Earth, which enables me to minimize my carbon footprint. I’m growing much of my own food and living in community with like-minded people.

Yet all is taking place against the backdrop of a global climate crisis. Runaway human-caused climate disruption is already making life unlivable for millions around the globe, and is an integral reason why we are already in the Sixth Mass Extinction Event.

Each of us in this small community of ours is fully aware of the crisis that is upon us. We understand we are living in a bubble, in that we are able to grow much of our food, smoke this fish, go for hikes, share healthy meals, and have enough water to do all of this. Our conversations tend to run the gamut: ranging from discussing the latest breakdowns of portions of our global life support system, to when are we going to hang the bat house, to where to put the clothesline, to what happens when the cities run out of food, to when am I leaving for my next climbing trip.

Meanwhile, the news of the collapse continues to roll in.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that sea-level rise could be twice as bad as previously expected, due to accelerated melting in the Antarctic and Greenland. Instead of the previous worst-case scenario of 1 meter by 2100, the study has doubled that figure. Several scientists this writer has interviewed believe the realistic figure of sea level rise by 2100 will be even higher than this recent study’s prediction.

Another report showed how the state of Florida could be facing a $76 billion bill to mitigate and adapt to climate crisis impacts by just 2040, mostly from rising sea levels.

To give you an idea of how far along we already are in this crisis, in some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators. Climate disruption is a major contributing factor toward the loss of insects around the planet.

The Arctic, our proverbial canary in the climate coalmine, just saw its hottest May ever recorded. Coastal erosion of permafrost is happening at a rate of up to one meter every day, and the current rate of coastal erosion is already six times higher than the historical rate.

In Siberia, carbon-laden permafrost has warmed by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6°F) in just the last 10 years alone. This is an ominous sign, for as the permafrost thaws it releases carbon and methane, making this one of the most dangerous feedback loops in the climate crisis, given that permafrost around the globe contains twice the amount of carbon that is already in the atmosphere. In fact, it has now been shown that the permafrost is thawing 70 years sooner than previously predicted.

According to a 2017 study, tundra in Alaska is already warming up so quickly that it has become a net emitter of CO2 ahead of schedule — rather than sequestering carbon, as it has historically done. Thawing is occurring so rapidly in the Arctic now, sinkholes are becoming increasingly common across the region.

To make matters worse, Arctic sea-ice extent for early June was at a record low, and the ice could be on track now for a record melt year at the current trajectory.

Underscoring the severity of the crisis, yet another well-researched report has recently been released warning the end of human civilization could be on the horizon if we don’t change course. In the report, climate scientists predict 2050 as the year we face complete climate catastrophe.

The authors predict, “More than a billion people may need to be relocated, and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end.”

They found that by 2050, total ecological collapse could bring about huge social consequences like “increased religious fervor to outright chaos.” The report warns that catastrophic environmental disasters could result in widespread pandemics, forced migrations from places that no longer support humans, and the spread of war over diminished resources.

The report describes one possible scenario, in which “planetary and human systems (reach) a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.”

It would be an error to think there is that much time before this kind of breakdown. If you live on the delta in Bangladesh, or in Paradise, California, or on the coastline of northern or western Alaska, the crisis is already upon you.

Earth

Extreme weather events fueled by human-caused climate disruption are already severely affecting food production, causing food price shocks in the U.S. A report focusing on the recent flooding in the Midwest illustrated how rain-sodden fields across the Corn Belt, along with massive numbers of drowned livestock, are contributing factors. This issue is only set to deepen.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that human-caused climate disruption is, in many ways, a geoengineering experiment gone badly, ongoing discussion within the scientific community of using geoengineering to completely solve it continues to escalate.

Despite the clear dangers of unforeseen consequences, generating conflict between nations, and the immorality inherent in the idea of attempting to control parts of the biosphere, some scientists are proposing strategies like spraying aerosols of sulphate particles into the stratosphere and using tall ships to pump salt particles from the ocean into polar clouds to brighten them in order to attempt to refreeze warming parts of the polar regions.

Meanwhile, experts from 27 different national science academies released a report showing how climate disruption is already negatively impacting people’s health via heatwaves and floods, but also indirectly by things like the spreading of mosquito-borne diseases and deleterious mental health impacts.

“There are impacts occurring now [and], over the coming century, climate change has to be ranked as one of the most serious threats to health,” Andrew Haines, a co-chair of the report for the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council told The Guardian.

Water

The endangered North Atlantic Right Whale’s already scant population is declining, and this decline has been linked directly to oceanic warming, which is of course, being caused by climate disruption, according to a recent report. Warming oceans have caused the whales’ food supply to shift locations, causing them to have to travel farther to find it, along with moving them into areas closer to shipping lanes which are dangerous for them.

Meanwhile, dozens of grey whales have been found dead and washing up onto beaches up and down the west coast, from California to well up into Canada, causing U.S. scientists to launch an investigation into the unusually high mortality event. Scientists believe the number found dead is but a fraction of the actual number, since most of the dead whales will not wash ashore.

“Many of the whales have been skinny and malnourished, and that suggests they may not have gotten enough to eat during their last feeding season in the Arctic,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesman Michael Milstein told reporters of the mortality event.

Also, hundreds of “severely emaciated” dead puffins have washed ashore at St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs of Alaska, believed to have starved to death from the warming waters they forage from having less food available for them to eat. Estimates of the total number of dead puffins range from 3,000 to 9,000.

A stunning study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that warming oceans will likely reduce the oceanic content of fish and other marine life by one-sixth by the end of this century. The study warned that for every 1 degree Celsius (1°C) warming of the world’s oceans, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by five percent.

Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically. A recent report warned that by 2030, half of the entire population of India (roughly 700 million people, or to put another way, one tenth of the entire population of the globe), may lack adequate drinking water. (This is, of course, in addition to all the other places in which drinking water supplies will be inadequate.) The same report warned that the cities of Bangalore and New Delhi could run out of useable groundwater by as early as 2020.

India’s sixth biggest city, Chennai, is already dealing with massive water shortages as that city’s four reservoirs recently ran dry. People are fighting while lining up for water. Many are unable to take showers, and hotels are warning people about water shortages. Most of that city’s population of 4 million are already relying solely on government tankers for their water.

Back in the U.S., southeastern Alaska, normally a rain-soaked temperate rainforest, is experiencing its first ever recorded extreme drought. This is normally the wettest region of the state of Alaska.

Things aren’t any better underwater. A stark report has shown that the Southern Ocean of Earth could be less of a “carbon sink” than previously thought. In fact, it could well already be belching more CO2 into the atmosphere than it is absorbing.

Furthermore, climate disruption is altering the composition of the world’s plankton communities, according to another study. “Large and globally consistent shifts have been detected in species phenology, range extension and community composition in marine ecosystems,” reads the abstract of the study. It is worth remembering that plankton provides a large percentage of the oxygen on the planet, with scientists estimating they provide between 50-85 percent of the oxygen to Earth’s atmosphere. There has been a 40 percent decline in phytoplankton since just 1950.

Melting ice and thermal expansion of warming waters are the two leading contributors to sea level rise, and they are continuing apace.

The Welsh village of Fairbourne is on track to become the first village in Britain to be abandoned to sea level rise, as the entire population will have to be relocated. Like others that will be abandoned, the resettlement plan for the refugees remains unclear.

The residents of Fairbourne are far from alone. Thousands of communities along the coasts of the globe will have to be abandoned as seas continue to rise. In the U.S., communities in which at least 21 percent of homes will be at risk of chronic flooding by 2060 include Miami Beach and Key West in Florida, Hoboken and Atlantic City in New Jersey, Galveston, Texas, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Meanwhile, major climate disruption impacts have devastated Midwestern farmers, who in many places weren’t even able to plant their spring crops. And the question is not whether this kind of devastation will occur again, but when and how often. Croplands across that region were literally drowned by weeks of relentless rains over the spring.

This trend continued into May, as the U.S. officially had its second wettest May ever recorded, according to NOAA.

The same has been true in Canada, where once-in-a-century floods have happened two years in a row, deluging communities across Atlantic Canada and forcing residents to make a stark choice: rebuild or relocate.

Fire

The American West is set to experience chronic summer wildfire smokefrom megafires, according to a recent report. Nevertheless, most of the region has done next to nothing to prepare for what is seen to be a massive and ongoing threat to human health from respiratory issues.

This isn’t relegated only to the west. Minnesota, as far away as it is from the source of the smoke, is also already experiencing a dramatic increase in smoke because of the wildfires besetting the Canadian Rockies and the Western U.S.

Underscoring both of these situations is an analysis generated by Climate Central that shows how the afflicted region’s wildfire season is currently 105 days longer than it was in the 1970s, and is burning six times the area of acreage. The region also has three times more fires over 1,000 acres in size than it did in the 1970s.

Air

Temperatures in the Arctic Circle in Alaska were 22°C above normal in some places in March. This is critical for multiple reasons, particularly due to the fact that in the Arctic, ice functions as part of the infrastructure across that region given how roads, homes, buildings, and other structures are built atop the permafrost, and subsistence hunting is a way of life for many Inuit people. If current trends continue, that way of life is, devastatingly, on the way out.

A heat wave in Japan during May killed five people and hospitalized another 600 people suffering from symptoms of heatstroke. Then in mid-June, a major heat wave in India killed dozens of people as temperatures reached 120°F across vast swaths of the country. In one area alone, 49 people died in just a 24-hour period. It’s worth noting that 11 of the 15 warmest years on record in India have taken place after 2004.

In the U.S., a heat wave in June across the west saw temperatures reach 120°F, as record highs were seen across the region.

Denial and Reality

Meanwhile, the lengths the Trump administration is going to in order to placate its fossil-fueled backers continue to astound.

The Trump administration recently carried out one of its most overt attacks on climate science to date when it attempted to prevent an employee of the State Department from testifying about the climate crisis, according to The New York Times. Intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover had submitted his testimony to the White House for approval before he appeared in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to share his remarks covering the security risks posed to the U.S. by the climate crisis. But as The Washington Postreported, the Trump administration refused to approve his testimony for entry into the congressional record, stating that his analysis did not align with the views of the executive branch.

Additionally, Trump’s Energy Department rebranded U.S. gas exports as “molecules of freedom.”

Back in the world of reality, in May, a record number of students across the world walked out of their classes amid a global strike to bring attention to the climate crisis.

This is a good thing, as recent data shows no signs of the climate crisis slowing down. In fact, it is only accelerating, as atmospheric CO2 content has increased by its second highest annual rise in the last 60 years. That makes this the seventh year in a row of steep increases of CO2 content in the already overburdened atmosphere.

NOAA also recently reported that this year is on track to become the third warmest ever-recorded in 140 years of temperature records.

The signs of collapse of industrial civilization are all around us. We must pay attention, and prepare ourselves for living in the world that the disrupted climate has brought upon us.

For myself and my community, this means connecting more deeply to the Earth, to build psychological, social, spiritual and physical resiliency, in addition to taking as good care as we are able of the land that is caring for us. In this way, we are working to model on a micro scale what might be done on the macro, even in the midst of this era of great loss.

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption (The New Press, 2019), The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan(Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq(Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Izzy Award and the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards. His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in Washington State.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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