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    29 october, 2013

    The case is not about the Polar bears only

    Author: Sergey Simak, no comments

    How ice melting affects the political and economic life of the country.

    As the recent surveys showed, warming in the Arctic has reached its peak of the last 120 thousand years. More>>

    This is a local example of the global processes which have been taking place in the world for several decades, and which are particularly intensive in the northern hemisphere. There is no doubt, the climate of the Earth had never been stable; for this reason, this would not be accurate to say that climate changes are catastrophic for the biosphere. This is a catastrophe for particular species: for Polar bears and seals, who, most likely, will disappear from the face of the Earth before the end of this century. Polar bears and seals can hunt and reproduce only on ice floes. According to the present computer models of the future, floe ice of the Northern Pole will entirely disappear before the end of this century; there will remain some parts in thousands of kilometers away from the shore. This is a distance which Polar bears cannot swim through. Presently, they swim from ice floes to the shore at certain periods of their lives. Reluctantly, we can say that this is cost of evolution, that some species always extinct and appear.

    Here we can pose a question: why a Moscow or Tula resident, or any other for that matter, should care of Polar bears? In reality, there is more than something to care about. An ordinary resident, who has nothing to do with Polar bears, has a lot to care about his/her own welfare. So, how will climate changes affect his/her life (and lives of his/her children)?

    First: Any climate changes are unfavorable for human house holding. The matter is not that another climate is catastrophic, but the existing economy is adapted to the current status of the climate. This is why any changers incur serious economic and social stresses. For example, in case of climate changes, if the temperature is two degrees higher than the present one, mountain glaciers will entirely disappear, as will rivers flowing down from mountain glaciers and supplying water to approximately two billion people. And a huge bulk of these people lives in India, Pakistan, and China, which, by the way, are nuclear states. And these are hugely overpopulated countries. In case of such a severe stroke on their economies, they might take a look at the map and come to a natural question: “there are huge territories to the north from us, with lots of water and good-for-living territories, which wasteful neighbors would not care to exploit. And this is utterly unfair.” If we place ourselves is their shoes, we could possibly agree with them. Such thoughts could incur, to put it mildly, serious international contradictions. Let’s keep in mind that at least four nuclear states will be engaged in these contradictions. And how this conflict would end for a Moscow everyman, and the entire world, one can only guess. And some people think that these are no more than some floe ices in the Northern Pole. Everything is very much interconnected in the world.

    Please note that I am currently looking at one factor only.

    Second: with sharp and quick change of the climate, ever-frosts will get destroyed. (Let me remind, that 69% of Russian territory are in the ever-frost zones). These are territories which gas pipelines go through; at the very least, there is some infrastructure there.  All this will be destroyed along with destruction of the ever-frost. This will increase risks of technogenic catastrophes. MES of the Russian Federation had long ago come up with these calculations, and had been warning about this. While these calculations have not been broadly publicized, they do exist.

    Changes of the level of the World Ocean will also have serious impact on human lives. No doubt, this will not happen in a moment. Melting of Greenland ices, where thousands of cubic kilometers of ice are accumulated, and in Antarctic will hit the most serious stroke on the level of the World Ocean. As long as Antarctic is a relatively inertial huge ice massive, this “fridge” of the planet will stay for a longer while; it may remain for 200-300 years under the present trends. However, if it does melt, the level of water by some forecasts might go 100-150 meters up; while I can’t say that I am a great supporter of such extreme forecasts, they do exists, however. This means that vast territories of coastal regions of continents and, by the way, all major cities, city agglomerations on the planet, with few exceptions like Moscow, are located practically on the shores and will be submerged. These are billions of people. Major economic zones of the world will be submerged, including agricultural regions.

    Let’s go back to social and economic issues. By the way of occurrences of the above mentioned problems, the number of political and military conflicts will also go up. Options for elimination of modern human population keep constantly “perfecting.” This is why one can only guess what this all will turn into for a Moscow or Tula everyman, or for his children or grandchildren. Would it go back by such ricochet that he would have to participate in a military action for water or food and get killed in a conflict, or he would die in the result of destruction of the biosphere caused by broad-scale conflicts, or just the situation will be entailed by reduction of food product production, who knows?

    Food security in connection with climate changes is another important problem. Population of the Earth keeps growing; in the nearest future, it will get stabilized at the level of 10 billion people. And in case of reduction of agricultural lands (and they keep reducing since 1970), conditions will be only aggravating causing serious risks for food security, including of the very everyman.  And you said these were Polar bears’ problems…

    We live in a unified world, which has been unified since emergence of the biosphere. Now, especially now, the processes demonstrating unity of the world became especially obvious. And it is extremely important to prevent emergence of dangerous processes or, in the very least, to mitigate them. We cannot change the situation, cannot influence anything without understanding the problem. Exactly for the reason of understanding of the problem of climate change and in the view of possible catastrophic impact on it in the course of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic ice, in order to publicly discuss the situation and work out more adequate and balanced solutions, the recent Greenpeace action had been implemented, the one that presently is in the internet TOPs and Russian mass media. The absolutely inadequate reaction of the official mass media and a certain part of our society to this action shows that the Russian society is so far ready to act in suicidal manner and finds this normal.

    Rubrics: Ecology

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