Hurricanes, Vaccines, and Lightning Strikes

The Clim8

04.4.21-04.10.21

Photo Credit: NOAA/GOES/AFP/Getty Images via USA TODAY

Meteorologists predict 2021 will hold the sixth above-normal hurricane season in a row (USA Today)

A usual tropical season will contain 6 hurricanes and 6 other tropical storms but meteorologists and weather experts predict that 2021’s tropical season forecast will have 8 hurricanes and 9 other tropical storms. Half of those predicted hurricanes are expected to be Category 3, 4, or 5. Scientists say that the cause of these unusual hurricane seasons are likely the result of warm seawater regions in the Atlantic. One of the dividing factors in predicting this hurricane season was the prediction of the lack of El Niño, a natural warming of the Pacific known to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.

Photo Credit: via Global Citizen

Greta Thunberg links vaccine nationalism to climate injustice, acknowledging that public health issues are directly related to the climate crisis (Global Citizen)

Low income countries have been found to be most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and recently have lacked equitable access to vaccinations amidst the pandemic. With this in mind, Greta Thunberg stated that she would not be attending COP26 without a halt to vaccine nationalism: when a country aims to vaccinate its entire population before helping support more at risk groups in other areas and refuses to release vaccine information into the public domain. Greta criticizes countries making vaccines available to young healthy people before all front line workers and risk groups are properly vaccinated.

Photo Credit: via CNN

As global temperatures rise, over a third of the Antarctic ice shelf risks subsiding into the ocean (CNN)

The planet is heating and the likely possibility of world wide temperatures reaching 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels creates a danger for all species, including humans. Ice shelves, which are solid and buoyant bodies of ice, are connected to coastlines where glaciers pass off the land and reach the ocean. Scientists have determined that 67% of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula and 34% of all Antarctic ice shelves face irreversible damage and melting if temperatures exceed the pre-industrial levels.

Photo Credit: via UNDP/Arjen van de Merwe

Increased action needed to supply renewable energy to those without access to sustainable electricity sources (UN News)

Greater support is required to help Africa adapt to climate circumstances and natural disasters, declared UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Though the continent has a number of renewable materials, it has only received two percent of worldwide interest in renewable energy, according to Guterres. Hundreds of millions of people are without access to affordable and dependable electricity and others are cooking with contaminated and dangerous fuels. Guterres spoke in regards to this matter and advocated that the solution is renewable energy in Africa, so that residents will have sufficient and healthier methods of living that in turn reduce environmental hazards and pollution.

Photo Credit: via Agefotostock/Alamy

Forced out of their habitat: Marine life unable to survive near the equator as tropics increasingly warm (The Guardian)

Global warming has created a climate that exceeds the heat that many species can survive in, causing a reduction of the abundance of wildlife that live in oceans near the equator. A study and analysis conducted of the migration of close to 50,000 marine species between 1955 and 2015 determined species will move away from the equator as the ocean temperatures rise. The inevitability of global heating will lessen the number of species in tropical waters even more and scientists declared that the impact of such a large amount of moving populations could be intense and difficult to pre-determine. Also, various economies that rely on tourism for their distinctive and rich biodiversities could be hurt.

Photo Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth via WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

England’s Prince William calls for investment into nature to protect the climate (CNBC)

At the virtual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, Prince William urged investment into reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and clean ocean efforts. He focused on goals such as removing carbon from the atmosphere, dealing with decreasing biodiversity, and protecting the human race from the effects of climate change. The prince also declared that only if financial institutions and banks invest into these solutions, then England can most effectively work towards curb climate change.

Photo Credit: via NOAA

Carbon dioxide levels reach their highest point in 3.6 million years (CBS)

Despite the fact carbon emission levels were estimated to decrease due to more people staying home over the course of this past year, carbon dioxide and methane levels actually only rose during 2020. Furthermore, researchers found that the rate at which carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere is also accelerated. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which calculated this increase, also found that “the 2020 increase is likely to remain one of the largest in the entire world.”

Photo Credit: Friedrich Haag via Wikimedia Commons

Number of lightning strikes in the Arctic increasing drastically (Science)

As the climate warms, the number of lightning strikes in the Arctic has risen -- increasing from 35,000 bolts in 2010 to 240,000 in 2020. Check out this link for more information on the study.