The Economist reports:
The thaw is happening far faster than once expected. Over the past three decades the area of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen by more than half and its volume has plummeted by three-quarters (see map). SWIPA estimates that the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer by 2040. Scientists previously suggested this would not occur until 2070. The thickness of ice in the central Arctic ocean declined by 65% between 1975 and 2012… The most worrying changes are happening in Greenland, which lost an average of 375bn tonnes of ice per year between 2011 and 2014—almost twice the rate at which it disappeared between 2003 and 2008 (see chart). This is the equivalent of over 400 massive icebergs measuring 1km on each side disappearing each year.
At a recent Water Innovations Lab workshop, we were exploring different scenarios for 2030. This one got my attention:
Things are getting away from us. What do we do about tomorrow? Florida will become hotter, as will everyplace else, and then why wouldn’t the toads move north? At the moment, the lighted scoreboard seems to read: advantage toads.
This article makes me think that flora and fauna may be able to evolve at the rate of climate change (or maybe not)
Now, you could take a very rose-tinted view of this and ask why we care about the environment. Species will adapt to it. That’s what you’re showing. Well, the answer is, most species won’t adapt. Some will, but most won’t, and that’s why cities aren’t full of giraffes, and elephants, and many other animals. They can’t adapt to our surroundings, so they haven’t adapted. But by studying the evolutionary process going on in cities, it’s a great opportunity to understand what determines whether one species can make it and another won’t, and what we might do to promote the persistence of these species