Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, is now a land of polluted rivers and lakes, rising greenhouse gas emissions, pressured marine ecosystems and disappearing bird and mammal species.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing Earth to get hotter and hotter. Large volcanic eruptions cool the planet by creating lots of small particles in the stratosphere, but the particles fall out within a couple of years, and the planet heats back up. The idea behind solar geoengineering is to constantly replenish a layer of small particles in the stratosphere, mimicking this volcanic aftermath and scattering sunlight back to space.This strikes me as an attractive idea but a fundamentally bad one, there are too many things we don't know about the effects of conscious attempts to 'fix' a global problem.
In recent years, diseases have ravaged through bat, honeybee and amphibian populations, and now animal experts suspect that shared factors may link the deaths, which are putting many species at risk for extinction.Sigh.
The Arctic region continues to serve as the global climate "canary in a coal" mine. Now, as with average temperature rise, the region is leading into a new troubling milestone as monitoring stations near a remote outpost near Barrow, Alaska are among several such stations to report that average concentrations of CO2 have reached an average of 400 parts per million (PPM) this spring.