Today is Earth Day 2013, and we are so happy that our whole team has made it through the most recent round of events, with heavy rains causing flooding in Chicagoland! We pray that everyone is safe and sound and back to normal.
This year the theme of Earth Day is climate change, and after this past week’s rainfall, we all now know firsthand that Mother Nature is a beast and we need to take extra good care of her! Not that we could ever stop the flooding or whatever natural disaster she sends our way, but there are things we’re doing that certainly are not helping.
This past year the earth marked many milestones regarding climate change. 2012 was marked as the hottest, most extreme year in United States’ history and then marked the hottest year the entire planet had ever experienced! Extreme weather events are now the “norm.” Here in the United States, we went from historic flooding in 2011 to devastating drought in 2012. Those droughts helped fuel wildfires that consumed tens and thousands of acres across the West.
Most of us had never heard of the word “Derecho” until 2012. It’s derived from a Spanish word meaning “straight ahead,” and that storm system covered more than 700 miles—knocking out power to more than 4 million customers in the United States. The winds were clocked at more than 90 mph, killing at least twenty-four people in seven states, and leaving many without power for days in the midst of the hottest stretch of the summer.
Storms rocked the Caribbean, the Philippines and the northeastern US with Hurricane Sandy being ranked the most deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclone of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. The most troubling climate malfunction was the melting at the tops of the world, with the Summer Sea ice in the Arctic shrinking to 18 percent below the previous record low. The Arctic Sea covered an all-time record low, with a high-water mark in a long-term decline. Solar flares hit earth—which hadn’t happened in six years. Suddenly there was talk about space weather, something that most of us have never even heard of or thought about. In Greenland 97 percent of the surface ice sheet experienced melting. Read the rest of the entry >