Climate change: Darkening of the Earth, mustard shortages, and other strange side effects

Birdsong, snowdrops, blossom, and midge bites are not typical of November in the north of England.

However, these are only some of the less severe consequences of global warming.

Rising temperatures are cited as a cause of spontaneous explosions of Siberian permafrost, mustard shortages, and the planet becoming darker, in addition to fueling deadly floods and drought.

Many of the consequences of climate change are catastrophic. Some people are strange.

Some Russian scientists attribute exploding tundra and ‘earthshine’ Giant craters in thawing Siberian permafrost to warmer ground temperatures causing underground pockets of gas to spontaneously explode. Permafrost is land that has been continuously frozen for more than two years.

There is only one theory to explain the formation of massive craters in the Arctic landscape.

They are a “disquieting sign,” according to this BBC Future article, that this cold, largely unpopulated landscape in our planet’s north is undergoing some radical changes.

Recent research also revealed that the Arctic is warming at a rate four times faster than the rest of the world.

Climate change may be dimming the planet’s “shine” as well as blasting holes in its wilderness, according to scientists at Big Bear Solar Observatory in New Jersey.

Scientists measured “earthshine” or albedo, or the reflectiveness of the Earth, by measuring the sunlight reflected from Earth to the dark part of the moon at night.

According to the studies, the amount of low cloud cover over the eastern Pacific Ocean is decreasing as ocean temperatures rise.

Because these clouds act as a mirror, reflecting light from the Sun back into space, the amount of reflected light decreases without them. So, according to these researchers, we may be dulling the lustre of our little blue dot.

Reptiles that change gender–2022–quick-preparation-tips-740638

While we may be the cause of global warming, we are not the only species affected by it. Some creatures are affected in unexpected ways.

The temperature at which the eggs are incubated influences the sex of the offspring in some reptiles. When incubated at a certain temperature, genetically male central bearded dragons – a species of lizard found in Australia – will actually change from male to female. Scientists are concerned that as the world warms, males will become increasingly scarce, putting the species at risk of extinction.

Rising levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the ocean may be causing fish to lose their sense of smell.

Climate change is also significantly disrupting seasonal synchrony. This April, in Wytham Wood, the UK’s most scientifically studied woodland, Great tit hatchlings hatched up to three weeks earlier than they would have in the 1940s.

Warming has shifted the entire spring food chain – the caterpillars that birds eat, the oak tree leaves that caterpillars eat – all reach their peak weeks earlier than they did before we warmed up the world.

Many birds are adjusting – or simply moving – as the seasons change. Bee-eater chicks hatched this year in a Norfolk quarry; they are normally found in the southern Mediterranean and northern Africa.

The soundscape is also changing. London is now a hotspot for unusual bird song. According to one study, forest birds were moving higher up in the trees to sing, possibly to avoid having their calls muffled by earlier foliage.

There is a lack of flavour.

Food production is also being hampered by extreme weather. Wheat, corn, and coffee are already being impacted. And there have been some notable condiment shortages this year.

Huy Fong Foods, a California-based company that produces approximately 20 million bottles of Sriracha chilli sauce each year, warned customers in April of a “severe shortage” of chillies.

In the summer, supermarkets in France began to run out of Dijon mustard, a problem that could be traced back to the Canadian Prairies, where the majority of the world’s mustard seeds are grown.

Furthermore, the reality of climate change is impeding efforts to go carbon-free. In August, the energy company EDF was forced to reduce output from nuclear power plants in France due to a lack of cool water in French rivers.

The solution, which is currently being debated by 200 countries at the United Nations Climate Summit, is is a significant reduction in those planet-warming gases.

But we’ve already changed our world by warming it, and there will almost certainly be many more unexpected and surprising consequences.

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