Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(iWN file photo)

By Jomo Sanga Thomas*

(“Plain Talk”, Jan. 17, 2020)

The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record. And the worse is yet to come. Climate scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records.

The decade had eight of the 10 hottest years on record. The only other years in the top 10 were 2005 and 1998.

We who live in small island Caribbean states and whose contribution to global warming is so negligible and have so little resources to prevent and or mitigate damage, should be very alarmed by this most recent report. Our very existence is at stake.

Sadly, world leaders such as Donald Trump, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro continue to deny that human-induced global warming is responsible.

Other explanations that rely on natural causes — extra heat from the sun, more reflection of sunlight because of volcanic particles in the atmosphere, and just random climate variations — are all much too small to explain the long-term trend, Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said.

“If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said at the close of a decade plagued by raging wildfires, melting ice and extreme weather that researchers have repeatedly tied to human activity. In the last decade, the Caribbean witnessed record-breaking hurricanes, freak storms, droughts damage to its coral reefs because of rising temperature. Even the weather patterns and seasonal growth of fruits have changed.

The effects of global warming are one of the many challenges we face in SVG. Therefore, we cannot act as if it’s business as usual. Parliament and our leaders should be in a state of permanent emergency. The drivel that most often passed for debate must end.

Schmidt said Earth is probably the hottest it has been during the past 11,500 years, which means this could be the warmest period since the dawn of civilisation. But scientists’ estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty.

The 2010s averaged 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius) worldwide, or 1.4 degrees (0.8 C) higher than the 20th Century average and more than one-third of a degree Fahrenheit (one-fifth of a degree C) warmer than the previous decade, which had been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scientific measurement calculated that 2019 was the second-hottest year in the 140 years of record-keeping. Five other global teams of monitoring scientists agreed, based on temperature readings taken on Earth’s surface, while various satellite-based measurements said it was anywhere from the hottest year on record to the third-hottest.

Several scientists said the coming years will be even hotter. “This is going to be part of what we see every year until we stabilise greenhouse gases from the burning of coal, oil and gas,” Schmidt said.

“It’s sobering to think that we might be breaking global temperature records in quick succession,” said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb. “2020 is off to a horrifying climate start, and I fear what the rest of the year will bring to our doorsteps.”

Overall, Earth is now about 1.2 degrees C (nearly 2.2 F) hotter since the beginning of the industrial age, a number that is important because in 2015, global leaders adopted a goal of preventing 1.5 C (2.7 F) of warming since the rise of big industry in the mid- to late 1800s. He said that shows the global goal can’t be achieved.

“We have strong human-induced global warming,” said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford. “What we observe here is exactly what our physical understanding tells us to expect, and there is no other explanation.”

Scientists said the decade-long data is more telling than the year-to-year measurements, where natural variations such as El Nino, the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean, come into play.

“Human-caused climate change is responsible for the long-term warming — it’s responsible for why the 2010s were warmer than 2000s, which were warmer than the 1990s, etc.,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler said in an email. “But humans are not responsible for why 2016 was warmer than 2015, or why 2019 was warmer than 2018.”

NOAA said the average global temperature in 2019 was 58.7 degrees (14.85 C), or just a few hundredths of a degree behind 2016, when the world got extra heat from El Nino. That’s 1.71 degrees (0.95 C) higher than the 20th Century average, and 2.08 degrees (1.16 C) warmer than the late 19th century. Sea ice both in the Arctic and Antarctic reached their second-lowest levels in 40 years of monitoring.

Parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America had record-high temperatures in 2019, as did Alaska, New Zealand and New Mexico, NOAA said. Alaska was 6.2 degrees warmer than average, at 32.2 F. It was the first time in recorded history that Alaska’s average annual temperature was above freezing.

Globally the past five years stand out as the hottest five on record, nearly 1.7 degrees (0.9 C) warmer than the 20th Century average. The last year Earth was cooler than the 20th century average was 1976. “If you want to know what this means for people and the world, just look at wildfire-stricken Australia,” Schmidt and others said.

Global warming is already being seen in heatwaves, ice sheet melt, more wildfires, stronger storms, flood-inducing downpours and accelerating sea level rise, said Hans-Otto Portner, who heads the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team that looks at the impact of climate change.

If you read this report and are not troubled, you are in a deep sleep.

*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

10 replies on “Earth has a high fever”

  1. Is there another view other than this Noble cause Corruption that we are faced with or even the rampant spread of the Climate change business? Is there another view?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmIJCGQzCiU

    For indeed when Tax and Spend is one’s own policy, Climate change is but yet another red flag to be used, like a red flag being offered to a Bull, as it brings and offers opportunities for more regulation and yet even more Taxes!

  2. I suppose the removal of beach’s, sand dunes and bunds will help when the sea rises and inundates areas of the island.

    The government of SVG have been burning thousands of truck and car tyres for years now and still do. No greater polluter than that.

    Then there are people who are in themselves pollutants, like yourself and your ex boss the fat one.

    The government of SVG are one of the dirtiest polluters in the Caribbean with millions of tons of raw sewage pumped out at sea along and on our coast’s.

    Dirty Saint Vincent and its nasty left wing politicians.

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:

      INVESTING IN TIRE SHREDDING MACHINE

      Do like ‘Jomo’s Real Talk Caption, ‘ …Earth Has High Fever.’

      Not sure if it is really ‘…Fever.’ Looks more like ‘…Fire and more Fire.’

      Cottle has spoken about what the Police have done to a ‘…farm of ganja,’ but already, the news have shown imagery of the ‘…destructive effect of fire in the nation of Australia.’

      Seems that the whole darn Earth is doomed to ‘…ketch ah fire.’

      The good thing is the scientists do not know if is going to be hotter than that mankind may eventually experience at another place off the Earth with ‘…Fire and Brimstone.’

      It has been determined by the experts that ‘…smoke and other pollutants, particularly constant emissions from aircrafts’ have been among the causes of destruction of the ionosphere.

      The Government of Antigua and Barbuda’ has approved a Canadian company to invest in, and operate a ‘…Tire Shredding Machine’ at the ‘…Cooks Landfill.’

      An estimated one million tires are expected to be shredded.

      Not sure how the hell it will work, but there are already ‘…some street talks’ about ‘…utilizing the shredded waste in road building.’

      If the authorities here care about the environment, they may wish to see how this machine works in ‘…Shredding’ instead of ‘…Burning Tires.’

      Visit the news portal ‘…Antigua News Room’ JG.

      Have not seen you visiting is news portal in recent times.

  3. Something else to consider. Each time a volcano erupts it puts more pollutants in the atmosphere than many years of the total human population of the world does in maybe a hundred years.

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:

      ALLROUNDER – IRONICAL

      Won’t say that of Jomo.

      Seems very ‘…studious and prolific.’

      Should be highly commended.

      Always willing to either ‘…share with, or impart knowledge’ to readers/visitors to this news portal.’.

      The writer is not only ‘…well read,’ but also ‘…well researched’ as may have been seen in his ‘…Real Talk’ commentaries.

  4. Here is another thing JOLLY, if JOMO and “the Family” are so concerned about “climate change” where are the tax incentives to encourage us to go green?

    I see no Tax Free incentives for the importation of all solar energy products! Nor the dissuading of the individuals here who are year after grass and shrub burning all over the country.

    These guys are just bandwagonist. They have now found yet another bandwagon to tag themselves onto because it is in vogue in the west and offers these grubby charlatans a good chance to impose yet more taxes on us, being the tax junkies whom they are.

    Further, ever the beggar whom they are in government, what excellent opportunities the idea of global warming offers them when they to go cap in hand in Europe and across the world asking for Climate Change Aid. We have already seen their scrounging in full swing using the call of Climate Change next will come more swinging Taxes.

  5. I agree with all those that have commented on this article thus far. Climate Change is REAL, however there has never been any evidence by any REAL or independent scientists that it is man-made. There are other causes! I have already mentioned them in other comments on this site. As Jolly Green stated, a volcano sends more pollutants into the atmosphere than a decade of all human activity on earth, and yes, when is our government going to do something about our tire-burning festivals? What about lowering the duties on new tires so we are less-inclined to import thousands of used bald tires from the USA, or would that interfere too much with our government’s lust for money?

    The environment is dear to me!
    Along with other subjects in the University, I STUDIED CLIMATE SCIENCE and Ecology and Jomo did not. He is spreading falsehoods.

    The Climate Agenda today is led by socialists like Jomo, the super-rich, AOC in the USA and many other very greedy and power-hungry sickos. The creators of the “Green New Deal” have stated publicly it is designed to institute Socialism and has NOTHING to do with the environment.The funding comes from the world’s super rich, Rockefellers, George Soros, Rothschilds, to include one of thier banks, JP Morgan, that owns Exxon/ Mobil.
    All the top scientists in the world admit there is no evidence it is man made and when they speak-out and expose this, they are blacklisted. Most all of these Climate Nazis care nothing for the environment. They care about power and money. Taking money from those of us that work for a living; passing much of it out to those that do not want to work so they will continue to assist in keeping them rich and powerful.
    If you research, you will find that most, if not all the fires raging in Australia were started by these vile people and thier greedy agenda. Millions of animals and millions of trees have been destroyed.

    It is sick when these people play on our sympathies in order to get more power and take our money, at the same time destroy our environment!

  6. Talk of ‘climate crisis’ and climate change are being overdone by the usual suspects who are bent on spending other people’s money.

    Has not the world’s climate been ever fluctuating and changing? Further, where is the proof that the Australian bush fires were caused because of climate change? Is not one man under arrest for deliberately setting a patch of forest ablaze? Are JOMO, Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP just Climate activist or even climate alarmist at best?

    The sick swivel eyed Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg have sure got many talking. Indeed for these climate change fanatical warriors there are no other views to be had. Yet there is always another view to be had as is seen from up there in the UK, just as it sure should be down here for us too. We note

    “According to a variety of psychologists and psychiatrists, talk of a ‘climate crisis’ has led to an upsurge in young people reporting feelings of anxiety, helplessness and guilt. Terrifying our children with doom mongering propaganda on climate change is nothing less than abuse”.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7902895/DOUGLAS-MURRAY-Terrifying-children-propaganda-climate-change-abuse.html

    “According to former US vice president Al Gore, the polar ice caps ought to have melted away completely by 2013”. But have they?

    “Natural phenomena, including disasters such as the recent fires in Australia, are presented as though they have never happened before and they are presented as though they are solely the result of this ‘climate emergency’.” This is so even by JOMO our man above.

    What are we to make of these pseudo-climate activists like JOMO or even the man Ralph Gonsalves? Gonsalves who tell us that he was in Moscow to discuss climate change. And who has ever believed anything the man Gonsalves tell us?

    Was he really there in Moscow discussing the climate or was he there on undisclosed business to do with Venezuela, Iran, Libya, or North Korea while Vincentians remain without jobs and are sucking salt. I have always advocated that this UN Security business was and is a bridge too far for the egotistical Gonsalves.

    This much we can be assured of, Ralph Gonsalves and the TAX and SPEND lefties are always seeking occasions in which to impose more taxes upon us all and this Global warming/Climate change narrative, will give them that perfect opportunity to impose even more taxes upon us again and again in place of good workable political economics.

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