The mariner wishes to remove the political bickering by our elected officials. Their motives are tied more to the science of profit-making and job security than to the real situation of the relationship between Homo sapiens and Earth. Below is a link that the mariner urges you to read. There is no political banter; there is no liberal-conservative bias; there is no corporate or socialist slant; there is no nationalist defense. It is short and has pictures.
By the time the reader reaches the end of this post, extinction, climate change, an ice age, polar magnetic shift, and plate tectonics will be discussed. Lest the reader be confused, the topics actually are relatively independent of one another but Mother Nature is playing games with our adversarial political style. Poor Congress will be tied in knots for years!
The Planet Earth has some very large and slow-to-change processes that are not necessarily visible to humans. They are not visible because the impact of humans upon themselves may not be felt for decades or centuries. Nevertheless, the Earth does notice – if the mariner may be anthropomorphic. Slowly, the Earth changes its behavior. The first signs that the Earth has noticed is Earth adjusts its biosphere by eliminating species that no longer fit the Earth’s global ecology. This is the mass extinction of species called the “Sixth Extinction.” The second sign that the Earth is adjusting to reality is the change in subsystems like ocean temperature and acidic oceans, which begins to eliminate the very bottom of the protein chain – coral, plankton, simple land life like lichen, moss, and other simple plant life both in the water and on land. This elimination process already has begun.
Like many, the mariner feels that there is too much carbon dioxide. Evidence among growing things is too obvious. Excessive carbon has haunted us since the iron mills in Indiana and Ohio were spewing smoke that was killing trees in Pennsylvania and New York and coal mines poisoned rivers in the Appalachians.
However, the Sun is the most powerful influence on Earth’s weather and global temperature – easily trumping even Homo sapiens’s mischievousness. In just the last few days, solar scientists, armed with the best data yet regarding the activities of the Sun, say the Earth is headed for a “mini ice age” in just 15 years — something that hasn’t happened for three centuries. Early predictions are that it will last until 2045. The drop in Sun activity is called a Maunder Minimum; deeper currents in the Sun are moving in an opposite direction to the currents on the surface. The mariner mentioned a probable ice age in a post in June 2013 when he mentioned an ice age will occur in the 21st century. It isn’t his insight; he had been reading what solar scientists were saying about Sun cycles and the timing seemed correct.
Climate change versus the ice age. If there is confusion and disbelief now, think what both together will do to politics, international anti-carbon agreements and many environmental improvements riding the financing of climate change. Perhaps it should be made clear that there are two issues: ice age and excessive carbon – climate change notwithstanding.
Every 200,000 years or so, the magnetosphere switches poles, that is, the North Pole becomes the South Pole and vise versa. Presently, we are experiencing the very early phases of a polar switch. Scientists have determined that the strength of the magnetosphere has dropped 15% since 1840. There is nothing cataclysmic about the switch. The North and South magnetic waves push through each other around the globe. For example, today the South Atlantic and the Bering Sea have very weak magnetic spots such that a compass can be seen to vacillate as North and South magnetic waves move back and forth. “It may take another 2,000 years,” said physicist Phil Scherrer of Stanford University.
The real danger in a magnetosphere shift is twofold: First, the magnetic waves shield us from strong radiation from the Sun that is capable of causing cancer and other radiation ills; the Earth’s magnetosphere is weakened considerably during a shift and the Sun’s radiation can reach the surface of the Earth. At some point, all satellite communications will be interrupted.
Second, every creature that depends on a compass to get around will experience a topsy-turvy effect that turns everything backwards. Many creatures may be disoriented: Monarch butterflies, geese, whales – anything that migrates great distances without mapping terrain.
Switching to plate tectonics, the media covers stories about earthquakes and disturbed volcanoes on a regular basis. Statistically, the number of larger earthquakes per year has not changed but the energy or intensity has. The Earthquake that hit Japan recently moved that nation 12 feet closer to North America and caused a shift in Earth’s axis of 6.5 inches. Scientists worldwide focus increasingly on the Pacific Rim by Washington State. New evidence suggests that a small fault, Juan de Fuca, is currently pressing against the North American Plate causing uplift and stress. Eventually, it’s expected that the ground will break perhaps causing another “mega-thrust” earthquake that could rival the recent Japanese disaster. In addition, there is increased activity in the Chile/Peru fault and Los Angeles’s San Andreas Fault. Based on geologic data, a major earthquake has hit the Los Angeles area approximately every 200 years. The last major quake was about 300 years ago.
The mariner has written much about extinction. Peruse recent posts for more information or use the reader’s browser. To the mariner, extinction is both probable and within hundreds of years unless severe modifications are made to mankind’s treatment of the biosphere. We may not need to worry about earthquakes, magnetosphere shifts, ice ages, or Congress.