Changing temperatures

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

January 28, Wednesday, was a very beautiful sunny day in Tsukuba and Tokyo, Japan. Blue skies, hardly any harsh, cold wind - a perfect day to be out to enjoy the sunshine!

Weather reports, however, cautioned about sudden drop in temperature. Compared to the very high temperatures of the previous 2 days (high of 15 - 16º C - April spring temperature in the midst of winter!), Wednesday's temperature dropped to a colder 9ºC with lowest temperatures forecasted to reach zero level!

The sunny weather but low temperature is forecasted further to last till today, Thursday. However, in another display of variability, snow is expected on Friday! Goodbye, sunshine, hello cold snow!!!

In the East Coast of the United States, a forecasted snow storm "of historic proportions" saw residents told to stay home, airports and subways closed, driving bans imposed. While the super snow storm spared areas like New York, Associated Press reported that the merciless blizzard, with howling winds at 70 mph, slammed hard through Boston and parts of New England.

While the " no mercy blizzard" with its chilling temperature slammed through certain portions of the East Coast, airline passengers throughout the world found themselves affected by the blizzard which closed East Coast airports and the domino effect of the blizzard spread to unfinished deals and work, delayed family reunions and more.

Elsewhere, changing ocean temperature was reported to be causing the melting of the largest glacier in East Antartica. A report from Rappler noted that the Totten Glacier, which is 120-kilometer long and more than 30 kilometers wide, is melting, contrary to previous views that the glacier would be untouched by warmer currents.

While there is no immediate danger of the melting glacier releasing ice that is equivalent to a 6-meter or 20-foot rise in global sea levels, chief scientist Steve RIntoul told Agence France Presse that the warmer water around the glacier "is a sign that East Antartica is potentially more vulnerable to changes in the ocean driven by climate change than we used to think … and that "East Antarctica is not as protected from change as we use to think."

The variable temperatures, the merciless blizzards, and the melting glacier should alert us to the impact of climate change that will eventually impact adversely on everyone. Already, the changing temperatures are causing adults and children to be sick and preventing them to go to work or to attend school. When transport and mobility are affected by harsh storms and blizzards, then public services will not be readily available for those in serious need. People lose homes and other property. Sickness, accidents, worse, even deaths have been reported when climate-change-affected disasters hit various locations of this earth. The poor and the vulnerable will be most affected once again.

We have been told, again and again, about what we can do personally and together to avert global warming, to campaign vs climate change. We can manage our waste, we can check our homes to save on energy consumption, we can go organic with our food, reuse, reuse, recycle, take the bicycle instead, and so on.

Steps to stop global warming, to reduce our own carbon footprint can start from ourselves, our homes, our communities, our schools, our churches, our offices, our city, our province, our country and all the way , in partnership with the rest of the environmentally-concerned all throughout the world.

The recent news about changing temperatures, merciless blizzards, melting ice glaciers should be timely reminders for us to seriously fast track and practice personal and collaborative steps to protect our environment.

Let us not wait for any more adverse effects of climate change to hit close to home. Typhoon Yolanda is still fresh in our memory. Let us not lose any more precious lives and resources because we failed to do our part to take care of our earth, our world, and our people.

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