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The Earth, as seen from its orbit is never the same due to the adverse effects of climate change, yet a large number of people still believe it isn’t happening.

This was the message stressed by Dr. Josefino Comiso, senior research scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, as he explained the “alarming and dominating” rate of the rising greenhouse gases (GHG) and its effect on the country.

‘QUICK MELT’

Comiso, also a polar science expert, climatologist and satellite remote sensing scientist, cited the “quickly” melting phenomenon in Greenland during DOST-National Academy of Science and Technology’s “Science Information Forum on Global Climate Change Signals as Observed from Space” held in Manila yesterday.

“The area of melt increased dramatically in Greenland in 2002 until 2012 where it was almost completely melted in a rate of three kilometers sheet (per year)” Comiso said at the Science Information Forum on Global Climate Change Signals as observed from Space.

THREAT IS REAL

So why do we have to worry if we are thousands of kilometers away from Greenland?

“We have a lot of islands, thousands of them. If ice melts, it causes rise in regional sea level… about seven feet. Why do we have to worry? Our islands are likely to disappear, that’s why,” Comiso said.

Comiso added that due to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ultraviolet rays entering othe ozone layer could not escape, thus, warming the Earth and melting the ice sheets.

The trapped heat is also causing a rise of three to four degree Celsius in the global temperature.

TYPHOON YOLANDA WARNING

With the rising sea levels, Comiso cited the super-typhoon Yolanda which hit the Philippines in 2013, regarded as the strongest typhoon ever recorded.

Super-typhoon Yolanda or Typhoon Haiyan (international name) recorded 81 in the Dvorak scale, a tropical cyclone intensity measuring instrument used in NASA. What is alarming is that it passed the upper limit of 80.

“So you see, with the signals we are seeing, melting of ice caps in other regions, rising sea level, hotter temperature, the effects are inevitable. Tphoon Yolanda (recorded) 6,340 deaths, maybe more,” he said.

Comiso said that due to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ultraviolet rays entering othe ozone layer could not escape, thus, warming the Earth and melting the ice sheets.

The trapped heat is also causing a rise of three to four degree Celsius in the global temperature.

WHAT NOW?

“Effective mitigation, reducing the greenhouse gases for one, requires international efforts. There should be more emphasis on strategies for adaptation, risk and resiliency,” Comiso said.

“Planning and implementation should start as soon as possible. Postponing will only make the cost more expensive,” Comiso said.

NAST MEMBER

Prior to the forum, Comiso was conferred by the DOST as NAST’s newest corresponding member.

DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña expressed his gratitude to Comiso as the science chief recognized his significant contributions to the science community and to the public.

Comiso is one of the founding members of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering with more than 200 highly-skilled scientists, engineers and scholars from the Philippines and other countries.

Source: The Manila Bulletin | 23 February 2017 

Parent Category: Story

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