Climate Change Impacts You May Have Missed
To the Editor:
Raging forest fires, disastrous flooding, warming oceans, and serious droughts are everyday climate change headlines. But lesser-known impacts could well be even more serious. Consider the following news items:
1. Tropical forests — As temperatures continue to rise, some leafy tropical canopies and plants in tropical forests stop undergoing photosynthesis — the process in which plants use sunlight to capture carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Trees that soak up climate-warming carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen could die!
2. Polluted drinking water — Every day, 36 million gallons of freshwater will soon be barged into the lower Mississippi River near New Orleans as saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico continues to threaten drinking water supply after this summer’s blistering heat and low rainfall triggered extreme drought over parts of the central US. As water levels drop in the river, the threat of saltwater intrusion grows in Louisiana as ocean water pushes north into drinking water systems, unimpeded by the Mississippi’s normally mighty flow rate.
3. Loss of pollinators — Ozone pollution is thought to affect the pheromone communication patterns of many insects, altering how they identify members of the same species and how they attract one another and mate. A decrease in pheromones equals a decline in reproduction and population of vital pollinators, including bees and butterflies, placing 80 percent of our crops in serious danger.
4. Rivers — Due to the effects of climate change, rivers are getting hotter and losing oxygen faster than oceans and may lead to major problems for fish and other species living in the waterways.
Thought you should know.
I am more worried now.