The Arctic Grim Report Card is Not Good for Southwest Florida’s Environment



Southwest Florida is as distinct from the North Pole as possible, but the two are still connected.

A new report shows that melting Arctic ice and warmer temperatures could have a big impact in Southwest Florida.

“It is always strange to think that Arctic melting could have a direct impact on Florida,” said Joanne Muller, associate professor of climatology at The Water School of Florida Gulf Coast University.

But Muller knows what happens there, impacting Southwest Florida.

“We will be the first to feel the effects of the melting that they are actually seeing in the Arctic,” she said.

What scientists are seeing outlined in NOAA’s 2021 Arctic Report Sheet is not pleasant.

“The report card includes vital signs. And these are the topics covered every year. And these include things like surface air temperature, snow, vegetation greenness,” Twila Moon, deputy chief scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

For example, the Greenland ice sheet is melting.

“And the amount of ice that’s lost, adds volume, adds water to the ocean, and actually affects the coasts farther away than it affects Greenland,” says Moon.

Moon says this change could affect the coasts further south.

“When we think of flooding in blue skies, or having higher tide events and experiencing coastal erosion, or saltwater intruding on previously freshwater sources at the coast, these,” says Moon. this has to do with the Arctic change of land ice loss,” Moon said.

Although the North Pole is far from here, these changes are a glimpse into an issue that is beyond the forefront of the world.

“Where in the world the meltdown happens doesn’t really matter. It will affect us first,” Muller said.

Southwest Florida could see impacts through sea level rise and warmer water because there is no ice to reflect sunlight and radiation, the ocean will instead absorb it.

“If you then put a really intense hurricane on top, that could have really catastrophic consequences here in Southwest Florida,” Muller said.

Despite the grim report, it’s not too late.

“I think let’s talk to each other, realize that we have similar concerns, and then put those concerns into action, make changes and maybe what’s in the house. school cafeteria, or the solar panels on your church, or talk to your representative, no Moon said.

Scientists hope with better education we can change the classroom.

THAN: Read the entire NOAA report card

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Aila Slisco

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