vo-banner.jpg

Russian meteor explosion vs climate change

See video

This video starts with a view of the explosion trail high in the atmosphere. But the real action starts after about 30 seconds when the shock wave and sonic booms reach the ground.

A 50 foot wide meteor travelling at 40,000 miles an hour slammed into the atmosphere above Russia on Friday. Over a thousand people were reported injured as the shock wave blew out windows and collapsed roofs.

It was the largest known meteor to hit the earth in over a century. The energy given off was equal to more than 20 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs. Big, spectacular, impressive.

Meanwhile the invisible greenhouse gases that humans release, mostly from burning oil, coal and natural gas, are increasing the amount of energy in our  atmosphere by that much more every five seconds -- non-stop.

NASA climate scientist James Hansen says the current increase in global warming is:

    "...equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year. That’s how much extra energy Earth is gaining each day."

Maybe that explains why the Arctic ice cap is in a "death spiral", forests are collapsing, freak storms are rewriting the record books, extreme rainfall is off the charts and epic heat waves and droughts are threatening our global food supply.

Two years ago Russia had another freak event: an epic heat wave that killed thousands of people, spawned record wildfires and so damaged their wheat crop that they banned exports for a year driving up global food prices.

Hansen published research showing this heat wave was fuelled by global warming. It would not have occurred if our fossil fuel emissions didn't happen to trap another 20 atomic bombs worth of extra energy every five seconds.

That Russian heat wave was so extreme it caused Russia’s notoriously climate-skeptical leadership to say things like:

“…what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past. This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past… what is going on with the world’s climate at the moment should incite us all to make a more strenuous effort to fight global climate change.”

Since then, global emissions of greenhouse gases have accelerated to record levels.

More in Climate Snapshot

"Carbon tsunami" lead by Enbridge Northern Gateway takes aim at BC

A flood of mega-carbon projects threaten to quickly turn British Columbia into one of the world's dirtiest economies.

Car Carbon series: cool new animation, plus the jaw-dropping impact it left out

What weighs sixteen billion pounds yet hides in plain sight?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.