The state of our home

I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading of late around the state of the planet in which we call home. More and more it does seem like we are going through a state of upheaval currently in a lot of ways there has been increasing unrest in various societies around the globe, economies have gone through meltdowns and natural disasters the globe over have been on the up and up over the last 5 years further compounding the human and monetary impact on various societies.

In terms of our place on this world, I do not feel the next coming decades are our golden years for sure I said a few years back that I thought things were going to crash in a lot of ways and whilst a lot of things have happened I believe it is just the tip of the iceberg going forward and in some ways things do need to crash as it is only from the ashes of something can true change come about; The proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes if you will however this is just our own human societies and whilst we may be the most populous on the globe we are still by no means it’s master and we have been pushing our mother planet rather hard since the dawn of the industrial revolution and our subsequent further explosion across the globe.

Whilst we may be the dominant species on this planet we are by no means it’s master, we have our technologies and knowledge but overall we are reliant on the protection that our planet offers us. The sun throws out a great deal of radiation which our ozone layer protects us from, our atmosphere is somewhat dense and friction burns up space debris of smaller sizes and the overall climate of the planet is conducive to our continued existence as a species however unlike our brethren in the animal kingdom we do not seek to live in harmony with our surroundings, the major controlling factions on the world are capitalist driven so we tend to rape and pillage and continue to move on to new areas where people and materials are cheaper and laws may be more lax in the pursuit of lower prices for consumers and increased returns to our shareholders.

In the end something has to give. As much as we have a decent understanding of the physical world around us and how things tick we are still accountable to the forces of nature and this world and it’s complex biosphere is intricate and tends to have it’s own checks and balances; Regardless of what we do to it she will be around for a lot longer than we will in the same form or not is definitely open for debate but as the mighty cockroach has proven life can be resilient and found in the most unexpected of places even if it is not suitable for us. There has been a lot of talk over the last few years around the topic of global warming, if it is happening and is it driven by the changes we have introduced to our environment or is it a part of cyclic changes that our world goes through.

There are experts, critics and skeptics on both sides of the fence regarding it, with both sides constantly squabbling over it but it did make me curious so I decided to have a look into some climate data for the area in which I grew up and see if/how it has changed throughout my lifetime; Now this is just the area which I grew up over my lifetime so it is by no means a conclusive picture for a state/country or even global scale but it could potentially provide an indication of how things could look on a wider scale which would involve considerably more research on the topic but the picture it has painted I still feel is somewhat interesting.

jkot_yrly_rainfall jkot_5yrly_rainfall

Looking at the yearly rainfall information it appears that my area sees peaks and troughs roughly on a 4 year cycle however one thing is apparent the troughs are getting lower and lower pretty much each cycle and the peaks are also following the same pattern. I rolled the data up into 5 year windows more in line with the actual cycle and averaged it out to determine a trend in the cycle and it seems that we are on a fairly consistent downward trend for rainfall in my area of approximately 5% per cycle.

rainfall_distribution

A slight positive though, we seem to be on an upswing this year with an increase of 24% compared to last year currently half way through spring which is definitely a good thing as our dams were looking in a rather sorry state and I believe they are now up near 40% capacity which is a decent improvement. Although broadly in line it does appear there is a slight shift occurring over time with the distribution of rainfall moving from winter and into spring months, this may be indicative of a slight shift in season patterns.

jkot_yrly_tempjkot_5yrly_temp

It seems our mean temperature distribution throughout the year also follows a similar pattern with peaks and troughs roughly in line with the rainfall seen above. Whilst the picture painted here is nowhere near as stark as the rainfall one it does show that we do not seem to be dropping down quite as low as historically seen and although only slight it does appear that the mean temperature is actually on the rise as well, our last peak appears to have been 2010-2011 with 2012 dropping down again by half a degree which is in line with the drops seen after previous peaks.

Throughout the 1980’s – 1990’s it seems the peaks were somewhat consistent being 24.9 degrees celsius however the last 5 years appears to have been on the rise setting new records in mean max temperature so it will be interesting to see how the remainder of this decade goes and if it equalizes itself out as time progresses. At least our mean low seems to be somewhat consistent. Overall though it appears throughout my lifetime the area in which I grew up is slowly heating up but more worryingly is drying up at a considerably faster rate.

If the worlds population was somewhat stable this wouldn’t be as much of an issue but we appear to have taken the words of¬†Genesis 9:7 “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” to heart with current projections (http://news.yahoo.com/world-population-hit-9-7-billion-2050-221905126.html) putting the worlds population at 9.7 billion by 2050 a further 35% increase on current levels.

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
~ Ancient Indian Proverb ~

I really feel that something has to give, and I really hope it does soon as I happen to like this rock we call home.

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