Carol Forsloff — While the United States faces a hotly contested election, one of the key questions missing in the Presidential debates is that of global climate change. Given the record of ignoring the problem for years, and the denial of climate change by more conservative elements and lesser scientists than the Nobel Laureates pronouncing the problem, it is essential, according to scientists, that global world leaders focus on the serious problems emanating from climate change.
The State University of New York at Stonybrook offers research findings that tell us how global climate change is often seen in the local environment. What the research has found is that rather than seeing a worldwide extinction of certain species, the extinction comes in local areas where predators diminish and the ecological change therefore becomes significant.
The National Academy of Sciences has released its research findings at one of its national conferences showing how changes in the ecosystem of Venezuela affecting marine life and the air and water temperatures and circulation that can impact other areas of the world related to the ocean currents.
Recent news reports indicate a growing portion of the United States to experience drought conditions. Already 2012 has shown an increase in fires and widespread drought from the center of the country, feeding outward both East and West. Scientists tell us they anticipate increasing tree death as a result. How this will affect the ecological system can be seen in those areas where trees have been taken down or burned by fires, where when the protective blanket of tree growth diminishes, or is erased, the land becomes even more parched and the wind develops a stronger impact on surrounding areas. One only has to drive through a desert on a windy day to experience how this feels.
So as the Presidential debate rages, and international leaders focus on election results in the United States and what might happen with all the tensions in the Middle East, some may see the environmental issues pushed from the front of the news. But scientists remind us that it is an essential concern, something world leaders must become appraised of and reduce the carbon emissions that exacerbate a growing problem.