A Most Uncertain Fiction – The Wichitan

Edward Roberts, under the anonymous “strannikov”, has been writing flash fiction since 2007 appearing online at yummy demon, language is a virus, Gone Lawn Journal, Metazen, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Fictionaut, and The miscreant. His verse (since 2016) appeared at Fictionaut and Literary magazine and in print at Chiron Review.

While the melting of Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is likely due to an unfortunate combination of geothermal activity beneath the Antarctic ice sheet with atmospheric and oceanic effects courtesy of Technogenic Climate Change (shown below) after, TCC), the fact remains that both glaciers are exhibiting historically high rates of melting, measured by glacier mass losses in gigatonnes (one gigatonne equals one billion metric tons).

The melting of these glaciers shows no signs of slowing down. As their melting continues over the Antarctic summers, concern is growing particularly over the status of Thwaites Glacier (dubbed “the Doomsday Glacier” by media wise), since the volume of its ice melt alone has been calculated to be able to contribute two full feet. to global sea level rise once it has dissolved into the world’s oceans.

Just as the cause of this melting is likely a combination of geothermal action with the effects of atmospheric and thermal ocean expansion from the TCC, there is every reason to expect further ice mass loss. . It is almost equally likely that as the melting rate continues, the melting rate will continue to accelerate. And just as the melting of these huge glaciers is likely to continue rapidly over the next century, it is just as likely that their melting in the world’s oceans cannot be stopped now, whatever action is taken and the Mean sea level rise significantly by the end of 2121 is already inevitable.

And because it is probably already too late to prevent these events, humanity will accomplish little or nothing over the next decade to counter the pernicious atmospheric and oceanic effects of TCC. (If institutional and bureaucratic responses to global pandemic emergencies have been hotly contested, how adept can the institutional and bureaucratic responses to early CBT be expected to be as we navigate beyond goals and targets already unmet for new goals and targets that may not have a better chance of being implemented?) Assuming for a few moments that this is so, perhaps by the time end of the next decade, humanity will finally be able to see not only that TCC poses a real threat, but that by 2031 the phenomenon will have to be properly named Runaway Technogenic Climate Change, which means that many of the processes triggered, as they accelerate and aggravate natural climate, weather and ocean dynamics, will begin to wreak significant havoc on the humanity that has unleashed their murderous contributions over the course of s last centuries.

The scale of human upheaval we could theoretically anticipate cannot yet be calculated with precision, but the displacement of tens of millions of people (a hundred million would be a bare global minimum) and the loss of cities, ports and regions coastal areas they will cause. being forced to evacuate will happen even if precise calculations cannot be made for two or three decades. In the meantime, no one knows what the continued melting of the ice sheet in Greenland and Antarctica might produce. No one knows what the cumulative loss of the world’s mountain glaciers will entail, from the Rockies to the Alps, from the Andes to the Himalayas. Anyone can guess how the global climate will react “naturally” with floods in some places and droughts in others affecting crop yields for humans and livestock.

No one knows any of the above for certain, for the simple reason that the data is not yet available and their analysis remains uncertain. Yet, if the previous catalog of upcoming attractions has any merit and if at least some of these phenomena begin to occur in the next century (2021 to 2121 inclusive), a most uncertain future awaits all inhabitants of this planet. : but dire omens abound.

Whether harvesting ice from Antarctica’s world reserves of more than sixty percent of the planet’s fresh water would be permitted among international players (to replenish dried up lakes and reservoirs and stem rising sea ​​level, even modestly) has not been publicly addressed. It’s not hard to imagine that as climate, weather and water cycle patterns change globally, plagues even more ferocious than the coronavirus could be unleashed: and we don’t have not even addressed the appearance of microplastics in the global food chain through patches of ocean trash shredding into microplastics and nanoplastics – cumulatively, the prospects of massive human mortality by the end of the century would hardly be surprising, now that informed speculation is beginning to anticipate an average increase in global surface temperature of at least three degrees Celsius.

No one knows, no one can say. The comfort that “we will know soon enough”, say by 2031, can only mean that by 2021 it is already too late: uncontrollable technological climate change may have already begun, in which case it cannot already not be avoided. Mitigation efforts are currently far from large scale.

Briefly recall that the global human population was only one billion as recently as around 1800 CE. Two billion were living simultaneously on the planet around 1920. Three billion around 1960. Four billion around 1975. Five billion around 1990. Six billion around 2000. In 2021, we have already exceeded seven billion and reached eight billion. by 2031 remains likely even though TCC has already reached runaway status.

If the above is nothing but dystopian alarmist fiction, the challenges humanity will face in the next century may be only (or mostly) “the normal type”. – but if this terrible fiction begins to resemble real, real-life conditions, or vice versa, then by the middle of the century (in less than thirty years) being a human being may have begun to become an occupational hazard altogether unpleasant for a large part of humanity. The psychic and phenomenal consequences for people living in the second half of this century (and beyond) may depend on our responses – our actions and our inactions – over the next three decades, just as we ourselves are at the thank you for the decisions made and the technological deployments. undertaken in previous centuries.

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