Mystery of the missing sea ice and a literal heat wave, ie hot water

Both Antarctica and Florida are feeling the effects of cli-fact

Two of the more shocking bits and pieces I couldn’t fit into the cli-fi and cli-fact instalment of This Week, Those Books  were the mystery of the missing sea ice and the only literal and metaphorical heat wave in the world, which is to say hot water.

Antarctica, it seems, is missing more than 1 million square miles of sea ice – the current level is the lowest in 45 years – though it’s the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

And nearly half of the world’s oceans are currently in a heat wave. Having absorbed the additional heat unleashed by all of us burning fossil fuels and razing forests, the sea waters are hot. But just how hot? Around the tip of Florida, the ocean temperature has hit triple digits or hot tub levels. The result is the bleaching and killing of coral reefs.

That’s tragic enough but what really makes one cry is the thought of what Britain’s governing Conservative Party is doing to green policy-making. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared himself to be on the side of motorists (whatever that means) and has put hundreds of oil and gas exploration licences up for auction. In so doing, he is blackening Britain’s proudly green record for it was the first in the G7 group of advanced economies to commit its net zero ambitions to law.

For shame.