The week before last a tree-removal crew arrived across the street and chopped down two large evergreen trees that stood in the backyard of the old apartment building that my studio windows look out upon.
The evergreens were 60-70 feet in height and provided delicious green eye candy as I lay in bed. Crows frequently perched at the tippity top like Christmas tree angels and swayed with the breeze. During my football season TV ultramarathons I would often find myself gazing for long stretches at the waving evergreens next door. It's very soothing.
I can already feel the impact of their absence. The glare is worse, and, if had to guess, I'd say it's at least a couple degrees warmer in my apartment now that they are gone. Thankfully they didn't remove all the evergreens. There's still two left, not quite as big, about 15 yards to the west, also in the backyard of the old apartment building. And, thankfully, they didn't remove the trees prior to the recent heat dome.
I mention this as preface to the study recently published warning that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a system which includes the Gulf Stream, is "approaching . . . a critical threshold beyond which the circulation system could collapse."
What that collapse would look like no one knows for sure, but it would likely include "increasing storms and lowering temperatures in Europe; and pushing up the sea level in the eastern U.S. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets."
It seems to me that we are headed for a series of "End Times" level events owing to our rapidly heating climate. Having finished reading Dahr Jamail's The End of Ice, I know that the Artic permafrost is melting faster than scientists anticipated. This pretty much "bakes in" hotter temperatures in the immediate future. Methane has anywhere from 30- to 90-times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.
The Russian tundra is on fire. The forests of Pacific Northwest are too. Catastrophic fires year after year. This is the way it is going to be for the rest of my life.