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6 Degrees That Could Change the World
On the day of Super Tuesday and the tornadoes that followed that night, the temperature had reached a high of 71 degrees. This was the sixth day of February.

In August of 2007, Clinton, KY. had two weeks of temperatures over 100 degrees. Many of these days had reached a scorning 112 degrees (with heat index). The air took your breath away as you walked outside.

This was the third August with extreme heat. Except this year, we had an extreme drought as well. Each year since 2005, we have had an average increase of 20% the number of days that extreme heat has impacted west Kentucky.

What does it mean?

A new documentary titled “Six Degrees Could Change the World” aired on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday 10 February at 8pm ET. The program, based on a book by the same title by Mark Lymas.

The show made a strong case for what will happen to man kind if the world temperature was to rise by six degrees.


(1) Think about moving to Northern Canada. Severe droughts are going to increase in the Western United States with just a one-degree rise in temperature. We may not be able to raise grain and meat in places that are going to become deserts from Texas to the Canadian border.

(2) At a two-degree rise, most of the world's coral reefs would vanish. That's an early warning of worse things to come.

(3) A three-degree hike would cause the Amazon rain forest, which the whole planet depends upon, to erupt into drought-and-fire cycles.

Summers would be close to unbearable. The weather service would have to develop a new classification for hurricanes, moving up to a Category 6 level.

(4) At a four-degree increase, the frozen reaches of Northern Canada would enjoy weather like what we have now in Kentucky.

(5) Melting glaciers would cause rising sea levels. Add another degree and U.S. coastal cities such as New York would be mostly underwater.

(6)With just a six-degree rise, the oceans would die. Deserts would reclaim much of the planet, and Earth would revert to the dinosaur era, when the globe was a big steam bath.

The book and documentary are based on the estimation that, during the last 100 years, global warming has increased by about .07 degrees Celsius or 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), at no other time in the past 1,300 years has our planet been as warm as it is now. Temperature records from the deep ocean suggest that temperatures are now within a degree of their highest levels in 1 million years.

The IPCC estimates that Earth will continue to increase in temperature between 1.4-5.8 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Though six degrees doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s enough to alter the world as we know it in a devastating way.

Much of life will be destroyed. The signs are already there - the snows of Kilimanjaro are melting, glaciers on the Matterhorn in the Alps are melting and releasing huge boulders, and atoll nations in the Pacific are disappearing inch by inch under the water as it rises due to global warming.

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