The most recent report from the United Nations sponsored gathering of scientists known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released on the 27th of September 2013. Over 800 reviewers participated in its publication. Here’s a short summary of its major conclusions:
Humans are responsible:
This won’t come as a shock to most people, but the IPCC have increased their level of certainty that the rise in global temperatures during the last half century is the result of anthropogenic processes. The confidence level has risen from 90% in 2007, to 95% now.
When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C. Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach.
One of the biggest resulting threats to cities around the world is sea-level rise, caused by the expansion of water at higher temperatures and melting ice sheets on the north and south poles. Scientists at the non-profit organisation Climate Central estimate that 275 million people worldwide live in areas that will eventually be flooded at 3C of global warming.
The regional impact of these changes is highly uneven, with four out of five people affected living in Asia. Here are some the most vulnerable global cities in terms of the number of residents like to be flooded:
Shanghai, China: 17.5 million people to be flooded
Osaka, Japan: 5.2 million people affected
Alexandria, Egypt: 3 million people to be flooded
Miami, US: 2.7 million people to be flooded
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 1.8 million people to be flooded
Half a decade before he took this trip to the farthest reaches of the north, Andreas Muenchow had his doubts about whether warming temperatures were causing one of the world’s great platforms of ice to melt and fall apart.
He even stood before Congress in 2010 and balked on whether climate change might have caused a mammoth chunk of ice, four times the size of Manhattan, to break off from this floating, 300-square-mile shelf. The University of Delaware oceanographer said he wasn’t sure. He needed more evidence.
But then the Petermann Ice Shelf lost another two Manhattans of ice in 2012, and Muenchow decided to see for himself, launching a project to study the ice shelf intensively.
He was back again in late August, no longer a skeptic. It was hard not to be a believer here at 81 degrees north latitude, where Greenland and Canada very nearly touch. The surface of the bumpy and misshapen ice was covered with pools and puddles, in some cases frozen over but with piercing blue water beneath. Streams carved through the vast shelf, swelling into larger ponds or even small lakes.
As the globe continues to warm, the ice sheets — particularly over Greenland — will continue to melt. But the rate of melting, the consequences of the melt and the impacts that various processes will have are not only uncertain, they’re unprecedented. If the entire Greenland ice sheet melts, the sea level will rise by approximately 8 meters (26 feet), submerging huge amounts of coastal and low-lying areas around the world, including the majority of the state of Florida. Melting, sliding, percolation and runoff are all sources of uncertainty, and its a combination of modeling and monitoring that’s necessary to understand what’s happening.
Ethan Siegel at Medium. The First Climate Model Turns 50, And Predicted Global Warming Almost Perfectly For those who still don’t believe in global warming, the science has had it right for half a century now.
Hey, did you hear about the western Antarctic ice sheet? The melting there has reached the point of no return, which means we’re getting an extra ten feet added to our sea levels in the near future. A clear and direct threat to human life as we know it—we should be rioting in the streets, or at least posting more ice memes than net neutrality memes, right? Instead, as everyone knows, the scourge of the postmodern world, the Millennial generation, is too busy updating Snapchat on the iPhones they bought with their parents’ credit cards. But is it really all our fault?
Generation X has a lot more to do with our current shitshow than they believe. I’m not blaming them for the way the world looks—that’s on the Boomers—but our big brothers and sisters in Gen X screwed up our cultural priorities by teaching Millennials that self-obsession is the highest mark of cultural capital.
Photo by @james_balog. When windblown dust is deposited on the world’s glaciers and ice caps, it becomes cryoconite, a dark mass of black soot that’s home to many microbes, called cyanobacteria. In the winter, they go dormant until spring, when the ice sheet enter its melt phase and they return to life. Follow @james_balog @gloriadickie for more images of the world’s glaciers. #Greenland #GreenlandIceSheet #Cryoconite #Microbes #Arctic #ClimateChange #ExtremeIce #Nikon #ScienceEducation by natgeo
Research shows ice sheets as large as Greenland’s melted fast in a warming climate
New research published in Science shows that climate warming reduced the mass of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet by half in as little as 500 years, indicating the Greenland Ice Sheet could have a similar fate.
The Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered large parts of North America during the Pleistocene - or Last Ice Age - and was similar in mass to the Greenland Ice Sheet. Previous research estimated that it covered much of western Canada as late as 12,500 years ago, but new data shows that large areas in the region were ice-free as early as 1,500 years earlier. This confirms that once ice sheets start to melt, they can do so very quickly.
The melting of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet likely caused about 20 feet of sea level rise and big changes in ocean temperature and circulation. Because cold water is denser than warm water, the water contained by ice sheets sinks when it melts, disrupting the “global conveyor belt” of ocean circulation and changing climate.
Researchers used geologic evidence and ice sheet models to construct a timeline of the Cordilleran’s advance and retreat. They mapped and dated moraines throughout western Canada using beryllium-10, a rare isotope of beryllium that is often used as a proxy for solar intensity. Measurements were made in Purdue University’s PRIME Lab, a research facility dedicated to accelerator mass spectrometry.
“We have one group of beryllium-10 measurements, which is 14,000 years old, and another group, which is 11,500 years old, and the difference in these ages is statistically significant,” said Marc Caffee, a professor of physics in Purdue’s College of Science and director of PRIME Lab. “The only way this would happen is if the ice in that area had completely gone away and then advanced.”
Around 14,000 years ago the Earth started warming, and the effects were significant - ice completely left the tops of the mountains in western Canada, and where there were ice sheets, they probably thinned a lot. About a thousand years later, the climate cooled again, and glaciers started to advance, then retreated as conditions warmed at the onset of the Holocene. If the Cordilleran Ice Sheet had still been there when the climate started cooling during a period known as the Younger Dryas, cirque and valley glaciers wouldn’t have advanced during that time. This indicates a rapid disappearance rather than a gradual melting of the ice sheet.
Reconstructing precise chronologies of past climate helps researchers establish cause and effect. Some have wondered whether the melting of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet caused the Younger Dryras cooling, but it’s unlikely; the cooling started too early for that to be true, according to the study. What caused the cooling is still up for debate.
Creating a timeline of glacial retreat also provides insight into how the first people got to North America. Current estimates place human migration to the south of the Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets between 14,600 and 18,000 years ago, but how they got there isn’t clear. Some say humans could have crossed through an opening between the ice sheets, but these new findings show that passage was likely closed until 13,400 years ago.
This paper should serve as motivation for further studies, said Caffee. Continental ice sheets don’t disappear in a simple, monolithic way - it’s an extremely complicated process. The more we know about the retreat of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, the better we’ll be able to predict what’s to come for the Greenland Ice Sheet.
IMAGE….Unvegetated terminal moraine from Nahanni National Park, NWT, Canada dating to the end of the last ice age (about 13,800 years ago).
Photo by Brian Menounos, University of Northern British Columbia
“Shut up, Mulder. I’m
playing baseball,” she says and the ball crackles like a thick sheet of ice, then
melts into the dark. Just a pop fly
probably, but for her the sound is as satisfying as a home run. He keeps his mouth shut, protecting her from
the truth. For once, he can do that.
Her body is limp in his arms as she lets him swing and sway
her, the only kind of dancing he could possibly ever teach. He concentrates on the innocence in her laugh
to distract himself from the warm friction of her body against his jeans as he
twists her hips. This was your idea, he
tells himself, don’t be a creep.
They hit the ball again and again, a few more cracks and
then a whiff-clang against the gate. She clucks her tongue and squirms loose, already spoiled by the crisp thwack of contact, and
takes off her jacket. Her black shirt is
tight, reveals a thin sliver of belly, whiter than a baseball. These are not things he usually studies about
Scully – her clothes, the way they fit her – but his mind is under the temporary
rule of the body part which has been pressed against her for the past five
minutes. He’s grateful she doesn’t turn
around as she uncloaks herself.
“Getting in the way,” she says of the jacket as she backs
once more into his arms.
He takes a deep breath; fresh-raked dirt, the clean
chalkiness of the bat, animal hide oiled and soaked with palmly sweat. But instead of pointing his nostrils up into
the air to soak it up, he finds himself following the dab of perfume Scully has
behind her ear. Sweet, subtle, carefully
applied. He usually obeys when she tells
him to shut up. But rambling might be
his only hope.
“It’s not horsehide anymore, you know…” he says as they
‘Meres’ are ponds, or lakes, created at the end of the last Ice-Age by huge ice blocks (once part of the ice sheet) finally melting - but leaving a depression in the soft earth. Cheshire’s water table is particularly high and so it fills these depressions - producing ponds that attract a huge variety of animal & plant life.
Satellites Spy Nearly Quarter-Century of Sea Level Rise
These globes show a visualization of global sea level rise. The data used here, accurate to around 1.6 inches, comes from 23 years of direct NASA satellite measurement of changing ocean surface topography.
Josh Willis, the project scientist for JASON-3, NASA’s next mission to measure sea level rise from space, says what we see here is explainable by a simple fact. “As water heats up it takes up more room. This drives sea level rise,” he says in a recent video. “In addition, as glaciers and ice sheets are melted, extra water is added to the ocean–just like when you turn on your faucet in the bath tub.”
As the data shows, though, the simplicity of the drivers doesn’t mean the results around the planet are simple. Some parts of the ocean are rising faster than other areas, and a few regions are even seeing falling sea level heights. In the Eastern Pacific, for example, sea height dropped over the observation period due to a recurring phenomenon called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. See the video below.
“I-I’m…pregnant with your baby…” your quiet whisper repeated over and over in Tao’s head as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
The chiffon laced canopy, blowing in the chilly morning breeze, dusted the wooden floor in gentle strokes so that it made you look like a sleeping beauty. And yet, peace and quiet were never obtainable under your grasps. Even in sleep, tranquility avoided you as if invisible walls had been nailed down, banning you from a good night’s rest.
“I’ll leave…” your own voice echoes back to your ears.
“Of course, you’ll leave, you unfilial b*tch. Oh? All grown up and ready to spread your wings and fly. Who the f*ck raised you, you disrespectful good-for-nothing shank,” your mother bellows in your direction, tossing flower pots, bricks, anything she could pick up at your direction.
You lose the will to even fight back. Blood seeps from your head, arms, back, knees…everywhere…Your heartbroken father lets go of his wife to dash over to your side but his immobile leg sends him crashing down onto the concrete ground. Still, he crawls over, begging you to get up, while spurting out countless excuses for your mother. “She doesn’t mean it. She’s just stressed from work. Stand up, Child.”
“Just keep quiet, apologize, and tell your mother to stay. It’s Daddy’s fault. Daddy is useless. He can’t give you and your mom a secure home,” he self-blames. “Do it for Daddy, okay? Daddy is old; he has hypertension, you don’t want Daddy to get a heart attack, right?”
You peer into his pleading eyes and all the strength within your body vanishes into thin air. Forcing your bloodied legs to straighten, you limp over to your now sobbing and self-victimizing heap of a mother.
She glares up at you as if you had killed her child – only, you were her child – and breathes, “I’m leaving you.”
Drenched in tears, your eyes peeled open as your mother’s words haunted the back of your mind – only, instead of her voice, you heard Tao’s displeasured ones from the morning after that fateful night in Las Vegas. “Yes, we slept together. Yes, I’m leaving you…”
Already accustomed to feigning smiles, you forced your trembling lips to curve upward as you obsessively cradled the blankets closer to yourself in attempts to build a fortification you thought could protect you from the cold. Still, you shivered uncontrollably.
Why does everyone leave me?
Having observed your act of defense, Tao’s heart sunk. So, so vulnerable. The more he wanted to protect you, the more he messed up and hurt you instead. Tossing the blankets away from his shoulders, he prepared to get up to bundle you up into his embrace, but an abrupt expulsion of stomach acids forced you up onto your feet. You barreled into the bathroom with one hand over your mouth and another on your stomach. Stunned, Tao followed after you.
As you belched and emptied the contents in your stomach, realization washed over him, like frigid sheets of ice melted against his face. Sweat droplets mixed with tears collected at the tip or your nose. The world spun in different directions in front of you. So, so dizzy. And yet, sometimes, lost in the state of consciousness and unconscious was the safest because both reality and nightmares could no longer attack you.
Hugging you securely within his arms before your stumble, Tao forfeited his body warmth into your pale, shivering skin. Under this illusion of an alternative reality, you weren’t accountable to your actions, right? Streams spilled from your water-engulfed orbs as you stuffed your face into Tao’s chest. He squeezed you tighter until every single one of his pulses resonated against your flesh.
“Let’s start over,” Tao thought to himself.
As he parted his lips to speak, the tension along your glabella reawakened you from your safety net. Sniffing back your tears, you detached yourself from your lover and reassured, “Don’t worry,” you hiccupped as you spilled out the final verdict you made last night in bed, “After your father passes the company down to you, I’ll leave and take care of the baby on my own.”
Your husband’s face paled three shades at your proposal. Completely bewildered, he was rendered speechless until his mother’s voice resonated from outside the bedroom.
“ZiTao, Chairman Zhao is here to see you,” she announced as she knocked the door. Tao refused to turn away from you.
Wiping away your tears, you forced your trembling lips to dress you with a smile. “I’m fine now, ZiTao. You can leave,” you subtly peeled his grasps from your arm.
But Tao determinedly held on. “Tell her I’m busy right now,” he shouted his instructions to his mother.
“ZiTao, you shouldn’t make a business partner wait like that,” you rationally spoke, though, deep down, a part of you selfishly wished he’d choose you over business. But whom were you kidding? Weren’t you a business transaction too?
“ZiTao? She’s downstairs. I think you should see her before she gets impatient. You know, your father needs her approval for the new project,” his mother sternly warned outside the door.
His gaze wavered as the glint from your necklace pendant refracted on his almond eyes, but it was enough to remind you to let go of things never in your possession. So you do; you forcefully removed his hand from your arm and twisted open the door. With the pressure of his mother’s presence, Tao hesitantly left to entertain the chairman.
“Honey, are you not feeling well?” your mother-in-law worriedly questioned as she caught your bloodshot eyes.
You shook your head and downplayed, “Just didn’t get enough sleep.”
“Ah. It’s still early. Sleep in today, okay?” she took your hand and guided you over to the bed so she could tuck you in. Instead, you tugged her to sit down and flung yourself into her chest. “Honey?” she cradled you.
“Thank you for always being so good to me, Mama,” your voice came out muffled due to your tight embrace.
She sighed in adoration, “Silly Girl, I’m your mother-in-law. Of course, I will cherish and dote you.” You hugged her even closer as you squeezed your eyes shut, hypnotizing yourself into a world of pretend, where she was your birth mother and you stripped from your role as an unwanted daughter.
When you woke up again, the house emptied of souls. Only the gentle taps of water against glass substantiate the existence of life. Rubbing your belly, you lumbered down the stairs. On top of the diner table, you discovered a post-it note written by Tao’s mother which read, “Be back really soon. Going to visit Tao’s father (:. Mama made extra congee for her precious daughter-in-law, I better come home to an empty pot.”
Eyes glazed in utter happiness as your cheekbones rose up at the unfamiliar feeling of unconditional maternal care. Sniffing in the sweet aroma, you poured a big bowl of the rice porridge to fill your appetite. On your last spoonful, you spotted a blue folder underneath the coffee table. Curious, you flipped it open to reveal a confidential contract.
“Hm?” you mused, “Zh40 Smile? Isn’t that Chairman Zhao’s company?”
Frowning, you skimmed through the contents to further get a grasp of the situation. Your phone rang against your lap, prompting you to set the folder down to answer the call.
“Hey, Sweetheart. ZiTao called me, just now, frantically asking if he left a folder or file or something blue at home. He told me not to bother you but I think it’s important. Can you check really quick?” your mother-in-law whispered into the phone as if trying to hide the details from Tao’s father.
“Yeah. Actually, I have it in my hands right now,” you admitted.
She let out a heavy sigh of relief. “I’ll call ZiTao back to pick it up.”
“No, I’ll just drop it off. It’ll be faster this way,” you volunteered.
With the blue folder hugged securely in your arms, you slipped on a pair of flats and stepped out the door. Only passed the canopy, did you realize it had been drizzling. But time was ticking and Tao needed the important documents, so you dismiss your better judgment to go back and grab an umbrella. Instead, you unzipped your jacket and stuffed the files protectively within. Olive green stained to black forest linen as you waited at the street corner for a taxi.
“Please, please…taxi…” you murmured to yourself, “ZiTao needs this as soon as possible…”
Your phone buzzed in your pocket.
“Hello?” you answered.
Despite his anxious tone, your husband still managed to coat your name with so much warmth that even your shivers momentarily stopped. “I’m coming back to get the files, okay? Don’t come out,” he instructed just as a taxi turned the corner and parked in front of you.
“No, I’m halfway there already, ZiTao. Don’t worry. It’s faster if I drop it off,” you half-lied to reassure him.
Back in the office, Tao looked out at the overcast sky as God’s tears splattered against glass. He hesitantly nodded and complied with your promise.
“Mr. Driver, can you go a little faster? I’ll tip you more. I’m in a hurry,” you pleaded as soon as Tao hung up. The driver’s eyes sparked at the mention of money; his feet slammed on the gas peddle so abruptly, your heart almost popped out of your chest.
You thanked Heavens to whomever created safety belts for preventing your topple. Engines roamed, horns honked, the scenery outside meshed into long horizontal streaks from the acceleration. Grimacing, you pressed both hands on your stomach and silently prayed that the combination of morning and motion sickness wouldn’t hinder your important delivery.
It was the third time, in the past ten minutes, in which, Tao rolled his wrist around to check his watch. His feet impatiently tapped along marble as his business partner, once again, angrily stood up and threatened to leave.
“Chairman Zhao! Please give me a few more minutes!” the distraught young man rushed forward and pleaded.
“Mr. Huang, your lack of professionalism would surely disappointment your father,” the female sternly spoke. Such a simple statement, yet, it hit bulleyes straight at Tao’s weakness. His head lowered as his older brothers snickered beside him. Shaking her head in disapproval, Chairman Zhao excused herself and headed for the door. The disheartened male stood still in place as his hopes and dreams for his father’s approval shattered before him.
“Please, can you go a little faster? My husband needs these documents,” you rushed the driver even though you clearly witnessed the motionless traffic jam. Jam would have been an understatement; you swore cars were soon to pile on top of one another from the lack of movement.
“Ma’am, I’m trying really hard. We’re just not moving,” he defensively spoke and grinded his horn as if he was cued to perform his part in the obnoxious traffic orchestra. Outside, the crevices of gravel flooded with oceans gushing ashore. Rain morphed from benign droplets and streams to violent splashes against the car window. Lightning struck mercilessly in the background.
Biting your nails, you murmured prayers under your breath. Just spare me five minutes, weather gods. Please. It took another eight minutes before the taxi arrived in front of the company. Immediately, you shoved bills into the driver’s outstretched hands, declined the change, and raced over to the entrance. Fingers slammed elevator buttons. Carpets soaked from puddles streaming from your flats.
“Mrs. Huang,” the receptionists bowed.
Huffing and puffing, you rushed passed her and straight to the GM’s office.
“ZiTao! I’m here!” you announced as you gripped onto the doorknob to disallow your knees from buckling at such a critical time. The distressed man got up from his seat to steady you. “I’m fine. Here.” Completely oblivious to the fact that Chairman Zhao had already left, you grinned and removed the file from within your jacket.
“ZiTao, really? You made your dainty little housewife run in the rain to deliver your documents? Very manly of you,” his brother peeked his head into the office and sarcastically jeered.
“No! No, I volunteered and took the taxi here,” you defended, perturbed by how your husband’s brothers always jumped at any opportunity to soil his reputation.
Still, Tao lowered his head in shame.
“ZiTao, your files,” you repeated and placed the blue folder into his hands when he made no move to retrieve it.
“Haha, unfortunately my beautiful sister-in-law, Chairman Zhao has already left. Your efforts…woopsie…went to waste,” his second brother tauntingly informed.
Your labored breathing snappily halted as blood drained from your face. You turned to Tao for confirmation but he remained silent. “Al-already left?” you stuttered. “ZiTao, is it my fault?” you guiltily asked.
“No, no it’s not your fault,” he corrected.
Holding onto your stomach, you self-reprimanded, “I shouldn’t have stopped you from coming hom—”
“No,” he firmly called your name. “Even if I went home, I wouldn’t have been able to make it back in time. It was my mistake for forgetting such an important document,” your husband consoled as your face crumbled in doubt but it only made you feel worse. Why was he comforting you when he was upset himself?
“Wh-what does that mean, ZiTao? Can we mail or fax it to Chairman Zhao to sign?” you foolishly inquired.
“Aiyoo, my sister-in-law, business is not that simple. Our very responsible ZiTao offended our most important business partner. Without her, our company will go bankrupt~” the oldest of the three brothers mimed. You clutched your aching stomach and observed as your husband closed his eyes and pressed a palm against his throbbing forehead.
“ZiTao?” you nudged him for a proper answer. He simply shook his head.
“Pity our father who entrusted the wrong person for such an important job. Wait until Ah Ba hears about this, we’ll finally be able to expel the bastard son from the Huang Family…” the two further ridiculed.
Hissing, Tao cussed under his breath while your heartbeat managed to speed up exponentially. “ZiTao. ZiTao…we can still fix this, right? Chairman Zhao…” You held your spinning head. Why did you always seem to make matters worse? “Chairman Zhao…she’s the really tall lady with short hair, right? She was wearing a green dress, right?” your breathing quickened to dangerous levels.
“Shhh…calm down,” Tao rubbed your shaking arms, fearful that you’d have an asthma attack due to your overwhelming emotions.
“No! No, I can’t calm down. I shouldn’t have…” you burbled as your eyes glossed over in tears. Tao’s ultimate goal was to earn his father’s approval and your foolish over-confidence led to the very opposite outcome. You couldn’t…wouldn’t forgive yourself.
“Shh,” your husband tried his best to block out his brother’s taunts to calm you down but even his gentle whispers could not bring solace to your overpowering sense of guilt.
“I saw her car! I think I saw her in her car as I got here. Maybe she’s still around the area. There’s so much traffic,” you tried to brainstorm for a solution – anything that could help and not hinder Tao’s efforts.
“No, it’s fine. Shh,” he hushed but the more he feigned contentment, the more you grew weary.
“After all, my mother already displayed her generosity by allowing you into the company. Illegitimates can never win,” your brother-in-laws sang.
Are you mad at me? You must be mad at me…a pawn who brought more harm into the kingdom than aid…
“I’ll fix this!” you firmly announced, grabbed the documents from the table, and dashed out of the office.
Eyes wide open in shock, Tao pushed pass his chuckling brothers to chase after you. Your name bellowed from his lips down the hall but determined to help Tao even if it meant you were really a sacrificial piece, you slipped into an elevator to the lobby. Immediately, you slammed on buttons to prevent the ever-passing time from escaping far beyond your grasp. Though his long legs often won him grand prizes in sprints and marathons, he lost to the pure willpower of your unconditional love. His body slammed against the closing elevator door just short of catching up to you. Heaving from his pursuit, Tao punched the wall in frustration. Why did he always have the ability to make the ones closest to him suffer?
As soon as the doors opened, your tiny feet splashed in puddles along the flooded sidewalks. Immediately, you wrapped the documents within your jacket and darted up and down the street in search of the bolting chairman. Within your pocket, your phone repeatedly rang. You didn’t need to check to know it was Tao, for, his ringtone differed from everyone else – his placement in your heart differed from everyone else.
You were in love. You were completely and undeniably deep in love. You didn’t want to see Tao stressed or upset or otherwise in pain. Tears rolled down your cheeks, clouding up your vision, as you impatiently scanned the overwhelming amount of cars, each looking like the one in front of it, to no avail. But you couldn’t give up. Not when Tao’s dreams were on the line. Harshly, wiping away your tears with your soaked sleeves, you scampered down another block hoping to somehow find the businesswoman’s car. By now, the flooding oceans of water reached the bottom of your calves; you were drenched from head to toe and shivering uncontrollably.
More tears kept cascading down your cheeks. “Stop crying! Stop crying! You’re so useless. That’s why everyone leaves you,” you helplessly scolded as you roughly rubbed your eyes.
Horns continuously honked. Gutter water splashed up onto the curb. You thought, “This was it. Once again, you failed to be useful,” but from the corner of your eyes, you spotted the familiar black Mercedes.
Even you couldn’t believe it. Miracles never happened to you – good luck fleeted far from your grasps. From a young age, you were conditioned to think everything you wanted, needed to be earned through cold blood and sweat. Yet, silently you prayed. Just for this once. For ZiTao. Help me God.
Your blurry vision pinpointed the wealthy woman seated in the back passenger seat. Panting in bewilderment, you forced your exhausted legs to advance forward.
“Chairman Zhao!” you knocked on her window as soon as you skidded to a stop in front of her car.
She eyed your pitiful sopping wet form from head to toe. “You are…?” she inquired, her voice muffled due to the glass window separating the two of you.
Trying to calm your breathing enough to properly enunciate words, you earnestly spoke, “I’m Huang ZiTao’s wife. It was my fault that the documents didn’t arrive on time. I’m sorry I made the honorable chairman wait so long. I have it here with me right now, could you please sign it?”
She snorted, “You mustn’t be serious, Darling. The lack of professionalism in your company is beyond me.” The chairman shook her head and motioned for her driver to keep going when the lights changed to green.
Unable to surrender now, you pursued her and begged, “No! Please, Chaima–” Your shoe locked against a bump on the road, sending you falling to the pavement. Water gushed in different directions from the strong impact.
Arriving at the opposite corner, Tao bellowed out your name. His world toppled beneath him at the sight of the woman, he loved, wounded and defenseless. Ignoring the traffic rules, he rushed across the street. Angry drivers slammed on horns and brakes but Tao doesn’t give them a single ounce of attention, for, his eyes locked onto his one and only. Tormented in immeasurable worry, Tao hastily gathered you up by your underarms. His hands maneuvered over to cupped your cheeks within his palms.
“Are you insane?! Do you know how dangerous this is?!” he scolded, “You are pregnant! What are you even thinking?!”
Shuddering uncontrollably, you attempted to tilt your head up to study Tao’s expression but the weight of excessive rainwater along your lashes prevented you from seeing anything more than a centimeter in front of you. Aided by the endless tears pouring out, all that appeared before you were hazes of blues, blacks, and your husband’s ivory skin.
I’m not even qualified to be his pawn.
“I don’t know!” you painstakingly sobbed. “I don’t know! I just know that I want you to be happy,” truthful words from deep within began to spill out in your subdued state, “When I see you come home from work, stressed and worn out to the point of collapse, my heart hurts so, so much.” You choked as rainwater slide down your scalp to your face.
Without his command, his furrowed brows and wrinkles, along his forehead, softened.
Ignoring the sting in your watery orbs, you continued to confess in tear-filled gibberish, “I just want you to be happy. I want your father to love you and praise you for your hard work. I want you to sleep well, eat well, and smile all the time…” Your heart blundered as you admitted, “…even if I can’t be the reason behind your smile. I just want—”
His lips smashed against yours, cutting your confession short. Heartfelt tears slid from his cheeks to color yours with sweet warmth. His fingers laced through your wet hair, cradling the nape of your neck so he could kiss you with all the desperation, passion, and love he hid within him since that night of love. Fearing that you were enraptured within an illusion, you squeezed your eyes shut. Your lips rippled against his, which only encouraged Tao to deepen the kiss. And in that moment, no contract or family approval or society standards or pouring rain could mask away your affections. Tossing away the last of your fears, you bravely threw your arms around his neck and pressed your lips onto his to kiss him back. Even…even if it’s just for this one moment…even if forever thereafter you take back your love…even if our love will never amass to a happy ending…even…even if, in the end, you are leaving me…in this moment, I’ll let my heart take the lead.
With the gentleness of his magical touch, your sobs gradually subsided. He was warm and kind; his lips tasted of fresh mint. Slowly easing from the kiss to grant you a chance to breathe, he rested his forehead against yours and intensely gazed into your soul. His thumbs stroked your jawline, loosening your stiffened muscles.
“As long as you and our baby are safe, nothing else matters,” he admitted.
A stream flowed down your round orbs as he brought your head to rest against his chest. Hearts beat rhythmically with one another like a composed symphony.
“But what about the company,” you softly questioned and held out the ruined documents, dripping of bleeding ink and rain.
“Nothing else matters,” he firmly repeated as the window of the car in attendance rolled down.
“Call my secretary to make an appointment at my office and we can talk over the terms of the new contract,” Chairman Zhao surrendered, touched by your sincerity and Tao’s undying love. Goosebumps dotted along your skin as you repeatedly bowed and blurted out endless “thank yous”. She gestured for her driver to leave.
Ecstatic at the new opportunity, you turned back to Tao, expecting to see a similar rapturous reaction but his expressions weren’t as celebratory. You gazed quizzically into his sorrowful eyes as he attempted to wipe away your tears with his thumbs.
Cars honked in displeasure, exiling the two of you back to the sidewalk. The chaotic movements finally activated your pain gate. Tao’s eyes followed your limp to the scabs along your right calf from the earlier fall. You winced as water with a trace of salt permeated into the wound as if celebrating your misery. Instantly, your lover lifted you up bridal style into his strong arms.
“I’m fine,” you habitually assured but he refused to let you go. So you listened to your heart and relaxed your head against his chest.
“Take the next one,” he slammed the “close door” button and sternly ordered the passengers waiting by the elevator.
The corners of your lips curled upward as you snuggled closer into his body, which managed to still supply you with an abundance of heat even in such saturated conditions. With his brows slightly angled and defined jaws clenched in worry, he looked so manly. Butterflies fluttered within your chest.
“Cindy, bring me towels and first aid,” he ordered his assistant as soon as he entered the office. The female gasped at both of your state, nodded, and scampered away.
As carefully as possible, as if you were a glass doll, your husband set you down onto his lounging sofa. It wasn’t as warmth nor as cozy as Tao’s chest. Like a robot, he paced over to his office closet. Metal hangers scratched against steel bars as he searched and selected a thick coat.
“No. ZiTao, that’s your favorite jacke–” you declined but his threw it over your shoulders anyway. “…It’s expensive…” your voice faded as he meticulously slipped each button into their holes to ensure you were bundled up. “Are you still cold?” he restlessly questioned as he blew air and rubbed his large hands over your much smaller ones to chafe heat back into your shivering body. You shook your head.
“Boss, here you go,” Cindy placed several towels and a box of first aid onto his desk. “I’ll bring you two a set of dry clothes,” she notified before leaving.
Kneeling down on the floor in front of you, Tao lifted your scabbed leg onto his knee and gently dabbed it dry with a towel. The splitting pain brought your daydreaming mind back to the physical world. You turned away to hide your wince. He proceeded to patch on a layer of antiseptic. Unaccustomed to the sudden sting, you hissed, barreled forward, and gripped his shoulder for support.
“Does it hurt a lot? Should we go to the hospital?” he worriedly asked with a grimace. Instantaneously, you shook your head and bit your tongue to suppress your whimpers.
Despite the cut only being around a few inches long, your leg ended up looking like a wrapped up burrito. The two of you exchanged gazes. Tao frowned and silently began to scold himself for not being able to protect you.
“It really doesn’t hurt that much. Don’t worry,” you downplayed. It only made him fall deeper.
Dismissing the sourness in his heart, he picked up a clean towel and proceeded to ring out your sopping hair. His eyes peered into yours, gifting you access to his undying love. Each squeeze grew slower and slower, until his hands found their way to dust over your amaranth pink cheeks. So, so beautiful. The towel fell effortlessly from your shoulders. Captivated by your unwavering gaze, he tilted your chin upward and leaned in for a kiss. You closed your eyes and surrendered to your heart.
“Boss, here’s your clothe–” his secretary walked in, prematurely interrupting the passionate memento of love. She quickly scurried away.
“I’ll go out. Change into the dry clothes so you won’t get sick, okay?” his voice was soft and gentle. Every syllable tickled your lips with his soothing breath. His usual arched brows dipped to showcase his vulnerability. For, in front of you, he was undeniably helpless and weak. But so were you. As he stood up and turned around to leave, your fingers ceased to let go of him. With that gorgeous smile that melted you into a defenseless heap, he pressed his lips onto the center of your forehead, hoping it’d transfer his honest feelings to the depths of your heart.
I really hoped you guys enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comment, like, reblog, spam my inbox :D Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!!! Also, this is nothing serious but be sure to vote for the series/pairing at Just For Fun polls, it tells me which scenarios you lil most so I know what to gear my future writings to (also, recommends series for new readers ;)).
Drone Glider Finds Swirling Undersea Storms That Help Melt Ice Sheets
Using the undersea gliders above, scientists have uncovered swirling submarine storms that move hot and cold water around near Antarctic ice sheets.
Setting the six-foot-long properless vehicles loose in the Weddell Sea west of Antarctica, an international team of researchers hoped to collect data about how much these submarine eddies impact polar ice melt.
The gliders move down through the water column by pumping water in; they rise back toward the surface by pumping water out. Using this simple principle, they dive up to 3,280 feet below the ocean’s surface to collect temperature, salinity, pressure and oxygen readings at different depths. When the vehicle surfaces periodically through its two-month cruise, it transmits the data it has collected back to the mother ship.
Using this information, the scientists learned that giant invisible eddies spinning off of currents swirl the ocean’s water around, transporting warmer water at lower depths toward the ice.
NASA has been using satellites to measure changing sea levels around the globe. SPOILER ALERT: Sea levels are rising. They’ve gone up more than two inches in the last two decades.
A lot of the uncertainty involved in predicting future sea level rise comes from the status of the Greenland Ice Sheet. NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland program (or OMG - that’s really what they’re calling it) is using a host of monitoring techniques to try and predict just how fast all that ice will melt.
Txch This Week: Hello, Wooly Mammoth and Goodbye, Antarctic Ice
This week on Txchnologist, we plumbed the fundamental laws of nature with upgrades to two major physics experiments, saw robots imitating snakes and found out we might soon be able to order our own Tron suits. Now we’re bringing you the highlights and some of the news we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.
I should add that the inevitable West Antarctic Ice Sheet melt and sea level rise reported this week is just one of the many likely, if not nearly certain effects of our warming planet and changing climate, including generally warmer oceans, numerous other melts and subsequent sea level rises, increasingly powerful coastal storms and deadly flooding, inland droughts, shifting of arable farmland, numerous extinctions, coral reef die-offs and the subsequent disruption of ecosystems and food webs.
The ice sheet and sea level rise are just the most obvious and most inevitable change yet. It shines a light on how far past the point of no return we are for some of this stuff. Not all of it, but some of it. Naturally, that sounds scary, as it should, because it IS scary.
In no way is it the only climate issue we should pay attention to. But I’d just be happy if everyone would actually pay attention.
In 1999, a team of divers off the Isle of Wight came across a lobster busily digging out its burrow. To their surprise they found it was kicking out flints from the Stone Age. However, archaeologists now fear artefacts dating back more than 8,000 years are simply being “washed away”.
Bouldnor Cliff is a submerged Stone Age settlement off the coast of Yarmouth which was covered in silt as great sheets of ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age.
It is an important site because the muddy conditions have helped preserve organic materials from the distant past that do not normally survive on dry land.
The materials date back to a time when the Isle of Wight did not exist and it was possible to walk from Britain to what is now France. Read more.
It’s All Over: Melting of Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Unstoppable, NASA Says
For the past few years climate scientists have been warning that Earth is nearing a tipping point, a juncture after which damage is irreversible and there’s no turning back. Two scientific teams have found that this is now happening in a section of the Western Antarctic ice sheet in a melt that can raise sea level by 10 feet or more, making many coastal cities uninhabitable within just a few hundred years.