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The 10 Weirdest Ways Climate Change Is Screwing With Our World

The 10 Weirdest Ways Climate Change Is Screwing With Our World

Floods, wildfires, sea level rise, and more are all clear-cut examples of the climate crisis. But there are other impacts, including ones you might never expect. Strange ones. Real headscratchers.

These impacts are far from oddities, though. They point instead to the endless reach of our changing climate. Nothing, it seems, is immune from the great human experiment to fill the atmosphere with greenhouse gases in the service of economic growth. Beyond that, these studies also show the manifold ways that the world is connected. Polar ice keeps tectonic plates drifting a certain way. Melt it, and subtle but detectable shifts occur. Groundwater keeps the poles in place. Use too much of it due to extreme drought, and things begin to drift

There’s a phenomenon known as “earthshine” that comes from the planet reflecting sunlight back into space. It can be measured when the Moon is somewhere between new and full by looking at how bright the dark parts of the Moon are. A study released in August looked at two decades of these measurements and found a surprise: Earth was losing its healthy glow

The dimming of the planet was due to the loss of clouds—which are more reflective than open water—over the Pacific Ocean. The study didn’t do a causal analysis, but the researchers posited it could either be driven by a natural climate shift known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or climate change. A less reflective planet means more incoming solar energy reaches Earth’s surface. And more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere mean more stays trapped there, heating things up even more. Not good!

Some are just plain bizarre. Bigger crabs is one that’s certainly stuck with me. Come take a tour of the climate change freakshow—and learn why these impacts are no laughing matter

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