Arctic Runaway Event

Arctic Runaway Event

by Patrick Hogan, NASA Earth Scientist Emeritus
and Greta Thunberg supporter

If you don’t yet know the name Greta Thunberg, you need to!
She spoke at the UN Climate Change Conference in December,
giving the best three-and-a-half-minute wake-up call  there is!

Greta Thunberg at COP24 December 2018

And then at DAVOS January 2019

And to the EU Commission in Brussels February 2019

Even though change is happening right before our eyes,
‘The Guardian’ and so many others in the media say that
somehow these changes climax “. . .by the year 2100.”
However these major climate-related catastrophes are
accelerating exponentially! ! !

A third of Himalayan Ice Cap doomed!
https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/03d00af79aeb3f414c0e8e3540aa3b8d219a6619/0_0_4256_2554/master/4256.jpg?width=700&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=4436c371a4ba79dc81736e64df0a7f8e
Everything is put off far enough, as though there were time. . .
Time for someone else to deal with it!
The meltwater from those Himalayan glaciers
serve a couple of billion people throughout the year.
They are very rapidly going to Never Never Land.

Peter pan 1911 pipes.jpg

We humans don’t quite get it yet.
Even if we zero-out carbon tomorrow,
the greenhouse gases (GHGs) already in the atmosphere
will continue to increase the Earth’s temperature for a decade or more.

Earth is ‘running a fever’ that is accelerating,
yet we continue to dismantle a precious carbon-extraction system!
2.5 acres of forest are being cleared every second,
mostly the Amazon, and mostly for cattle [hamburgers].
Leave the forests there!  For carbon sequestration!
Forests also provide half our oxygen supply!
Instead, let’s plant an acre of trees every second, worldwide.

Are we serious about decreasing carbon emissions???
We’ve been agreeing to decrease carbon for years,
via the UN IPCC, and yet the opposite is true.
Our only mantra has been,
Maximum Profit for a few,
at the expense of Life for all
.

The fuse is lit!
As the Arctic Sea Ice goes,  so goes life on Earth. . .BOOM!
The length of that fuse is the rapidly shrinking Arctic Sea Ice.
We may only be a year-or-few away from a Blue Ocean Event (BOE).
A video below shows the three-decade progression in detail.
Here is a snapshot of Arctic Sea Ice minimum of 1984 & 2016.

The Arctic is going from ice-white 90% reflectance
to dark-blue 90% absorbance of the Sun’s heat.
That’s 180% switch!
Essentially a heat lamp for the Arctic.

Further warming the Arctic could easily erupt
50 gigatons of methane, to quote the world’s leading expert
on Arctic methane, Natalia Shakhova:

“Everything looks anomalous. . .
Making [him/me] think that the worst thing might happen.
Strictly speaking, we do not like what we see there!
Absolutely do not like!”

There is anywhere from 1500 to 2500 gigatons
of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf alone!
Even a 1-2% release could lead to runaway climate chaos.
At that point, nothing could stop rapid extinction of life on Earth.

Runaway climate change
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/2007_Arctic_Sea_Ice.jpg

To explain this runaway’ phenomenon, let’s look at our current planetary state.
There are ‘only’ 800 gigatons (gt) of CO2 in the entire Earth’s atmosphere.
Those 800 gt of CO2 make up less than 1% of Earth’s atmosphere,
with nitrogen at 78% and oxygen at 21%.
That’s how potent CO2 is, very little goes a very long way!
Methane, in its first few years, warms Earth far more!
Methane is 80x more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2.

Do the math with this criteria and it boggles the mind!
80x even a small methane release of 50 gt = 4000 gt CO2-equivalent.
That is 5-times all of the CO2 now in our atmosphere.
With that, life on Earth is finished, kaput, cancelled, gone!
Major extinction events have happened before, five big ones.
Our current extinction rate is already >10-100x faster than any previous extinction event!
And we go not gently into the sunset!
Our current extinction rate increases with every puff of CO2!

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Throughout the Year
(note September minimum)
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=119.0;attach=101090;image
The disappearing Arctic Sea Ice is already down to
<25% of normal at the September minimum!
And even that’s being conservative.
Using the average minimum of 1979-2001 at ~14.0k km3
compared with the actual  minimum of 2012 at ~3.5k km3
It’s going, going, gone. . . Unless we do something soon!

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to interpret
the drama to Earth’s accelerating warming trend,
and attendant loss of Earth’s A/C.
The Arctic Sea Ice is Earth’s Air Conditioner!

The 20-warmest years on record
have all occurred within the last 22 years.
And the last 4 years have been the warmest of all!
Notice the increasing acceleration to this trend!https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg/1280px-Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg.png

And here you see the Arctic Sea Ice ‘fuse’ headed for…
Earth Goes BOOM!

Polar Science Center » PIOMAS Arctic Sea Ice Volume Reanalysis
http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1.png

The UN IPCC climate models used for prediction
do not even attempt to account for this methane.

Methane eruptions, mythical in nature, are already occurring!
And far more methane is stored under the Arctic Ocean.
Here is what eruptions look like on land in the Arctic Circle…

Massive methane gas under the
Russian permafrost is already exploding!

See the source image

Check out Wikipedia’s second graph for atmospheric methane.
You can see the ‘actual’ human civilization rise.
It’s the classic exponential hockey-stick graph.
Are we the puck?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Atmospheric_Concentrations_of_Methane_Over_Time.png

 

Click here for comic of Earth’s Temperature Timeline

 

A Few Arctic Methane References:

 

And something else you can do right now!
The meat and dairy industry, and related activities,
are responsible for 51% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
WoW!  Limiting your meat consumption will help!
Please read this. . .

Meat: To Eat Or Not To Eat

 

And a recently repeated warning that is now decades old!
World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

Let’s all support Greta Thunberg’s call to climate action!

4 Replies to “Arctic Runaway Event”

  1. Isn’t it time really to refuse to face children with this? Why should we impose life on them when they are not given a choice whether to briefly dwell under such a Damocles sword? As they will have nowhere to flee to. Their fight mechanisms will be switched on all the time, which will be very detrimental to both their health and mental well-being. This is already the case with many. To Greta I can only say ‘sorry.’ I went through what she is going through, but my own children won’t, I have left them in happy oblivion.

  2. Great web site. Some of the connections in the vein of “this equals rapid extinction” are uncertain, but it’s better to roll the dice for actions that are going in the right direction. Appreciate the suggestion of “eat less cow.” Here are some more:

    1- Limit air travel as far as possible. It’s the largest footprint in typical daily activities.
    2- Don’t have kids.
    3- Switch to stuff that has less impact, and use as little as possible.
    4- Get off the grid as much as you can, but don’t burn trees and do plant trees.
    5- Push industry and government to fund as much research as possible on impact-reducing innovations.
    6- Bring pressure to bear on organizations that make money through conflict, walls, and prisons.
    7- Join local grass-roots organizations for change, even if it’s something small.
    8- Look to the future – visualize what you want the next generation to experience, and articulate it. Leave the FUD to others.
    9- Agitate for more empowerment of local people to build footprint-reducing homes and devices.
    10- If you can, exchange older less efficient things for more efficient things, or chuck the thing out.

  3. Why it is the way it is?

    1. Suffering:
    For thousands of years mankind has been terrorized by nature.
    The mortality of children was 70%; and a mother’s rate of mortality was 30-40%. Infections and septicemia were caused by small wounds. Intense pain was caused by ‘small’ problems such as bad teeth and ingrown nails. (You can probably imagine countless other examples)

    More suffering was caused by hunger, pests and predators. Nature was the merciless king. Realizing this is crucial to understanding our relationship with nature. Even our inner nature was ‘evil’. Instinct is still something dark…

    2. Toxic zoo:
    Men invented tools and weapons that allowed us to push back nature more and more as time went along. Fire, bows and arrows, houses, improved hygiene, medicine, antibiotics, machines, dynamite…….etc.

    This is how we built a zoo for ourselves. So that we could live in comfort, or what we define as  comfort. A world in a world, like the Russian dolls, one inside the other.

    The problem is, our „world“ is toxic for nature. And even though we try, we can´t exist without nature. Nor can we exist without the other species of plants and animals. Because we are nature too. But our genetic disposition to control nature, prevents us from recognizing the fact that we can destroy nature. And we ‘know’ that nature can destroy us. This is the reason why we fear darkness, fire, bigger animals, and other dangerous creatures, big and small!

    But we don´t fear climate change or nuclear war the same way. We only fear it intellectually. Our inner voice does not respond to these extreme ‘existential’ dangers. So we don´t act. Will we become extinct?

    How to do this?

    1. How does a car-free city function?
    Ask the Venetian people. It works well for some 260 000 inhabitants and 20 million visitors. You don’t have to dig ‘canals’ to change your city. Make it green. A green ‘Canale Grande’. Trees, flowers, grass and bushes. Maybe an Edible City! Street cars instead of vaporetti (water-buses). Car sharing. Would you like to live in paradise? Let’s go for it!

    2. Reversing supply and demand.
    To this day, the industry has always decided which products in which quality we get. And ‘need’. Dictated by profit, the result is: ‘Throw-away-society’, with the final goal being the production of garbage, short product life spans and slave labor simply for maximum profit.

    Let’s turn this around! Digital platforms organize the search for quality products. The characteristics of the products are discussed and fixed by experts. The price is set.

    3. Hot spots.
    The big supermarkets are closing. Instead, we need many small shops with the essential offerings for daily life and connected via internet.

    You can have everything you need delivered to these small shops. It can be brought to your home from there. If you are old or sick, help can be organised from the local ‘shop’. And it´s a social centre, too. There might be a café or a small restaurant is included. Nobody has to drive to go shopping any longer. Everything you need is within walking distance. An enormous amount of traffic no longer exists.

    4. Cooperatives.
    https://www.ketteler-baugenossenschaft.de/index.php

    http://www.wohnungsbaugenossenschaften-freiburg.de

    https://bionetz.ch/nachrichten/branchennews/547-konsumenten-und-bauern-kooperieren-.html

  4. Greta Thunberg would have to be the most inspirational person I’ve seen in decades, and she’s female, and she’s so young. I will follow her very closely, great things are in store for her. Her speeches send tingles up and down my spine….an incredibly amazing young lady. She takes my breath away!

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