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!
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.
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.
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)
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!
And here you see the Arctic Sea Ice ‘fuse’ headed for…
Earth Goes BOOM!
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…
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?
Click here for comic of Earth’s Temperature Timeline
A Few Arctic Methane References:
- The Arctic Climate Tipping Points: Methane and the Future of the Biosphere
- Postglacial response of Arctic Ocean gas hydrates to climatic amelioration
- Are we headed for near-term human extinction?
- The Arctic Turns Ugly
- Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
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. . .
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!