We Still Have Time to Restore Our Climate. But the Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking

GR: The article below describes the current state of our changing climate, the disasters facing us, and the things we could do to save ourselves. Like David Wallace-Wells, Carlin leaves the sugar-coating off. There is some optimism here, but Carlin doesn’t minimize the difficulties. In fact, he makes it clear that the ticking has grown so loud it should be drowning out most other concerns. Recommended.

“A recent New York Magazine article about the climate ruin we are facing, by David Wallace Wells, has caused a furor for describing the catastrophes that could happen to our planet by the end of the century if we do not mitigate the harms to our climate and reverse course. This op-ed by guest contributor Alex Carlin contends that those crises could happen much sooner, and he details steps he believes could help forestall disaster.

“Yes, Virginia, we still have time to restore our climate. But the Climate Time Bomb is undeniably ticking–and Trump has pulled out of the Paris agreement.

What Should We Do To Restore Our ClImate?

“Trump climate policy is blind and deaf to the fact that the Climate Bomb can cause millions—or even potentially billions—of deaths by mid-century. I believe Trump’s rogue refusal to defuse the Bomb is an unfathomably heinous crime against humanity.

“While the Paris agreement focuses on lowering CO2 emissions, there is a second indispensable task we must also perform to defuse The Bomb: restoring the Arctic ice.

“For thousands of years, the frozen Arctic has been keeping our climate hospitable—until now. The Arctic is a critical part of the earth’s mechanism for controlling the planet’s temperature and climate.

“But ominously, the Arctic Ocean has nearly finished changing from a state of “perennial ice”–covered with sea ice in the winter and never substantially ice free in the summer–to a state of “seasonal ice”–substantially ice free in the summer.

“Completing this switchover would herald the biggest change in the global ecosystem since before the start of human civilization, and it would have a devastating impact.

“Billions of people will face the risk of death in this century from adverse climate change outcomes such as starvation, heat stress, resource wars and disease if we don’t restore the perennial ice.

Next: Mass Starvation

–Alex Carlin (Continue reading: We Still Have Time to Restore Our Climate. But the Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking).

Sea-Level Rise: Bubble, Bubble, GigaTons of Methane Trouble | Paul Beckwith

Methane and Sea-Level Rise

GR: Climate Scientist, Professor Paul Beckwith, who you may know from his frequent YouTube posts, believes that current climate-change model predictions of sea-level rise make incorrect assumptions and dramatically underestimate rise.

Beckwith has convincingly argued that all the positive feedbacks, especially from exponential increase in methane released by warming sea floors and melting permafrost will increase sea level by seventy feet by 2070. This is about 68 feet more than the model predictions that motivated the Paris Accord.

Let me repeat my warning that if we don’t act immediately, the climate-change equivalent of an approaching fire storm will reach us soon. We are approaching (and might have passed) that point on our roller coaster ride when we inch over the crest and begin our unstoppable acceleration toward the bottom–a bottom where the rails end. Talk, petition, write, call, march, and vote.

Beckwith provides clear discussions of global warming. I recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel. Here are some of Dr. Beckwith’s recent videos and discussions.

“Vast amounts of methane exists within ocean floor sediments on the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf, in the form of methane hydrates & free methane gas.

“Up to recently, gas release to the shallow water column (50 meters deep) and atmosphere has been slow, with the subsea permafrost acting as a million corks on a million champagne bottles to contain the methane.

“Now, rapid thawing of the permafrost has released 10% of the corks, allowing rapid ongoing increases in methane release.

–Paul Beckwith (Bubble, Bubble, GigaTons of Methane Trouble | Paul Beckwith, Climate System Scientist)

Under the Arctic Dome — Brutish High Pressure System is Wrecking the Already Thinned Sea Ice | robertscribbler

GR: Arctic warming and polar ice cap melting are proceeding as predicted. The predictions should have alarmed our governments. The reality is going to be painful. Our governments and elected leaders chose to ignore the warnings in return for handouts from the fossil-fuel industry. The voters are beginning to catch on, but our politicians probably think their bag of loot guarantees them a happy future. However, they are not going to like the unavoidable extreme weather events they’ve helped lock in to our future.

“There’s a real atmospheric brute towering over the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea at this time. A high pressure system that would put shame to most other anti-cyclonic phenomena that bear the name. It is sending out a broad, clockwise pattern of winds. It is pulling up warm air from the Pacific to invade the Bering, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas. And its torquing motion is shattering the already considerably thinned ice beneath it.

A powerful high pressure system over the Beaufort Sea is predicted to further strengthen by late April 15. Image source: Earth Nullschool.

“Clocking in at 1046 mb of pressure, it makes typically strong 1030 mb high pressure systems seem weak by comparison. Over the next day it is expected to strengthen still — hitting 1048 mb by late April 15th (coming very close to an extraordinary 1050 mb system).

Shattered Sea Ice

“This powerful and strengthening system has already been in place for about two weeks — slowly gaining momentum as its circulation has moved in mirror to the waters of the Beaufort Gyre that swirl beneath it. Masked only by a veil of sea ice considerably thinned by human-forced climate change, the waters of the Beaufort are now breaking through. Streaks of dark blue on white in an early break-up enabled both by a terrible Arctic warming and by this powerful spring weather system.” –RobertScribbler (More: Under the Arctic Dome — Brutish High Pressure System is Wrecking the Already Thinned Sea Ice | robertscribbler.)

An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic

GR: Swarms of icebergs are another symptom of global warming that we meet as we cross the threshold of accelerated change. RobertScribbler reports on the complex connections and dangers in many posts. Here’s a sample.

“I have about a decade of experience with the Ice Patrol, and in my time here, and talking with people who have been here longer, I’ve never seen anything like this or heard of anything like this before,” — Gabrielle McGrath, Coast Guard Commander of the US Ice Patrol.

“A Heinrich event is a phenomenon in which large armadas of icebergs break off from glaciers and traverse the North Atlantic.” — Commons

“Consider the situation during past ice sheet disintegrations. In melt-water pulse 1A, about 14,000 years ago, sea level rose about 20 meters in approximately 400 years (Kienast et al., 2003). That is an average of 1 meter of sea level rise every 20 years.” — Dr. James Hansen.

“This week an unprecedented 481 icebergs swarmed into the shipping lanes of a storm-tossed North Atlantic. Strong hurricane force winds had ripped these bergs from their sea ice moored haven of Baffin Bay and thrust them into the ocean waters off Newfoundland. The week before, there were only 37 such icebergs in the Atlantic’s far northern waters. And the new number this week is nearly 6 times the annual average for this time of year at 83. To be very clear, there is no record, at present, of such a large surge of icebergs entering these waters in so short a period at any time in the modern reckoning.

(Many glaciers along the periphery of Greenland have passed the point of no return. In other words, at present temperatures, these glaciers will completely melt. In the past, such major melting events have released ‘armadas of icebergs’ into the North Atlantic in instances called Heinrich Events. Video source: Chasing Ice.)

Likely Precursor to a Heinrich Event

–RobertScribbler (Continue reading: An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic | robertscribbler.)

This week, a massive swarm of icebergs that calved from Greenland and entered Baffin Bay have been kicked into the North Atlantic by a powerful storm system. To be clear, this is the kind of thing you’d expect at the start of a Heinrich Event. Image source: U.S. Coastguard.