Beyond the Point of No Return — Imminent Carbon Feedbacks

GR:  Yesterday I reported on the positive-feedback loop forming as global soils begin to warm and release greenhouse gasses. This article by Robert Scribbler lays out the catastrophic consequences of the feedback loop.  The world’s scientists are beginning to shout that disaster is looming. However, greed has deafened the world’s leaders. The invader’s boats have reached our shores folks.  He does not take prisoners.

“It’s fair to say we have passed the point of no return on global warming and we can’t reverse the effects, but certainly we can dampen them,” said biodiversity expert Dr. Thomas Crowther.

“I’m an optimist and still believe that it is not too late, but we urgently need to develop a global economy driven by sustainable energy sources and start using CO2, as a substrate, instead of a waste product.” — Prof Ivan Janssens, recognized as a godfather of the global ecology field.

“…we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it… we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.” — Professor Stephen Hawking yesterday in The Guardian.


“The pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change just got a whole hell of a lot narrower.” –Robert Scribbler

“For according to new, conservative estimates in a scientific study led by Dr. Thomas Crowther, increasing soil respiration alone is about to add between 0.45 and 0.71 parts per million of CO2 to the atmosphere every year between now and 2050.

(Thomas Crowther explains why rapidly reducing human greenhouse gas emissions is so important. Namely, you want to do everything you can to avoid a runaway into a hothouse environment that essentially occurs over just one Century. Video source: Netherlands Institute of Ecology.)

“What this means is that even if all of human fossil fuel emissions stop, the Earth environment, from this single source, will generate about the same carbon emission as all of the world’s fossil fuel industry did during the middle of the 20th Century. And that, if human emissions do not stop, then the pace of global warming of the oceans, ice sheets, and atmosphere is set to accelerate in a runaway warming event over the next 85 years.” –Robert Scribbler (Continue reading:  Beyond the Point of No Return — Imminent Carbon Feedbacks Just Made the Stakes for Global Warming a Hell of a Lot Higher)

Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening – Washington Post

GR:  The potential for runaway global warming is growing. This is an important article that we shouldn’t ignored. Of course, one might argue that when you are chained across the railroad tracks, you might as well ignore the approaching train. If that’s where we are, perhaps its time for the Champaign.

“At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further.

“In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades.

“That feedback involves the planet’s soils, which are a massive repository of carbon due to the plants and roots that have grown and died in them, in many cases over vast time periods (plants pull in carbon from the air through photosynthesis and use it to fuel their growth). It has long been feared that as warming increases, the microorganisms living in these soils would respond by very naturally upping their rate of respiration, a process that in turn releases carbon dioxide or methane, leading greenhouse gases.

“It’s this concern that the new study validates. “Our analysis provides empirical support for the long-held concern that rising temperatures stimulate the loss of soil C to the atmosphere, driving a positive land C–climate feedback that could accelerate planetary warming over the twenty-first century,” the paper reports.

“This, in turn, may mean that even humans’ best efforts to cut their emissions could fall short, simply because there’s another source of emissions all around us. The very Earth itself.” –Chris Mooney (please continue reading:  Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening – The Washington Post)

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas | Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

Source: Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas | Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

GR:  You can download the Atlas free.

Satellite images map forest-fungi relationships

Even in the desert, fungi and other soil surface microorganisms are critical to ecosystem stability. They capture moisture and nutrients, block invasive species, and prevent soil erosion. Too bad that most have been destroyed by the hoves of grazing livestock and the movements of people on foot and in vehicles.

Summit County Citizens Voice

forest fungi A new study helps map the relationships between forests and fungi on a large scale. @bberwyn photo.

New analysis offers important forest health information

Staff Report

Colorful mushrooms that pop up in forests around the world are much more than decorative baubles. Much more than realized, fungi are key components of forest ecosystems, helping to regulate the carbon cycle and driving the nutrient exchange between soil and trees.

One recent study showed the the recent bark beetle epidemic across the western U.S. may have wiped out crucial fungi that are critical to forest regrowth, and other research shows they helped stabilize global climate during low-C02 eras.

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