Rates of Hothouse Gas Accumulation Continue to Spike as the Amazon Rainforest Bleeds Carbon

GR:  Earth’s lungs weakening.

“Back in June, atmospheric carbon monitors indicated that the Amazon Rainforest was leeching out more carbon dioxide than it was taking in. This is kind of a big deal — because the vast expanse of trees and vegetation in the Amazon represents a gift nature has given to us. For all that lush vegetation draws in a considerable amount of carbon dioxide and stores it in leaves, wood, bark and soil. And this draw-down, in its turn, considerably reduces the overall rate of atmospheric carbon accumulation coming from human fossil fuel burning.

“Over the years and decades, this great service has saved the world from an even more rapid warming than it is presently experiencing. But not even the great forests could stand for long against the unprecedented plume of carbon coming from human fossil fuel industry. For the great belching of heat-trapping gas by all the world’s engines, furnaces, and fires is equal to about 4 or 5 of the Siberian flood basalts that triggered the worst hothouse extinction event in Earth’s deep history.

No surprise here, planetary warming does not care about the election. Now including October data. pic.twitter.com/SEUbaNRaxT — Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) November 15, 2016

(Very high surface CO2 concentrations over the Amazon Rainforest and West Africa are an indication that key global carbon sinks aren’t functioning. Instead, at least for the period of June through November of 2016, they appear to be emitting very high volumes of stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Image source: The Copernicus Observatory.)

“And so the world has warmed very rapidly regardless of the mighty effort on the part of forests like the Amazon. And that very heat is now harming the trees and damaging the earth to which they are wed. For when soils warm, the carbon they take in is leached out. And along with the heat comes fires that can, in a matter of minutes, reduce trees to ash and return the captured heat-trapping carbon to the world’s airs.

Atmospheric CO2 Accumulation Increasing Despite Plateau in Human Carbon Emissions

(During 2015, atmospheric CO2 increased by a record annual rate of 3.05 ppm. This happened during the build-up of one of the strongest El Ninos on record. But as a weak La Nina settled in during late 2016 and equatorial Pacific Ocean waters cooled, annual rates of carbon dioxide accumulation is again on track to hit a new record high. During mid-November, daily CO2 readings hit above 405 parts per million. An indication that rates of accumulation had not at all backed off from present record highs. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

“Now such a destructive process appears to be well under way. And it seems that an apparent blow-back of greenhouse gasses from one of the world’s largest carbon sinks is presently ongoing even as rates of atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation are spiking. For in 2016, the world is now on track to see a record annual rate of atmospheric CO2 increase in the range of 3.2 to 3.55 parts per million.” –Robert Fanney (Continue reading:  Rates of Hothouse Gas Accumulation Continue to Spike as the Amazon Rainforest Bleeds Carbon | robertscribbler)

Arctic sea ice minimum volume 1979-2016

Sea-Ice Decline

GR: Global warming leads to climate change.  Watch this video to see how warming, especially the unusually high polar temperature, is destroying one of our global climate stabilizers.

Source: Arctic sea ice minimum volume 1979-2016 – Arctic Sea Ice

New Report: ‘Blowtorch’-Like Ocean Warming Advances Killer Seas, Shifts El Nino, Heats Hydrates

GR:  The author of this natural-hazard warning (actually, it’s not natural, it’s a human-made hazard), says the hazard is something that should keep us up at night.  What worries keep us up at night?  Money is a biggie, and so are our interpersonal relationships and our jobs.  In some regions, shortages of food and water, and excesses of bombs also keep us up at night. When we get hazard warnings from reliable sources, we can usually flee or fortify our position.  The hazard discussed in the warning below can’t be handled like that.  It’s global and can’t be fled, and it’s penetrating and can’t be kept out of our homes.

Not all hazard warnings are followed by the occurrence of the hazard, but we have learned to take warnings from credible sources seriously.  The warning below is from a credible source.  (The graph units are zettajoules (ZJ). One ZJ is about the amount of energy released by 200 million Hiroshima bombs.)


“The scale of ocean warming is truly staggering with the numbers so large that it is difficult for most people to comprehend.” — from the IUCN report Explaining Ocean Warming: Causes, scale, effects and consequences.

Now read about the hazard:


“If there’s one simple fact about past Earth climates that should keep you awake at night, it’s this — warming the world ocean eventually produces a killing mechanism that is unrivaled by any other in Earth’s deep past. Great asteroids, gamma-ray bursters, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanism — none of these can rival the vast damage to life on planet Earth that is resulting from ocean warming.

“There’s a starker message to convey here, one that focuses on this simple yet dire question — how do warming oceans kill? In basic terms, they become toxic and anoxic. Warming oceans melt ocean-contacting glaciers. The glacial melt forces seas to rise and forms a freshwater lid on the global ocean, breaking down ocean conveyor belts and preventing mixing. This freshwater lid also deflects heat toward the ocean bottom. This process in turn helps to thaw methane hydrates. Warm waters that don’t mix and that are filled with bubbling hydrates become very oxygen-poor.

“As the land glaciers bleed out into the oceans, the stratified, oxygen-deprived waters become less and less able to support advanced life. The kinds of life warm, oxygen-deprived waters do support are poison-producing microbes. These microbes thrive in the warm, oxygen-poor waters. If ocean heating continues to progress, the warming seas will eventually fill up with their deadly byproducts. Among the most nasty of these is hydrogen sulfide. If enough of it is produced, it will spill out from the ocean into the nearby air, resulting in land animal mortality as well.

“In microcosm, we saw a mild taste of some of these effects this past year in Florida as toxic algae blooms filled the warming state’s waterways and coastlines, even forcing some riverside marinas to close due to toxic gasses wafting up from the purple-green, oxygen-starved waters. These effects are a snapshot of a possible future for Earth’s oceans if we don’t get our act together yesterday.” –Robert Scribbler.

Read the rest of the hazard warning here: New Report: ‘Blowtorch’-Like Ocean Warming Advances Killer Seas, Shifts El Nino, Heats Hydrates | robertscribbler

Human Hothouse Spurs Longest Coral Die-Off on Record

It’s like a bad dream from which one cannot wake.

robertscribbler

The big coral die-off began in the Western Pacific as a massive ocean temperature spike built up during 2014. Back then, ocean heat accumulation had hit a very high ramp. A vicious, century-and-a-half long increase in atmospheric greenhouse gasses re-radiated greater and greater portions of the sun’s energy hitting the Earth — transferring the bulk (about 90 percent) to the world ocean system.

Major Coral Bleaching Event

(A report out today from AGU finds that the world is now experiencing its longest coral die-off event on record. Image source: AGU.)

By 2015, as one of the strongest El Ninos on record began to extend its influence across the globe, a broad region stretching from the Western Pacific, through the Central Pacific and on into the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean were all experiencing mass coral die-offs. Into early 2016, die-off events again expanded taking in Australian waters and sections of the Indian Ocean off…

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Eye on the Ball– #ClimateChange, #Biodiversity, #NatureConservation, & #SarahPalin

Nature Conservation

GarryRogersThe excellent article introduced below is about nature conservation from the human viewpoint.  The argument is that the current mass extinction of wild plants and animals has harmful consequences for the future of the human species.  It most certainly has, but the author’s desire to inform his audience misses its target because it gives a biased view of the problem. The article does not consider the rights of other species. This “homocentric” view of nature assumes that disappearance of other creatures is only important if it endangers humans.

Aldo Leopold and other conservationists realized that this viewpoint is unsustainable. Unless we accept the equality of all Earth’s species, including our own, our conservation efforts will always fail.  With its runaway enthusiasm for untested proposals, our species will take chances with the lives of other species. Experiments aimed only at benefiting our species, experiments that do not respect the rights of other species, experiments that will sometimes have unforeseen consequences, will gradually nibble away at nature until our ecosystems collapse and wash into the sea (carrying us with it).

Unless we begin to respect the rights of all species, we will exert constant damage on the Earth and ourselves.

 

Our real Sarah Palin nightmare: We debate sideshows and phony problems — while this very real threat looms undiscussed

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

“It’s an amazing fact that the contemporary world is marked by a growing number of problems that are genuinely global in scope. Some of these problems even have existential implications for the survival of human civilization — yet instead we spend too much time discussing smaller threats, including North Korea, ISIS, Oregon militias and even Sarah Palin. One such problem is anthropogenic climate change — a catastrophe whose effects are anticipated to be “severe,” “pervasive” and “irreversible.”

“But climate change isn’t the only problem of this sort. In fact, for many who spend their lives studying environmental issues, it can be frustrating to see climate change — a highly contentious issue among non-experts, despite a scientific consensus about its reality and causes — dominate the public discussion. The fact is that biodiversity loss constitutes an equally worrisome (albeit related) threat to the future of humanity.

“Consider some cold hard facts. According to the 3rd Global Biodiversity Report (GBO-3), the total population of vertebrates — a broad category that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, sharks, rays and amphibians — living within the tropics declined by a shocking 59% from 1970 to 2006. Take a moment to let this sink in. In only 36 years, more than half of the vertebrate population between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer disappeared.”— Read More: , Salon.

Links:

Population

Conservation

 

Climate Change and Wildfire

Wildfire Ecology

I’ve been interested in natural vegetation response to wildfire for more than 40 years. Most of my work involves the desert shrublands and woodlands of western North America. From the beginning of my studies, I saw that Asian weeds brought by European sheep and cattle herders had heavily infested native vegetation. It soon became clear that added fuel provided by the weeds was allowing fires to increase in size and number. During the past century and a half, the weeds have replaced vast areas of native shrublands and woodlands that could not contend with the increasing wildfires.

Fire-prone invasive plants fueled fires that converted this formerly diverse Sonoran Desert landscape of small trees and tall Saguaro cactus into an impoverished shrubland.

This is one of the study sites that Jeff Steele and I established in 1974.  Two fires (1974 and 1985), converted this formerly diverse Sonoran Desert landscape of small trees and tall Saguaro cactus into an impoverished shrubland.

Humans with their weeds and livestock led the first devastating wave of wildfire across the arid and semi-arid lands of the world. The next wave will come from human-caused global warming.

The following is from Global Warming Forecasts

[Click this link for my review of the Forecasts.  Below, I’ve include 2050 as an example of the forecasts.]

2050 Wildfires

“2050.  Forest wildfire burn area in the U.S. is projected to increase by over 50% and as much as 175% in some areas by 2050.  “The area of forest burnt by wildfires in the United States is set to increase by over 50% by 2050, according to research by climate scientists. The study [Impacts of climate change from 2000 to 2050 on wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in the western United States], predicts that the worst affected areas will be the forests in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, where the area of forest destroyed by wildfire is predicted to increase by 78% and 175% respectively.

“The research is based on a conservative temperature increase of 1.6 degrees Celsius over the next 40 years [2010-2050]. Published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, scientists also say that the increase in wildfires will lead to significant deterioration of the air quality in the western United States due to greater presence of smoke. . . . This work was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Dr. Dominick Spracklen carried out the research whilst at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in collaboration with Jennifer Logan and Loretta Mickley.” (NASA press release, “Wildfires Set to Increase 50 Percent by 2050,” NASA Earth Observatory, Twitter NASA EO, Greenbelt, Maryland, July 28, 2009 reporting findings in D.V. Spracklen, L.J. Mickley, J.A. Logan, R.C. Hudman, R. Yevich, M.C. Flannigan, and A.L. Westerlin, “Impacts of climate change from 2000 to 2050 on wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in the western United States,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, D20301, doi:10.1029/2008JD010966, published October 20, 2009.” Global Warming Forecasts

View Jennifer Logan’s PowerPoint presentation on wildfires.

 

Global Warming Forecasts | #climatechange

Expert Global Warming Forecasts

GR:  This reference covers global warming forecasts that scientists have made for the years 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2050, 2080, 2090, and 2100.  Projections by well-known scientists and peer-reviewed publications make this a dependable resource.  Reading it, you might be amazed that there has been so much doubt and so little action on global warming.

“The colors on the map show temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) compared to the 1901-1960 average for the contiguous U.S., and to the 1951-1980 average for Alaska and Hawai’i. The bars on the graph show the average temperature changes by decade for 1901-2012 (relative to the 1901-1960 average). The far right bar (2000s decade) includes 2011 and 2012. The period from 2001 to 2012 was warmer than any previous decade in every region.” (U.S. Global Change Research Program)

This map shows what has actually happened in the U. S. “The colors on the map show temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) compared to the 1901-1960 average for the contiguous U.S., and to the 1951-1980 average for Alaska and Hawaii. The bars on the graph show the average temperature changes by decade for 1901-2012 (relative to the 1901-1960 average). The far right bar (2000s decade) includes 2011 and 2012. The period from 2001 to 2012 was warmer than any previous decade in every region.” (U.S. Global Change Research Program)

The following is from the Global Warming Forecasts website.

“Global warming forecasts trace their history back to the works of Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius (1890s), American geologist Thomas Chamberlain (1890s) and British engineer Guy S. Callendar (1930s and ’40s).

“In the 1950s, after oceanographers Roger Revelle and Hans Suess published research findings concluding that “human beings are now carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment” by discharging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, Revelle, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, recruited geochemist Charles David Keeling to begin the process of taking long-term measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere.

“When Keeling started taking CO2 measurements at the weather observatory at the top of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii and on the continent of Antarctica, he established the baseline for collecting the data that would begin the modern era of global warming forecasting.

“Since Revelle’s and Keeling’s landmark work in the 1950s, global warming forecast research has expanded to develop projections based on concentrations of other greenhouse gases such as methane (the principal component of natural gas), carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide as well as temperature data, precipitation, weather patterns and specific ecosystems.

“Global warming forecasting and research formats, however, have tended to be linear or vertical in nature, i.e., focusing on observations of singular data sets over time such as:

[GR:  These links take you to some excellent articles.]

“Similarly, projections of climate change impacts have tended to focus on specific sectors such as water resources, energy supplies, energy usage, transportation, human health, food, specific ecosystems, geographic regions, countries and continents.

“Here and on the pages that follow is a look at global warming forecasts from a “confluence forecast” or “convergence forecast” perspective. Rather than the conventional vertical format, we look at multiple converging forecasts presented in a horizontal or more integrated “side-by-side” context.” — http://www.global-warming-forecasts.com/

 

Climate: West may be in permanent drought by 2060s

So. . . , we get catastrophic floods, but the drought continues–great.

Summit County Citizens Voice

kj Is western drought the new climate normal?

New study quantifies global warming effect on California drought

Staff Report

FRISCO — Researchers say there’s new evidence that global warming will push the western U.S. into the driest conditions in at least the past 1,000 years, as higher temperatures exacerbate drought condition in the region.

The new study by scientists with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Cornell University focused on the current California drought, showing that warmer temps drive moisture from plants and soil into the air. Warmer temps likely worsened the California drought by 25 percent, the scientists concluded in their paper, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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Eco-Sabotage is Planetary Self-Defense | Deep Green Resistance Blog

Max Wilbert and other members of Deep Green Resistance Seattle participated in a May “ShellNO” protest against Shell’s arctic drilling rig. Their display of signs reading “Sabotage the Machine” and “Eco-Sabotage is Planetary Self-Defense” attracted a lot of attention. Elliot Stoller conducted a short video interview in which Wilbert explains his concern about ineffective tactics and strategies in the face of dramatic threats to biodiversity, climate, and social justice.

Wilbert discusses DGR’s radical evaluation of systems of power and what might actually work to alter their destructive course: targeting critical communication, electrical, and oil infrastructures, and addresses some common questions about what that means for the safety of activists who undertake such work, and what sort of life humans can live without the comforts and elegancies of industrial civilization.  Sourced through Scoop.it from: deepgreenresistance.blogspot.com

GR:  In this video (http://bit.ly/1MA5av2) Wilbert describes eco-sabotage as necessary self-defense for nature.  This radical perspective is gaining momentum as it becomes apparent that Earth ecosystems are deteriorating due to excessive corporate resource extraction and government mismanagement of natural resources.  Worth watching.

2015’s Cruel Climate Count Continues as NASA Shows July Was Hottest On Record

robertscribbler

Andrew Freeman is right. It’s been a cruel, cruel summer. Hothouse mass casualty events, spurred by a ridiculous accumulation of heat trapping gasses in the Earth atmosphere, have spanned the Northern Hemisphere. The result has been thousands of lives lost and the hospitalization of tens of thousands more as global temperatures rocketed to levels not seen in probably 100,000 years (related — Hothouse Mass Casualties Strike Egypt).

July of 2015 Hottest on Record

Now, in a record-shattering hot year featuring extreme weather weirdness and an emerging monster El Nino, yet one more record has fallen. For according to both NASA and Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA), July of 2015 squashed and smashed previous record hot Julys 2011 (NASA) and 1998 (JMA) to take the title as hottest July yet.

July Temperatures Japan Meteorological Agency

(Japan’s Meteorological Agency shows July of 2015 was the hottest on record by a wide margin.)

In the…

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