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[l] at 6/18/20 8:15am

Very high temperatures hit Northern Europe and Eastern Siberia near the Arctic Ocean on June 18, 2020. This is a continuation of the heatwave that hit Siberia in May 2020.

The image below, from an earlier post, shows temperature anomalies that were forecast to be at the high end of the scale over Siberia on May 22, 2020, 06:00 UTC, i.e. 30°C or 54°F higher than 1979-2000. At the same time, cold temperatures were forecast for much of eastern Europe.


What enables such a strong heatwave to develop is that the Jet Stream is getting more wavy as the temperature difference between the North Pole and the Equator is narrowing, causing both hot air to move up into the Arctic (red arrow) and cold air to descend out of the Arctic (blue arrow).

On June 19, 2020, at 03:00 UTC, a temperature of 32°C or 89.7°F is forecast to hit Siberia near the Arctic Ocean (green circle).


The image below shows a temperature forecast of 33.4°C or 92°F in Siberia near the Arctic Ocean on June 20, 2020, at 03:00 UTC (green circle).


The image below is a forecast for June 23, 2020, showing how a distorted Jet Stream enables cold air to move down into Russia, while at the same time enabling hot air to move north over Scandinavia and Siberia, near the Arctic Ocean.


The image below is a forecast for June 25, 2020, showing the coast of Siberia near the Arctic Ocean getting hit by temperature anomalies at the top end of scale, i.e. 30°C or 54°F higher than 1979-2000.


Above image illustrates how the heatwave is heating up the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). The ESAS is quite shallow, making that heat can quickly reach the seafloor.

Additionally, the heatwave is heating up rivers that carry large amounts of hot water into the Arctic Ocean.

The image on the right shows sea surface temperatures in the Bering Strait as high as 16.6°C or 61.9°F on June 16, 2020.

The image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies as high as 13.9°C or 25°F compared to 1981-2011 in the Bering Strait on June 17, 2020 (at the green circle).


Above image also shows how sea currents are moving hot water from the Pacific Ocean into the Arctic Ocean. Similarly, ocean currents are moving hot water from the Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic Ocean.

Furthermore, the Siberian heatwave is also threatening to trigger forest fires that can cause huge amounts of black carbon to settle on the snow and ice cover, further speeding up its demise.

Finally, more intense forest fires threaten to cause organic carbon compounds to enter the stratosphere and damage the ozone layer, as discussed in an earlier post.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.



Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• Very High Greenhouse Gas Levels
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/05/very-high-greenhouse-gas-levels.html



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, East Siberian Arctic Shelf, ESAS, heatwave, ocean, rise, Siberian, temperature]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/14/20 8:19am
The fatal road to +4°Celsius Extreme GHG and T°C rise rates exceed climate tipping thresholds
Andrew Glikson

Precis
Global CO₂ rise and warming rates have reached a large factor to an order of magnitude higher than those of the past geological and mass extinction events, with major implications for the shift in climate zones and the nature and speed of current extreme weather events. Given the abrupt change in state of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-land system, accelerating since the mid-20ᵗʰ century, the terms climate change and global warming no longer reflect the nature of the climate extremes consequent on this shift. Further to NASA’s reported mean land-ocean temperature rise to +1.18°C for March 2020, relative to the 1951-1980 baseline, large parts of the continents, including Siberia, central Asia, Canada, parts of west Africa, eastern South America and Australia are warming toward mean temperatures of +2°C and higher. The rate exceeds that of the Last Glacial Termination (LGT) (21–8 kyr), the Paleocene-Eocene hyperthermal event (PETM) (55.9 Ma) and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (K-T) (64.98 Ma) impact event. A principal question arises regarding the relationships between the warming rate and the nature and progression of the current migration climate zones toward the poles, including changes in the atmosphere and ocean current systems. Significant transient cooling pauses, or stadials, are projected as a consequence of the flow of cold ice melt water from Greenland and Antarctica into the oceans.

Figure 1. Global temperature distribution in March 2020, relative to a 1951-1980 baseline. NASA GISS.

The K-T impact and subsequent warming: According to Beerling et al. (2002) the CO₂ change triggered by the K-T impact event 65 Ma years ago involved a rise from about 400-500 ppm to 2300 ppm over 10.000 years from the impact (Fig. 2) at a rate of 0.18 ppm/year. This is less than the mean Anthropocene CO₂ rise rate of 0.415 ppm/year and an order of magnitude less than the 2 to 3 ppm/year rise rate in the 21ˢᵗ century. Likewise the Anthropocene temperature rise rate of ~ 0.0074°C/year is high by an order of magnitude as compared to the K-T impact event rate of~ 0.00075°C/year (Table 1) reported by Beerling et al. (2002).

Figure 2. Reconstructed atmospheric CO₂ variations during the Late Cretaceous–Early Tertiary derived from the SI
(Stomata index) of fossil leaf cuticles calibrated by using inverse regression and stomatal ratios. Beerling et al. (2002).
Beerling et al.’s (2002) estimate, based on fossil fern proxies, implies an initial injection of at least 6,400 GtCO₂  and possibly as high as 13,000 GtCO₂ into the atmosphere, significantly higher than values derived by Pope et al. (1997). This would increase climate forcing by +12 Wm⁻² and mean warming of ~7.5°C, which would have strongly stressed ecosystems already affected by cold temperatures and the blockage of sunlight during the impact winter and associated mass extinction at the KT boundary (O’Keefe et al. 1989).

The PETM hyperthermal event: The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, about 55.9 Ma, triggered the release of a large mass of light ¹³C-depleted carbon suggestive of an organic source, likely methane, has led to a global surface temperature rise of 5 – 9°C within a few thousand years (Table 1; Fig. 3). Deep-sea carbonate dissolution indices and stable carbon isotope composition were used to estimate the initial carbon pulse to a magnitude of 3,000 PgC or less. As a result, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased during the main event by up to 70% compared with pre-event levels, leading to a global surface temperatures rose by 5–9°C within a few thousand years.

Figure 3. Simulated atmospheric CO2 at and after the Palaeocene-Eocene boundary (after Zeebe et al. (2009).
The last glacial termination: Paleoclimate indices based on ice cores and isotopic evidence suggest temperature rise generally correlates with CO₂ during the Last Glacial Termination between 17.5 kyr to 10 kyr. Whereas the rise rates of CO₂ and temperature are broadly parallel the temperature somewhat lags behind CO₂ (Figure 2). Changes of CO₂ – 186 - 265 ppm and of temperature of T°C -3.3°C - +0.2°C (Fig. 4). A rise rate of ~0.010 ppm CO₂/year and of temperature ~0.00046°C/year are indicated (Table 1) (Shakun et al., 2012). Differences between temperature changes of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere correspond to variations in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.
Figure 4. Global CO₂ and temperature during the last glacial termination (After Shakun et al. 2012).
(LGM – Last Glacial Maximum; OD – Older Dryas; B-A - Bølling–Allerød; YD Younger Dryas).
Trajectories and rates of global CO₂ rise and warming

The rates at which atmospheric composition and climate changes occur constitute major control over the survival versus extinction of species. Based on paleo-proxy estimates of greenhouse gas levels and of mean temperatures, using oxygen and carbon isotopes, fossil plants, fossil organic matter, trace elements, the rate of CO₂ rise since ~1750 (Anthropocene) (CO₂  ᴀɴᴛʜ ) exceeds that of the last glacial termination (CO₂  ʟɢᴛ ) by an order of magnitude (CO₂  ᴀɴᴛʜ /CO₂  ʟɢᴛ  = 41) and that of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (CO₂  ᴘᴇᴛᴍ ) by a high factor (CO₂  ᴀɴᴛʜ /CO₂  ᴘᴇᴛᴍ  ~ 3.8–6.9)(Table 1). The rise rate of mean global temperature exceeds that of the LGT and the PETM by a large factor to an order of magnitude (Table 1; Figs 5 and 6). It can be expected that such extreme rates of change will be manifest in real time by observed shifts in state of global and regional climates and the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, including the following observations:
The rapid increase in extreme weather events,including droughts, heat waves, fires, cyclones and storms.
Figure 5. Cenozoic and Anthropocene CO₂ and temperature rise rates.
Figure 6. A comparison between rates of mean global temperature rise during:
(1) the last Glacial Termination (after Shakun et al. 2012);
(2) the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, after Kump 2011);
(3) the late Anthropocene (1750–2019), and
(4) an asteroid impact. In the latter instance, temperature associated with
CO₂ rise would lag by some weeks or months behind aerosol-induced cooling.
Figure 7. An updated Köppen–Geiger climate zones map.
By contrast to linear IPCC climate projections for 2100-2300, climate modelling for the 21st century by Hansen et al. 2016 suggests major effects of ice melt water flow into the oceans from the ice sheets, leading to stadial cooling of parts of the oceans, changing the global temperature pattern from that of the early 21ˢᵗ century (Figs 8, 9a) to the late 21ˢᵗ century (Fig. 9b).
Figure 8. Global temperature patterns during El Nino and La Nina events. NASA GISS
Figure 9. a. An A1B model of surface-air temperature change for 2055-2060 relative
to 1880-1920 (+1 meters sea level rise) for modified forcing (Hansen et al. 2016);
b. A1B model surface-air temperatures in 2096 relative to 1880-1920 (+5 meters sea level rise) for 10 years
ice melt doubling time in the southern hemisphere and partial global cooling of -0.33
°C (Hansen et al. 2016).
Summary and conclusions

  1. Late 20th century to early 21asrt century global greenhouse gas levels and regional warming rates have reached a high factor to an order of magnitude faster than those of past geological and mass extinction events, with major implications for the nature and speed of extreme weather events.
  2. The Anthropocene CO₂ rise and warming rates exceed that of the Last Glacial Termination (LGT) (21–8kyr), the Paleocene-Eocene hyperthermal event (PETM) (55.9 Ma) and the post-impact Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (K-T) (64.98 Ma). 
  3. Further to NASA’s reported mean land-ocean temperature rise of +1.18°C in March 2020, relative to the 1951-1980 baseline, large parts of the continents, including central Asia, west Africa eastern South America and Australia are warming toward mean temperatures of +2°C and higher. 
  4. Major consequences of the current shift in state of the climate system pertain to the weakening of the polar boundaries and the migration of climate zones toward the poles. Transient cooling pauses are projected as a result of the flow of cold ice melt water from Greenland and Antarctica into the oceans, leading to stadial cooling intervals.
  5. Given the abrupt shift in state of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-land system, the current trend signifies an abrupt shift in state of the atmosphere, accelerating since the mid-20th century. Terms such as climate change and global warming no longer reflect the extreme nature of the climate events consequent on this shift, amounting to a climate catastrophe on a geological scale.
Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and Paleo-climate scientist
ANU Climate Science Institute
ANU Planetary Science Institute
Canberra, Australian Territory, Australia
geospec@iinet.net.au
Books: The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789400763272
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319079073
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319225111
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319572369
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789400773318
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783030106027 Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319745442 
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
Added below is a video with an August 6, 2019, interview of Andrew Glikson by Guy McPherson and Kevin Hester, as edited by Tim Bob.


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: 4°C, Andrew Glikson, Anthropocene, CO₂, LGT, paleoclimate, PETM, tipping points]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/14/20 7:41am
[ click on images enlarge ] May 2020 was the hottest May on record, the third monthly record in the year to date, even though there was no El Niño in 2020 (yet). An El Niño event later in 2020, combined with further warming elements, such as loss of the aerosol masking effect due to COVID-19 lockdowns, could trigger a huge temperature rise, as the red trend illustrates. The year 2020 looks set or close to become the hottest on record, as illustrated by the blue trend that points at a continuing rise reaching 3°C by 2026, i.e. likely driving humans into extinction.

The May 2020 ocean temperature anomaly on the Northern Hemisphere was 0.94°C or 1.67°F higher than the 20th century average, the highest May anomaly on record.

The latent heat tipping point threatens to be crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere reach 1°C above the 20th century average, in turn threatening the methane hydrates tipping point to get crossed, i.e. as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere become higher than 1.35°C above the 20th century average.

Arctic sea ice is getting very thin and, at this time of year, it is melting rapidly from below, due to the rising temperature of the Arctic Ocean. The sea ice underneath the surface of the Arctic Ocean is disappearing rapidly, due to the influx of warm and salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Sea surface temperature anomalies from the 20th century on the Northern Hemisphere in °C.
Yellow circles are anomalies for the month May, red circles are anomalies for other months. 
An earlier analysis indicates that the latent heat tipping point threatens to get crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere reach 1°C above the 20th century average. As above image indicates, the tipping point was briefly crossed before, but this year it looks set to get crossed irreversibly.

At that point, there will be little or no Arctic sea ice left underneath the sea surface all year long, so the sea ice has lost most of its capacity to act as a buffer to consume further heat arriving from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Arctic sea ice volume has been at record low for almost all of 2020 to date, while 2019 volume was at a record low from October, making that volume has been at record low for almost 8 months straight.

Crossing the latent heat tipping point means that huge amounts of incoming heat will get absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, instead of getting consumed by the melting of sea ice, as was previously the case.

As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface.

There is ever less sea ice left underneath the surface to absorb ocean heat, and the amount of energy that used to be absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.


Meanwhile, global heating continues and more than 90% of global heating is going into oceans.


As discussed in an earlier post, the loss of subsurface sea ice is only one of ten tipping points hitting the Arctic. As the temperature of the oceans keeps rising, more heat will reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean that contain vast amounts of methane, as discussed in this page and this post. The danger is that this heat will destabilize the ice and the hydrates, resulting in huge releases of methane. The methane hydrates tipping point threatens to get crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere become higher than 1.35°C above the 20th century average, which threatens to occur early next year.


The danger is illustrated by the image below, posted in February 2019 and showing a potential rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.


Indeed, a rise of 18°C could eventuate by 2026, as illustrated by the image below and as discussed in an earlier post.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• NASA GISS maps - Land Surface Air Temperature and Sea Surface Temperature
https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/index_v4.html

• Crossing the Paris Agreement thresholds
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/crossing.html

• NOAA Global Climate Report - May 2020
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/202005

• NOAA ocean heat content
https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

• Arctic Hit By Ten Tipping Points
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/04/arctic-hit-by-ten-tipping-points.html

• Why stronger winds over the North Atlantic are so dangerous
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-stronger-winds-over-north-atlantic-are-so-dangerous.html

• Why America should lead on climate
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-america-should-lead-on-climate.html

• Methane's Role in Arctic Warming
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/02/methanes-role-in-arctic-warming.html

• Critical Tipping Point Crossed In July 2019
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/09/critical-tipping-point-crossed-in-july-2019.html

• The Threat
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/threat.html

• When will we die?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html

• 2°C crossed
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/03/2c-crossed.html

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/02/a-rise-of-18c-or-324f-by-2026.html

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, extinction, latent heat, methane hydrates, ocean, path, rise, temperature, tipping point]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/14/20 6:08am
[ click on images enlarge ] May 2020 was the hottest May on record, the third monthly record in the year to date, even though there was no El Niño in 2020 (yet). An El Niño event later in 2020, combined with further warming elements, such as loss of the aerosol masking effect due to COVID-19 lockdowns, could trigger a huge temperature rise, as the red trend illustrates. The year 2020 looks set or close to become the hottest on record, as illustrated by the blue trend that points at a continuing rise reaching 3°C by 2026, i.e. likely driving humans into extinction.

The May 2020 ocean temperature anomaly on the Northern Hemisphere was 0.94°C or 1.67°F higher than the 20th century average, the highest May anomaly on record.

The latent heat tipping point threatens to be crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere reach 1°C above the 20th century average, in turn threatening the methane hydrates tipping point to get crossed, i.e. as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere become higher than 1.35°C above the 20th century average.

Arctic sea ice is getting very thin and, at this time of year, it is melting rapidly from below, due to the rising temperature of the Arctic Ocean. The sea ice underneath the surface of the Arctic Ocean is disappearing rapidly, due to the influx of warm and salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Sea surface temperature anomalies from the 20th century on the Northern Hemisphere in °C.
Yellow circles are anomalies for the month May, red circles are anomalies for other months. 
An earlier analysis indicates that the latent heat tipping point threatens to get crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere reach 1°C above the 20th century average. As above image indicates, the tipping point was briefly crossed before, but this year it looks set to get crossed irreversibly.

At that point, there will be little or no Arctic sea ice left underneath the sea surface all year long, so the sea ice has lost most of its capacity to act as a buffer to consume further heat arriving from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Arctic sea ice volume has been at record low for almost all of 2020 to date, while 2019 volume was at a record low from October, making that volume has been at record low for almost 8 months straight.

Crossing the latent heat tipping point means that huge amounts of incoming heat will get absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, instead of getting consumed by the melting of sea ice, as was previously the case.

As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface.

There is ever less sea ice left underneath the surface to absorb ocean heat, and the amount of energy that used to be absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.


Meanwhile, global heating continues and more than 90% of global heating is going into oceans.


As discussed in an earlier post, the loss of subsurface sea ice is only one of ten tipping points hitting the Arctic. As the temperature of the oceans keeps rising, more heat will reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean that contain vast amounts of methane, as discussed in this page and this post. The danger is that this heat will destabilize the ice and the hydrates, resulting in huge releases of methane. The methane hydrates tipping point threatens to get crossed as ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere become higher than 1.35°C above the 20th century average, which threatens to occur early next year.


The danger is illustrated by the image below, posted in February 2019 and showing a potential rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.


Indeed, a rise of 18°C could eventuate by 2026, as illustrated by the image below and as discussed in an earlier post.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• NASA GISS maps - Land Surface Air Temperature and Sea Surface Temperature
https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/index_v4.html

• Crossing the Paris Agreement thresholds
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/crossing.html

• NOAA Global Climate Report - May 2020
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/202005

• NOAA ocean heat content
https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

• Arctic Hit By Ten Tipping Points
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/04/arctic-hit-by-ten-tipping-points.html

• Why stronger winds over the North Atlantic are so dangerous
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-stronger-winds-over-north-atlantic-are-so-dangerous.html

• Why America should lead on climate
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-america-should-lead-on-climate.html

• Methane's Role in Arctic Warming
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/02/methanes-role-in-arctic-warming.html

• Critical Tipping Point Crossed In July 2019
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/09/critical-tipping-point-crossed-in-july-2019.html

• The Threat
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/threat.html

• When will we die?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html

• 2°C crossed
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/03/2c-crossed.html

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/02/a-rise-of-18c-or-324f-by-2026.html

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, extinction, latent heat, methane hydrates, ocean, path, rise, temperature, tipping point]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 5/19/20 6:53am
by Andrew Glikson
Precis
21–23ʳᵈ centuries’ transient ocean cooling events (stadials), triggered by ice melt flow from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets into the adjacent oceans, herald conditions analogous in part to those of the Younger Dryas stadial (12.9–11.7 kyr) which succeeded the pre-Holocene Bölling-Allerod thermal maximum. The subsequent Younger Dryas cooling event was associated with penetration of polar air masses and ocean currents, leading to storminess, analogous to recent breaching of the weakened polar jet stream boundary, ensuing in major snow storms in North America and Europe and cooling of parts of the North Atlantic Ocean and parts of the circum-Antarctic ocean triggered by the flow of ice melt water from melting glaciers.

21–23ʳᵈ Centuries’ Stadial freeze events

IPCC climate change projections for 2100-2300 portray linear to curved temperature progressions (SPM-5). By contrast, examination of transient cooling events (stadials) which ensued from the flow of ice melt water into the oceans during peak interglacial warming events portray abrupt temperature variations (Fig. 1). The current flow of ice melt water from Greenland and Antarctica ensuing from Anthropogenic global warming is leading to regional ocean cooling in the North Atlantic near Greenland and around Antarctica (Rahmstorf et al, 2015; Hansen et al. (2016); Bronselaer et al. 2018; Purkey et al. 2018; Vernet et al. 2019) (Fig. 2). The incipient developments of ice melt-derived cold water pools in ocean regions adjacent to the large ice sheets imply portents of future stadial events such as, inexplicably, are not indicated by the predominantly linear IPCC climate projections for the 21–23ʳᵈ centuries (IPCC AR5). By contrast, as modelled by Hansen et al. (2016) and Bronselaer et al. (2018), under high greenhouse gas and temperature rise trajectories (RCP8.5), the ice meltwater flow into the oceans from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets would lead to cooling of large regions of the ocean, with major consequences for future climate projections. This would include the build-up of large cool ocean pools in the North Atlantic south of Greenland (Rahmstorf et al, 2015) (Fig. 2A) and around Antarctica (Fig. 2B).

Depending on different greenhouse emission scenarios (IPCC 2019; van Vuren et. al. (2011), including the CO₂ forcing-equivalents of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the total CO₂–equivalent rise amounts to 496 ppm (NOAA, 2019), close to transcending the melting points of large parts of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. Given the extreme rise in temperature since the mid-20th Century, where the oceans heat contents is rising, an incipient cooling of near-surface sub-Greenland and sub-Antarctic ocean regions raises the question whether incipient stadial events, perhaps analogous to the Younger Dryas stadial (Johnsen et al. 1972; Severinghaus et al. 1998), may be developing?

Interglacials, late Pleistocene and early Holocene stadial events

Stadial effects in the late Pleistocene record follow peak interglacial temperatures (Cortese et al., 2007) (Fig. 1). During the last glacial termination (LGT) stadial effects included the Oldest Dryas at ~16 kyr, the Older Dryas at ~14 kyr and the Younger Dryas at 12.9 - 11.7 kyr (Fig. 3), the latter with sharp transitions as short as 1 to 3 years (Steffensen et al., 2008), signifying a return to glacial conditions. A yet younger stadial event is represented at ~8.4 - 8.2 kyr when large-scale melting of the Laurentian ice sheet ensued in the discharge of cold water via Lake Agasiz (Matero et al. 2017; Lewis et al., 2012) into the North Atlantic Ocean. The Laurentian cooling involved temperature and CO₂ decline of ~25 ppm over ~300 years (Fig. 3B and C) and a decline of the North Atlantic Thermohaline circulation.

Figure 1. (a) Evolution of sea surface temperatures in 5 glacial-interglacial transitions recorded in
ODP 1089 at the sub-Antarctic Atlantic Ocean.  Grey lines – δ¹⁸O measured on Cibicidoides plankton; 
Black lines – sea surface temperature. Marine isotope stage numbers are indicated on top of diagrams.
Note the stadial following interglacial peak temperatures (Cortese et al. 2007).
 (b) The last glacial maximum and the last glacial termination.
Olds  Oldest Dryas; Old – Older Dryas; Yd – Younger Dryas.
Greenland and Antarctica ice melt events

Oxygen isotopes (¹⁸O/¹⁹O), argon isotopes (⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar) and nitrogen isotopes (¹⁵N/¹⁴N) studies of Greenland ice cores (Johnsen et al. 1972; Severinghaus et al. 1998) indicate a rise in temperature to -36°C, followed by a sharp fall to -50°C (Table 1; Fig. 3A). At lower latitudes the mean temperatures drop about -2°C and 6°C (Table 1). In the southern hemisphere temperatures dropped by about -2°C in lower latitudes and about -8°C at high latitudes and (Fig. 4; Table 1) Shakun and Carlson, 2010).

Figure 2. A. The cold ocean region south of Greenland visible on NASA's 2015 global mean temperatures, the warmest year on record since 1880. Colors indicate temperature anomalies (NASA/NOAA; 20 January 2016);
B. Circum-Antarctic summer surface temperatures, showing the large Weddell Sea cold anomaly
and a seasonal warming anomaly in the Ross Sea due to upwelling of warm salty water.

Table 1.

Cooling intervals (stadial events) during late Pleistocene and early Holocene interglacial phases.
Isotopic Stage   Age max kyr Age min kyr ∆t kyr T max o C SST T min o C SST ∆T o C   Stadial MIS 11-12 Ref. A 434 kyr 424 kyr 10 kyr 19.3 o C SST 13.4 o C SST -5.9 o C Stadial MIS 9-10 
Ref. B 346 kyr 331 kyr 5 kyr 19 o C SST 13 o C SST -6 o C Stadial MIS 7-8   Ref. C 243.5 kyr 241.5 kyr 2.0 kyr 18 o C SST 15.5 o C SST  -2.5 o C Stadial MIS 5-6 Ref. D 136 kyr 130 kyr 6.0 kyr 19 o C SST 15.2 o C SST -3.8 o C Younger Dryas
stadial ice core
In Greenland MIS 1-2-3  Ref. E 12.86 kyr 11.64 kyr 1.22 kyr -36 o C Greenland
ice core -50 o C Greenland
ice core -14±3 o C Greenland
ice core Younger Dryas at
lower and mid-
latitudes of the NH (Fig. 4) Ref. F 12.86 kyr 11.64 kyr 1.22 kyr

-2 to -6 o C 8.3 kyr Stadial 
Ref. G 8.45 kyr 8.1 kyr 0.35 kyr -28 o C CO₂ = 310 ppm -30 o C CO₂ = 275 ppm -2.0 o C
Figure 3. A. Temperature variations during the late Pleistocene to the beginning of the Younger Dryas stadial
and the onset of the Holocene, determined as proxy temperatures from ice cores of the central Greenland ice sheet;
B. The ~8.2 kyr stadial event in a coupled climate model (Wiersma et al. 2011);
C. Reconstructed CO₂ concentrations for the interval between ~8,700 and ~6,800 B.P. 

based on CO₂ extracted from air in Antarctic ice of Taylor Dome (Wagner et al. 2002). Figure 4. Magnitude of late Holocene glacial-interglacial temperature changes in relation to latitude.
Black squares are the Northern Hemisphere (NH), gray circles the
Southern Hemisphere (SH) (Shakun and Carlson, 2010)

Antarctic ice melt dynamics


Circum-Antarctic surface air temperatures, precipitation and sea-ice cover (Bronselaer et al. (2018), including testing the effects of ice-shelf melting, identifies penetration of relatively warm circumpolar deep water below 400 m into the grounding line underlying the ice shelf (Figs 5, 6A). The flow of ice melt water into the adjacent ocean forms an upper cold water layer away from ice shelf areas (Figure 6B). These authors indicate the flow of ice-sheet meltwater results in a decrease of global atmospheric warming, shifts rainfall northwards, and increases sea-ice area and offshore subsurface Antarctic Ocean temperatures.

Figure 5. Schematic circulation and water masses in the Antarctic continental shelf (Purkey et al., 2018) displaying layering of the sub-Antarctic into a cold ice melt-derived upper layer (-2.1°C) overlying a warmer water zone (-1.0°C) which acts as a source of modified warm water penetrating the grounding zone of the glacial ice shelf.
Figure 6. A. The grounding zone where the bedrock-grounded ice sheet transits to a freely floating ice shelf over several km. The floating ice shelf changes in elevation in response to tides, atmospheric air pressure and oceanic processes. B. The Helium (∆He% - Temperature proxy) profile in the Amundsen Sea. The black dots indicate the sampling depth, and the grey dotted lines indicate the isopycnal (density) lines. The shelf break is located at about ∼280 km).
In turn warmer salty water from the circum-polar deep water (CDW) from the circum-Antarctic current can penetrate below the cold off-shelf layer, as is the case in the Weddell Sea Gyre (Figures 5, 6 and 7).

Figure 7. Penetration of relatively warm and salty water from the circum-Antarctic current below the cold off-shelf surface layer of the Weddell Sea Gyre.
Global stadial cooling events


Hansen et al. (2016) suggest that, depending on ice melt rates of the polar ice sheets, transient cooling events (stadials) can be expected to develop at times dependent on the rates of ice melt (Fig. 8). The model is consistent with a slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation (AMOC) (Weaver et al. 2012) and the exceptional growth of a cold water region southeast of Greenland, (Rahmstorf et al, 2015). These authors suggest stadial cooling of about -2°C lasting for several decades (Fig. 8B), depending on ice melt rates, can affect temperatures in Europe and North America.

Figure 8. A. Model surface air temperature (°C) change in 2055–2060 relative to 1880–1920 for modified forcings.
B. Surface air temperature (°C) relative to 1880–1920 for several ice melt scenarios.

According to Bronselaer et al. (2018) temporal evolution of the global-mean surface-air temperature (SAT) shows meltwater-induced cooling translates to a reduced rate of global warming (Fig. 9), with a maximum divergence between standard models and models which include the effects of meltwater induced cooling of 0.38 ± 0.02°C in 2055. The SAT response shows the effect of ice meltwater becomes weaker as the ocean becomes more stratified as a result of both moderate to deep level warming and cooling/freshening at the surface (Fig. 6B). As stated by the authors “We demonstrate that the inclusion in the model of ice-sheet meltwater reduces global atmospheric warming, shifts rainfall northwards, and increases sea-ice area”, and “Antarctic meltwater is therefore an important agent of climate change with global impact, and should be taken into account in future climate simulations and climate policy.”
Figure 9. A. 2080–2100 meltwater-induced sea-air temperature anomaly relative to the standard RCP8.5 ensemble. Hatching indicates where the anomalies are not significant at the 95% level.
B. Time series of the global-mean sea-air temperature (SAT) anomaly relative to the 1950–1970 mean.
Orange shows the standard ensemble and blue shows the meltwater-included ensemble. Solid lines show ensemble means, the dark shading shows the 95% uncertainty in the mean and the light shading shows the full ensemble spread of 20-year means. The green bar indicates the period when the standard and meltwater ensembles diverge.

Based on the paleoclimate record, global warming and rates of melting and surface cooling around parts of Antarctica and the North Atlantic (Fig. 2) would determine the future climate of large parts of Earth. Transient stadial cooling events, inherently associated with meters-scale sea level rise, would result in increased temperature polarities between subpolar and tropical latitudes, leading to storminess where polar-derived and tropical-derived air masses and ocean currents collide. Regional to global stadial cooing would, in principle, last as long as ice sheets remain. Once the large ice sheets are exhausted a transition takes place toward tropical Miocene-like and Even Eocene-like conditions about 4 to 5 degrees Celsius warmer than Holocene climate conditions, which allowed agriculture and thereby civilization to emerge.


Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and Paleo-climate scientist
ANU Climate Science Institute
ANU Planetary Science Institute
Canberra, Australia

Books:
The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789400763272
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319079073
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319225111
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319572369
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789400773318
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783030106027
Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319745442

[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Andrew Glikson, climate, cooling, interstadial, melting, stadial, Younger Dryas]

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[l] at 5/15/20 11:45am
Tipping points are abrupt climate changes that typically occur as self-reinforcing feedback loops start to kick in. Ten tipping points look set to hit the Arctic hard. Such tipping points can coincide and they are in many ways interrelated, making that the danger is compounded by the domino effect of tipping points hitting one another.

1. El Niño

Above image shows March 2020 temperature anomalies, featuring very high temperature anomalies over Russia and over the ESAS, the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.

Global warming is a catastrophic development and El Niño is global warming on steroids.

As the Atlantic Ocean heats up along the path of the Gulf Stream, huge amounts of hot water get carried toward the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by above image

Current conditions still are El Niño-neutral.  Since the temperature rise is amplified in the Arctic, a strong El Niño later in 2020 can hit the Arctic particularly hard, which can act as a catalyst that triggers further tipping points to get crossed, as also discussed in an earlier post. This can in turn cause a steep global temperature rise, as illustrated by the image on the right.

The image below shows that, on the Northern Hemisphere, the March sea surface temperature anomaly for 2020 was higher than previous years.


2. Latent Heat (Loss of Buffer)

Sea ice hanging meters below the surface has until now consumed huge amounts of ocean heat moving into the Arctic Ocean in Spring on the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, there has been a huge reduction in Arctic sea ice volume over the years.

Moreover, Arctic sea ice is getting very thin. The image below shows a sea ice thickness (in meters) comparison below between April 26, 2015 and April 26, 2020, i.e. forecasts for February 26, run on April 25.

Arctic sea ice volume is now past its annual peak and looks set for a steep fall. Arctic sea ice volume has been at a record low for the time of year since the start of 2020.


Ocean heat is on the rise, particularly on the Northern Hemisphere. As the sea ice is getting thinner, there now is little or no buffer left to consume the influx of ever warmer and salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. As illustrated by the image below, there is a tipping point at 1°C above the 20th century average, i.e. there are indications that a rise of 1°C will result in most of the sea ice underneath the surface to disappear.
[ from earlier post ]

As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface. But there is ever less sea ice volume left to absorb ocean heat, and the amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.


Meanwhile, temperatures keep rising globally and more than 90% of global warming is going into oceans.

3. Loss of Sea Ice Albedo

Disappearance of the sea ice goes hand in hand with albedo changes that mean that a lot more sunlight will be absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, instead of getting reflected back into space as occurred previously.


Arctic sea ice extent was rather large earlier in 2020, but extent on April 26 was only in 2016 smaller than in 2020, and only slightly so.

The annual fall in Arctic sea ice is strongly influenced by weather conditions over the Arctic Ocean, as well as weather conditions over Russia and North America, as discussed in the next point.


4. Loss of Terrestrial Permafrost

Rising heat threatens to have a strong impact across the Arctic. One of the tipping points is abrupt thawing of terrestrial permafrost, resulting in loss of albedo, increased flow of hot water into the Arctic Ocean and mobilization of large amounts of greenhouse gases.

The Rutgers University image on the right shows a strong reduction in Eurasian snow cover in March 2020. 

The albedo changes due to decline of terrestrial permafrost are likely similar in size compared to the changes taking place over over the sea ice.

Furthermore, as the albedo feedback speeds up demise of the permafrost, huge amounts of warm water flow into the Arctic Ocean from rivers and groundwater in Russia and North America, also mobilizing large amounts of carbon and nitrogen, as a recent study indicates.

Emissions across 2.5 million km² of abrupt thaw could provide a similar climate feedback as gradual thaw emissions from the entire 18 million km² permafrost region under the warming projection of Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, a study published in February 2020 finds.

5. Jet Stream Changes

As the temperature difference between the Equator and the North Pole narrows, the Jet Stream gets ever more deformed, resulting in more extreme weather events.


Above image shows Instantaneous Wind Power Density at 250 hPa (Jet Stream) on April 18, 2020, 06:00Z, with wind speed over North Greenland as high as 208 km/h or 129 mph (at green circle).

The image on the right shows the same, but uses a different projection (Northern Hemisphere only).

The Jet Stream is crossing the Arctic Ocean at high speed and circular patterns show up all over the Arctic. Such changes to the jet stream can lead to strong temperature extremes closer to the surface.

On average, Arctic temperature on April 20, 2020, was 5°C or 9°F higher than 1979-2000.

The image on the right is a temperature (air 2m) forecast for April 20, 2020, 21:00 UTC, run that day, showing the temperature in the Arctic to be 5.5°C or 9.9°F higher than 1979-2000. Over parts of the Arctic Ocean, the temperature was more than 20°C or 36°C (red color) higher.

On April 20, 2020, 09:00 UTC, the temperature over parts of the Arctic Ocean was well above 0°C or 32°F, and as high as 2.5°C or 36.5°F at the green circle on the image below.
The situation is dire and threatens to cause early demise of the sea ice and releases of huge amounts of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.


Later in the year, more extreme weather is likely to cause very high temperatures on land in parts of North America, Russia and Greenland, resulting in ever more fresh water entering the Arctic Ocean.

Fresh water has a very low alkalinity or buffering capacity, which reduces the ability of the Arctic Ocean to take up carbon dioxide, a recently-published study finds, which leads to the following point, i.e. loss of carbon sinks.

6. Loss of Carbon Sinks

While the COVID-19 lockdowns have caused emissions to come down, especially emissions associated with transport and industry, greenhouse gas levels still appear to be rising at accelerating pace.


As above image illustrates, the relentless rise in daily average carbon dioxide isn't slowing down, the rise actually appears to be accelerating. The annual peak in carbon dioxide is typically reached in May, so the recent rise can be expected to continue for some time.

More extreme weather is causing stronger droughts, heatwaves and forest fires. This threatens to destroy farmland as well as forests that were carbon sinks until now.

Important is also what happens in oceans. A recent study finds that one particular layer in the North Atlantic Ocean, a water mass called the North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water, is very efficient at drawing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Ocean warming is restricting its formation and changing the anatomy of the North Atlantic, making it a less efficient sink for heat and carbon dioxide.

Indeed, more carbon carbon may already get released from oceans than they can take up from the atmosphere. The Arctic has a pivoting role in this.

7. Seafloor Methane

The image below shows the rise in methane levels at Barrow, Alaska.
Globally, NOAA reports a growth in methane levels of 11.54 parts per billion in 2019, the highest growth rate of the past few years.

The image on the right shows an added trend ominously pointing at a doubling of methane levels by 2026.

A doubling of methane over the next decade would have more warming impact globally than a doubling of carbon dioxide levels.

These are marine surface data; the largest rise in methane has actually taken place at higher altitudes.

The image below shows high methane levels over the Arctic, as well as over Antarctica, with methane levels recorded as high as 2755 ppb.

One explanation for the high levels of methane over Antarctica is that wild pressure and temperature swings are causing cracks to widen and release methane.


While freshwater generally is increasing due to increased melting, the Arctic Ocean can occasionally experience be a huge influx of warm, salty water from the Atlantic Ocean.

Changes to the Jet Stream make that stronger winds push warm water along the path of the Gulf Stream toward the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in a recent post. A recent study finds increasing current velocities in the European Arctic Corridor, an increase, up to two-fold, in North Atlantic current surface velocities over the last 24 years.

Such an influx of warm, salty water could cause another tipping point to get crossed, i.e. the point where temperatures rise at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and start destabilizing methane hydrates. This can occur when ice melts of the hydrate cages, thus causing methane to erupts, causing it to expand 160 times in volume when changing from a liquid to a gas.

As the temperature of the oceans keeps rising, the danger increases that heat will reach the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and will destabilize hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor, resulting in abrupt eruption of vast amounts of methane that further speed up Arctic warming.


8. Nitrous Oxide and Ozone Layer Decline

The image below shows levels of nitrous oxide as high as 354 ppb on April 6, 2020, with very high levels over Antarctica.


One explanation for the high levels of nitrous oxide could evolve around the presence of some very cold areas at the poles. Again, more extreme weather events, including wild temperature and pressure swings, could be behind this. Similarly, this could also be behind ozone depletion in the stratosphere.

The Arctic is particularly vulnerable to a rapid temperature rise. Greenhouse gas levels are already very high over the Arctic. At the same time, hydroxyl levels are low over the Arctic, increasing the lifetime of methane over the Arctic. Furthermore, changes in aerosols can have a strong impact on Arctic temperatures. Black carbon settling on snow and ice hits the Arctic hard, as it is speeding up warming.

Without the dimming impact of other aerosols, the Arctic would have heated up even more in March 2020 is. Dust and sulfate currently mask much of the impact that high levels of greenhouse gas levels have over the Arctic.

9. Aerosols and Falling away of the Aerosol Masking Effect

According to IPCC AR5, dust has a direct impact of -0.1 W/m², while additionally contributing to aerosol–cloud interactions. When taking into account a 0.15 W/m² warming impact found to be caused by coarse dust, dust may well cause net warming, which is the more important since dust is likely to increase due to more fires, stronger winds and further desertification.

[ Dust, from the Aerosols page ] [ click on images to enlarge ] Above image shows that τ, i.e. light at 550 nm as a measurement of aerosol optical thickness due to dust aerosols, was as high as 8.9534 on March 28, 2020, at 07:00 UTC. The image also shows that quite a lot of dust ends up over the Arctic.

Globally, sulfur has an even larger impact. The image on the right shows sulfur dioxide emissions over Wuhan, China, reaching peak levels of 2745.54 µg/m³ on April 19, 2020 (top), 3572.28 µg/m³ on April 04, 2019(middle) and 3410.96 µg/m³ on April 27, 2018 (bottom).

As a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns, traffic and large parts of industrial activity have ground to a halt worldwide. Nonetheless, sulfur emissions can still be high, while ship tracks are clearly visible on the top image. The impact of shipping alone is huge, as discussed in a recent post.

Most sulfur emissions are originating from coal-fired power plants, shipping and smelters, which until now appear not to have slowed down much.

Consequently, sulfate aerosol levels can still be high, as illustrated by the image below which shows that τ, i.e. light at 550 nm as a measurement of aerosol optical thickness due to sulfate aerosols, was as high as 5.233 on April 29, 2020, at 07:00 UTC.


[ Radiative Forcing, IPCC, from the Aerosols page ]
According to the IPCC AR5 (image on the right), the direct cooling impact of sulfate aerosols is as much as -0.62 W/m². Additionally, sulfate aerosols strongly contribute to the impact of aerosol–cloud interactions, estimated in AR5 to provide as much as -1.2 W/m² cooling. Taken together, the two add up to as much as -1.82 W/m² of cooling.

As said, sulfate currently has a strong cooling impact on the Arctic, as above image shows. Reductions in the aerosol masking effect could make temperatures in the Arctic and globally  rise abruptly and dramatically.

A steep rise in temperature is in line with unfolding developments that are causing the aerosol masking effect to fall away, such as a decrease in industrial activity due to COVID-19 fears. The danger is illustrated by the image below. The image below shows a potential rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.


Above image was posted more than a year ago and illustrates that much of this potentially huge temperature rise over the next few years could eventuate as a result of a reduction in the cooling now provided by sulfate. In other words, a steep temperature rise could result from a decline in industrial activity caused by the virus, as also discussed in the video at an earlier post.

Furthermore, above image also shows strong warming due to black carbon and brown carbon. Indeed, the virus could cause not only a decline in the use of fossil fuel for smelters, transport and energy, including for heating, cooking and lighting. That would be great, since there are cleaner alternatives, but when many people instead switched to burning biomass in woodburners (stoves, heaters and fireplaces, for heating, preparing food and boiling water) and in open fires, while also burning more forests to create more pasture for grazing, and while burning more waste in the absence of appropriate waste management, the net warming (due to increased black carbon and brown carbon) could be a lot higher, especially when combined with a strong increase in forest fires.

10. Collapse of Biosystems and further Tipping Points

Rising temperatures are causing more extreme weather events and are changing the Jet Stream, which further contributes to more extreme weather.

[ from earlier post ] In the past, Earth's climate zones used to be kept well apart by the Jet Streams. On the Northern Hemisphere, the Northern Polar Jet Stream used to be working hard to keep the Tundra and Boreal climate zones' colder air in the North separate from the Temperate climate and the Subtropical climate zones' warmer air closer to the Equator. This has now changed. More generally, rising temperatures and changes to the Jet Streams are threatening Earth's climate zones to collapse, in turn resulting in biosystems collapse.
As said, more extreme weather is causing stronger droughts, heatwaves and forest fires. This threatens to destroy farmland as well as forests that were carbon sinks until now. The Boreal forests in Siberia and North America and the tundra within the Arctic Circle are particularly vulnerable, but also under threat are the peat fields and forests in Africa and South-east Asia and South America. Forest fires in Australia earlier this year will also have contributed to higher carbon dioxide levels. Links between extreme weather events over the permafrost and methane releases, earthquakes and sudden stratospheric warming were discussed in a recent post.

Further tipping points can exist outside of the Arctic, such as hydrological changes, in particular changes to the monsoons in India and Africa, and rapid melting of the snow and ice cover of mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, which could temporarily cause flooding and eventually drought, famine, heatwaves and mass starvation, further exacerbated by worldwide crop failure, loss of species and entire biosystems, and by collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets causing flooding of coastal areas around the globe.

For more on collapse of biosystems, loss of habitat for many species (including humans) and more, view the video below by Guy McPherson.


Again, the emissions and temperature rises associated with such further tipping points will hit the Arctic particularly hard, given the amplification of the global temperature rise in the Arctic.

Conclusions, further reflections on methane

How important are these points? How much harm could result from, say, seafloor methane releases? Well, such releases can speed up the temperature rise rapidly and dramatically. How fast? In a matter of years. How much? Have another look at the image below, from an earlier post, showing the global warming potential (GWP) of methane.

Why is methane's GWP so important? The trend in above image shows that, over the first few years after its release, methane's GWP is 150 times higher than carbon dioxide. This trend is based on IPCC AR5 figures and is actually conservative, i.e. the IPCC also gives higher values for methane's GWP in AR5, i.e. for fossil methane and when including climate change feedbacks, while there also is additional warming due to the carbon dioxide that results from methane's oxidation. Furthermore, new research has calculated that methane's radiative forcing is higher than reported in IPCC AR5, so methane's GWP will be over 150 for a longer period than just over the first few years.

The trend in the image indicates that methane's GWP over a period of 12.4 years is 100. The IPCC in AR5 gives methane a lifetime of 12.4 years, i.e. the methane in the atmosphere gets broken down in 12.4 years time. Importantly, the methane gets more than replenished, since the overall methane burden keeps rising. In other words, a GWP of 100 applies to all methane in the atmosphere, i.e. the existing burden + new releases that (more than) replenish what gets broken down.

The trend points at a GWP of 150 over the first few years. Given that, as said above, the trend in the image is conservative, methane may well have a GWP of 150 over a period of 5⅔ years, i.e. the time between now and 2026.

When using a GWP of 150 for methane over 5⅔ years, the joint burden of the carbon dioxide and the methane now present in the atmosphere is about 700 ppm CO₂e. When adding a seafloor methane release of twice the size of the methane that's already in the atmosphere and when again using a GWP of 150 for methane over 5⅔ years, such a methane release would be enough to trigger the clouds feedback by 2026, which on its own could raise the global temperature by 8°C in 2026.

Keep in mind that, next to seafloor methane, there are further elements that also contribute to the temperature rise, so the clouds feedback could be triggered with far less methane. In total, a rise of 18°C could eventuate by 2026, as illustrated by the image below and as discussed in an earlier post.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.

Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• NOAA Trends in Atmospheric Methane
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4

• Eurasian Snow Cover Anomalies, 1967-2020 March, Rutgers University
https://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=eurasia&ui_month=3

• Carbon release through abrupt permafrost thaw - by Merritt Turetsky et al.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0526-0

• Groundwater as a major source of dissolved organic matter to Arctic coastal waters - by Craig Connolly et al. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15250-8

• A recent decline in North Atlantic subtropical mode water formation - by Samuel Stevens et al.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0722-3

• Freshening of the western Arctic negates anthropogenic carbon uptake potential - by Ryan Woosley
https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lno.11421

• Why stronger winds over the North Atlantic are so dangerous
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-stronger-winds-over-north-atlantic-are-so-dangerous.html

• Faster Atlantic currents drive poleward expansion of temperate phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean - by L. Oziel et al. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15485-5

• What's wrong with the weather?
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/07/whats-wrong-with-the-weather.html

• Aerosols
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/aerosols.html

• Climate models miss most of the coarse dust in the atmosphere - by Adeyemi Adebiyi et al.
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/15/eaaz9507

• Arctic Ocean February 2020
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/arctic-ocean-february-2020.html

• 2°C crossed
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/03/2c-crossed.html

• Blue Ocean Event
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2018/09/blue-ocean-event.html

• 2020 El Nino could start 18°C temperature rise
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/2020-el-nino-could-start-18-degree-temperature-rise.html

• Stronger Extinction Alert
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/03/stronger-extinction-alert.html

• Methane, Earthquake and Sudden Stratospheric Warming
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/03/methane-earthquake-and-sudden-stratospheric-warming.html

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, ocean, sea ice, tipping points]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 5/15/20 11:11am
WORLD GOVERNMENTS MUST LEARN CORONAVIRUS EMISSIONS SHUTDOWN
AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE - by Albert Kallio

Global Circulation Models (GCMs) are computer models of the world's atmosphere based on observations and assumptions if there are no direct information available.

World emissions shutdowns are a novel opportunity to learn about how climate system responds under different circumstances that cannot be normally experimentally checked. It is vitally important for the world's governments NOT to shut down meteorological measurements. Indeed, efforts must increase to use opportunity to test and search regional responses of the highly unusual situation.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and national meteorological organisations must quickly come up with new research proposals to gain every possible bit of information as this helps to understand how world's climate will respond as the world moves towards ZERO emissions. It is a tremendous tragedy if this unique opportunity to find more about how our atmosphere operates is lost.

Sponsors, please look at serious proposals to make research offers right now! Let's make something positive happen out of this coronavirus calamity.


Veli Albert Kallio
Vice President, Sea Research Society
Environmental Affairs Department
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Research_Society

[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: COVID-19, observations, shutdown, Veli Albert Kallio, WMO]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 5/15/20 10:35am
Temperatures in April 2020 were very high. The image below shows very high temperature anomalies over the Arctic.


The image below shows that the April ocean temperature anomaly in the Gulf of Mexico in 2020 was 1.71°C or 3.08°F higher than the 1910-2000 average, and the highest on record.


The high ocean temperature in the Gulf of Mexico are very worrying, as the Gulf Stream carries hot water along the path of the Gulf Stream toward the Arctic Ocean.

As the image below shows, the April ocean temperature anomaly on the Northern Hemisphere in 2020 was 0.97°C or 1.75°F higher than the 20th century average, and the highest on record.


An earlier analysis indicates that there is a tipping point at 1°C at which the sea ice underneath the surface of the Arctic Ocean disappears, which means that there will be little or no buffer left to consume the influx of ever warmer and salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface. But there is ever less sea ice volume left to absorb ocean heat, and the amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.


Meanwhile, temperatures keep rising globally and more than 90% of global warming is going into oceans.

As the temperature of the oceans keeps rising, the danger increases that heat will reach the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and will destabilize hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor, resulting in huge releases of methane.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• Why stronger winds over the North Atlantic are so dangerous
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-stronger-winds-over-north-atlantic-are-so-dangerous.html

• Critical Tipping Point Crossed In July 2019
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/09/critical-tipping-point-crossed-in-july-2019.html







[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: April 2020, Arctic, ocean, rise, temperature]

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[l] at 5/4/20 10:01am

On the morning of March 12, 2020, peak methane levels were as high as 2902 ppb (parts per billion) at a pressure level of 469 mb (millibar, equivalent to an altitude of some 6 km (almost 20,000 feet).

What did cause this very high peak? The image on the right shows the situation at 695 mb.

High levels of methane, colored in magenta, show up over the oceans at high latitudes north, especially around Greenland and around Svalbard.

The image underneath on the right shows methane even closer to sea level, at 1000 mb. At this altitude, such magenta-colored high levels of methane only show up over an area in between Greenland and Svalbard.

It appears that these high methane levels did originate from this area. What could have triggered this?

The image below shows that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 on the Richter scale hit an area in between Greenland and Svalbard on March 11, 2020, at  21:30:03 (UTC) , 2020, at depth of 10 km.


It appears that the earthquake did cause destabilization of sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean in between Greenland and Svalbard, containing methane in the form of hydrates and free gas, with the destabilization resulting in the eruption of methane that subsequently reached the atmosphere.

As illustrated by the image on the right, there were strong differences in pressure in the atmosphere over Greenland on the one hand and over the Arctic Ocean on the other hand, on March 11, 2020, 21:00 UTC.

The next question is if there was something that triggered the earthquake. The image below shows a forecast for March 22, 2020, of conditions in the stratosphere at 10 hPa.


Above image shows a forecast for March 22, 2020, of temperatures as high as 6.2°C or 43.2°F and as low as -68.8°C or -91.9°F at another location at 10 hPa (Polar Vortex), with wind reaching speeds as high as 369 km/h or 229 mph.

The image on the right shows a huge temperature difference between two locations in the stratosphere on March 23, 2020, resulting in wind reaching speeds as high as 341 km/h or 212 mph.

This indicates a strong updraft, carrying huge amounts of relatively warm air from low altitudes over the Arctic up into the stratosphere.

Following a steep fall, Arctic sea ice extent was at a record low for the time of year on March 28, 2020, as illustrated by the image below.
Since the start of 2020, Arctic sea ice volume has been at a record low for the time of year, as the image on the right shows.

These conditions may have acted as a sink plunger, triggering the earthquake and destabilizing sediments at the seafloor, resulting in the methane eruptions.

More generally, the events reflect a huge and growing overall imbalance in the temperature of the atmosphere, and the added methane releases further contribute to this imbalance.

Meanwhile, sea surface temperatures off the coast of North America on March 21, 2020, were as much as 13.2°C or 23.7°F higher than 1981-2011 (at the green circle on the image on the right).

With sea ice thickness this low, it looks like there will be no buffer left to consume ocean heat that gets carried along the path of the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean, which threatens to further destabilize sediments containing huge amounts of methane, as also discussed in an earlier post.

On top of this, high temperatures keep showing up over the Arctic Ocean in forecasts, as illustrated by the two forecasts below (for March 21, 2020, and for March 31, 2020).

Temperature anomaly forecast for March 21, 2020 Temperature anomaly forecast for March 31, 2020
Discussion


As said above, it appears that this M4.6 earthquake on March 11, 2020, caused destabilization of sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean in between Greenland and Svalbard.

The image on the right shows that earlier, a M5 earthquake hit an area a bit to the north, i.e. on March 3, 2020.

While not much methane showed up locally following that M5 earthquake, high methane readings were recorded elsewhere over large parts of the Arctic Ocean early March 2020, which could have resulted from destabilization along the fault line that crosses the Arctic Ocean (red line).

The next image on the right shows that earthquakes between Greenland and Svalbard over the past decade did predominantly occur on this fault line.

The high methane readings in between Greenland and Svalbard following the M4.6 earthquake could have occurred for the very reason that this earthquake hit an area outside the fault line, where sediments had until now rarely been shaken.

This could imply there could be huge amounts of methane contained in areas outside the fault line, supporting the above warning that ocean heat that gets carried along the path of the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean threatens to further destabilize sediments containing huge amounts of methane. After all, such destabilization can occur as a result of higher temperatures or changes in pressure, or both.

Update

South Greenland was hit by M4.3 and M4.5 earthquakes on April 17, 2020. North Greenland was earlier hit by a M4.6 earthquake, on March 30, 2020.


Earthquakes that hit the Greenland mainland are rare. Earthquakes typically take place on or close to the faultline (red line) that goes over Iceland and extends north, running in between Greenland and Svalbard, as was the case with the M4.2 east of Greenland on April 2, 2020.

This faultline runs across the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean all the way to Russia. Multiple earthquakes hit this faultline recently, including two M4.3 eartquakes, one east of Severnaya Zemlya on April 12, 2020, and one near Tiksi on March 27, 2020.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Arctic Ocean January 2020
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/arctic-ocean-february-2020.html

• Seismic Events
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/seismic-events.html

• Arctic Ocean February 2020
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/arctic-ocean-february-2020.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, earthquake, methane, ocean, Sudden Stratospheric Warming]

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[l] at 5/4/20 9:19am

It's time to stop denying how precarious the situation is.

Remember the Paris Agreement? In 2015, politicians pledged to hold the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pledged they would try and limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Well, an analysis by Sam Carana shows that it was already more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial when the Paris Agreement was reached.

In Sam Carana's analysis, the year 1750 is used as the baseline for pre-industrial. The analysis shows that we meanwhile have also crossed the 2°C threshold (in February 2020) and that the temperature rise looks set to rapidly drive humans and eventually most if not all species on Earth into extinction.

Yet, our politicians refuse to act!

Accelerating temperature rise

Indeed, there are indications that the recent rise is part of a trend that points at even higher temperatures in the near future, as also discussed at this analysis page. Polynomial trends can highlight such acceleration better than linear trends. The 1970-2030 polynomial trend in the image below is calculated over the period from 1880 through to February 2020. The trend points at 3°C getting crossed in 2026.


In above image, the January 2020 and February 2020 anomalies are above the trend. This indicates that the situation might be even worse.

A polynomial trend calculated over a shorter period can highlight short-term variation such as associated with El Niño events and can highlight feedbacks that might otherwise be overlooked. The 2010-2022 trend in the image below is calculated with 2009-Feb.2020 data. The trend indicates that 2°C was crossed in February 2020, and looks set to keep rising and cross 3°C in 2021, more specifically in January next year, which is less than a year away.


Such a steep rise is in line with unfolding developments that are causing the aerosol masking effect to fall away, such as a decrease in industrial activity due to COVID-19 fears. The image below shows a potential rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.


Above image was posted more than a year ago and illustrates that much of this potentially huge temperature rise over the next few years could eventuate as a result of a reduction in the cooling now provided by sulfates. In other words, a steep temperature rise could result from a decline in industrial activity that is caused by fears about the spread of a contagious virus, as also discussed in the video at an earlier post.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Analysis: Crossing the Paris Agreement thresholds
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/crossing.html

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/02/a-rise-of-18c-or-324f-by-2026.html

• How much warming have humans caused?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/how-much-warming-have-humans-caused.html

• Arctic Ocean January 2020
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/arctic-ocean-february-2020.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html


In the video below, Guy McPherson discusses the situation.



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: 2C, 2°C, aerosols, COVID-19, crossed, Guy McPherson, Paris Agreement, rise, temperature, threshold]

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[l] at 5/4/20 8:28am
On May 3, 2020, NOAA recorded a daily average carbon dioxide (CO₂) level of 418.12 ppm at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

The image below shows hourly average CO₂ levels above 419 ppm at Mauna Loa in May 2020.
The image below shows hourly (red circles) and daily (yellow circles) averaged CO₂ values from Mauna Loa, Hawaii for the last 31 days.


By comparison, the highest daily average CO₂ level recorded by NOAA in 2019 at Mauna Loa was 415.64 ppm, as discussed in an earlier post. The image below shows how CO₂ growth has increased over the decades.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• Climate Plan (June 1, 2019 version)
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/climate-plan.html

• Greenhouse Gas Levels Keep Accelerating
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/05/greenhouse-gas-levels-keep-accelerating.html





[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: carbon dioxide, CO₂]

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[l] at 4/19/20 1:11pm

On February 20, 2020, 09Z, surface temperature anomalies reached both ends of the scale over North America, while the Arctic was 3.7°C or 6.7°F warmer than in 1979-2000. On that day, the average 2 m temperature anomaly for the Arctic was 3.5°C or 6.3°F.


These high temperature anomalies at 2 meters in the left panel go hand in hand with the wind patterns at 250 hPa (jet stream) as shown in the center panel and the wind patterns at 10 meters shown in the right panel. Closer to sea level, circular winds around low pressure areas bring warm air into the Arctic, from Russia and from the Pacific Ocean.


Above image shows winds at 250 hPa (jet stream) with speeds as high as 317 km/h or 197 mph (green circle) in the left panel, while the right panel shows circular winds at 850 hPa reaching speeds as high as 176 km/h or 109 mph (green circle).

These wind patterns have caused much warm air to enter the Arctic, while relatively little cold air has moved out of the Arctic. Furthermore, stronger winds cool the sea surface. As a result, Arctic sea ice extent on February 24, 2020, was 14.1 million km², slightly more than the 2010s average of 14 million km².


Arctic sea ice, however, is very thin. Stronger winds can also accelerate the speed at which ever warmer water is flowing into the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean, as discussed in a previous post. The overall result is that sea ice volume is at a record low for the time of the year.


This is further illustrated by the sea ice thickness (in meters) comparison below between February 28, 2015 and February 28, 2020, i.e. forecasts for February 28, run on February 27.



Rise in greenhouse gas levels is accelerating

Temperatures are rising at ever faster speed as the rise in greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere is accelerating. As illustrated by the image below, the daily average CO₂ level at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, was 416.08 ppm on February 10, 2020, higher than it has been for millions of years. Since the annual peak is typically reached in May, even higher levels can be expected soon.


From the way emissions are rising now, it looks like we could soon reach even higher CO₂e forcing than during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) mass extinction event, some 55.5 million years ago, as discussed in a previous post. Very worrying also is the recent rise in methane levels recorded at Barrow, Alaska, as illustrated by the image below.


The buffer is gone

As the sea ice is getting thinner, there is little or no buffer left to consume the influx of ever warmer and salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. As illustrated by the image below, there is a tipping point at 1°C above the 20th century average, i.e. there are indications that a rise of 1°C will result in most of the sea ice underneath the surface to disappear.

[ from earlier post ] As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface. But there is ever less sea ice volume left to absorb ocean heat, and the amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.


Meanwhile, temperatures keep rising globally and more than 90% of global warming is going into oceans.


As the temperature of the oceans keeps rising, the danger increases that heat will reach the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and will destabilize hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor, resulting in huge releases of methane.


Are humans functionally extinct?

For more background as to when temperatures
could cross 2°C, see also this discussion on trends 
Species can be regarded to be ‘functionally extinct’ when their numbers have declined below levels needed for them to reproduce healthy offspring. This can occur due to causes such as loss of habitat and disappearance of other species that they depend on.

Species can also be declared to be ‘functionally extinct’ when they are threatened to be wiped out by a catastrophe that appears to be both imminent and inescapable, which would cause their numbers to dwindle below a critical threshold required for survival of the species.

Rising temperatures now threaten most, if not all, species to go extinct in a matter of years. In 2020, the global temperature rise could cross the critical guardrail of 2°C above preindustrial that politicians at the Paris Agreement promised would not be crossed. In fact, they pledged to take efforts to avoid a 1.5°C rise. Their failure to do so constitutes a de facto declaration that humans are now functionally extinct and that the looming temperature rise will drive most, if not all species on Earth into extinction.

See also the 2015 post :  WARNING -  Planetary Omnicide between 2023 and 2031 Dire Situation

The situation is dire, in many respects. Current laws punish people for the most trivial things, while leaving the largest crime one can imagine unpunished: planetary omnicide!

In the video below, Guy McPherson warns that a rapid decline in industrial activity could result in an abrupt rise in temperature of 1°C, as much of the aerosol masking effect falls away.


The dire situation calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.

P.S. Don't forget to vote!

One of the most important things one can do to change things is to vote, e.g. in the U.S., vote for Bernie Sanders and the Green New Deal!

Fossil fuel and control over its supply is behind much of the conflict, violence and pollution that has infested the world for more than a century.

Instead of using fossil fuel, the world must rapidly transition to the use of wind turbines, geothermal power, solar power, wave power, and similar clean and renewable ways to generate energy.

The transition to clean, renewable energy removes much cause for conflict, since it is available locally around the world and its use in one place doesn't exclude use of clean, renewable energy elsewhere.

The transition to clean, renewable energy will provide greater energy security and reliability, besides its numerous further benefits, e.g. it will make more land and water available for growing food and it will give us more jobs, better health, and a cleaner environment. And, because it's more economic, the transition to clean, renewable energy will pay for itself as we go.

Bernie Sanders calls for a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy as part of the Green New Deal.

Please share this message, vote for Bernie Sanders and support the GND!




Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• Why stronger winds over the North Atlantic are so dangerous
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-stronger-winds-over-north-atlantic-are-so-dangerous.html

• Critical Tipping Point Crossed In July 2019
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/09/critical-tipping-point-crossed-in-july-2019.html

• Could Humans Go Extinct Within Years?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/01/could-humans-go-extinct-within-years.html

• January 2020 Temperature Anomaly
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/02/january-2020-temperature-anomaly.html


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, carbon dioxide, current, Guy McPherson, heat, ice, methane, ocean, rise, rising, sea, temperature, wind]

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[l] at 4/19/20 12:39pm

Above image shows NOAA Land+Ocean monthly temperature anomalies from the 20th century average. A trend has been added, based on the Jan.1880-Jan.2020 data. The trend shows that data in the early 1900s were some 0.28°C below the 20th century average.

Adjustment

When using a 1750 baseline, the data need to be adjusted even more than that 0.28°C, since it was even colder in 1750. The total baseline adjustment may well be 0.58°C, as discussed in an earlier post. Furthermore, ocean data in above image are sea surface temperatures. To reflect air temperatures, a further 0.1°C adjustment is applied. Finally, an extra 0.1°C adjustment is applied to reflect higher polar temperatures (as opposed to leaving out missing data). Altogether, this adds up to a 0.78°C adjustment, which implies that the temperature in January 2020 was 1.92°C above pre-industrial.

Which trend is most applicable?

How much and how fast could temperatures keep rising? That question looks even more important than this 0.78°C adjustment. Indeed, the trend added to even the unadjusted data (in above image) points at temperatures crossing 2°C average by 2026.

The image below shows a blue trend, similar to the trend in above image. In the image below, this blue trend points at temperatures crossing 3°C above pre-industrial by 2026.


As discussed in an earlier post, a 3°C temperature rise may well drive humans into extinction, while the rise could continue to exterminate all life on Earth.

As the image shows, the January 2020 anomaly is well above the blue trend. As discussed in an earlier post, a 2020 El Niño could be the catalyst to trigger feedbacks, including huge methane releases from the Arctic Ocean seafloor. While these feedbacks are already active in many ways, a 2020 El Niño could make them start kicking in much more strongly.

A short-term trend (in red) has therefore been added as well, to illustrate El Niño/La Niña variability and to highlight this danger. Ominously, the January 2020 anomaly is above this red trend as well. This is even more the case when the same analysis is done with NASA data, which produces similar results while the January 2020 adjusted temperature anomaly gets even higher, i.e. 1.96°C above pre-industrial.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html

• 2020 El Nino could start 18°C temperature rise
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/2020-el-nino-could-start-18-degree-temperature-rise.html

• How Much Warming Have Humans Caused?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/how-much-warming-have-humans-caused.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: anomaly, rise, temperature]

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[l] at 4/19/20 11:43am
The image below shows high temperatures over Antarctica. News reports show that temperatures as high as 18.3°C or 65°F were recently recorded on Antarctica. The image also shows high temperatures for the time of year over the North Atlantic, with strong winds along the path of the Gulf Stream.

Wind and temperature on February 8, 2020 at 18:00 UTC, near sea level (~100m, at 1000hPa) The image below shows that wind speeds as high as 430 km/h or 267 miles per hour (mph) were recorded (at 250 hPa, jet stream, at green circle).

Wind on February 8, 2020 at 18:00 UTC, at 250 hPa (jet stream) Above image also shows that Instantaneous Wind Power Density at the time was as high as 330.1 kW/m² (at the green circle). This is almost as strong as the wind was in 2015. Then, the Jet Stream at a nearby location reached a similar speed while Instantaneous Wind Power Density was slightly higher, at 338.3 kW/m².

So, why are stronger winds over the North Atlantic so dangerous?


Emissions by people heat up the air, which heats up oceans and makes winds stronger, in turn speeding up global ocean currents.

A recent study found increased kinetic energy in about 76% of the upper 2,000 meters of global oceans, as a result of intensification of surface winds since the 1990s.

As oceans heat up, more water evaporates from the sea surface. This evaporation will cool the sea surface somewhat, thus making that the sea surface can be colder that the water underneath the sea surface. Some of the water vapor will return to the ocean in the form of precipitation, but for each degree Celsius of warming, the atmosphere will hold 7% more water vapor, so much of the water vapor will remain in the atmosphere.

More water vapor in the atmosphere will further speed up global heating, since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas.

Much of the water vapor will also get blown further along the path of the Gulf Stream in the direction toward the Arctic before precipitating, thus contributing - along with meltwater - to the formation of a cold freshwater lid at the surface of the ocean.

Stronger winds along the path of the Gulf Stream can make huge amounts of warm, salty water travel underneath this cold freshwater lid toward the Arctic, pushing up temperatures and salinity levels at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean and threatening to destabilize methane hydrates that are contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

In summary, stronger winds can trigger huge eruptions of methane. Another recent study found that Arctic permafrost thaw plays a greater role in climate change than previously estimated. All this should be reason to take strong action to reduce this danger.

Emissions keep rising

Sadly, emissions show no sign of decline. The daily average CO₂ level at Mauna Loa, Hawaii was 416.08 ppm on February 10, 2020, higher than it has been for millions of years.


Since the annual peak is typically reached in May, even higher levels can be expected soon.


During the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), about 55.5 million years ago, massive amounts of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere. The period lasted for some 200,000 years and global temperatures increased by 5–8°C. From the way emissions are rising now, it looks like we could reach even higher CO₂e forcing soon.


Indeed, the situation at Barrow, Alaska, doesn't look better, as illustrated by the image below, showing CO₂ levels up to February 13, 2020.


Very worrying is the rise in methane levels, as illustrated by the image below.


The image below shows methane levels at Barrow, Alaska, up to February 13, 2020.


High methane levels were recorded over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) by the MetOp-2 satellite on February 10 & 11, 2020, pm at 469 mb.


In the video below, recorded January 3, 2020, Guy McPherson and Josef Lauber discuss the track we're on.


Below is a video of an earlier discussion (February 25, 2019) between Guy McPherson and Josef Lauber.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• News release: Global ocean circulation is accelerating from the surface to the abyss
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-02/aaft-goc020320.php

• Deep-reaching acceleration of global mean ocean circulation over the past two decades - by Shijian Hu et al.
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/6/eaax7727

• Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated
https://www.colorado.edu/today/2020/02/03/arctic-permafrost-thaw-plays-greater-role-climate-change-previously-estimated

• The Arctic’s thawing ground is releasing a shocking amount of dangerous gases
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/02/arctic-thawing-ground-releasing-shocking-amount-dangerous-gases

• Carbon release through abrupt permafrost thaw - by Merritt Turetsky et al.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0526-0

• NOAA Global CH4 Monthly Means
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Arctic, emissions, heat, jet stream, methane, ocean, wind]

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[l] at 4/19/20 11:00am

Above image depicts how humans could go extinct within years. The image was created with NASA LOTI 1880-Dec.2019 data, 0.78°C adjusted to reflect ocean air temperatures (as opposed to sea surface temperatures), to reflect higher polar temperature anomalies (as opposed to leaving out 'missing' data) and to reflect a 1750 baseline (as opposed to a 1951-1980 baseline), with two trends added. Blue: a long-term trend based on Jan.1880-Dec.2019 data. Red: a short-term trend, based on Jan.2009-Dec.2019 data, to illustrate El Niño/La Niña variability and how El Niño could be the catalyst to trigger huge methane releases from the Arctic Ocean. This updates an earlier post with more detail on how the image was created.

The image below shows El Niño/La Niña variability going back to 1950, added to the NOAA monthly temperature anomaly.
[ click on images to enlarge ]
The image on the right shows how ocean heat has increased over the years (from: from the paper Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019, by Lijing Chang et al.).

Ocean heat is increasing rapidly, especially on the Northern Hemisphere, as illustrated by the NOAA image below, showing the rise from 1980 through 2019.

The image underneath uses the same data and has a trend added pointing at a 1.5°C anomaly from the 20th century average by the year 2026.

As discussed in an earlier point, there is a tipping point at 1°C above the 20th century average, i.e. there are indications that a rise of 1°C will result in most of the sea ice underneath the surface to disappear. This sea ice used to consume the inflow of warm, salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. So, while there may still be sea ice left at the surface, the latent heat buffer will be gone.
[ click on images to enlarge ] Loss of the latent heat buffer speeds up heating of the Arctic Ocean, with the danger that huge amounts of methane will be released from the seafloor. The image below illustrates the danger, showing that peak methane levels as high as 2670 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded by the MetOp-1 satellite on January 2, 2020 pm at 469 mb.



Most worryingly, above image shows a large almost-solidly magenta-colored area blanketing the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), with magenta indicating levels above 1950 ppb. Such satellite measurements indicate that large amounts of methane are erupting from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.


Above image shows that, a few years ago, methane was accumulating most strongly at an altitude corresponding to a pressure of some 400 mb. More recently, methane has been accumulating most strongly at higher altitudes, corresponding to a pressure of just under 300 mb, which is the upper limit of the troposphere over the North Pole. Methane tends to follow the Tropopause, i.e. at higher altitudes methane will be present in higher concentrations closer to the Equator, where the troposphere extends further into space, as discussed in an earlier post.

The NOAA graph below indicates that methane levels are growing at over 10 parts per billion per year, and this may actually underestimate global methane concentrations. The graph uses land-based measurements taken at sea level that can miss methane rising from the seafloor, especially from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, since there are few measuring stations in the Arctic in the first place. Land-based measurements can additionally overlook methane that is moving along the Tropopause from the Arctic toward the Equator.

Ominously, the image below shows high methane levels at Barrow, Alaska, at the end of January 2020.


Rising CO₂ levels are also worrying. A daily average CO₂ level of 415.79 ppm was recorded by NOAA at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, on January 21, 2020, a level that is unprecedented for millions of years. Since an annual peak is typically reached in May, we can expect even higher levels over the coming months.


It's not just at Mauna Loa that such high CO₂ readings were recorded recently. The image below shows CO₂ levels recorded recent;y at Barrow, Alaska.


Fires in Australia have contributed to these high CO₂ levels. The image below shows smoke plumes from fires in Australia on January 4, 2020.


Such fires can generate huge amounts of smoke, with smoke rising up high in the atmosphere and entering the stratosphere, while circumnavigating Earth. The ferocity of these fires is also shown in the NASA video below.


In the video below, Guy McPherson gives examples of species that went extinct rapidly.


Meanwhile, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the Doomsday Clock closer to Midnight, to 100 seconds to Midnight, adding that Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge. Faced with a daunting threat landscape and a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board moved the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight—closer to apocalypse than ever. 

The image below, created with thebulletin.org content and data from 1991 to 2020, has a linear trend added that points at Midnight by 2022.


The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Extinction in 2020?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/12/extinction-in-2020.html

• NOAA Global Climate Report - Annual 2019 - Monthly temperature anomalies versus El Niño
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201913/supplemental/page-2

• Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019 - by Lijing Chang et al.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00376-020-9283-7

• 2020 El Nino could start 18°C temperature rise
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/2020-el-nino-could-start-18-degree-temperature-rise.html

• Near-Term Human Extinction
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-term-human-extinction.html

• NOAA Global CH4 Monthly Means
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4

• Methane Erupting From Arctic Ocean Seafloor
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/03/methane-erupting-from-arctic-ocean-seafloor.html

• NASA: Global Transport of Smoke from Australian Bushfires
https://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/research/science_snapshots/2020/Australia_fires_smoke.php

• NASA: Global Transport of Australian Bushfire Smoke
https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/202/global-transport-of-australian-bushfire-smoke

• Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/past-statements/

• Doomsday by 2021?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2018/11/doomsday-by-2021.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: El Niño, global, heating, methane, near term human extinction, rise, SST, temperature, tipping point, warming]

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[l] at 4/19/20 10:21am
by Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University
Global warming and its disastrous consequences are now truly with us since the second part of 2019. At the moment a change in the weather has given parts of the country a respite from the raging fires, some of which are still burning or smoldering, waiting for another warm spell to flare up. The danger zones include the Australian Capital Territory, from where these lines are written. To date, 18.6 million hectares (186,000 square kilometers) were burnt, including native forests, native animals, homesteads and towns, and 24 people died. The firestorms betray harbingers of a planetary future, or a lack of such, under ever rising temperatures and extreme weather events inherent in fossil fuel driven global warming.

Global heating

As the atmospheric concentration of the well-mixed greenhouse gases rise (CO₂ >411.76 ppm; CH₄ >1870.5 ppb; N₂O >333 ppb plus trace greenhouse gases) land temperatures soar (NASA global sea-land mean of 1.05°C since 1880). According to Berkeley Earth global land temperatures have increased by 1.5C over the past 250 years and mean Arctic temperatures have risen by 2.5°C to 3.0°C between 1900 and 2017. According to NASA :
  1. “Extreme heatwaves will become widespread at 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. Most land regions will see more hot days, especially in the tropics.
  2. At 1.5°C about 14 percent of Earth’s population will be exposed to severe heatwaves at least once every five years, while at 2 degrees Celsius warming that number jumps to 37 percent.”
  3. “Risks from forest fires, extreme weather events and invasive species are higher at 2 degrees warming than at 1.5 degrees warming.”
  4. “Ocean warming, acidification and more intense storms will cause coral reefs to decline by 70 to 90 percent at 1.5 degrees Celsius warming, becoming all but non-existent at 2 degrees warming.”
Figure 1. The distribution of global fires. NASA.
However, bar the transient masking effects of sulphur aerosols, which according to estimates by Hansen et al. (2011) induce more than 1.0°C of cooling, global temperatures have already reached near 2.0°C (by analogy to the requirement for a patient’s body temperature to be measured before and not after aspirin has been taken). As aerosols are not homogeneously distributed, in some parts of the world temperatures have already soared to such levels. Thus the degree to which aerosols cool the earth, which depends on aerosol particle size range, has been grossly underestimated.

The rate of global warming, at ~2 to 3 ppm year and ~1.5°C in about one century, faster by an order of magnitude then geological climate catastrophe such as the PETM and the KT impact, has taken scientists by surprise, requiring a change from the term climate change to climate calamity.

The Australian firestorms

In Australia mean temperatures have risen by 1.5°C between 1910 and 2019 (Figure 2), as a combination of global warming and the ENSO conditions, as reported by the Bureau of Meteorology.

“The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has returned to neutral after one of the strongest positive IOD events to impact Australia in recent history ... the IOD’s legacy of widespread warm and dry conditions during the second half of 2019 primed the Australian landscape for bushfire weather and heatwaves this summer. In the Pacific Ocean, although indicators of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are neutral, the tropical ocean near and to the west of the Date Line remains warmer than average, potentially drawing some moisture away from Australia.”

Figure 2. (A) Australian mean temperature. (B) Severe fire weather. (C) Drought. (D) Driest year.
Bureau of Meteorology
The prolonged drought (Figure 2 C, D), low fuel moisture, high temperatures (Figure 2A) and warm winds emanating from the inland have rendered large parts of the Australian continent tinder dry, creating severe fire weather (Figure 2B) subject to ignition by lightning and human factors. Fires on a large scale create their own weather (see: bushfire raging in Mount Adrah and firestorm). Observations of major conflagrations, including the 2003 Canberra fires, indicate fires can form atmospheric plumes which can migrate and as hot plumes radiating toward the ground (fire tornadoes).

The underlying factor for rising temperatures and increasingly severe droughts in Australia is the polar-ward shift in climate zones (see map Oceania) as the Earth warms, estimated as approximately 56-111 km per decade, where dry hot subtropical zones encroach into temperate zones, as is also the case in South Africa and the Sahara.

Smoke signals emanating from the Australian fires are now circling around the globe (Figure 3) signaling a warning of the future state of Earth should Homo sapiens, so called, not wake up to the consequences of its actions.

Figure 3. (A) Smoke emanating from the southeastern Australian fires (January 4, 2020);
(B) smoke from the pyro-cumulonimbus clouds of the Australian fires drifting across the Pacific Ocean.
The fire clouds have lofted smoke to unusual heights in the atmosphere. The CALIPSO satellite observed smoke soaring between 15 to 19 kilometers on January 6, 2020—high enough to reach the stratosphere. NASA.

Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University
15.1.2020

Books:
- The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
- The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
- Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
- Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
- The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
- Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
- From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence

[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Andrew Glikson, Australia, fire, firestorm, smoke]

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[l] at 4/19/20 9:48am
by Andrew Glikson Earth and climate scientist Australian National University
No one knows how to impose 1.5 or 2.0 degrees Celsius limits on the mean global temperature, unless drawdown/carbon sequestration of atmospheric CO₂ is attempted, nor are drawdown methods normally discussed in most political or economic forums. According to Kevin Drum (2019)“Meeting the climate goals of the Paris Agreement is going to be nearly impossible without removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere”.

The release of some 910 billion tons of carbon dioxide is leading human society, indeed much of nature, to an existential impasse. The widest chasm has developed between what climate science is indicating and between climate policies and negotiations controlled by governments, politicians, economists and journalists—none of whom fully comprehends, or is telling the whole truth about, the full consequences of the current trend in the atmosphere-ocean-land system.

The evidence for future projections, as understood by climate scientists, has been largely put to one side, mainly because it is economically and politically “inconvenient” or is frightening. Reports from the Madrid climate COP-25 Conference suggest negotiations, focusing on emission reductions, are overlooking the evidence that at the current concentration of CO₂, which have reached 412 ppm and 496 ppm-equivalent (when the CO₂-equivalents of methane and nitrous oxide are included), amplifying feedbacks from land and ocean are pushing temperatures further upwards. This is driven by the replacement of sea ice and land ice and snow surfaces by open water surfaces, by methane leaks, desiccated vegetation, fires and reduced CO₂ absorption by warming oceans. Given the long atmospheric residence time of CO₂ (Solomon et al. 2009, Eby et al. 2009) and the short life span of aerosols, attempts at CO₂ drawdown are essential if complete devastation of the biosphere is to be avoided.
Figure 1. (A) 1990-2019 Global growth of CO₂ emissions (gigaton);
(B) 1960-2019 Annual fossil CO₂ emissions from coal, oil, natural gas and cement (gigaton).
From: CSIRO News Release
The prevailing political and economic focus in international climate projects, conferences and advisory councils is concerned with (a) limits on, or a decrease of, carbon emissions from power generation, industry, agriculture, transport and other sources; (b) limits on the current rise in global temperatures to +1.5 degrees Celsius, and a maximum of +2.0 degrees Celsius, above mean pre-industrial (pre-1750) temperatures.

However, no one knows how to impose these limits unless drawdown/sequestration of atmospheric CO₂ is attempted, nor are drawdown methods normally discussed in most forums.

Figure 2. (A) Distribution of global fires (NASA);
 (B) Fire storms over the southwest USA;
(C) Pine forest fire California.
At the present the concentration of greenhouse gases of just under-500 ppm CO₂-equivalent is activating amplifying feedbacks of greenhouse gases from land, oceans and melting ice sheets, namely further warming:
  1. An increase in evaporation due to warming of land and oceans leads to further warming due to the greenhouse effect of water vapor but also to increased cloudiness which retards warming. The water vapor factor, significant in the tropics, is somewhat less important in the dry subtropical zones and relatively minor in the Polar Regions (Figure 3).
  2. The melting of ice sheets, reducing reflective (high-albedo) ice and snow surfaces, and concomitant opening of open water surfaces (heat absorbing low-albedo) is generating a powerful positive (warming) feedback. Hudson (2011) estimates the rise in warming due to total removal of Arctic summer sea ice as approximately +1.0 degrees Celsius.
  3. The release of methane from melting permafrost and bubbling of methane hydrates from the oceans has already raised atmospheric methane levels from about 800 to 1863 parts per billion which, given the radiative forcing of methane of X25< times, renders methane highly significant.
  4. As the oceans warm they become less capable of taking up carbon dioxide. As a result, more of our carbon pollution will stay in the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming. 
  5. As tropical and subtropical climate zones overtake temperate Mediterranean-type climate zones, desiccated and burnt vegetation release copious amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. For example the current bushfires in Australia have already emitted 250 million tonnes of CO₂, almost half of country's annual emissions in 2018.
Figure 3. Total water vapor that can precipitate, as observed by
the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.
With rising global temperatures and further encroachment of subtropical climate zones desertification and warming can only become more severe.

Abrupt reductions in emissions may be insufficient to stem global warming, unless accompanied by sequestration of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, recommended as below 350 ppm CO₂. According to Hansen et al. (2008) carbon sequestration in soil (the biochar method) has significant potential, applying pyrolysis of residues of crops, forestry and animal waste. Biochar helps soil retain nutrients and fertilizers, reducing release of greenhouse gases such as N₂O. Replacing slash-and-burn agriculture with a slash-and-char method and the use of agricultural and forestry wastes for biochar production could provide a CO₂ drawdown of ~8 ppm or more in half a century.

Stabilization and cooling of the climate could include two principle approaches (Table 1): (a) solar shielding, and (b) CO₂ drawdown/sequestration. However, solar shielding by injected aerosols or water vapor is bound to be transient, requiring constant replenishment.

Table 1. Solar shielding and atmospheric CO₂ sequestration methods.
Method Supposed advantages Problems SO 2 injections Relatively cheap and rapid application Short atmospheric residence time; ocean acidification; retardation of precipitation and of monsoons Space satellite-mounted sunshades/mirrors Rapid application. No direct effect on ocean chemistry Longer space residence time. Does not mitigate ocean acidification by CO 2 emissions. Streaming of air through basalt and serpentine ( Figure 4 ) CO 2 capture by Ca and Mg carbonates In operation on a limited scale in Iceland. Significant potential   Soil carbon burial/biochar Effective means of controlling the carbon cycle (plants+ soil exchange more than 100 GtC/year with the atmosphere)  Requires a collaborative international effort by millions of farmers. Significant potential CO 2 capture by seaweeds  An effective method applied in South Korea  Decay of seaweeds releases CO₂ to ocean water. Significant potential Ocean iron filing fertilization enhancing phytoplankton CO 2 sequestration Phytoplankton residues would release CO 2 back to the ocean water and atmosphere. Ocean pipe system for vertical circulation of cold water to enhance CO 2 sequestration CO 2 sequestration Further warming would render such measure transient. “Sodium trees” – pipe systems of liquid NaOH sequestering CO 2 to sodium carbonate Na 2 CO 3 , followed by separation and burial of CO 2 . CO 2 sequestration, estimated by Hansen et al. (2008) at a cost of ~$200/ton CO₂ where the cost of removing 50 ppm of CO₂ is ~$20 trillion. Unproven efficiency; need for CO 2 burial; $trillions expense, though no more than the military expenses since WWII.
Figure 4. Iceland: The streaming of CO₂-containing air and of water through
basaltic rocks and CO₂-capture as carbonate minerals.
The big question is how effective are the above methods in reducing CO₂ levels on a global scale, at the very least to balance emissions, currently 36.8 billion tons CO₂ per year. Whereas each of the methods outlined in Table 1 has advantages and disadvantages, it is hard to see an alternative way of cooling the atmosphere and oceans than a combination of several of the more promising methods. Budgets on a scale of military spending ($1.7 trillion in 2017) are required in an attempt to slow down the current trend across climate tipping points. The choice humanity is facing is whether to spend resources on this scale on wars or on defense from the climate calamity.

Time is running out.

Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University


Books:

- The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
- The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
- Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
- Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
- The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
- Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
- From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence





[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Andrew Glikson, carbon dioxide removal]

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[l] at 4/19/20 9:07am

Above image depicts how humans could go extinct as early as 2020. The image was created with NASA LOTI 1880-Nov.2019 data, 0.78°C adjusted to reflect ocean air temperatures (as opposed to sea surface temperatures), to reflect higher polar temperature anomalies (as opposed to leaving out 'missing' data) and to reflect a 1750 baseline (as opposed to a 1951-1980 baseline), with two trends added. Blue: a long-term trend based on Jan.1880-Nov.2019 data. Red: a short-term trend, based on Jan.2009-Nov.2019 data, to illustrate El Niño/La Niña variability and how El Niño could be the catalyst to trigger huge methane releases from the Arctic Ocean.

How was above image created? Let's first look at the baseline. The NASA default baseline is 1951-1980. The added trend in the image below shows early 1900s data to be well below this 1951-1980 baseline. In this analysis, a 0.28°C adjustment was therefore used to reflect this, and to reflect a 1750 baseline, a further 0.3°C was used, adding up to a 0.58°C baseline adjustment.


Furthermore, the NASA Land+Ocean temperature index (LOTI) uses sea surface temperatures, but ocean air temperatures seem more appropriate, which adds a further 0.1°C adjustment. Also, when comparing current temperatures with preindustrial ones, it's hard to find data for the polar areas. Treating these data as 'missing' would leave important heating out of the picture. After all, the polar areas are heating up much faster than the rest of the world, and especially so in the Arctic region. Therefore, a further 0.1°C adjustment was used to reflect higher polar temperature anomalies, resulting in the above-mentioned 0.78°C adjustment.

Finally, the red trend illustrates El Niño/La Niña variability. As discussed in a recent post, an El Niño is forecast for 2020 and this could be the catalyst to trigger huge methane releases from the Arctic Ocean.

The image below shows El Niño/La Niña variability going back to 1950, added to the NOAA monthly temperature anomaly.



As said, the Arctic region is heating up much faster than the rest of the world. There are several reasons why this is the case. Decline of the sea ice makes that less sunlight gets reflected back into space and that more sunlight is reaching the Arctic Ocean. This also causes more water vapor and clouds to appear over the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, Arctic sea ice has lost most of the thicker multi-year ice that used to extend meters below the surface, consuming huge amounts of ocean heat entering the Arctic Ocean along ocean currents from the North Atlantic and the North Pacific oceans.

[ created with NOAA Arctic Report Card 2019 image ]
Above-mentioned feedbacks (albedo changes and more water vapor and clouds) contribute to higher temperatures in the Arctic. Furthermore, as the temperature difference between the North Pole and the Equator narrows, the jet stream changes, which can lead to further Arctic heating, i.e. higher temperatures of the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean and over land around the Arctic Ocean, which in turn causes higher temperatures of the water flowing into the Arctic Ocean from rivers.

Furthermore, jet stream changes can also cause additional heating of parts of the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

[ click on images to enlarge ] Above image shows that sea surface temperature anomalies off the East Coast of North America as high as 13.6°C or 24.4°F were recorded on December 18, 2019.

Ocean currents can bring huge amounts of heat into the Arctic Ocean, and this can be amplified due to cyclones speeding up the inflow of water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean into the Arctic Ocean.


As above image shows, the temperature rise of the oceans on the Northern Hemisphere is accelerating. This constitutes a critical tipping point, i.e. there are indications that a rise of 1°C will result in most of the sea ice underneath the surface to disappear. This sea ice used to consume the inflow of warm, salty water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. So, while there may still be sea ice left at the surface, since low air temperatures will cause freezing of surface water, the latent heat buffer has gone.


As long as there is sea ice, this will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.

The danger is that, as Arctic Ocean heating accelerates further, hot water will reach sediments at the Arctic Ocean seafloor and trigger massive methane eruptions, resulting in a huge abrupt global temperature rise. As discussed in an earlier post, a 3°C will likely suffice to cause extinction of humans.


Earlier this year, an Extinction Alert was issued, followed by a Stronger Extinction Alert.

In a rapid heating scenario:
  1. a strong El Niño would contribute to
  2. early demise of the Arctic sea ice, i.e. latent heat tipping point +
  3. associated loss of sea ice albedo,
  4. destabilization of seafloor methane hydrates, causing eruption of vast amounts of methane that further speed up Arctic warming and cause
  5. terrestrial permafrost to melt as well, resulting in even more emissions,
  6. while the Jet Stream gets even more deformed, resulting in more extreme weather events
  7. causing forest fires, at first in Siberia and Canada and
  8. eventually also in the peat fields and tropical rain forests of the Amazon, in Africa and South-east Asia, resulting in
  9. rapid melting on the Himalayas, temporarily causing huge flooding,
  10. followed by drought, famine, heat waves and mass starvation, and
  11. collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
[ from an earlier post ]
The precautionary principle calls for appropriate action when dangerous situations threaten to develop. How can we assess such danger? Risk is a combination of probability that something will eventuate and severity of the consequences. Regarding the risk, there is growing certainty that climate change is an existential threat, as discussed in a recent post. There's a third dimension, i.e. timescale. Imminence alone could make that a danger needs to be acted upon immediately, comprehensively and effectively. While questions may remain regarding probability, severity and timescale of the dangers associated with climate change, the precautionary principle should prevail and this should prompt for action, i.e. comprehensive and effective action to reduce damage is imperative and must be taken as soon as possible.

The image below gives a visual illustration of the danger.


Polynomial trendlines can point at imminent danger by showing that acceleration could eventuate in the near future, e.g. due to feedbacks. Polynomial trendlines can highlight such acceleration and thus warn about dangers that could otherwise be overlooked. This can make polynomial trendlines very valuable in climate change analysis. In the image below, the green linear trend and the blue polynomial trend are long-term trends (based on Jan.1880-Nov.2019 data), smoothing El Niño/La Niña variability, but the blue polynomial trend better highlights the recent temperature rise than the green linear trend does. The red short-term trend (based on Jan.2009-Nov.2019 data) has the highest R² (0.994) and highlights how El Niño could be the catalyst for huge methane eruptions from the Arctic Ocean, triggering in a huge global temperature rise soon.


The image below, from an earlier post, explains the speed at which warming elements can strike, i.e. the rise could for a large part occur within years and in some cases within days and even immediately.


As the image below shows, peak methane levels as high as 2737 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded by the MetOp-2 satellite in the afternoon of December 20th, 2019, at 469 mb. Ominously, a large part of the atmosphere over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is colored solid magenta, indicating methane levels above 1950 ppb.



The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.



Links

• NASA - GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4)
https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/index_v4.html

• NOAA Northern Hemisphere ocean temperature anomalies through November 2019
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/global/time-series/nhem/ocean/1/11/1880-2019

• NOAA - Monthly temperature anomalies versus El Niño
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201911/supplemental/page-3

• 2020 El Nino could start 18°C temperature rise
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/2020-el-nino-could-start-18-degree-temperature-rise.html

• NOAA Arctic Report Card 2019
https://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2019

• Critical Tipping Point Crossed In July 2019
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/09/critical-tipping-point-crossed-in-july-2019.html

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html

• Accelerating greenhouse gas levels
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/accelerating-greenhouse-gas-levels.html

• Debate and Controversy
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/debate.html

• Extinction Alert
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/02/extinction-alert.html

• Stronger Extinction Alert
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/03/stronger-extinction-alert.html

• Abrupt Warming - How Much And How Fast?
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/05/abrupt-warming-how-much-and-how-fast.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: analysis, Arctic, change, climate, danger, El Niño, extinction, heat, heating, ice, methane, ocean, precautionary principle, rise, risk, sea, temperature, trend, warming]

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[l] at 4/19/20 8:29am
by Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University

Figure 1. Relations between CO₂ levels in the atmosphere and mass extinctions of genera. Data cited from D. Royer et al. (2002), from G. Keller (2016) and P. Wignall et al. (2002). Carbon, the essential element underpinning photosynthesis and life, is transformed into toxic substances in the remnants of plants and organisms buried in sediments. Once released to the atmosphere in the form of CO₂, CO and methane, in large quantities these gases become lethal and have been responsible for mass extinctions of species (Fig. 1).

Figure 2. Potential heating, Carana (2019) Given amplifying feedbacks from land and oceans triggered by rising temperatures, the concept of an upper limit of warming determined by limitation on carbon emissions alone is unlikely, since, under a rising high greenhouse gas concentration, amplifying feedbacks triggered by methane release, bushfires, warming oceans and loss of reflectivity of melting ice, temperatures would keep rising. As an example, findings show that warmer ocean water is melting hydrates and releasing methane into the sediment and waters off the coast of Washington state, at levels that reach the same amount of methane from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Carana (2019) finds a potential for abrupt warming of 18°C or 32.4°F (Fig. 2).

Attempts at CO₂ drawdown (sequestration), if urgently applied on a global scale, may conceivably be able to slow down further warming. This article refers to natural methane reservoirs and human-induced methane emissions, indicating that, once temperatures supersede a critical level, a further rise in methane release would result regardless of restrictions of emissions.

According to Kelley (2003) a planetary “runaway greenhouse event” may be triggered when a planet overheats due to absorption of more solar energy than it can give off to retain equilibrium. As a result, the oceans may boil filling its atmosphere with steam, which leaves the planet uninhabitable, as Venus is now. Planetary geologists think there is good evidence that Venus was the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect which turned the planet into the boiling hell we see today. According to Hansen (2010): “If we burn all fossil fuels, the forcing will be at least comparable to that of the PETM, but it will have been introduced at least ten times faster. [. .] The warming ocean can be expected to affect methane hydrate stability at a rate that could exceed that in the PETM, where the rate of change was driven by the speed of the methane hydrate climate feedback, not by the nearly instantaneous introduction of all fossil fuel carbon.” In a critical review of the theory of runaway greenhouse warming, Goldblatt and Watson (2012) state: “We cannot therefore completely rule out the possibility that human actions might cause a transition, if not to full runaway, then at least to a much warmer climate state than the present one.”

The concentration of fossil carbon deposits in the form of coal, oil, natural gas, coal seam gas, permafrost methane, ice clathrates, shale oil, and oil sands, once released to the atmosphere in large quantities, generates powerful feedbacks from land, ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. This includes further release of greenhouse gases, warming oceans, loss of reflectivity of melting ice, and bushfires, pushing temperatures further upward. With carbon dioxide concentrations rising at a rate of 2–3 parts per million (ppm) per year (October 2018: 406.00 ppm; October 2019: 408.53 ppm) and the Earth heating-up by 0.98°C since 1951-1980, the ultimate consequences of this trend belong to the unthinkable.

Through 2012, total accumulated emissions are estimated to have reached 384 GtC, with an annual amount of 43.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide expected to be added in 2019.

A 2016 IPCC analysis found that no more than 275 GtC of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels of 746 GtC could be emitted, if the global temperature rise is to be restricted to 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, an impossible target since amplifying carbon feedbacks would push temperatures upwards.

According to Heede and Oreskes (2016), global reserves of oil (~171 GtC), natural gas (~95) and coal (479 GtC) add up to a total of 746 GtC. Hansen et al. (2013) estimates that recoverable fossil fuel reserves include ~120 GtC gas, ~80 GtC oil, >10,000 GtC coal, >2000 GtC unconventional gas, and ~700 GtC unconventional oil, adding up to a total of ~13,000 GtC (Fig. 3).

Figure 4. Vulnerable carbon pools. (A) Land: Permafrost ~900 GtC; High-latitude peatlands ~400 GtC;
Tropical peatlands ~100 GtC; Vegetation subject to fire and/or deforestation ~650 GtC;
(B) Oceans: Methane hydrates ~10,000 GtC; Solubility pump ~2700 GtC; Biological pump ~3300 GtC;
Total (A) + (B): ~18,050 GtC (Canadell 2007 The amount of unstable methane deposits in permafrost and methane hydrates (clathrates) in ocean sediments is of a similar order of magnitude as the amount of fossil fuel reserves. Vulnerable carbon pools include methane hydrates in sediments (~10,000 GtC), solubility and biological pump (~6000 GtC), permafrost methane (~900 GtC), and peatlands and vulnerable vegetation (~1150 GtC), adding up to a total of ~18,050 GtC (Fig. 4).

Unoxidized metastable deposits of methane and methane hydrates, accumulated during the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles and vulnerable to temperature rise, are already leaking as indicated by atmospheric concentrations which have risen from 1988 (~1700 ppb CH₄) to 2019 (~1860 ppb CH₄) at a rate of ~5.2 ppb/year, a rise of more than 4 ppm CO₂-equivalent at GWP25xCO₂ or 24 ppm CO₂-e at GWP150xCO₂.


Meinshausen et al. (2011) estimated global-mean surface temperature increases, applying a climate sensitivity of 3°C per doubling of CO₂, resulting by 2100 in a temperature rise of between 1.5°C to 4.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels. By 2300, under constant emissions, CO₂ concentrations would rise to ~2000 ppm, methane to 3.5 ppm and nitrous oxide to 0.52 ppm (Fig. 5). Amplifying feedbacks are taken into account, but the effects of tipping points and of cold ice-melt pools formed in the oceans near Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are unclear.

Given the estimated total of exploitable hydrocarbon resources (~13.000 GtC) and of vulnerable carbon pools (~18,050 GtC), the amount released under different future climate conditions is subject to estimates:
  • Assuming mean global temperature of +2°C (above pre-industrial), with allowance made for the masking effects of sulphur aerosols, the combustion of ~2% of the fossil fuel reserves (13,000 GtC), i.e. ~260 GtC, would raise CO₂ concentration by ~130 ppm (100 GtC = 50 ppm CO₂) (Fig. 3). Combustion of ~5% of the fossil fuel reserve would raise CO₂ concentration by ~325 ppm. 
  • Under +2°C above pre-industrial, release of CO₂ from fires and other feedback effects such as melting of permafrost and release of methane would raise atmospheric carbon by at least 1 percent of vulnerable carbon pools (~18,050 GtC). 
  • The flow of ice melt water from Greenland and Antarctica into the oceans would create large regions of cold water capable of absorption of atmospheric CO₂. 
Hansen (2010) concludes: “if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there's a substantial chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome [runaway greenhouse warming] is a dead certainty”Stephen Hawking (2017) appears to agree with Hansen’s warning, stating: “if the US pulls out of the Paris climate agreement it may lead to runaway global warming, eventually turning Earth's atmosphere into something resembling Venus”. Goldblatt and Watson (2012) wrote: “The ultimate climate emergency is a ‘runaway greenhouse’: a hot and water-vapor-rich atmosphere limits the emission of thermal radiation to space, causing runaway warming … This would evaporate the entire ocean and exterminate all planetary life … We cannot therefore completely rule out the possibility that human actions might cause a transition, if not to full runaway, then at least to a much warmer climate state than the present one … However, our understanding of the dynamics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer and cloud physics of hot and steamy atmospheres is weak.” 

An analysis by Carana (2013) suggests that accelerated release of methane from permafrost and methane hydrates (clathrates) could trigger runaway global warming (Fig. 6). A polynomial trend for the Arctic shows temperature anomalies of +4°C by 2020, +7°C by 2030 and +11°C by 2040, threatening major feedbacks, further albedo changes and methane releases leading to global temperature anomalies of 20°C+ by 2050.

Figure 6. A polynomial 2 trend line points at global temperature anomalies (Carana 2013). A polynomial function is a function such as a quadratic, a cubic, a quartic, and so on, involving only non-negative integer powers of x. The magnitude of the runaway greenhouse effect that now threatens to eventuate becomes evident when looking at the geological record. For example, the 55 million years-old PETM event (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum), lasting for about 100,000 years, driven by CO₂ levels as hugh as 1700 ppm, does not appear to have triggered a runaway greenhouse process. The PETM is attributed to ¹³C-depleted methane (Zeebe et al. 2009), reaching 5 - 8°C and leading to a mass extinction of 35-50% of benthic foraminifera. By sharp contrast, the current Anthropocene hyperthermal event, commencing with the industrial age and re-accelerating since about 1975, constitutes a temporally abrupt development exceeding the rate of geological hyperthermal events (Fig. 7), a rate which does not allow biological adaptation and thereby enhances a mass extinction of species (Barnosky et al. 2011).

Figure 7. A comparison of Cenozoic CO₂ rise rates and temperature rise rates, 
highlighting the extreme rise rates in the Anthropocene. From an earlier post
As Australia burns, the IPCC maintains there is time left to consume a carbon budget and to keep handing out offsets and carbon credits; at the 25th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Madrid, Australia is seeking to use "carry-over credits" to meet its pledged emissions reductions. The situation is illustrated by Sam Carana in the image below.



Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University


Books:
- The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
- The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
- Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
- Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
- The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
- Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
- From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence

Links

• The RCP greenhouse gas concentrations and their extensions from 1765 to 2300, by Malte Meinshausen et al. (2011)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0156-z

• Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO₂ growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks, by J. Canadell et al. (2007)
https://www.pnas.org/content/104/47/18866

• Planetary ‘Runaway Greenhouse’ Climates More Easily Triggered than Previously Thought, by Peter Kelley (2013)
https://scitechdaily.com/planetary-runaway-greenhouse-climates-more-easily-triggered-than-previously-thought

• How Likely Is a Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Earth? MIT Technology Review (2012)
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/426608/how-likely-is-a-runaway-greenhouse-effect-on-earth/

• Storms of my grandchildren: the truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity, by James Hansen (2010)
https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/storms-of-my-grandchildren-9781608195022

• The runaway greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres, by Colin Goldblatt and Andrew Watson (2012)
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2012.0004

• Low simulated radiation limit for runaway greenhouse climates, by Colin Goldblatt, et al. (2013)
https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo1892

• Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature, by James Hansen et al. (2013)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081648

• Towards the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Panmao Zhai, Wilfran Moufouma-Okia, Anna Pirani, Jan Fuglestvedt
https://wg1.ipcc.ch/presentations/201612_Fuglestvedt_AGU_IPCC.pdf

• Global Carbon Project, Carbon Budget 2019, press release
https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/19/files/Norway_CICERO_GCB2019.pdf

• Potential emissions of CO₂ and methane from proved reserves of fossil fuels: An alternative analysis, by Richard Heede and Naomi Oreskes
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015300637

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/02/a-rise-of-18c-or-324f-by-2026.html

• Arctic Methane Impact
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2013/11/arctic-methane-impact.html

• A record CO2 rise rate since the KT dinosaur extinction 66 million years ago
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/a-record-co2-rise-rate-since-kt-dinosaur-extinction-66-million-years-ago.html

• Another link between CO2 and mass extinctions of species, by Andrew Glikson
https://theconversation.com/another-link-between-co2-and-mass-extinctions-of-species-12906


[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: Andrew Glikson, Arctic, extinction, hydrates, methane, PETM, runaway warming]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 4/19/20 7:51am
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) just released its annual Emissions Gap Report, warning that even if all current unconditional commitments under the Paris Agreement are implemented, temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2°C, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts.

The report adds that a continuation of current policies would lead to a global mean temperature rise of 3.5°C by 2100 (range of 3.4–3.9°C, 66% probability) and concludes that current policies will clearly not keep the temperature rise below 3°C and that temperatures may rise by much more than that.

Below is the UNEP video On the brink: Emissions Gap Report findings in 60 seconds.


[ image from earlier post ] Indeed, the rise in greenhouse gas levels appears to be accelerating, despite pledges made under the Paris Agreement to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently reported carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentrations for 2018 of 407.8 ppm (parts per million), as illustrated by the image on the right. The WMO adds that CO₂ levels, as well as methane and nitrous oxide levels, had all surged by higher amounts than during the past decade.

In energy, fossil fuel consumption for heating and transport increased. While renewables grew strongly in 2018, an even larger part of the growth in electricity was generated by fossil fuel, particularly by coal and natural gas. 

As the image below shows, a trend based on NOAA March 1958 through October 2019 monthly mean CO₂ data at Mauna Loa points at CO₂ levels crossing the 415 ppm mark in 2020, when an El Niño is forecast to come, as discussed in an earlier post.


The added trend in the image points at CO₂ levels crossing 1200 ppm before the end of the century, triggering the cloud feedback tipping point that by itself could push up global temperatures by 8°C, within a few years. Importantly, the clouds feedback starts at 1200 ppm CO₂-equivalent. Besides a CO₂ rise, further elements could contribute to the 1200 ppm CO₂e tipping point getting reached, such as albedo changes due to disappearing Arctic sea ice and seafloor methane releases from a rapidly-warming Arctic Ocean.

In conclusion, a huge temperature rise could eventuate much earlier than by the end of the century. The image below illustrates the potential for a rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026.

[ from an earlier post ] As discussed in a recent post, a 2020 El Niño could be the catalyst triggering huge methane releases from the Arctic Ocean seafloor starting in 2020 and resulting in such a 18°C (or 32.4°F) temperature rise within a few years time. To put this into perspective, an earlier post concluded that humans will likely go extinct at a 3°C rise, as such an abrupt rise will make habitat for humans (and many other species) disappear.

In the video below, John Davis describes some of the extreme weather events that he experienced recently. “Disasters like this are man-made now”, John says, “they're not natural disasters. This is caused by climate change.”



Meanwhile, a recent study found that the consensus among research scientists on anthropogenic global warming has grown to 100%, based on a review of 11,602 peer-reviewed articles on “climate change” and “global warming” published in the first 7 months of 2019.

This further confirms the probability or likelihood that emissions by people are causing global warming, from a likely danger to certain danger. Furthermore, as discussed in many earlier posts, there are two additional dimensions to the danger of climate change; the severity of the impact makes it not merely a catastrophic danger, it is an existential threat; finally, regarding timescale, the danger is not just near, the danger is imminent and in many respects we're already too late.


Above image expresses this visually, with the red area depicting where we are now. There were readability problems with the text on the sides of the cube, reason why a version without text and the color on the sides was posted in an earlier post.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


Links

• UN news release
https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/cut-global-emissions-76-percent-every-year-next-decade-meet-15degc

• Paris Agreement
https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement

• United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Emissions Gap Report
https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2019

• UNEP video: On the brink: Emissions Gap Report findings in 60 seconds
https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/video/brink-emissions-gap-report-findings-60-seconds

• WMO - Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach yet another high
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/greenhouse-gas-concentrations-atmosphere-reach-yet-another-high

• NOAA Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/data.html

• Most Important Message Ever
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html

• 2020 El Nino could start 18°C temperature rise
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/11/2020-el-nino-could-start-18-degree-temperature-rise.html

• Scientists Reach 100% Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0270467619886266

• The Threat Of Arctic Albedo Change
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-threat-of-arctic-albedo-change.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html




[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: carbon dioxide, change, climate, CO₂, danger assessment, emissions gap, extinction, global, John Davis, methane, rise, temperature, UNEP, warming]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 4/19/20 7:19am
By Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University



Since its inception the Paris Agreement has been in question due to, among other:
  • its broad definition, specifically holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
  • its non-binding nature; and 
  • accounting tricks by vested interests.
The goal assumes pre-determined limits can be placed on greenhouse gas levels and temperatures beyond which they would not continue to rise. Unfortunately these targets do not appear to take account of the amplifying positive feedback effects from land and oceans under the high cumulative greenhouse gas levels and their warming effects. Thus unfortunately the current high CO₂ levels of about 408 ppm and near-500ppm CO₂-equivalent (CO₂+methane+nitrous oxide) would likely continue to push temperatures upwards.

Significant climate science evidence appears to have been left out of the equation. The accord hinges on the need to reduce emissions, which is essential, but it does not indicate how further temperature rise can be avoided under the conditions of a high-CO₂ atmosphere, which triggers carbon release, unless massive efforts at sequestration (drawdown) of greenhouse gases are undertaken. Inherent in global warming are amplifying positive feedbacks, including albedo (reflection) decline due to the melting of ice and the opening of dark water surfaces, increased water vapor contents of the atmosphere in tropical regions which enhances the greenhouse effect, reduced sequestration of CO₂ by the warming oceans, desiccation of vegetation, fires, release of methane from permafrost and other processes. This means that even abrupt reductions in emissions may not be sufficient to stem global warming, unless accompanied by sequestration of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to a lower level, recommended as below 350 ppm CO₂ by James Hansen, the leading climate scientist.

The world is on track to produce 50% more fossil fuels than can be burned before reaching the limit prescribed by the Paris Agreement, with currently planned coal, oil and gas outputs making the Paris Agreement goal impossible. Projected fossil fuel production in 2030 being more than is consistent with 2°C, and 120% more than that for 1.5°C.

Unbelievably, according to the International Monetary Fund, “In 2017 the world subsidized fossil fuels by $5.2 trillion, equal to roughly 6.5% of global GDP”, which is more than the total the world spends on human health. Such subsidies cannot possibly be consistent with the Paris Agreement. The pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 by the G7 nations, with exceptions by the UK and Japan, may come too late as global CO₂ concentrations, already intersecting the stability limits of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, are rising at a rate of 2 to 3 ppm per year, the highest in many millions of years.

Despite the scientific consensus regarding the anthropogenic origin of global warming, the world’s biggest fossil fuel corporations are taking a defiant stance against warnings that reserves of coal, oil and gas are already several times larger than can be burned if the world’s governments are to meet their pledge to tackle climate change. ExxonMobil said new reserves in the Arctic and Canadian tar sands must be exploited. Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, said global warming was “an environmental crisis predicted by flawed computer models”. Glencore Xstrata said that governments would fail to implement measures to cut carbon emissions. The World Bank and Bank of England have already warned of the “serious risk” climate action poses to trillions of dollars of fossil fuel assets.

Not to mention the risks to the living Earth and its billions of inhabitants!

The apparent neglect of scientific advice is not an isolated instance. It is not uncommon that climate reports are dominated by the views of economists, lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians, often overlooking the evidence presented by some of the world’s highest climate science authorities. Whereas the IPCC reports include excellent and comprehensive summaries of the peer-reviewed literature, the summaries for policy makers only partly represent the evidence and views of scientific authorities in the field, including those who have identified global warming in the first place.
Figure 2. from: James Hansen, data through June 2019
There exists a tendency in the media to report averages, such as average global temperature values, rather than the increasingly-common high zonal, regional and local anomalies.

For example, the annual mean global temperature rise of for 2018 is about one third the Arctic mean temperature rise (Fig. 2). Given that developments in the Arctic bear major consequences for climate change, the global mean  does not represent the seriousness of the climate crisis.

Another example is the way extremes weather events are reported as isolated instances, neglecting the rising frequency and intensity of hurricanes, storms, fires and droughts, indicated in frequency plots (Fig 3.).

Figure 3. Rise in geophysical, meteorological, hydrologocal and climatological events. Munich RE It is not until international and national institutions take full account of what climate science is indicating that a true picture of the climate crisis will be communicated to the public.


Andrew Glikson Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and climate scientist
Australian National University


Books:
- The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
- The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
- Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
- Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
- The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
- Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
- From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence



[Author: Sam Carana] [Category: 1.5°C, Andrew Glikson, Arctic, CO₂, drawdown, feedbacks, fossil fuel, methane, Paris Agreement, permafrost, subsidies]

As of 7/2/20 5:19am. Last new 6/18/20 8:15am.

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