Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade

[ click on images to enlarge ]
On February 10, 2017, 18:00 UTC it is forecast to be 0.1°C or 32.1°F at the North Pole, i.e. above the temperature at which water freezes. The temperature at the North Pole is forecast to be 30°C or 54°F warmer than 1979-2000, on Feb 10, 2017, 18:00 UTC, as shown on the Climate Reanalyzer image on the right.

This high temperature is expected as a result of strong winds blowing warm air from the North Atlantic into the Arctic.

The forecast below, run on February 4, 2017, shows that winds as fast as 157 km/h or 98 mph were expected to hit the North Atlantic on February 6, 2017, 06:00 UTC, producing waves as high as 16.34 m or 53.6 ft.

A later forecast shows waves as high as 17.18 m or 54.6 ft, as illustrated by the image below.

While the actual wave height and wind speed may not turn out to be as extreme as such forecasts, the images do illustrate the horrific amounts of energy contained in these storms.

Stronger storms go hand in hand with warmer oceans. The image below shows that on February 4, 2017, at a spot off the coast of Japan marked by green circle, the ocean was 19.1°C or 34.4°F warmer than 1981-2011.

As discussed in an earlier post, the decreasing difference in temperature between the Equator and the North Pole causes changes to the jet stream, in turn causing warmer air and warmer water to get pushed from the North Atlantic into the Arctic.

The image below shows that on February 9, 2017, the water at a spot near Svalbard (marked by the green circle) was 13°C or 55.3°F, i.e. 12.1°C or 21.7°F warmer than 1981-2011.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
Warmer water flowing into the Arctic Ocean in turn increases the strength of feedbacks that are accelerating warming in the Arctic. One of these feedbacks is methane that is getting released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Update: The image below shows that methane levels on February 13, 2017, pm, were as high as 2727 ppb, 1½ times the global mean at the time.

[ click on image to enlarge, right image added for reference to show location of continents ] 
What caused such a high level? High methane levels (magenta color) over Baffin Bay are an indication of a lot of methane getting released north of Greenland and subsequently getting pushed along the exit current through Nares Strait (see map below). This analysis is supported by the images below, showing high methane levels north of Greenland on the morning of February the 14th (left) and the 15th (right).

The image below shows methane levels as high as 2569 ppb on February 17, 2017. This is an indication of ocean heat further destabilizing permafrost at the seafloor of the Laptev Sea, resulting in high methane concentrations where it is rising in plumes over the Laptev Sea (at 87 mb, left panel) and is spreading over a larger area (at slightly lower concentrations) at higher altitude (74 mb, right panel).

This illustrates how increased inflow of warm water from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean can cause methane to erupt from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Methane releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean have the potential to rapidly and strongly accelerate warming in the Arctic and speed up further feedbacks, raising global temperature with catastrophic consequences in a matter of years. Altogether, these feedbacks and further warming elements could trigger a huge abrupt rise in global temperature making that extinction of many species, including humans, could be less than one decade away.

Youtube video by RT America

Without action, we are facing extinction at unprecedented scale. In many respects, we are already in the sixth mass extinction of Earth's history. Up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct when temperatures rose by 8°C (14°F) during the Permian-Triassic extinction, or the Great Dying, 252 million years ago.

During the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred 55 million years ago, global temperatures rose as rapidly as by 5°C in ~13 years, according to a study by Wright et al. A recent study by researchers led by Zebee concludes that the present anthropogenic carbon release rate is unprecedented during the past 66 million years. Back in history, the highest carbon release rates of the past 66 million years occurred during the PETM. Yet, the maximum sustained PETM carbon release rate was less than 1.1 Pg C per year, the study by Zebee et al. found. By contrast, a recent annual carbon release rate from anthropogenic sources was ~10 Pg C (2014). The study by Zebee et al. therefore concludes that future ecosystem disruptions are likely to exceed the - by comparison - relatively limited extinctions observed at the PETM.

An earlier study by researchers led by De Vos had already concluded that current extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than natural background rates of extinction and future rates are likely to be 10,000 times higher.

from the post 2016 well above 1.5°C
As above image shows, a number of warming elements adds up to a potential warming of 10°C (18°F) from pre-industrial by the year 2026, i.e. within about nine years from now, as discussed in more detail at the extinction page.

Above image shows how a 10°C (18°F) temperature rise from preindustrial could be completed within a decade.
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed in the Climate Plan.


• Climate Plan

• Arctic Ocean Feedbacks

• Extinction

• How much warming have humans caused?

• Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction, De Vos et al. (2015)

• Anthropogenic carbon release rate unprecedented during the past 66 million years, by Zebee et al. (2016)

• Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, Wright et al. (2013)

• RT America Youtube video

• RT America Facebook video


  1. Thank you Sam. Does anyone share these concerns and live in the denver/boulder area? It would be nice to build a network of like minded people

  2. This articles are the most important for me. People don't realize how fast the Earth system is going south and they just assume there will be no tipping point but a gradual change eternally... and the fossil record shows us that sudden changes in Earth's capability to support life extinguished species that had reproduction cycles as short as 2 months. So something that prevents a species to fulfill its reproductive cycle in 2 months is really a big game-changer in the whole system.

    We're going to learn this the hard way...

    ... but I'm all Guy Mcpherson on this one. Lets live a fulfilling life and be good to one another while it lasts. In the end, only kindness matters.

    1. "We're going to learn this the hard way...?" - how will we learn, if we'll all be extinct?
      I certainly agree with the theories. It all makes sense, going hand in hand with the insanity that the human race has become.

  3. Fascinating, and scary. Thank you. Why did we not heed the warnings in the 1970s???

  4. Thank you so much for your work. This allows us to know what we are facing, and arrange our lives around the rather truncated span that we now know it to be. I very sincerely hope you're wrong, but fear that you are correct. After all, you and Guy Mcpherson are just working with facts on record, not making this stuff up.

    It's so annoying that a large number of people think they can wave all this away with a sentence of two of dismissal - I've argued with them often. I need to "grasp", apparently, that CO2 is a "harmless gas". Don't I know that "live thrives in warmer climes"? We couldn't possibly be making any substantial difference, little old us, and so on. The denial industry has certainly earned its money.

  5. In NYC where I live, the month of January was as high as the 50s (the month is usually in the 30s) and very rainy. This month, we had a 60 degree day followed by a day in the 30s which left us shoveling through piles of snow ( I forget the actual inches that fell on the ground ).The rest of the month has stayed in the 30s and 40s so far, but I suspect that this summer is going to be miserable. Summer in NYC has always been humid and rainy, but in the past few years it has been hotter than usual and very dry. I'm getting ready for heat waves, droughts and power outages.

  6. This is more than a wake-up call for humanity. It's sad that this has become so highly politicized. It's a human (and all creatures) concern, not a political concern. Thanks for all you do.

  7. As hope springs eternal, there is effort underway to align the world Real to the danger upon us and to tap a revaluation bias amidst the Trump Thing that is actually a force and form of entropy rise thermodynamic on Garden.
    The Bird of song Sparrow sings for a recognition of really what time sings and intelligence of the whole can do forward against an angst foe. At Physics this is simply 2nd System Isolation End Thermodynamics.

  8. Due to the rapid death of microscopic organisms in the pacific Ocean which has also given rise to the depletion of the ozone layer, the acceleration of increases in global temperatures is exponential year by year. The rates of ice depletion do not progress in a linear fashion as previously recorded in history. The radiation from the Fukushima meltdown has taken on extreme proportions now that the truth has been revealed. The amounts previously reported were bogus lies. The Recent DATA recorded has shown that the levels of radiation being dumped into the Ocean are far greater than those reported since 2011. We are now dealing with a potential ELE (Extinction Level Event) rather than a cleanable nuclear disaster as formerly thought. This new data has shown levels described as 'unimaginable' and 'unbelievable' by scientists who are the top world wide authorities in the scientific fields of Nuclear energy and Physics. These factors relative to the death of the Pacific oceanic life chain and destruction of the entire food chain have fueled exponential temperature increases; extreme weather changes; and unpredictable outcomes, due to the fact that this level of death by global radioactive contamination have never been recorded or studied in any model and their repercussions are far from being understood or predictable. The one sure result is that there will follow rapid heating up of the planet which in turn can, and most probably will provoke massive extinctions and an ice age within an extremely short time span. Exponentials are difficult to calculate where so many factors are involved and therefore the yearly outcomes can be unimaginable and impossible to assess by present day evaluation methods based on known historical data since we are dealing with historically unprecedented events.
    The prediction of one decade to total extinction of all life on earth may not be as far fetched as it sounds. In light of the Data recently collected on the Oceanic health and atmospheric conditions are extremely alarming and difficult to swallow. We are receiving data which confirms surface recordings of UV-C radiation for the first time ever. The sun's rays are penetrating all our planet's defenses with 'killer' radiation. This was previously said to be impossible, but it is happening and all scientists are now under Hush Order to not disclose this information to the public. The bottom line is that YES, we may go extinct within the next decade or before. Exponential changes can be extreme changes. Winds of 150 Km/hr can be 250 km/hr the following year, as also can be 50 deg C going to 120 deg C in 1 or 2 years.... As a result we are facing generalized Famine Globally within just a few years.

  9. Thank you Sam and team for your brilliant work. I will share this widely and the action plan and try and do what we can in Frome, Somerset. I'm not sure where you are based but if you would to come and talk on the subject at Glastonbury festival late June then get in touch. We shall cover the subject and would be great to have you there.
    Cllr Shane Collins

    1. Thanks Shane, not sure whether I'll be able to make it, but I'll let you know if I do. Cheers, Sam Carana

  10. Wasn't it Einstein who said that you can't solve problems within the same parameters as that which has caused them in the first placed? or something to that effect... so why is it that we are looking for miracles to come from elected politicians, or from the status quo of an economic umbrella. Nothing has worked so far, so how does anyone expect that it will work in the future using the same measures as those which got us into the messes we are in from the very onset? With 7 billion people or more on this ship, isn't there at least one of us who will be able to bring an idea to a table that is not lined up with establishment dead-ends? as in carbon credits, carbon taxes or such nonsense...

    Cheers.... John Turcot (Don't know how to change the terri burke ID on this page but in case anyone wants to contact me re above try

    1. Thanks John, the best way to respond to the climate threat, in my view, is to implement the Climate Plan.
      Sam Carana

  11. Dear Sam,
    Thank you for your data and analysis and for this site. I visit it regularly and find the articles and comments to them most useful. However, the recent news from the USA in regard to pulling out funding for EPA, NOAA, etc. and criminalisation of the term 'climate change' are very worrisome. How can we combat this subversive action and save f.ex. NOAA and NASA as the global providers of climate change data?
    Greetings from Finland!

    1. Thanks, I guess we're all working as hard as we can to convince people that the situation is extremely dangerous and to appeal to the media to widen their coverage of the climate change spectrum by including those who sound the alarms, as discussed at this recent post.

  12. Hi Sam, I am a keen follower of the site and appreciative of the hard work to research and bring this information to light. A few months have now passed since this was written and I was curious on your current stance on this based on recent findings? Basically, it's pretty life changing stuff I can't seem to shake off. I kinda need to know for sure that there is no point pursuing that career change, saving for the future/retirement, buying a house, finding a wife and having kids and all that stuff so I can mentally suspend these programmed thoughts and live out the next decade or so living a bucket list kinda lifestyle safe in the knowledge that everything is futile. So what percentage would you give this? 100% being absolute certainty.

    1. James, read the concluding line again: The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed in the Climate Plan.