Saturday, November 13, 2021

Human Extinction by 2022?

The NASA image below shows the October 2021 temperature anomaly. The Arctic is heating up enormously, with anomalies showing up of up to 9.1°C. 

The image below shows that the global temperature over the past century, i.e. from 1920 to 2020, has risen by 1.3°C. The image shows anomalies from 1900-1920. When adjusting data to reflect a pre-industrial base, ocean air (2m) temperatures and higher polar anomalies, temperatures may have crossed 2°C long ago.

The image below shows two trends, based on NASA 1880-October 2021 data, adjusted to reflect a pre-industrial base, ocean air (2m) temperatures and higher polar anomalies. The linear trend (green) misses the point that the temperature rise is accelerating. The polynomial trend (black) shows the potential for 3°C to be crossed by 2026.

Acceleration of the temperature rise may speed up further soon, for a number of reasons:

Aerosols: As cleaner alternatives become more economic, and as calls for cleaner air become stronger, this could result in a strong temperature rise soon, as sulfate cooling falls away and more black carbon may result from more wood burning and forest fires, as discussed at the aerosols page.

Sunspots: Within a few years time, sunspots will be reaching the peak of their cycle, and they are looking stronger than forecast, as illustrated by the image on the right showing sunspots up to October 2021.

ENSO: An upcoming El Niño could raise surface temperatures significantly. The image on the right shows that the current La Niña is forecast to end in 2022 and move toward a new El Niño. As the temperature keeps rising, ever more frequent strong El Niño events are likely to occur, as confirmed by a recent study. Authors also confirm concerns that the IPCC downplays the threat that a super El Nino event could occur soon.

The image below indicates that the difference between the top of El Niño and the bottom of La Niña could be more than half a degree Celsius.

As illustrated by the bar on the right, there are many further elements that could dramatically push up the temperature soon. Altogether, there could be a rise from pre-industrial of more than 18°C by end 2026, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one.

As the image at the top shows, the Arctic is heating up enormously, with anomalies showing up of up to 9.1°C.

Decline of Arctic snow and ice can result in huge albedo losses, loss of latent heat buffer, jet stream changes, more and more extreme weather events, and more. Slowing down of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and increasing ocean stratification can result in less heat getting transferred from the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean, as also described at this page.

One of the largest threats is seafloor methane and despite repeated warning from some of the best experts in the field, the IPCC simply waves away this threat. This and other elements in the bar have been discussed in detail in many earlier posts such as this one and on the extinction page.

The image below shows three trends, i.e. the same black polynomial and green linear trends, based on NASA 1880-October 2021 data, and a blue polynomial trend based on 2015-October 2021 data. Data are again adjusted to reflect a pre-industrial base, ocean air (2m) temperatures and higher polar anomalies.

The blue polynomial trend better reflects short-term climate forcing such as aerosols, sunspots and an upcoming El Niño, as discussed above. The blue trend also shows the potential for 3°C to be crossed by the end of 2022.

The current situation is extremely dangerous

Huge amounts of heat are entering the Arctic Ocean, driven by ocean currents and temperature differences. Sea ice acts as a buffer, by consuming energy in the process of melting, thus avoiding that this energy can raise the temperature of the water of the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, huge amounts of heat get transferred to the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean, as long as sea ice is low in extent.

The latent heat buffer has now virtually disappeared, while lower air temperatures are causing the sea ice to grow in extent, effectively sealing off the Arctic Ocean and reducing heat transfer from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere, as illustrated on the right by the 30-day animation (up to November 12, the last 8 days are forecasts). 

Heat that was previously melting the ice or that was getting transferred to the atmosphere is now instead heating up the water. Some 75% of ESAS (East Siberian Arctic Shelf) is shallower than 50 m. Being shallow, these waters can easily warm up all the way down to the sea floor, where heat can penetrate cracks and conduits, destabilizing methane hydrates and sediments that were until now sealing off methane held in chambers in the form of free gas in these sediments.

Methane can then be released abruptly from the seabed in the form of plumes, causing it to rapidly pass through a shallow water column. Such plumes can quickly deplete oxygen in the water, making it harder for microbes to break down the methane. Where such plumes reach the atmosphere, they will also quickly deplete hydroxyl, which is present only in very low quantities in the Arctic in the first place.

Ominously, methane recently reached very high levels. As illustrated by above image, the MetOp-B satellite (also known as MetOp-1) recorded a peak methane level of 3644 ppb and a mean level of 1944 ppb at 367 mb on November 21, 2021, pm.

Given that humans may go extinct with a 3°C rise, and a 5°C rise will likely end most life on Earth, the COP26 summit in Glasgow could have acted more decidedly. The situation is dire and calls for the most comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.


• NASA Temperature Analysis

• NOAA - Monthly Temperature Anomalies Versus El Niño

• Changing El Niño–Southern Oscillation in a warming climate - by Wenju Cai et al.

• IPCC report may have underplayed risk of freak El Nino and La Nina events

• How much warming have humans caused?

• A Temperature Rise Of More Than 18 Degrees Celsius By 2026?

• Could temperatures keep rising?

• Overshoot or Omnicide?

• Will COP26 in Glasgow deliver?

• Climate Plan

• Pre-industrial

• Feebates

• Quotes

• Feedbacks

• Extinction

• Latent Heat

• Aerosols

• Is the IPCC creating false perceptions, again?

• Can we weather the Danger Zone?

• How much warmer is it now?

• When will we die?

• Most Important Message Ever

• Arctic Ocean invaded by hot, salty water