Showing posts with label Peter Wadhams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Wadhams. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Most Important Message Ever

This is the most important message ever posted.
Please share it widely and add your comments!
(click on share in the box underneath this post)

A catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding. Life is disappearing from Earth and runaway heating could destroy all life. At 5°C heating, most life on Earth will have disappeared. When looking only at near-term human extinction, 3°C will likely suffice. Study after study is showing the severity of the threat, yet too many keep ignoring or denying it, at the peril of the world at large. Have a look at the following:

Crossing the 2°C guardrail

The image below shows two trends, a long-term trend (blue) and a short-term trend (red) that better reflects El Niño peaks.

The image confirms an earlier analysis that it could be 1.85°C (or 3.33°F) hotter in 2019 than in 1750.

June 2019 was the hottest June on record, it was 2.08°C (or 3.74°F) hotter than the annual global mean 1980-2015, which was partly due to seasonal variations, as the image below shows.

This gives an idea of how hot it will be mid 2019. July 2019 is on course to be hottest month on record, further highlighting the danger that a strengthening El Niño could cause a steep temperature rise soon.

Remember the 2015 Paris Agreement, when politicians pledged to act on the threat of climate change, including by “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels . . . ”

The image at the top highlights the danger of a rapid temperature rise occurring soon and of the 2°C (or 3.6°F) guardrail getting crossed soon, i.e. in 2020 (the blue long-term trend, based on 1880-June2019 data), or in 2019 (red trend, based on 2011-June 2019 data). Moreover, the danger is that temperatures will not come down after crossing 2°C, but instead will continue in a steep rise toward 3°C.

We are already at about 2°C above pre-industrial

In the image at the top, NASA data are adjusted, as discussed in an earlier post. Such adjustment is appropriate for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, NASA uses the period 1951-1980 as their default baseline. Most of the adjustment is due to the use of a 1750 baseline, which better reflects pre-industrial.

Furthermore, air temperatures over oceans and higher polar anomalies are more appropriate, as confirmed by a recent study that concludes that missing data have been responsible for an underestimation of global warming by 0.1°C, and as illustrated by the image on the right, from a recent study, which shows the difference between using surface air temperature globally (black line), versus when sea surface temperature are used for oceans (dark blue line) and in case of incomplete coverage (light blue line).

At a 3°C rise, humans will likely go extinct

The image at the top shows two trends, a long-term trend in blue and a short-term trend in red which follows variations such as El Niño more closely. The blue trend points at a 3°C (or 5.4°F) rise by 2026, while the red trends shows that a 3°C rise could eventuate as early as in 2020 in case of a persistently strengthening El Niño.

At a 3°C rise, humans will likely go extinct, as habitat for humans (and many other species) will disappear. Such a rise will cause a rapid decline of the snow and ice cover around the globe, in turn making that less sunlight gets reflected back into space. Associated changes are discussed in more detail at this page and this page, and include that the jet stream will further get out of shape, resulting in more extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves and firestorms. Changes to the jet stream will also contribute to a further strengthening of storms, which threatens to push large amounts of hot, salty water into the Arctic Ocean, triggering eruptions of more and more seafloor methane.

From a 4°C rise, Earth will have a moist-greenhouse scenario

As the temperature rise gains further momentum, runaway heating may well turn Earth into a lifeless planet. This danger was discussed in a 2013 post, warning that, at 4°C rise, Earth will enter a moist-greenhouse scenario and without anything stopping the rise, it will continue to eventually destroy the ozone layer and the ice caps, while the oceans would be evaporating into the atmosphere's upper stratosphere and eventually disappear into space.

[ from an earlier post ]
At 5°C rise, most life on Earth will be extinct

At 5°C rise, most life on Earth will be extinct. A 2018 study by Strona & Bradshaw indicates that most life on Earth will disappear with a 5°C rise (see box on the right).

As the temperature keeps rising, chances are that all life on Earth will go extinct, as Earth would be left with no ozone layer to protect life from deadly UV-radiation. Furthermore, Earth would no longer have water, an essential building block of life. Soil moisture, ground water and water in oceans would evaporate and eventually disappear into space, as discussed in an earlier post.

There are several reasons why the temperature will keep rising well beyond a 5°C rise, as discussed below.

Could Earth go the same way as Venus?

At first glace, such a lifeless planet scenario may seem unlikely, as Earth did experience high temperatures before, but each time it did cool down again. While many species went extinct as a result of steep temperature rises, each time some species did survive the mass extinction events in the past.

This time, however, the situation is much more dire than during previous mass extinctions, and temperatures could keep rising, due to:
  • Brighter Sun - The sun is now much brighter than it was in the past;
  • No sequestration - The rapidity of the rise in greenhouse gases and of the associated temperature rise leaves species little or no time to adapt or move, and leaving no time for sequestration of carbon dioxide by plants and by deposits from other species, nor for formation of methane hydrates at the seafloor of oceans; 
  • No weathering - The rapidity of the rise also means that weathering doesn't have a chance to make a difference. Rapid heating is also dwarfing what weathering (and vegetation) can do to reduce carbon dioxide levels; and
  • Methane - Due to the rapid temperature rise, there is also little or no time for methane to get decomposed. Methane levels will skyrocket, due to fires, due to decomposition of dying vegetation and due to releases from melting terrestrial permafrost and from the seafloor (see more on methane further below). 

The methane threat

Our predicament

The predicament of this geological time is that methane in hydrates has been accumulating for a long time, especially in the Arctic, where there is little or no hydroxyl present in the atmosphere in the first place, while some 75% of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is shallower than 50 m, as also discussed in this earlier post and this earlier post.

As more methane rises abruptly from the seafloor in plumes, the chance reduces that it will get decomposed in the water, and especially so in the Arctic where long uni-directional sea currents prevent microbes to return to the location of such plumes.

Shallow seas (light blue areas on the image on the right) make waters prone to warm up quickly during summer peaks, allowing heat to penetrate the seabed.

Methane rising through shallow waters will also enter the atmosphere more quickly. Elsewhere in the world, releases from hydrates underneath the seafloor will largely be oxidized by methanotroph bacteria in the water. In shallow waters, however, methane released from the seabed will quickly pass through the water column.

Large abrupt releases will also quickly deplete the oxygen in the water, making it harder for bacteria to break down the methane.

[ from an earlier post ]
The image on the right highlights methane's accelerating rise, showing levels of methane (CH₄), carbon dioxide (CO₂) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) in the atmosphere that are, respectively, 257%, 146% and 122% their 1750 levels.

Hydroxyl depletion extending methane's lifetime

The graph on the right also shows that methane levels in the atmosphere remained almost unchanged during the period 2000-2007. One explanation for this is that, as the world heated up due to the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere rose accordingly (at a rate of 7% for each degree Celsius rise), which translated into more hydroxyl getting produced that resulted in more methane getting decomposed. So, while methane emissions kept rising, the amount of methane in the atmosphere remained relatively stable, as more methane got decomposed. Eventually, in 2007, the continued rise in methane emissions started to overwhelm the capacity of hydroxyl to decompose methane.  

The danger is that, as huge amounts of methane get released rapidly, hydroxyl depletion will extend its lifetime, in turn further accelerating heating and resulting in further releases of seafloor methane.

Methane's GWP

Measured over a few years, methane's global warming potential (GWP) is very high. The image on the right, from IPCC AR5, shows that over a 10-year timescale, the current global release of methane from all anthropogenic sources exceeds all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions as agents of global warming; that is, methane emissions are more important than carbon dioxide emissions for driving the current rate of global warming.

The values for methane's GWP that are used in the image on the right are also used in the image below, which shows that over the first few years, methane's GWP is more than 150 times higher than carbon dioxide.

Above image is actually conservative, as 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, research published in 2016 and 2018 found methane to be more potent than IPCC's GWP for methane in AR5, so it seems appropriate to use 150 as methane's GWP for periods of a few years.

Self-reinforcing feedback loops further accelerate heating in the Arctic and just one of them, seafloor methane, could suffice to cause runaway heating.

from an earlier post (2014)  
As the image below shows, in which a GWP of 150 for methane is used, just the existing carbon dioxide and methane, plus seafloor methane releases, would suffice to trigger the clouds feedback tipping point to be crossed that by itself could push up global temperatures by 8°C, within a few years.

As described on above image and in an earlier post, a rapid temperature rise could result from a combination of elements, including albedo changes, loss of sulfate cooling, and methane released from destabilizing hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of oceans.

[ from an earlier post ]
In the video below, Professor Peter Wadhams and Stuart Scott discuss the threat of large methane releases (recorded March 2019, published July 2019).

Seafloor methane releases could be triggered soon by strong winds causing an influx of warm, salty water into the Arctic ocean, as described in an earlier post and discussed in the 2017 video below. In the above images, methane is responsible for a temperature rise of as much as 1.1°C in a matter of years, but the rise won't stop there. A study published in 2012 calculates that 1000-fold methane increase could occur resulting in a rise of as much as 6°C within 80 years, with more to follow after that.

In the May 2019 video below, Professor Guy McPherson and Thom Hartmann discuss our predicament.

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


• Extinction Alert

• Geographical Distribution of Thermometers Gives the Appearance of Lower Historical Global Warming - by Rasmus Benestad et al.

• July on course to be hottest month ever, say climate scientists - The Guardian

• Radiative forcing of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide: A significant revision of the methane radiative forcing - by Maryam Etminan et al. (2018)

• Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations - by William Collins et al. (2016)

• Estimating and tracking the remaining carbon budget for stringent climate targets - by Joeri Rogelj et al.

• As El Niño sets in, will global biodiversity collapse in 2019?

• Methane hydrates

• Damage of Land Biosphere due to Intense Warming by 1000-Fold Rapid Increase in Atmospheric Methane: Estimation with a Climate–Carbon Cycle Model, by Atsushi Abata et al. (2012)

• Extreme weather

• Feedbacks in the Arctic

• Albedo and Latent Heat

• Earth is on the edge of runaway warming

• When Will We Die?

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

• Climate Plan

Saturday, October 13, 2018

IPCC keeps feeding the addiction

The IPCC just released its report Global Warming of 1.5°C. Things aren't looking good and instead of providing good advice and guidance, the IPCC bends over backward in efforts to keep feeding the addiction.

The Paris Agreement constitutes a joint commitment by all nations of the world to keep the temperature rise below 1.5°C. The IPCC should have honored this commitment by explaining that the situation is dire and by pointing at action to be taken to improve the situation.

Instead, the IPCC bends over backward to make it look as if temperatures were lower than they really are, in an effort to make it look as if there were carbon budgets to be divided, and polluters should be allowed to keep polluting until those budgets had run out. This is like saying that drug junkies who cause damage and are deeply in debt, should be handed over more OPM (other people's money, in this case the future of all people and other species).

In reality, there is no carbon budget to be divided, there is just a huge carbon debt to be repaid. The urgency and imperative to act is such that progress in one area cannot make up for delays elsewhere. The best policies should be implemented immediately, and everywhere across the world.

Use of terms such as trade-offs, net-outcomes, off-sets, carbon budgets and negative emissions is misguided and highly misleading. Policies based on giving and trading in permits to pollute are less effective than local feebates, i.e. polices that impose fees on sales of polluting products and then use the revenues to support rebates on the better alternatives sold locally.

Here are twelve instances where the IPCC is misleading:
  1. Changing the baseline set at the Paris Agreement
    While the Paris Agreement is clear that pre-industrial is to be used as baseline, the IPCC has instead chosen to use 1850-1900, a period when the Industrial Revolution had long started. This compromises the entire Paris Agreement and thus the integrity of us all. Temperatures may well have been 0.3°C higher in 1900 than in 1750, as depicted in above image in the light blue block. Add up the warming elements and it may well be that people have caused more than 2°C of warming already and that we're facing warming of more than 10°C by 2026.

  2. Misleading calculations and wording
    The IPCC suggests that warming caused by people is 1.0°C (±0.2°C), likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. To reach these numbers, the IPCC used misleading calculations in efforts to downplay how dangerous the situation is, as discussed further below. As an example of misleading wording, the IPCC says it has high confidence that 1.5°C won't be reached until 2030 if warming continues to increase at the current rate of 0.2°C per decade. Sure, if warming was 1.0°C and if it was indeed warming at 0.2°C per decade and if that warming would continue at 0.2°C per decade, yes, then it would take 25 years for warming to reach 1.5°C. But the reality is that warming is already far more than 1.0°C and that it is accelerating. That makes it misleading to associate high confidence with the suggestion that warming will not reach 1.5°C until 2030. The use of a straight line (linear trend) is misleading in the first place, since warming is accelerating. The use of a straight line is even more misleading when such a straight line is then used to make projections into the future and qualifications such as high confidence are added.

  3. Ignoring the importance of peaks
    Daily and monthly peaks are obviously higher than annual averages, and it's those high peaks that kill, making it disrespectful toward past and future victims of extreme weather events to average that away. NASA records show that, in February 2016, it was on average 1.67°C warmer than in 1900 (i.e. a 30-year period centered around 1900), while the higher latitudes North had anomalies up to 10.8°C. On land, the average anomaly in February 2016 was 2.26°C. And this is before adding 0.3°C for the rise before 1900, and before further adjustments as discussed below. Conservatively, the magenta block at the top of above image shows a rise of 1.63°C.

  4. Cherry-picking the baseline period
    For a baseline of a 30-year period around the year 1900, the temperature rise to 2016/2017 was 1.22°C, NASA records show. When adding another 0.3°C rise for the rise before 1900, warming was well above 1.5°C in 2016/2017. However, the IPCC conveniently selects an 1850-1900 baseline, a period when it was relatively warm, i.e. warmer than in 1750 and warmer also than in 1900. It was warmer from 1850 to 1900 due to increasing livestock numbers and forests clearing, while huge amounts of wood were burned, all contributing to large emissions of black carbon, brown carbon, methane, CO, etc., which caused additional warming during this period. So, this period was relatively warm. There was little impact yet of the sulfur aerosols that started coming with burning fossil fuel from 1900. Choosing this baseline period enabled the IPCC to beef up the temperature for the baseline and then draw a linear trend from 1850-1900 that looks flatter.

  5. Changing the data
    The U.K. Met Office's HadCRUT dataset goes back to 1850. The IPCC used this dataset, but actually changed the data, by averaging the data with datasets that showed a similar rise for the years after 1900, but that showed higher warming for 1880-1900. This enabled the IPCC to further beef up the average temperature for the period 1850-1900 and then draw a linear trend from 1850-1900 that looks even flatter.

  6. Cherry-picking the type of data
    To further support its suggestions, the IPCC uses water surface data for ocean temperature, but uses air data for temperatures over land. When selecting datasets with more consistency and using air temperatures globally, the temperature rise is 0.1°C higher.

  7. Not using new techniques to estimate values for missing data
    The IPCC chooses not to use new techniques to estimate temperatures where data are missing. Less data are available for the Arctic, and this is precisely where temperatures have risen much faster than in the rest of the world. When values for missing data are included, the temperature rise is another 0.1°C higher.

  8. Leaving out 2016
    The IPCC suggests there was a temperature rise of 0.2°C per decade in the years up to 2015, as if the high temperatures in 2016 didn't occur. The IPCC then uses that 0.2°C rise to make projections into the future, conveniently skipping the high temperatures in 2016. Failure to properly address acceleration of future warming is further discussed in the point below.

  9. Failure to properly address dangerous developments
    The IPCC fails to point out that carbon dioxide reaches a maximum in warming the atmosphere some 10 years after emission, which means that the full wrath of global warming due to the very high emissions of carbon dioxide over the past decade is yet to come. While temperatures could rise very rapidly over the coming decade, the IPCC keeps talking about carbon budgets, without properly addressing tipping points such as the decline of the snow and ice cover that will result in huge albedo losses, jet stream changes, more and more extreme weather events, and more. The IPCC fails to point out the danger of destabilization of sediments containing methane in the form of hydrates and free gas. Furthermore, the IPCC fails to properly address the aerosol warming that will occur as sulfur emissions decrease and other aerosols increase such as black carbon, brown carbon, etc. The IPCC fails to mention the water vapor feedback, i.e. the increase of water vapor in the atmosphere that will occur as a result of these developments. Since water vapor itself is a potent greenhouse gas, this will speed up the temperature rise even further. These developments could lead to a potential global temperature rise (from 1750) of more than 10°C by 2026, as illustrated in the image at the top.

  10. There is no carbon budget left
    Instead of pointing at the dangers, as it should have done, the IPCC makes it look as if there was a remaining carbon budget that should be divided among polluters, as if they should continue polluting the world. It should be obvious that there is no such budget. Instead, there's only a huge and very dangerous carbon debt. There is no room for trade-offs or offsets, and terms such as negative emissions are also inappropriate. All efforts should be made to cut emissions, including ending current subsidies for fossil fuel and livestock, while at the same time great effort should be taken to remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans. And even then, it's questionable whether any humans will be able to survive the coming decade, which will be critically dangerous for all species on Earth.

  11. Suggesting polluting pathways
    The pathways suggested by the IPCC keep fossil fuel in the picture for many years, while highlighting non-solutions such as BECCS. The IPCC makes it look as if coal-fired power plants could continue to operate, by burning more biomass and capturing carbon. The IPCC makes it look as if transport could continue to use internal combustion engines, by burning more biofuel. Instead, clean & renewable energy has many benefits, including that it's more economic, so air capture powered by such facilities would make more sense than BECCS. Furthermore, electric vehicles should be supported now, rather than in the year 2050. It makes sense to stop fossil fuel subsidies, and to support better diets, to plant more vegetation and to support ways to add carbon and nutrients to soils and oceans, such as with biochar and ground rocks. Many technologies have been proposed, e.g. refrigerators and freezers are now made that do not use gases for cooling. The IPCC should not have used pathways that are wrong in the first place. Instead, the IPCC should have pointed at the policies that can best facilitate the necessary transitions, because the scientific evidence is overwhelming and it's the right thing to do.

  12. Not pointing at the best and much-needed policy tools
    The IPCC report fails to point out that imposing fees on polluting products is the most effective policy instrument, the more so when the revenues are used to support rebates on better alternatives supplied locally.
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.

Prof. Peter Wadhams and Stuart Scott discuss the IPCC Global Warming of 1.5ºC report

Extended version of above video

Paul Beckwith on baseline, methane and more

Stuart Scott talks with Prof. Peter Wadhams on Arctic sea ice

Magnificent work by Stefanie Steven

[ budget ]
Proper analysis would have pointed at what the best action is to improve the situation.

However, the IPCC does not do that. Instead, the IPCC keeps stating that there was a carbon budget to be divided and consumed, while advocating non-solutions such as BECCS and while hiding the full extent of how threatening the situation is.

A quick word count of the IPCC report Global Warming of 1.5°C (SPM) shows paragraphs full of words such as budget (1st image right) and of non-solutions such as BECCS (2nd image right).

At the same time, it fails to mention biochar, meat or local feebates. It fails to mention the huge threat of feedbacks and tipping points such as methane hydrates and Arctic sea ice, instead making it look as if all that could only pose potential problems over longer timescales.

This is indicative of how much the IPCC is part of the problem and part and parcel of the wilful destruction of life itself that is taking place so obviously all around us.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) might as well change its name to IPCD (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Destruction).

It's not as if people weren't warned.
The danger was described back in 2007: Total Extinction.
The mechanism was depicted back in 2011: Runaway Global Warming.
And still, in 2018, the IPCC sadly keeps on feeding the addiction.


• IPCC special report Global Warming of 1.5°C

• Paris Agreement

• How much warming have humans caused?

• Climate Plan

• Feedbacks

• Extinction

• Can we weather the Danger Zone?

• How much warmer is it now?

• 100% clean, renewable energy is cheaper

• Fridges and freezers that don't use gases

• Negative-CO2-emissions ocean thermal energy conversion

• 'Electrogeochemistry' captures carbon, produces fuel, offsets ocean acidification

• Olivine weathering to capture CO2 and counter climate change

• Biochar group at facebook

• Aerosols

• IPCC seeks to downplay global warming

• Blue Ocean Event

• What Does Runaway Warming Look Like?

• Ten Dangers of Global Warming

• AGU poster, AGU Fall Meeting 2011

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April 2018 Update

[ click on image to enlarge ]
On April 22nd, 2018, Arctic sea ice extent was only 13.552 million km², a record low for the time of year. In 1987, by comparison, sea ice extent wasn't below 13.574 million km² even on May 22nd.

Meanwhile, CO₂ (carbon dioxide) levels are rising. The image on the right shows that Mauna Loa's CO₂ hourly average level was above 413 ppm recently. The daily average CO₂ level reached 412.37 ppm on April 23, 2018.

Fires are raging near the Amur River in East Siberia, with associated high emissions, as illustrated by the images below.

Above image shows CO₂ levels reaching as high as 973 ppm on April 18, 2018. As the image below shows, carbon monoxide levels at that spot were as high as 43,240 ppb on April 18, 2018.

The NASA satellite image below shows smoke plumes of the fires and burn scars on April 19, 2018.

Stuart Scott has produced two new videos in which he interviews Professor Peter Wadhams,
A Conversation with Dr. Peter Wadhams - Part 1

and the video below, A Conversation with Dr. Peter Wadhams - Part 2

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Can the world be saved without geoengineering?

Can the world be saved without geoengineering? What is your view?

The Climate Plan includes the more effective and safe geoengineering methods as separate lines of action, next to emission cuts. There are discussions on this at the Climate Alert group. Feel encouraged to join in!

In the following videos, a number of geoengineering methods are discussed. The videos were recorded in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the time of the UN climate negotiations that were held from 7-18 November 2016. Stuart Scott interviews Peter Wadhams, Hugh Hunt, Matthias Honegger and Douglas MacMartin.

In the video below, Jennifer Hynes interviews Stuart Scott and his work, including on the
Nobel Peace Prize for Sustainable Development. From: January 2017.
Check out earlier contributions by Jennifer Hynes

In the video below, Paul Beckwith discusses some Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) ideas, adding that "climate rates of change are abruptly spiraling upwards. Although we must slash fossil fuel emissions, that alone will not restore climate stability. Like the proverbial roadrunner charging over a precipice and cratering, we have left things too late. We must also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and/or oceans to have a fighting chance. I discuss several options to do this."

In the video below, Paul Beckwith is weighing Solar Radiation Management (SRM) options, adding that
"to have a fighting chance of arresting abrupt climate change we must deploy Solar Radiation Management Tech to cool our planet and buy us time to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans and slash human emissions. We have no choice. These technologies are not risk-free, but risks must be weighed against the near-certainty of collapse of global food supplies and geopolitical chaos."


• Climate Alert group

• Geoengineering group

• Climate Plan

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Most Important Videos Uploaded In December 2016

Peter Wadhams is interviewed by Stuart Scott, Executive Director of United Planet Faith & Science Initiative, in this video called Farewell to Arctic Ice, uploaded December 27, 2016, and recorded at UN climate negotiations in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Peter Wadhams is an 'expeditionary' scientist and Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics from Cambridge. Peter Wadhams' observations of the Arctic ice for over 4 decades makes him one of the worlds authorities on the subject.

In the video, Peter Wadhams discusses some of the issues described in his current book A Farewell to Ice (right), which is available as hardback or ebook (256 pages, published September 1, 2016).

For more, view some of the recent posts at Arctic-news blog, such as:
Accelerated Warming of the Arctic Ocean
Monthly CO₂ not under 400 ppm in 2016
Seafloor Methane and
Sea ice is shrinking

Below is the sea ice volume image (created by Wipneus) that is discussed in the video.

Mark Jacobson gave a presentation called How the Future of Energy Impacts the Future of Our Cities, as part of the Digital Cities Summit, October 2016. The video was uploaded on 7 Dec 2016 by Stanford University School of Engineering.

Imagine a future where the entire U.S. energy infrastructure runs on clean, renewable energy. It’s possible to do it by 2050, says Stanford civil and environmental professor Mark Jacobson, and even without any new technologies. Mark Jacobson laid out the hidden upside of using solar, wind and water resources – rather than burning fossil fuels – to power everything from appliances and machinery to cars and building systems. “If you electrify everything, something magical happens. Without really changing your habits, you can reduce power demand by about 42%,” Mark Jacobson says.

Such a huge reduction in power demand comes mostly from the efficiency gains of electricity over combustion and eliminating the energy needed to mine, transport and refine fossil fuels. In addition to the pure energy savings, Mark Jacobson estimates that we could avoid 4 million to 7 million deaths from air pollution, eliminate $15 trillion to $25 trillion in global warming costs, create 17 million more jobs than would be lost if we don’t transition, and reduce the energy poverty of up to 4 billion people worldwide.

For more, click on the links at Roadmaps to convert 139 countries of the world to Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) for all purposes.

Paul Beckwith produced a two-part video, called 'Abrupt Climate Disrupting Arctic Changes'. The first part is at Part 1 of 2 and the second video, featured below, is at Part 2 of 2. The videos were uploaded on December 30, 2016.

In the videos, Paul Beckwith describes that gut-wrenching disruptions are underway in the Arctic, including record-high temperatures, near-record summer ice loss and spring snow cover loss, and record low sea-ice winter growth.

This second video is particularly interesting at the segment from 8:30 to 12:00 minutes, where Paul Beckwith discusses how wind patterns are changing over the Arctic and how this will make the Beaufort Gyre and other ocean currents reverse when we get complete sea-ice loss.

For more on this, see also the post Accelerating Warming of the Arctic Ocean.

Peter Wadhams also featured in this video interview by Jennifer Hynes for ExtinctionRadio, uploaded December 29, 2016.

There is also a shorter version of this interview, without music.

The interview is part of episode 62 at, uploaded December 28, 2016. This episode also includes interviews by host Mike Ferrigan with Paul Beckwith and Tim Garett.

Guy McPherson gave a presentation at the Fayetteville Free Library in Syracuse, New York, on December 22, 2016. Part 1 is the presentation, featured below. Part 2 covers questions and answers, following the presentation. The videos were uploaded December 27, 2016.

Two images used in the presentation are added below.

On the right, the elements adding up to a potential global temperature rise by 2026 of over 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit), from the Extinction page. For more, also view the Temperature page at

Below, the timeline of Earth's temperature in history after a graph by Chris Scotese, from The Politics and Science of Our Demise.
For more, also view the Climate Change Summary and Update at

An earlier presentation was given by Guy McPherson in Wellington, New Zealand. The presentation was given at Victoria University in Wellington and was streamed live at 6:00 p.m. New Zealand time on 6 December 2016. The video was uploaded on December 7, 2016.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Action must be taken now

Some of the world's most preeminent climate scientists, all experts with many decades of experience in their respective field, are warning that effective action must be taken now to avoid catastrophe.

These scientists, and many others, have made valuable and much-appreciated contributions to the Arctic-news blog over the years [note: contributors each express their own views in posts and may or may not endorse other content of this blog].

Sam Carana, editor of this blog, has for years supported the calls of these scientists, also discussing and sharing their calls at facebook groups such as Arctic-News, Electric TransportRenewables and Climate Alert.

Furthermore, Sam Carana has called for specific action for years, including support for biochar, preferably through feebates. More specifically, Sam Carana recommends that revenues raised from fees imposed on sales of livestock products, nitrogen fertilizers and Portland cement are used to fund support for soil supplements, as illustrated by above image. For more on biochar, see this blog and this facebook group.

For years, Sam Carana has also called for more R&D in specific areas of geo-engineering. For more on this, see this blog and this facebook group.

More generally, Sam Carana advocates the Climate Plan, which calls for a global commitment to parallel lines of action while seeking to delegate implementation to local communities, preferably through effective policies such as local feebates.

This blog has had some success in spreading this message. To date, Sam Carana has received 82,327,368 views at Google plus (see screenshot on the right), while this blog has received 3,255,445 views (see update of views in the panel further on the right).

Your continued support is needed to share this message, so please join one or more of the above-mentioned groups, and share and like the images of this post in emails, on facebook and other social media.

Regarding the urgency to act, the images below give an update on the terrifying situation in the Arctic, where the sea ice is disappearing fast.

The decline of the snow and ice cover in the Arctic goes hand in hand with rising sea surface temperatures that contribute to sea ice getting ever thinner.

The image on the right show Arctic sea ice on September 1, 2016, with thickness in meters.

The warming of the oceans is illustrated by the images below.

The image directly below shows sea surface temperature (left) and anomalies compared to 1981-2011 (right).

The image below also shows sea surface temperature anomalies, this time compared to 1971-2000.

Global warming has hit the Arctic particularly hard over the past 365 days, with anomalies exceeding the top end of the scale over most of the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Storms over Arctic Ocean

Winds over the Arctic Ocean reached speeds of up to 32 mph or 52 km/h on August 19, 2016. The image below shows the Jet Stream crossing Arctic Ocean on August 19, 2016 (see map on above image for geographic reference).

The Naval Research Lab image on the right shows a forecast for sea ice speed and drift run on August 15, 2016, and valid for August 17, 2016.

These storms come at a time when the sea ice has become extremely thin, as illustrated by the Naval Research Lab sea ice thickness animation below, covering a 30-day period run on August 17, 2016, with a forecast through to August 25, 2016. The animation shows that the multi-year sea ice has now virtually disappeared.

With the sea ice in such a bad shape, strong winds can cause a rapid drop in sea ice extent, at a time when the Arctic still has quite a bit of insolation. At the North Pole, insolation will come down to zero at the time of the September 2016 Equinox.

Even more terrifying is the Naval Research Lab's Arctic sea ice thickness forecast for August 25, 2016, run on August 17, 2016, using a new Hycom model, as shown on the right.

With the thicker multi-year sea ice now virtually gone, the remaining sea ice is prone to fracture and to become slushy, which also makes it darker in color and thus prone to absorb more sunlight.

Furthermore, if strong winds keep hitting the Arctic Ocean over the next few weeks, this could push much of the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean, along the edges of Greenland and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Strong winds are forecast to keep hitting the Arctic Ocean hard for the next week, as illustrated by the image on the right showing a forecast for August 24, 2016.

As sea ice extent falls, less sunlight gets reflected back into space and is instead absorbed by the Arctic. Once the sea ice is gone, this can contribute to a rapid rise in temperature of the surface waters.

The video below shows wind speed at 10 meters forecasts from August 25, 2016 1800 UTC to September 2, 2016 0300 UTC.

The left panel on the image below shows winds (surface) reaching speeds as high as 61 km/h or 38 mph over the Arctic Ocean (green circle), while the right panel shows winds at 250 hPa (jet stream).

As the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the world, the temperature difference between the Equator and the Arctic decreases, slowing down the speed at which the Northern Polar Jet Stream circumnavigates Earth, and making it wavier.

As a result, the Jet Stream can extend far over North America and Eurasia, enabling cold air to move more easily out of the Arctic (e.g. deep into Siberia) and at the same time enabling warm air to move more easily into the Arctic (e.g. from the Pacific Ocean). Such changes to the jet stream also enable strong winds to cross East Siberia more easily and cause stormy weather over the Arctic Ocean.

This is illustrated by the image below. The left panel shows the jet stream crossing East Siberia at speeds as high as 277 km/h or 172 mph on August 27, 2016, while at surface level cyclonic winds occurring over the Arctic ocean reached speeds as high as 78 km/h or 48 mph that day.

The right panel shows that, on that day, cold air moved deep into Central Siberia, resulting in temperatures as lows as -15.9°C or 3.5°F in Central Siberia and temperatures that were higher than they used to be over the Arctic Ocean.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
The image on the right shows surface winds (top) and winds at 250 hPa (i.e. jet stream, bottom) over the Arctic Ocean causing snow (blue) and rain (green) to fall north of Greenland (center).

Rain can have a devastating impact on the sea ice, due to kinetic energy breaking up the ice as it gets hit.

This can fragment the ice, resulting in water that is warmer than the ice to melt it both at the top and at the sides, in addition to melting that occurs at the bottom due to ocean heat warming the ice from below and melting that occurs at the top due to sunlight warming the ice from above.

Furthermore, where the rainwater stays on top of the sea ice, pools of water will form, fed by rainwater and meltwater. This will darken the surface. Melting sea ice is also darker in color and, where sea ice melts away altogether, even darker water will emerge. As a result, less sunlight is getting reflected back into space and more sunlight is instead absorbed.

The image below shows Arctic sea ice thickness (in m, nowcast, run on August 27, 2016, valid for August 28, 2016, panel left) and Arctic sea ice speed and drift (in cm per second, nowcast, run on August 27, 2016, valid for August 28, 2016, panel right).

The danger is that such storms, especially at this time of year, can push much sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean, along the edges of Greenland, into the Atlantic Ocean.

This danger grows as the sea ice gets thinner. Above image shows ice thickness (in m) nowcasts, run on August 30 and valid for August 31, for each year from 2012 to 2016.

Next to loss of snow and ice cover, another big danger in the Arctic is methane releases.

Above image shows methane levels as high as 2454 ppb on August 25, 2016 (top panel), strong releases from Alaska to Greenland on August 26, 2016 (middle panel), and mean methane levels as high as 1862 ppb on August 27, 2016 (bottom panel).

The image on the right shows high methane levels recorded at Barrow, Alaska, up to August 30, 2016.

The image below shows cyclonic winds (center left) over the Arctic Ocean on August 22, 2016.

The image below shows how little sea ice was left at locations close to the North Pole on August 25, 2016.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
The image on the right shows that Arctic sea ice extent was 4.8 million square km on August 27, 2016, according to the NSIDC.

NOAA data show that the July 2016 global land and ocean temperature was 16.67°C or 62.01°F, the highest temperature for any month on record.

The image below on the right shows July sea surface temperature anomalies (compared to the 20th century average) on the Northern Hemisphere.

This ocean heat is now being carried by the Gulf Stream toward to Arctic Ocean.

Meanwhile, the cold sea surface area that was so pronounced over the North Atlantic in 2015, is getting overwhelmed by ocean heat.

This is illustrated by the image below showing sea surface temperature anomalies on August 27, 2015 (left panel) and on August 27, 2016 (right panel).

The image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic (latitude 60°N-90°N) compared to 1961-1990.

The Climate Reanalyzer image below also shows sea surface temperature anomalies August 16, 2016, this time compared to 1979-2000.

The image below, from an earlier post, shows sea surface temperature anomalies on August 12, 2016, in the left-hand panel, and sea surface temperature anomalies in the right-hand panel.

Sea surface temperature and anomaly. Anomalies from +1 to +2 degrees C are red, above that they turn yellow and white
Above image also shows that on August 12, 2016, sea surface temperatures near Svalbard (at the location marked by the green circle) were as high as 18.9°C or 65.9°F, an anomaly of 13.6°C or 24.4°F.

As said above, changes to the Jet Stream enable warm air to move more easily into the Arctic Ocean and cold air to move more easily out of the Arctic Ocean. Where seas are shallow, a surface temperature rise can quickly warm up water all the way down to the Arctic ocean seafloor, where it can destabilize methane hydrates contained in sediments.

This could make that huge amounts of methane get released from the seafloor. Given that many of the seas in Arctic are very shallow, much of this methane can enter the atmosphere without getting broken down in the water, resulting in huge additional warming, especially over the Arctic. As discussed in an earlier post, this could contribute to a global temperature rise of over 10°C or 18°F by the year 2026.

One of the people who has been warning about these dangers for many years is Professor Peter Wadhams, whose new book A Farewell to Ice was recently launched (256 pages, published September 1, 2016).

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


 Wildfires in Russia's Far East

 Climate Plan

 Rain Storms Devastate Arctic Ice And Glaciers

 High Temperatures in the Arctic

 Arctic Sea Ice Getting Terribly Thin

 A Global Temperature Rise Of More than Ten Degrees Celsius By 2026?

 A Farewell to Ice, by Peter Wadhams