Not much ice left – warm blue arctic ocean due soon

Blue oceans absorb more heat than ice caps. Loss of thick ice at winter’s end makes blue ocean likely soon. Expect more extreme weather!

Loss of thicker March sea ice from 1979 to 2022 Zack Labe, 12/04/2022

Featured Image: Arctic Sea Ice Thickness By Year. / Data: PIOMASS v2.1 (Zhang & Rothrock 2003) from 1979-2022 (averaged with ≥0.15 thickness) / Source: / Graphic: Zachary Labe (@ZLabe)

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Thawing permafrost: Big climate system danger

Permafrost holds 2x more carbon than Earth’s atmosphere and 3x more than all forests. Thawing will hugely impact global climate warming

Science Session: Thawing Arctic Permafrost–Regional and Global Impacts

by US National Academy of Sciences, 12/05/2020

Science Session: Thawing Arctic Permafrost–Regional and Global Impacts

Temperatures across the Arctic are increasing two to four times faster than the global average. The dramatic consequences that are already apparent include reduction of sea-ice cover, accelerating loss of land ice from glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet, proliferating wildfires, and—the topic of this panel—ongoing heating and thawing of the permafrost that underlies most of the land area of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions across the globe. Permafrost thaw is a direct threat to buildings, roads, and pipelines, and it can greatly accelerate erosion along rivers and coastlines with severe consequences for communities located there. But an impact with much wider consequences is the release of carbon dioxide and methane by the decomposition of previously frozen organic matter, affecting the rate of growth of global warming and all of its impacts everywhere. (There is estimated to be something like 2.5 times as much carbon in the as in the entire global atmosphere; the key question is how fast it will come out.) The panelists, leading Arctic experts all, explain the complex science of thawing permafrost and elucidate the implications both regionally and globally.

Editors note: I have often mentioned the potential risk of rapid permafrost thawing serving as a source of powerful positive feedback on global warming from the abrupt emissions of greenhouse gases. The emissions include methane, which has a global warming potential more than 80 x that of CO. The video runs for almost 1½ hours. However, if you want to understand how science works in what are relatively conservative approaches and whether the risks that concern us in the Vote Climate One group are real, the whole video should be well worth watching.

In this pay particular attention to what is left out of the predictive models for future growth of emissions. The actual reality is likely to be even worse.

Finally, a lot of the discussion is based on the idea still common in 2020, that there is some kind of ’emissions budget’ that allows time to stop anthropogenic emissions. With more data, e.g., from the still conservative IPCC Sixth Assessment Report there is much less mention that there is no ‘safe’ emissions budget. Action to slow and reverse global warming is urgent! To be effective this will need global mobilization with cooperation at government levels as well as involving people. Here, our government in Australia has been quite hostile to any kind of action on global warming because of their apparently rusted-on allegiance to the fossil fuel industry and super-wealthy special interests associated with it.

In Scotty’s own words in one of his pet mediums – something to think about:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he supports Australia’s fossil fuel industry – and particularly coal, which he… says will be around for “decades to come”. “When it comes to the coal industry, it’s worth $35 billion to us every year in exports, and that’s money Australia needs to grow our economy,” Mr Morrison said. “What you need in today’s energy economy is you need to continue to run your coal-fired power stations for as long as you possibly can and that is our policy … we want them to run as long as they possibly can.” Coal-fired power stations will continue to run to back up renewable power sources, although Mr Morrison said gas would play a larger role in the energy mix in years to come. Mr Morrison added that building a new coal-fired power station would be difficult because of the state government planning powers, which would “probably never allow them to do it”. For the video see: The Australian, 14/03/2022, Commentary/coal-will-be-around-for-decades-to-come-scott-morrison/video. See also ‘We will keep mining’, says Australian prime minister Scott Morrison about the future of coal.

What can/must we do about this dreadful government and even worse situation?

We need to turn away from the the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with the kind of business as usual Scotty from Maketing and his fossil fuel puppets are spruiking!

It seems to take the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old autistic girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact they have expended considerable effort to deny the science, punish the institutions doing the science, misrepresent the facts, and try to divert interest to anything else but action on climate change. Beyond this they are continuing to support and subsidize continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Basically, all they doing is throwing coal on the fire and rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ future.

Our young ones are walking into an unknown future. Give them hope and not the Ukraine.

Featured image: Tundra fire burning on permafrost along a 30 km long front (with even more burning out of the frame, dated 20/07/2022, Picture centered on lat=71.50116, lng=145.43701 at zoom 10, well north of the Arctic circle in Russia’s Siberian Sakha Republic. Image downloaded from European Space Agency’s Sentinel Hub EO Browser using False color, urban with RGB tweaking to emphasize currently burning area and the reddish burn scar. Fire burned for over 3 months / uploaded here by William Hall.. See

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

More wildfires in sub-arctic forests heat up our Earth

conditions conducive to higher frequency fires. In the coniferous boreal forest, the world’s largest terrestrial biome, fires are historically common but relatively infrequent. Post-fire, regenerating forests are generally resistant to burning (strong fire self-regulation), favoring millennial coniferous resilience. However, short intervals between fires are associated with rapid, threshold-like losses of resilience and changes to broadleaf or shrub communities, impacting carbon content, habitat, and other ecosystem services.

by Buma et al., 22/03/2022 in Scientific Reports

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Expert explains NB4 polar temperature extremes

Yale Climate Connections‘ Bob Hensen discusses and explains the unimaginable heat episodes observed at in north and south polar regions

A research caravan seen from above by a research drone in early 2020 on the East Antarctic Plateau south of Concordia Station. Concordia recorded its highest temperature in more than 15 years of data collection on March 18, 2022 – a date when temperatures are normally closer to their winter lows than summer highs. (Image credit: Pete Akers via Article)

by Bob Hensen, 23/03/2022 in Yale Climate Connections

How this month produced a mind-boggling warm-up in eastern Antarctica (and the Arctic): Two atmospheric rivers surge toward opposite poles:

The bloodless term “anomaly” doesn’t do justice to the stupendous temperature departures seen across parts of both the Antarctic and Arctic in mid-March 2022. With the initial shock now behind them, scientists are taking stock of exactly what happened and what it might portend.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: The high temperature at Concordia Station, Antarctica, on March 18, 2022, soared above any temperature on record, even from midsummer, in data going back to 2013. (Image credit: Eric Lagadec, via ASTEP from the Article).

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Thawing permafrost is crossing several tipping points

An EOS article published today puts exclamation marks around yesterday’s post: “Thawing permafrost in the Arctic warns we are probably crossing several critical tipping points on the road to runaway warming and near-term human extinction“.

The increasing incidence of wildfire in the Arctic is not only thawing permafrost but also changing the entire underlying structure of the region.” The net result is to greatly increase the rate of thawing and the amount of greenhouse gases being released to the global atmosphere (which is why it concerns us here in Australia!)

The bottom line is that if we humans don’t stop the continuing increase in global temperature (global warming) it will soon be impossible to do so because of the exponentially increasing positive feedbacks from temperature sensitive greenhouse gas emissions like this. This is the threshold, or point of no return, beyond which our planetary climate system is fully committed to complete its flip into the hothouse hell state. (see Steffen et al. 2018, Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene and my own 2021 research presentation, Portents for the Future – 2020 Wildfires on the Siberian Permafrost.)

by Danielle Beurteaux, 1 February 2022 in EOS

The Anaktuvuk River Fire in 2007 tore through 100,000 hectares of Alaskan tundra in almost 3 months of continuous burning. This fire not only changed the area vegetation, but it also thawed permafrost and led to the formation of thermokarst. This is a dramatic example but may serve as a bellwether incident for climate to come.

Almost everything hinges on permafrost in the Arctic ecosystem.”

Arctic permafrost stores 33% of Earth’s organic carbon, even though it covers only 20% of the planet. It also acts as the structural foundation, physically and ecologically, for the entire pan-Arctic region. Permafrost thawing has cascading effects on the hydrological conditions of the landscape and ice and also triggers changes in vegetation and releases stored carbon. “Almost everything hinges on permafrost in the Arctic ecosystem,” said Yaping Chen, a postdoctoral research associate at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Yet there are still questions about how fires (the incidence of which is increasing in the Arctic) and climate change might increase the amount of thermokarst—the uneven land formed after permafrost melts. Thermokarst is the result of the degradation of permafrost and provides reduced carbon sequestration and fewer niche ecosystems than permafrost.

“Our major result is that although fire only burned about 3% of the Arctic landscape, it is responsible for more than 10% of thermokarst formation,” said Chen. “However, climate change remains the predominant regional consideration of thermokarst formation.”

Researchers also found that fires increased thermokarst formation for up to 80 years postfire, much longer, said Chen, than previously thought.

We have poor knowledge about the presence of permafrost, said Chen. We don’t know exactly where it is or how much there is of it. “These difficulties make it very hard to predict where thermokarst may start and how it will develop over time,” she said.

Read the complete article…

Earth on fire
It’s an Emergency!

Humanity has only a few years at the most to stop and reverse global warming. If we fail to do this our children and grandchildren will have no future in the global mass extinction in Earth’s Hothouse Hell. Currently stifled and mesmerized by the humbug, lies, blocking and misdirection of the LNP COALition’s fossil fuel puppets, Australians are doing nothing effective to fight the warming fire that is burning up our only planet.

To have any hope of contributing to the solution, we must replace Capt. Humbug (a.k.a., Scotty from Marketing), his deputy dunce, Blarny Bulldust (The Man with the Hat), and their troop of wooden headed puppets occupying our Parliament with sensible people committed to acting on the climate emergency as their first order of business if elected to office. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System is designed to help you replace the special interest puppets with good people who will help put out the fire rather than trying to con us into believing that it doesn’t exist…., or if it does, that it isn’t important….

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.