Midwinter wildfires now a present danger in USA

Wildfires currently troubling three quite disparate areas of the USA. This time of the year there is usually lots of snow on the ground!

  • Gracyn Gordon, 13/02/2022 in WAPT16abc – Mississippi: Dangerous wildfire conditions continue over weekend: WARREN COUNTY, Miss. — Firefighters worked hard battling more wildfires in Jackson on Saturday. Dry and windy conditions caused a high fire danger to start the weekend. Firefighters said the weather is not helping.
  • The Associated Press, 12/02/2022 in Fox 31 Local News: Colorado: Wildfire worries dominate discussion of Rocky Flats refuge: DENVER — December’s Marshall fire spared the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, an expanse of grasslands between Superior and Arvada that for 40 years was home to a facility producing triggers for nuclear warheads. But the prospect of a large refuge wildfire was the subject of a recent meeting of local elected officials and refuge managers.  For those who believe the refuge isn’t safe due to residual contamination, the Boulder County fire was a wake-up call.
  • 12/02/2022 in WYFF4: North Carolina: Firefighter injured while battling NC wildfire: MACON COUNTY, N.C. — Officials said crews have been battling numerous brush and wildland fires over the last several days. They said gusty winds and dry conditions caused the fires.
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Biospheric carbon emissions are not easily recovered

Living things and soils store vast amounts of organic carbon. If this is lost to the atmosphere by wildfire, land clearing, or other disturbances it is not easily recovered

Irrecoverable Carbon: The Importance of Preventing Deforestation

by Govind Bhutata 13/02/2022 Carbon Streaming Corporation in Visual Capitalist

The Earth is home to some natural ecosystems that function as carbon vaults, storing massive amounts of carbon. Researchers developed the concept of “irrecoverable carbon” to identify areas on the basis of three criteria relevant for conservation:

Manageability: How they can be influenced by direct and local human actions

Vulnerability: The magnitude of carbon lost upon disturbance

Recoverability: The recoverability of carbon stocks following loss

Applying the three criteria across all ecosystems reveals that some places contain carbon that humans can manage, and if lost, could not be recovered by 2050, when the world needs to reach net-zero to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.

The above graphic sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation charts global irrecoverable carbon by land area, highlighting important ecosystems of stored carbon.

Read the complete article….

For the science behind this brief presentation see, Noon et al., 2022. Mapping the irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems in Nature Sustainability.

Greta Thunberg tells us us how important it is to fight the fires.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
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.

In other words, smell the smoke, see the 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. All the troop of wooden-headed puppets is doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything else 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 hope. She wants you to panic enough to wake up and fight the fire…. so she can have some hope for her future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your vote wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ futures.

If we successfully purge our Parliament of the puppets, we may be able leave our offspring with a hopeful future.

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

Western Australia cops heat & wildfires this year

Despite La Nina, widespread lightning has started many fires in with the loss of homes in the southern part of Western Australia

By Liam Croy 11/02/2022 in the Albany Advertiser
Fire alarm: Homes feared lost as lightning sparks bushfire emergencies across southern WA: The entire region — including Jerramungup, Lake Grace, Newdegate and Hopetoun — was under a storm warning on Friday afternoon with damaging weather expected. Wind gusts of 137km/h was recorded in Jacup at 2.27pm.

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

Southern California’s NB4 record high winter temps

Record high mid-winter temps from 28 to 31 °C and wildfires hit Southern California suggesting drought may continue for another year

By Jan Wesner Childs 11/02/2020 in The Weather Channel:
Homes Burned, Evacuations Ordered Amid Southern California Wildfires: Southern California is experiencing unusually hot weather, combined with Santa Ana winds and an ongoing drought. Temperatures soared into the mid- to upper 80s in some areas Thursday with daily record highs noted by the National Weather Service in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles counties.

See also:
By Madeline Scheinost 09/02/2022 in The Weather Channel
Does California’s Dry Start to 2022 Mean the Drought Is Locked in Until Next Winter?: California started the year with a dent in a multi-year drought thanks to a wet December, but a dry spell to start the year threatens to counteract the progress that was made and prolong the drought well into 2022.

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

Global warming sets Australia for worse NB4 bushfires

ANU experts say continuing climate change increases bushfire threats of more than ‘worst case’ scenarios to never before (NB4) seen levels

by Michael Mazengarb 10/02/2022 in Renew Economy
Australia’s bushfire threat already beyond worst-case scenarios, thanks to climate change: Australia will continue to experience more extreme impacts of climate change, with the bushfire threat already exceeding the ‘worst case’ scenarios, experts have told the Australian National University’s 2022 Climate Update event.

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

Global warming sets Australia for worse NB4 bushfires

ANU experts say continuing climate change increases bushfire threats of more than ‘worst case’ scenarios to never before (NB4) seen levels

by Michael Mazengarb 10/02/2022 in Renew Economy
Australia’s bushfire threat already beyond worst-case scenarios, thanks to climate change: Australia will continue to experience more extreme impacts of climate change, with the bushfire threat already exceeding the ‘worst case’ scenarios, experts have told the Australian National University’s 2022 Climate Update event.

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

The EU’s satellite monitoring program is tracking the accelerating frequency and intensity of wildfires around the Mediterranean and elsewhere in the world

by Adam Gristwood, 03/02/2022 – in EUMETSAT Science Blog
Southern Europe battles increases in major wildfires: As climate change drives longer heatwaves, experts say that strategies to prevent and suppress wildfires are increasingly important

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.

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

Part 6 of David Spratt’s guidebook to events along the road to Hothouse Hell: Burning Siberian tundra, taiga forests and peat soils are all contributing to thawing permafrost and pushing greenhouse gas emissions past an important tipping point

Spratt focuses almost exclusively on the consequences of permafrost thawing without much consideration of the overall environment of which the thawing permafrost is only a part. Even looked at in isolation it is clear that greenhouse gases are being released sooner and in greater quantities that in earth system models and conservative IPCC reporting.

I spent several months last year researching the interacting dynamics of the 2020 Siberian wildfires (burning taiga forests, arctic tundra, and even the underlying peat soils) on the underlying permafrost and the likely impacts on greenhouse gas emissions from both the burning overburden and underlying permafrost. None of the modeling has the full complexities of the likely internal positive feedbacks within this permafrost system. In other words, although all authorities seem to accept that the Arctic permafrost is a dangerous threshold we could already be tripping over, I think most still badly underestimate the dangers it represents for flipping us past the point of no return on the road to Earth’s Hothouse Hell climate state and global mass extinction.

Exposed ice wedge in slumping permafrost

31 January 2022

Have tipping points already been passed for critical climate systems? (6) Permafrost: Beyond the models

by David Spratt in Climate Code Red
Sixth in a series.   
Read 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

Permafrost is permanently frozen ground. It covers one-quarter of the land mass of the northern hemisphere, and contains 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon, twice the amount currently in the atmosphere and triple the amount emitted by human activity since 1850.  Permafrost buried beneath the Arctic Ocean holds 60 billion tons of methane (in structures known as methane clathrates) and 560 billion tons of organic carbon.

Permafrost is releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases, and feedbacks are under way, but the dynamics are not yet well enough understood to be able to judge whether tipping points have been reached or not.  As previously noted (in part 1 of this series), University of NSW researchers point out that: “We do not know exactly how close we are to a tipping point, or even whether we have already passed it… There are tipping points that while not yet triggered may already be fully committed to.” 

As permafrost thaws, soil microbes awaken and feast on the warming biomass, creating heat as they do so: a positive feedback that drives more defrosting. Russian permafrost scientist Trofim Maximov describes the global feedback: thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gases which cause warmer temperatures, melting the permafrost further: “It’s a natural process… which means that, unlike purely anthropogenic processes, once it starts, you can’t really stop it.”

A 2018 study estimated that stabilisation of the climate at 2°C may eventually result in release of 225–345 gigatonnes (GtC) of thawed permafrost carbon. That is equivalent to two-to-three decades of human emissions at the current rate. Some scientists consider that 1.5°C appears to be something of a “tipping point” for extensive permafrost thaw.

Read the complete article….

If rapidly thawing permafrost doesn’t sound the alarm that shouts, ‘Your house is on fire. If you don’t put it out your house will be gone!’ I don’t know what does. Unfortunately, in Australia we are living in a country whose national government seems to be a troop of wooden-headed puppets and knaves working for the fossil fuel industry. Here they are doing everything possible to drown out, stifle, and misdirect the alarm so it either won’t be heard at all, or will at least be ignored by the citizens they are supposed to protect and keep safe.

If we continue to follow the lead these puppets are trolling us with, nothing will be done to stop and reverse global warming until we are irrevocably committed to the Hell the fossil fuel industry is tipping us into. Think of the future when you decide who to vote for (and place last in your list of preferences) in the upcoming election. Hopefully, you will give your top preferences to candidates who can be trusted to put action on the global climate emergency at the top of their to do list if elected, and puppets of the fossil fuel and related special interests at the bottom of your list.

To help you, we are making available what we know about each candidate via our electorate specific Traffic Light Voting System.

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