Planet News !

Planet News !2021-04-29T16:37:17+01:00

COP is dead. Long live COP!

It’s a chaotic, confounding circus pilloried by many as a waste of time and resources, and a needless exercise that changes little. But we keep coming back.

How to Use Climate Science to Drive Your Net Zero Strategy

New Global Carbon Budget (GCB) projections – recently released at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – showcase not only how much progress has been made in the past year to reduce CO2 emissions, but also how many years of “carbon budget” we have left.

There is no Carbon Budget

In the above image, the atmosphere is presented as a "bucket" filling with greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel use from 1870 to 2020. The image depicts the idea that there is some carbon budget left, before 1.5°C above pre-industrial will be reached. The Global Carbon Project has just issued an update of what it refers to as the Global Carbon Budget.  The Global Carbon Project insists that there still is some carbon budget left, even as global fossil fuel C₂O emissions in 2021 were higher than 2020, and are projected to be higher again in 2022 than 2021, as illustrated by the image on the right. Arctic-news has long said that the suggestion of a carbon budget is part of a narrative that polluters seek to spread, i.e. that there was some budget left to be divided among polluters, as if polluters could safely continue to pollute for years to come before thresholds would be reached that could make life uncomfortable, such as a rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial. For starters, an earlier analysis warns that the 1.5°C threshold may have already been crossed long ago. The situation looks set to soon become even more catastrophic. The upcoming El Niño could make a difference of more than 0.5°C over the next few years. Additionally, there will be a growing impact of sunspots, forecast to peak in July 2025. Arctic-news has long warned about rising temperatures, not only due to high greenhouse gas levels, but also due to a number of events and developments including a rise of up to 1.6°C due to loss of Arctic sea ice and permafrost, and associated changes, a rise of up to 1.9°C due to a decrease in cooling aerosols, and a rise of up to 0.6°C due to an increase in warming aerosols and gases as a result of more biomass and waste burning and forest fires.More recent posts also warn that the rise could cause the clouds tipping point at 1200 ppm CO₂e to be crossed. Accordingly, the total temperature rise could be as high as 18.44°C from pre-industrial by 2026. Keep in mind that humans are likely to go extinct with a rise of 3°C, as discussed in an earlier post. [ image from quotes, text from 2013 post ] So, there is no carbon budget left. There is just a huge amount of carbon to be removed from the atmosphere and oceans, a "debt" that polluters would rather be forgotten or passed on to future generations. This "debt" has been growing since well before the industrial revolution started. Long ago, people should have started to reduce emissions and remove greenhouse gases, as well as take further action to improve the situation, and Arctic-news has long said that comprehensive and effective action must be taken without delay.The situation is dire and the right thing to do now is to help avoid or delay the worst from happening, through action as described in the Climate Plan and at the recent post Transforming Society. Links• Global Carbon Project - Global Carbon Budget 2022https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/index.html• The upcoming El Nino and further events and developmentshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/11/the-upcoming-el-nino-and-further-events-and-developments.html• Arctic Methane Monsterhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2013/09/arctic-methane-monster.html• The Clouds Feedback and the Clouds Tipping Pointhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/clouds-feedback.htmlMethane levels threaten to skyrockethttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/09/methane-levels-threaten-to-skyrocket.html• Pre-industrialhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/pre-industrial.html• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Methane keeps risinghttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/10/methane-keeps-rising.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• When will we die?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html• Transforming Societyhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/10/transforming-society.html

The upcoming El Nino and further events and developments

The upcoming El NiñoThe above image shows a forecast for August 2023 of the sea surface temperature anomaly in degrees Celsius, from tropicaltidbits.com. The forecast shows temperatures that are higher than average (based on 1984-2009 model climatology) for the tropical Pacific region indicative for an El Niño event. By contrast, the above forecast for November 2022 shows temperatures in the tropical Pacific region that are much lower than average, indicating that we're still in the depths of a persistent La Niña. By comparison, the above nullschool.net image shows the sea surface temperature anomaly for August 15, 2022, i.e. less than three months ago, when sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific region were similar to what they are now, while anomalies in the Arctic were much higher than they are now.Moving from the bottom of the current La Niña to the peak of a strong El Niño could make a difference of more than half a degree Celsius, as indicated by the image below, adapted from NOAA. [ from earlier post ]The NOAA image on the right confirms that we're still in the depths of a persistent La Niña. NOAA predicts a transition out of La Niña. Note that the NOAA forecast only goes up to May/June/July 2023. SunspotsThe upcoming El Niño looks set to coincide with a peak in sunspots. The peak in sunspots looks set to reach a higher than expected maximum impact around July 2025. An analysis in an earlier post concludes that the rise in sunspots from May 2020 to July 2025 could make a difference of some 0.15°C.Accordingly, the combined impact of El Niño and sunspots could make a difference of 0.65°C over the next few years.Methane keeps rising at accelerating paceFurthermore, there are a number of events and developments that could additionally speed up the temperature rise, including greenhouse gas emissions that keep rising. Methane is particularly important, due to its high potency as a greenhouse gas and its abundance has also been growing at accelerating pace over the past few years. The above image shows recent methane daily averages at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, ranging from 1900 ppb to nearly 2000 ppb. The above image shows recent methane daily averages at Barrow, Alaska, ranging from 2000 ppb to over 2100 ppb. The above image, adapted from Copernicus, shows a forecast for November 7, 2022, 03 UTC at 500 hPa, with high levels of methane showing up over the Arctic. [ from earlier post ]Very threatening is a rise in methane that kept following the trend depicted in the above image, created with WMO 2015-2021 global annual surface mean methane abundances, with an added trend that points at a potential mean global abundance of methane of more than 700 ppm CO₂e by the end of 2026. The image warns that, if such a trend kept continuing, the clouds tipping point could be crossed as a result of the forcing of methane alone.  Further events and developments that could speed up the temperature rise[ see the Extinction page ]When including further events and developments, the clouds tipping point could be crossed in a matter of years and even with far less methane than the above trend warns about. As an earlier post mentions, the upcoming temperature rise on land on the Northern Hemisphere could be so high that it will cause much traffic, transport and industrial activity to grind to a halt, resulting in a reduction in aerosols that are currently masking the full wrath of global warming. The post points at a recent analysis that finds a stronger impact than previously thought for liquid water path adjustment, which supports the 2016 warning that by 2026 there could be a 1.9°C temperature rise due to a decrease in cooling aerosols, while there could be additionally be a 0.6°C temperature rise due to an increase in warming aerosols and gases as a result of more biomass and waste burning and forest fires by 2026. Furthermore, the 2016 analysis warns about an additional temperature rise of up to 1.6°C due to loss of Arctic sea ice and permafrost, and associated changes. There could also be additional temperature rises due to increased water vapor, nitrous oxide and further gases. When including the temperature rise that has already unfolded from pre-industrial and the impact of all such events and developments, the temperature could rise by more than 10°C over the next few years, corresponding with a CO₂e of over 1200 ppm, which implies that the total temperature rise could be as high as 18.44°C in 2026. Keep in mind that humans are likely to go extinct with a rise of 3°C, as illustrated by the image below, from an analysis discussed in an earlier post.The situation is dire and the right thing to do now is to help avoid or delay the worst from happening, through action as described in the Climate Plan.Links• Tropicaltidbits.com https://www.tropicaltidbits.com• nullschool.net https://earth.nullschool.net• NOAA Climate Prediction Center - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictionshttps://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Cataclysmic Alignmenthttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly Global Climate Report for September 2022, retrieved October 16, 2022https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202209/supplemental/page-4• Methane Keeps risinghttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/10/methane-keeps-rising.html• NOAA - Global Monitoring Laboratoryhttps://gml.noaa.gov/dv/iadv• Copernicus methane at 500 hPa, forecast for November 78, 2022, 03 UTChttps://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/charts/methane-forecasts?facets=undefined&time=2022110700,3,2022110703&projection=classical_global&layer_name=composition_ch4_500hpa• The Importance of Methane in Climate Changehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/the-importance-of-methane-in-climate.html• The Clouds Feedback and the Clouds Tipping Pointhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/clouds-feedback.html• Pre-industrialhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/pre-industrial.html• Invisible ship tracks show large cloud sensitivity to aerosol - by Peter Manhausen et al. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05122-0• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Transforming Society

How can the problems of war, climate collapse and famine best be addressed? Earlier this year, the U.N. issued a warning about famine, pointing out that war is compounding the problems of climate disruption and famine, adding that the "main costs to farmers are fertilizers and energy". The U.N. statement follows many news media reports about the rising cost of living.  How can these problems best be addressed? Two sets of feebates can best accomplish agriculture reform and a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy, as has been discussed in many earlier posts and as is discussed in more detail below. Agriculture ReformHalf of habitable land is used for agriculture and most farmland is used to produce meat and diary and a 2019 Greenpeace analysis found over 71% of EU farmland to be dedicated to meat and dairy. Changing from a livestock-rich diet to a plant-based diet can free up large areas of land that can instead be used for other purposes such as community gardens and food forests. Instead of adding chemical nitrogen fertilizers - typically produced with natural gas - in annually-planted monocultures, it's better to have a diversity of vegetation including a variety of perennial plants such as legumes and trees. Furthermore, pyrolyzing biowaste should be encouraged, as this reduces fire hazards and produces biochar that can be added to soil to sequester carbon and to increase nutrients and water in the soil. Local councils could encourage this by adding extra fees to rates for land where soil carbon falls, while using the revenue for rebates on rates for land where soil carbon rises.That way, adding biochar effectively becomes a tool to lower rates, while it will also help improve the soil's fertility, its ability to retain water and to support more vegetation. That way, real assets are built, as illustrated by the image on the right, from the 2014 post Biochar Builds Real Assets.Legumes include beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, tamarind, alfalfa, and clover. Legumes can naturally fix nitrogen to the soil, thus reducing the need for nitrogen fertiliser and in turn reducing the associated emissions, including nitrous oxide. Adding nitrogen fertilizer can also cause the formation of dead zones in lakes and oceans. Dead zones occur when the water gets too many nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. In too many cases, chemical nitrogen fertilizers are added unnecessarily. The intent may be to help the plants grow, e.g. when leaves of plants turn yellow or when there is little growth. But it may actually be that the plants get too little water because the roots of the plants were damaged or too short, or that there was too little shade and too much sun. Excessive nitrogen fertilization and irrigation can then result in a lot of green leaves, but this growth can come at the expense of good food. Instead, with a good mix of vegetation, there's little or no need to add chemical nitrogen fertilizer, since nitrogen-fixing plants such as legumes can help fast-growing plants get the necessary nitrogen, while the fast-growing plants provide shade for the legumes and the soil. Next to providing shade, the tall, sturdy stalks of plants such as corn can give the vines of beans something to attach themselves to. Fast-growing pants can provide a lot of shade to other plants and to the soil, thus keeping the soil moist, while also preventing the infiltration and growth of weeds and while also deterring pests with their spiny leaves. Trees can lower surface temperatures by providing shade and by holding colder air under their canopy, thus avoiding extreme temperatures that could also cause the soil to get too dry. The roots of trees prevent erosion and guide rainwater to reach greater depth, thus avoiding that the soil gets too wet in case of heavy rain. Trees then pump water up from deep in the ground with their roots and much of the water comes out again through leaves (evapotranspiration), which stimulates rainfall. Furthermore, trees release pheromones (that attract pollinators) and other aerosols such as terpenes. Trees are typically narrower at the top and wider below, and through their shape and by standing up high they can guide the wind upward, while water vapor released from leaves also helps lift these aerosols into the air.  Raindrops forming around these aerosols will further stimulate the formation of lower cloud decks that provide shade, that reflect sunlight back into space and that produce more rainfall locally.Furthermore, olivine sand can be used to create footpaths and bicycle paths. Olivine sand could also be added on top of biochar, as the light color of olivine sand reflects more sunlight, while olivine also sequesters carbon and adds nutrients to the soil. By redesigning urban areas, more space can be used for trees, which also reduces the urban heat island effect and thus lowers temperatures.  Important in this regard is the transition to a vegan-organic diet. This can dramatically reduce the need for land and water, while additionally reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A good mix and variety of vegetation can help each of the plants through symbiotic interaction grow an abundance of vegan-organic food locally in a sustainable way. People can improve the landscape by removing biowaste from the forest floor to reduce fire hazards. Most of the biowaste can be pyrolyzed and returned to the soil in the form of biochar, which additionally reduces fire hazards, as it increases soil fertility and thus makes vegetation more healthy, while it also increases the soil's capability to retain moisture.Some of the biowaste can also be used to construct buildings. Instead of cutting down the largest and most healthy trees to do so, which now all too often happens, it makes more sense to instead remove only dead trees and biowaste from the forest floor. Such use of biowaste could provide funding for the process of waste removal from the forest floor. For most biowaste (including kitchen and garden waste, and sewage), it makes sense to turn it into biochar that is added to the soil.The image below shows how policies described in the Climate Plan can facilitate the necessary transformation of society, while reducing the cost of energy and the cost of food. [ from earlier post ]Reducing the Cost of Energy and the Cost of Conflict As said, the cost of energy can best be reduced by a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy. Much land is currently used for mining and drilling, refining and transport of fossil fuel (including roads, railways, ports and military protection to secure supply lines). Much land is also used to grow crops and trees that are burned for energy, i.e. feeding wood into power plants and growing crops for biofuel to power vehicles.[ from earlier post ]Instead, by using electricity that is generated by wind turbines and solar panels, the total area of land that is needed to produce energy can be reduced dramatically. Using eVTOL air taxis can furthermore reduce the need for roads and associated infrastructure, further freeing up land, while the transition to electricity generated with solar panels and wind turbines can additionally free up land that is now used by utilities and their associated infrastructure such as power plants, power poles and towers, communication poles, etc. This land can instead be used for community gardens, (food) forests, parks, etc.Currently, much fossil fuel is transported by ship. International shipping emissions are not included in national totals of greenhouse gas emissions, despite the huge part of international shipping in global trade, carrying 70% of that trade by value and more than 80% by volume. Near the coast, batteries are increasingly powering shipping, but in international waters, shipping is almost entirely powered by fossil fuel, mainly bunker oil. Some 43% of maritime transport is busy merely moving fuel across the globe, so terminating fuel usage on land could in itself almost halve international shipping emissions.In addition to the commercial emissions caused by shipping of fuel, there are also military emissions that are excluded in national totals, such as international use by the military of bunker fuels and jet fuel, greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption of bases abroad and the manufacture of equipment used by the military abroad. A large part of the military is busy securing and protecting global supply lines for fossil fuel, while burning huge amounts of fuel in the process. A 2019 analysis found that the US military's global supply chain and heavy reliance on carbon-based fuels make it the largest institutional consumer of oil and one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters, more than many countries worldwide.Disputes over possession of fossil fuel are behind many international conflicts. Instead, nations can each cater for their power needs more independently and securely by transitioning to clean, renewable energy. A large part of a nation's infrastructure is used to transport fuel domestically, including trucks driving on roads and highways, while also using tunnels and bridges, parking places and stations for refuelling, while additionally fuel is transported by trains, planes and vessels that need ports, railways stations and tracks, and a lot of fossil fuel is burned in the process of transporting the fuel and constructing and maintaining these facilities. Furthermore, many forests and much cropland are used to supply biofuel, for use either to power vehicles, for heating or as fuel for power plants. Reducing the use of fuel will therefore also reduce nations getting into conflict with other nations, not only conflict over the possession of fossil fuel and over water to cool power plants, but also conflict over land and water that is used for agriculture and forestry to grow biofuel. The easiest way to reduce the cost of conflict is to take away the reason for conflict, which in this case is the use of land to produce fuel.Clean, renewable energy in the form of electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines is already more economic than using fuel for energy. Shifting to clean energy will thus lower the cost of energy, while people will also be less burdened by the cost of associated conflicts, which is more than the cost of the military and police taking care to avoid conflict, as the cost is even larger than that if conflicts do escalate and cause destruction of infrastructure, damage to soil and ecosystems and loss of lives, health and livelihood for all involved. The comprehensive and effective action proposed by the Climate Plan can terminate the use of fuel and thus also reduce conflict, while additionally reducing the threat of runaway warming, and while additionally providing many environmental benefits and further benefits such as the termination of perceived needs for military forces to police global fuel supply lines and associated infrastructure. In conclusion, reducing the use of fuel will in itself further reduce demand for fuel and the cost of energy. Replacing fuel by clean, renewable energy can additionally cut the need for energy through greater efficiencies of electric motors, appliances and devices. As said, this will also reduce the need for land and water, and - this cannot be said enough - avoid or delay climate collapse and catastrophe. Air Taxis and Urban Redesign can further facilitate the necessary transformationAir taxis can be an important component of the transformation of the way we travel, live, work and eat.This doesn't have to be an instant shift. In existing cities, there already is a strong and growing movement to restrict the use of cars in city centers, and to instead add more walkways and bikeways. In this case, the roads will still be there, it's just their usage that changes. Another example is pipes. Many cities want to disconnect pipes that now supply natural gas to buildings, as it makes more sense to use electricity instead. The pipes will still be there, they just won't be used anymore, if at all. Digging up the pipes may make sense, but this may take some effort and time and it's therefore important that this issue is not used as an excuse to delay the rapid transition to the use of clean energy that is so urgently needed.It's important to look at longer-term and more radical redesign. The transition toward greater use of air taxis enables space previously used for roads to instead be used for more walkways and bikeways, as well as for trees, community gardens, etc. This should be incorporated as part of wider and longer-term planning and redesign of urban areas. In some places, this can lead to a more compact urban design, especially in city centers. After all, a lot of space becomes available as the use of roads for vehicle movements and for parking is reduced in an urban area, and this allows for more compact construction of new buildings and renovation of existing buildings that also reduces the distance between buildings, thus shortening the time it takes for trips by foot or bike in the city center, while there also will be plenty of opportunities for spaces to be created for air taxis to land and take off, e.g. in parks and on top of buildings.At the same time, air taxis enable trips of up to a few hundred miles to be completed fast, while using little energy and causing little emissions. Furthermore, more remote places can be economically reached by air taxis without a need for roads to lead them to these places or for railway stations to be located nearby. Drone delivery of goods and air taxis can enable more people to live outside urban areas. More people will be able to have goods delivered to their home and to reach urban amenities if and when they want to, and more economically compared to using cars and roads.The need for land and water to produce food and energy, and the need for land to transport goods and food can be reduced with the transitions to clean energy and to vegan-organic food. These transitions can also reduce the need for infrastructure such as pipes and poles for water supply, sewage, communications and power. Instead, we can have solar panels, microgrids, WiFi, rainwater tanks, biochar units, food forests and community gardens.The image below illustrates how policies recommended in the Climate Plan can further reduce the need for infrastructure by supporting eVTOL air taxis, while transforming the space thus gained into community gardens, walkways, bikeways, etc. [ from an earlier post ] In conclusion, the situation can best be addressed through action as described in the Climate Plan. Links • Climate Plan (page)https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html• Climate Plan (post)https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/climate-plan.html• Climate Plan (group)https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClimatePlan• Air Taxis (group)https://www.facebook.com/groups/AirTaxis• Biochar (group)https://www.facebook.com/groups/biochar• Vegan Organic Food (group)https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganOrganicFood• Secretary-General Warns of Unprecedented Global Hunger Crisis, with 276 Million Facing Food Insecurity, Calling for Export Recovery, Debt Relief (June 24, 2022) https://press.un.org/en/2022/sgsm21350.doc.htm • Land Use - by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roserhttps://ourworldindata.org/land-use• View your government’s military emissions datahttps://militaryemissions.org• Military emissionshttps://militaryemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/military-emissions_final.pdf• Emissions from fuels used for international aviation and maritime transporthttps://unfccc.int/topics/mitigation/workstreams/emissions-from-international-transport-bunker-fuels• Decarbonizing the maritime sector: Mobilizing coordinated action in the industry using an ecosystems approach https://unctad.org/news/decarbonizing-maritime-sector-mobilizing-coordinated-action-industry-using-ecosystems-approach• Assessing possible impacts on States of future shipping decarbonizationhttps://unctad.org/news/assessing-possible-impacts-states-future-shipping-decarbonization• News release: No environmental justice, no positive peace — and vice versahttps://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en/news/73129• Study: A global analysis of interactions between peace and environmental sustainability - by Dahylia Simangan et al. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589811622000210• Also discussed at:https://www.facebook.com/groups/arcticnews/posts/10160237979779679• Costs of War - Neta Crawfordhttps://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use%2C%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Revised%20November%202019%20Crawford.pdf

Methane keeps rising

Methane keeps rising. The image below shows methane flask measurements at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, since 2001. A recently-published article points out that prudent risk management requires consideration of bad-to-worst-case scenarios. There is the danger that, as methane keeps rising, the clouds tipping point could be crossed. This danger is rarely discussed. How bad could it be? The MetOp-B satellite recorded a mean methane level of 1981 ppb at 393 mb on October 2, 2022 am, while plenty of methane was present over the Arctic Ocean at the three altitudes, as the compilation image below shows. This supports the possibility that large amounts of methane are getting released from the Arctic Ocean, with even more to follow. This 1981 ppb mean methane level translates into 396.2 ppm CO₂e at a 1-year GWP of 200. Destabilization of sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean could cause a large abrupt burst of methane to enter the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean.A doubling of the mean methane level could push up the mean methane level to twice as much, to 792.4 ppm CO₂e, which is only 407.6 ppm CO₂ away from the 1200 ppm CO₂e clouds tipping point that on its own could push up the temperature by some 8°C globally. This gap of 407.6 ppm CO₂ could be more than covered by the current carbon dioxide level. The September 2022 carbon dioxide level at Mauna Loa was higher than that, at 415.96 ppm. Since the carbon dioxide level at Mauna Loa in September typically is at its lowest point for the year, this implies that a large abrupt burst of methane could cause the the clouds tipping point to be instantly crossed due to methane and carbon dioxide alone.Since there are further forcers, such as nitrous oxide and CFCs, while further events and development could additionally speed up the temperature rise, this means that the clouds tipping point could be instantly crossed in case of a burst of methane that is far smaller in size than the methane already in the atmosphere. [ from earlier post ]That's not even the worst-case scenario. In the above calculation, global mean methane levels are used. However, there is a possibility that low-lying clouds could at first break up and vanish abruptly at one specific point, due to a high methane peak, and that this could lead to break-up of neighboring clouds, propagating break-up across the globe and thus pushing up the temperature rise virtually instantly by some 8°C globally. The MetOp satellite recorded a peak methane level of 3644 ppb and a mean level of 1944 ppb at 367 mb on November 21, 2021, pm, as discussed in an earlier post. This 3644 ppb translates into 728.8 ppm CO₂e, again at a 1-year GWP of 200. This is 471.2 ppm CO₂e away from the clouds tipping point and that 471.2 ppm CO₂e could be covered by the carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and CFCs currently in the atmosphere. There are further scenarios that could cause the clouds tipping point to be crossed soon, e.g. if the rise in methane kept following a trend such as depicted in the image below. [ from an earlier post ]The situation is dire and the right thing to do now is to help avoid or delay the worst from happening, through action as described in the Climate Plan.Links• NOAA - Global Monitoring Laboratoryhttps://gml.noaa.gov/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=MLO&program=ccgg&type=ts• Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios - by Luke Kemp et al. https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2108146119Also discussed at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arcticnews/posts/10160138721434679• The Clouds Feedback and the Clouds Tipping Pointhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/clouds-feedback.html• NOAA - MetOp satellitehttps://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi• The Importance of Methane in Climate Changehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/the-importance-of-methane-in-climate.html• Overshoot or Omnicide?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2021/03/overshoot-or-omnicide.html• Human Extinction by 2022?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2021/11/human-extinction-by-2022.html• Cataclysmic Alignmenthttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Crossing 3C

The Northern Hemisphere is where most people live. Furthermore, most people live on land. Let's first look at the temperature rise on the Northern Hemisphere. The image below, created with a September 30, 2022 screenshot from NASA customized analysis plots, shows June-July-August temperature anomalies from 1880-1920 on the Northern Hemisphere with June-July-August 2022 highlighted with an anomaly of 1.4°C or 2.52°F, a record high in a tie with 2020. Secondly, most people live on land. The image below shows the monthly mean global surface temperature anomaly on land. It is similarly created with a September 30, 2022 screenshot from NASA customized analysis plots and shows a peak anomaly from 1880-1920 of 2.95°C or 5.31°F (for February 2016, land only).The year 2016 was an El Niño year. During an El Niño, temperatures are higher than usual. We are currently in the depths of a persistent La Niña, which suppresses temperatures. We look set to move into another El Niño within years. In conclusion, the temperature rise on land on the Northern Hemisphere looks set to cross 3°C soon, the more so since we are also facing a peak in sunspots (by 2025), which may coincide with peak temperatures associated with the upcoming El Niño. Also keep in mind that the above temperature anomalies are measured from 1880-1920, so the temperature rise from pre-industrial is significantly higher than that. There are some further events and developments that could push up the temperature rise further, as discussed at the extinction page. Humans are likely to go extinct with a rise of 3°C, as illustrated by the image below, from an analysis discussed in an earlier post.The situation is dire and the right thing to do now is to help avoid or delay the worst from happening, through action as described in the Climate Plan. Links• NASA - GISS Surface Temperature Analysis https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v4/customize.html• Cataclysmic Alignment https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Pre-industrialhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/pre-industrial.html• When will we die?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Plan https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Blue Ocean Event 2022?

The image on the right shows a NASA Worldview satellite image of a blue Beaufort Sea (with Barrow, Alaska, at the top left, on September 7, 2022). The image shows that there is a lot of open water between the coast of Alaska and the sea ice. To determine where there is open water and where the sea ice starts can be hard; the sea ice is often covered by clouds; furthermore, even when there are no clouds, the question remains what is to be regarded as sea ice. According to many, a Blue Ocean Event starts once Arctic sea ice extent falls below 1 million km². Arctic sea ice extent was 4.912 million km² on September 6, 2022, which is larger than the extent in many previous years around this time of year (see NSIDC image below). However, the sea ice has become very thin, resulting in many areas where only small pieces of ice are present. NSIDC regard a cell to have sea ice if it has at least 15% sea ice, but when regarding a cell to have sea ice if it has at least 50% ice and if that's the case for ⅕ of the cells where there is (some) ice, then we're already in a Blue Ocean Event right now.So let's have another look at how much of the above 4.912 million km² can be regarded as sea ice, by using the NSIDC map with sea ice concentration as a guide. The roughly-sketched outline drawn over the NASA map below indicates that there may only have been some 991 thousand km² of concentrated sea ice left on September 6, 2022 (inset shows NSIDC sea ice concentration for the day). As said, it's a rough sketch, so some cells with a higher concentration of sea ice may have been left out. Having said that, we're currently in the depth of a persistent La Niña and the associated lower air temperatures contribute to a relatively larger sea ice extent than would otherwise be the case. In conclusion, depending on what is counted as sea ice, we could already be experiencing a Blue Ocean Event right now. A Blue Ocean Event implies the crossing of a huge tipping point that looks set to cause further tipping points to be crossed, as discussed at the Blue Ocean Event page. The situation is dire and the right thing to do is to help avoid or delay the worst from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan. Links• NSIDC - Frequently asked questionshttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq• NASA Worldviewhttps://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov• NSIDC - sea ice concentrationhttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews• NSIDC - sea ice extenthttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph• Albedohttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/albedo.html• Latent Heathttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/latent-heat.html• Jet Streamhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/jet-stream.html• Feedbacks https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html• Blue Ocean Event https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/blue-ocean-event.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Dangerously large Arctic sea ice extent

Arctic sea ice extent was 5.88 million km² on August 21, 2022, larger in extent than in any of the years from 2010 through 2021 at this time of year, as illustrated by the image below. At first glance, one might think that this relatively large extent was a sign of healthy sea ice. After all, the larger the sea ice, the more sunlight gets reflected back into space. At the same time, however, the situation is very dangerous, as there is a growing risk that large eruptions of methane will occur from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Why is the situation so dangerous? There are many contributors to the danger, three of them are:1. Sea ice acts as a sealTemperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than in the rest of the world. As temperatures rise in the Arctic, increased precipitation, meltwater and runoff from land, and flow of freshwater from rivers all decrease salinity of the water in the Arctic Ocean. Lower salinity makes it harder for sea ice to melt. Furthermore, we're currently in the depth of a persistent La Niña (NOAA image on the right), and the associated lower air temperatures further contribute to a relatively larger extent of the sea ice. More extensive sea ice in turn makes it harder for ocean heat to be transferred to the atmosphere, thus instead raising the temperature of the water of the Arctic Ocean.Sea ice acts as a seal that impedes transfer of ocean heat from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere. The larger the sea ice is in extent, the less ocean heat can be transferred from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere, which means that more heat will remain in the Arctic Ocean. 2. Lid on North Atlantic Ocean stratification is increasing globally, as ocean warming is stronger for upper layers versus the deep ocean. Stratification increased from 1960 to 2018 by 5.3% for the upper 2000m and by as much as 18% for the upper 150m, while salinity changes also play an important role locally, a 2020 study finds.As temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than in the rest of the world, the Jet stream is getting deformed, and this can, at times strongly, increase precipitation over the North Atlantic and increase runoff from land (including from melting glaciers) that both contribute to growth of a relatively cold, freshwater lid at the surface of the North Atlantic. This lid on the North Atlantic reduces transfer of ocean heat to the atmosphere and enables large amounts of salty, warm water to enter the Arctic Ocean, diving under the sea ice.  This lid also increases the risk of a sudden, large influx of hot, salty water. Slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) causes ocean heat to accumulate, while more warm water travels underneath this lid (instead of at the sea surface) toward the Arctic Ocean. As the Jet Stream gets more deformed, strong winds along the path of AMOC can at times speed up the flow of water that travels underneath this cold freshwater lid over the North Atlantic, suddenly pushing large amounts of salty, warm water into the Arctic Ocean. [ from: Arctic sea ice August 2022 ] 3. Latent heat buffer loss The navy.mil combination image below has three panels. The left panel shows the sea ice on August 30, 2012, the center panel shows the sea ice on August 30, 201, and the right panel shows a forecast for the sea ice for August 21, 2022, run on August 20, 2022. The image illustrates that Arctic sea ice is currently larger in extent than it was in 2012 and 2014 around this time of year, and that there has been a dramatic reduction in thickness of the sea ice over time. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn't rise at the sea surface. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C. This ice has meanwhile all but disappeared, so without this latent heat buffer further incoming heat must go elsewhere, i.e. the heat will further raise the temperature of the water of the Arctic Ocean. Compound impact The danger is that, as more salty, warm water keeps arriving in the Arctic Ocean while the latent heat buffer has largely disappeared and while sea ice extent is relatively large, this will raise the temperatures and salinity levels at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean enough to destabilize hydrates in sediment at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, resulting in methane eruptions both from these hydrates and from free gas underneath these hydrates. [ The Buffer has gone, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page ] High methane concentrationsThe possibility of large releases of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean is the more dangerous given the already very high methane concentrations in the atmosphere. The annual growth in methane in 2021 was the highest on the NOAA record. The image on the right shows a methane peak of 2622 (marked by the red oval), recorded by the N20 satellite on August 20, 2022 am at 399.1 mb. Note the high methane concentrations north of Siberia. Another N20 satellite image is added underneath showing high methane concentrations over the Arctic on August 20, 2022 am at 695.1 mb, which is much closer to sea level.  The MetOp satellite image underneath also shows high methane concentrations over the Arctic at 695.1 mb on August 20, 2022 am. Methane releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean are very dangerous because there is very little hydroxyl in the atmosphere over the Arctic to break down the methane.  The MetOp satellite image underneath shows a mean for methane of 1971 ppb (marked by the red oval) at 293 mb on the morning of August 18, 2022 am. An abrupt release as large as the methane currently in the atmosphere could raise the mean twice as high, to 3942 ppb and when using a 1-year GWP of 200, this translates into 788.4 ppm CO₂e.Average daily carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentration at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, was 417.05 ppm on August 18, 2022 (next image on the right). When adding that 417.05 ppm for CO₂ to the above 788.4 ppm CO₂e for methane, that gives a total of 1205.45 ppm CO₂e. In other words, a large eruption of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean could abruptly cause the joint CO₂e of just two greenhouse gases, i.e. methane and CO₂, to cross the 1200 ppm clouds tipping point globally and trigger a further 8°C global temperature rise, due to the clouds feedback alone. When adding further forcers, a huge temperature rise could be triggered with far less methane. ConclusionIn conclusion, there is a growing risk that methane will erupt from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and cause a dramatic rise in temperature.Even without such eruption of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, temperatures look set to rise strongly soon, as we move into an El Niño and face a peak in sunspots. Either way, the resulting temperature rise could drive humans extinct as early as in 2025 with temperatures continuing to skyrocket in 2026. This makes it in many respects rather futile to speculate about what will happen beyond 2026. At the same time, the right thing to do now is to help avoid the worst things from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.Arctic sea ice (earlier posts in 2022)• Arctic sea ice June 2022 - why the situation is so dangeroushttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/arctic-sea-ice-june-2022-why-situation-is-so-dangerous.html• Arctic sea ice July 2022https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/07/arctic-sea-ice-july-2022.html• Arctic sea ice August 2022https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/08/arctic-sea-ice-august-2022.htmlFurther links• Increasing ocean stratification over the past half-century - by Guancheng Li et al. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-00918-2• The ocean has become more stratified with global warming - news releasehttps://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/513049• IPCC AR6 WG1 SPMhttps://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/figures/summary-for-policymakers• NOAA - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictionshttps://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf• NOAA - Globally averaged marine surface annual mean methane growth rates.https://gml.noaa.gov/webdata/ccgg/trends/ch4/ch4_gr_gl.txt• NOAA - Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxidehttps://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/monthly.html• NOAA - MetOp satellite https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi• NOAA - N20 satellitehttps://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/nucaps/NUCAPS_composite.html• Jet Streamhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/jet-stream.html• Cold freshwater lid on North Atlantichttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/cold-freshwater-lid-on-north-atlantic.html• NOAA - Monthly Temperature Anomalies Versus El Niñohttps://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202207/supplemental/page-4• University of Bremenhttps://seaice.uni-bremen.de/databrowser• NSIDC - Arctic sea ice concentrationhttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews• NSIDC - Chartic, interactive sea ice graphhttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph• NOAA - Trends in Atmospheric Methanehttps://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends_ch4• nullschoolhttps://earth.nullschool.net• Naval Research Laboratoryhttps://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/arctic.html• Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf - by Natalia Shakhova et al. (2019) https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/6/251• Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decadehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/02/warning-of-mass-extinction-of-species-including-humans-within-one-decade.html• Cold freshwater lid on North Atlantichttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/cold-freshwater-lid-on-north-atlantic.html• Albedo, latent heat, insolation and morehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/albedo.html• Latent Heat Bufferhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/latent-heat.html• Feedbacks in the Arctichttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html• Clouds feedbackhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/clouds-feedback.html• How much time is there left to act?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/how-much-time-is-there-left-to-act.html• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Cataclysmic Alignmenthttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Human Extinction by 2025?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/07/human-extinction-by-2025.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Arctic sea ice August 2022

Ocean currents keep pushing heat toward the Arctic OceanArctic sea ice is getting very thin, as temperatures keep rising and ocean currents keeps pushing warm water toward the Arctic, as illustrated by the NOAA image below, showing sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic as high as 32.1°C or 89.78°F on August 8, 2022. Latent heatLatent heat is ocean heat that is, or rather was previously consumed by melting of the sea ice underneath the sea surface. [ The Latent Heat Buffer ] This ice has meanwhile all but disappeared, so without this latent heat buffer further incoming heat must go elsewhere, i.e. the heat will further raise the temperature of the water and it will also cause more evaporation to take place where the sea ice has disappeared altogether, and this in turn will further heat up the atmosphere over the Arctic. Thin layer of sea ice The image below, adapted from University of Bremen, shows Arctic sea ice concentration on August 9, 2022, with concentration in a large area close to the North Pole as low as 0%. The image below, from NSIDC, also shows sea ice concentration on August 9, 2022. There still is a relatively extensive but very thin layer of sea ice present at the surface, due to the suppression of air temperatures that comes with the current La Niña. As long as air temperatures are low enough to keep this surface ice frozen and as long as there are no strong winds pushing the ice out of the Arctic Ocean, this thin layer of ice will act as a seal, preventing transfer of heat from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere.  The larger the remaining sea ice is in extent, the less ocean heat can be transferred from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere, which means that more heat will remain in the Arctic Ocean.[ The Buffer has gone, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page ]The danger is that ocean heat keeps arriving in the Arctic Ocean, while the latent heat buffer is gone. As a result, more of this heat could reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, threatening to destabilize hydrates in these sediment, resulting in methane eruptions both from these hydrates and from free gas underneath these hydrates.Record high methane levels Methane levels are already at record high and growth is accelerating, even without an extra burst of seafloor methane.NOAA registered a globally averaged marine surface April 2022 mean of 1909.9 ppb, which is 18.7 ppb higher than April 2022, as illustrated by the image on the right. By comparison, the highest annual growth on the NOAA record is 18.31 ppb for 2021. NOAA's data are for marine surface measurements.  More methane tends to accumulate at higher altitudes, as illustrated by the image on the right.The MetOp satellite recorded a mean global methane level of 1969 ppb at 293 mb on August 4, 2022 pm. When using a 1-year GWP of 200, this translates into 393.8 ppm CO₂e. As the image underneath also shows, the MetOp satellite also recorded a peak methane level of 2882 ppb at 469 mb on August 8, 2022 pm. Record high carbon dioxide levelsCarbon dioxide (CO₂) levels have been quite high over the past few months. Monthly CO₂ was 420.99 ppm both in May and in June 2022. Some hourly CO₂ measurements were well above 422 ppm in May 2022. On May 28, 2022, one hourly average at Mauna Loa was recorded of 424 ppm.When adding this monthly CO₂ concentration of 420.99 ppm and the above 393.8 ppm CO₂e for methane, that gives a total of 814.79 ppm CO₂e. Clouds feedbackThe clouds tipping point could be crossed due to an additional 5 Gt of methane from an abrupt eruption of the seafloor, which is only 10% of the 50 Gt that Natalia Shakhova et al. warned about long ago, while 50 Gt is in turn only a small fraction of all the methane contained in sediments in the Arctic. On its own, such an eruption of seafloor methane could raise the global mean methane concentration by another 1969 ppb which, at a 1-year GWP of 200, would translate into another 393.8 ppm CO₂e, which when added to the above 814.79 ppm CO₂e, gives a total of 1208.59 ppm CO₂e. [ from earlier post, click on images to enlarge ] So, that would abruptly cause the joint CO₂e of just two greenhouse gases, i.e. methane and CO₂, to cross the 1200 ppm clouds tipping point and trigger a further 8°C global temperature rise, due to the clouds feedback alone.There are further forcers and feedbacks to be taken into account, which means that the clouds tipping point could be crossed even with a far smaller abrupt release of seafloor methane. While it would take longer for the clouds tipping points to get crossed that way, the associated temperature rise could be enough to drive humans into extinctions well before the tipping point was even reached. A rise of 3°C above pre-industrial could occur on land and drive humans into extinction by 2025. La Niña[ adapted from NOAA - click on images to enlarge ]As said, sea ice extent is relatively large at the moment, because we are currently in the depths of a persistent La Niña, which is suppressing the temperature rise. El Niños typically occur every 3 to 5 years, according to NOAA and as also illustrated by the NOAA image below, so the upcoming El Niño can be expected to occur soon. The NOAA image below indicates that going from the bottom of a La Niña to the peak of an El Niño could make a difference of more than half a degree Celsius (0.5°C or 0.9°F).  Furthermore, the rise in sunspots from May 2020 to July 2025 could make a difference of some 0.15°C (0.27°F). The next El Niño looks set to line up with a high peak in sunspots, in a cataclysmic alignment that could push up the temperature enough to cause even more dramatic sea ice loss in the Arctic, resulting in runaway temperature rise.ConclusionIn conclusion, there is a growing risk that methane will erupt from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, which could cause a dramatic rise in temperature. Even without such eruption of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, temperatures could rise strongly, as we move into an El Niño and face a peak in sunspots. The resulting temperature rise could  drive humans extinct as early as in 2025 with temperatures continuing to skyrocket in 2026, making it in many respects rather futile to speculate about what will happen beyond 2026. At the same time, the right thing to do now is to help avoid the worst things from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan. Arctic sea ice on previous months• Arctic sea ice June 2022 - why the situation is so dangeroushttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/arctic-sea-ice-june-2022-why-situation-is-so-dangerous.html• Arctic sea ice July 2022https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/07/arctic-sea-ice-july-2022.htmlFurther links• NOAA - Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Contour Chartshttps://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/contour/index.html• NOAA - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictionshttps://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf• University of Bremenhttps://seaice.uni-bremen.de/databrowser• NSIDC - Arctic sea ice concentrationhttps://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews• NOAA - Trends in Atmospheric Methanehttps://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends_ch4• Albedo, latent heat, insolation and morehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/albedo.html• Latent Heat Bufferhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/latent-heat.html• Feedbacks in the Arctichttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html• Clouds feedbackhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/clouds-feedback.html• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Cataclysmic Alignmenthttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Human Extinction by 2025? https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/07/human-extinction-by-2025.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Arctic sea ice July 2022

Blue Ocean Event[ from Blue Ocean Event ]A Blue Ocean Event occurs when virtually all sea ice disappears and the surface color changes from white (sea ice) to blue (ocean). According to many, a Blue Ocean Event starts once Arctic sea ice extent falls below 1 million km².The image on the right shows a trend pointing at zero Arctic sea ice volume by September 2027.Note that the volume data in the image are averages for the month September ⁠— the minimum for each year is even lower. Furthermore, since zero volume implies zero extent, this indicates that a Blue Ocean Event (extent below 1 million km²) could happen well before 2027.Sea ice concentrationAnother measure than sea ice extent or  volume is sea ice concentration. The image below, adapted from University of Bremen, shows sea ice concentration on July 22, 2022, with concentration in many areas close to the North Pole down to 0%. Sea ice thickness and NASA Worldview satellite imagesThe NASA Worldview satellite images below give a good idea of how much sea ice is still present in the Arctic, or how little, especially north of the North Pole. The Naval Research Laboratory one-month animation below shows Arctic sea ice thickness up to July 16, 2022, with 8 days of forecasts added. The above animation shows a dramatic fall in sea ice thickness over a large area. This fall in thickness is mostly due to warm water from the Atlantic Ocean that is melting the sea ice hanging underneath the surface. This is where the sea ice constitutes the latent heat buffer, consuming incoming heat in the process of melting. The University of Bremen combination image below shows the difference in sea ice thickness between June 1, 2022, June 30, 2022, and July 22, 2022. The images at the center and on the right show large areas where sea ice is less than 20 cm thick, indicating that the latent heat buffer had already disappeared in June 2022,  as also discussed further below. The NASA Worldview combination image below shows the sea ice north of Greenland on July 19, 2022 (top), and on July 22, 2022, illustrating that even at places where the sea ice was the thickest, it can disappear rapidly. As thick ice breaks off and fragments, it gets heat up more from the sides, accelerating the melting. Ocean heatOf the extra heat from Earth's energy imbalance, about 93% ends up in the ocean as increasing ocean heat content (see image below), 3% goes into melting ice, 4% goes into raising temperatures of land and melting permafrost, and less than 1% remains in the atmosphere, as discussed in an earlier post. [ from earlier post ]Sea ice has disappeared in the Bering Strait, in part due to warm water from rivers in Alaska, as illustrated by the NOAA image below, which shows sea surface temperatures as high as 18.6°C or 65.48°F.On July 19, 2022, the sea surface temperature anomaly from 1981-2011 in the Arctic Ocean was as high as 14.0°C or 25.2°F (at green circle), as illustrated by the screenshot below of a nullschool.net image (with text added). In 1981-2011, the sea surface temperature at this spot (green circle) at this time of year in the Kara Sea was around freezing point.The above image also shows a distorted Jet Stream (at 250 hPa) moving over the Arctic ocean, instead of circumventing the Arctic and thus keeping heat out of the Arctic and keeping cold inside the Arctic, as it used to be.  The above NOAA image illustrates how the Gulf Stream is pushing warm water toward the Arctic, with sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic reaching as high as 32.2°C or 89.96°F on July 20, 2022.Latent heatLatent heat is heat that is (less and less) going into melting the sea ice. The reason this heat is called latent (hidden) heat, is that it doesn't raise the temperature of the water, but instead gets consumed in the process of melting the ice. Latent heat is energy associated with a phase change, such as the energy consumed when solid ice turns into water (i.e. melting). During a phase change, the temperature remains constant. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn't rise at the sea surface. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.Once most of the sea ice that was hanging underneath the surface is gone, further heat will still keep moving underneath the sea ice from the Atlantic Ocean and - to a lesser extent - from the Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic Ocean. Without the latent heat buffer, this heat must go elsewhere, i.e. it will typically raise the temperature of the water. The atmosphere will also warm up faster. More evaporation will occur once the sea ice is gone, further warming up the atmosphere.A 2019 analysis concludes that the latent heat tipping point gets crossed when the sea surface temperature anomaly on the Northern Hemisphere gets higher than 1°C above 20th century's temperature and when there is little or no thick sea ice left. As the image below indicates, the temperature anomaly of 1°C above the 20th century average looks set to be crossed in the course of the year 2021.[ from the post Arctic Ocean invaded by hot, salty water ]As the Latent Heat Tipping Point gets crossed, there may still be a thin layer of ice at the surface, at least as long as air temperatures are low enough to keep it frozen and as long as strong winds haven't pushed the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean. This thin layer of ice will still consume some ocean heat below the surface, but at the same time it acts as a seal, preventing heat from the Arctic Ocean to enter the atmosphere. Even if a lot of sea ice remains, the situation is dangerous, if not even more dangerous. The continuing La Niña could cause a lot of thin sea ice to remain at the surface of the Arctic Ocean this year. The more sea ice remains, the less ocean heat can be transferred from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean, which means that more heat remains in the Arctic Ocean.One huge danger is that, as the buffer disappears that until now has consumed huge amounts of ocean heat, more heat will reach methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, causing them to get destabilized and resulting in releases of methane from these hydrates and from free gas underneath that was previously sealed by the hydrates.As the latent heat buffer of the sea ice underneath the surface disappears, more of this heat could then reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, threatening eruptions to occur of seafloor methane (from hydrates and from free gas underneath the hydrates). The methane could similarly push up temperatures dramatically over the Arctic, and globally over the next few years. [ feedback #14: Latent Heat ]The above 2014 image, from the feedbacks page, shows three of the numerous feedbacks that are accelerating warming in the Arctic. Feedback #1 is the albedo feedback. Feedback #14 refers to the loss of the Latent Heat Buffer and warming of the Arctic Ocean. Feedback #2 refers to methane releases. Heatwaves look set to continue on the Northern Hemisphere, extending heat over the Arctic Ocean and thus affecting Arctic sea ice from above, while warm water from rivers will cause more melting at the surface, and while rising ocean heat will continue to cause more melting of the ice underneath the surface. If this continues, we can expect a new record low for sea ice in September 2022 and the joint loss of the latent heat buffer and the loss of albedo could push up temperatures dramatically over the Arctic, while the additional methane could similarly push up temperatures dramatically over the Arctic, and globally over the next few years. [ The Buffer has gone, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page ]ConclusionIn conclusion, temperatures could rise strongly in the Arctic soon, due to sea ice loss in combination with an upcoming El Niño and a peak in sunspots, with the potential to drive humans extinct as early as in 2025, while temperatures would continue to skyrocket in 2026, making it in many respects rather futile to speculate about what will happen beyond 2026. At the same time, the right thing to do now is to help avoid the worst things from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.Links• Blue Ocean Event https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/blue-ocean-event.html• Naval Research Laboratoryhttps://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/arctic.html• University of Bremenhttps://seaice.uni-bremen.de/databrowser• NASA Worldview satellitehttps://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov• NOAA - sea surface temperaturehttps://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/contour/index.html• nullschoolhttps://earth.nullschool.net• Jet Streamhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/jet-stream.html• Albedo, latent heat, insolation and morehttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/albedo.html• Latent Heat Bufferhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/latent-heat.html• Feedbacks in the Arctichttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html• Sunspotshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/sunspots.html• Cataclysmic Alignmenthttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Human Extinction by 2025? https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/07/human-extinction-by-2025.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

Human Extinction by 2025?

Earth's energy imbalance, defined as the absorbed solar radiation minus the net outgoing longwave radiation, is arguably the most important metric related to climate change, argue Kevin Trenberth et al. in a recent article.One could also argue that the most important metric related to climate change is the crossing of 3°C above pre-industrial by monthly mean surface temperatures on land, as illustrated by the above image created with NASA content. After all, most people live on land and humans will likely go extinct with a rise of 3°C above pre-industrial, according to a 2019 analysis in an earlier post. A temperature rise of 3°C is unlikely to stop there, even if all activities by humans would stop, including their emissions. Carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa in June 2022 was 420.99 ppm, a joint record high with May 2022, as illustrated by the above image. Carbon dioxide levels this high are likely to keep adding ocean heat for some time, especially since additional emissions will result from decomposing biomass and fires globally, while the sulfate masking effect will fall away. Furthermore, we're moving into a new El Niño, which could coincide with a peak in sunspots in 2025, as illustrated by the image on the right and discussed in the post Cataclysmic Alignment.All this looks set to contribute to a further rise in temperature, with the danger of causing ocean temperatures to increase to the point where there will be massive eruptions of seafloor methane contributing to the clouds tipping point at 1200 ppm CO₂e to be crossed, which in itself could push up temperatures by a further 8°C and cause extinction of most life on Earth, as the 2019 analysis warns.Altogether, the global temperature could rise by more than 18°C above pre-industrial, as also discussed at the Extinction page. In conclusion, temperatures could rise strongly and drive humans into extinction as early as in 2025. Temperatures could continue to rise afterwards, and drive most life on Earth into extinction soon thereafter, making it the more important to do the right thing now and help avoid the worst from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan at: Links• A perspective on climate change from Earth's energy imbalance - by Kevin Trenberth et al. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2752-5295/ac6f74• NASA - GISS Surface Temperature Analysis https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v4/customize.html• When will we die? https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html• NOAA - Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide - Mauna Loa, Hawaii https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/graph.html• NOAA - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictionshttps://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf• Cataclysmic Alignment https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2022/06/cataclysmic-alignment.html• Pre-industrialhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/pre-industrial.html• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html• Climate Plan https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

US rejoins coalition to achieve 1.5C goal at UN climate talks

From The Guardian, 2nd November 2021:

The US has rejoined the High Ambition Coalition at the UN climate talks, the group of developed and developing countries that ensured the 1.5C goal was a key plank of the Paris agreement.

The decision by the world’s biggest economy and second biggest emitter, after China, to return to the High Ambition Coalition group of countries marks a significant boost to attempts to focus the Cop26 summit on limiting temperature rises to 1.5C, the tougher of the two goals of the Paris agreement.

A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey

The coalition, which numbered scores of countries at the 2015 Paris talks, will on Tuesday call on governments to step up their efforts on greenhouse gas emissions and phasing out coal, consistent with a 1.5C limit, and urge rich nations to double the amount of climate finance they make available for poor countries to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis. They also want to bring an end to subsidies for fossil fuels.

A senior US official said: “The High Ambition Coalition was instrumental in Paris in making sure that high ambition was written into the Paris agreementand will […]

Nature’s truly brilliant camouflage

The beautiful Spiny Flower Mantis

Margaret Neville was amazed by a beautiful creature that she saw during a stroll on her farm in South Africa. It is most remarkable for appearing to be covered in lots of tiny flowers, coloured green and white. Also, it complements these with a number of white or lilac protrusions to make them blend in with surrounding plants – a truly brilliant camouflage. They are small, being approximately 1.5 to 2 inches long and when threatened, will stand upright and spread their wings which reveal two “eyes” to scare off predators.

The Anglophone Dilemma in the Environmental Humanities

By Dan Finch-Race and Katie Ritson Transnational discussions of the climate crisis generally use English as a primary language so as to facilitate direct communication among a high number of stakeholders. Translations into other languages tend to be limited, if available at all. We believe that multilingualism should be an important feature of research into interactions between the human and the more-than-human.

Why Ecocriticism Needs the Social Sciences (and Vice Versa)

By Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner, W.P. Malecki, and Frank Hakemulder it. This is the situation we find ourselves in today. Most environmental scholars, thinkers, and activists agree that to respond to the existential socio-ecological challenges we currently face, we need new narratives of who we are, how we are entangled with the rest of the natural world, and how we might think, feel, and act to preserve a stable biosphere and a livable future. But what kinds of stories should we tell? To which audiences? Are some stories more impactful than others? Might some even be counterproductive?

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