Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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


[ click on images to enlarge ]
On February 10, 2017, 18:00 UTC it is forecast to be 0.1°C or 32.1°F at the North Pole, i.e. above the temperature at which water freezes. The temperature at the North Pole is forecast to be 30°C or 54°F warmer than 1979-2000, on Feb 10, 2017, 18:00 UTC, as shown on the Climate Reanalyzer image on the right.

This high temperature is expected as a result of strong winds blowing warm air from the North Atlantic into the Arctic.

The forecast below, run on February 4, 2017, shows that winds as fast as 157 km/h or 98 mph were expected to hit the North Atlantic on February 6, 2017, 06:00 UTC, producing waves as high as 16.34 m or 53.6 ft.


A later forecast shows waves as high as 17.18 m or 54.6 ft, as illustrated by the image below.


While the actual wave height and wind speed may not turn out to be as extreme as such forecasts, the images do illustrate the horrific amounts of energy contained in these storms.

Stronger storms go hand in hand with warmer oceans. The image below shows that on February 4, 2017, at a spot off the coast of Japan marked by green circle, the ocean was 19.1°C or 34.4°F warmer than 1981-2011.


As discussed in an earlier post, the decreasing difference in temperature between the Equator and the North Pole causes changes to the jet stream, in turn causing warmer air and warmer water to get pushed from the North Atlantic into the Arctic.

The image below shows that on February 9, 2017, the water at a spot near Svalbard (marked by the green circle) was 13°C or 55.3°F, i.e. 12.1°C or 21.7°F warmer than 1981-2011.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
Warmer water flowing into the Arctic Ocean in turn increases the strength of feedbacks that are accelerating warming in the Arctic. One of these feedbacks is methane that is getting released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Update: The image below shows that methane levels on February 13, 2017, pm, were as high as 2727 ppb, 1½ times the global mean at the time.

[ click on image to enlarge, right image added for reference to show location of continents ] 
What caused such a high level? High methane levels (magenta color) over Baffin Bay are an indication of a lot of methane getting released north of Greenland and subsequently getting pushed along the exit current through Nares Strait (see map below). This analysis is supported by the images below, showing high methane levels north of Greenland on the morning of February the 14th (left) and the 15th (right).



The image below shows methane levels as high as 2569 ppb on February 17, 2017. This is an indication of ocean heat further destabilizing permafrost at the seafloor of the Laptev Sea, resulting in high methane concentrations where it is rising in plumes over the Laptev Sea (at 87 mb, left panel) and is spreading over a larger area (at slightly lower concentrations) at higher altitude (74 mb, right panel).


This illustrates how increased inflow of warm water from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean can cause methane to erupt from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Methane releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean have the potential to rapidly and strongly accelerate warming in the Arctic and speed up further feedbacks, raising global temperature with catastrophic consequences in a matter of years. Altogether, these feedbacks and further warming elements could trigger a huge abrupt rise in global temperature making that extinction of many species, including humans, could be less than one decade away.

Youtube video by RT America

Without action, we are facing extinction at unprecedented scale. In many respects, we are already in the sixth mass extinction of Earth's history. Up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct when temperatures rose by 8°C (14°F) during the Permian-Triassic extinction, or the Great Dying, 252 million years ago.

During the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred 55 million years ago, global temperatures rose as rapidly as by 5°C in ~13 years, according to a study by Wright et al. A recent study by researchers led by Zebee concludes that the present anthropogenic carbon release rate is unprecedented during the past 66 million years. Back in history, the highest carbon release rates of the past 66 million years occurred during the PETM. Yet, the maximum sustained PETM carbon release rate was less than 1.1 Pg C per year, the study by Zebee et al. found. By contrast, a recent annual carbon release rate from anthropogenic sources was ~10 Pg C (2014). The study by Zebee et al. therefore concludes that future ecosystem disruptions are likely to exceed the - by comparison - relatively limited extinctions observed at the PETM.

An earlier study by researchers led by De Vos had already concluded that current extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than natural background rates of extinction and future rates are likely to be 10,000 times higher.

from the post 2016 well above 1.5°C
As above image shows, a number of warming elements adds up to a potential warming of 10°C (18°F) from pre-industrial by the year 2026, i.e. within about nine years from now, as discussed in more detail at the extinction page.


Above image shows how a 10°C (18°F) temperature rise from preindustrial could be completed within a decade.

https://sites.google.com/site/samcarana/climateplan
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed in the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• Arctic Ocean Feedbacks
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/01/arctic-ocean-feedbacks.html

• Extinction
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html

• How much warming have humans caused?
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/how-much-warming-have-humans-caused.html

• Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction, De Vos et al. (2015)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25159086

• Anthropogenic carbon release rate unprecedented during the past 66 million years, by Zebee et al. (2016)
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n4/full/ngeo2681.html

• Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, Wright et al. (2013)
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/40/15908.full?sid=58b79a3f-8a05-485b-8051-481809c87076

• RT America Youtube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSnrDRU6_2g

• RT America Facebook video
https://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica/videos/10154168391051366



Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade. The forecast for February 10, 2017, 18:00 UTC is that it will be 32.1°F or 0.1°C on North Pole, i.e. above freezing...
Posted by Sam Carana on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

9 comments:

  1. Thank you Sam. Does anyone share these concerns and live in the denver/boulder area? It would be nice to build a network of like minded people

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  2. This articles are the most important for me. People don't realize how fast the Earth system is going south and they just assume there will be no tipping point but a gradual change eternally... and the fossil record shows us that sudden changes in Earth's capability to support life extinguished species that had reproduction cycles as short as 2 months. So something that prevents a species to fulfill its reproductive cycle in 2 months is really a big game-changer in the whole system.

    We're going to learn this the hard way...



    ... but I'm all Guy Mcpherson on this one. Lets live a fulfilling life and be good to one another while it lasts. In the end, only kindness matters.

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  3. Fascinating, and scary. Thank you. Why did we not heed the warnings in the 1970s???

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  4. Thank you so much for your work. This allows us to know what we are facing, and arrange our lives around the rather truncated span that we now know it to be. I very sincerely hope you're wrong, but fear that you are correct. After all, you and Guy Mcpherson are just working with facts on record, not making this stuff up.

    It's so annoying that a large number of people think they can wave all this away with a sentence of two of dismissal - I've argued with them often. I need to "grasp", apparently, that CO2 is a "harmless gas". Don't I know that "live thrives in warmer climes"? We couldn't possibly be making any substantial difference, little old us, and so on. The denial industry has certainly earned its money.

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  5. In NYC where I live, the month of January was as high as the 50s (the month is usually in the 30s) and very rainy. This month, we had a 60 degree day followed by a day in the 30s which left us shoveling through piles of snow ( I forget the actual inches that fell on the ground ).The rest of the month has stayed in the 30s and 40s so far, but I suspect that this summer is going to be miserable. Summer in NYC has always been humid and rainy, but in the past few years it has been hotter than usual and very dry. I'm getting ready for heat waves, droughts and power outages.

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  6. This is more than a wake-up call for humanity. It's sad that this has become so highly politicized. It's a human (and all creatures) concern, not a political concern. Thanks for all you do.

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  7. As hope springs eternal, there is effort underway to align the world Real to the danger upon us and to tap a revaluation bias amidst the Trump Thing that is actually a force and form of entropy rise thermodynamic on Garden.
    The Bird of song Sparrow sings for a recognition of really what time sings and intelligence of the whole can do forward against an angst foe. At Physics this is simply 2nd System Isolation End Thermodynamics.

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  8. Thank you Sam and team for your brilliant work. I will share this widely and the action plan and try and do what we can in Frome, Somerset. I'm not sure where you are based but if you would to come and talk on the subject at Glastonbury festival late June then get in touch. We shall cover the subject and would be great to have you there.
    onwards
    Cllr Shane Collins

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shane, not sure whether I'll be able to make it, but I'll let you know if I do. Cheers, Sam Carana

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