Friday, November 08, 2013

Methane Feedback and Abrupt Climate Change/cont.

Disclaimer: I want to add this disclaimer to cover any posts here regarding Methane feedback. I absolutely DO NOT support the geoengineering of our atmosphere through spraying of chemicals as a solution to climate destruction. This could well tip our atmosphere even further with unknown consequences. ANY references to it on ANY sources I link to here are not supported by me. I have added certain sources simply to illustrate and inform regarding the real concern we must have with methane feedback- which can be addressed though initiatives to decrease of CO2/methane emissions such as a ban on fracking as well as through sustainable agriculture, afforestation, renewable energy and financial incentives not tied to markets but that hold markets accountable. Thank you. IMPORTANT UPDATE ON FAILURE OF HUMANITY:

Record-breaking Greenhouse Gas Levels in Atmosphere: 'Time is Not On Our Side'

So this message goes out to the UN COP Conference coming up this week in coal spewing Poland and to all of those environmental organizations that think continuing to give irrelevant deniers attention simply for political reasons above calling for URGENT AND DRASTIC MEASURES is more important now: STOP giving attention to these accomplices and MOBILIZE TO SAVE HUMANITY. And to the UN, heed the message delivered to you by a young lady not too long ago at one of your corporate run conferences: GET IT DONE.

From link:

"The amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere reached a record high in 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), continuing an upward and accelerating trend which, according to report authors, spells "devastating consequences" for the future of the planet.

According to WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, between 1990 and 2012 our atmosphere underwent a 32% increase in 'radiative forcing,' the warming effect on our climate, with carbon dioxide—"mainly from fossil fuel-related emissions"—accounting for 80% of this increase.

These observations, according to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, "highlight yet again how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change.”

“Time is not on our side,” Jarraud added, indicating the perils ahead if the trend is not halted or emissions reduced.

The Bulletin writes:

[O]n the global scale, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 393.1 parts per million in 2012, or 141% of the pre-industrial level of 278 parts per million. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased 2.2 parts per million from 2011 to 2012, which is above the average 2.02 parts per million per year for the past 10 years, showing an accelerating trend.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) that remain in the atmosphere after a percentage of the gases are absorbed into the biosphere and oceans.

In addition to the dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2, atmospheric methane reached a new high of about 1819 parts per billion (ppb) in 2012, or 260% of the pre-industrial level, due to increased emissions from human activities."

End of excerpt.


NASA: Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source

"So how is the methane being produced? The scientists aren’t yet sure, but Kort hinted biological production from living things in Arctic surface waters may be a likely culprit. “It’s possible that as large areas of sea ice melt and expose more ocean water, methane production may increase, leading to larger methane emissions,” he said. He said future studies will be needed to understand the enhanced methane levels and associated emission processes and to measure their total contribution to overall Arctic methane levels. “While the methane levels we detected weren’t particularly large, the potential source region, the Arctic Ocean, is vast, so our finding could represent a noticeable new global source of methane,” he added. “As Arctic sea ice cover continues to decline in a warming climate, this source of methane may well increase. It’s important that we recognize the potential contribution from this source of methane to avoid falsely interpreting any changes observed in Arctic methane levels in the future.”

End of Excerpt

Also see:

NASA: Is A Sleeping Giant Stirring In The Arctic?


Abrupt Climate Change

From site link:

"High Methane Levels persist over Arctic Ocean

High methane levels are prominent over the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below, covering a period from October 3, 2013, 10:54 am to October 7, 2013, 11:53 pm. The fact that methane has not been present elsewhere in such high concentrations over this period indicates that the methane wasn't carried there by the wind from elsewhere. Also, methane typically appears to move along the same latitude, due to the Coriolis effect."


Methane deposits on the sea floor for thousands of years remain stable as long as temperature remains stable. As we are seeing however, global temperature has been rising consistently since the 1970s with scientists expecting us to exceed the 2 degree threshold to at least 4 degrees + by century end. That indicates we have entered a period where climate consequences will be irreversible. This increase in global temperature is due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which is the most prevalent radiative forcing in the atmosphere lasting for centuries. The trapping of CO2 in the lower level of our atmosphere then produces more heat which produces more water vapor and more energy in our climate, carbon and hydrologic cycles. This is the cause of the increased and alarming melting of the Arctic sea ice which is the mirror of our planet (and other glaciers globally) as well as more extreme events such as droughts, flooding and storms.

Forty percent of Arctic ice has been lost since the 1980s so far as we saw CO2 PPM reach 400 in the Arctic this year after 2012 saw the greatest increase of melting in a continuing overall downward trend in extent and volume. This huge amount of lost ice reveals more open water which then produces a positive feedback mechanism by reducing reflectivity and melting more ice on surface and below the surface as ice also thins with less refreezing which then releases more CO2 into the atmosphere and also methane. While methane does not last as long in the atmosphere as CO2 does it however is 30x stronger than CO2. A major release of it from the sea floor due to excessive decreases in Arctic ice and permafrost is a time bomb waiting to be released.

That might not really be a concern now but for the fact that CO2 emissions are the highest now than they have ever been in human existence. Postulations from some scientists and those who are very concerned about the effects of this warming and continued rapacious melting are now questioning if/when the world may reach a point where runaway climate change would commence should this pace of consumption continue and accelerate. While some may think it "alarmist" to be concerned and while some also place the label "alarmist" on everything they either do not wish to discuss or don't know enough about, I think it very prudent to understand the possibilities of our continued rapacious unabated consumption of resources particularly fossil fuels.

The point is we do not know just how much longer we can continue with this experiment on our atmosphere before we tip the scales totally out of our favor. Just based on this one fact I would think we as a species would be much more prudent and wary of what we are doing if we truly care about this planet and our future on it. We simply cannot burn every gigaton of fossil fuels left on this planet and survive it. To do so would also release a methane "Kracken" upon us that would be catastrophic to civilization.

Observations over the Arctic for October this year show a high amount of methane in the atmosphere. The NASA report above references methane releases form open ocean water through melted ice. Apart from the obvious benefits of decreasing CO2 emissions, this reason seems to also be an urgent one. If you were on a ledge blindfolded and had no idea how far ahead you could walk without falling off and killing yourself would you continue walking or would you step back?

This is why there is such an outcry for political and moral will. This is why concerned world citizens are relentless in speaking out to stop tarsands, the most carbon intensive dirtiest fuel on this planet besides coal. This is why concerned world citizens go to the Arctic risking arrest in speaking out for us to protect this pristine pole that balances our climate and our very lives...because this is about our very lives!

I do not for one minute consider myself an "alarmist." I do however, consider myself a realist who understands human nature and for the life of me I cannot comprehend how people can simply look at reports on the pace of increasing CO2 emissions, methane emissions, melting ice, extreme weather events, die offs, alarming loss of biodiversity, acidifying of our oceans that hasn't been seen in thousands of years, increased loss of agriculture and water scarcity and not connect it to our consumption patterns and resource depletion.

We are taking this Earth to a place we have never seen it before. That isn't "alarmist" that is fact. The fact that we are also continuing on present course thinking we still have years to address this is actually what is alarming. Could we, the human species be perpetuating our own demise through our own arrogance?

How far do you think we should go to find out?

This is only some of what we need to do:

* Stop all excavation and emission of fossil fuels (especially tarsands which has caused this rapid quickening of effects) in line with aggressive institution of renewable energy (real renewable energy and not what politicians call renewable energy for their own agendas) globally in order to beat downward curve of fossil fuel resources and to meet increasing curve of population increases and consumption. Also, decreasing consumption of all resources and instituting methods globally that recognize the Rights of Mother Earth with stiff political penalties for continuing to support economic models that kill biodiversity and that do not sustain and conserve resources needed by all species to live. This aggressive institution of renewable energy would be possible with only a minor financial transaction tax instituted on banks. Those who in great part caused this crisis by funding it should now have to take responsibility for it.

* Institute aggressive Sustainable Agriculture policies globally that get us off fossil fuels and back to holistic agriculture that increases yield, health and sequesters CO2 in soil as well as preserving soil nutrients needed in order for food to grow. This should be instituted along with a MAJOR global reforestation initiative that is not tied to corporations making wealth, but that incentivizes farmers and indigenous peoples who are the true caretakers of our world.

* Institute adaptation plans that seek to study areas of the world where crops can now be grown in lieu of changing monsoon patterns, drought, aquifer depletion, etc. This should also include types of crops that are not as water intensive. This would then preclude agriculture policy not being tied to CORN AND SOY subsidies that kill biodiversity, soil nutrients and causes economic and environmental chaos. BIOFUELS, especially from food must be stopped in lieu of using all available lands for growing of biodiverse crops and reforestation using sustainable methods with control of lands given to farmers without influence from multinational chemical companies that have hijacked our food systems thus perpetuating the very conditions they claim to prevent. This crisis is also about equality, justice and giving voice to those who know and have known for generations what needs to be done to bring our planet back and their voices must now be heard.

* And what may be most important now: the TRUE URGENCY of this crisis must be relayed instead of using it for political advantage. SO much time has been wasted due to environmental organizations and those on the "other side" merely using this real crisis for their own political fodder. It is time to MOBILIZE and tell the truth about this entire crisis. I truly believe that only when we know the worst of what we can do are we at our best.

But make no mistake, this is the most URGENT crisis we will face in this century. Again, we cannot go on continuing business as usual regarding CO2 emissions as methane begins to seep out of the melted Arctic ocean floor and other places around our globe. The clock is ticking.

Carbon Budget Crunch

Part 1: Methane Feedback and Abrupt Climate Change: How Far Are We From It?

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