From Canada to Siberia, Permafrost Thaw Produces ‘Hell’s Mouth’ Craters, Sinking Lands, and 7,000 Methane Pockets Waiting to Blow 

In places like Canada and Siberia, a memory of ice ages long past is locked away in the very soil. There, dig about three feet down, and you’ll encounter a layer of frozen earth running from 200 feet to almost a mile deep in some places. It’s like a great glacier secreted away underground and covering about 19 million square kilometers of the Northern Hemisphere. We call this frozen ground permafrost.

An Enormous Pile of Sequestered Carbon

Permafrost generally forms in regions where the mean annual temperature is below zero degrees Celsius. And the presently large expanse of permafrost has formed over the past 2-3 million years in which long, cold ice ages and short, and somewhat warmer interglacial periods have dominated.

(Recent research indicates that up to 120 billion tons of carbon could release from thawing permafrost this Century due to the warming that is now being caused by human fossil fuel burning. Such a release would roughly equate to 12 years of present fossil fuel burning adding approximately 40 ppm of CO2 equivalent gasses to the Earth’s Atmosphere [adding about 0.4 C to medium term warming and 0.8 C to long term warming]. The risk posed by this additional carbon feedback coming from the Earth System highlights the need to halt fossil fuel burning as swiftly as possible. Image source: The Impact of Permafrost Carbon Feedback on Global Climate.)

Locked away in all that permafrost is a massive store of carbon. Including peat, methane and methane hydrates, permafrost is estimated to have sequestered some 1,400 to 1,700 billion tons of a material that, if released as gas, could considerably contribute to the volume of heat trapping substances (like CO2 and CH4) already held aloft in the Earth’s atmosphere in a process that scientists call an amplifying climate feedback.

Evidence of Thaw and a Building Carbon Feedback

But now, human fossil fuel burning is causing the Arctic to rapidly warm — at about 3 times faster than the rate of warming for the rest of the globe (0.6 C per decade in the Arctic). And with atmospheric CO2 concentrations presently above 400 parts per million (and CO2e concentrations above 490 parts per million), the world is now starting to thaw out of the icy period of the last 2-3 million years. As a result, the permafrost is melting.

 

(Thermokarst lakes near Hudson Bay. Image source: Commons.)

When permafrost melts it changes the land around it. Often times, land subsides and deforms as the icy permafrost below collapses when it thaws. The resulting underground cavities can also telegraph to the surface in the form of sink holes. In places where microbes or hydrates are present, the cavities can fill with gas — which can sometimes erupt in a methane blow hole or ‘hell’s mouth’ crater. In Canada, a new study recently discovered that 52,000 square miles of northwestern permafrost is already thawing. The thaw is producing large sink holes, causing coastlines to rapidly erode, and proliferating the round ponds known as thermokarst lakes.

But it’s not just Canada that’s feeling the thaw. In Siberia, warming is also eating away at the permafrost. And what is happening there is arguably on a much grander and more disturbing scale than what we presently see in Canada. In East Siberia, for example, a 100 meter deep, 1 kilometer long crater has formed in the sagging Permafrost. It is officially called the Batagaika craterBut the locals know it as the Gateway to the Underworld. The crater began as a small deformation during the 1960s when permafrost thaw in the region initiated. It has, over the decades, grown considerably larger — with the growth rate accelerating along with permafrost melt during recent years.

(Time lapse of Batagaika Crater expansion from 1984 to 2016 as provided by Google’s Earth Engine.)

Further west, the Yamal region of Russia is seeing strange bulges dispersing across the land. The bulges, according to Russian scientists and to reports in the Siberian Times, are being caused by bubbles of methane gas beneath the surface. The scientists state that these formations are likely being triggered by warming — in which either methane hydrates trapped within the permafrost are thawing or where microbes have come in contact with thawed permafrost carbon to break it down and produce methane. And in recent years, this region of Arctic Siberia has seen some very warm temperatures — with readings hitting as high as 35 C (95 F) during the summer of 2016.

These same researchers now note that some 7,000 underground methane bubbles exist in this region and that warming is pushing them to erupt. When the pressure below the land surface reaches a critical point, the Siberian Times report suggests that the land above can be displaced — bursting outward. The Siberian Times went on to note that large holes forming in the Yamal region during 2014 and 2015 were caused by just this kind of methane eruption.

(The Yamal Crater was one of the first indications that methane pockets forming beneath the Siberian Tundra were starting to erupt due to human-forced warming. Image source: The Siberian Times.)

Touchy Subject Scientifically and Politically

Permafrost thaw producing high volumes of feedback carbon release can be a touchy subject in the sciences and politically. The reason is that rational responses to this threat moves decision points forward on human carbon emissions cuts and it adds to the concern that atmospheric carbon capture will be needed later this century and on through many centuries to follow in order to prevent a scenario in which carbon feedbacks cause a form of warming runaway.

It doesn’t help that the science on permafrost carbon feedback is also new and rife with uncertainty — generating a kind of gray area in which rumors and misinformation can multiply. And there also appears to be some indication that the fossil fuel industry is attempting to use the issue to push gas extraction and burning in the Arctic — falsely claiming that all of the gas is going to release anyway. Which is not true — a portion of the permafrost carbon and related methane would remain sequestered even as human extraction efforts, if they continued indefinitely, would ultimately result in the release of a much larger portion of this carbon to the atmosphere than mere feedbacks alone.

It is worth noting that presently accepted science indicates that the present rate of atmospheric carbon release due to fossil fuel burning is likely many times that of the potential annual carbon release coming from the permafrost even under the worst case warming scenarios. And because that realized rate of permafrost carbon release is directly tied to how much fossil fuel we ultimately burn, we should be very clear that the urgency to cut these emissions couldn’t be higher.

Links:

Permafrost

The Impact of Permafrost Carbon Feedback on Global Climate

The Siberian Times

Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada

Time lapse of Batagaika Crater expansion

Batagaika Crater

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Andy in San Diego

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179 Comments

  1. redskylite

     /  March 24, 2017

    Thanks for that well illustrated reminder on the demons awaiting release in and around the Arctic circle regions – I wonder what awaits down South in the Antarctic now the melt is well under way there too.

    Not much comfort from this paper published in Palaeoworld.

    “The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. ”

    “Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth’s greatest mass extinction”

    The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 24, 2017

      I expect Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent of the Independent will be accused of alarmist journalism – but there is no gentle way of announcing a mass extinction event that has already happened.

      Earth’s worst-ever mass extinction of life holds ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change, say scientists

      Runaway global warming saw the planet’s average temperature hit about double what it is today about 250 million years ago

      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/earth-permian-mass-extinction-apocalypse-warning-climate-change-frozen-methane-a7648006.html

      Reply
      • Mark in OZ

         /  March 25, 2017

        That’s a very good point redskylite and ignoring what has occurred before in ‘our’ history illustrates our own shortcoming and arrogance. The physical world has no guile and what happens is always the result of inputs and there are many.

        Earth, it would seem, prefers equilibrium ( and so do we) but it’s always been a pretty hostile place at the surface; tornados, cyclones, earthquakes, fires and floods all attest to the periods that are ‘in -between’ homeostasis and each of these events demonstrates well the efficiencies employed of ‘achieving’ homeostasis; zero time is squandered. To us, many of these events happen with ‘lightning’ speed and the aftermath and changes are often breathtaking. Yet in the context of geologic time, where the hands of its clock take millions of years ( or more) to complete a circuit, time ‘lapse’ may as well be zero.

        Earth’s ability to self-regulate and respond to the various inputs (her own internal as well as galactic externals) while at times terrifying (to life) is also one of nearly limitless elegance and beauty. No matter what happens in the future, we can at least respect that our planet is behaving as required given the inputs. And it will be a colossal shame that we may have collectively lacked the intelligence to ‘see’ what is happening.

        The innate ‘love’ and familiarity and fondness of from where one hails, ( our branch on the tree of life) really needs to extend to the whole sphere and not just the local forest. I think we have this capacity in us, but I’m not sure we have enough time to expand it. Nevertheless, it’s an input that can influence other inputs and this is the language that our planet understands.

        Reply
        • Josh

           /  March 25, 2017

          “The innate ‘love’ and familiarity and fondness of from where one hails, ( our branch on the tree of life) really needs to extend to the whole sphere and not just the local forest. I think we have this capacity in us, but I’m not sure we have enough time to expand it. Nevertheless, it’s an input that can influence other inputs and this is the language that our planet understands.”

          Nicely put and very true. We are part of nature, and we do have that spirit within us, however deep down.

    • This appears to be direct proof of methane hydrate involvement, according to the abstract. The methane hydrate release scenario has always been the best hypothesis, making quantitative predictions – but evidence so far has been indirect, based on isotope ratios of methane after it has been oxidized into CO2.

      This looks like direct proof based on actual methane trapped 250 million years ago of massive methane hydrate dissociation. Thank God for that. Methane hydrate dissociation is no longer just the best hypothesis for the End Permian.

      Be prepared for a scientific reaction coming from scientists directly or indirectly associated with the fossil fuel industry or with plans for methane hydrate exploitation, I think.

      One of the first arguments will be that this methane catastrophe happened slowly, I think. We can’t take that chance, of course – for one thing, a rapid massive unidirectional nonrandom triggering event like modern global warming may speed up the methane catastrophe. For another thing – the sun is hotter now, by 2-3%, so the whole chain of events could happen faster and hit harder.

      This paper is direct evidence that the scenario fully explored in the following online book is correct: Killer in our Midst – Methane Catastrophes in the Earth’s Past…and Near Future?

      http://www.killerinourmidst.com/

      Dan Dorritie, Gerald Dickens, Paul Wignall and others were right about methane hydrate dissociation, it appears.

      This evidence of direct methane hydrate dissociation points to methane hydrate dissociation as a general theory of most mass extinction events, not just the End Permian. It appears to have happened many times, in large or small events.

      Reply
    • So the trigger for the P/T extinction is generally accepted to be the Siberian Flood Basalts which burned through peat and coal like layers to produce a high ghg overburden and considerably warm the atmosphere over time. There is some evidence to suggest that once warming hit certain thresholds carbon feedback in the form of methane release may have been triggered which may have produced various warming spikes and resulted in periods of severe decline in Ocean health and what some say was ultimately a transition to a Canfield Ocean like state.

      It appears that it tends to take more temperature gain to considerably disrupt ocean hydrate stores than, say, glaciers. But there’s probably a boundary layer of the stuff that was laid down during the recent period of glaciation that would tend to see destabilization stress at around 2.5 to 4 C warming relative to the Holocene.

      The permafrost carbon, of course, seems a bit more sensitive (which would include some relic hydrate stores) and appears to be undergoing some stress now at a 1.2 C positive delta global. And I think it’s probably true that permafrost thaw contributed a substantial portion of the net atmospheric ghg gain of approximately 120 ppm CO2e when the Earth warmed into past interglacials. Of course, that gain took place over approximately 100 centuries, so the rate of release to the biosphere was considerably less than what we see from fossil fuels (by more than two orders of magnitude). So even with the faster rate of warming (x20 to x30), we’d likely see a lower rate of CO2e release from permafrost when averaged over decadal timescales than present very rapid human CO2e accumulation.

      It’s worth noting that the approximate 100 GT of relic hydrate within the land permafrost is approximately 6-7 percent of the total carbon available in the permafrost zone and that the rate of methane to CO2 release from the permafrost has been estimated to be 3 to 20 percent for each part CO2.

      Reply
      • Hi Robert-

        Here’s a link to the full text of the paper:

        https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hagit_Affek/publication/230813717_The_end-Permian_mass_extinction_A_rapid_volcanic_CO2_and_CH4_-climatic_catastrophe/links/0fcfd504be70ca2e1a000000/The-end-Permian-mass-extinction-A-rapid-volcanic-CO2-and-CH4-climatic-catastrophe.pdf

        If I’m reading figure 8 right, they are talking a trillion tons of methane from the permafrost and 1.8 trillion tons of methane from the hydrates released into the atmosphere. I need to read the paper more thoroughly. They are talking peak methane atmospheric concentrations of 245 ppm, which sounds like a lot compared to our 2 ppm.

        I need to read the paper more thoroughly, I just wanted to post the link.

        Reply
        • Thanks Leland. This is scary stuff.

          If I were to voice my opinion, then I’d say that we have a higher risk for large scale methane release once we cross 4-7 C thresholds. Timeframes are up for debate. And this certainly doesn’t preclude harmful carbon feedbacks for both CO2 and methane at lower levels of warming. The 1.5 to 2.5 C threshold, for example, definitely appears to put a lot of stress on terrestrial surface carbon stores (forests etc), the ocean carbon sink, and the permafrost, for example. Hydrate feedback would probably tend to be lower in that scenario.

          What I definitely want to promote in this discussion is the continued search for established facts — not the promotion of assertions without a reasonable basis which can tend to distort the discussion or aim at promoting solar radiation management solutions that will tend to create a false sense of security while producing problems of their own.

        • Apparently, the 1 trillion tons of carbon in the permafrost and 1.8 trillion tons of carbon in the methane hydrates is a figure for the present day total reservoir size of carbon, not methane. So, they are not claiming 2.8 trillion tons of methane released, I was wrong, sorry. They got this total carbon reservoir figure from Carolyn Ruppel, and other authors claim higher methane reservoir numbers, in the 5 to 20 trillion ton range.

          Other authors have estimated trillions of tons of methane released during the End Permian. And there is a paper estimating 12 trillion tons of methane release from the methane hydrates during the End Triassic, calculating from carbon isotope ratio excursions.

        • These are definitely important numbers to nail down. Ruppel may be a bit conservative 20 trillion may overshoot. A range of 2-20 trillion tons is rather significant and shows a real opportunity for growing knowledge in the subject. Worth noting that the estimates for terrestrial permafrost are 1.4 to 1.8 trillion tons carbon. Global ocean hydrate reserves have the potential to be significantly larger and have had since the PETM to recharge.

        • Hi Robert-

          I think that there has been a deliberate fossil fuel industry associated effort to underestimate the total methane hydrate inventory numbers, myself.

          Down the Rabbit Hole: toward appropriate discussion of methane release from gas hydrate systems during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and other past hyperthermal events

          http://www.clim-past.net/7/831/2011/cp-7-831-2011.pdf

          “The total mass of carbon stored as CH4 in present-day marine gas hydrates has been estimated numerous times using different approaches as reviewed in several papers (Dickens, 2001b; Milkov, 2004; Archer, 2007). Prior to 2001, several estimates converged on 10 000 Gt, and this “consensus mass” (Kvenvolden, 1993) was often cited in the literature. However, the convergence of estimates was fortuitous because
          different authors arrived at nearly the same mass but with widely varying assumptions; an appropriate range across the studies was 5000–20 000 Gt (Dickens, 2001b). In the last ten years, estimates have ranged from 500-2500 Gt (Milkov, 2004), ∼700–1200 Gt (Archer et al., 2009), and 4–995 Gt (Burwicz et al., 2011) to 74 400 Gt (Klauda and Sandler,2005). The latter is almost assuredly too high (Archer, 2007). The others are probably too low.”

          The people who have the resources and information to determine the total methane hydrate inventory are the oil corporation geologists. Unfortunately, potential future competition for gas and methane hydrate leases gives them a reason to underestimate the total resources, as does minimizing fears about global warming.

          I don’t trust Ruppel’s numbers either. She appears to be associated with the long term efforts to exploit methane hydrate as a fuel. David Archer has a lot of respect and influence…and he works for the University of Chicago, founded and endowed with Rockefeller (ExxonMobil) oil money, and co-authors scientific papers with ExxonMobil chief scientist Haroon Kheshgi.

          I like Dickens consensus estimate of 5 to 20 trillion tons of carbon, from a decade or more ago, before the deliberate effort to minimize the size of the resource, I think.

  2. Vaughn Anderson

     /  March 24, 2017

    Robert,

    In the comment section of your last article on thawing permafrost I asked a question about whether or not the heat generated by decaying organic material would generate enough heat to continue the thawing without anymore heat input from the surface. I found an article behind a paywall at nature.com that suggests this is a possible scenario:

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2590.html?message-global=remove

    Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

    Abstract:

    Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.

    There are s substantial number of references. So, in response to my own question it looks like deep decay generated heat is an important poorly understood concern and may be a substantial positive feedback.

    *Mother Nature does not take IOUs.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 25, 2017

      Vaughn Anderson

      Hell of a find. Your item means we’re looking at 200′ of compost pile.

      Reply
      • Vaughn Anderson

         /  March 25, 2017

        Coloradobob,

        That article sent me on a bit of my memory lane. I am a retired farmer from Washington state. One thing that was important when we made hay was to make sure it was dry enough to bale and store so it would not heat up and catch on fire. I never had any problems but a number of people did and lost all their hay, livestock and even more.

        The story I want to relate is about a farmer in Oregon whom had a concrete and steel silo about 25′ in diameter and about 75′ tall. He had filled it about half full of wet grass silage in the spring, then filled it full of damp corn silage in the fall without removing the layer of moldy grass which had dried out from the heat of the curing grass silage and the heat of summer. To make a long story short this layer of dry moldy silage got hot enough to catch on fire.(There were probably some small cracks around the doors up one side to let a little air in.) The fire smoldered and flared up(The fire department could never get it put completely out.) and smoldered and flared periodically for 5 long years until all the silage burned.

        What I am wondering about is fairly dry permafrost that potentially heats up deep enough and dries out in *pockets* with surrounding moisture to continue decay and heat generation. When these pockets get hot enough and a little air is added they could catch on fire and burn for years through large amounts of drying thawed permafrost. Considering fires already break out from lightning strikes in this type of environment, spontaneous combustion does sound at least plausible.

        I am not sure this is possible, but thinking about the silage and hay catching fire from spontaneous combustion got my already overactive mind into high gear.

        I welcome any comments/new information on this topic.

        *pockets*: I have observed decaying organic matter rather extensively. Pockets of very dry material form throughout piles of decaying organic material. These pockets are sometimes very warm if not downright hot to the touch. They are surrounded by areas of damp, wet, and even wetter than normal material. I remember as a kid lighting a couple piles of this stuff on fire in the field and much of the pile burned readily.

        *Mother Nature does not take IOUs.

        Reply
        • Mark in OZ

           /  March 25, 2017

          Greetings Vaughn
          Great topic in today’s context. Hay getting to ignition can be described as cascade of reactions and series of events that lead to thermal runaway. In early stages, microbial action ( with or without O2) can elevate the temps to 80 C which sets the stage for more complex events. Typically, this heat will kill the microbes. Then, due to the insulating properties of hay, other reactions can then take place– oxidation, slow pyrolysis, adsorption and condensation

          It’s an elegant process and I learned of it years back stacking hay wagons in the upper Midwest which gave me muscle definition I still possess 40 years later.

          In a larger context and in line with the issues at hand, other cascading reactions and event chains have been identified that too, are marvellous while also being terrifying.
          ‘Basaltic intrusion’ may be the way that rapid heating / burning of coal seams in Canada and Siberia helped produce rapid Ch4 emission and other noxious products. Here, the source of the heat required to warm the coal comes from ‘below’ in natural processes (inputs) and ignition (oxidation) occurs when the resulting gasses reach the atmosphere.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252959/

          PS Was living in Spokane when Mt St Helen’s had her ‘moment’ ( May 18 1980) and that event both changed and taught me; enormous forces (inputs) far beyond my intellectual capacity to reconcile adequately are always very close by.

        • Vaughn Anderson

           /  March 25, 2017

          Hello, Mark in Oz,
          Thanks for your technical explanations of spontaneous combustion. I knew microbes got the process started but I was fuzzy on the rest.

          I watched Mt St. Helens blow off…33 miles to the southwest. I missed the initial explosion by about 10 minutes. It was awesomely scary. There was no news on Portland Oregon radio for almost an hour. I also watched the Small initial phreatic eruptions and I could see the 300′ uplift near the summit several days before it was in the news. I have climbed it at least 30 times since the eruption…still looks awesome.

          *Mother Nature does not take IOUs.

        • lesliegraham1

           /  March 25, 2017

          I ran my own organic market garden using my own combination of biointensive and French intensive systems for over a decade. When I was initially studying the art of building compost heaps (I eventually made 22 tons per year) one of the phrases in a book by the celebrated gardener John Jeavons that really struck me was;
          “The heat energy produced during the decomposition of a 2 meter square compost heap is almost exactly the same as if you had burned it like a bonfire. It just takes a littel longer.”

          Just to give you an idea of the fantastic levels of potential heat energy stored in organic matter.
          Though, without going into too much nerdy detail, the heat output and the speed it is emitted is dependent on the carbon/nitrogen ratio, moisture content and availability of oxygen and so on. Nevertheless it is an important feedback I would think.

    • Hi Vaughn-

      Yes, it’s an important question. After your previous comment a week or two ago, I found this reference:

      Vulnerability of permafrost carbon to global warming. Part I: model description and role of heat generated by organic matter decomposition

      http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.914.3828&rep=rep1&type=pdf

      “We constructed a new model to study the sensitivity of permafrost carbon stocks to future climate warming. The one-dimensional model solves an equation for diffusion of heat penetrating from the overlying atmosphere and takes into account additional in situ heat production by active soil microorganisms. Decomposition of frozen soil organic matter and produced CO2 and methane fluxes result from an interplay of soil heat conduction and phase transitions,respiration, methanogenesis and methanotrophy processes. Respiration and methanotrophy consume soil oxygen and thus can only develop in an aerated top-soil column. In contrast, methanogenesis is not limited by oxygen and can be sustained within the deep soil, releasing sufficient heat to further thaw in depth the frozen carbon-rich soil organic matter.
      Heat production that accompanies decomposition and methanotrophy can be an essential process providing positive feedback to atmospheric warming through self-sustaining transformation of initially frozen soil carbon into CO2 and CH4. This supplementary heat becomes crucial, however, only under certain climate conditions. Oxygen limitation to soil
      respiration slows down the process, so that the mean flux of carbon released during the phase of intense decomposition is more than two times less than without oxygen limitation. Taking into account methanogenesis increases the mean carbon flux by 20%. Part II of this study deals with mobilization of frozen carbon stock in transient climate change scenarios with more elaborated methane module, which makes it possible to consider more general cases with various site configurations. Part I (this manuscript) studies mobilization of 400 GtC carbon stock of the Yedoma in response to a stepwise rapid warming focusing on the role of supplementary heat that is released to the soil during decomposition of organic matter”

      So, yes, according to the authors, it’s significant, and can be an important part of the positive feedback leading to permafrost melting and release of CO2 and methane.

      Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 25, 2017

      +100 Something that has crossed my mind after watching steam rise from my compost , Makes perfect sense , and like Roberts post suggests the depth of permafrost is huge compared to my compost. Thank you so much for this.

      Reply
      • Vaughn Anderson

         /  March 25, 2017

        +100 on this too. Sounds like I opened a whole new can of worms here on this topic. Thanks for all the clarification/new information.

        *Mother Nature does not take IOUs.

        Reply
      • So the depth is quite extensive, especially in the Yedoma region. It’s worth considering that it took about 3/4 of a million years for the deepest permafrost deposits to be laid down (nearly 1 mile). So though a large amount of permafrost would thaw under warming scenarios that included 2-7 + C this Century, you’re still not going to thaw it all by 2100 even under the more rapid warming scenarios.

        Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  March 24, 2017

    Many thanks for your view on this . It’s a swirl of fears .

    Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  March 24, 2017

    RS –
    Having been your oldest reader, I say this is your cleanest post . Your work on reaching people is now at a peak. No one knows where the Yamal Peninsula is . Your crafting here gives them a gate way.

    I urge everyone here to spread this one far and wide.

    Not because RS is right , because people can understand this.

    Reply
    • chilyb

       /  March 25, 2017

      doesn’t everyone know where Yamal is at this point? But RS totally stumped me with the Barnes Ice Cap!

      Reply
      • lesliegraham1

         /  March 25, 2017

        heh heh.
        Yeah – me too. I had to go to Google maps for that one.

        And as for Yamal – who is ‘everyone’?
        I know some people who would be hard pushed to find Russia on a map let alone Yamal.

        Reply
        • unnaturalfx

           /  March 25, 2017

          LOL I couldn’t agree more ,, sad but true. (and yes I really did laugh out loud 🙂 )

      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 27, 2017

        Haha I too had to search for the Barnes ice cap! I had never heard of it before and was excited to learn that it is a remnant of the great Laurentide ice sheet. As always, Robert has provided fantastic information for those of us hungry for knowledge 🙂

        Reply
    • Thanks for this, Bob. There are a lot of unknowns RE carbon feedback. I think it’s important to highlight the present state of the science while highlighting the need to proceed with caution.

      Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  March 24, 2017

    Mean while, in Miami –

    Reply
    • Robert E Prue

       /  March 25, 2017

      Miami is a lost cause. So is New Orleans.

      Reply
    • All that money invested and the flooding is still getting worse. This is what adaptation looks like in the face of rapid climate change — running to fall behind.

      Reply
  6. Cate

     /  March 24, 2017

    Excellent piece, Robert. Very sobering indeed.

    So here’s what we have to do, according to this article, to get to Paris—-to stay under +2C:

    http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/3/23/15028480/roadmap-paris-climate-goals

    “It’s way more than adding solar or wind,” says Rockström. “It’s rapid decarbonization, plus a revolution in food production, plus a sustainability revolution, plus a massive engineering scale-up [for carbon removal].”

    There’s a decadal timeline, from 2017 to 2050. Example: first up for 2017 to 2020 is scrapping the $500 billion in subsidies we give to Filthy Fuels annually, globally.

    It’s daunting, but it has to be—with or without carbon capture and storage. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  March 24, 2017

    Nature …………….

    Yesterday, the CBS evening news reported that poorly educated, middle aged, white males were dying earlier, than everyone else in their bracket.

    What do they have in common with the fools that join ISIS ? Or the Luddites that threw their wooden shoes into the machines of the industrial revolution ? Or the monarch butterflies ?

    Change.
    When we tamed the dog , or found fire, it took a very long time. We killed taxi cabs in 6 years.

    When change, meets velocity . Little can survive . Monarch butterflies, Luddites, Elephants, Jihadis, or poorly educated white males.

    “We keep alive to serve this ship, so roll well and live”

    Reply
    • lesliegraham1

       /  March 25, 2017

      Small point but we didn’t tame dogs – they tamed us.
      Scavenging around the periphery, barking at approaching unknowns.
      We selected the friendly ones and killed the overly aggressive ones it’s true.
      But they started the process.
      It then developed into a partnership – they were good at running big prey to a standstill and we were good at ambling up and killing it with our spears. Minimum risk to each species.
      That’s my theory anyway.

      Reply
    • I think the middle aged white male in the US has been culturalized to do things that are generally self-destructive even as work pressures rise and benefits decline. We’ve been taught that we should eat and drink to excess, engage ourselves in overly competitive games and sports, find work even if it’s harmful or pays poorly, never ask for help, and that if we fail against impossible odds, it’s our fault.

      Reply
  8. Kevin

     /  March 25, 2017

    Robert you can link directly to earth engine on specific locations using the “Share or Embed” icon on the bottom right of google earth engine, here is a like to the Batagaika Crater.

    https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=67.58196,134.79416,11.207,latLng&t=0.43

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    The new Permian paper –

    First the The Carboniferous Period had to run from about 359.2 to 299 million years ago. Fixing a mind blowing amount of carbon in the ground.
    Then the Siberian Traps ran for about a million years. Dumping a lot of that stored carbon back into the system in the bargain.
    That warmed the system enough to break down the methane hydrates buried on the seafloor. By just enough . That released methane’s 23 multiplier back into the system.

    Then system crashed in the “Great Dying” .

    The whole thing reminds of plane crash experts talking about a chain of events. And the Laws of Physics, and Biology are still in force.

    Reply
    • There’s a nice piece on the end-Permian extinction in The Atlantic also, although it doesn’t focus on the methane hydrates:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/clams-totally-have-it-figured-out/519432/

      Reply
    • Based on the bits that I’ve read, it appears that ocean hydrates may trigger at various thresholds and that the long warming leading up to the Permian eventually triggered multiple such threshold events. The first events were blows to ocean health and appear to have produced initial temperature spikes globally. But the later events were what appear to have helped push the Canfield Ocean states that precipitated the Great Dying near the end period of the Permian. The worst events appear to have occurred in a 60,000 year time window (approx) when warming hit its peak. After the event, it appears to have taken life hundreds of thousands of years to recover.

      Relative to present day temperatures, the Permian period prior to the extinction was approx 1-2 C warmer than today. The time included glaciation which would have sequestered a good deal of carbon in the Earth System. The flood basalt in the Siberian Traps appears to have pushed a 5 C temperature increase over a rather long period of time, at which point, it appears that we started to get carbon feedback responses which helped to precipitate the worsening extinction event.

      If we were to compare the Permian extinction to the Holocene, it took about a 7 C warmer environment to set off the larger ocean hydrate stores. From this and from what we know about the smaller interglacial carbon responses and about the carbon laid down through the ice age period would could probably set down these various carbon feedback risk threshold values — 1.5 to 2.5 C (low/moderate, portion of the glacial/interglacial stores stressed, some visible responses from ocean stores, but generally weaker responses), 2.5 to 4 C (elevated, all the glacial/interglacial carbon stores stressed, some of the shallower ocean hydrates stressed and producing more visible responses), 4-7 C+ (high risk, all glacial/interglacial and many ocean carbon stores stressed and more rapidly destabilizing). Timescales are still uncertain and it matters whether such events would occur in decadal or century ranges.

      Reply
  10. Ryan in New England

     /  March 25, 2017

    And the US takes another step backwards, trying our best to ensure our progeny have a miserable future full of hardship and suffering. As expected, the Trump administration’s state department has approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/its-official-state-department-approves-keystone-xl-pipeline_us_58d44e77e4b03692bea3ff98?b3&&

    President Donald Trump’s administration, as expected, has officially greenlighted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon on Friday signed a presidential permit for the controversial project ahead of a Monday deadline for evaluating it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, had recused himself from the process.

    The developer, TransCanada, confirmed the news in a move that would undo one of former President Barack Obama’s defining environmental decisions.

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    Ryan in New England

    Karma is coming . I don’t subscribe to Jesus , but Karma is not sleeping.

    Reply
    • Robert E Prue

       /  March 25, 2017

      Summer is coming. The long, hot, torrid summer that’s going to last 100,000 years

      Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    Ryan in New England

    The one thing about tar sands oil , There are huge piles of black shit left over.

    Reply
  13. climatehawk1

     /  March 25, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    Oil 101 –

    You want gasoline ? You want Nigerian crude.

    You want diesel ?

    We refine 3 barrels of oil to get one barrel of diesel.

    The great East Texas Oil Field won the war,

    Trust me, I an a fucking Texan. I have always had the “Bit in My Teeth”.

    Reply
    • Robert E Prue

       /  March 25, 2017

      Ya know, coloradobob, we all did what we had to do at the time to survive and prosper. What did you know about global warming 30 years ago? We didn’t know. Don’t look back. Always look forward.

      Reply
      • lesliegraham1

         /  March 25, 2017

        Who is this ‘we’ of whom you speak?
        I knew about global warming in 1979.

        Reply
        • Robert E Prue

           /  March 25, 2017

          Lesliegraham1- I really wasn’t aware of global warming till the late 90s. Even then I didn’t think it’d amount to much for 100 years. What changed my mind was the 2007 arctic ice melting season. That’s about the time it bacame real for me.

        • Robert E Prue

           /  March 25, 2017

          So maybe I should have said,” I didn’t know”. Tho I think I’m not the only one that wasn’t aware of the situation 20years ago or didn’t believe it was that bad. I know better now. The small town in Kansas in which I live has a population that is 95% in denial. 85% of them voted for Trump. Just saying, sometimes, I feel lost.

  15. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    And I am a blind fool.

    Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    It’ s a great to be old and a fool. You can pull crap out of your ass. And you get a check

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    Now for some the song we all need.

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  March 25, 2017

    Reply
  19. Here is a newer piece on this same subject from the Siberian Times entitled “Discovered: 200-plus Arctic lakes which bubble like jacuzzis from seeping methane gas”. (March 23rd)

    The article contains a number of aerial photos of Siberian lakes which show the lake beds to be pockmarked with pingo-like features, and contains several statements from Russian experts in the field of Arctic methane release.

    [Quoted from the article] A feature of these thermokarst lakes are craters or funnels in the sediment on the floor through which they are haemorrhaging methane. These pockmarks are similar to those found on the floors of the great oceans.

    Scientists say these leaks are year round in lakes where carbon processing and methane emission occur even at temperatures close to zero degrees Celcius. Detailed study of satellite data from 2015-16 has identified more than 200 lakes which are seen as an active source of methane emissions. [End quote]

    The article discusses plans for an upcoming scientific expedition to the Yamal region this coming summer which will seek additional clarity on this issue.

    I have to wonder if this is fairly common across much of the Arctic.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/discovered-200-plus-arctic-lakes-which-bubble-like-jacuzzis-from-seeping-methane-gas/

    Reply
  20. This article in the Siberian Times from December discusses thawing permafrost and its effect on building stability. “Warning of ‘collapse’ of buildings in Siberia’s permafrost cities in next 35 years”, (December 28th, 2016). It gives projected temperature rise forecasts for several Siberian cities as well as projects permafrost temperature rise too.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0280-warning-of-collapse-of-buildings-in-siberias-permafrost-cities-in-next-35-years/

    [Quoted from source] A major new academic study has warned of the risk to buildings in urban areas across Russia’s permafrost zone caused by climate change. The Russian-US analysis says a worst-case scenario could lead to a 75-95% ‘reduction in bearing capacity throughout the permafrost region by 2050’.

    The authors conclude: ‘This can have a devastating effect on cities built on permafrost.’ Thawing of permafrost ‘can potentially lead to deformation and collapse of structures’.

    ‘On average, the fastest changes are projected for Salekhard and Anadyr. There the bearing capacity has potential to decrease to critical levels by (the) mid 2020s.

    ‘In Yakutsk and Norilsk the critical climate-induced decrease in bearing capacity is expected around (the) 2040s.’

    Numerous studies show the Russian Arctic is warming at a rate of approximately 0.12C a year – ‘significantly faster than the global average’, state the authors. [End quote]

    Just to give us all an idea of when Russian scientists are expecting Siberian permafrost to thaw to the point where it can no longer support buildings engineered based on permafrost remaining frozen.

    There is also a free access link in the Siberian Times article to a research paper in the journal Geographical Review from last fall entitled “Climate Change and Stability of Urban Infrastructure in Russian Permafrost Regions: Prognostic Assessment based on GCM Climate Projections”, NIcholay I Shiklomanov, Dmitry A Streletskiy, Timothy B Swales, and Vasily A Kokorev.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gere.12214/full

    From their Findings and Discussion section [Quote] According to the six-model ensemble selected for analysis, by the middle of the 21st century the mean annual air temperature increase relative to same base period (the average of 1960-1990) is expected to reach +4.1°C in Salekhard and Norilsk, +3.7°C in Yakutsk and +4.0°C in Anadyr under the RCP8.5 scenario. Maximum changes are expected to occur in the fall and winter, with less warming during the summer and spring seasons.

    The increase in Mean Annual Air Temperature (MAAT) is evident across the region. The ensemble mean indicates the MAAT increase by 4 to 6 °C by 2050. [End quote]

    Of additional interest are Figure 3, an estimate of regional warming through 2090 using six models, which forecasts warming of approximately 6.8 to 13.5 C by 2090, along with the forecast temperature of warming permafrost for the city of Norilsk, Figure 4, of which five of the six models show a temperature of O C by mid-century and a median of 2.5 C by 2090.

    Reply
  21. Vic

     /  March 25, 2017

    Tropical Cyclone Debbie off the coast of Queensland is expected to cross the coast as a category 4 or 5 system about 2-3 days from now. The amount of moisture tied up in this thing looks positively biblical.


    Dambusters ‘R’ Us

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-25/cyclone-to-forms-off-queensland-coast-near-townsville/8385368

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 25, 2017

      That will cool the oceans in the area giving the GBR in the path a bit more breathing space

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  March 25, 2017

        Yep, let’s take our good news where we can get it Abel, like how TC Debbie is currently lining herself up for a direct hit on Abbot Point coal terminal. With luck, Australian climate politics could be about to get its next extreme weather intrusion.

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  March 25, 2017

        Direct Hit !

        No wonder Annastacia’s back in town.

        Reply
        • Abel Adamski

           /  March 26, 2017

          You could say God/Nature/Gaiaa is making a statement, like the intense rain events in the US just prior to the election

      • So far, the ocean cooling hasn’t happened. Let’s hope it does eventually. But that depends on how deep the warm water column is.

        Reply
  22. Robert E Prue

     /  March 25, 2017

    When was atmospheric co2 and ch4 at the present level this high in the past? What was the climate like then? Just wait for the methane surge. Then, summer will arrive.

    Reply
  23. Robert E Prue

     /  March 25, 2017

    What are we gonna do about it? We need a plan. On a global level.

    Reply
  24. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 25, 2017

    Interesting Woods Hole study

    “Our study highlights that arctic and boreal biomass should not be counted on to offset permafrost carbon release and suggests that the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario.”

    http://whrc.org/carbon-emissions-from-thawing-permafrost-will-result-in-a-substantial-arctic-contribution-to-climate-change/

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 25, 2017

      2100 , sure hear that number alot from these guys. I wonder if they have added the ground based reading from the Russians yet ? This is the problem I have with these numbers .

      Reply
      • So the Copernicus Observatory gives us a decent idea where the surface methane emissions are coming from globally:

        This distribution hints that human sources and tropical sources are still primary drivers to overall release rates. The higher latitudes also show some overburden, but the signal is masked compared to other hot spots. In other words, human fossil fuel emissions, land use, wildfires, and higher variations in precipitation/drought appear to be the larger drivers at this time.

        Reply
  25. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 25, 2017

    Article from the Guardian

    “One of the world’s leading experts on permafrost has told BBC News that the recent rate of warming of this frozen layer of earth is “unbelievable”.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34540414

    Reply
  26. Abel Adamski

     /  March 25, 2017

    Just a thought, with the current medical breakthroughs where aged mice can be rejuvenated and have greatly extended lives, now being trialled on humans. Plus the discovery of how to reverse the aging of the DNA.
    The old filthy rich can look forward to being restored to the relative youth of a healthy forty year old and look forward to a Hundred or more active healthy years.
    One little problem Global Warming and it’s consequences, it will be encouraging a whole new perspective for the string pullers who want to enjoy all those extra years

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  March 25, 2017

      Hi,
      The wealthy will live long enough to die of cancer, get killed in an accident, or die on the end of a pitch fork.

      dave

      Reply
  27. Cate

     /  March 25, 2017

    Hmmmm. That story in the Independent and others, about the danger of catastrophic methane release based on what happened in the paleoclimate, is all over my newsfeed today. I’m thinking it, and stories like it, could prove a bit problematic for us as activists because it has a wee flaw: it implies a false comparison between the natural climate then and human-changed climate now–the kind of comparison that Flat Earthers will gleefully latch onto. Whether it intends to or not, the article pretty much feeds right into the Flat Earther theory that climate change is natural and we can do nothing to prevent or change it.

    PS I don’t use “denier” anymore. I name them in terms of the pre-scientific medieval mindset they belong to.

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 25, 2017

      Love your PS LOL

      Reply
    • Hi Cate-

      Christ, I hope not, about the public reaction you mention. This is direct proof, if it is confirmed, that the earth is booby-trapped.

      Whether triggered by the Siberian Traps flood basalt volcanic eruptions or modern fossil fuel use, the methane hydrates and permafrost methane monsters are there, ready to be awakened.

      This same methodology can be applied to other mass extinction events. We will almost certainly find that there is a chain of them, that Gerald Dickens ideas about a methane capacitor that charges slowly and discharges very quickly are true, and that methane hydrate dissociation is a general theory of most mass extinction events.

      We have to tell the truth, as we see it, and not worry about how people react to it. Only a strong dose of truth and appropriate reactions to that truth can save us.

      Reply
    • Dreamer

       /  March 25, 2017

      Unfortunately, minds susceptible to being affected by manufactured consent have recently been handed the ultimate retort with this argument. Whereas the average Joe used to posses demonstrably false evidence, like it wasn’t warming, it’s actually cooling … or the ice isn’t shrinking, it’s actually growing (doncha know) … they now just say ‘ok, so you were right, it really IS happening … but it’s natural, and that means there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.’ (Or worse, that because it’s natural, that it’s somehow normal and doesn’t represent a threat to us.)

      This argument has really altered the game lately. It no longer even matters what evidence you show them now, not when they’ve been programmed with that sort of conviction. They agree it’s happening, and that it’s bad … really bad even … but now they just think it’s natural, and so that means (to them) that changing their ways isn’t going to affect anything anyway. Viola, business as usual.

      I’m actually at a loss for how to even respond to this argument anymore, since it’s caused all the evidence, and the gravity of the changes we see, to more or less become a moot point now to people. I have no idea how you battle the psychology of brainwashing and the susceptibility of people to being affected by mass manufactured consent. It’s a real conundrum.

      Reply
      • Yes. Maybe it’s an evolved human propensity to follow leaders, that is to blame for our apathy and denial. Maybe it’s an adult reaction, to ignore what we can’t change and continue to function. There have always been periods of worry and crisis in our evolutionary background, from aggression by the tribe living in the next valley or barbarian raiders or predators or disease. The ability to ignore the threat and continue to function, psychologists tell us, is actually a sign of emotional maturity. Also, in authoritarian human societies parroting the leader is more important to survival than telling the truth. So our ability to deny reality and follow leaders is killing us.

        We need to continue to make the argument that physics is important, that we share one reality, and that perceptions of it are less important than the facts. I don’t know what else to do.

        Reply
    • Nailed it!

      You have to be very careful to include that the driver to any Earth System response is human fossil fuel emissions. And that right now there is no sound science showing how an Earth System feedback could even equal what humans, through fossil fuel emissions, are doing now. The issue of methane hydrate release/permafrost response has tended to be spun by fossil fuel interests claiming that either it’s inevitable and we can’t do anything or it’s natural and that humans are not responsible. Both are false narratives.

      But this malignment of an actual valid concern has also had a negative and deleterious effect on the mainstream science — which has tended to recoil from the subject of carbon feedback altogether. And we kinda need to know what’s going on if we’re going to develop a proper response.

      To be clear, on current paths for humans, 850 to 2000 gt or more from fossil fuel carbon is set to be emitted by humans on the present pathways by 2100. That’s 8 to 50 times more than any rational carbon feedback response we can presently identify from the Earth System in the same timeframe. So we should be very clear that the human fossil fuel emission is the driver and that it’s leaps and bounds ahead of what the Earth System appears to be capable of.

      That said, even an Earth System response that is 10 percent of the present rate of emissions (1 gt Carbon per year) puts us in trouble over the long term. So we will need to deal with that — because it is likely that we will get some response. Moreover if we get spikes from the Earth System response at inopportune times, it can seriously damage both ocean health and produce more rapid decadal rates of warming that can bring tipping points swiftly closer.

      Finally, there is a bit of a gray area here. Of course rates of release could be faster than expected by the present science. Which should lend more urgency to stop burning fossil fuels now. The real issue here, that we should repeat again and again and is to stop feeding the beast. To stop burning fossil fuels which increase the risks as soon as possible.

      Reply
    • Dreamer

       /  March 25, 2017

      A few arguments I try when people say it’s natural, are to inform them that while we’ve reasonably identified the most likely sources of the CO2 in the past which triggered these historical events, that this time we can find no other source for the CO2, other than from humans burning fossil fuels. There are no Siberian traps erupting this time around to make the ‘natural source’ argument anywhere near plausible. I ask them, “So where’s the CO2 coming from this time then?”

      I also remind them that it’s the rate of change that’s so damaging to the biosphere this time around, and that this rate of change correlates well with when humans began their use of fossil fuels. I remind them the escalated rate of change didn’t happen in the past events, not like this, and how that definitely isn’t a part of any natural and harmless cycle.

      I also remind them that CO2 having a greenhouse effect is proven chemistry, and how it can be no more denied than can the effects of gravity, or the effects of mixing vinegar and baking soda together. I finish by saying that the warming definitely correlates to our digging up and burning millions of years worth of stored carbon within a few centuries, that it’s a calculable, and that there is really no other explainable source for the CO2 this time around except for us.

      I also often find myself discussing where we actually are in the Milankovitch orbital cycle, versus other erroneous claims of where we are relative to the natural orbital climate cycle, in order to also diffuse those false ‘natural’ arguments as well. The ‘it’s all natural cycles’ argument is becoming the go to argument these days, from what I can see.

      That’s about the point where people shun me and I lose yet another social contact, lol. That’s how deep the psychological need for avoidance is in many people; they actually don’t really even want to know in the end, and they don’t like their comforting rationalizations disturbed. I’d rather have a biosphere than friends though, so the attempts at social shaming doesn’t deter me. Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on this. As I’ve stated before, it’s the human psychology of this that I’m personally trying to find a work around for. I’m still convinced we CAN fix stupid, that we CAN fix gullible and brainwashed, and that we can find a way around our human predisposition toward subconsciously denying topics that are emotionally difficult for us to accept and face.

      Lead with empathy, is a trick I’ve recently found. I know it’s hard to do, but it does work well when dealing with hostile people. Lead with empathy, and they’ll often hear you a little better (for lack of any better psychological advice at the immediate moment.)

      Great work Robert and gang, as always. Thanks for being here.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 26, 2017

        Hi Dreamer. It sounds like you use many of the same arguments I do, and with generally similar results. I have had a few folks on line admit that I brought them over to accepting climate science, but very few. I like your ‘lead with sympathy.’ I employ it with my wayward students, always leading with the assumption that some catastrophe has befallen them and that they are in need of some support, rather than that they are just lazy or don’t care (even though that is more often the actual case, afaiks). Lots of these denialist types are so macho, though, that I’m not sure empathy will work. Worth a try though, I s’pose.

        Reply
  28. Cate

     /  March 25, 2017

    Here’s one for DT: the cooling effect of aerosols.

    https://eos.org/research-spotlights/satellite-data-reveal-effects-of-aerosols-in-earths-atmosphere

    “In this new study, the team focused on the direct effects of aerosols on shortwave radiation in 2006. These effects depended on the particles’ vertical location with respect to clouds, the reflective properties of the underlying land or water, and the optical properties of the aerosol particles themselves, including how much light they are prone to scatter or absorb.
    Using these data, calculations of the global average radiative effect for 2006 revealed an overall cooling effect due to aerosols. At regional scales, however, different mixtures of aerosols led to widely varying effects. For example, the cooling effects of aerosols were larger in the Northern Hemisphere because of higher pollution emissions and infiltration by desert dust.”

    Reply
  29. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 25, 2017

    Villagers in northern Kenya have begun to burn piles of animal carcasses, hoping to head off an outbreak of disease as their livestock starve to death in the region’s worst drought in five years.

    The smell of death hangs heavily over Lake Turkana and dried animal corpses dot the cracked mud where the lake has receded, leaving boats stranded on the dry land.

    https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/drought-hit-kenyans-burn-animal-carcasses

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 25, 2017

      Could you imagine , just horrendous. These animals are starving with people looking over them , the natural habitat must be suffering as bad or worse .

      Reply
  30. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 25, 2017

    It really is hard to believe, but this is the sort of shit that is going to keep happening. Socialism for the big guys, capitalism for the rest of us. We are left holding the bill and doing the cleanup. To rub salt in the wound they get an award for screwing the little people over. Now if only there was a chest to pin it to. I can hardly wait for the chickens in the Alberta tar sands to come home to roost.
    https://thinkprogress.org/arch-coal-restructuring-award-bankruptcy-66f3198e9863#.derhot397
    It’s been a wild year for Arch Coal, the country’s second-largest producer of coal. In January, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; less than a year later, they won approval for a restructuring deal that allowed them to cut millions in debt from their books and emerge relatively unscathed. On Thursday night, as part of the 2017 Distressed Investing Event, Arch Coal will receive an award for that deal, despite the fact that the restructuring benefited company executives while leaving workers and the environment worse off.
    “Arch Coal shed hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in debt by short-changing both their commitments to worker health care and pensions and their environmental cleanup obligations,” Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, told ThinkProgress. “Economically their prospects haven’t changed that much; they just shifted the burden onto the environment and workers.”

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 27, 2017

      This kind of BS makes me sick. The bigger the corporation, the less responsibility they’re required to shoulder. Like you said, socialism for the rich, suffering and misery for the rest of us.

      Reply
  31. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 25, 2017

    What do you suppose the gas is? It would represent a longer term steady flow I would think. If it is what i think, it would be very small on the global scale but is interesting to see it at all.The short video is from Uxbridge Ontario.

    STRANGE frozen tube created by a backyard pond bubbler
    The bubbles are escaping through small holes in the ice surface. When they pop, the water droplets are freezing in the cold air.
    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/videos/Gallery/strange-frozen-tube-created-by-a-backyard-pond-bubbler-/2312993038001/2312993038001_1

    Reply
  32. unnaturalfx

     /  March 25, 2017

    Theres so many reasons to get off fossil fuels . The Hidden Costs of Fossil Fuels
    The costs of coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels aren’t always obvious—but their impacts can be disastrous… http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/hidden-cost-of-fossils#.WNbdfqK1uUk Some interesting info here from the union of concerned scientists.

    Reply
  33. DJ LX

     /  March 25, 2017

    What happens to the CO2 in a tree after it dies? Obviously the part of the tree above ground will rot and release that CO2 into the atmosphere. But what of the root system? Does it safely sequester the CO2 beneath the ground, or will it too rot and seep up to the surface like the methane now being released in Siberia?

    Reply
  34. Tigertown

     /  March 25, 2017

    A thread in the ASIF is for buoys and info from them. A report was posted that the one recently put in the Beaufort is showing the ice to be 93 cm thick there. It was believed to be as much as 2 meters. Now you have to wonder about the thickness elsewhere and the calibrations of the sats. and the computer models including the ones that calculate volume of sea ice. Not a very good outlook for the melt season.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 26, 2017

      TT, you’ve probably heard the story that Dr. David Barber at the University of Manitoba, one of Canada’s foremost and self-described “Arctic guys”, tells about sea-ice thickness. He was doing research in waters that the satellites showed as ice-covered to a thickness of several metres, yet the ship was ploughing through it at nearly normal speed. His point was that satellite info is just one part of the picture and must be corroborated with information at ice-level, such as the buoys provide, as well as eye-balling by experienced researchers and local residents.

      Reply
  35. wili

     /  March 26, 2017

    We have horribly scarred and mutilated the earth, but we must ever more so love her. Which brings to mind one of the most poignant songs I know of…worth listening to in its entirety if you can handle it:

    Reply
  36. Tigertown

     /  March 26, 2017

    Smoke from fires in Alabama, Georgia, and S. Carolina. March 19th
    rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/loop.asp?data_folder=loop_of_the_day/goes-16/20170320000000&number_of_images_to_display=100&loop_speed_ms=200

    Reply
  37. Suzanne

     /  March 26, 2017

    This 5 minute Yale Climate Connections worth looking at….
    Scientists are investigating a new “positive feedback” in Greenland’s melting ice sheet – as climate warms, more microbial growth on the ice sheet is darkening ice, and hastening ice melt and sea level rise.

    Reply
  38. I’ve been reading papers on the apparent layer of shallow relict methane hydrate left over in Siberia from past episodes of glaciation. I’ve posted before here on RS about this layer, and the probable link from this layer to the Yamal craters.

    Here’s another paper about this apparently widespread shallow layer of hydrates in permafrost. This layer could potentially cover millions of square kilometers of Siberia. I have speculated in the past that this layer is associated with the circular lake topography of Yamal and widespread areas of Siberia, and speculated that many of the circular lakes of that topography are caused by Yamal style methane blowouts.

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Evgeny_Chuvilin/publication/273574764_SPE-166925_Relic_Gas_Hydrate_and_Possibility_of_their_Existence_in_Permafrost_within_the_South-Tambey_Gas_Field/links/5505d5af0cf231de077784d1.pdf

    Relic Gas Hydrate and Possibility of their Existence in Permafrost within the South-Tambey Gas Field

    “Isolated gas and gas hydrates in the permafrost are serious geological danger in the process of oil and gas field development in Arctic. The particular hazard is the largegas accumulations confined to the sand and loamy sand horizons in the permafrost at depths down to 200 meters. Such gas accumulations are found in a number of Yamal gas fields and South-Tambey gas field among them. There are some indirect signs that they may be relic gas hydrates formed earlier in specific hydrate accumulation conditions. Up now they might have been preserved in the permafrost due to the effect of gas hydrate self-preservation at temperatures below zero. These gas hydrates lying above the modern gas hydrate stability zone are in a metastable state and very sensitive to various anthropogenic influences. While drilling and during borehole operation of in the areas of relic gas hydrates locations various
    technical complications up to bow out may occur.”

    So, they did mathematical modeling and some experimental work using soil from the Yamal region, artificially creating methane hydrate in that soil using a pressure chamber.

    “Conclusion
    Our research suggest that at the present time in permafrost horizons within South-Tambey gas field relict methane gas hydrates can potentially occur at depths of 150-200 m and deeper into the GHSZ – as interpermafrost and subpermafrost gas hydrates formations with more complex composition. Relict gas hydrate formations in the frozen sediments are characterized by high sensitivity to thermal and chemical effects. Rising of temperatures and melting hydrate-bearing frozen sediments in metastable state due to self-preservation effect, will be accompanied by an active dissociation of gas hydrates and methane emissions. These mathematical and experimental modelings were performed on Yamal peninsula with parameters from South Tambey field. But this situation, with shallow gas inside the permafrost is not a specificity of Yamal. Other Arctic areas which have been under similar glacio-eustatic and PVT changes could also contain shallow relic gas hydrates.”

    So, this is more support for the glacial and subsea relict hydrate hypothesis associated with Yamal style methane blowout craters. There could be, and likely is, a widespread layer of relict hydrate under widespread areas of Siberia, perhaps covering millions of square kilometers of area.

    Suppose that this layer is below 10 percent of Siberia – call it a million square kilometers, nice round number. Suppose that shallow layer contains hydrates a total of one meter thick – nice round number. That would total about 1000 cubic kilometers of methane hydrate. Assume a carbon as methane content of about 10 percent. That would be about 100 gigatons of carbon as methane, equal to maybe 2% of current global methane hydrate inventory estimates.

    Of course, the hydrate layer could total 10 meters in average thickness. Or the area of the layer could be 3 million square kilometers, instead of a million.

    That 7000 methane bulges number from the Siberian times sure makes it sound like there is such a relict hydrate layer. How widespread it is, is impossible to say. But, logically, wide areas of Siberia were subject to glacial or oceanic pressure in the recent past, and could host such a relict hydrate layer.

    Reply
    • Looked at another way, 100 gigatons of carbon as methane is about 20 times as much methane as exists in the atmosphere right now. One hopes that such a layer of relict methane hydrate left over from past glaciation events, if it exists, is thin and dissociates slowly.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 26, 2017

        Thanks, LP…I guess :/
        I had heard a lot about sub-sea floor methane hydrates, but I didn’t know about this terrestrial stuff. Makes sense that it could exist under the right conditions there. That much of it may be ‘meta-stable’ is worrying indeed, to put it mildly.

        We’re whacking away at hornets nests, not knowing or apparently caring whether they are empty or full. And more and more they seem to be full.

        Reply
        • Yeah, thanks, wili…I guess. 😦

          It totally sucks reporting on stuff like this, we all know. It sucks being right about things like this. About things like this, we’d all rather be wrong.

          In this case, it’s still all rather speculative. It makes a nasty picture though, and likely there is such a relict gas hydrate layer, I think.

          A map of those 7000 methane bulges Robert was posting about might be instructive. Are they concentrated over gas fields, suggesting a link to the fields themselves? Are they scattered across wide areas randomly, suggesting a relict layer of metastable methane hydrate?

          Putin’s Russia doesn’t appear to be very informative about such problems. Some of the papers are old, from before Putin took power in Russia. Has there been a politically and economically motivated foreign news blackout since then? The gas in the giant Siberian gas fields is worth roughly 10 trillion dollars, giving a motive for such a news blackout.

    • Here’s another paper, from the year 2000. Widespread drill rig blowouts have been encountered at various natural gas fields in Siberia, often from bacterial origin methane when the gas reservoirs deep underneath those blowouts were thermogenic. The gas flows from those blowouts persisted for months, a characteristic of ongoing methane hydrate dissociation. The depth of the blowout layers vary from gas field to gas field, but those at Bovoenkovo are concentrated at 50-120 meters – much too shallow for stable methane hydrate, but consistent with metastable relict methane hydrate. Gas blowouts in Siberia are common even when there are no large deposits of underlying gas or oil. All of this appears to be consistent with a widespread regional layer of relict gas hydrate, left over from previous glaciations, when the pressure of the glaciers created conditions at the surface within the gas hydrate stability zone.

      Natural gas and gas hydrate accumulations within permafrost in Russia

      Abstract:

      “Abstract
      Sudden natural gas blowouts from within the permafrost sections in West and East Siberia and some results of permafrost core samples study are presented. Topics covered include gas geochemistry, blowout intensity gas flow rate , depth interval Ž . and permafrost rock peculiarities in places of these gas releases. Although microbial gas is widespread within permafrost, thermogenic gas can also occasionally migrate from deep gas reservoirs along faults, or be present locally in areas of gas reservoirs within the permafrost section. Gas can be preserved within permafrost in a free state as well as in hydrate form throughout the permafrost zone and be a potential threat to climate in the course of global warming.”

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Evgeny_Chuvilin/publication/229406256_Natural_gas_and_hydrate_accumulations_within_permafrost_in_Russia/links/55c129c008aec0e5f449065f.pdf

      “Gas blowouts in permafrost zones have been registered in West Siberia since the beginning of oil and gas exploration. Usually, drill operators explained them as result of gas migration from deep reservoirs through lithological windows or defective wells. Gas releases in the course of drilling were considered as complications, and operators attempted to stop them
      as quickly as possible. Practically nothing was learned about the character, distribution, gas composition and origin of these gas releases”

      “More than 30 core holes in permafrost have been drilled at sites of future production well clusters. Only one observation well, drilled at the site of .cluster a68, did not encounter gas releases during drilling. From one to three instances of gas liberation from permafrost were registered for each of the other wells. It is necessary to note that observation wells were drilled no deeper than 450 m, with no hydraulic connection to the upper production reservoir depth Ž— 600 m . Most gas releases were encountered in permafrost section and never below the depth of the 08C isotherm. More than 50 gas releases were registered and
      some of the gas-containing intervals were perforated and tested for gas flow rates. Results of these tests are presented in Fig. 4. Gas blowout intensities flow rates are shown in accordance with the depth of the gas-containing interval. Gas flow rates varied from
      50 to 14 000 m3 per day. Most of the gas containing intervals are concentrated at depths 50–120 m. ”

      “Gas flow rates decreased with time at all wellheads. The duration of gas flow ranged from several days up to several months observations were limited by the duration of drillers scientific personnel presence at the well . Studies of gas blowout intensities changing with time have been conducted on several wells. The most representative were conducted on well
      64-P-2 well cluster a64 , where observations had been conducted for 6 months. A gas blowout with a flow rate of 3000 m3 per day and gas pressure at the wellhead of about 0.7 MPa occurred at depth 72–80m frozen silt with rare layers of fine sand with thickness 1–3 cm
      Two days later, the flow rate decreased to 2000 m3 per day and gas pressure reduced
      to 0.5 MPa. After 10 days, the flow rate was 1200 3 m per day pressure — 0.4 MPa . Though the intensity of gas release was obviously decreasing, 6 months later, gas flow rate was still about 500 m3 per day, wellhead pressure — about 0.15 MPa. Calculations have shown that the total volume of gas liberated from this interval is no less than 120 000 m3.”

      “For example, at depth interval 60–120 m at the Bovanenkovo field, the average gas flow rate was 500 m3 per day. One or two gas releases at these depths were registered at each
      of 24 wells drilled in an area of 20 km2. The duration of recorded releases varied from 1 to 6
      months average — 3 months . Thus, the estimated free gas volume at this depth interval should be no less than 1000 000 m3, i.e., 50 000 m3 per km2. This is minimum value: actual methane content may be an order magnitude greater, taking into account that a single interval at one well had released more than 120 000 m3 during 6 months, and some releases had 3 flow rates up to 14 000 m per day”

      Reply
    • If there is a widespread layer of relict methane hydrate under Siberia, the map of 7000 methane bulges should coincide with the map of previous glaciations and seafloor.

      What is necessary to form shallow relict methane hydrate is pressure and permafrost. So, look for methane bulges in areas recently glaciated, or permafrost areas recently covered by the ocean, I think. Permafrost pressurized by overlying ice sheets or ocean can bring the gas hydrate stability zone close to the surface. The permafrost can preserve the gas hydrates in this meta-stable state for tens of thousands of years, apparently.

      Reply
  39. synaxis

     /  March 26, 2017

    Interview with Dr. Michael Mann posted yesterday: “Climate Catastrophe Is Here” (Real News Network):

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 26, 2017

      Thanks for this . Good interview . Another 2100 year mark falls . As far as the ice goes and the tipping points involved , Ive never trusted the models in the first place. Conservative and impossible to emulate earth’s natural systems. Perhaps we can turn this around ,however, with the people in charge now and with only a decade or two to make the changes , Trump will waist four precious years of that time ,as well as Australia Gov. Canadian Gov. As Einstien said in the fifties : We will need a substantial new way of thinking if humanity is to survive. Einstien 1954 . Many of us are , however, as I type this I hear a Trump rally on T V with people in mass chanting his name . Makes for one happy egotist ,

      Reply
      • Hilary

         /  March 26, 2017

        “Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX)
        House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology:
        Lamar Smith, unbound, lays out political strategy at climate doubters’ conference
        By Jeffrey MervisMar. 24, 2017 , 1:00 PM
        Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) rarely expresses his true feelings in public. But speaking yesterday to a like-minded crowd of climate change doubters and skeptics, the chairman of the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives acknowledged that the committee is now a tool to advance his political agenda rather than a forum to examine important issues facing the U.S. research community.

        “Next week we’re going to have a hearing on our favorite subject of climate change and also on the scientific method, which has been repeatedly ignored by the so-called self-professed climate scientists,” Smith told the Heartland Institute’s 12th annual conference on climate change in Washington, D.C. The audience cheered loudly as Smith read the names of three witnesses—climate scientist Judith Curry, who recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; policy specialist Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado in Boulder; and John Christy, a professor of earth system science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville—he expects to support his view that climate change is a politically driven fabrication and that taking steps to mitigate its impact will harm the U.S. economy.

        Then boos filled the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., after Smith mentioned the fourth witness—Michael Mann, a climate researcher at Pennsylvania State University in State College and a frequent target of climate change doubters. “That’s why this hearing is going to be so much fun,” Smith said with a huge grin on his normally impassive face.”

        I really don’t know how Michael Mann can hold up to all this stuff. We need someone like him to be there but not to be constantly under personal attack & ridiculed………

        Reply
  40. John McCormick

     /  March 26, 2017

    Robert, technology is rapidly coming to meet the challenge. This news article deserves a post. It is the most encouraging news I’ve read in a long while..

    The world’s biggest wind turbine: Stunning images show the monster structure bigger than the London Eye with blades that are 80 METRES long while. I will contact the company to get more corporate information.

    @ http://tinyurl.com/mez6kn8

    About the V164-8.0 MW
    • 8 MW rated power, with an optimal rotor to generator ratio
    • 80 m blades, the equivalent of nine double decker London buses
    • Each blade weighs 35 tonnes
    • Swept area of 21,124 m2, larger than the London Eye
    • The nacelle is 20 m long, 8 m wide and 8 m high, weighing approximately 390 tonnes
    • Approximate hub height of 105 m (Østerild prototype 140 m)
    • Approximate tip height of 187 m (Østerild prototype 220 m)
    • Reduces operational and maintenance costs by enabling customers to run fewer, larger turbines
    • The platform has a world record production by a single wind turbine of 216 MWh in 24-hour period (December 2016)

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 26, 2017

      Nice , a new way of thinking . A new job source in building and maintenance . These types of things are what the remaining fossil fuels should be used for ,Most excellent . Thanks .

      Reply
    • Robert E Prue

       /  March 27, 2017

      Much larger than the ones here in Kansas. Wow!

      Reply
  41. Suzanne

     /  March 26, 2017

    A good interview on The Real News with Centre for Sustainable Economy’s Ted Gleichman
    from March 25, 2017. He says we need to see the fossil fuel industry as a rogue industry that can no longer be considered just another normal part of the economy
    (The Real News has upped their game recently when it comes to Climate Change..and they were always much, much better than corporate media)

    Reply
  42. Suzanne

     /  March 26, 2017

    Doctors: Climate Change Is Already Making U.S. Kids Sicker:
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39952-doctors-climate-change-is-already-making-us-kids-sicker
    A coalition of medical organizations representing over half of American physicians recently launched a campaign to alert policymakers and the public to the dangers climate change presents to public health.

    “Doctors in every part of our country see that climate change is making Americans sicker,” says Dr. Mona Sarfaty in a statement.

    Safarty is director of a new coalition of doctors, called the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, and a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. “Physicians,” she says, are on the frontlines and see the impacts in exam rooms. What’s worse is that the harms are felt most by children, the elderly, Americans with low-income or chronic illnesses, and people in communities of color.”

    The Consortium on Climate and Health’s new report, which is based on peer-reviewed reports, outlines the myriad ways climate is already worsening health, including causing asthma and other respiratory diseases.

    Reply
  43. wili

     /  March 26, 2017

    Diet, Including Eating Less Beef, Dropped Americans’ Carbon Emissions by 9%

    The carbon footprint of the average American’s diet has shrunk by about 9 percent, largely because people are eating less beef, according to a new report.

    Changes in the American diet—lower consumption of not only beef, but orange juice, pork, whole milk and chicken—meant that the average American’s diet-related greenhouse gas emissions dropped from 1,932 kilograms in 2005 to 1,762 in 2014….

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22032017/beef-climate-change-diet-global-warming-carbon-footprint

    Reply
  44. Ryan in New England

     /  March 26, 2017

    I find this to be a terrifying threshold we are about to stroll across, but it speaks to how far down the climate change road we’ve come.

    US scientists are set to send aerosol injections 20km up into the earth’s stratosphere in the world’s biggest solar geoengineering programme to date, to study the potential of a future tech-fix for global warming.

    The $20m (£16m) Harvard University project will launch within weeks and aims to establish whether the technology can safely simulate the atmospheric cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, if a last ditch bid to halt climate change is one day needed.

    Scientists hope to complete two small-scale dispersals of first water and then calcium carbonate particles by 2022. Future tests could involve seeding the sky with aluminium oxide – or even diamonds.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/24/us-scientists-launch-worlds-biggest-solar-geoengineering-study

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 27, 2017

      Just the fact there trying to do this disturbs me . First we geo engineer with fossil fuels then try it again to fix it . Sounds all so great for the environment . Wonder if breathing this in on a daily basis will give more health problems .

      Reply
    • Totally bonkers. They also seem to have forgotten about an aspect of physics called ‘gravity’.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  March 27, 2017

        Ahh but it is the Capitalists wet dream solution, rather than fix the problem, a permanent network of injection stations will need to be maintained regardless of consequence to biosphere and life forms including humans making a handsome profit for the shareholders. Someone will have to pay for that. Guess who. Every citizen on earth will be paying a tax to maintain that enterprise, Exxon or Shell will more than likely take it on. Screw us from both ends.

        Red Sky Prophecy anyone,l after all the black Snake prophecy of the Indian peoples is now in train

        Reply
        • unnaturalfx

           /  March 27, 2017

          +1 We will pay and most will blindly pay , in the end of this mess we will all suffer huge consequences . Cant wait to wash diamond dust off my garden salad .mmm mmm good !

        • +1 Profit motive strikes again — removing pretty much all rationality and common sense.

    • utoutback

       /  March 27, 2017

      In medicine we call this prescribing a new medication to treat the side effects of a previous medication. I used to see patients in a nursing home that had up to 12 medications due to this effect.
      So now we’ll mess with our atmosphere to try to mitigate the effects of our ongoing behavior. Unfortunately, even if this works it does nothing to deal with ocean acidification. But, then we can just start dumping tons of baking soda. Yeah, that’ll work.
      Oh my….

      Reply
      • Pretty much anyone who’s rational is against solar radiation management at this time. Atmospheric carbon reduction is the primary drive and the one most likely to have positive results. The UN scientists are against solar radiation management due to the fact that it negatively impacts billions of people by throwing a huge monkey wrench into atomospheric circulation patterns and really throwing the hydrological cycle through a loop. You basically trade one set of catastrophes for another in the short to medium term and, without the rapid carbon reductions, still end up with all the warming related problems eventually as well. Not to mention that the notion provides a false sense of security which dis-incentivizes rapid carbon emissions reductions and makes it more likely that policy makers will renege on climate goals. Finally, it doesn’t do a damn thing to address ocean acidification.

        Using Trump as an excuse for this is a red herring. The practice is like suggesting that an alcoholic drink coffee in the morning while diverting attention away from the night-time boozing problem.

        Reply
        • Shawn Redmond

           /  March 27, 2017

          “Pretty much anyone who’s rational is against solar radiation management at this time.”, but capitalism isn’t rational is it?

        • Not unless it’s regulated and moderated — which it seems to resist at every turn.

    • The more I read about Bill Gates, the more I think that the guy needs a reality check. If he put more resources into deploying renewables and toward pushing governments to provide helpful carbon emissions reduction and net carbon negative policies and less into deploying the atmospheric version of Frankenstein, then the world would be far better off.

      Reply
  45. unnaturalfx

     /  March 27, 2017

    This one is from a couple years ago but still interesting http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0678-200000-year-old-soil-found-at-mysterious-crater-a-gate-to-the-subterranean-world/ . Locals hear ‘booms from the underworld’ in giant ravine but now scientists say it holds secrets of the planet’s past .

    Reply
  46. Ridley

     /  March 27, 2017

    Supposedly we hit 410 ppm c02 I think it was only for some hours or a couple days.

    Reply
  47. lesliegraham1

     /  March 27, 2017

    I notice Damian Carrington has an artcle in today’s Guardian about the effects of the Arctic melt on the Jet Stream and the resulting extreme weather events.
    Nothing that anyone here hasn’t known for years – or at least since Prof Jennifer Francis first highlighted the phenomenon – but he explains it clearly and distinctly and it’s good to see it in a fairly mainstream news outlet for once.
    I know the Guardian doesn’t have the biggest readership in the world but a lot of smart and influential people read it and Damian’s articles get propagated to relevant blogs.

    Reply
  48. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    Corals die as global warming collides with local weather in the South China Sea
    Date:
    March 23, 2017
    Source:
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Summary:
    In the South China Sea, a 2°C rise in the sea surface temperature in June 2015 was amplified to produce a 6°C rise on Dongsha Atoll, a shallow coral reef ecosystem, killing approximately 40 percent of the resident coral community within weeks, according to a study.

    Link

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 27, 2017

      “The current global climate models and prognosis for reefs are based on a 2 °C warming scenario for the open ocean,” said DeCarlo. “But these projections usually don’t account for the kind of regional and local weather anomalies we saw at Dongsha. When you have weather amplification events superimposed on top of carbon dioxide-driven ocean warming, that’s when things can get really bad for corals. Models based on open-ocean warming already paint a dire picture for coral reefs, but the scary reality is that they may be too optimistic for many shallow reefs.”

      “Projections based on open-ocean temperatures may not be 100% relevant to these shallow-water environments, where many coral communities live,” Cohen added. “It’s possible that coral reefs are in much more immediate danger than we have anticipated. When global and regional anomalies align, a seemingly-mild two-degree warming could be more like six degrees.” Dont worry a little diamond , aluminum dust should take care of this !! ( sarc ) Thanks C B .

      Reply
  49. Suzanne

     /  March 27, 2017

    Front page on NYTimes online this morning:

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  March 27, 2017

      One of the reasons I posted this story is two fold. Yes, it does refer to Climate Change and that impact on these droughts…but at the end of the story the NYT has a survey asking readers for feedback on the story and stories like this one. I answered the survey and asked that they do more stories like this..but to more to “connect the dots” between these events and Climate Change. I said the world, especially Americans, read stories like this but still don’t think it could happen to them. I also suggested they check out Robert Scribbler blog as a great aggregate source for Climate Change.
      Consider reading the story and filling out the survey.

      Reply
  50. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    The Mercers, Trump mega-donors, back group that casts doubt on climate science

    The atmosphere was buoyant at a conference held by the conservative Heartland Institute last week at a downtown Washington hotel, where speakers denounced climate science as rigged and jubilantly touted deep cuts President Trump is seeking to make to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Front and center during the two-day gathering were New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, Republican mega-donors who with their former political adviser Stephen K. Bannon helped finance an alternative media ecosystem that amplified Trump’s populist themes during last year’s campaign.

    The Mercers’ attendance at the two-day Heartland conference offered a telling sign of the low-profile family’s priorities: With Trump in office, the influential financiers appear intent on putting muscle behind the fight to roll back environmental regulations, a central focus of the new administration.

    Link

    Reply
  51. Abel Adamski

     /  March 27, 2017

    From a Legal perspective
    http://www.australasianlawyer.com.au/news/top-lawyers-to-take-up-climate-change-litigation-threat-234527.aspx

    As climate change litigation and class-action litigation over climate risk emerge as a serious threat to companies, Herbert Smith Freehills has gathered a panel of top lawyers for a climate change symposium Tuesday in Sydney.

    Hosted by HSF partner Peter Briggs, head of the firm’s Australian environment planning and communities team, the panel of experts will discuss the rise of climate change litigation globally and how companies can act now to alleviate the risk of liability.

    Reply
  52. Abel Adamski

     /  March 27, 2017

    Whilst it may appear OT, IMO very relevant to where we are and where we are going, fits with previous comments re the human condition that is our biggest challenge

    Donald Trump will win in a landslide, says Dilbert creator Scott Adams
    March 27 2016
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/03/21/donald-trump-will-win-in-a-landslide-the-mind-behind-dilbert-explains-why/?utm_term=.db4e1f0064a7

    The same techniques that the conservatives,GOP and denier manipulators utilise. Wins the people over but having achieved that, then confronts the cold hard realities of facts and reality.

    The laws of physics pay no heed to rhetoric or human emotions and foibles

    Reply
  53. unnaturalfx

     /  March 27, 2017

    There is a lot of great people on this site. I thank you all for your great posts , and of course Robert for giving us this place . I first watched this video in 2010 , It brought tears to my eyes then, as it did yesterday . I was raised in a small town and spent my entire life walking the forests of B C . The wonders of nature are too numerous to count , What is happening to ecosystems around the world at the hands on man is beyond words. If you missed this video , I stongly suggest watching it , Amazing empathy on the part of the people involved ;
    https://vimeo.com/76503362 … A Call of Life …
    All over the world species are becoming extinct at an astonishing rate, from 1000 to 10,000 times faster than normal. The loss of biodiversity has become so severe that scientists are calling it a mass extinction event.

    Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction is the first feature documentary to investigate the growing threat to Earth’s life support systems from this unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Through interviews with leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and indigenous and religious leaders, the film explores the causes, the scope, and the potential effects of the mass extinction, but also looks beyond the immediate causes of the crisis to consider how our cultural and economic systems, along with deep-seated psychological and behavioral patterns, have allowed this situation to develop, continue to reinforce it, and even determine our response to it.

    Call of Life tells the story of a crisis not only in nature, but also in human nature, a crisis more threatening than anything human beings have ever faced before.

    We need a new way of thinking not just for the human race , but for all species .

    JBinBC

    Reply
  54. Abel Adamski

     /  March 27, 2017

    Some better news, maybe not as minor as it first seems

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-27/development-of-clear-solar-glass–edith-cowan-univesity/8390900

    New technology developed in WA is making its mark on the solar energy market, becoming the world’s first commercially viable clear, solar glass.

    Developed at the Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) at Edith Cowan University, the glass contains special nanoparticles, with solar cells around its borders.

    Director of the ESRI Kamal Alameh described it as a game changer for the industry.

    “We call it energy-harvesting clear glass,” Professor Alameh said.

    The energy-harvesting glass has already been used to build a self-sufficient bus shelter in Melbourne, with the company also in talks to test the product at Singapore Changi Airport.

    And the team is also planning an advanced energy efficient glasshouse, to be built in the Perth area.

    “This is a greenhouse that can pass the visible light needed for proper growth, or photosynthesis, while blocking unwanted radiations,” Professor Alameh said.

    “And then convert them to electricity where we can use them for water filtration, irrigation, heating and cooling inside the greenhouse.”
    Professor Kamal Alameh with a small sample of the solar, clear glass.
    Photo: Professor Kamal Alameh holds a small sample of the clear solar glass. (ABC News: Briana Shepherd)

    The technology has been developed in collaboration with ClearVue technologies.

    While it is not the first, or only, solar glass product on the market, ClearVue founder and chairman Victor Rosenberg said it was the first of its kind.

    “Nobody actually has got clear glass,” he said.

    “They’ve got either lines or they’ve got dots, or looks like a chessboard with squares of solar panels on the glass.

    “We are today, I would proudly say, the only commercial-size clear glass super building material producer.”

    One square metre of the glass can produce up to 30 watts of power.

    With glass being one of the oldest and most versatile building materials, Mr Rosenberg said the new technology was advanced.

    Reply
  55. Vic

     /  March 27, 2017

    Debbie does Queensland’s coal industry.
    Follow her wild adventures as she simultaneously shares the love between Abbot Point Coal Terminal to her north and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal to her south.

    Also starring Hector the lump of coal and the girls from DBCT!

    (Not suitable for children)

    Reply
  56. wili

     /  March 27, 2017

    “March 28: Heatwave to grip Northwest and Central India”

    http://www.skymetweather.com/content/national-video/weather-forecast-for-march-28-heatwave-to-grip-northwest-and-central-india/#sthash.sqOpQVZ8.dpuf

    “Ahmedabad and Hyderabad will be quite hot with maximum temperatures around 40 degrees [C] ”

    Seems kinda hot for this time of year!

    Reply
  57. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 27, 2017

    http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/the-ideology-of-resilience-co2-concentrations-and-the-methane-bomb/

    Dog parks – enclosures in parks were dogs are allowed to run free – are one of the many things to like in Stockholm. It may be a typical Swedish invention, so simple that no one ever thought about it, yet they are inherently useful. The advantages of urban ‘green-blue infrastructures’ or urban ‘green capital’ – the construction of this neoclassical pop concept was of course inevitable – are by now very well documented. There is for example less isolation and less depression. Elderly men suffer less from heart attacks. It is all good. The problem is that green-blue infrastructure is now being sold as a strategy to tackle climate change. ‘Green capital’ (sic) is said to increase the resilience to climate change of our urban environments and our societies as a whole (see for example here). This is not even sheer illusion. It is utter and sickening untruth.

    Resilience is the new buzz word. It is the ideology that says that it is possible to confront climate change – which increasing resilience does not do – while keeping power relations and capitalism, as it functions nowadays, intact. It is the TINA of environmentalism: whatever social forces do, change is impossible, capitalism is nature, hence, it is meaningless to discuss new forms of production, consumption and distribution. It is useless to speak about the sociology of the global system. This is environmental neo-liberalism, the ideology of COP21, the music that accompanies the sinking of the Titanic. Never before has society been less sustainable, never before there has been more pollution and more destruction of habitats worldwide. Never before has there been more commodification. Now the mainstream wants to improve our “resilience.”

    Reply
  58. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    Photos Reveal More Than 200 Bright Blue Arctic Lakes Have Started Bubbling With Methane Gas
    Not good.

    Satellite images have revealed more than 200 strange, bright blue lakes in Russia’s Arctic regions that are bubbling “like jacuzzis” as a result of leaking methane gas.

    The lakes are a type of thermokarst lake, which form when thawing permafrost causes the surface to collapse and fill in with meltwater. But unlike normal, dark thermokarst lakes, these ones are bright blue and bubbling, because of methane that’s leaking into them before escaping into the atmosphere.

    Link

    The algae are eating the sulphur in the gas, hence the color.

    Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    Extreme weather events linked to climate change impact on the jet stream
    A’ndrea Elyse Messer
    March 27, 2017
    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Unprecedented summer warmth and flooding, forest fires, drought and torrential rain — extreme weather events are occurring more and more often, but now an international team of climate scientists has found a connection between many extreme weather events and the impact climate change is having on the jet stream.

    “We came as close as one can to demonstrating a direct link between climate change and a large family of extreme recent weather events,” said Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State. “Short of actually identifying the events in the climate models.”
    http://news.psu.edu/story/458049/2017/03/27/research/extreme-weather-events-linked-climate-change-impact-jet-stream

    Reply
  60. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    Quoting 38. RobertWC:
    Someday real soon , a Russian ship is going to sail into a gas cloud off the Yamal / It’ll be a clear calm day , the ocean will be fizzing like ginger ale. A sailor is going to light a smoke with his Bic Lighter. That’ll be the last time we hear from the good ship “Trumpkin”. An LNG tanker . The explosion will be heard in Vladivostok. The Russian sailor will be found to be a smoker, even though smoking on LNG tankers is strictly forbidden.

    The entire idea that shipping petroleum from the Arctic will boom. Dies, ………….. if the out gassing of stored methane from the sea bed, and the land gets rolling. Trust me, my helper set off gasoline fumes in the woods in Utah one morning . We had 300 pounds of Nitropel boxes on fire. It’s that “chain of events” thing the airplane crash investigators always speak of.

    Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  March 27, 2017

        You’ll want lead now. about these hearings. It is the Death Warrant for the Earth. And there is a piss poor pool of people to fight it.

        It’s invasion of Poland .

        Reply
        • Is there another one of Smith’s hearings ongoing now? If so, do you have the video feed?

          Need a bit more context here.

        • coloradobob

           /  March 27, 2017

          It’s coming, and C-Span will feed it.

  61. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    Lamar ‘s “hearings” we need a real time plan of attack. There thousands of us that can do this. We all know what is coming . A “show trial”. If web has a volcanic of push back / then we might blunt the spear.

    No doubt C-Span is the key . Go to work . These people are about to sign a death warrant for the Earth.

    What ever your issue is, they all pale against this. If your water is poisoned, fighting for breast cancer pales.

    If your gay, if your water is poisoned, your fight is over.
    If you are poor , If your water is poisoned, your fight is over.
    If you are framer. your fight is over.
    If you are a city , if your water is poisoned, your fight is over.

    Reply
  62. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    I am an old poor broken man . What lights my life ? My contempt for Lamar Smith.

    Reply
  63. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    I am so crazy about all this , I am at lost for song. In the past I could pull a song out of my ass to change our minds.

    This is the Death Warrant for the Earth.

    Reply
  64. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    RS –

    Its Oil Inquisition..

    Reply
  65. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    My brain is failing . My legs are dead. I so hope all of you will keep this thread.

    Reply
  66. coloradobob

     /  March 27, 2017

    RS

    You saved my life.

    Reply
    • You are our wise elder, Bob. A wise voice speaking to us across a depth of experience that represents more than any book learning. If something saved your life, it was probably in that you realized that we need you and just kept carrying because you knew it in your heart of hearts.

      Reply
  1. From Canada to Siberia, Permafrost Thaw Produces ‘Hell’s Mouth’ Craters, Sinking Lands, and 7,000 Methane Pockets Waiting to Blow  | robertscribbler | things I've read or intend to
  2. Increasingly Out of the Human Context: Atmospheric CO2 Likely to Hit Monthly Peak Near 410 ppm in 2017 | robertscribbler

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