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Another Canary Squawks: Annual Report Shows Unstoppable Ocean Warming


#1

Another Canary Squawks: Annual Report Shows Unstoppable Ocean Warming

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

More than 400 scientists from 58 countries on three continents determined in their annual planetary exam that the temperatures of the earth's surfaces are rising to historic highs, greenhouse gases continue to climb, and when it comes to the oceans, warming is unstoppable.


#2

Oddly no mention of what happens to oceanic methane hydrates when the ocean warms.


#3

i appreciate the citations in the "climate lawsuit" article today of governmental recognition as far back as fifty years ago, 1965, at the highest level - including a report from Daniel Patrick Moynihan to President Nixon in 1969, for example, in which Moynihan notes that rising seas caused by fossil fuels, atmospheric carbon and global warming means "Goodby New York. Goodbye Washington for that matter. We have no data on Seattle."

That's 1969. The office of the President of the United States.


#4

Or the effects of ocean acidification from carbonic acid caused by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.


#6

And, ironically, another article on CD is about Al Gore's reaction to Obama's support for drilling in the Arctic. Like Chris Hedges says, as the planet goes into its "death-throws" the oligarchs simply increase their rate of despoiling and raping the planet. Absolutely mind-blowing, as well as frightening.


#7

Everywhere you turn, scientists tell us that the world that we were born into is dying. The heat, the thawing methane hydrates, the melting permafrost, acidifying oceans, drought, the sixth extinction in progress. and so on.

It isn't odd that ocean methane hydrates weren't mentioned... you should read the annual planetary exam for yourself. It is just one more thing added to a long list not an omission.


#8

I suppose that sort of thing is guess work at this moment. We are in uncharted territory now. All you'll see concerning climate change now are the score keepers trying to keep up with the feedback loops. It will be kind of like being tied to the tracks and watching the train come round the bend, resigning yourself to the fact that the train is indeed going to run you over, and just trying to guess when.
The fat lady isn't singing yet, but she's back stage clearing her throat.


#9

It's not so odd really.

Usually, when writing for any but an audience of expert academicians, it is better to make one or two points and let it go at that. Following every possible implication and every related train of thought tends to put the intended audience to sleep and turn off their minds to the topic at hand.


#10

Instead of jumping out of the pot, the frogs just turn up the heat.


#13

This SOC2014 report, in a manner sadly typical of dry-as-dust calibrated science, focuses exclusively on current measurements and trends, not on some massive feedbacks which may look likely in future.

The marine clathrate (methane hydrate) issue is fraught with unfortunate controversy. I've been wary because some of the websites and associations trumpeting this warning seem to be associated with unprincipled commercial interests, such as:

(1) Fossil fuel giants like Gazprom, which actively promote harvesting clathrates for fun and profit.

(2) Opposite-pole climate denialists, who say we're screwed no matter what we do, so we might as well party on, sirloins in first class!

(3) Geo-engineering entreprenuers, who have some very dangerous snake-oil to sell us.

Additionally, some climate scientists I've respected for years (such as the gang over at RealClimate.org) tell us Earth got warmer in the last geologic warm period, the Eemian, without any "methane breakout." And finally, the global array of atmospheric methane monitoring stations has not shown the kind of spike you'd expect if a methane breakout were getting a toehold.

Just lately, however, some Arctic stations have shown a notable accelleration in atmospheric methane. This is profoundly worrisome. Methane from terrestrial permafrost may be of greater immediate concern than marine clathrates. IMHO, clmate blogger RobertScribbler provides a uniquely balanced account of the Arctic methane issue. You may be interested in this:

Concern Over Catastrophic Methane Release — Overburden, Plumes, Eruptions, and Large Ocean Craters


#14

They have space suits. We don't

/sarcasm off


#15

The new propaganda lie is that the sun is going to have a short cool down period and the earth is going to go into a new mini ice age.

Another propaganda lie that I often hear in comments on CD is that there is no other form of economic system to replace capitalism. That thinking is partially due to the number one introductory college economics textbook being written by a guy from Harvard, Gregory Mankiw. If you google him, you will find he was on of Bush,The Idiots economic advisers and the top adviser to Mitt Romney. The book is more like a bible that preaches neo-liberalism and offers no other forms of economic systems. Most of one of his classes at Harvard walked out on him during one of his lectures. Also, google his text "Principles of Economics and just read the names of some of the chapters; "The Costs of Taxation," " The Market Forces of Supply and Demand," "Interdependence and the Gains from Trade," and etc.


#16

Yeah,

Methane is only 30 to 100 times as potent a greenhouse gas; but they are going to ignore it! I live on a river in SE Asia and am experiencing a 100-year flood about every two years now. I'm seriously thinking about tying a boat on the roof of my house so me and my family don't drown.


#17

You should get an inflatable just to keep around the house IMHO. Methane hydrates are a lot more serious an issue that the commenter suggests. Previously the methane from defrosting permafrost's rotting vegetation was worrisome. Then they realized that there is a huge and continuing supply of methane produced by cows. Then someone noticed that methane was bubbling up from the seabed offshore in the arctic.

But the worry is the thawing that is being detected in deep bed methane hydrates which suggests warming is penetrating ever deeper waters. That is a vastly huge amount of methane hydrates and can easily be checked out without going to certain websites. Scientists have lots to say and have no axe to grind whether corporate nor 'balanced' (like scientists are not balanced somehow? Say what?)


#18

The point is not that there is no alternative to capitalism but that would there ever be enough time (given the rapidity of the economic changes needed) to implement another system. It could be done of course but switching over 7.5 billion people to another economic system would take a huge amount of time and involve huge difficulties.

The solar minimum that happens every 11 years or so is normally very minor and while theoretically it could be more intense which has happened (a few hundred years ago) it is not a given. Even should it be significant it would result mainly in a slightly chillier winter in Europe (a few extra snowy days in all) but would of course last only a few short years. In general the effect would be 'negligible' according to scientists.


#19

Great Points. So true. I think it's the end for the naked ape. Even if we shut down every internal combustion engine and smokestack tomorrow, temps will rise for the next 30-100 years. For new readers, here's a summary of the brutal thermodynamics NASA and NOAA are seeing:

The Oceans are a "heat sink" from atmospheric heating over the past centuries. Anyone who's ever burned their hands on a hot plate coming out of the microwave or oven knows what a "heat sink" is. It doesn't matter that the oven or microwave is turned off; that earlier heat energy is still present in the heat sink (the dish or the ocean.) The Pacific Ocean now, according to Dr. Jeff Masters, a cyclonic weather expert, is now hot all the way down the water column, which has never been seen before. This means that the Atmosphere can no longer pass it's excessive heat to the Ocean and we are likely to see climbing surface temperatures overall throughout the earth. 2015 is the hottest year in 1200 years, according to climatologists.


#20

I could not agree with your comments more. But, if we do not talk about these forms of propaganda, people will not be made aware. I have well educated Facebook friends who are posting not to worry about global warming because a mini ice age is coming. Of course they are educated in business.


#21

One must wonder how is it that a supposedly educated person can dismiss a melting ice cap? The sheer amount of heat necessary to melt such a vast amount of ice every year is staggering to contemplate. Ask your Facebook friends to estimate what it would take to produce that much heat? If they were to approach it as a business problem >>> what could supply the requisite heat over so vast an area and for what duration to melt a polar ice cap?

The last time that happened was 800,000 years ago and it took thousands of years to happen. We are doing it in 30 years.

Also... ask them if they are planning on buying any beachfront property for their retirement.


#22

Again, I agree with everything that you say. I am just saying that there is a large number of people who believe the propaganda machine. I have tried to give the same arguments that you have stated, but that propaganda machine is really strong. That is why the FCC created the "Fairness Doctrine" early in the days of radio because they realized how powerful media can be. And that is why the right wing got rid of it in the Reagan years. What other reason would a poor or average person vote against their self interests which they often do?


#23

Another Canary Squawks? How many ways is that headline wrong? First, canaries don't squawk. And second, if the reference is to the canaries sent to coal mines to determine if the air is too bad to breathe, the canary DIES. It doesn't "squawk".