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Climate Change Driving 'Profound' Shift in Arctic Ecosystem


#1

Climate Change Driving 'Profound' Shift in Arctic Ecosystem

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

The 2015 report card compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and released Tuesday comes to a disturbing conclusion: record highs in air temperatures, and lows in peak ice, reveal that—for the marine ecosystem—climate change is already "profound."

"Changes in sea ice alone are having profound effects on the marine ecosystem (fishes, walruses, primary production) and sea surface temperatures," reads a statement from the federal agency, whose findings were produced by 72 scientists from 11 countries.


#2

"The Coastal cities and ports of the world could be flooded in 30 years. The lands will dry out. The crops will fail. There will be human migration on a scale never seen, with great tribulation & conflict arising. It will be an overwhelming situation if humanity does not prepare. It is the most important thing in the world." The Global Emergency; MV Summers.


#3

When we talk about 2C and 3C we may often forget that global warming is amplified in the Arctic and this can cause positive feedbacks such a melting permafrost that further amplify global warming. That why we are in a very bad place now and unlikely to escape disaster as these systems that come into play with warming continually worsen the situation.


#4

... yes and when one says "in thirty years"... some, listening think in terms of thirty years... like, nothing will be happening along the way .... in 5, 10, 15, 20, ..... in 5... we will really see those who still poo poo at climate change...begin to change their tune... but, will do so in some disguised way.... by 10 years... they will not disguise their turn around... in 15 they will be sorry for their past transgression of denial....by 20 they will be dead, dying or begging with everyone else...


#5

Your immediate problem is, your coastal city or your port could be flooded in 30 days, not 30 years. We're getting new breeds of storms these days. The idea of a November hurricane is rare, but having a November hurricane named Sandy embedded in a 1000 mile wide storm is bizarre. Then we have Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Katrina and a number of near-misses.

Two of my R&D projects are about restoring the Arctic's proper ecosystem. We need wind-powered snowmaking machines to coat sections of tundra early in fall and late in spring, which is what used to happen before Eaarth. We also need to transfer the heat out of our overheated Arctic Ocean and into the Arctic winter, where it will then be radiated off into space. If we do these things, the national mall in Washington, DC won't become a mosquito-filled tidal flat. For that matter, the Netherlands will still exist as a nation. These are reasons why those two national governments (and many others) might chip in to perform vital R&D to restore the Arctic. Then again, campaign kickbacks can buy a lot of alcohol.


#6

No one seems to be focusing on what else will be destroyed under even a modest 3 meter rise in sea level, for example if coastal cities are flooded, roads, railroad tracks, airport runways will be as well. Then, let's not forget that many of the nuclear power plants are located along shorelines nd will also be flooded with the radiation contamination that will bring. Where I live, the subway transport system will be flooded. Electric generation from low-lying coal or natural gas will be offline as port facilities to receive fuel will no longer exist. Pipelines may (would?) collapse as they are not designed to support the extra weight a 3-meter rise would mean. Chemical factories will be awash pouring their dangerous mix into the seas and on the land.

These are just the most obvious results and yet, those of the elite, who think they will survive such a disaster, are simply not looking closely at what the consequences truly will be. Even in a mountain fastness, there is need for water, food, fuel and an uncontaminated environment. Perhaps the only positive is that money will no longer be in control. I could do with an easier way to have this lesson learned


#7

We 'need to' is not explaining 'how to'. How exactly would it be possible to transfer heat from the Arctic oceans into the arctic winter? Presumably in winter no less? The area is immense. The quantities of water huge. The energy involved in producing machines capable of making the slightest dent in the problem would be prohibitive. The fact is it is not possible to do things such on such a large scale.

It might be possible to make very thin polymer sheets that are white and roll them out to cover somewhat large areas but to what end? Coating the arctic tundra in white plastic is a pipe dream and dubious at best.

Literally scary painting the arctic white might be feasible but it would likely kill the flora and fauna. There are no geoengineering schemes that are viable to compensate for our long term destructive behavior. It took decades to heat the oceans and atmosphere before the effects could be seen. Like bringing a pot to boil... it took time for it to get hot enough.

We need to have the world go solar and wind and stop using fossil fuel. Yes stop using it almost completely. We have the technology now but so far not the will but that is the only way forwards. Get off fossil fuels. Electric everything... why not? The tech is here... we need to make governments and corporations use it.


#8

You underestimate denial as a motivating force. As you can see from the repub cat fight debate tonight, the right (including those oligarchic elites) does not truly face climate change.they have budged a bit but otherwise they still refuse to get out of the way and let people get on with mitigating climate change.

They aren't planning to go to some mountain fastness (although you do have to wonder if they don't hedge their bets nonetheless) to escape climate change. As yet they still really don't want to believe it is that serious. We keep abreast of developments like this article. We read things like this and more every week. To them this kind of article is never seen. They dismiss those they do see as exaggeration. They remain in denial but not outright total denial like before. To them they admit it is real but not as bad as liberals say it is. Etc et al !!!

Besides they know if they are wrong that they have the money to pack up and leave way before they would have to although these days, I bet they all pay attention to storm warnings and go inland instead of dismissing the danger.


#9

Single issue thinking. On the one hand, President Obama says that global heating is the seminal ethical issue of our time. On the other, he continues to pursue the military occupation of the Middle East. How much energy was expended on the devastation of Iraq? How much is being consumed in bombing Syria back to the stone age? How long will it take for the right people to make the connection?


#10

Single issue thinking. On the one hand, President Obama says that global heating is the seminal ethical issue of our time. On the other hand, he continues to pursue our military occupation of the Middle East. How much energy was expended in the devastation of Iraq? How much is being expended in bombing Syria back to the stone age? How long will it take for enough of the right opinion makers to make the connection?


#11

"We need wind-powered snowmaking machines to coat sections of tundra early in fall and late in spring"- Do you really think that machines are going to solve this problem which was largely created by humans using energy-consuming machines? Do you realize how vast the tundra is? The scale at which you would need to make a sufficient amount of snow would be staggeringly large and impossible.


#13

Wereflea,

Lots of doom and gloom in your post. And I agree with you that the idea of making snow across substancial sections of the arctic is just foolish on so many levels.

But,

Even with a sea level rise of 150 feet vast sections of the earth will be above the sea. Human life will not end because coastal cities are no more.

Every post here today but one (the snow maker) talks about conservation or emission reduction. Where do all these posters get the idea that severe reduction is going to happen? I see no evidence of a budget being established, I see no evidence of the creation of a world body who will enforce these reductions if defined. I see no evidence that less pollution is not still more pollution added to what was emitted for the last 100 years. In short, doomsday is on the way.

So, instead of a pipe dream of hope, the world should think of ways so that more of our children will survive. If 5 Billion will die in the famine, war, and pestilence, what investment is justified in saving 20%, 1 billion people? I lament the mass extinctions across the globe, but how many species would you allow to die to save your own children?

Micro farming produces more per Sq meter, but vastly less for the markets nearly all of us shop in. It is time to consolidate ownership of high, flat farmland. Let professionals farm, good farmland is an asset of the world.

Improve infrastructure in developing nations, creating increased incomes and resulting in fewer children. Not just roads and bridges but government institutions especially the justice systems.

As the coastal cities flood, migration will be inevitable, we need to build high density planned communities starting today.

And so on...


#14

I have great hope. I am not a believer that the End Is Nigh. I'm more a believer in the End Is Nought. Nature is f'n screwed and diversity will be relegated to movies and nature shows that people will think are CG someday but people are people.

We can do a lot to avoid the worst of climate change. Five years will tell. If there is a visible progression of global warming effects (the weather right now in the east USA is a case in point) or some huge storm etc, people will be amenable to a major governmental effort being initiated. Politicians are too corrupt and willing to gamble because as yet they are in denial. Their denial includes them believing that they aren't looking like they are responsible for f'n up too. They figure to squeak by a few more years before not doing something exacts a penalty among voters. They are stalling as yet.

We have the tech to switch from fossil fuels. The Earth will immediately pull out vast amounts of carbon as long as new carbon doesn't take its place. Yes some will remain in the atmosphere but not as much as people think. We could do it but will we?

I think we will but as I say they are stalling. I worry more that places like India wanting to build coal plants will be in response to bettering conditions. We (the rest of the world) start reducing carbon output while India increases causing the loss of any gains being made through our efforts.


#15

The earth will "pull out" carbon? So you can document coal or oil accumulation someplace?

Today we are carbonating the oceans, to the great harm of the oceans. Where else is that CO2 going?

Don't blame politicians who realize that doing nothing today will not come back and bite them politically tomorrow. They are as human as you or I.

The UN famously reported years ago that if mankind stopped producing CO2 all together, it would only delay global warming 6 years

I feel like Cassandra.


#16

Understand the stats. That figure is not familiar to me. I am familiar with the expectation that if we stopped producing carbon tomorrow that a lot of it would remain in the atmosphere for a century or two. The Earth is a dynamic system. We produce so much carbon you must realize just how much is being sequestered in the oceans and in the terrestrial biosphere (forest growth etc), otherwise we would be overwhelmed.

Global warming is going on right now so I don't know where that figure you cite comes from. I believe that if we can get off fossil fuels quickly enough that we and much of nature (as we still know it) will survive.

If we wait another ten years (that seems unlikely as events during those ten years will scare the crap out of even republicans (that is what the repubs are waiting for btw. They want it to be so obvious that there is nothing else to do but to do at least something...the jerks). As events will show... we need to do this.

When we do then the Earth will start to heal. We do it soon then it won't be so bad. If we wait then it will be to our regret.

My worry is that the bastards will want to try some insane geoengineering scheme and go all in on the gamble. Risky since we have no place else to go if it turns out to be a mistake.


#17

And a very quick summary of Dave Wasdell: We passed 2 C warming in 1978 when CO2 reached 334 ppm. Only the aerosols we are putting into the atmosphere, principally from coal burning have kept the temp below a 2 C rise. 2 C is not safe. Even 1 C is not safe. Upper safe CO2 level is 300 ppm. Long gone.


#18

I don't know david wasdell but the aerosol particulates in the atmosphere do reflect some sunlight back and thus 'shade' the surface of the Earth. They informally call it the Pinatubo Effect since it was noticed after that volcano injected ash clouds into the atmosphere. That lasted only two or so years but coal burning, forest fires and car exhausts keep the particulates coming. Were the air cleaner we'd see a slight rise in temps.


#19

My thoughts exactly. And that's the whole problem with the lip-service the liberal pseudo-left gives to the climate question. They turn it into a red herring, which, I suspect, is why the MSM gives it so much coverage. It's as if the PTB decided to let this issue dominate the news while they continue the PNAC plan for "full spectrum dominance" and keep sowing mayhem and death worldwide. Note, too, that for all hype, virtually nothing is being done about the climate problem.