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June Hottest Month on Record, As Antarctica Melts: Top 3 Signs We are Cooking the Planet . . .and Ourselves

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/03/june-hottest-month-record-antarctica-melts-top-3-signs-we-are-cooking-planet-and

I’m usually all doom and gloom on this topic because it’s too late to undo the damage – and truly, it’s picking up momentum.

But here in Michigan we’re getting closer to actually shutting down a pipeline: Enbridge Line 5. I’m pretty sure that this would be the first pipeline ever terminated in this country.

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Fighting Enbridge line 3 here in MN along with the proposed PolyMet mine.

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Until we all address what the militaries of the world contribute to global warming things will continue to deteriorate. The US military is the Single biggest contributor to green house gasses on the planet. Everything else contribute to the problem. Flying, shipping goods from afar, going to stores more than once a week, Trump’s parade, my cat. All contribute; some, a little as my cat and some HUGE as the US military machine. These all need to be tackled or the world will be too hot to grow crops before too long, hopefully after me and my cat are gone.

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Yes - the surprise Antarctic sea ice melt.

The most worrisome part was how it caught most of the specialists completely off guard - and they are still trying to explain it.

I keep thinking of John Mercer, the Antarctic specialist from long ago, known by today’s ice specialists such as Richard Alley and especially Lonnie Thompson. Mercer thought the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the only remaining maritime ice sheet (i,e,. grounded over a kilometer below sea level in a massive basin) - a ticking time bomb.

Of course Greenland is always a contender, and doubtless both suffered partial collapse during the last interglacial, the Eemian, when sea level was perhaps six meters higher. It is worth remembering that during the Eemian carbon dioxide was well below 300 ppm, and that we are now over 400 ppm.

Then there is the slowing of the Gulf Stream, the AMOC (Atlantic Meridonial Overturning Circulation), by perhaps some 15% from perhaps pre-industrial times, or even more lately than that.

There are a lot of details still a bit foggy.

But CO2 at 403 and rising on its exponential curve is neither a detail nor is there any substantial uncertainty about it.

The weather here in Calgary is downright strange, and I am a weather hawk.

Extraordinary slow moving pressure systems, a weakened, even collapsed polar jet. Temperatures from Alaska to Montana virtually the same, as if there was no Arctic.

The mathematicians speak of critical slowing down - before a change of state.

That’s what it looks and feels like.

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For a ton of more information, a real glimpse at the future we’re facing, I suggest The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, by David Wallace-Wells.