Home | About | Donate

Satellite Images Ignite Alarm Over 'Unprecedented' Scale and Planet-Heating Emissions of Raging Arctic Wildfires

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/23/satellite-images-ignite-alarm-over-unprecedented-scale-and-planet-heating-emissions

1 Like

Both poles in trouble:


Indeed !

West Antarctic Ice Sheet - destabilizing.

Greenland - same.

East Antarctic Ice Sheet - thinking about the attractions of destabilization.

Mountain Glaciers - in wholesale retreat - everywhere.

Will this make the front pages of the corporate rags - NADA !


2019 looks more likely to set a new record yearly-low for Arctic sea-ice with each passing day, on track to less than the 3.4 million square kilometers of 2012. There are many instances of jaw-dropping turbulence far above and below the Arctic ice, but the shift in albedo (i.e. surface reflectivity) is both symbolically and physically gargantuan. Even the north coast of Greenland – previously thought to be a hold-out – is cracking up right now. So much dark water is exposed where there used to be ice, sunlight warming dark waters is becoming a permanent force strong enough to keep the ice away.

The discussion has moved from whether 2019 will beat 2012 for the record low, to whether 2019 will be the year of the first Blue Ocean Event (BOE) in human experience (defined as less than 1 million km2 of summer sea ice). The fires aggravate the melt season, too – as the soot darkens and warms Arctic surfaces. This should put an end to the tiresome refrain about how long we have to avoid “the worst consequences” of AGW. There’s no way a BOE does not qualify. The list of nasty consequences which could easily follow a BOE is long and incomplete, but the sea-level rise implications are obvious. Bye-bye, Miami. Floridians will have no opportunity to go back where they came from, if they came from Florida.


Thanks for filling out the whole picture.

It seems, more and more every day, that we have indeed passed the time when humans will be able to stave off civilization collapse even if we were to suddenly (magically!) invest our global energies in stopping AGM. Maybe I’m being premature in my assessment, but then, we are no where near taking AGM seriously, so probably not…


Welcome to the club, LadyK. This whole ecosystem is going down, it seems. That’s a realization which some people bitterly resist no matter what, or else just look away and try to think about other stuff. Those who get it are then faced with: Now what?

So much of the spur-to-action talk is based on preventing utter collapse of global systems. The point of brooking no nonsense regarding the very real whole Earth catastrophe unfolding is that now we need to be wary of that apparently delusional talk about avoiding catastrophe. But activism has to continue. We can’t just lay down and concede to the predators because so much is beyond hope. We have to follow through and finally put an end to fossil fuel extraction. That would be activism in defense of Life of Earth, and we should learn to consider ourselves Earthlings.

My own learning curve to considering myself an Earthling involves quality time with Mama Earth. Every day. I wouldn’t have the strength to keep going without our daily conversations.


Time to hit the beach…if global warming hadn’t caused toxic algae blooms and flesh eating bacteria in our oceans…


Some parts of the beaches here have been closed due to “bacteria”. I believe caused by raw sewage being pumped in from a few towns with no treatment plants. (The Med by the way)


Weren’t a lot from Cuba?

1 Like

Right Ladyk. Then we get this stupidity from bbc:

“Troublesome problems”? I love that!!!


Since May I have been reporting on the heat and the ice melt and the fires in and around the arctic circle and no one said a word, no one said a thing and now my blog gets no readers either…yes…I am going to say it…I told you so but you didn’t listen, so I have quit…have a nice day!


We have been listening Ditton. We are the choir.


I posted several items on my Medium blog today Medium @jrallen1200 . Things are just getting going and Congress spends without limit. Global warming? Chirp, chirp, chirp…Peace
It really is as bad as it looks.

1 Like

Humankind will be real lucky to make it two centuries at best the way we’re going. The BBC does produce quality period dramas though.

The Laws of Physics don’t lie. A glass of ice water remains at a fairly steady temperature… until the ice melts. Once the ice is gone from the glass, the water temp rises quite quickly to room temp. The Arctic Sea is will produce the same result. Once it’s gone, the Arctic will warm dramatically and with catastrophic consequences. We will see planetary accelerated, nonlinear warming and climate chaos on steroids. This is why I believe near term human extinction will be complete by mid century.

I don’t think we’ll have long to wait to find out, at any rate, because the ice is vacating the Arctic quite expeditiously. At this point, every new low makes it much harder to refreeze, much more likely to completely clear the next year. For me, the phrase “near-term human extinction” is associated with a malicious, untrustworthy false prophet whose name I don’t mention. The conceit behind the phrase is more centered on the importance of human life than I discipline myself to think. We owe our loyalty to Life on Earth, regardless of whether our species is doomed – so the specific fate of our species doesn’t matter to me, as an aspiring Earthling.

1 Like

Yes, we will find out soon enough as to whether or not we will have a BOE this September. I check arctic sea ice data every morning via the Charctic website and am horrified by the spiraling loss of ice.especially old, dense, sea ice. We are currently over 170,000 square kilometers below 2012 ice on this same date. We are certainly on track for a new low. That said, I believe we are on a course for human extinction in our lifetimes (I am 51 years old). I just don’t see how we as a species can survive the rape and onslaught we have done to the biosystems of Earth. In any event, I hope your optimism survives and Humanity pulls through this. I think the planet and all other life, however, would be better off without us. Peace!

1 Like

Peace to you too, my relative. For the record, I don’t think I expressed optimism, so much as indifference, regarding the fate of humankind, specifically.

But it vexes and puzzles me when people say you have to sound optimistic in order to motivate people. For one thing, I’m not here to motivate anyone, but to search for and impart as much of important truths as I’m able to impart. And to the degree I sense someone means to motivate me, I’m wary of their truthfulness. The truth is just inarguably essential in any emergency situation, let alone a global emergency – and there are powerful forces pulling the other way, so just maybe this is something I can help with. That’s the sum total of my optimism.

Secondly, if people cannot be motivated by morality behind this emergency, they never will be motivated by anything. That I can’t help with at all. There’s an essential solidarity with Life on Earth which is not only necessary for any chance of survival, but also for my own mental health. But I’ll never have the foggiest notion where this solidarity comes from, or if it can be induced to emerge somehow. Whether one identifies as an Earthling is a matter of one’s own soul. I can’t touch that.

1 Like

Correction: I just crunched the numbers of arctic sea ice coverage yesterday (July 22nd) vs. same date for year 2012. I low balled it. We are 196,000 sq. kilometers behind 2012. Oy!

1 Like

Sad isn’t it that the people don’t have the power. The rich and politically connected that could spur more interest are not doing it. At least not enough to save us.
One question that I have is: When arctic ice has melted and there has been this massive release of CO2 and methane, how much oxygen will be released with it, and does it make a difference.