The ARCTIC, north of Alaska (above) / Aug.18, 2018. Ice breaking up into melting chunks and slush. The contrast & saturation etc. are maxed. https://go.nasa.gov/2MxpJjK
Peter Wadhams, Professor Emeritus, Ocean Physics
by Robert Hunziker / August 10th, 2018
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (est. 1903) La Jolla, CA is the perfect location for meeting a world famous climate scientist. It is one of the most beautifully sculpted campuses on the face of the planet, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, an inviting scenario for serious surfers, but it also beckons top-notch scientists from around the world.
Every view from the architecturally rich campus opens to an endless panorama of gorgeous, blue-ocean waters and luscious, white surf for as far as the eye can see. However, that outward serenity belies a collapsing climate system that’s out of public view, one of the great illusions of all time.
At Scripps I was privileged to meet the esteemed climate scientist Peter Wadhams (professor emeritus Cambridge) recipient of several prestigious science awards, and his lovely, brilliantly energetic and accomplished wife, Maria Pia Casarini (Council 2017-2018 — Polar Educators International).
My mission was to drill down into what’s happening with the climate crisis. I got the answers I was looking for. Not only an interview but also additional answers are readily available to the general public via the paperback edition of Professor Wadham’s A Farewell to Ice (Penguin, UK; Oxford University Press, USA) a superb tome widely praised as a consummate must-read for a thorough understanding of our increasingly dangerous climate crisis.
Still, at the end of the day, the colossal question overhanging all of society vis a vis the climate juggernaut remains: Will society be able to look into the eyes of their children’s children without wincing?
The ARCTIC, north of Alaska (above) / Aug.18, 2018. Ice breaking up into melting chunks and slush. The contrast & saturation etc. are maxed. https://go.nasa.gov/2vXHyPi
My first question: What is the single most serious threat to the planet?
Without hesitation, Dr. Wadhams explained:
A sudden and huge pulse of methane out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf originating from its extraordinarily shallow waters <50 meters, or a similar burst out of the Laptev Sea, where 53% of the seawater rests on continental shelf averaging depth of <50 meters.
Those extraordinarily shallow waters expose vulnerability to global warming over miles upon miles of methane concentration, hydrates as well as free gas, believed to be the world’s largest. The vulnerability relates to methane in sediments capped by layers of permafrost left over from the last Ice Age.
The dilemma is: The permafrost cap is rapidly thawing as a result of anomalous retreat of summer sea ice.
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.18, 2018. Northern shore of Greenland. The contrast etc. are maxed to reveal the ice chunks more clearly. https://go.nasa.gov/2MYX7g4
My follow up question: What will be the impact of a 50Gt pulse?
Answer: “It would wipe out civilization within 5 years.”
End of Interview….
Seriously, though, drilling down deeper yet, it became apparent that methane embedded in frozen deposits in shallow waters north of Siberia is the most underrated and overlooked risk by the scientific community, which prompts many, many hard questions.
For starters, how is it possible that so few climate scientists and/or developed nations don’t care or follow the inordinate risks of a deathly methane breakout in the Arctic?
After all, Dr. Natalia Shakhova, head scientist for the Russian/American research team – University of Alaska/Fairbanks calculated:
1. The Arctic coastal seas contain 800Gt of methane in sediments, which is prevented from venting to surface by underwater permafrost, which is rapidly thawing because of sea ice loss.
2. Conservatively, the topmost 6%-8%, or approximately 50Gt, is vulnerable to sudden venting within a few years as the protective layer of permafrost thaws, resulting in a rapid increase of 0.6C in planetary temperature.
After considering the implications of her findings, Dr. Shakhova throttled back her own original larger estimate of a potential methane (CH4) pulse down to 50Gt even though reality may be much larger. As it happens, her discovery that a pulse could occur “out of the blue” has received the cold-shoulder by mainstream science.
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.17, 2018. The Beaufort Sea above Alaska & Canada. The contrast etc. are maxed. Note the parallel lines of radiation in the lower right corner & melting chunks of ice. https://go.nasa.gov/2N0ky96
According to Dr. Wadhams, more in situ work is desperately needed to determine the stability of the sediments; meaning, whether the threat is less than thought, or if additional thaw will give rise to a pulse far greater than 8% of the 800Gt, which would amount to terminal disaster for the planet.
“Wiping out civilization!”… Really?
Yes, there are only 5Gt of CH4 in the atmosphere today; a 50Gt burp would be enormously disruptive; moreover, molecule per molecule the immediate impact of CH4 is well over 20xs, depending upon timing up to 100xs, more powerful at inducing global warming than CO2. Which would have an immediate positive impact on global temperatures, cranking up by +0.60C within only two to three years on top of the +0.80C increase post-industrialization from over 200 years ago, or in comparative numbers, a 75% extra temperature boost within a handful of years with potency at least 20xs more powerful at influencing global warming than CO2, which took 200+ years to accomplish.
Bottom line: It would be “a powerful bombshell.”
Upon release into the atmosphere, methane bursts prompting excessive heat would damage ecosystems all across the planet and burn off agriculture across latitudes above and below the equator over indeterminate but widespread distances. Grain crop failures would fall like dominoes.
In point of fact, the world is 100% dependent upon grains, whether for grain-based foodstuff or meat consumption.
All of which brings to mind the summer of 2018 planetary heat wave, setting new standards for global warming. Just imagine the impact of a relatively speedy 75% increase from 0.8C up to 1.4C within the geological equivalent of a snap of the fingers.
Along those lines, contemplate the following headline in The Guardian, July 20, 2018: “Crop Failure and Bankruptcy Threaten Farmers as Drought Grips Europe.” In view of that, consider the ramifications of a 75% increase in temps.
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.14, 2018. Off the east coast of Greenland. The contrast & saturation are enhanced. https://go.nasa.gov/2PaFRpQ
The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are already so high that when their warming potential is realized in a few decades, the resulting temperature rise will be catastrophic.1
We have destroyed our planet’s life support system by mindless development and misuse of technology… Development of technology, first for geoengineering, then for carbon removal, is now necessary to save us. It is the most serious and important activity in which the human race can now be involved, and it must begin immediately. (p. 193)
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.14, 2018. Greenland (on left) & Svalbard Norway. Paisley melting patterns.
Still, geoengineering is mostly a black and white issue amongst the scientific/engineering communities with a sizeable group opposed to tinkering with or creating a Frankenstein climate or something even worse, as unintended consequences often times derive from the best of intentions.
Additionally, there is presently no assurance that any geoengineering model will work to scale, or carbon removal, which would likely need to be nearly as large as the originator of CO2 in the first instance or the fossil fuel industry in toto, an enormous infrastructure that took decades to build.
Thus, with overwhelming odds working against any easy pathways to a semblance of “Mother Earth back to normal,” what can concerned individuals do to help overcome tough odds, which unfortunately lean in favor of mainstream thought, which ignores the above-mentioned serious aspects of an increasingly wacky climate?
As for Dr. Wadhams, aside from speeches around the world, Korea and Japan on the docket, and thought-provoking books/articles, he’s an enthusiastic member of ScientistsWarning.org and encourages the public to join its ranks now.
As of December 2017, over 20,000 scientists in 184 nations signed a 2nd Scientists Warning to Humanity.
ScientistsWarning.org is an ideal outlet for people that want to get seriously involved on a direct personal basis in helping the worldwide effort to combat global warming and debasement of the biosphere. …
Frozen sediments, which have lain undisturbed since the last Ice Age, are now releasing plumes of methane – a very potent greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere.
There is no question that a very large number of people have to move; you cannot live where the water comes over you. I have not heard one suggestion on how we are going to move one hundred million (100,000,000) people out of low-lying areas and what countries would be willing to accept them.
— Walter Munk, professor emeritus of geophysics, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and recipient of the nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in scientific research, the President’s National Medal of Science. The New York Times labeled Dr. Munk “the Einstein of the Oceans.”
An anomalous screenshot image from the center of the Arctic showing a pinwheel effect from the satellite images. This one I left plain with no adjustments. https://go.nasa.gov/2MMTiuB
This is the same area showing the pinwheel anomaly as the previous image, but with the contrast etc. pushed. You can see the radiation in the plain one above coming from the center of this ‘pin-wheel’ – but when I pulled the contrast etc., it went wild! I have never seen this kind of effect before.
Why the ocean is cooking off the coast of Southern California Mashable / 11 August, 2018
The waters off the Southern California coast are now approaching tropical temperatures found in parts of the balmy Caribbean Sea. On Wednesday, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego recorded its highest ocean temperature ever, of 79.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have taken measurements off the marine institute’s pier for over a century, since 1916.
This easily broke the previous record of 78.8 Scripps’ measured last week. The chilled Pacific Ocean waters do warm up this time of year, but these unusual temperatures are still about 7 or 8 degrees above average.
“It’s an extreme event,” Clarissa Anderson, a biological oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in an interview.
Some ocean temperatures, beyond Scripps, even breached 80 degrees. A National Weather Service buoy off the San Diego coast measured temperatures as high as 81.3 degrees, possibly the “highest buoy temperature ever recorded” in the state’s waters, according to the weather agency.
The Russian ARCTIC (above) Aug.12, 2018. Note the radiation patterns over northern Russia. The contrast etc. are maxed to show the parallel radiation lines that indicate the use of scalar wave technology. The Russians are melting their side of the Arctic so they can transport their petroleum products, oil & gas through the Arctic Ocean to China. https://go.nasa.gov/2B20UI2
The Russian ARCTIC (above) Aug.12, 2018. This is a detail close-up of the previous above screenshot image. Note the radiation patterns over northern Russia. The contrast etc. are maxed to show the parallel radiation lines that indicate the use of scalar wave technology. The Russians are melting their side of the Arctic so they can transport their petroleum products, oil & gas through the Arctic Ocean to China.
VSF: The wildfire smoke has returned to western Washington State and the Olympic Peninsula where I live, Aug.19, 2018. This condition, which includes the Seattle & Puget Sound area, is said to persist for the next three days. The damage done to our lungs, respiratory system, and immune system cannot be quantified. Not only are these fires being used in their geoengineering operations, they are instrumental in other heinous evil ways.
California is being plagued by massive wildfires, and the effects on air quality from those fires can extend far beyond the state’s borders. In addition to ash and smoke, fires release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. This animation, made from satellite data, shows carbon monoxide from California’s fires drifting eastward starting on July 30, 2018, and reaching the U.S. East Coast by August 7.
Carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless gas – is a pollutant that can persist in the atmosphere for about one month and can be transported large distances. About half of the carbon monoxide in Earth’s atmosphere is from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass (such as forest and bushfires).
Most of the rest of carbon monoxide comes from chemical reactions with organic compounds emitted by human activities and plants. Small amounts are also emitted from the ocean, and from geological activity because carbon monoxide occurs dissolved in molten volcanic rock at high pressures in the Earth’s mantle. It plays a role in both air pollution and climate change.
These satellite images above show the carbon monoxide at an altitude of approximately 18,000 feet (5,500 meters). As the time series progresses, we see that this carbon monoxide is drifting east with one branch moving toward Texas and the other forking to the northeast.
According to a NASA statement: From space, [the satellite] measures carbon monoxide high up in the atmosphere – where it has little effect on the air we breathe. However, strong winds can carry this pollutant downward to where it can have significant effects on air quality.
The time series of images shows just how far the carbon monoxide from California’s wildfires has traveled eastward and what areas may be at greater risk of experiencing its effects.
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.11, 2018. Chunky slush… The contrast etc. are maxed. https://go.nasa.gov/2vD7UGp
The ARCTIC (above) / Aug.11, 2018. The Russian Island, Novaya Zemlya is shown with evidence of scalar radiation. Russia is building military bases and shipping facilities throughout its Arctic territories. https://go.nasa.gov/2OZO93D