Montag, 22. Dezember 2014

Fahrradtour von Baden nach Sarvar und der Duft vom ökologischen Kollaps

Eine der großen Gefahren welche von unserem Indoor Leben ausgeht, ist deren betäubende Wirkung. Wenn wir nicht draußen in der Welt sind, sind wir nicht anwesend, wir sind nicht anwesend wenn Sie stirbt. Darüber zu sprechen, gerade über ein elektronisches Medium, auch in geschriebenem Wort, ist sehr überflüssig weil es braucht die symbolische Schaffung der Tragödie die sich um uns gerade entfaltet und eine Darstellung wird nie dem Gewicht und dem Schmerz der Realität tragen. (frei übersetzt vom Blog

Ich muss dem Autor recht geben! Keiner kann die vielen toten Tiere die bei 15 Grad und mehr anfangen ziemlich übel zu riechen. Keiner macht sich die Mühe Roadkills wegzuräumen und auch die frisch gepflügten Felder riechen nach Methan also nach Fäulnisgasen. Jeder der in den nächsten Tagen eine Radtour von Baden bei Wien nach Sarvar in Ungarn macht kann es riechen. Es riecht nach Tod. Auch habe ich nur ganz wenige Vogelschwärme ausmachen können. Wenn das Wort überhaupt auf diese kleinen Gruppen von Vögel noch zutrifft. Die Alleen sind in Österreich fast schon alle nicht mehr vorhanden. In Ungarn gibt es noch welche aber die Schäden an den Bäumen sind nicht zu übersehen. Gerade im Winter auch wenn die warme Sonne extrem erfreulich war, so ist es spürbar, es passiert etwas mit dem Ökosystem wir können gerade erleben wie es katalytisch reagiert....wenn wir uns ins Freie trauen!

Montag, 15. Dezember 2014

Methan Lecks in der industriellen Zivilisation: Methan von aufgestauten Flüssen auch in Europa

Vor etwa 4 Jahren haben Ewag Wissenschftler beweisen können, dass große Mengen an Methan - ein mehr als 25 mal stärkeres Treibhausgas als CO2 - aus dem Stau- See Wohlen in der Nähe von Bern emittiert.

Three years ago, Eawag scientists demonstrated that substantial amounts of methane – a
greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide – are released from Lake Wohlen,
near Bern.

This finding was widely reported in the media. Now, a study conducted by Tonya
Del Sontro of the Surface Waters department in collaboration with German and Danish
researchers shows that, in temperate regions, Lake Wohlen is by no means unique in this respect.
As Del Sontro says, “Considering the innumerable small reservoirs along rivers, methane
emissions from inland waters worldwide could well be up to 7 per cent higher than was

Investigations carried out on the River Saar suggest that significant amounts of
the greenhouse gas methane are emitted not only from large tropical reservoirs
but also from countless smaller reservoirs along temperate rivers. Methane is
emitted especially from reaches where organic-rich sediments are deposited – and
such emissions are likely to increase in the future. Text: Andres Jordi

previously thought.” This is suggested by the results of measurements carried out by the researchers
on the Saar in Germany. To date, it has been assumed that rivers and lakes account
for around 18 per cent of global methane emissions.
Ebullition rates influenced by sedimentation
Methane released from freshwaters is a product of microbial degradation, mainly originating
from anoxic sediments. It arises when organic carbon is fermented by bacteria under anoxic
conditions, rather than being degraded aerobically to form carbon dioxide. Anoxic zones of this
kind are found where large amounts of organic matter are deposited – for example, in run-ofthe-
river reservoirs close to the dams. High levels of methane production lead to enrichment
of the water with the greenhouse gas and the formation of bubbles which are released into the
atmosphere (Fig. 2).
In their study, Del Sontro and her colleagues quantified methane emissions from five dam reservoirs
and from the reaches lying between the dams along a roughly 100-kilometre stretch of
the river. Using sensor and echo sounder measurements, they determined the amounts of
methane diffusing to the atmosphere from the surface, released via ebullition from sediments
or degassed as a result of turbulence at dam outflows. Methane emissions from the reservoir
sites are between 75 and 620 milligrams per square meter per day, compared to only around 4
milligrams for the river-type reaches. The emissions are mainly attributable to ebullition from
reservoir sediments and degassing from methane-enriched water at dam outflows; surface
diffusion plays a minimal role (see Fig. 3). Methane emissions vary from season to season and
are much higher in warmer water – this explains why tropical reservoirs are considered to be
significant sources of methane emissions, while alpine storage lakes, for example, are not.

Fig. 2: Gas bubbles form when large amounts
of methane are produced in sediments.

The researchers also found that ebullition rates depend on sedimentation: the higher the rate
of sediment accumulation, the more methane gas bubbles are produced. In the Saar, over 90
per cent of methane emissions are due to sedimentation processes. Del Sontro explains: “The
particles transported by a river are mainly deposited in reservoirs in front of the dams, so a lot
more methane is released to the atmosphere from these reaches than from riverine reaches.”
Sediment accumulation, she concludes, would be an excellent proxy for estimating methane
emissions from small reservoirs. In fact, the correlation between sediment accumulation and
methane emission found in the Saar study worked quite well with Lake Wohlen data, too.
Inclusion in global emission assessments
The Saar reservoirs, with a total surface area of one square kilometre, emit about 120 tonnes of
methane per year, which is roughly equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 20 million car kilometres.
The emission rates are similar to those observed for tropical reservoirs, on which the
attention of climate researchers has previously been focused. According to the research team’s
estimates, total methane emissions for comparable temperate reservoirs could be up to 7 million
tonnes per year. “This means that they account for a significant proportion of emissions and
should be given greater consideration in global assessments,” says Del Sontro. She believes
that methane emissions are likely to be further increased as a result of the construction of new
dams, ongoing sediment accumulation in existing reservoirs, and rising temperatures. However,
as she emphasizes, there is a need to retain a sense of proportion: the impact of inland waters
on the climate is relatively small compared, for example, to fossil fuel-based energy production.

Fig. 3: Mean emissions of methane (in milligrams per square metre per day) from reservoirs on the Saar and from
adjacent river reaches. The greenhouse gas is mainly released via ebullition from accumulated sediments in reservoirs
and degassing at dam outflows.

>>Original publication in “Environmental Science and Technology”
>>Reservoirs: a neglected source of methane emissions?

Donnerstag, 11. Dezember 2014

Beschleunigter Klimawandel hin zu einem blauen arktischen Meer Ereignis

Kein Kommentar


“For the last 8,000 years we’ve had [relatively] amazing stability with constant weather temperatures and sea level. This stability has allowed the development of agriculture, civilization, industrialization, and a population of 7 billion and rising. This apparent stability is entirely a fluke. It is by amazing good luck that we are here today looking back on the past.”
John Nissen (12-4-2014), Arctic Methane Emergency Group
On the 4th, 5th, and 6th of December of the year 2014, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG) held press briefings at the COP-20 United Nations Climate Change Conference that is taking place in Lima, Peru. For those unfamiliar with AMEG, here is a summary about them from their website that illustrates their proven track record of predictions:
AMEG is a group of determined scientists, engineers, communicators and others, dedicated firstly to establishing what really is happening to our planet (especially in the Arctic) using best scientific evidence, secondly to finding effective and affordable means to deal with the situation, and thirdly communicating these matters to authority and the general public.
AMEG aims to position itself in the centre ground – neither overstating nor understating the dangers of climate change. We are only alarmist in the sense that we are drawing attention to the more unpleasant realities of rapid Arctic warming and climate change, which have been downplayed or ignored by IPCC, unwittingly backed up by the media. We are determinedly optimistic as regards promoting an intervention strategy against all the odds, believing that mankind must have the collective intelligence to sort out the mess that mankind has got itself into.
In early 2012, AMEG gave evidence to the UK’s Environment Audit Committee in their inquiry on protecting the Arctic. Much of our evidence was dismissed by government advisers, but all our evidence has been borne out by subsequent observations and events, including: the rapid rise in temperature of Arctic ocean and atmosphere; the dramatic decline of sea ice to a record minimum in September 2012 (following the exponential downward trend we had warned the committee about); the exponential increase in release of the potent greenhouse gas, methane, from the Arctic Ocean seabed; the exponential increase in melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and consequent sea level rise; and the continuing disruption of the jet stream patterns we expected from Arctic warming, with resulting climate change in the form of weather extremes (despite a continuing hiatus in global warming), causing widespread crop failures and increase in the food price index above the crisis level, thus promoting civil conflict in a number of Asian and African countries where food prices have recently escalated, including most notably Syria.
Recent independent research, by scientists in AMEG and elsewhere, puts beyond reasonable doubt our assertion that the Arctic is locked in a vicious cycle of warming and melting, with the sea ice well past its tipping point. The current albedo forcing from snow and sea ice retreat is now estimated at around 0.4 to 0.5 Watts per square meter, averaged globally, amounting to 200 to 250 terawatts heating in the Arctic – more than mankind’s total energy consumption.  This albedo forcing is liable to double within a few years as the snow and sea ice further retreat. AMEG believes that the vicious cycle of warming and melting can only be broken by rapid intervention to cool the Arctic.  
Although AMEG’s research has concentrated on the Arctic and its effect on climate change, our study of IPCC’s own evidence suggests just how serious are the long-term prospects of climate change due to both CO2 and methane – far more serious than claimed by IPCC itself. The carbon budget for CO2 – the allowable amount of CO2 to avoid dangerous climate change – has already been used up, if one takes into account the effect of methane and other greenhouse gases. If one also takes into account the climate forcing through albedo loss in the Arctic, then it is clear that the world is heading for extremely dangerous global warming by mid-century, even without Arctic methane. The only way to head off such a disaster is by reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere well below their current levels, using a combination of aggressive reduction in both CO2 and methane emissions but also by removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
The videos of both press briefings are below. They essentially cover much of the same material, but are both worth watching for the details that the different speakers give illustrating mankind’s dire predicament. Following the videos, I summarize AMEG’s discussions along with their conclusions. We truly are at a turning point in the survival of our species.
• The tipping point for the collapse of Arctic glaciers has been breached and a runaway meltdown of the North Pole ice cap is currently unfolding. Arctic ice is decaying exponentially. (For a better visualization, picture an area of ice the size of the state of Maine being lost every year since 1979.):
Highly reflective snow and ice is being replaced by dark sea water which is much more [absorbent] of solar energy causing the Arctic to warm much, much faster than the rest of the planet. This is destabilizing the atmospheric air circulation and ocean circulation. It is reducing the temperature gradient or difference between the equator and the pole which slows down the jet stream making it wavier with higher ridges and troughs. The jet stream has also become prone to stagnating in the same region. Very warm, humid southerly air can go to much higher latitudes than before, and cold arctic air can go to much southerly latitudes than before. This in itself is representing an enormous positive reinforcing feedback (not positive for humans) which is carrying more and more heat up into the Arctic and more and more coldness from the Arctic further south. What this will do is fracture the jet streams, leading us to a very different world, a less predictable climatic world where weather extremes such as torrential rains and extended droughts and floods come to dominate the weather system. The frequency, severity, and duration of these events all increase. These events also occur in regions where we did not have this before. For example, we get 80cm(32 inches) of snow in the Atacama Desert which is the driest region of the planet – an unprecedented event. We get torrential rains where we had desert before. We get desert where we had moderate temperatures before. This is already happening now with just 0.85 °C of warming that the world has experienced since the start of the industrial revolution. This situation is very dependent on the conditions in the Arctic. As the Arctic continues to exponentially decline in snow and sea ice cover, these extremes will undoubtedly have to increase. The physics of the system says so. Because we now live in a warmer planet, there is more evaporation of the oceans leading to more water vapor in the atmosphere which fuels stronger storms. (The atmosphere can hold 7% moisture for every 1°C increase in average temp. Since we have increased the average temp by ~0.8°C from pre-industrial times, we have 6% more water vapor in the atmosphere). Because we have changed the chemistry of the atmosphere, we have changed the planet’s weather and climate.
• Once we reach a point of no Arctic sea ice, perhaps as early as September 2015, this will create a “blue ocean event” in which all the heat from the sun will be able to penetrate Arctic waters, vastly accelerating the rate at which the Arctic is warming. Consequently, massive disruption of atmospheric circulation and ocean currents will ensue, thus locking the Arctic into an ice-free state. Global sea levels will rapidly rise and climate chaos will ramp up.
• The East Siberian Arctic Shelf, containing hundreds to thousands of times more heat trapping gases than what are presently in the atmosphere, is in the process of releasing a catastrophic amount of greenhouse gases.
• Climate models do not take into account fractures, imperfections in the sea floor, regions of unfrozen subsea methane and other weak points in methane deposits. The models simply treat these areas as uniform slabs that will act in a predictable and symmetrical manner.
• Historical ice core and sediment records show numerous instances of the Earth having undergone abrupt climate change of 5-6°C or greater within a very short time period, one or two decades.
• The initial heat-trapping strength of methane(CH4) is up to several hundred times more powerful than CO2 during the first couple decades of its release into the atmosphere before degrading into CO2.
• Collapse of Civilization is assured at a 4°C rise in global temperature.
Scientists consider a global warming of 6°C to be a threat to the survival of humanity, and anything beyond an increase of 2°C to be intolerable (as recorded at the Asia-Europe Summit by Khor, September 2006). Link
• Even conservative IPCC projections of BAU predict a 4°C rise in global temperature by the end of the century and this estimate does not include the methane release from the Arctic seabed, permafrost and tundra. No where in its reports does the IPCC state that a 4°C would be catastrophic to civilization and life on Earth.
• Simply attempting to “adapt” to anthropogenic climate change is not a realistic option.
• The meme of money and profit holds sway over all of society.
• The operating system of global civilization, i.e. neoclassical economics, is fatally flawed and it will kill us.
• The consequences of predicted drought from global warming will make food production impossible in most of the world…
• A life-affirming system of ecological economics must replace the current ecocidal model of neoclassical economics.
• Institutions must divest from fossil fuel investments and burst the carbon bubble.
• Techniques for cooling the Arctic need to be implemented now, such as spraying salt into the atmosphere to thicken clouds. Additionally, carbon sequestration techniques need to be implemented now, such as biochar burial which is a carbon negative technology that also enriches soil fertility.
• The world must recognize that a 2°C target is not the benchmark we need to worry about right now. We need to worry about and immediately deal with the destabilization and disruption of our climate and weather patterns that are already occurring today at 0.85 °C.
• Only a concerted international effort will provide us with a chance to mitigate and adapt to climate change by building a deep toolbox of approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, reducing emissions alone will not be sufficient. An active withdrawal of CO2 from the atmosphere will need to be a part of managing climate change.
AMEG does not mention the Antarctic which was recently found to be melting three times faster than a decade ago:
The glaciers in the embayment lost mass throughout the entire period. The researchers calculated two separate quantities: the total amount of loss, and the changes in the rate of loss.
The total amount of loss averaged 83 gigatons per year (91.5 billion U.S. tons). By comparison, Mt. Everest weighs about 161 gigatons, meaning the Antarctic glaciers lost a Mt.-Everest’s-worth amount of water weight every two years over the last 21 years.
The rate of loss accelerated an average of 6.1 gigatons (6.7 billion U.S. tons) per year since 1992.
From 2003 to 2009, when all four observational techniques overlapped, the melt rate increased an average of 16.3 gigatons per year — almost three times the rate of increase for the full 21-year period. The total amount of loss was close to the average at 84 gigatons.
Also in the news a few months ago was the realization that Greenland’s ice sheet loss has doubled in just the last five years. Greenland’s ice is much more unstable and prone to collapse than previously thought, and it alone holds enough ice to raise sea levels by nearly twenty-three feet. Paul Beckwith notes that the rate of change in ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica has doubled every seven years for the last couple decades and that if we continue on this trend, then the world will indeed experience a sea level rise of nearly twenty-three feet by 2070.
Last month a seemingly reassuring headline stated that ‘Alaska shows no signs of rising Arctic methane‘ according to NASA’s CARVE project (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment), but any hopes about the ticking methane time bomb in the Arctic were quickly dashed after reading the article:
…High concentrations of  have been measured at individual Arctic sites, especially in Siberia. This adds to the concern that massive methane releases are already occurring in the far North. NASA’s multiyear Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is the first experiment to establish emission rates for a large region of the Arctic…
Alaska composes about one percent of Earth’s total land area, and its estimated annual emissions in 2012 equaled about one percent of total global methane emissions. That means the Alaskan rate was very close to the global average rate.
“That’s good news, because it means there isn’t a large amount of methane coming out of the ground yet,” said lead author Rachel Chang, formerly at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Charles Miller of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, the principal investigator for CARVE, noted that results from a single year cannot show how emissions might be changing from year to year. “The 2012 data don’t preclude accelerated change in the future,” he said.
Vast amounts of carbon are stored in undecayed organic matter—dead plants and animals—in Arctic permafrost and peat. Scientists estimate that there is more than twice as much carbon locked in the frozen North as there is in the atmosphere today. The organic material won’t decay and release its carbon as long as it stays frozen. But climate change has brought warmer and longer summers throughout the Arctic, and permafrost soils are thawing more and more. If large amounts of undecayed matter were to defrost, decompose and release methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the impact on global temperatures would most likely be enormous.
Because no other program has made measurements as comprehensive and widespread as CARVE’s, Chang said, “One of the challenges is that we have nothing to compare our results to. We can’t say whether emissions have already increased or stayed the same. Our measurements will serve as a baseline.”
We already know that methane levels have increased two-and-a-half times since the pre-industrial era and “since 2007 atmospheric methane has been on a renewed sustained increase… due to planetary feedback emissions.” Methane has “more than doubled its 800,000 [year] maximum”:
This increase in atmospheric methane started as a result of carbon feedback feedback methane (CH4) from anomalously high temperatures in the Arctic and greater than average precipitation in the tropics, rather than from increased industrial emissions (Dlugokencky et al, 2009). Link
We also know that scientists continue to be shocked and awed at the increasingly accelerated rate at which glaciers around the world are melting. Essentially, industrial civilization is whistling past the graveyard.
Because of AMEG’s honest assessment about the climatic state of the world and the horrific future mankind faces, I support their efforts. We have no time left for philosophical musings about the ethics of AMEG’s geo-engineering ideas to cool the Arctic or debating why, how, and who is responsible for the mess we are in. The Blue Ocean Event is coming and time is not on our side.
“The end of the Arctic will be the noose gently placed around our necks. Get your affairs in order, Humankind.” ~ The Final Stand

Mittwoch, 3. Dezember 2014

Milk of Poppy Pain Killer for the coming Dark Ages | Mohnmilch Schmerzstiller für das kommende Dunkle Zeitalter

Wow got it yesterday inclusive original recipe from the dark ages. Habe gestern meine Westeros Milk of Poppy Packungen bekommen inklusive Original Rezept aus dem letzten dunklen Zeitalter. Wer will dem schicke ich welche zu. Kontakt: Twitter: @peakaustria oder

Dienstag, 11. November 2014

Death by Dollar$ and Suicide by CO2 | Gestorben am €uro und umgebracht mit CO2

Der Montag bringt unter Umständen die besten Blog Postings mit sich. Zum ersten Blog Posting von Xray Mike möchte ich noch anmerken, dass mir genau am Wochenende bewusst geworden ist, dass nicht nur in der Tundra und in den Arktischen Meeren sich noch nicht verrottete Sedimente sammeln sondern eben auch in Staubecken. Kurz in eine Suchmaschine eingegeben und voila es gibt dazu Studien aus der Schweiz. Der Verbund hat mir auf eine Anfrage hin versichert, dass in Österreich dieses Problem nicht existiert sondern eher in wärmeren Gebieten. Trotzdem ist Österreich keine Insel der Seligen und liefert die Technologie dafür und die Politik erwartet diese Einnahmen von der Wasserkraft Industrie und macht sich somit zum Komplizen.

Eine weiter Meme's in seinem Post sind der Zucker Konsum, Generationenkonflikt und wie wir zur dominierenden Biomasse am Land geworden sind.

Ein weiteres geniales Posting vom Wochenende kommt wieder einmal von .
Er schafft es uns ohne ein ganzes Buch schreiben bzw lesen zu müssen vor Augen zu führen wie sehr wir uns verlaufen haben und das System von uns selbst und dem Glauben daran gestützt wird: Because as long as we believe that, we’ll leave our political and financial structures and power holders keep their plush seats. And as long as we believe it, they’re free to take more and more away from us. Something we feel powerless to stop, because we’re scared of what may happen when we stop believing. In broken models.

Zu guter letzt ein Kommentar noch von Kurt Vonnegut

All lights are about to go out. No more electricity. All forms of transportation are about to stop, and the planet Earth will soon have a crust of skulls and bones and dead machinery. And nobody can do a thing about it. It’s too late in the game. Don’t spoil the party, but here’s the truth: We have squandered our planet’s resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn’t going to be one.

Mittwoch, 5. November 2014

Kritik am Oeamtc mit seinem Zentralorgan für Industrialisierte Zivilisation

Im aktuellen Zentralorgan für Auto Propaganda: "auto touring" schreibt der Autor Fibich auf mehreren Seiten es sei alles in Ordnung und der Auto Verkehr sei gar nicht so schlimm und die Luftqualität hätte sich super verbessert. Dem stehen zahllose Studien gegenüber vom steigenden Energieverbrauch und somit einer steigenden Schadstoffbelastung. Wer heuer im Osten Österreichs die Ozonschäden bei den Nussbäumen gesehen hat, der braucht keine Studien zu lesen. Der Verkehr und im besonderen der Individual Verkehr ist neben dem Haus ein zentraler Fetisch unserer Zivilisation. Ohne einer automatisierten Landwirtschaft, Industrie und Beton Infrastruktur könnte sich keiner Autos leisten und somit ist sehr sehr viel Graue Energie im Auto Verkehr enthalten. Somit stimmen die Behauptung in diesem Artikel hinten und vorne nicht und sind sehr eindimensional gehalten. Hier ein Linkzu einer gratis Studie einer mehrdimensionale Betrachtung unserer industriellen Zivilisation. Nur durch solche massive falsch verstandene konservative PR konnte das Klima so warm werden, dass immer mehr Methan in der Tundra freigesetzt wird siehe Foto. Gerne diskutiere ich diesen Artikel mit jedem während einer Tandem oder Fahrrad- Fahrt oder via twitter @peakaustria.

Mittwoch, 15. Oktober 2014

Wir sind auf dem richtigen Weg! Dem Kollaps der modernen Zivilisation steht nichts im Weg

Two recent pieces of scientific evidence really hammer home the predicament of modern industrial civilization, and they have to do with the fact that our globalized, just-in-time economic model is hopelessly wed to carbon-based energy. Once one understands this, then there can be no delusions about why we are on such a catastrophic trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. As wasexplained in a previous post, GDP is fundamentally and directly linked to CO2 emissions. Below, two graphs(click to go to source) illustrate this fact:

C02 emissions since 1850 (red); exponential growth (blue); cuts to hit climate target (dashed).
It’s not really about evil fossil fuel companies, although they do certainly exert enormous political clout and do conspire to protect their business model by doing such things as spreading doubt on climate change science, but as with all corporations, externalizing social and environmental costs is endemic to the profit system and the coercive forces of competition in capitalist markets.
Firstly, there is the graph submitted by Professor Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist for the past 30 years, Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, and Co-Director Institute of the Environment, Univ. of Arizona:
This clearly shows we are firmly on track for hitting 3.2-5.4°C warming by the end of the century or sooner. This kind of rapid warming is incompatible with most life on Earth. To get an idea of what the world will be like at 3°C once lag time catches up to real time, we can look back 3 million years ago in the Pliocene Era when CO2 levels were similar to today and temperatures were 3°C warmer:
The northern hemisphere was free of glaciers and icesheets, beech trees grew in the Transantarctic mountains, sea levels were 25 metres higher [Climate Dynamics, 26, 249-365], and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were 360-400 ppm, very similar to today. There are also strong indications that during the Pliocene, permanent El Nino conditions prevailed. Hansen says that rapid warming today is already heating up the western Pacific Ocean, a basis for a coming period of ‘super El Ninos’ [Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 103, 39, 14288-93]…
…The collapse of the Amazon is part of the reversal of the carbon cycle projected to happen around 3 degrees, a view confirmed by a range of researchers using carbon coupled climate models. Vast amounts of dead vegetation stored in the soil – more than double the entire carbon content of the atmosphere – will be broken down by bacteria as soil warms. The generally accepted estimate is that the soil carbon reservoir contains some 1600 gigatonnes, more than double the entire carbon content of the atmosphere…
…Three degrees would likely see increasing areas of the planet being rendered essentially uninhabitable by drought and heat. Rainfall in Mexico and central America is projected to fall 50 per central. Southern Africa would be exposed to perennial drought, a huge expanse centred on Botswana could see a remobilisation of old sand dunes [Nature, 435, 1218-21], much as is projected to happen earlier in the US west. The Rockies would be snowless and the Colorado river will fail half the time. Drought intensity in Australia could triple, according to the CSIRO, which also predicts days in NSW above 35 degrees will increase 2 to 7 times.
With extreme weather continuing to bite – hurricanes may increase in power by half a category above today’s top-level Category Five – world food supplies will be critically endangered. This could mean hundreds of millions – or even billions – of refugees moving out from areas of famine and drought in the sub-tropics towards the mid-latitudes. As the Himalayan ice sheet relentlessly melts with rising temperatures, the long-term water flows into Asia’s great rivers and breadbasket valleys — the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, the Mekong, Yangtse and Yellow rivers — will fall dramatically. If global temperatures rise by three degrees, and that’s becoming the un-official target for western governments, water flow in the Indus is predicted to drop by 90 per cent by 2100. The lives of two billion people are at stake.
As the Arctic continue to warm, melting permafrost in the boreal forests and further north in the Arctic tundra is now starting to melt, triggering the release of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more powerful than CO2, from thick layers of thawing peat. The West Siberian bog is estimated to contain 70 billion tonnes of CO2. Prof. Sergei Kirpotin, a botanist at Russia’s Tomsk State University, says: “There’s a critical barrier… Once global warming pushes the melting process past that line, it begins to perpetuate itself.” The West Antarctic ice sheet would likely to irreversibly melt.
At 5-6°C:
Five degrees
• Five degrees of warming occurred during the Eocene, 55 million years ago: breadfruit trees grew on the coast of Greenland, while the Arctic Ocean saw water temperatures of 20C within 200km of the North Pole itself. There was no ice at either pole; forests were probably growing in central Antarctica.
• The Eocene greenhouse event was likely caused by methane hydrates (an ice-like combination of methane and water) bursting into the atmosphere from the seabed in an immense “ocean burp”, sparking a surge in global temperatures. Today vast amounts of these same methane hydrates still sit on subsea continental shelves.
• The early Eocene greenhouse took at least 10,000 years to come about. Today we could accomplish the same feat in less than a century.
Six degrees
• At the end of the Permian period, 251 million years ago, up to 95% of species were extinct as a result of a super-greenhouse event, resulting in a temperatures rise by six degrees, perhaps because of an even bigger methane belch than happened 200 million years later in the Eocene.
• One scientific paper investigating “kill mechanisms” during the end-Permian suggests that methane hydrate explosions “could destroy terrestrial life almost entirely”. Acting much like today’s fuel-air explosives (or “vacuum bombs”), major oceanic methane eruptions could release energy equivalent to 10,000 times the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Another valuable website worth reading describes, degree by degree, the changes that will happen to the Earth from anthropogenic global warming. Due to the unpredictable nature of the internet and web pages disappearing, I have saved that essay as an entire screenshot here.
Keep in mind that the IPCC, an institution that has consistently underestimated the effects of anthropogenic climate change, states that in order to stay below 2°C of warming, emissions will have to be 40-70% lower than they were in 2010 by 2050 and at zero by the end of the century, “or could possibly even require taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, a controversial proposition.” As the Keeling Curve grows ever steeper year after year, the Hail Mary of a techno-fix inevitably becomes the only option left. However, concomitant with the CO2 problem is the acidification of the oceans which will require a miracle solution as well. As was explained in a previous post, if all emissions stopped yesterday, we would still be locked into a warming of 2.65°C.
The second important piece of information is a recent MIT study:
Snap 2014-10-02 at 11.49.48
Above graph, from MIT’s Climate and Energy Outlook 2014, shows a drastic rise in global energy consumption by fuel type.
Snap 2014-10-14 at 17.41.23
 If CO2 levels were to double to 800ppm:
If carbon dioxide levels reach 800 ppm, ocean pH is projected to drop another .3 to .4 units (Today we have measured a decline of .1 pH units from 8.2 to 8.1 in the last century) – one of the scenarios projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by 2100 –raising levels of hydrogen ion, H +, 100 to 150 percent (Orr et al., 2005). As this happens and it will take “tens of thousands of years” for the chemistry of the oceans to return to pre-industrial levels, at least that is what the Royal Society of Britain proclaims. – link
We’re already seeing massive die-offs of oysters and scallops from an acidification (PH-decline) of 0.1PH, but what would happen at a drop of 0.3-0.4 units(150+% more acidic than at the beginning of the industrial revolution)?:
“…we found that reef development ceased below pH level 7.7… Ultimately, what we observed was that the diversity of reefs progressively declines with increasing CO2. At concentrations similar to those predicted for the end of this century at a ‘business as usual’ emissions scenario, the “coral reef” observed was depauperate and lacked the structural complexity of present healthy tropical coral reefs. These changes are simply due to ocean acidification, i.e., even without the projected +2°C warming of the oceans associated with rising greenhouse gases. The 0.5° warming we have already observed in the tropics in the last 50 years has already caused mass coral bleaching events and declining coral calcification.” – link

Ocean acidification could trigger economic devastation

…The authors of the report, released today from the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, review the current science on the effects on marine organisms, and write that there is a “medium confidence” level that shellfish harvests will decline. There is also a medium confidence level that economic damage will result from impacts on coral reefs, with tourism, food and shoreline protection suffering. The size of this is unclear but one estimate is for $1 trillion in damage from coral loss alone.
How larger species will fare as oceans acidify is less clear. The report gives only a “low confidence” rating to the idea that top predators and fin fish catches will be reduced. But any losses in this area could hit hard the 540 million people whose livelihoods depend on such fisheries.
Scientists also have a “very high confidence” that the ocean’s capacity to take up carbon decreases as waters acidify. So even larger cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions than currently envisaged may be needed to meet targets set to limit global warming as a result, the authors write….
…The report authors also say that the acidity of the oceans could increase by 170% by the end of the century, corresponding to a drop in surface ocean pH by 0.32. This occurs under a pessimistic scenario of high human emissions. Since the industrial revolution, surface ocean pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. As pH is a logarithmic scale, the increase in acidity since the industrial revolution could reach around 170% under this scenario.
Under lower-emissions scenarios, this decrease would be around 0.07. But current emissions show no sign of dropping to those necessary to achieve such a goal, cautions Riebesell.
“If you look at current trajectories we’re no way below the [high emissions scenario],” Riebesell says. “Of course we hope the human race is smart enough to learn at some point and turn the wheel round.” – link
As long as the shelves in the local grocery store are filled with relatively cheap food, the television is broadcasting the usual “bread and circus”, water is flowing from the faucet, and other creature comforts of industrial civilization are on tap, homo economicus will blithely ride into the dark future of mass extinction, tectonic shifts of the biosphere, and the collapse of an unsustainable lifestyle.
CNN is running a program of their newscasters’ family roots. Why do I feel like this is a slick PR campaign to put a main street face on the mainstream media? Sorry, but I still don’t trust them and we’re still on track for the collapse of modern civilization despite all their smug smiles.