Did I speak too soon on Extinction?


An updated enviro chart from the Arctic Methane Emergency group.

Well, this is confounding. A few days ago, I posted that we might have ducked a meltdown of Arctic ice for the year–we’re heading into September, and while we’ve lost a lot of ice mass, we aren’t at a blue ocean event.

DERP. The Arctic Methane Emergency Group has a scientist named Sam Carana. Or it SAYS it does. It’s not clear if this is a pseudonym, a nom du methane plume or  even a composite figure of several scientists. As Dr. Guy McPherson will point out at any lecture of his you care to attend, speaking honestly about our dire climate circumstances might well mean you join the four scientists we know of who’ve lost their positions by using their out-loud voices to talk about NTHE. McPherson voluntarily left/was pushed out at University of Arizona. Camille Parmesan was pushed out of her position at University of Texas; glaciologist Jason Box was pushed out of his academic job. It might’ve had had a bit to do with his infamous tweet from 2016 (see below):

The tweet from Dr. Box on 7/29 on learning of massive Arctic methane plumes.

And finally, there’s Peter Wadhams, the most eminent ocean scientist around, whose book A FAREWELL TO ICE about the meltdown of Arctic Ice proved to be the undoing of his professional relationship with Cambridge. So you might understand why Sam is a false name. Sam might be a composite character based on several contributing scientists, and might even be a she. I’ve quoted from Sam’s work before

Sam has just made me less relieved about the Arctic Meltdown.

A few days ago, this article was posted on the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. It dovetails with other news reported over the weekend, when researchers in Greenland also noted loss of ‘old’ ice.  Some notes from Sam’s Facebook posting (in Italics here): THE ONCE-THICKEST ARCTIC SEA ICE HAS GONE

Arctic sea ice north of Greenland and around Ellesmere Island has virtually disappeared. This is the area where for thousands of years the sea ice has been the thickest, in many places remaining thicker than 5 meters (16.4 ft) throughout the year… The image is a compilation of NASA Worldview images over seven days, from August 14 through to August 21, 2018… The loss of this sea ice indicates that the buffer is gone. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at the freezing point of water, about zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn’t rise at the sea surface.

Once the buffer is gone, further energy that enters the Arctic Ocean will go into heating up the water. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C. 

A huge danger is that, as warming of the Arctic Ocean continues, heat will reach methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, causing them to get destabilized and release methane.

You can go to their blogsite for pictures of the ice (taken from NASA and corrected by Carana for clarity). 

So… the good news is that the whole Arctic Ice mass will NOT go away come September. The bad news is that the meltdown continues. The picture below still applies. 

image polar bears


I have written many times here about the life and travails of Dr. Guy McPherson–most recently on my last post from a few days ago. While he has recently given Human Habitat a respite from the worst news, he has also reminded his readers that there are economic issues facing us this fall, which means it may be difficult for people to travel. If you want to catch his talks (which are electrifying and worth your organization’s time), you can go to his Coming Events page on his blog. This link explains the contact process, which will guide you to his ‘about’ page. As many in the NTHE movement like to say, ‘Someday’ is not a day.

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