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Thawing Permafrost – Should We Be Concerned?

By Keith Antonysen   

Australia is many thousands of kilometres from the Arctic Circle, so why should we be concerned? Australia has been experiencing extremes in climate, these being an underlying influence on the strength of drought, catastrophic bushfires, extremes in temperature, major flooding, huge dust storms, and hailstorms. These factors point to a highly energised atmosphere.

In the past IPCC Reports hardly took into account of what had been happening in areas covered by snow and ice until more recent times. It had been noticed prior to 2012 that melt water on Greenland was increasing during the summer season. The melting of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean in 2012 provided a worrying situation through the minimum sea ice measure taken in September, it set a record not yet broken. What has been occurring since has been the amount of multi-year ice has been decreasing. It is multi year ice which provides strength for sea ice structure.

So, what is the importance of such facts?

The atmosphere is energised through greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour. The contrarian argument is that the atmosphere contains such a small amount of CO2 so there is not a lot to worry about. Such an argument doesn’t make sense; for example, if a healthy person was to takes a few units of insulin by injection it can mean death. Such an amount of insulin is only a small drop, in comparison to the volume of a human body.

The Arctic Ocean and tundra areas contain huge amounts of greenhouse gases in areas frozen under water and in permafrost. In 2013 the first pingo that had exploded was discovered. Anecdotal evidence suggests an explosion was heard many miles from the site from a few places, one being 62 miles away. A pingo is a mound consisting of soil covering ice in a permafrost area. A few more pingos have exploded since the 2013 explosion, each releasing a significant amount of methane.

Thawing permafrost was seen as a major issue in Alaska in 2019. A study led by scientists from Oxford University found that permafrost is particularly subject to thawing when the Arctic Ocean is sea ice free. An ice free Arctic Ocean has been suggested to happen by mid century, though some scientists suggest much sooner. As with other greenhouse gases, methane emissions have increased since pre-Industrial times, they had been around 790 parts per billion and a peak was reached in October 2019 it being 2000 ppb.

The Arctic region has an impact on global climate. The latest IPCC Report focuses on the cryosphere and oceans, they both influence climate. In 2019 there were some worrying studies published which displayed the deterioration in climate. The terrible bushfires in Australia will also contribute to a changing climate through the CO2 released.

The Arctic Circle has been concentrated on here with very few references provided in relation to the large numbers available. Extreme events being experienced around the globe are already terrible, do we want worse? To disregard the science available is to commit omnicide by policy makers. As individuals we can lighten our carbon footprint but it is not enough. To be resilient in relation to climate change is a nonsense, a distraction being pushed by PM Morrison. Pushing new fossil fuel projects, and maintaining old fossil fuel developments, is the way to ensure omnicide.

Keith Antonysen has been researching climate change for several years. Apart from reading about climate science, Keith also views pseudo-science presented by contrarians. It seems that the material referenced by contrarians is continually recycled. Information is gathered from journal articles, or from articles that provide hyperlinks to science.

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59 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Executives in high positions in governments and corporations are or are likely to become executive murderers and thieves, for their decisions and actions lead to death and destruction, theft and misery. It is agony that a low turd of the Trump or Morrison type, and there are so many, can achieve high positions of power. We hand over the keys to money, law and its enforcement, weapons, policy, attitude. To have low and evil types dominating decisions for the multi millions is a perversion of political rights and needs. This basic fault must be rectified, especially as the planet and humans are so endangered by climate change threats.

  2. Josephus

    My firie neighbour who denies climate change needs to read this. Is it possible to print this calm, terrifying article and leave a few copies around, upload to FB ?

    The north west passage is open or soon will be, and then it is all systems go for oil companies. Greenlanders are divided: development or eco tourism?

    In 1992 the BBC showed a mock documentary set in around 2025 called The War with America. The Arctic has melted, and the Russians, Americans, Europeans are set on war over the now exposed fossil resources. Millions of refugees arrive in Europe as their islands and coasts are flooded.

    Can anyone find , has anyone else watched, this prescient dystopia?

  3. Kaye Lee

    My father always used the quote, give me the courage to change what I can and the strength to endure what I can’t. Talking about “adaptation and resilience” means you do not have the power, or should I say will, to change what is occurring. These bastards don’t care.

  4. Lawrence S. Roberts

    It’s probably worse than that.
    I got a Ph.D. in Geophysics 50 years ago and while that is out of date, I still follow the science.
    There are a few theories with modeling wich speculate that a cubic meter of water weighs a metric ton
    and with storm surges, this could trigger any fragile tectonic plates to shift. If either the Vancouver Basin or the St. Andreas fault or both simultaneously went, then there would be a Tsunami big enough to reach the Blue Mountains.
    I am sure the 0.1 % super-rich who are well informed know this and have the helicopters ready.

  5. Kaye Lee

    With more than half of all Arctic coastline along its northern shores, Russia has long sought economic and military dominance in part of the world where as much as $35 trillion worth of untapped oil and natural gas could be lurking. Now China is pushing its way into the Arctic, announcing its ambitions to develop a “Polar Silk Road” through the region as warming global temperatures open up new sea lanes and economic opportunities at the top of the world.

    At play is between one-fifth and a quarter of the world’s untapped fossil-fuel resources, not to mention a range of mineable minerals, including gold, silver, diamond, copper, titanium, graphite, uranium and other valuable rare earth elements. With the ice in retreat, those resources will come increasingly within reach.”

    Finland, the United States and Canada have also proposed significant infrastructure investment within their respective Arctic zones. Norway’s state energy company is pursuing exploration activities in the far reaches of the Barents Sea even as its sovereign wealth fund considers divesting from fossil fuels. The Trump administration announced plans to open up much of the U.S. outer continental shelf to offshore drilling, including areas off the north shore of Alaska.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/russia-and-china-battle-us-in-race-to-control-arctic.html

    Governments are complicit. They, and the media, are owned and enough people continue to be misled by expert propaganda to allow this to happen. Stop voting for the fuckwits!

  6. Johno

    Some good research Keith. Joesphus is right, the opening of the NW passage is the main goal at the moment.
    For those with resource profits in their eyes, how good is methane if it hastens the melting process?
    Disaster capitalism in progress it seems.
    Expect no sensible action from any govt or International organisation and you will avoid frustration.
    The UN and its spin-offs the IPCC and WMO (World Meteorological Organization) have no desire for a sensible outcome:
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/military-weather-modification-chemtrails-atmospheric-geoengineering-and-environmental-warfare/5356630

  7. Kaye Lee

    Oh geeze, not chemtrails again. This is getting really tiresome. There are real things to worry about and a UN conspiracy isn’t one of them. Yes we need a new world order, or should that be old world order, where we consume less, where we fix things – reduce reuse recycle. We need to consider sustainability in everything we do because we have pushed too hard with no regard for having made the world a quarry, a rubbish dump, a chimney and a sewer.

    Wouldn’t it be great if it was as easy as chemtrails. I wonder why this is being pushed so hard lately. Dead cat?

  8. Michael Taylor

    Josephus, there is a Print button below the article but that prints the article, the ads, and the comments.

    I’ll have our web developer look at adding a Print feature that prints the articles only.

  9. king1394

    Kanye Lee, I recall that quote. My Dad was also fond of it. He had an extra line: “and give me the wisdom to know the difference”

  10. Johno

    Kaye, anyone can believe the narrative that climate change is only related to industrial output. It’s a free world, no-one can control your line of thought unless you are a robot. I’m just making my observations public. Do not believe what I or anyone else here is saying on this topic. Look up. If you don’t see it, fine. Someone else reading this might join the dots.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I don’t tend to “believe narratives” Johno. I most certainly look things up for myself. The issue comes with whether or not you care about the credibility of your sources.

    “Globalresearch is an “anti-Western” website that can’t distinguish between serious analysis and discreditable junk — and so publishes both. It’s basically the moonbat equivalent to Infowars or WND.

    While some of GlobalResearch’s articles discuss legitimate humanitarian concerns, its view of science, economics, and geopolitics is conspiracist — if something goes wrong, the Jews/West did it! The site has long been a crank magnet: If you disagree with “Western” sources on 9/11, or HAARP, or vaccines, or H1N1, or climate change, or anything published by the “mainstream” media, then GlobalResearch is guaranteed to have a page you will love.

    Whenever someone makes a remarkable claim and cites GlobalResearch, they are almost certainly wrong. GlobalResearch is such a bad reference that it is on the anti-spam blacklist for English Wikipedia.”

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch#cite_note-5

  12. Johno

    I think there is some confusion, I should have said ‘Look up at the sky’.
    I read all kinds of sites and junk is pretty easy to spot, glide over it and move on.
    No website is 100 percent correct unless it is say discussing simple maths.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Johno, could I recommend this much more credible source to you. Most of what you see is just water vapour, but some metal traces are used to study winds etc.

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sounding-rockets/tracers/metals.html

    Are the vapors harmful to people or life on the ground?

    No, the small amounts of vapor tracers that are released in space are not harmful to people or life on the ground. The vapors used as a tracer are among the same metals used much more extensively in common fireworks. The tracer materials, such as barium, lithium, and aluminum compounds, are used to make fireworks colorful and to provide bright light displays. The same materials work well as a tracer for the high atmospheric winds for the same reason. A typical tracer payload will release about a pound of the material. A typical Fourth of July fireworks display releases many times that amount and is much closer to the ground.

    Do the tracer releases alter the behavior of the upper atmosphere in some way?

    The purpose of the measurements is to understand how the natural upper atmospheric winds and/or ion drifts behave, not to change them. The releases would therefore have little value if they were changing the behavior of the upper atmosphere or ionosphere. The tracers are released in a part of the atmosphere where meteors from space deposit 100 to 200 tons of metallic material every day across the globe compared to a one-pound tracer release, for example. The meteors contain the same types of metallic material used in the tracers. Most people are familiar with so-called “shooting stars”, which are the visible trails produced by the meteors. The meteors are visible, in part, because of the same metallic materials that are used in the rocket payloads and in fireworks. Most meteors are the size of small grains of sand and produce visible tracers that disappear quickly. During meteor showers, larger meteors often produce much longer-lived visible trails, similar to what is produced by the rocket tracers.

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sounding-rockets/tracers/faqs.html

  14. John Holmes

    Keith Antonysen: I would suggest that a more detailed discussion of the role of methane in assisting Global Warming would have be appropriate. This includes the concept of the ‘Methane Bomb’. It has been suggested that methane hydrates in both onshore permafrost and in the sediment of the adjacent cold oceans which can be released rapidly on warming helps accelerate warming.

    Some would suggest that this helps changes the earths climate in pre human times when ice ages waned due to orbital cycles.

  15. Matters Not

    Apparently, only those without imagination need evidence. All you have to imagine is all the many thousands of people sworn to secrecy, like pilots, delivery men, aircraft maintainers, fuel suppliers, chemical manufacturers and the like and also imagine why not one insider has leaked the truth. Perhaps the power of money? The Deep State? Or QAnon? Just imagine.

    Shakes head. As the song says – A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

  16. Phil

    thanks for the writing and for the links. I share the writers concerns. I read the linked IPCC report on the cryosphere and oceans – its a report for policy makers but we don’t have policy makers in conservative Australian governments and nor do we have politicians who can read anything that isn’t a glib clip from some three word slogan or trash promo. We are buggered. I’m not sad about that, just perplexed as to how a nation claiming universal literacy can be so myopic.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Some say, if we cut methane emissions from human sources – burning fossil fuels, livestock, and waste – then we could possibly cope with the natural emissions. But no-one in power is listening. Craig Kelly is horrified that we want to “take away his hamburger and milkshake”. He is such an ignorant turd.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190206104538.htm

  18. Geoff Andrews

    Kaye,
    Your father was probably aware of this quotation.

    “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.” (Aleister Crowley 1875 – 1947 “The Wickedest Man Alive”)

  19. Kaye Lee

    “There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”
    ― Joseph Pulitzer

  20. Pingback: Thawing Permafrost – Should We Be Concerned? #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  21. Andrew Smith

    How many Australians would know what permafrost is, let alone heard of it?

    Related, at bbq Saturday, seemingly normal 40 something who dismissed climate science in favour of Facebook feeds promoting conspiracy theories e.g. ‘Illuminati’ and the ‘Jews run everything.. then went to say their child is not vaccinated….

    My diplomatic response was thanks for herd immunity and added that I’ve just visited a cousin in wheelchair after childhood polio; asked what he knew about polio (vaccinations), nothing… didn’t care, didn’t match his beliefs….

  22. Geoff Andrews

    Ain’t dat da truth!

  23. Keith

    Johno

    The IPCC Reports present a catalogue virtually of a few thousand studies that had been published in peer reviewed journals. They are reviewed by a number of scientists not employed by the UN. Many believe IPCC Reports tend to be quite conservative; that is virtually their nature as they are created through a consensus process. Chem trails provide a good conspiracy theory, nothing more in my opinion.

    John Holmes

    I did consider writing something about methane hydrates, I think the methane explosions of pingos is scary enough, there have been 7,000 counted though luckily not all have the same characteristics as those that have exploded. Methane is measured in parts per billion, when the atmosphere was measured at the first pingo to explode, methane comprised a percentage of the air. It years since I read about that, but my recollection is that it was just under 10%.

  24. johno

    Just for the record, Johno with cap J is a different person to johno with small j.
    Cheers

  25. Kaye Lee

    Once again we go back to the credibility of your sources.

    “Overall, GeoEngineering is a one of the kind conspiracy and pseudoscience website. This one has few rivals in how far they will go to sell unproven, misleading claims. Literally off the charts!”

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/geoengineering-watch/

    Perhaps you missed the part that said “The tracers are released in a part of the atmosphere where meteors from space deposit 100 to 200 tons of metallic material every day across the globe compared to a one-pound tracer release, for example. The meteors contain the same types of metallic material used in the tracers. ”

    Read more here if you are actually interested.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nasa-lithium-chemtrails-conspiracy/

    If I was you, I would listen to what the actual scientists say rather than whacko conspiracy sites run by people hoping to make a buck out of stoking paranoia.

  26. DrakeN

    Kaye, the credulity of the uniformed never ceases to confound me.

    Anti-vaxers with “…aluminium compounds in them meant to harm my children…” and those who still believe that the use of aluminium utensils in cooking harm brain cells (and who probably attribute their mental confusion to their mothers’ use of aluminium pots.)

    Thankfully, my relative reclusiveness minimises contact with creatures of this predisposition.

  27. wam

    understanding the effects of permafrost on weather and climate and its probable effect on global warming is not only beyond the understanding of deniers, septics oops skeptics and most of the rest of us
    How the fear of greenhouse gases can be passed to the deniers is dependent on getting them to LISTEN and that is a ^@^&& slow painful process.
    From my rudimentary a permafrost thaw means absolute disaster.
    Sadly until the kiwi glaciers disappear there will be no ‘movement at the station’ and we will regret the confusion of our ‘climate change’.
    ps DrakeN
    my relatives are of this predisposition.

  28. Kaye Lee

    wam,

    Could I suggest that people who pretend they are finding it hard to understand the effects of global warming are not listening to the evidence.

    Here it is in language anyone could understand.

    “There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.”

    Choose your topic – Global Temperature Rise, Warming Oceans, Shrinking Ice Sheets, Glacial Retreat, Decreased Snow Cover, Sea Level Rise, Declining Arctic Sea Ice, Extreme Events, Ocean Acidification

    https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

  29. Johno

    MN, “imagine why not one insider has leaked the truth’. Gov workers know what happens to whistleblowers. Defence workers don’t need an imagination to know what happens if they follow in the footsteps of Snowden and Manning.
    Re whistleblower and chemtrails, try google ‘chemtrail whistleblower’. If you want to avoid the implications of what it means to contemplate the idea that some group is using defence personnel to dump tonnes of toxic material into the atmosphere in an on-going basis, then I understand that very well.
    Chemtrails Finally Proven By Whistleblower? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC1epPqqziE

    Kaye, do you prefer to check the snopes-approved credentials of a site rather than have a quick skim through to see if there evidence of valid research on a given site? A quick look at the snopes website itself proves the point. They are questioning whether NBA star Kobe Bryant died. https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/01/26/nba-star-kobe-bryant-killed-in-helicopter-crash/
    ‘snopes’ is looking like gossip junkies lacking basic research skills. If anyone thinks they see the full picture, good luck.

  30. Kaye Lee

    “They are questioning whether NBA star Kobe Bryant died”

    No they’re not? You made that up.

    As for the “chemtrails proven” woman…..she offers no proof whatsoever and says the whistleblowing she did was not about chemtrails.

    “Jay, I wasn’t a whistleblower in regards to chemtrails. It was a completely different situation about overexposures to carcinogens on base”

    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/kristen-meghan-former-us-air-force-whistle-blower.1066/page-2

  31. Roswell

    They are questioning whether NBA star Kobe Bryant died.

    It is interesting that you would then provide a link to a site that says no such thing at all.

  32. Matters Not

    Johno re:

    Gov workers know what happens to whistleblowers.

    Apart from the fact that many of these ‘workers’ with that information wouldn’t be employed by government, a few things might be of interest. Daily (almost hourly) the MSM (often under the heading of breaking news) report that sources inside (say) the White House reveal such and such. Sometimes the nomenclature changes to leaks. Fact is, government(s) of all shapes and sizes find it virtually impossible to conceal information for any period of time. There are ‘sources’, ‘leaks’ and ‘insiders’ – all of whom pass on information. They include Ministers, staffers, Public Service Heads, lesser operatives, etc etc. In many ways, government (including Cabinets) are like sieves and good journalists know it.

    Whistleblowers, on the other hand and generally speaking, become whistle blowers because they have little choice – because the information passed on can be easily traced back to them and they know it and are seeking protection of some sort. Sometimes that protection comes from the Law, sometimes it comes via public outrage (when government is not game to act in retaliation.) Snowden and Manning being prime examples of things that go wrong. The there’s Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman who had the Law and moral right on his side.

    The point being – you don’t have to be a whistleblower to make information public.

  33. John Boyd

    I share the concern that the AIMN threads seem to go round and around the same people. The main attraction of the site to me is the forensic input from Kaye Lee, and others, but I often wonder how many other people check in. Can the web manager count the number of interrogations of the site?. This discussion about chemtrails is just ridiculous. I lived in Fairbanks Alaska for several years, on a ten acre block that was partly permafrost. I have a PhD from the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska. Around 1970, we were involved in a sounding rocket program involving the release of barium or lithium ions in the upper atmosphere, between 200-500 km altitude, in order to investigate the impact of a sudden release of ionisation into that region. Part of the driver for this research was the concern that in a nuclear exchange, detonations in this region would be used to block communications. I have some very pretty pictures of these tests. My recollection is that the payloads were in the order of 200-300kg. They were pretty impressive rockets! Another recollection is that the glaciologists were starting to worry about the retreat of glaciers in the Alaska Range, which is just down the road.

  34. paul walter

    And so we edge closer to the next Permian Extinction.

  35. Lawrence Roberts

    We can still fix it from here.

  36. DrakeN

    Lawrence Roberts – yes, it is possible, but extremely improbable.
    Fixing this mess requires massive personal, communal, political and financial changes.

    “The Price of Progress is the Pain of Change”

    One of my favorite ‘mantras’ but such a truism.

    A fundamental fear of pain, a profound reluctance to change, and an ingrained hostility to paying a fair price for any gain or benefit, which are so deeply embedded into Australian everyday behaviours, will make any progress very, very difficult.

  37. paul walter

    DrakeN, said it beautifully.

    What is more, as usual, resistance to change will be bolstered as corporations and governments trying to offload costs onto the public, or profit in the way the energy companies have over the last few years, from dodgy FTA type devices.

  38. corvusboreus

    Part-percentage increases in atmospheric carbon make air tend to reflect rather than transfer heat.
    This is part of the reason why a people-packed room with inadequate ventilation tends to get hot and stuffy so quickly.

    As for ‘perma’-frost, what usually happens to frozen organic matter when you take it out of the fridge?
    (spoiler: it melts, rots and emits stinky gases)

  39. corvusboreus

    ‘Johno’ (aka ‘Mr J’)
    Goadem kemtraylz!
    Trollolololol lololololol lololololol, Trollolololol lololololol lololololol!
    Ayyeeeeeeeeee!(!!!)

  40. paul walter

    Methane.
    That apparently is the problem
    As the Ice and Tundra defrost methane locked away for vast eras is released and this speeds up the whole rotten process.

    Something must be happening if all this stuff that we remember as frozen a generation ago, whether it is melted as some thing cyclic in the weather and climate systems or something induced, it has to be worked out what is to be done about it.

  41. corvusboreus

    paul walter,
    From what I have gleaned, with the land-based permafrost it is more that the thawing process reawakens bacteriological processes that attach hydrogen particles to long frozen ‘biosoup’, thus, through a form of fermentation, converting compressed carbon into gaseous methane.

    I gather that cladates are more akin to rising methanous gases temporarily frozen into places within a sub-sea ice matrix.

    Both are undoubtedly accelerative and amplifying processes helping to stoke the boilers.

  42. Matters Not

    CB and pw, have a look at the 1st video I posted at 6.27 yesterday re ‘methane bomb’ – in particular the explanation provided by Carolyn Ruppel between the 5th and 6th minute followed by James Hansen’s contribution. Resonated with me. Then there’s Mann’s ‘calming’ arguments which follows in the next video,. Be interested in reactions.

  43. corvusboreus

    /. I Matters Not,
    Unfortunately, the bacterial activation that ferments land based sequestered carbon into gaseous methane was only cursorally mentioned in the intro, and the refutations seemed to deal purely with the release of stored methane cladates, rather than address the added fact that activated biological processes are converting carbonic biomass previously sequestered within frozen permafrost into this much more potent form of greenhouse gas.
    Regarding the overall summations by the contributing scientists, most seemed to concur that although this feedback loop is worrying, it does not represent a fait d’accomplit, but more a noticeable steepening of the downhill slope that indicates an even greater urgency of need to apply some serious pressure to the brakes on the other global human processes (eg the mining and burning of fossil fuels and the removal of forest canopy) that are predominantly driving the observed increases in global temperatures which are consequentially menifesting other destabilising processes.

  44. Matters Not

    cb, thanks for your response. Also took note of your comment:

    most seemed to concur that although this feedback loop is worrying, it does not represent a fait d’accomplit,

    Must admit, before listening/watching the above, I tended to be in the camp of we all are doomed – or all is lost – or repent now etc. So while I still think that urgent action is both desirable and necessary, there is cause for hope – if (and it’s a big if) action is taken. That ‘hope’ is important politically I believe.

  45. Kaye Lee

    If we stop burning fossil fuels then we have a chance of coping. We don’t know how to do that completely yet but we sure as hell better start heading in that direction NOW.

  46. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, pious hope.

    It is obvious that whole sets and subsets of processes have been set off with unforseen kick on effects with the overall process, like a snowball, gathers power and complexity.

    A bit like the bushfires, not just the fires but the weird microclimate events that went with them that so magnified the impacts.

    Good on the contributors here, this stays a good place to visit.

  47. paul walter

    You could also speculate upon a heap of environmental causes that might be influencing Coronavirus and its spread. Like AIDS, you wonder if it ever might have emerged but for demographic and ecological changes.

    I think it will be interesting to watch the unfolding of Arctic melt as unforseen consequences emerge.

  48. paul walter

    Must admit I found Michael Mann a weeny bit contradictory. He says there is no methane bomb then acknowledges methane is being released, which can only accelerate a process already well under way even at low levels.

    Does he get the concept of the Multiplier?

  49. Matters Not

    paul walter, I think Mann would get the concept of multiplier. Seems to me that his main message was a ‘political’ one – that is – NOT to say all is lost because it becomes a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ll leave the science to those who claim to know because I don’t make any such claim. Just an interested observer.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Methane is a much worse GHG regarding its heating effects but it dissipates a lot quicker than CO2. These are all contributing factors, and yes, the snowball is gaining speed, but throwing our hands up in the air and saying too hard isn’t an option. The only question can be how, and how quickly, can we do it.

  51. Matters Not

    KL. re:

    throwing our hands up in the air and saying too hard isn’t an option.

    Actually. it is an option. Perhaps it ought not to be but we need to be clear about the choices we make regardless of whether they be conscious or otherwise. Time for people to be aware of their personal power and accompanying responsibilities?

    Might be a fundamental underpinning of a good education?

  52. paul walter

    I held out hopes for that for a long time, MN and the last half dozen years have been my refutation.

    I eagerly await the pic of Murdoch, Trump, Larry Fink, Jamie Dimon, Morrison and other world leaders standing, arms linked, screaming for a change in attitude, starting at the top.

  53. guest

    I saw a Simon Reeve travel documentary several years ago which showed a number of large sinkholes of melted permafrost in Siberia. They were the size of large sporting arenas.

    The fact of melting permafrost needs to be taken seriously

  54. guest

    John Holmes @Jan27, 4.37pm’

    Further to my comment above, Tony Eggleton (2013) p.163-164 says:
    “…there is insufficient knowledge of even the recent past emissions from this source…Igor Semiletov of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the USA…told The Independence [in 20011] he had ‘never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed’. ”

    Eggleton explains further that methane oxidises in air to CO2 and water, stays in the air about 10 years, compared to CO2 between 5 and 100 years.

    “A lesson we have learned from the ice ages is that, with a little push from the Sun, CO2 rose from 180ppm to 280ppm [now at 415ppm] while the global temperature rose by 6 degrees. That was enough to melt ice sheets over Europe and North America that were 3 kilometres thick.”

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