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Must Read

Opinion

March 7, 2018

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It’s melting

Wide open blue seas in the Arctic expose all of humanity to risks of Runaway Global Warming (RGW) as, over time, massive amounts of methane erupts with ancillary sizzling of agricultural crops, and as the Arctic heats up much faster than the rest of the planet, this also throws a curve ball at weather patterns all across the Northern Hemisphere, radical weather patterns ensue, like snow on the French Riviera only recently.

According to Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen, February was the warmest (hottest) on record in the Arctic, which includes 10 days of temps above freezing. As for Arctic temps in February, that’s hot! “We’ve actually got open water at the top of Greenland right now, which is incredibly unusual,” (Mottram – Source: Europe’s Cold Blast, Arctic’s Heat Wave are ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’, Public Radio International, March 2, 2018).

“This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying – it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. (Source: Jonathan Watts, Global Environmental Editor, Arctic Warming: Scientists Alarmed by ‘Crazy Temperature Rise’, The Guardian, Feb. 27, 2018).

During February the world’s most northerly weather station at Cape Morris Jesup on the tip of Greenland registered temps warmer than London and Zurich for days on end. The Cape Morris Jesup weather station is only 440 miles away from the North Pole.

When analyzing or writing about the complexities of ecosystem events, like loss of Arctic sea ice, it is easy to overstate negatives, if only because there is no evidence of a similar event in recent climate history. Furthermore, the scientific community is widely split on likely consequences, running the gamut from “no worries for at least 100 years” to “the world will incinerate within 10 years,” meaning Runaway Global Warming (RGW), as a result of massive release of methane trapped in frozen waters for millennia, causing temps to crank up by 10 degree F-to-15 degrees F, which will pretty much wipe out a lot of agricultural crops. In turn, the world turns into a dystopian hellhole and reverts to caveman/cavewoman lifestyle.

Indeed, the dangers that arise with loss of Arctic ice are multifold, including loss of the Arctic as the planet’s biggest reflector/air conditioner. When covered with white reflective ice, it reflects up to 90 percent of solar radiation back into outer space. Without ice, that same 90 percent is absorbed within a dark blue background, potentially heating up tons upon tons, and more tons yet, of frozen methane, metaphorically similar to throwing kindling onto a hot fire, as global warming heats up big time and sizzles agricultural crops down to blackened stubs throughout the mid latitudes, driving humanity into the farthest northern latitudes for survival, a crowded scenario indeed.

Generally speaking, people shrug their shoulders with a signal of ‘so what’ when confronted with the risks of global warming/climate change. After all, nothing horrible will happen until well into the latter part of this century, or beyond, right? Well, yes and no, as the real issue that comes into play is timing. How fast is climate change/global warming happening?

And that’s the rub because, across the board, scientists agree ecosystem changes today are exponential, which could be problematic. As explained by one scientist, linear versus exponential means that a person can take 30 linear steps to the water cooler across the room but if exponential, the 30 steps takes him/her around the world, more than once. That’s exponential, and that’s the rate of change in ecosystems, like the Arctic. Therein lies the unknown risk factor of how soon temps mushroom upwards? Nobody knows for sure, but they do know that ecosystems are changing exponentially, especially in the ocean.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘The Arctic Heats Up in the Dead of Winter’.

Courtesy: Counterpunch.org

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