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Saturday November 27, 2021

Before the flood

October 06, 2021

A headline in Smithsonian Magazine tells the story: ‘Permafrost Thaw in Siberia Creates a Ticking Methane Bomb of Greenhouse Gases, Scientists Warn, Smithsonian Magazine, August 5, 2021.

According to the lead author of the methane study, Nikolaus Froitzheim, a geoscientist at the University of Bonn: ‘Interpreting this data correctly may make the difference between catastrophe and apocalypse as the climate crisis worsens.’

Those two alternatives as mentioned by Dr. Froitzheim do not leave much room for error.

Scientists were surprised by the discovery, as stated by Dr. Froitzheim: ‘We would have expected elevated methane in areas in wetlands… But these were not over wetlands but on limestone outcrops. There is very little soil in these. It was really a surprising signal from hard rock, not wetlands.’

According to the Smithsonian article, methane in the Far North is very rambunctious, to say the least, and very dangerous for numerous reasons that could impact the entire planet. In fact, along similar lines, the Climate Crisis Advisory Group/UK is calling for a ‘Global State of Emergency.’ Sir David King chairs the Climate Crisis Advisory Group with an advisory team at Cambridge University.

A Moscow Times article ‘Rapid Arctic Warming Is Accelerating Permafrost Collapse in Siberia, New Report Warns,' (Sept 7, 2021) goes on to explain that Arctic temperatures are now 3.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial while the planet in general is 1.2 degrees Celsius above that baseline. Furthermore, ‘Scientists have been shocked that the warm weather conducive to permafrost thawing is occurring roughly 70 years ahead of model projections.’

Meaning, certain aspects of climate change are already at the year 2090 when compared to climate models. Does this mean that climate science and policymakers for major countries are behind the eight ball, by a lot, really by a lot? Answer: Yes, it does!

Of particular interest and of more than passing concern, the Moscow Times article claims the nuclear facility Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant, as well as numerous hydro dams around Magadan (far northeastern Russia) are threatened with collapse because of cascading permafrost. It should be noted that Russia is home to 10 percent of the world’s hydro resources, mostly in Siberia.

Furthermore, according to a terrifying article in The Barents Observer: ‘The Looming Arctic Collapse: More Than 40 percent of Northern Russian Buildings are Starting to Crumble’ d/d June 28, 2021, up to 30 percent of Russia’s oil and gas production facilities are not operable now because of the collapse of infrastructure.

Excerpted: ‘Siberia’s Hot Streak’

Counterpunch.org