Archive for January 14th, 2020

Thanks Coal Black Hearts: New Ocean Heat Record

January 14, 2020

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, demonstrating “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet. 2019 is also the second hottest year ever, after 2016 (heated up by an El Nino). A lot of facts are irrefutable and accelerating, nowadays, but, just as when World War Two was coming, the more so, the more glumly the ostriches bury their heads in the sand.

The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency because they absorb more than 93% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction and other (in)human activities.

Oceans absorb most of the CO2. However they do this much less now, basically because the upper layers are getting saturated, and stagnant, as ocean upwelling is short circuited by hot water on top.  

This slowing of ocean mixing has another effect. It stifles the transport of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate from deeper waters to the surface, which diminishes the growth of phytoplankton, which store carbon in their tissue as a product of photosynthesis. The sinking biological material takes the carbon (from CO2) with it to the deep ocean when the organisms die. It’s another way that carbon can be removed from the ocean surface… However, this is faltering, all the more as carbonic acid (from CO2) gnaws on plankton. Altogether, oxygen production and CO2 absorption by the oceans are diminishing. All such diminutions could lead into mass extinction: actually vast swathes of oceans are now going oxygen free. Fishes such as Marlins now avoid deep diving (their speciality) in many areas, because they would suffocate if they did.

The probability of an exponential explosion in temperature is heating up: that graph above is starting to look like an exponential, thus growing proportional to itself.

The latest analysis commented here, shows the past five years are the top five warmest years recorded in the ocean and the past 10 years are also the top 10 years on record. The amount of heat being added to the oceans is equivalent to every person on the planet running 100 microwave ovens all day and all night. It’s also equal to exploding 3.6 billion Hiroshima size bombs… in the last 25 years.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing used statistical methods to interpolate heat levels in the few places where there was no data, such as under the Arctic ice cap. An independent analysis of the same data by the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows that same increasing heat trend.

It’s ironic that the news that the oceans are heating up ever more, ever faster, come from China (is China becoming more democratic?) China’s coal production, nearly 4 billion tons, has never been so high:

Coal is the most CO2 generating fuel (as it has little hydrogen, that is, methane). Basically, 4 billion tons of Chinese coal burns into 12 billion tons of CO2. 

Some will scoff that yours truly is panicking. But I am not. I find the situation extremely interesting in all sorts of way, from the physics, to the ethical and psychological. It’s extraordinary to have a seat at the theater playing the greatness madness, ever. Simply, the catastrophe is becoming ever more likely. 

According to my computations, one degree centigrade of temperature increase corresponds to moving towards the poles by 200 kilometers. When that touches the Polar Circle at 66 degrees latitude, each degree will correspond to a reduction of the polar regions of 20% Hence their albedo, the reflecting power of white snow. Some have computed that the disappearance of sea ice would reduce Earth albedo so much that global temperatures would go up one full degree centigrade, just from that. 

Well before that, the Methane Clathrates should release catastrophically. 

See the pretty Methane Ice pictures in: 

The vast, and shallow Siberian ocean is full of them. Methane, CH4, has a greenhouse warming potential more than 25 times CO2. I compute that CH4 and other man-made gases contribute nearly 20% to global warming. 

Estimate of the ocean energy budget.
The energy budgets are relative to the 1958–1962 base period. The integrated net radiative imbalance from Allan et al. (65) estimated from the TOA is included in yellow and is multiplied by 0.93 to be comparable with the ocean energy budget. The TOA radiation is adjusted to the value of OHC within 2013–2014. The dashed gray lines encompass the 95% confidence interval.The shallower, the warmer the ocean is getting. The little volcanoes at the bottom degree the three largest volcanic eruptions during the period, which lowered the global temperatures considerably. Pinatubo decreased temps by half a degree centigrade…

Coal has never been doing better: the fraud known as Dr. Merkel is shutting down the German nuclear electricity production, because when she goes to bed, she sees Fukushimas in her head, and to better show the world how to smother us all with lignite, the worst coal.  

India also needs ever more coal: oil  and uranium, it has none (and, differently from Germany, is not as advanced; so India is excused). Speaking of which… Scared by Fukushima, like a child by a big, bad ogre, an irrational Japan is giving up on nuclear power. 

Japan got into World War Two of completely irrational reasons: besides the fact that it was a horrible thing to do, it could only lose. Same problem with Germany, Italy. But there are countries where deep irrationality is a national tradition… under a cover of cold reason. Japan has no good reason to discontinue nuclear (instead of developing new tech)… Only a reason to move out of Fukushima style (generation II) nuclear reactors… Especially without proper emergency generators. Japan, Germany and the like could have developed thorium reactors… So could France, Britain…  Coal kills already thousands of Japanese a year, whereas peaceful uranium kills basically none… 

Anyway, so Japan is moving out of 1950s nuclear technology, so Japan will need… Coal. Yes, if you don’t like the 1950s, go back to the 1850s. Any logic makes sense, for idiots. Ever more coal. But Japan has none. 


So where is Japan going to get all this coal to smother people and kill the oceans? Where from, the equipment for this Pearl Harbor against life itself?  Hey, equally short-sighted Australia! Coal, direct from the incontinently Burning Continent! Auschwitz used to be a discreet affair, but now the generalized Holocaust (Holo-Caust = Whole-Burn), is as public as it gets. It just doesn’t matter, all these wars which happen, after all the forests burn, when one has no brains, happiness will be reached by “just adding a few shrimps on the barbie” (as long as there are still shrimps). 

Faust sold his soul to the Devil, to get himself stuff, but Australians don’t have such luxury anymore. Aussies prefer to burn their forest, houses, lands to give money to the plutocrats they adore: hey, not everybody has a soul to sell!  

Patrice Ayme