Abstract: Expected rise of temperature in mountains correspond to a seven degree C rise. This informs global heating: in the long run, it will also be 7C. Large systems (Antarctica, Greenland) have greater thermal inertia, so their temperatures rise slower… But they will rise as much. In other words the so-called “forcing” by man-made greenhouse gases (which corresponds to 600 ppm of CO2) is universal, but the smaller the system, the faster the temperature rise


Geographical systems with little thermal inertia (mountain glaciers) show an accelerated rate of heating of these parts which is only compatible with a seven (7) degrees rise in Celsius by 2100… A rise the IPCC of the UN considers impossible… But INERTIA says that it IS happening. The first thing this implies is that most forests will burn… worldwide. Then the ice shelves in Antarctica will follow.


Anybody familiar with mountains worldwide know that temperatures are rising extremely fast: large glaciers I used to know have completely disappeared.. As in Chacaltaya, Bolivia. Or Portage, Alaska. The closest glacier to an Alpine village I went to as a child has been replaced by a larch forest (melezes)… One reason for this is that mountains are smaller in frozen mass than immense ensembles like Greenland and Antarctica. Moreover, the mountains’ permafrost is not as cold.  

From 1984 to 2017, the upper reaches of the fires in the Sierra Nevada of California rose more than 1,400 feet. Now the temperature in the lower atmosphere decreases by 7C every 1,000 meters. There are many potential factors to explain why fires go higher (although some contradict each other). To avoid paralysis by analysis, I will assume the rise in fires is all due to temperature rise. So what we have here is a 2.5C rise in 33 years.


Mountain thermal capacity is accordingly reduced relative to those of Greenland and Antarctica. The proportionality factors are gigantic. Say the permafrost of a mountain range is of the order of 10^4 square kilometers, at a depth of one kilometer (typical of the Sierra Nevada of California or the Alps at a temp of -3C. By comparison, Antarctica is 14x 10^6 sq km at a depth of 4 kilometers of permafrost at a temp of -30C. Thinking in greater depth reveals the proportions to be even greater: individual mountains are of the order of square kilometers [1]. This means that (using massively simplified lower bounds), Antarctica has a mass of cold which is at least 4 orders of magnitude higher than a mountain range: to bring Antarctica to seriously melt, as mountain ranges are right now, would require at least 10,000, ten thousand times, as much heat (or maybe even a million, or more, when considering individual mountains).  

As it is, mountains are exposed to a heat bath which makes their permafrost unsustainable. From their small thermal inertia, mountains warm up quickly. Greenland and Antarctica, overall, are exposed to the same bath, the same “forcing”, but because they are gigantic and gigantically cold, they resist more: they warm up, but much slower (moreover as warmer air carries more snow, it snows more while Antarctica warms up).

I have looked, in details at glaciologists records, from the US to Europe… Everywhere glaciologists say the same thing: expect a rise of the permafrost line of 1,000 meters… That corresponds to a SEVEN DEGREE CENTIGRADE RISEBasically, while glaciers were found down to 2,500 meters in the Alps (some can still be seen in caves)… Expect that, in a few decades, none will occur below 3,500 meters… Thus speak the specialists, the glaciologists…

Mount Hood, Oregon, in August 1901 on the left, and August 2015, on the right. The Eliot glacier, front and center, which used to sprawl for miles, is in the process of disappearing completely

What is happening then, when most climate scientists speak of holding the 1.5 C line (obviously completely impossible, even if humanity stopped emitting CO2 immediately)???… Or when they admit that we are on a 2.7C future in 2100? Well, those scientists have been captured by the establishment… They say what ensure their prosperous careers… At a global rise of 2.7 C, we get a migration of the permafrost line of around 500 kilometers towards the poles… Catastrophic, yes, but still, Antarctica will not obviously start to melt, big time.

At 7C, the melting of the surrounding of Antarctica, including destabilization of West Antarctica, and the Aurora and Wilkes Basin can’t be avoided… They hold around 25 meters of sea level rise….

If it came to light that a seven degree centigrade rise is a real possibility, authorities would turn around and really do some things, which may destabilize the worldwide plutocratic establishment: carbon tariffs are an obvious example. Carbon tariffs could be imposed next week… and they would have a big impact of the CO2 production. So why are carbon tariffs not imposed? Carbon tariffs would destabilize the deindustrialization gravy train: by employing who are basically slaves in poor countries, plutocrats make themselves ever wealthier, while making sure there would be no insurrection at home… A trick already used in imperial Rome, by the Senatorial aristocracy/plutocracy. That would be highly effective… By the way, without saying so, of course, and maybe even unwittingly, this is basically what Trump had started to do…

The devil has these ways which the commons do not possess…

That would stop the crafty, dissembling nonsense that countries such as France are at 4.6 tons per capita of CO2 emissions per year… That’s only true when all the CO2 emitted to produce the goods the French need is NOT counted.. including deforestation in Brazil to grow soybean. With them counted, one gets to 11 tons or so, more than double… The wonderful graph of CO2 emissions collapsing in Europe is the same graph as collapsing industrial production…

The devil has these ways the commons have not even detected…

Carbon tariffs would be a way to solve two wrongs in one shot: the wrong of deindustrialization, of corrupt pseudo-leaders not putting the most advanced countries, their own countries, first… And the wrong of producing too much CO2.

Little fixes will go a long way, as long as they incorporate hefty financing fundamentally researching new energy (it does not really matter which type, as long as it is fundamental…)

Patrice Ayme

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  1. Gmax Says:

    The inertia, to speak like you, of the political system is amazing while confronting this calamity. What do you think of having kids in that situation?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ianmillerblog Says:

    Unfortunately, there is a huge economic inertia. Take transport. Many cities are built around cars. Either pay the increased fuel price of get fired. Electric vehicles simply double the cost and it is unclear there are any carbon savings. We can get around this, but not overnight. The depressing thing is the problem was announced in 1990 and since then there has been minimal dedicated research into solving it. All the research funding has been dedicated to measuring CO2 emissions all over the place and we know how much is emitted by calculating the amount burned. There are solutions but they are unclear as to how to do them

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      You are right that RESEARCH is needed, and there was not enough of it. In particular, aside from India and China there is no government research on 4th generation nuclear and Thorium… It is too big a failure no to be deliberate. Ecologist, unbeknownst to their stupid selves (most of them) have been instrumentalized into FOSSIL FUEL PRESERVERS….

      If we had gone full nuclear in 1990, we could have most electric production, worldwide, carbon free.
      The argument that this would have been dangerous is silly, considering the thousands of DELIVERABLE nuclear warheads that the US and Russia have (China has 300, France 600+, half of them not deliverable… but every single one of them thermonuclear city terminators…)
      We could have developed high temperature Thorium.
      It is just a question of doing it, we know it works…
      It was not done to preserve the fossil fuel-financial-governmental worldwide complex, with which most of the world’s plutocracy is entangled…

      All present, OVER-OPTIMISTIC, climate scenario assume MASSIVE carbon capture. I zero believe it. China, probably tongue in cheek has introduced massive carbon capture to justify its net zero 2060 objective. I read what they said… they don’t believe it. Instead they develop STATE OF THE ART high temp coal plants…

      This is all rather hilarious… I may as well laugh as I see my preferred forests ravaged and burning…


  3. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Geothermal was stopped in France because it caused catastrophic quakes… in regions not used to quakes. Sustainable energy turns out generally not to be sustained short term: the wind can stop blowing and the sun disappear for months on end, in winter… see Europe. The solution presented by hare brained ecologists has been to keep a full fossil fuel industry as backup. In other words, conventional ecologists, hating nuclear (just because… Hiroshima, a military event) and ignoring green hydrogen (just because… the Hindenburg?) are the best friends of fossil fuels.

    Right now 84% of primary energy production, which is 72% of the CO2 man-made emissions, is from burning fossil fuels. Nuclear and hydro are most of the rest. Hydro is tapped out, causes dramatic ecological problems… in the tropics, it creates methane. Global emissions of greenhouses gases are now at 600 ppm (including CH4, NOx, etc.). Thorium, 4th generation nuclear and hydrogen must displace fossil fuels. TINA!


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Observing the behavior of small thermal inertia systems (mountains and mountain ranges) show that we are on track for a seven (7) degree temperature rise by 2100 (15 F, or so).

    The IPCC’s maximum upper range is 5C. But the IPCC ignores important feedback, non linear loops. Moreover, that’s only a third of the problem: two-thirds of the CO2 goes in the ocean and the soil… In the ocean, some CO2 makes carbonic acid, some will be returned at a future date. At some point the permafrost will melt dramatically and in turn emit CO2 and CH4…. Had nuclear been developed massively, when the problem became clear, by 1990, most of electric production would be low carbon by now….


  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Several major points are traditionally and conveniently forgotten when speaking of the man-made greenhouse crisis. First that countries like China do the dirty work for the West. Let’s take the example of France: thanks in part to nuclear energy and carbon taxes, France emits only 4.6 tons per person, per year. However, much of what the French consume comes from China, or even Brazil (soy, going to animal feed). When the CO2 necessary to create and brings those imports is factored in, the French emit around 11 tons per person, per year. The same holds for the USA: the real number is probably closer to 30 tons rather than 16-18 tons as usually given.

    So the huge CO2 numbers of China hide Western deindustrialization. Let me repeat slowly: the excellent CO2 reduction numbers of Europe have been greatly obtained by sending work in general, and dirty work in particular… to China.

    A remedy exists: carbon tariffs. Tax, worldwide, according to the CO2 emitted during production and transport…

    Another problem is that CO2 is only two-third of the problem. The other man-made greenhouse gases (CH4, NOx, Fluor containing chemicals, etc.) bring a global “forcing” equivalent to 600ppm (not just 415 ppm of CO2).

    There is no cause for panic. But, long term, we need to replace the base energy production by low carbon sources (instead of fossil fuels, as now). All the serious such alternatives for base energy are new forms of nuclear, fission or fusion… Research new energy!


  6. The end of our present behaviours! – Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] he published a post called Cataclysmic Seven Degree Centigrade Rise and I wanted to share it with you. Here is […]


  7. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Thanks for republishing me, Paul. I view this sort of essays as public service, as I am sure you do. People do not realize how much inertia there is in the system. Civilization cannot change primary energy quickly, especially as energy usage is nearly zero in more than half of the planet, and so-called “renewables” cannot provide, or be deployed quickly. Even California, which is in the best position to do, having everything (mountains for dams, solar, wind, and income to build those up, etc.) had to revert to massive fossil fuels recently.
    So we need much more research!


    • Paul Handover Says:

      Nov 16, 2021 at 14:41
      I agree wholeheartedly. But I am also bound to say that as well as the research carbon pricing or tariffs could be instigated very quickly. I don’t know enough about the US Constitution to say whether carbon tariffs would require being carried by Congress and the Senate but I suspect that it would not be required. Even a small tariff would be a great leap forward!


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