Archive for the ‘Antarctica’ Category

Another Antarctica Melt Warning

May 1, 2020

A brand new NASA satellite was launched. It is probing the surface of the planet thanks to six lasers. It sends millions of photons down, gets back in the average just 60 per pulse… And with exquisite electronics, compute. It finds where ice accumulates, etc. … Unexpectedly, it enables to see under water down to 40 meters, enabling to chart coral reefs (which are uncharted where water is less than five meters deep, because boats can’t get there, as it’s too shallow). In any case I looked at the map, which is below, and it was not surprising, except for one detail…

The Brand New Satellite ICE2 reveals where Antarctica is losing mass (deep red) and where it is acquiring some… due to warming: the more the heat rises, the more water storms carry, so the more it snows.

Thus ICE 2 will be able to monitor coral reefs, an unexpected bonus.

But it was launched to find out how fast ice is melting. What struck me is the two largest red regions in East Antarctica (to the right above). The upper one corresponds to the Denman glacier, see:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2020/04/06/antarctica-denman-glacier-quickly-undermined-by-warm-water/

the lower red region corresponds to the Totten Glacier, the frozen gateway to the immense Aurora basin.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/east-antarctica-melting/

If those gateways fail, warm ocean water will sneak below the continent, melt 4 kilometers of ice. 

When the virus came, everybody was surprised. Nobody reading this site should have been. It would be like being surprised that the Launch On Warning (LOW) system failed and nuclear Armageddon started because of a short circuit: I have warned for years that this was a possibility.

The melting of Antarctica is a certainty, not just a possibility. the only question is when… and to “flatten the curve”…

So far Antarctica melting has contributed perhaps a centimeter of sea level in two centuries. Nothing much. Greenland contributes more. So far. One day soon, though, it will contribute several centimeters every few months… The time to stop it is now. As fossil fuel usage collapses in the present crisis, let’s make our utmost to keep it collapsed. For example both the importers and exporters of Australian coal should be struck. Enough with the toothless Paris accord, time for sanctions!

When sea level starts to rush up, one billion people will have to evacuate. Let no one say it was a big surprise…

Patrice Ayme

 

Antarctica Denman Glacier Quickly Undermined By Warm Water

April 6, 2020

The virus catastrophe was predictable and predicted, and so is the sea level catastrophe, presently unfolding, albeit in slow motion. The virus is virulently ongoing, and, in an healthy reaction, research in biology is ramping up. But research should be ramping up all over. Indeed, the sea is rising, and that, too, is a great catastrophe. It’s also a nonlinear catastrophe, like the virus: first slow, then exponential, because the speed of the effect is proportional to its extent. The poster child of East Antarctica melting down is the narrow outlet of the giant Aurora basin known as the Totten Glacier. Now it has a rival, the Denman Glacier. Warm water is going below the glacier into a previously unknown 1800 meters deep, 5 kilometers wide through.

Denman Glacier is a glacier 13 to 19 kilometers wide, descending north some 130 kilometers, debouching into the Shackleton Ice Shelf east of David Island, Queen Mary Land, East Antarctica. 

The Denman Canyon is immensely deep, the world’s deepest hole. As warm, 4 degree Centigrade water is the densest type of water, this relatively warm water is slipping below the glacier, melting it from below, and this situation is happening all around Antarctica and Greenland…The canyon under Denman Glacier was found by BedMachine Antarctica project (under the leadership of the University of California, Irvine) to be the deepest canyon worldwide. The bedrock being is 3,500 m below sea level: it’s twice deeper than the Grand Canyon. And soon it will be all water.

Problem: more than 4,000 meters of ice is piled up there, above that bedrock 3,500 meters below sea level. Thus, should Delman melt, much water would be added to the oceans. How much? 1.5 meters. Enough to flood all coastal cities, worldwide.A 2020 study reported Denman Glacier retreated 5.4±0.3 km over a 20 year period from 1996 to 2017–2018. So far, so good. However, the bedrock falls away quickly at that point. Hence the glacier will undergo a rapid, irreversible retreat, due to the presence of a retrograde bed on the western flank of the glacier and the likely presence of warm water in the sub-ice-shelf cavity.

Progression of warm water under East Antarctica Denman Glacier until 2018. The grounding line retreated 5.4 kms over 20 years. Water should now fall down another 700 meters pretty quickly. At some point, icequakes will shatter the whole undermined thing.

I have described the situation with the outlet of the giant Aurora Basin, the long and narrow Totten Glacier, a 300 kilometer long, 30 kilometer wide channel, below which warm water was found to have progressed much more than expected. At this point the ice-full canyon is mostly cut off from the sea thanks to all the glacial ice piled inside and atop the deep ravine. However, as the glacier’s edge continues to retreat farther and farther down the slope, warm ocean water will pour into the canyon, undermining bigger and bigger sections of the glacier, which will break off in spectacular icequakes.

The narrowness of the channel along which it is occurring and how much warm water from the deep ocean can be moved through it will control the evolution of the situation. Other outlet glaciers of East Antarctica are in a similar situation: glaciers at Vincennes Bay, Porpoise Bay, and the George V Coast. It is difficult to know their fate without the collection of more data.

Considering the present greenhouse situation, we should have a Miocene situation in Antarctica: much of it melted, or underwater. Because much of Antarctica is below sea level, crushed by kilometers of ice.

Trump said an infrastructure bill should go through, even if it’s not green… He is right, considering the virus situation… And, in any case, considering the improvement of technology, any technological development now is more green than what was done before. Plus, the fact is, the climate crisis will be solved by more technology… And only by that. Just like the virus. And for the same reasons as the virus.

Patrice Ayme

 

“Bleak” Climate Catastrophe Better Than Non CO2-Wall Street Energy (Says Pluto!)

November 27, 2019

‘Bleak’ U.N. Report Finds World Heading to Climate Catastrophes

What the United Nations doesn’t say is that the fossil fuel plutocracy is entangled with the banking and investing (“Wall Street”) plutocracy: they hold the world, and they love their fossil fuel, CO2 machine, because it intrinsically concentrate power in a few hands.

Four years after countries struck a well-advertised deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global heating, humanity is headed toward those very same climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued 11/26/2019, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year.

The summary findings are bleak,” the report said: countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions even after repeated warnings from scientists. The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.

Fat chance. Obviously, nuclear war is a more palatable option, according to most SUV drivers and jet-setting tourists…

The hellish energy system we use presently is used because the plutocrats in power get more power that way. And because We The Sheeple addicted to Pluto media, doesn’t know that another way was feasible, even 30 years ago.

Because CO2 Was Not Enough, We Added Mercury:

Next to San Francisco, coastal mountain lions can have lethal levels of mercury in their blood. How? Mercury rises, in a bio-absorbable form, in the coastal upwelling, and is condensed by the fog. This mercury is dropped in the ocean from smoke of coal generation, a world away. 

The rise in CO2 is brutal, most of it goes into the oceans, where it turns into carbonic acid, which kills plankton. As LIPs, Large Igneous Provinces, can do, massive CO2 production can kill oceans, collapsing food chains, worldwide, and killing oxygen production. Then, in combination with rising temperatures, massive oxydation all over (for example of permafrost and other half decomposed biomass ready to burn in tropical area), the oxygen content of the atmosphere could actually collapse. This is probably how the enormous mass extinction between Permian and Trias proceeded (form the eruption of the Siberian Traps).

We are engineering such an extinction now. When taking all the other man-made greenhouse gases in consideration, as we must, we are not far from 500 ppm of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases, a level not seen in dozens of millions of years. We are rising the CO2 at such a rate, that planetary heating is lagging, giving us a fake sense of non-emergency.

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The Road Not Taken Nuclear and H2:

Seas will rise by 20 meters, guaranteed. It could happen in decades.  This can be mitigated only by massive deployment of new safe nuclear and hydrogen (and its derivatives: ammonia, methanol) for massive green energy storage, transportation [1].  

Contrarily to what fake pseudo-ecologists have led us to believe, nuclear energy can be made perfectly safe: most reactors still deployed use 1950s technology made to maximize plutonium production. Plutonium free nuclear energy (for example from Thorium) is feasible, and could have been long massively deployed, if the effort to do so had been accomplished [2].

4,000 fourth generation, or Thorium nuclear reactors could produce all of the world’s electricity, and plenty enough “green” hydrogen to operate hydrogen trains, hydrogen ships, etc.

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Wealthy Countries Exporting Fossil Fuels Are Criminal. Why No Thorium?

Countries such as Norway and Canada or the USA, which geared their economies towards fossil fuel exports, while they could do something else, should be condemned, ostracized, vilified, etc. Them and their accomplice citizenry. (That Arabia or Indonesia, or Venezuela export oil is one thing: they have no choice to be part of the world economy; they should be encouraged to convert to green energy). Norway has actually gigantic reserves of Thorium, orders of magnitude above its fossil fuel reserves; it’s also one of the world’s wealthiest countries, per capita. The UN should order Norway to finance Thorium reactor research….  

In a further act of fossil fuel-Wall Street friendly malice, US presidential Sanders has dropped a fossil fuel tax from his government program. No time, he says. Well, that’s stupid, not to say venal. Fossil fuels have giant subsidies and kill of the order of ten million people a year (according to the WHO). A carbon tax would implicitly contain a no-subsidy provision… 

In this disaster, many noisy ecologists and scientists are actually working against their official position. For example, they would view my discourse as panicky. But I am the reasonable one, and they are the ignorant trying desperately to please the authorities while only mildly disagreeing with them (but for a few exceptions).

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Land To Go Under, Oxygen To Falter… What could go wrong?

Surely, they say, we won’t run out of oxygen. Hey, it never happened before. Well, that’s not true: it did happen before, but there were no monkeys around. Surely, they say, seas won’t go up twenty meters. But it did happen before, and not so long ago. In the Jurassic, seas were 70 meters higher.

More than three million years ago, in the mid-Pliocene era, before the apparition of the genus Homo, the planet’s mean surface temperature was between 2°C and 3.5°C higher than pre-industrial levels while the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was about 400 parts per million [3] – a figure we have already surpassed as greenhouse gas emissions continue rising.

New methods of analysing marine geological sediments to construct a global sea-level record have brought ominous news in 2019: the West Antarctic ice shield melted around 450K BP… under an “atmospheric forcing” milder than what we are already experiencing now (it was around 400 ppm CO2). And the rain of ominous news is getting worse. 

A study by recent PhD, Dr Georgia Grant from New Zealand, confirms that one third of Antarctica’s ice sheets melted during the Pliocene era (she has advisers older than her). Thus seas rose up to 25 metres above today’s level. The era experienced sea level fluctuations between 5 and 25 meters above the present, with an average of 13 metres.

My own opinion, long published, is that the two giant basins of East Antarctica Wilkes and Aurora, may also collapse soon. The scenario is clear: the mouths of said basins is at polar circle latitude. Once warm water sneaks below,collapse could be a matter of decades, even years; By themselves, they would rise seas by more than 15 meters… All real estate less than 30 meter high should be sold. Of course, few serious people would believe this… because they are uninformed fools, and they bleat: didn’t happen before…

Yes, it did: go watch the Jurassic. Maybe in a theater near you, oh simple minds… The Jurassic was the Jurassic because of high seas, high CO2, high temperatures. There may have been a little glacier up high somewhere on the high mountains in Antarctica.

Antarctica Friis Hills. Yes, Antarctica will melt. Completely. Soon. Brace for impact. Present mathematical predictions pertaining to the human impact on climate are purely linear. Reality is generally linear only in first approximation; reality in full tends to be nonlinear (yes, I use the same meta argument in the foundations of Quantum Physics)

Ninety (90) percent of the heat from global warming to date has gone into the ocean, and much of it into the Southern Ocean which bathes the Antarctic ice sheet. Said sheet has been protected by a curtain of freezing cold water. Soon it will fray. At least one third of Antarctica’s ice sheet, and perhaps as much as half—equivalent to up to 20 metres sea-level rise—sits below sea-level and is vulnerable to widespread and catastrophic collapse from ocean heating. Consider the map in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/runaway-antarctica/ 

… and look carefully how much of Antarctica is underwater. Much of it, it turns out is already covered with lakes (below the ice!)

Much of Antarctica melted in the past when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were 400 ppm… And, as I said above, we are not at 400 ppm… We are already at 500 ppm. 

(OK, right, I am exaggerating, we will reach 466 ppm, all greenhouse gases forcing in 2020… Extrapolating slightly from: https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/atmospheric-greenhouse-gas-concentrations-6/assessment)

As I said, long ago, more than a decade ago, a rise of two degrees Centigrade is too much, because it will trigger massive polar melting:

2 DEGREE CELSIUS RISE IS TOO MUCH!

I have explained the problem in detail… it is a nonlinear story.

Some will scoff. They have linear minds, and live to please the establishment. Typically they live in universities to please The Man, Pluto.

OK, right now, hundreds of people have been shot in Iran, secretly, and 200 have been hanged, even more secretly (I just talked to an Iranian friend who escaped Iran… yesterday. Nov 25, 2019…). Ah, and also 13 French soldiers died in desiccating Mali, yesterday: the French Republic is fighting the savage Islamists, rendered mad by the greenhouse, in places I used to know. Two helicopters apparently collided, during combat…  

When the greenhouse heating has become a daily catastrophe juggernaut, expect more of the same lethal fighting of man against man, and, if we are not careful, with nukes. Even Trump has to get used to the idea: all well considered, after all, the US is also back fighting in Syria (where the French are also engaged in combat against the Islamists…).

As the rats destroy their cage, as humans destroy their planet, they will fight each other. 

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Thorium reactors were made to work inside labs in the 1960s. To deploy them in a massive energy production program would have required a much less great effort than the Manhattan project (first, because we know they can be made). It’s a question of knowing what sorts of pipes to use, etc: tech details… Thorium produces little and not long lasting nuclear waste.

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[2] Once we have enormous thermonuclear reactors, to mechanically extract the CO2 from the atmosphere, we will be able to stabilize the heating of the planet to a Jurassic state, by lowering the CO2 ppm. 

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[3] The lowering of temperatures is associated to the rise of Homo. We don’t know if that’s causal, but a reasoning is easily done: lowering temps opened giant parts of the Earth to the sort of savannah park favorable to humans (by opposition to tropical forests)… In particular in Eurasia, augmenting enormously the niche favorable to the social killer ape.

Sea Level Rise Accelerating: A Nonlinear Consequence Of CO2 Rise

October 8, 2019

The CO2 catastrophe will entail all sorts of nonlinear reactions from nature. An example is Sea Level Rise, which is accelerating faster than so-called “experts” expected. So forests are dying: 

The New York Times describes the “Ghosts Forests” of the East Coast of the US, as sea level goes up there at the alarming clip of 5 millimeter per year. The reason for that accelerated rise was long predicated by those who understand climate nonlinearity better: as Greenland melts, its cold, sweet, lighter waters act as a lid on top of the Gulf Stream, and tend to make it back up. (Sweet Swede Greta Thunberg mentioned several nonlinear effects at the UN. That makes that 16 year old child more significantly cognizant than the top climate panel, the IPCC… of a couple of years ago; IPCC took linearity more seriously only this year. They should have read yours truly, a decade ago….)

It is nearly amusing how the soporific forecasts of the scientific community clash with reality: Greenland’s ice sheet lost 55 billion tons of water over five days in July and August — enough to cover the state of Florida in almost 5 inches of water. Nearly all of Greenland was melting over those days, as the heat wave which made Paris reach 43.6 Centigrades (108F) hit the world’s largest island. That water is not coming back as ice ever again. 

Such a rate of melting was not expected by (government fed) specialists, at least officially, for another 50 years… Overall, Greenland ice sheet lost last summer the equivalent of a cube of ice five kilometers on its side (contributing directly one millimeter of sea level rise). But these are early days (Antarctica is not yet melting.) 

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NYT: “As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Ghost Forests:

Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests… Rising seas often conjure the threat to faraway, low-lying nations or island-states. But to understand the immediate consequences of some of the most rapid sea-level rise anywhere in the world, stand among the scraggly, dying pines of Dorchester County along the Maryland coast… People living on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary system, have a front-row view of the sea’s rapid advance, said Keryn Gedan, a wetland ecologist at George Washington University. Part of the reason for the quickly rising waters may be that the Gulf Stream, which flows northward up the coast, is slowing down as meltwater from Greenland inhibits its flow. That is causing what some scientists describe as a pileup of water along the East Coast, elevating sea levels locally…. The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where Dr. Gedan does research, lost 3,000 acres of forest and agricultural land between 1938 and 2006. More than 5,000 acres of marsh became open water.

The New York Times noted that the cities along the East Coast, some of them historically African-American, are too poor to do as the Dutch do, and build dikes. Well, OK, they have dikes, but we have plutocrats: can’t have everything… They can admire their dikes,  we can admire our plutocrats, and those wonderful millionaire athletes with thighs in tights.

“The Atlantic white cedar, abundant around the Mullica River Estuary in stands such as this one, is an unusually durable parchment on which to capture that history. Long prized for lumber, its wood is highly resistant to rot. But the tree is also very sensitive to salt. It can tolerate maybe three salty high tides before succumbing. So when the trees begin dying, it’s a trustworthy indicator that conditions are becoming more saline. It is an age-old phenomenon, now happening faster. Erosion of marshes and riverbanks has also accelerated, revealing buried cedar stumps from prehistoric ghost forests. Jennifer Walker, a frequent collaborator with Dr. Able who recently earned her Ph.D. in oceanography at Rutgers, dated one stump here to the fifth century. “Cedar cemeteries,” she calls these places.”

Many of those paid by the dominant fossil fuel industry produce doctored temperature graphs, and they actually dominate the Internet (hey, as they steal the planet, they have all the money in the world to buy themselves mouthpieces of all sorts, including scientists). The graph above is the truth. The drought around 33 centuries ago caused the collapse of all ancient Mediterranean-Near East civilizations… except for Egypt, which barely survived what Pharaoh Ramses III called the “People of the Sea Conspiracy”. So a tremendous drought, quakes, etc. caused a chain of events bringing the Bronze Age collapse (we know this from archaeology, Hittites-Egyptian correspondence, etc…). BTW, we are already at 1,1 degree Centigrade of temperature rise, higher by 30% than in the red line above…

Cedars died from salt water intrusions after centuries of a warm spell, centered around 2,000 years ago, and which ended abruptly, stressing hard Greco-Roman civilization: that Roman climate optimum occurred naturally, from Earth’s orbital mechanics. Although its end was brutal, temperature-wise, its onset was gradual, and consequences enfolded even after it passed away: so these “Cedar cemeteries’ happened, close to the end of the warm climate, showing how much inertia the climate has. After many centuries, the ongoing warming made glaciers melt, and recess, including in Greenland. So the same phenomenon was at work in Chesapeake Bay as now. However, right now the warming is from a tremendous rise in CO2, not seen in millions of years. 

Similarly, although the present warming is extremely rapid, its most dreadful consequences are slow to appear: a lot of inertia is found in the climate system. Even if we stopped right away the CO2 emissions, the consequences of the present rise of CO2 would be increasingly felt for centuries (absent science fiction terra forming technologies which we do not have… yet) In other words, the nonlinear effects are starting, and we will not be capable of stopping them. And they will accelerate. 

The collapse of the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica is, for example, guaranteed: it happened around 400,000 years ago, in colder conditions than the ones we are going to reach within decades, at most (its disappearance was discovered in 2019). That particular collapse will rise sea levels 3.3 meters. But other ice formations are even more worrisome. The humongously giant ice basins in East Antarctica, such as the Aurora and Wilkes basins, are threatened too: their delicate margins are at low latitudes, close to the Antarctic circle, their bottom more than a mile below sea level. They could melt in a matter of decades (as happened to Hudson Bay at the end of the last glaciation). reading this, well paid professional specialists will feel forced to publicly chuckle, and pontificate it would take centuries of warm water. They are paid to sustain the life of their pay master, the fossil fuel economy. Only this way are they to be taken seriously, and puff their lustrous feathers, like well fed pigeons.

Conventional climate science is in denial about the imminent collapse into the sea of much of Antarctica, as professionals don’t want to sound too alarmist, lest they lose their jobs.

That’s why there are philosophers, and they live in barrels: to tell the truth.

Patrice Ayme

Global Sea Ice Collapsing: Carbon Tax!

January 7, 2017

Any linear process, pushed too far, will become non-linear. This is true in psychology, as it is in imploding stars. (It is even true in Quantum Physics, where it used to be called “collapse” and now is called “decoherence”, because “collapse” did not sound too good, probably… Actually the switch from linear to nonlinear, is the greatest mystery of the Quantum; we will massage it below, with an ominous message, naturally…) And it is obviously true for the climate. Climate change can be slowly and steady (it took 35 million years to cool the dinosaurs into extinction, although the end of the process was nonlinear…) Climate change can also be extremely brutal, on the orders of years, not millions of years (contemplate the Younger Dryas, dramatic, extremely brutal glaciations which lasted no more than a millennium, the most spectacular being 18,000 years ago).

This is a complicated world. We are its gods, and we are warming up the party. Global sea ice is the sum of sea ice, worldwide, mostly found in the Arctic and Antarctica. It is suddenly collapsing. Yes, global ice fluctuates with the seasons. Yet, consider this graph:

 

Catastrophic Collapse Inevitable. Any linear process, pushed too far, will become non-linear.

Catastrophic Collapse Inevitable.

Just invert that graph, transforming the ice collapse into sea rise: this is what is going to happen. And not in 5000 years, as corrupt scientists have hopefully suggested. No: it could start to happen in 2017. And it will certainly start very soon, in the lifetime of existing politicians.

How did these scientists get corrupt? By hope and inertia: good jobs are given to those with good news, however fake those “news” may be. Especially if said good “news” reinforce the existing establishment. There was actually nothing new in claiming that Greenland and Antractica would stay covered with ice. It was actually old news.

There was no reason, whatsoever, to think that the giant ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica would stay stable under enormous warming. (Whereas global air warming is only 1.2 Centigrade above the baseline, warming in polar regions is several times this. This fact is explainable by logic alluded to below.)

However, there were excellent reasons, excellent because they were very simple, to believe they were not going to stay stable. I have found them, and exposed them on this site. Two reasons are most prominent.

One I could call that the permafrost argument: as temperatures shift up, by a few degrees Centigrade (= Celsius), the permafrost line has to travel hundreds of kilometers north, or south. As it does, ice sheets melt.

However, and this is the second major reason, ice sheets, which are up to four kilometers thick, exert a pressure of 4,000 tons per square meter (that means roughly 40,000 tons over the footprint of a car). The ice sheets thus press the continents down by thousands of meters, so warm water will slip below the ice, falling all the way underneath, and the disintegration will be brutal. (Such brutality has been caught on film.)

I am struggling with an essay which demonstrates why Obama wanted Trump elected (and how he accomplished this). Not easy to explain to those who cling to a simpler world (so the work is still in progress). Yet there is a first lesson therein:that our world has become so complicated, so poorly organized, and so dangerously managed, and our powers so great, that a single individual’s brain structure impacts significantly the biosphere.

A case in point is Kim of North Korea: a certified maniac who rules the world by instilling respect for his own insanity (he claims to be developing a nuclear “deterrent” by being able to throw nuclear bombs at any country, anywhere.)

So what’s up with the ice? Sea ice depends upon a cold sea. Ice on top of the sea, or land, throws back sunlight like a shield, back to space, before photons can dig in the ground, or the ocean, and deliver in the depths their momentum-energy, raising the agitation, thus temperature there. Once the ice cover is gone, photons can heat up the depths. Normal temperature measurements which make headlines are just about air temperature, a meter off the ground. They are not about the rise of temperatures of the depths.

If, at some point the rise of temperature of the depths becomes to great to allow ice or snow cover in winter, ground, or ocean temperature is exposed to photons, thus heat, even in the cool season, and a vicious circle, a different regime, starts.

The transition does not have to be smooth. In Quantum Physics, a system can “tunnel” between a local minima, and another, even lower (this is “classically” not allowed). So will object that climatology is a “classical” system. And they are obviously wrong: this is the famous paradox of the hurricane started by a butterfly’s wings. Ultimately, Quantum systems decide of everything: if zillions of Quantum systems switch to a lower energy state together, we have a “classical” transition.

Thus, the climate of the entire planet will LURCH to a different state. The collapse of global sea ice is an early indicator of the incoming catastrophe (reminiscent of when some temperature indicators went up inside the left wing of the Space Shuttle Columbia; by then, Columbia was doomed; in our case, we are not doomed terminally: we will be more or less doomed, depending upon how we react now).

This happened countless times in the past: the AMOC (or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation), is the planet’s most significant current: it enables the Gulf Stream to go warm-up Europe gently. However, sometimes, it gets cold before making it to Iceland, and drops to the sea bottom, 6,000 meters down, short of the entire north-east corner of the Atlantic.

As it does in the fictional and exaggerated movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, when the AMOC brutally changes (this we know, for a fact explained mysterious flash freezes in the past, more than 10,000 years ago).

Actually my own position is more subtle: I do not expect a brutal glaciation in Europe, as when the AMOC lurched last, because there is plainly not enough easily liquefiable cold in the Arctic. However, I expect something way worse: brutal sea level rise, in the tens of meters. My reasoning is terrible in its brutal simplicity: warm oceanic water will slip underneath, and then fall thousands of meters below the ice sheets. Yes, below. For more details, please read:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/west-antarctica-melting-amazon-not-helping/

Warm winds on top will not help, and have already disintegrated major ice shelves in days (like four days: by happenstance, measuring instruments caught the disintegration of a major ice shelf, ten years ago: it was immediately preceded by a four-day, 16 Celsius (62 F) wind storm (with hurricane winds). Said winds are of course augmenting. Because of thermodynamic effects, extremely warm winds can occur even in July, in the heart of Antarctica’s winter, bringing temperatures up by 40 Celsius (from minus 30 C to plus 10 C), vaporizing the snow cover (winds are augmenting all over the planet, as more energy is pumped into the biosphere).

The Obama administration did precious little about the developing climate catastrophe (his own administrator just testified in Congress that Obama administration policies had an impact of .01%; even the much derided governor Perry from Texas did much more, by transforming the One Star State into a large wind farm!)

Trump could do much more, by killing two birds with one stone. He could do what Obama and the establishment which used him as a puppet, did not dare do. Mostly because they are very serious, respectable people getting their power from even more serious, more respectable people.

Set-up a worldwide carbon tax. Europe will cooperate: several European countries already have carbon taxes, all tax gasoline and diesel at enormous rates. It happens that, under Obama, the US government was selling the best coal in the world, five times below cost (a Science Magazine lead article detailed this in December 2016; I planned to write an essay on it, but did not find the time-energy…). That dragged all coal prices down, worldwide, and was an anti-carbon tax.

By lifting that best-coal price in Federal lands, thanks to a carbon tax, Trump would bring coal prices up (thus momentarily helping the coal miners who voted for him).

Such is the way. There is no alternative (slogan of the stupid Thatcher!). Of course, there is so much inertia in the system, a rise of three degrees Centigrade is guaranteed, and coastal cities will have either to be evacuated, or sit behind ten stories tall levees…

Anyway, let climate skeptics munch on the graph on top. Brutal floods are a historical fact. Sumerian civilization was drowned in a sudden flood. And yes, it was man-made, we understand this now. 43 centuries ago, the most advanced civilization, or, more exactly, one of the roots of what would become the most advanced civilization (ours) was wiped out in a matter of days, by a man-made cataclysm.

Meditate that.

Meditation is the noblest pursuit of humanity. Or, at least, the one activity which characterizes humanity best.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Saharan Snow, Enjoy, It Will Not Last

December 21, 2016

Global warming is accelerating, as anticipated: the Arctic sea ice is the smallest ever for the season. Also the Polar Vortex wanders. As I have argued in the past, global warming also means, through equipartition of energy, great depressions, great high pressure, and great dynamics. Greats dynamics means great motions of whatever is big and can be moved. From depression, to wiggles in the jet streams, to the polar vortices themselves: whatever can move, will be moved.

This has brought some counterintuitive effects: for decades, Antarctic sea ice spread out away from the icy continent, pushed by stronger winds. Also the accelerating melting of the giant Antarctic ice shelves (some 1,000 kilometers wide), has brought to the surface light sweet water, which readily freezes above the colder, denser saltier ocean water below. Thus climate deniers chuckled that Antarctica was getting colder, whereas, in truth, was they were observing was the exact opposite.

Climate Denying Sites Published Similar Pictures, Where The Forest In the Background Cannot Be Seen, Of Course...

Climate Denying Sites Published Similar Pictures, Where The Forest In the Background Cannot Be Seen, To Make It Look More Miraculous, Of Course…

So, year after year, the Antarctic sea ice spread out, and that was a shining demonstration of the global warming. Of course, this sort of evolution evolves steadily away from equilibrium, until things break, and a completely new attractive minimum comes within reach. This apparently just happened with Antarctica: after a year where the sea ice spread more than two standard deviations above the average, now the sea ice is shrinking two standard deviations BELOW the average.

The Polar Vortex has wandered: for many weeks it was over Siberia. Instead of being around the North Pole. Thus the temperature at the Pole was 20 Celsius (roughly 40 F) ABOVE normal. Then the vortex went to North America last week, and temperatures plunged there. Now higher temperatures are again announced for the Pole.

Ah, and what of this Saharan snow? Actually it was in an Algerian locality perched at 1078 meters above sea level in the Atlas mountains. It receives rain, and is surrounded by (thin) forest. Although this particular locale had no snow for 37 years, it snows every year in the Atlas: Algeria has ski resorts. The Atlas culminate at 4167 meters in Morocco and stretches 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles). Many peaks are above 4,000 meters, and the barrier is formidable. The Atlas actually creates the Sahara, as it blocks moisture from the Atlantic and Mediterranean to reach the interior of the continent (the Sierra Nevada does the same in North America, blocking much Pacific moisture).

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“What We Are Seeing Now In Greenland Is Out Of Bounds With Anything Seen In the Last Few Millions Year”

Two papers just published in Nature support my old opinion that the Greenland icecap is more fragile than it was previously assumed.  These papers arose from collaborations from many prestigious institutions, in several countries, with support from the US National Science Foundation. It uses new radioactive techniques (new in that context).

Basically, when exposed to the radiation of the natural environment, isotopic compositions get modified: elements become radioactive in specific ways; however, when tucked under kilometers of ice, said radiation does not reach the ground, and elements have a different isotopic composition; thus, scientists are now able to figure out what the ice cover was… even 7.5 million years ago.

A study pondered the Eastern Greenland ice cap. There are high mountains there (up to 3,700 meters). Computer models show that it should not have melted in the last 7.5 million years (some hopefully claim it never will, but that’s just fossil fuel industry driven computations…). This is indeed what was found in the isotopic studies. The leader of the study, Bierman, opined that:

“…the ice sheet in East Greenland responds to and tracks global climate change… The melting we are seeing today may be out of the bounds of how the Greenland ice sheet has behaved for many millions of years.”

That team collected only samples off the mountainous east side of Greenland. Its results don’t provide a definitive picture of the whole Greenland ice sheet. But its findings  provide strong evidence that “an ice sheet has been in East Greenland pretty much continuously for seven million years,” says Jeremy Shakun, a geologist at Boston College who co-led the new study. “It’s been bouncing around and dynamic — but it’s been there nearly all the time.”

However, people on the ground, see the ice sheet retreating by miles, every year, in some places, leaving an eerie landscape behind.

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Contrast does not mean contradiction: 

The other study in Nature was led by Joerg Schaefer of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University, looked at a small sample of bedrock from one location beneath the middle of the existing ice sheet. It came to what appears to be a contradictory conclusion: Greenland was nearly ice-free for at least 280,000 years during the middle Pleistocene — around 1.1 million years ago. This contradicts existing computer models: the Common Wisdom was that, after earth entered a period of glaciations 2.7 million years ago, camels disappeared from the High Arctic, and that was that.

“These results appear to be contradictory — but they may not be,” Bierman says. Both studies have “some blurriness… Their study is a bit like one needle in a haystack, and ours is like having the whole haystack, but not being sure how big it is.”

Both teams looked at isotopes within grains of quartz, produced when bedrock is bombarded by cosmic rays from space. The isotopes are created when rock is at or near Earth’s surface — but not when rock is buried under an overlying ice sheet. By looking at the ratio of two of these cosmic-ray-made elements — aluminum-26 and beryllium-10 caught in crystals of quartz, and measured in an accelerator mass spectrometer — the scientists calculated how long the rocks in their samples had been exposed to the sky, or covered by massive ice. The technique is not new, but was never applied before to cores from marine sediments. Now they are busy extending the methods to other places, including Antarctica.

All of this will allow to evaluate better the probability of melting of the ice sheets in the present conditions.

I think the real danger comes from Antarctica, and it’s coming soon. “But there’s enough sea-level rise tied-up in Greenland alone to put a lot of cities and long stretches of coastline underwater,” says Paul Bierman, “including Donald Trump’s property in Florida.”

Well, Trump knows this (whatever he says to assuage his most clueless, suffering supporters). And thus Trump may do more than Obama, who did nothing, except covering up with hot air coming out of his mouth the black reality that the Federal government coal is sold at less than 20% of what it costs (according to a study published in Science in December 2016). Now, in another orgasmic bout of hot air, Obama and Trudeau, less than a month from giving the reins to Trump, have barred drilling in the Arctic. Looks like Obama is suddenly waking up to the possibilities that being a US president brings.

The moral thing to do is to be informed, and to look, in particular, at hypocrisy with a clear eye. Now Obama will be able to claim that he stopped the pipelines and the drilling. Zorro arrived at the last second to save the Earth, seven and a half year too late. History will laugh at how naive his (frantically hypocritical) admirers were.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia After Full Glacial Melt

April 24, 2016

The Way Of Life Of Some "Leading" Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

What is that a map of? (Answer at the bottom.)

The positive side of a full glacial melt is that the devastated Aral Sea will be reconstituted to its former glory, and more. Tourists may be able to travel from Missouri to the Aral Sea on electric cruise ships. Let’s notice in passing that shallow seas were characteristic of the Jurassic, and exerted a positive feed-back on the climate, which was remarkably warm and wet then… thanks to these shallow seas. The Earth was ice-free (except on the top of very high mountains).

The Decision Is Now. The Next Two Decades Will Decide If This Is What Will Be

The Decision Is Now. The Next Two Decades Will Decide If This Is What Will Be

Some may sneer, but there is tremendous inertia in the system. Here is a depiction of temperatures in the last half a billion years:

The Projection That We Are On Two Degree Centigrade Rise By 2050 Is Optimistic: It Ignores Positive Feed-Back On Ice Melt

The Projection That We Are On Two Degree Centigrade Rise By 2050 Is Optimistic: It Ignores Positive Feed-Back On Ice Melt

As soon as we launch the shallow sea effect, it will feed-back on itself. That will be another feed-back on top of the ice melt feed-back. Scandalously, a European Union Commissioner just declared that the COP 21 treaty will be ratified in 2018 only. The French government has declared this “scandalous”, and intends to do something about it on Monday (EC Commissioners have been obviously on the take from major fossil fuel company such as Exxon, as stealth recordings recently showed).

Hence the moral quality of the following graph depicting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, per capita, and per country:

GHG Per Capita: The Redder, The Worse. The Way Of Life Of Some "Leading" Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

GHG Per Capita: The Redder, The Worse. The Way Of Life Of Some “Leading” Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

At this point, some always ask: what can we do? Shall we recycle? Recycling is a related question, yet mostly independent of the energy problem. It’s much more efficient than fighting racism by never saying “nigger”, but still, it pales relative to burning fossils. Energy procurement has got to change radically. One has to de-carbonize. Now. Not just in 2050: by then it will be too late.

To de-carbonize, there is just one way: tax carbon so heavily that silly activities such as frantic tourism by plane, disappear altogether. So those who want to do something moral should agitate for an enormous carbon tax (while compensating for the poor with some of the proceeds).

Something similar is to push for local sustainable energy. An example: San Francisco just passed a law requiring plants or solar panels on roofs of all new building less than ten stories tall (to start with). Starting January 1, 2017. The law is identical to a mandate passed in France last year that all new buildings be covered in partial green roofing or solar panels.

In France, buildings producing more energy than they use have been erected. In other French news, Paris organized its first car race since 1951… 65 years ago. It was done with Formula One style cars: monospaces. It was also remarkably silent: the cars were electric. An Audi driven by the Brazilian Di Grassi won this “Formula E” event. There will be another one, next year (a necessary way of fighting terrorism is to act and behave as if there was no terror).

If enormous de-carbonization is not imposed quickly, fabulous wars may ensue… Except if some countries have such a lead in military matters that none of the others will try anything; as is presently the case of the West, mostly the USA, relative to the Rest; a fascinating twist on might makes right.

However, morality means “the mores”, what has proven sustainable to a tribe. And this brings still another moral twist. Some tribes (also known as nations) have profited a lot from war, thus may not be, very secretly, deep down inside, that adverse to adversity of the lethal type. Indeed, if adversity enables them to unleash the Dark Side, their empire may extend. Or, at least, such is the computation. because, in the past, war always proved such an excellent lever. It is especially the case of the USA (although Russia also lives under that illusion; and giant countries such as Canada and Australia are not far behind in that same general mood; even China, considering its recent conquest of gigantic, highly profitable Tibet and Xing Kiang, may feel that way, all too much).

Notice in passing that the US emits close to 20 tons of GreenHouse Gases per year, per capita. That’s around three times more than the French. And France is not three times poorer, per capita. Actually, according to Hillary Clinton, France is richer, per capita, than the USA: she herself says that the USA cannot afford universal health care. Whereas the French can afford a universal health care system. It is even worse than that, as the French health care system (with the Italian and Swedish ones) is leading in quality, whereas the USA trails, in quality of health care, behind all developed countries.

Once again, what Hillary really means is that those who are paying for her propaganda and helping her with various services, cannot afford a country with universal health care, because they are too busy overdosing inside their private jets (allusion to Prince, one of many). One’s morality not better than one’s logic.

The naïve, gullible and thoroughly obsolete, often believe there is just one way to be logical. But logic can be pretty much anything. Anything goes in logic. Differently from cooking ,where a few rules apply. In cooking at the very least, one should not put too much salt, or burn food to such a crisp that it becomes, well, pure carbon.

However logic is much more adaptable. And thus, a fortiori, is morality.

Tomorrow’s morality has often be made from yesterday’s computation. And computations can sometimes go awry.

So what to do? Change the moods ASAP. Solar roofs are an example. Another is the just announced change of the Twenty Dollar Bill. It figures president Jackson. Jackson followed Jefferson’s example, conquering and annexing giant swathes of territory for the USA. Those two, with Washington himself, were the three most important presidents, in the sense that they created, not just the USA as a state, but also its extent and its mood. Jackson was as macho as Washington, if not more. He went on his conquests, as the head of the US Army, without any order, and Congress did not dare contradict him, lest he made a coup. He had no problem harboring a bullet or two from successful duels.

Nowadays, more and more people in the USA feel that Jackson’s mentality is something which should not be viewed as an example anymore. So Obama and his sidekicks want to replace him by an abolitionist ex-slave who happened to be a woman (I had never heard from, I think, demonstrating that the masses need to further their education, indeed.)  Not bad. At the last hour, Obama and Al. minister admirably the details. However, if one removes all the slave masters from US currency, one may be left with the insipid mild and neutral pseudo-bridges found on European currency.

Removing the face of slavery would not be progress, if all one did, was to forget, and thus deny, where one came from, institutionally speaking, and in the genealogy of moods.

Without its demonic males to lead and fabricate appropriately evil systems of thought, the USA would not have become the world’s leading empire it is now. Beyond whether this is right or wrong, it’s important to remember that, first of all, that’s what happened. Yes, the USA was fabricated by slave masters. This politely brings in the natural question: Is the USA still ruled by slave masters?

The first moral duty is always to the truth. When the morality used is the one closest to the essence of the genus Homo. Yet, special circumstances, (such as inheriting a continent which has been grabbed,) have incited special moralities to blossom.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Runaway Antarctica

April 1, 2016

I have written for years that a runaway Antarctica was certain, with half the icy continent melting rather spectacularly on an horizon of two centuries at most, and probably much less than that. This rested on the fact that half of Antarctica rests on nothing but bedrock at the bottom of the sea. At the bottom of what should naturally be the sea, in the present circumstances of significant greenhouse gas concentrations.

Visualize this: until sometimes in the Nineteenth Century, GreenHouse Gas (GHG) concentration was 280 ppm (280 parts per million), including the man-made sort. Now we are close to 500 ppm, using a variety of exotic gases we produce industrially, among them, CO2. In CO2 alone we are at:  Week beginning on March 20, 2016: 405.62 ppm. Weekly value from 1 year ago: 401.43 ppm. Weekly value from 10 years ago: 382.76 ppm. So the CO2 alone is augmenting at a bit more than 1% a year. Thus we will be at an equivalent of 550 ppm in ten years (including the full panoply of all the other man-made greenhouse gases, not just CO2). There is evidence that, with just 400 ppm, disaster is guaranteed.

Now visualize this:

How Antarctica would appear if its ice melted: it’s half under the sea.

How Antarctica would appear if its ice melted: it’s half under the sea.

Why so watery? Because the enormous glaciers, up to nearly 5,000 meter thick, press down on the continent with their enormous weight. Since the end of the last glaciation, 10,000 years ago, Scandinavia has been rising, and is still rising (I long used a picture with a similar information about Antarctica’s bedrock.)

A paper published on line in Nature on March 30, 2016, that is, two days ago, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise” opines that:

Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs—that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.

Notice that the scenario evoked in the last sentence is different from my  very old scenario, which is similar to the one advanced in November 2015 by the famous Hansen and Al. (I raised the alarm before Hansen, at least seven years ago). In my scenario, and Hansen’s the ice sheets melt from below, due to warm sea water intrusion.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is larger than Mexico.

Here is a taste of the paper (I have a Nature subscription):

“Reconstructions of the global mean sea level (GMSL) during past warm climate intervals including the Pliocene (about three million years ago)1 and late Pleistocene interglacials2, 3, 4, 5 imply that the Antarctic ice sheet has considerable sensitivity. Pliocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations were comparable to today’s (~400 parts per million by volume, p.p.m.v.)6, but some sea-level reconstructions are 10–30 m higher1, 7. In addition to the loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)2, these high sea levels require the partial retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), which is further supported by sedimentary evidence from the Antarctic margin8. During the more recent Last Interglacial (LIG, 130,000 to 115,000 years ago), GMSL was 6–9.3 m higher than it is today2, 3, 4, at a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were below 280 p.p.m.v. (ref. 9) and global mean temperatures were only about 0–2 °C warmer10. This requires a substantial sea-level contribution from Antarctica of 3.6–7.4 m in addition to an estimated 1.5–2 m from Greenland11, 12 and around 0.4 m from ocean steric effects10.”

So notice: when CO2 ppm per volume was at 280 130,000 to 115,000 years ago, sea level was up to ten meter higher than now. And now we are at 500 ppmv…

And notice again: When CO2 ppmv was at 400, sea level was up to 30 meters (100 feet) higher than today. And now we are at 500 ppm, and, in a blink, in ten years, at 550 ppm.

Here is another example from the paper. I said all of this before, but to have scientists paid to do research in this area write it black on white in the world’s most prestigious scientific magazine, will no doubt endow me with greater, and much desired, gravitas. So let me indulge, not so much for my greater glory, but because it should help taking what I have long said more seriously.

“Much of the WAIS sits on bedrock hundreds to thousands of metres below sea level (Fig. 1a)13. Today, extensive floating ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas, and smaller ice shelves and ice tongues in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas (Fig. 1b) provide buttressing that impedes the seaward flow of ice and stabilizes marine grounding zones (Fig. 2a). Despite their thickness (typically about 1 km near the grounding line to a few hundred metres at the calving front), a warming ocean has the potential to quickly erode ice shelves from below, at rates exceeding 10 m yr−1 °C−1 (ref. 14). Ice-shelf thinning and reduced backstress enhance seaward ice flow, grounding-zone thinning, and retreat (Fig. 2b). Because the flux of ice across the grounding line increases strongly as a function of its thickness15, initial retreat onto a reverse-sloping bed (where the bed deepens and the ice thickens upstream) can trigger a runaway Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI; Fig. 2c)15, 16, 17. Many WAIS grounding zones sit precariously on the edge of such reverse-sloped beds, but the EAIS also contains deep subglacial basins with reverse-sloping, marine-terminating outlet troughs up to 1,500 m deep (Fig. 1). The ice above floatation in these East Antarctic basins is much thicker than in West Antarctica, with the potential to raise GMSL by around 20 m if the ice in those basins is lost13. Importantly, previous ice-sheet simulations accounting for migrating grounding lines and MISI dynamics have shown the potential for repeated WAIS retreats and readvances over the past few million years18, but could only account for GMSL rises of about 1 m during the LIG and 7 m in the warm Pliocene, which are substantially smaller than geological estimates.”

I said it before. Including the details. So the evidence was clear, and out there. The optimism (it will take 5 centuries for 50 feet of sea level rise) is not supported by evidence. Actually collapsing channels coming from inverted rivers running up on the bellies of ice sheets are now obvious on satellite pictures and collapse of major ice shelves is going to be a matter of years, not centuries.

But science is made by tribes and these tribes honor the gods (of plutocracy) who finance them, and their whims. So they don’t want to make their sponsors feel bad. So they say unsupported, optimistic stuff, contradicted by a first order analysis.

Science is good, metascience, better. Metascience includes the sociological reasons which explain why some scientists will take some “facts” for obvious (although, coming from another sociology, they are not).

Deep in the Nature paper, in the quote above, or in four drawings and graphs of future sea level rise, one can find projections according to what various models “predict”… 130,000 years ago (!) The “Old Physics” model predicts one meter rise of the sea (this is the official UN maximal prediction for 2100). The new model, again starting with the present conditions, predict more than a six meter rise (!) This is a case of metascience playing with sea level.

This way, the authors of the paper will be able to say, one day: we told you so. While at the same time not irritating their sponsors now (because to understand what they are really saying takes quite a while, and has to be understood as tongue in cheek, when they pretend to apply the analysis to 130,000 years ago… What they really mean is six meters now, not just one meter… Bye bye Wall Street. Punished by its own instruments…)

The question is not whether we will be able to avoid a twenty meter sea level rise: that’s, unbelievably, a given (barring unforeseeable, yet imaginable technological advances to extract quickly a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere). The question is whether we will avoid a 60 meter rise.

Patrice Ayme’

Record Heat: Non Linear World

March 12, 2016
World Global Monthly Temperature Is Blowing Up (NASA data, March 2016)

World Global Monthly Temperature Is Blowing Up (NASA data, March 2016)

Temperatures Blowing Up, As Expected: THE SINGULARITY HAS ARRIVED

(Doomed) Presidential Candidate Sanders insists, correctly, that the USA needs a revolution. So does the world. Plutocracy, its “money changers” (president Roosevelt), carbonizers and political servants have taken over not just the honor of the human spirit and civilization, but also the biosphere itself. Meanwhile the planet is reacting:

Some smart donkeys will point out that this is the year of the strongest El Nino ever. The much smarter ones will retort that, when the planetary warming is fast and furious, El Nino will arrive every year. That’s not a joke, it’s paleontology of the climate.

People such as the present author have long pointed out that nonlinear effects could come in gear any day, launched by the anthropic poisoning of the atmosphere by man-made greenhouse gases. It is basically what happens in a criminal forest fire: somebody comes with a match. Given dry weather, high temperatures, and a wind, a vast conflagration results. As I said the three great Antarctic Glacial Basins could disappear in decades, not millennia. And soon.

This general mess is part of the famed “singularity”. It is fundamentally caused by the nonlinear rise of scientifically driven uncontrolled industry.

What Matters Most Is What Is Happening At the Poles, Where the Heating Is Maximal

What Matters Most Is What Is Happening At the Poles, Where the Heating Is Maximal

At some point this Winter temperatures went above freezing… at the north pole itself. The ice pack is accordingly at the lowest extent, ever. Proverbially, frogs are supposed not to jump, if one rises the temperature slowly. Meanwhile, the porous limestone on which Florida lies will not allow to save Miami with the simple expedient of building dams.

When Obama became president, he fixed the… Bush presidency. An admirer of Reagan, Obama lowered the taxes on the richest, by 20%, because followers of Reagan believe in “trickle down economics”. Then Obama gave a trillion to the banks (“TARP”), which reimbursed the Treasury, as the lying Clinton disingenuously, but correctly points out… Tanks to many trillion of dollars given to banks by the Federal Reserve (another branch of the government).

While Obama was busy saving the class he had been told he joined (and here is your Nobel Prize, boy!), he let the planet burn.

The Obama’s doctrine fundamental principle is: “Don’t do stupid shit!” However, when facing a singularity with a mind of its own, there is no difference between “doing stupid shit” and not doing anything.  Because the most stupid thing we can do is, nothing at all. Even Trump supporters have understood this. Obama thought that, by doubling up on Reagan policies, he would improve matters. Now he has to face these graphs. Like the butchery in Syria, they are his babies. There were holocaust before, a few hundred thousands Syrian dead, is nothing special, in the land of the “religion of eternal peace”, agreed.

However, the cooking of the biosphere will long live as the greatest infamy, ever. And those who wanted power so bad, and chose the worst as advisers, will be forever accused by history. Where is your suggestion to put a carbon tax, Mister President? Too busy asking your plutocrats for money? Cooking the biosphere is Obama’s gift, the change we can believe, because that’s the one we can see.

Patrice Ayme’

NASA’s Antarctic Interpretational Error

March 6, 2016

NASA observed a gain of altitude of much of Antarctica. From there NASA scientists deduced that Antarctica was gaining ice and snow. Unfortunately, as they admit, this leads them to predict that there is an unknown, massive cause of Sea Level Rise (SLR). The advantage is that this hypothesis makes nice with NASA’s sponsors (fossil fuels loving Republicans controlling Congress and the Supreme Court of the US). The disadvantage is that all SLR contributing factors have been accounted for, but one. And that one, NASA just denied, that it could possibly exist.

However, there is another interpretation differing vastly from the one NASA scientists made: Antarctica is gaining ice, snow, and… WATER. NASA did not see the water. How could it? Back to preschool: the water is below, the ice on top. See? The water is below, thus sight unseen. The ice is actually floating up. But that does not mean it’s not there. Actually the NASA map itself shows where the water is coming in. It’s not because one does not see something that one should not consider it. Progress in thinking is always achieved ONLY by considering what one has not considered before. So it’s always an exercise in atonement.

Water Sneaking Below The Ice: This Is The One Factor That Will Dominate Sea Level Rise, If It Does Not Already Do So

Water Sneaking Below The Ice: This Is The One Factor That Will Dominate Sea Level Rise, If It Does Not Already Do So

Of course such an explanation is valid only when there is water laying below the ice. But this is actually much of Antarctica, already. In some places, water goes below ice shelves, by 800 kilometers (500 miles). Much of the solid continent has lakes below the ice.

NASA’s Altitude Accumulation Map Shows Where Water Penetration Already Occurs

NASA’s Altitude Accumulation Map Shows Where Water Penetration Already Occurs

When NASA looks at this map, it claims that Antarctica is gathering snow. Indeed, globally, it is: warmer air carries more water, so, the warmer the air, the more it snows… until all turns to rain! This is why there are tropical downpours. This was fully expected by those, who, like me, believe in catastrophic temperature, and sea level, rise.

So NASA blares gigantic titles, to make its sponsors feel good about themselves, and thus expecting their gratitude: NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses. In truth, all what NASA saw was:  NASA study: ALTITUDE Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses. Altitude is not mass. Oops!

However, the NASA map clearly shows something OMINOUS is going on. Antarctica is quite a bit like the space shuttle Columbia warmed by the hot fluid during its final re-entry in the Earth atmosphere. All the area in grey, green and a fortiori blue are losing altitude. They are not anymore north, or warmer: it is that water is sneaking in below, melting the ice which then contracts. Hence the loss of altitude, because ice occupies (roughly) ten percent more volume than water of the same mass.

So NASA’s map shows, at a glance, that around 10% of Antarctica is undermined by water (or then is in a zone of thinning due to accelerated flow, caused by underlining water, or proximity of underlying water accelerating and thining glacial flow).

But this is not all: the areas undermined and sinking, thus invaded by water below, are the gateways of the West Antarctic Ice Shield (WAIS), the Wilkes Basin, and the Aurora Basin.

WAIS is 1.97 x 10^6 square kilometers in area (a fifth of the area of the USA, Canada, or China). The ice sheet is more than 2,000 meters thick in many parts, and its icy belly rests 2555 meters below sea level, directly on the rock at its lowest (more than a mile and a half). If warm water got there, the WAIS, or portions thereof, would quickly disintegrate.

Remember the wing on Space Shuttle Columbia? Hot gases penetrated in one gap in the front of the wing, and then went all over inside, disintegrating the innards. Antarctica has at least a dozen similar holes, through which HOT WATER is sneaking in. Under the Totten glacier, the narrow gateway to the giant Aurora Ice Basin, hot water has already penetrated hundreds of kilometers.

More generally, this error of NASA, brings the question of what the scientific method is. One make a theory, and then one finds out whether the theory fits the fact better. If it does, it’s viewed as true (meaning more true). Depending how the new theory fits better and differs more, the difference between the new and the old theory can be viewed as the difference between “truth” and “error”.

That water is coming up below the ice explains SLR. NASA’s theory does not. This makes my theory experimentally superior to NASA. This is traditional evaluation of the correctness of one scientific theory relative to another.

However, there is more. I claim that when comparing scientific theories, one cannot just judge if one theory fits the known facts better.

An example is the theory of glaciations. It was started by a Frenchman in the early Nineteenth Century. The key observation was that huge continents are bunched around the North Pole, so their insolation is sensitive to Earth’s orbital elements.

The theory was launched by Joseph Alphonse Adhémar (1797–1862), a French mathematician. He published this fundamental idea in 1842, in his book Revolutions of the Sea.[1] It took 160 years, and sophisticated computers to check that the theory was right.

So what was the difference? The idea. A new complexity. Adhémar introduced the completely new idea, that astronomical forces changed earth’s climate. It was a new dimension of complexity (at the time scientists, including Goethe, had just uncovered the existence of past extensive glaciations).

The difference between an erroneous, obsolete theory and a better one is often an addition of logical dimension(s). Thus Einstein’s “General Relativity” predicted a faster precession of the perihelion of Mercury, because time slows down closer to the massive sun. This was the introduction of a new element of complexity: classical mechanics, but with VARIABLE time.

Similarly, my theory on Antarctica introduces a new element: water. That element not considered by NASA adds a logical dimension. That makes my theory more sophisticated. When comparing theories, one has to compare not just their experimental predictions, but their logical sophistication.

Patrice Ayme’