Archive for the ‘CO2’ Category

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:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-output-coal/china-june-coal-output-hits-record-high-as-miners-ramp-up-ahead-of-summer-idUSKCN1UA07O

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:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/ 

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. 

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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

Rogue State Australia, Burned Alive For Its Greenhouse Ecocide

January 4, 2020

Can a democracy become rogue? It happened to the best. One of the reasons Athens lost her war with Sparta (financed by Persia) was that Athens behaved several times as a rogue state. Complete with holocausts of the innocent (Mylos).

Some states will profit from global heating due to man-made greenhouse gases: Canada, Russia, Scandinavian countries, and even the US, thanks to enormous Alaska (empty and soon to come with a temperate climate; I saw the changes by myself, and was amazed). 

Most states will see complex changes from the increasing greenhouse: one could even imagine Saudi Arabia becoming greener… 

However, in many states, disaster lays in wait: low lying islands will disappear; it may be impossible to make polders in Florida, as the ground is porous. Australia is, of course, a most threatened continent, due to its already dessicated state. But Australia was founded on the psychological principle of unbounded exploitation. As in many Anglo-Saxon colonizing countries, this had the advantage of exterminating the Natives. Around 3% of Australians are descendants of the Aborigines… whereas in neighboring French controlled New Caledonia, descendants of Natives are more than 50%… Australia massacred its Aborigines… for example down to the last in Tasmania… whereas France protected hers.)

As recently as the late Twentieth Century, the Australian government, according to the UN definition, committed genocide (by mass separating children from their Arborigine parents; Canada did the same, at the same time, showing it was an Anglo-Saxon trick).

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In the eyes of Australian exploiters, we are all Aborigines.

Australia fossil fuel export are a very large part of the CO2 problem. It’s mostly Australian plutocrats, not common people, who profited from those exports. Greenpeace activists trying to disrupt Australian Coal exports at Newcastle, Australia. Australia Is out to smother us all.

Australia is the world’s third biggest exporter and fifth biggest miner of fossil fuel in the world.

Common wisdom has it that Australia is responsible for only 1.2% of global emissions at home. However, the Australia Institute says it trails only Russia and Saudi Arabia in exporting fossil fuels.

When exports and what is burned at home in Australia to generate power, are combined, Australia ranks fifth behind China, the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia in responsibility for carbon dioxide from extractive fossil industries.

The findings of the report – that Australia plays a greater role in the climate crisis than usual global greenhouse accounting rules suggest – is not new. , but it goes further than some previous analyses in comparing exports emissions from different countries.

Australia on fire, January 2, 2020. The whole thing will burn down. Any questions?

Roughly the situation seems to be this: Australia, per capita, may emit as much as 25 tons of CO2 per person, per year… by comparison, the world average is 5 tons… And that’s exactly what France archives. In any case, at least 20 tons. 

Domestically, indeed, Australia is the 14th biggest emitter despite having just 0.3% of the global population. The continent country emits absolutely more greenhouse gas than 40 countries with bigger populations. Australian emissions have increased year-on-year since the abolition of a carbon price scheme in 2014.

However, once exports of fossil fuels extracted in Australia are accounted for, that already horrific number is multiplied. Looking at the numbers, it seems that, if domestic fossil fuel usage is 5, exports are 12. In other words, Australia’s per person contribution to the CO2 crisis would be at least 80 tons of CO2 per person, per year. By comparison, a Permanent UN Security Council member such as France, with the world’s third nuclear arsenal, essential to the defense of the West, contributes, per person, around only 7%, in CO2 emissions, of what Australia, with less than a third of the population of France, contributes!  

The fact Australia is poisoning us all, simply because Australian are submitted to their manipulative plutocrats, is a world SECURITY problem. It’s not just moral. The situation of wealthy fuel exporters with a diversified economy is different from say, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or the UAE. Saudi Arabia has little choice (tourism?) Indonesia has also little choice. However, Canada, Australia, or Russia, or Norway, do NOT HAVE ANY EXCUSES. They are nasty, rogue states, and their citizens, when not aware of the problem, are part of the problem!

Australia is responsible for 7% of global fossil fuel exports as measured on their carbon dioxide conversion. Australia’s coal exports doubled between 2000 and 2015 and now make up 29% of the global coal trade. Liquefied natural gas exports tripled over the same timeframe to 6% of trade, and continue to increase. 

Australian leaders have boasted that their country has known of no recession in the last 30 years, or so. Right. But it was a Faustian bargain: they achieved this by selling their soul, and their fossil fuels, to the Devil (mostly China).

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: Observe that the perennation of the plutocratic spirit: plutocracy, Pluto-kratia, Evil-power, enabled Australia, as a state, to engage in holocaust against the Aborigines (not an exaggeration: 100% elimination of the Aborigines in Tasmania, a much better score than Hitler with the Jews). This satanic mindset extended up to the 1970s (separation of the children!) Now it has extended to the entire planet, we are all Aborigines being smothered, cooked and soon boiled by the Aussies.

Plutocracy, once established is not just an oligarchy, it’s the Dark Side fully empowered, and power is effect and main expression, thus it’s very persistent: states given to plutocracy can only be cured by greater power, that is, violent revolution.

Also notice this: present day Australians, whose ancestors recently arrived, can only be viewed as renters, momentary stewards of the land. They just don’t have the right to devastate, eliminate and exterminate the Great Barrier Reef, a victim not just of the Global Heating, but also of Australian intensive agriculture (those plutocrats again!).

Same as Australia didn’t have a right to exterminate the Aborigines, a crime against humanity…

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

Greta The Child, And Growth, The Way

September 23, 2019

Hmmm… Greta went to the United Nations. I agree with her tone and her mood. However, as she said, she should be back at school… my school. Her attacks against growth and technology are as intelligent as hitting one’s head on a wall to escape a prison, instead of going through the open door, just on the right.

Indeed solutions to the CO2 crisis, or, more exactly, catastrophe, exists, right now… But powerful fossil fuel interests and fake ecologists enabling them, have prevented to grab those solutions.

Greta says the best thing to do is “INFORM YOURSELF” (right) and “DEMOCRACY” (but that has to be really understood, what the concept of democracy is). Well, I am informed: hydrogen, nuclear, photovoltaics, and… referenda…

Greta Thunberg to “world leaders” accusing them of “your betrayal”:

“My message is that we’ll be watching you.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

“You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

“So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

“To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

“Thank you.”

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 (yes, those exist, they are made by French company Alstom, and are being deployed in Germany: they produce only water) hydrogen ships, too, etc. [1]

There are no technology to suck up CO2, this side of thermonuclear terraforming reactors… aside from big old trees, sequoia style…

A cocktail of hydrogen, photovoltaics and nuclear, all of them existing technologies could solve the CO2 crisis 100% (modulo a number of political reasons).

Greta Thunberg “refuses to believe” our leaders are “evil”. Why? So she can socialize with them some more, and feel good so doing? Why does she think they are leaders, like Greek tyrants of old? If not perverted by greed for power? She is angry against the creeps, but then she says they aren’t evil… But, once again, all these solutions could have been implemented 20 years ago. They were not, out of sheer perversion. When looking at political leaders, one looks at perversion, most of the time, so history tells us.

Instead what? Germany decided to shut down nuclear power, while opening lignite coal, full throttle. But, don’t worry, said those fools, we will put a windmill in every backyard.

Except windmills, 200 meters tall (700 feet), are noisy, unsightly, and kill birds… So now in parts of Germany, after huge protests, those monstrous installations turn only at slow speed in the day, to spare the birds… supposing they allow to let people sleep… So, yes, wind doesn’t work well, but photovoltaics, in combination with hydrogen or ammonia, for storage, works splendidly… At low or medium latitudes…

“… fairy tales of eternal economic growth” Greta says, making growth sounds tumoral, or like the Nazi extermination program… Well, we are going to Mars, preferably with nuclear rockets… What about that? We need to spread the growth out of our primary spaceship, Earth. So doing we will learn spaceship ecological tricks we can back apply to our main starship, Earth. Once we learn how to live in lava tube on the Moon, or Mars, the rest should be easy….

We need to grow out of this…

Lao Tseu and others tried to look for “the way”. Amusingly, this CO2 catastrophe shows us the way, the one and only way: more and better tech and wisdom!

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Advanced tech would enable us to make nuclear reactors which can’t be weaponized (Thorium), or with little waste (Thorium again, but also fourth generation reactors), or even ways to destroy nuclear waste (using thermonuclear torches)… The gross propaganda against nuclear is fossil fuels in disguise… This doesn’t mean I support second generation, weaponizable nuclear reactors: I don’t.

Nature Collapsing, Plutocracy Thriving

May 6, 2019

Both phenomena are related. The more nature collapses, the more plutocracy thrives (see the multi-centennial fall of Rome, for reference). Small people and other losers have no interest to see nature collapse. However, plutocracy does. Because Pluto-Kratia, Evil-Power, is best expressed and justified during war-like states, and civilizational collapse sure qualifies.

Plutocracy survived the collapse of the Roman and Carolingian empires with flying colors. In the Roman case, most noble families had a bishop in their midst. The collapse of the Renovated Empire of the Romans (Renovatio Imperii Romanorum) and its renewal by the Ottos and Capets brought the feudal order, another plutocratic success.

Now is no different: we have a terminal CO2 crisis bringing in extreme, sudden temperature, acidification and ocean rises: 1% of US CO2 is from state subsidized private jets. Nobody notices, because media have made sure to create entire generations just preoccupied by celebrities, not by what is going on, which is really most significant.

Nor has the media been keen to notice the likes of Biden annihilated the Banking Act of 1933, in the 1990s, bringing in in the age of the financial plutocracy… itself a heavy financier of fossil fuels. So all what some schools are thinking of is installing “Apps”, and plastic grass, instead of teaching sustainable global citizenship. We are cruising towards an apocalypse, at an increasing pace: the Sixth Mass Extinction. The United Nations just came up (May 6, 2019) with an analysis made by 132 countries and 455 scientists: one million species are disappearing. For example, nearly all amphibians.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/06/world/one-million-species-threatened-extinction-humans-scn-intl/index.html

One problem with burning forests in the tropics is that what is left are often extremely poor soils (differently from northern European soils, which are very forgiving, explaining in great part why north west Europe replaced the Greco-Roman world…) Cattle grazing on a tract of illegally cleared Amazon forest in Pará State, Brazil. In most major land habitats, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century,,, [Credit
Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times]
In Africa, burned forest is often replaced by lateritis, a soil which is red, baked, hard… for the good reason that it is full of Aluminum.

It is the Sixth Mass Extinction, but this time the dinosaurs have thermonuclear weapons.

What to do? Get involved, get aware, protest. Protests can become unbearable to the powers that be.

This is the way the fascist government of Brunei on the island of Borneo was just dealt with. It drew powerful international condemnation when it rolled out its interpretation of sharia laws on April 3. Now, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, reverted his decision: after all, the country won’t enforce Islamic laws that include stoning to death for rape, adultery and gay sex.

Killing all the people who got killed in World War Two was atrocious. However, what is now unfolding has the potential to be way way worse. Einstein said he didn’t know which weapons will be used to fight World War Three, but next it would be sticks and stones. That was naively optimistic. If we acidify further the ocean with acid from CO2, we may kill the Earth’s oxygen making mechanism. Not really news, as this was clear five years ago already:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/global-hypoxia/  

Many behave as if there will be no tomorrow, because they feel that way! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, it has to be resisted.

What’s needed, beyond recording what’s going on, is interpreting it, going beyond, building ideas, and moods meant to last. Only deeper thinking can do this, and ensure a planet capable of lasting. Because we are not at the regional level anymore. When climate change, plus nefarious human impact, forced the Harappan civilization to abandon its homeland, the Indus valley, it was dealing with forces it had no idea existed. Maybe there are such forces out there. But there are also plenty of forces we can see, and which are plenty lethal enough, at civilizational scale, and the scale of the entire biosphere. Stop. And think. One million species are marching towards extinction, among the plants and animals we know.

Patrice Ayme

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From NYT:

WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday [May 6, 2019] in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

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Weathering Reinforced Orbital Glaciation Theory

January 15, 2019

I suggested that one could absorb CO2 by deliberately watering vast hot expanses of basalt and, or calcium or magnesium bearing tropical wastelands.
Friend Ian Miller pointed out in a comment that crushing rocks to achieve this required energy. I replied that, actually, I have seen immense expanses of desert in North America, South America, Mexico, Iran, Africa with such rock in a pulverulent form: no need to crush them, they are already completely crushed.

Then I remembered the Sahara, with thousands of kilometers of such pitiless desert. The highest mountain in the Sahara, as in Iran, is a volcano… But then I also remembered seeing prehistoric paintings there, of bucolic hunting scenes complete with hippopotamuses and trees… Imagine: that’s now an absolute desert: seeing one tree is seeing a miracle (one such tree is called “l’arbre du Tibesti”; it’s many thousands years old…).. Ah, but then, when the Sahara was wet, the watering, and the weathering, were achieved! CO2 was withdrawn from the atmosphere!

The white substance is natron, well-known to the Egyptians, in a giant caldera, the Trou au Natron, at the foot of an enormous shield volcano in Chad… In the middle of the Sahara. And not the largest volcano there. The cliffs are 1,000 meters tall. Yes, this all absorbs CO2 when wet…

So I suggest this: glaciations, in the last 2.75 million years were accentuated, reinforced by CO2 absorption from chemically interacting with rocks in the desert. Indeed, during glaciations, the giant circulation cells which create the arid subtropics are less aggressive and move south: the deserts become wet and green.

Now make no mistake: I am NOT saying that the orbital glaciation theory is false. I am just correcting it. I am adding a factor. The orbital theory of glaciation says that glaciations occur when it is too cold in July-August to melt snows in the Northern Hemisphere… where the continents mostly are (the southern equivalent is mostly ice-free: it’s an ocean, the “Roaring Forties”). The theory was first suggested by French mathematicians Joseph Alphonse Adhémar (1797–1862) who computed that ice ages were controlled by astronomical forces in his 1842 book Revolutions of the Sea. The idea is now associated with Milankovitch’s name. The theory’s recent Computer simulations show that this is (roughly) correct… Although various sticky mysteries remain.

I am just suggesting that the glaciating effect found by pure orbital and Earth rotation dynamics is amplified by the mechanism of CO2 diminution from rock chemistry I just described, in this essay and the preceding one.
Indeed orbital effects come short of explaining what is observed. Simulations and paleoclimate analysis show that the variation in Earth’s climate is much more extreme than the variation in the intensity of solar radiation calculated as the Earth’s orbit evolves. Methane release and the like doesn’t cut it yet. If orbital forcing causes climate change, and it does, science needs to explain why the observed glaciation effect is amplified compared to the theoretical, purely astronomical effect.

I just did.

Patrice Ayme

How To Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere: Water Volcanic, Calcium & Magnesium Desertic Tropical Ranges. Contemplate Indonesia!

January 13, 2019

DID INDONESIA CAUSE THE LAST THREE MILLION YEARS OF GLACIATION? SOLVING THE CO2 CATASTROPHE BY ACTIVE, FEASIBLE REMOVAL:

In the last 500 million years, three-quarters of the time or so, the planet enjoyed a hot, Jurassic style climate. It was not the case during the evolution of the genus Homo, one characteristic of which is the ability to endure cold and even subpolar climate. Enormous glaciations then rolled in, one after the other. What happened? Well, the mystery has now been unveiled.

This is not just a curiosity. Indeed, said discovery provides us with a solution to the CO2 catastrophe: just water dry tropical volcanic ranges and similar areas with plenty of calcium and magnesium, and the CO2 will be removed, stabilizing the atmosphere. Watering those particular mineral areas provides with a believable mechanism to decrease CO2 when enormous amounts of cheap clean energy is available… in a generation or two. (This is the first plausible mechanism ever suggested to do so!)

***

Sacred mountain of Zoroastrianism, the major historical religion of civilization, Mount Damavand is the highest point in Iran higher than the Alps or even the Caucasus. It is an active volcano in full sight of gigantic Teheran. The gas and fumaroles on top was a problem when I circled the crater. This is the northern side, facing the Caspian sea, a lush area. Other sides are extremely dry, and I propose to water them. That of course would require gigantic, power-hungry engineering beyond the capability of present civilization.

Global climate change around 3–4 Million years ago influenced the evolution of hominids, via the aridification of Africa, and what happened next, the Pleistocene glaciation about 2.75 Myr ago… thereafter the Earth’s climate suffered rolling glaciations… while human species evolved ever faster.

Most explanations of these climatic events used to involve changes in circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean due to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama. The idea is that a strong current of warm water was going north from the Pacific, joining, and augmenting the Gulf Stream, thus preventing any ice to form in the Arctic. With no ice in the Arctic, the albedo of Earth was significantly lower, thus all these infrared, instead of being sent back to space by reflecting snows, were trapped in the Arctic. A warm Arctic brought temperatures up, overall.

However, the closure of the Indonesian seaway 3–4 Myr ago could also be responsible for these climate changes: it acts similarly to the contemporaneous Panama closing (but as we will see, Indonesia does more than Panama). Closing the Indonesian seaway brought the aridification of Eastern Africa. The simplest theory and results from ocean circulation modelling show that the displacement of mighty New Guinea, about 5 Myr ago, at 100 kilometers per million years, going north, and west, closed the seaway. (But not just that, as we will see.)

That would have switched the source of flow through Indonesia—from warm South Pacific to relatively cold North Pacific waters (all waters below 100 meters are now blocked by narrow, shallow straights inside the Indonesian archipelago). This blockage would have decreased sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, leading to reduced rainfall over Eastern Africa. Changes in the equatorial Western Pacific, by making heat stagnate there, probably reduced atmospheric heat transport from the tropics to higher latitudes, stimulating global cooling around the poles, and the eventual growth of ice sheets., which, in turn, cooled the planet further!

All of a sudden, shallow waters all over! The right side, the gigantic island of New Guinea, moved north, but also west, at 100 kilometers per million years, strangling the Indonesian seaway, starting 5 millions years ago (coincident with the same in Mesoamerica) This blocked the Earth’s warmest waters to enter the Indian ocean.

But there is another way in which Indonesia enters the climatic picture: CO2 removal by chemical reaction with basaltic rocks. This happened because the tectonic collisions caused the rise of high mountains, hence intense weathering.

***.

Basalt Make CO2 Into Rock:

Basalt generally has a composition of 45–55 % SiO2, 2–6 wt% total alkalis, 0.5–2.0% TiO2, 5–14 wt% FeO and 14% or more Al2O3. Contents of CaO are commonly near 10%, those of MgO commonly in the range 5 to 12%.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Immediate conclusion: if one adds CO2 to basalt, one should be able to make limestone. Indeed:

When CO2 is in presence of water, it reacts and makes carbonic acid. Putting lots of CO2 into water makes a Seltzer water which is acidic enough to destroy basalt. The low pH water (3.2) worked to dissolve the calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates (which are whitish). Cores drilled into experimental sites in basalt showed rock with the tell-tale white carbonates occupying the pore spaces. Roughly it seems that 100 kilograms of basalt turned 50 kilograms of CO2 into rock. So far so good… One could locate power plants on top of basalt flows? Probably not: the process costs of the order of $17 a ton… That would augment the cost of burning oil by 20% (back of envelope computation in my head)… One has to understand the cheapest energy is already photovoltaic energy… In 2018…

Researchers tagged the CO2 they injected in basalt, 600 meters down, with carbon-14, a radioactive form of carbon. None of the injected CO2 was leaking back to the surface or finding its way out through a distant watercourse, as no radioactivity came out: the capture of CO2 by basalt is highly efficient.

***

Indonesia is sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere:

Many mountains in Indonesia and New Guinea consist of ancient volcanic rocks from belching volcanoes caused by subduction of various tectonic plates. When ocean floors were caught in a colossal tectonic collision between a chain of island volcanoes and a continent, those volcanic  rocks were thrust high. Lashed by warm tropical, acidic, corrosive, penetrating rains, these basaltic rocks react with CO2 sequestering the product inside the basalt. That is why, with only 2% of the world’s land area, Indonesia accounts for 10% of its long-term CO2 absorption. Its mountains could explain why massive ice sheets have persisted, waxing and waning, for several million years: evidence shows that the normal state of the planet in the last half a billion years, is a hothouse, with crocodiles all the way to the north of Greenland…

Researchers claim to have found that such tropical mountain-building collisions in wet areas coincide with nearly all of the half-dozen or so significant glacial periods in the past 500 million years. “These types of environments, through time, are what sets the global climate,” said Francis Macdonald, a geologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. (December 2018). If Earth’s CO2 has a machine producing it, the rise of mountains like Indonesia’s could be it.

Long-term changes in the planet’s temperature are governed by shifts in CO2 atmospheric density. Plate tectonics refurbishes continually the planet’s surface. For decades, scientists have debated what turned the CO2 on, to the dramatic extent it did. Volcanoes were long prime suspects. Volcanoes erupt where plates dive beneath one another. By spewing carbon from Earth’s interior, they could turn up the thermostat. That was the idea. But it’s a bit stupid: CO2 was in atmosphere, gets captured by rocks, sediments, gets buried, and then belched out: it sounds like a rather quick (on a geological scale) zero sum game: what comes in comes right out…

Rock weathering of massive mountain ranges, seems a smarter approach: it depends on mountain building driven by plate tectonics. Indeed, sometimes there are giant mountain ranges, as big, or bigger than the present Himalayas. Sometimes, most often, not: as observed, the planet is a hot-house ¾ of the time, just as there are no massive wet tropical ranges, most of the time.

The Hercynian range, which spans the Appalachians, Scotland, and countless ranges in Europe, is still here for all to see (started 480 millions ago, it became Himalayan like when Africa collided with North America as part of the construction of Pangea).

When tropical mountains contain seafloor rocks rich in calcium and magnesium, they react with CO2 dissolved in rainwater to form limestone, which is eventually buried on the ocean floor. Both processes matter in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, This also explains why there were gigantic amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in the Carboniferous era, and they mysteriously vanished: they are in all these rocks, such as all these limestone ranges….

Having the right rocks to drive the CO2-chewing reaction is not sufficient. Climate matters, as I said. For example, the Siberian Traps, a region that saw devastating volcanic eruptions 252 million years ago, are rich in such rocks but absorb little CO2: it’s too damn cold, the chemistry doesn’t happen much because of the cold (details aren’t clear yet).

More clearly, in Arabia, one finds plenty of heat and volcanic rocks, but the solvent, water, is absent: CO2 rains down as carbonic acid after reacting with water… But only then. So… If could make it rain in Arabia, we could eliminate massive amounts of CO2. @,lacks another ingredient. “It’s hotter than Hades but it doesn’t rain.” Indonesia’s location in the rainy tropics is just right. “That is probably what’s keeping us centered in an ice age,” Kent adds.

***

The Preceding Suggests THE Viable, Sustainable and Definitive Remedy to the CO2 catastrophe:

Lots of cockmaniacal plans have been proposed to mitigate the CO2 catastrophe (Harvard, the Pluto university, is going to try to throw a veil on the atmosphere… although that won’t solve the CO2 problem, but trust the nasty to come up with nastier…)

Some of mitigation of CO2 will happen naturally: as, and if, the Siberian Traps become tropical, and if it rains there much, CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere. More generally, as the entire planet warms, it moistens up, and all volcanic zones of the planet become CO2 absorbing: this is a natural way to prevent CO2 from raising so much the planet boils.

Practically, if one finally masters thermonuclear power, and, or, photovoltaic energy becomes super cheap, one could make it rain artificially (or massively water) dry tropical volcanic rock areas (such as Arabia, Iran). Thus one would remove enormous quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. That will have to be done by 2100, just to stabilize the climate in the standard hothouse, the Jurassic mode ( what Trump calls a “super climate”), with sea level ten meters higher and crocodiles in Newfoundland…

Over the past few years, academic Macdonald and his collaborators have searched for other times when tectonics and climate could have conspired to open an Indonesia-size CO2 sink. They found that glacial conditions 90 million and 50 million years ago lined up neatly with the collisions of a chain of island volcanoes in the now-vanished equatorial Neo-Tethys Ocean with the African and Asian continents. A similar collision some 460 million years ago started to form the Appalachians, but it was thought to have taken place in the subtropics, where a drier climate (from trade winds) does not favor weathering. By reanalyzing ancient magnetic fields in rocks formed in the collision, Macdonald’s team found the mountains actually rose deep in the tropics. And their uplift matched a 2-million-year-long glaciation. “They’re developing a pretty compelling story that this was a climate driver in Earth’s past,” says Lee Kump, a paleoclimatologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Those cases are not exceptions. Indeed, the team compiled a database of every tectonic “suture”—the linear features left by tectonic collisions—known to contain ophiolites, characteristic pieces of sea floor, and pillow lavas and the like, volcanic sea floor, over the past half-billion years. Based on magnetism in each suture’s rocks and a model of continental drift, they mapped their ancient latitudes to see which formed in the warm and rainy tropics, and when. “We were surprised that this is not as complicated as we thought,” Macdonald said.

The team compared the results to records of past glaciations and found a strong correlation. They also looked for declines in volcanism, which might have cooled the climate (from lessening of CO2 emissions). But their influence was much weaker, Macdonald said.

A recent study challenges the mountain CO2 weathering-thermostat notion with evidence for the importance of volcanoes (as I said, it has to be rather a zero sum, when considering volcanoes from subduction, because what goes in comes pretty fast out!) The study used ages from thousands of zircons, durable crystals that can indicate volcanic activity, to show that upticks in volcanic emissions were the dominant force driving the planet’s warm periods. But there are two types of volcanisms: what I call “core volcanism” (“Traps”, Large Igneous Provinces, LIPs) brings in massive amounts of fresh CO2 from way down inside the mantle… It’s likely both streams of ideas have at least one hand on the truth.

The beauty of absorption by volcanic rocks of CO2 is that it explains not just why glaciations start, but also why they stop.

A hothouse Earth appears to be the planet’s default state, prevailing for three-fourths of the past 500 million years. We will have it again by 2100: the dice are thrown, it’s in the air.

An Indonesia-style collision may push the global climate into a glacial period, but only for a while. Mountains erode and continents drift. And the planet warms again.

Science doesn’t just bring understanding, it brings also the means to act on the universe. Now we have the trick to reduce CO2… (And I am, by the way, the first to propose it: massive watering of the desiccated zones!) To give us the means, we have to keep on deploying photovoltaic energy and thermonuclear reactors (I say “deploying”, because there is plenty of evidence that a massive thermonuclear reactor could work: the bigger, the more efficient, it’s a matter of mass against surface).

The alternative to the solution to the CO2 catastrophe by weathering and geological chemistry is a CO2 driven holocaust. Developing science and technology is not just profitable, pleasant, and human. It is also the moral thing to do. And the only moral solution to CO2 there is.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

P/S: By public request, a partial list of references supporting the research above:

References: Closing of the Indonesian seaway as a precursor to east African aridification around 3–4 million years ago
Mark A. Cane & Peter Molnar
Nature volume 411, pages 157–162 (10 May 2001)

Swanson-Hysell, N.L. and Macdonald, F.A., 2017. Tropical weathering of the Taconic orogeny as a driver for Ordovician cooling, Geology, G38985. 1.

(That was 440 million years ago, and the continents looked nothing like now; only Siberia is recognizable… It was a free floating continent…)

Tropical uplift may set Earth’s thermostat
Paul Voosen
Science 04 Jan 2019:

For scary, or when Antarctica partially melted under similar conditions to what we are going to get within a decade:

Antarctic ice melt 125,000 years ago offers warning
Paul Voosen
Science 21 Dec 2018:

 

Don’t Underestimate Earth’s Violence: Permian Mass Extinction Boosted By Ozone Destroying Gases

November 29, 2018

This is a violent universe. We are a violent species making peace in a violent universe, and it’s not easy. Even those who loudly advocate non-violence often end up feeding even more violence than if they had stayed silent. An example is the US peaceniks in the 1930s, who, anxious to appease the fascists and the gods of war, they claimed, refused entry to millions of refugees… including Anne Frank… Who all died (excuses anybody?) 

As violence is omnipresent and can’t be avoided, the next best thing is to understand it, so one can mitigate it. With floods of mind to spill like lava all over the universe… The first thing to understand is that violence is complicated, finely tuned (as demonstrated by the fact Earth itself goes at 30 kilometers per second along her orbit…)

I have argued that one of the secrets of the success of Earth’s biosphere is its powerful nuclear reactor, churning a giant iron ocean below our feet. It brings up a magnetic shield, and a CO2 burying mechanism, let alone nutrient providing volcanism. biological niches instigator…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/life-giving-nuclear-earth-reactor/

Heat transfer from the interior of the intelligence giving planet is not smooth: it happens as catastrophic LIPs, Large Igneous Provinces, enormous eruptions which can last several million years, and create continent sized lava flows, miles thick.

It has long been obvious Siberian hyper volcanism caused the worst mass extinction:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/21/trapped-by-super-tr…/

The new research finding: a massive release of halogens by the eruption plume, made things worse from disappearance of ozone, thus an extreme UV mutagenicity & sterilization. Same for dinosaurs (I say)!

Even nowadays, 250 million years later the Siberian Traps are immensely impressive: everything in the picture above erupted in a cataclysm.

See: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0215-4

“End-Permian extinction amplified by plume-induced release of recycled lithospheric volatiles

Magmatic volatile release to the atmosphere can lead to climatic changes and substantial environmental degradation including the production of acid rain, ocean acidification and ozone depletion, potentially resulting in the collapse of the biosphere. The largest recorded mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred at the end of the Permian, coinciding with the emplacement of the Siberian large igneous province, suggesting that large-scale magmatism is a key driver of global environmental change. However, the source and nature of volatiles in the Siberian large igneous province remain contentious. Here we present halo-gen compositions of sub-continental lithospheric mantle xenoliths emplaced before and after the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts. We show that the Siberian lithosphere is massively enriched in halogens from the infiltration of subducted seawater-derived volatiles and that a considerable amount (up to 70%) of lithospheric halogens are assimilated into the plume and released to the atmosphere during emplacement. Plume–lithosphere interaction is therefore a key process control-ling the volatile content of large igneous provinces and thus the extent of environmental crises, leading to mass extinctions during their emplacement.”

Siberian Traps today. Putorana-Taymir peninsula. Imagine all this as it was 250 million years ago: red-hot lava… Kilometers thick

The demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention. However an even more disastrous event called “the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all species of life on the planet. (Yes, it seems those extinction tend to happen every 200 million years, because blobs come up cyclically, as in a well-named “lava lamp”.)

The cause of the extinction was a massive volcanic eruption in what is contemporary Siberia in Russia, known as the “Siberian flood basalts.” What’s remarkable, the eruptions lasted for about one million years. (The eruption which caused the demise of dinosaurs lasted much longer, but peaked around the demise of these type of beasts, and many other types, such as ammonites… See my link above)

The recent study’s lead author Michael Broadley, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Petrographic and Geochemical Research in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France, observed: “The scale of this extinction was so incredible that scientists have often wondered what made the Siberian Flood Basalts so much more deadly than other similar eruptions”. I had the same objection brought up to me by a top paleontologist. This friend of mine favored the (energetically nonsensical) asteroid collision explanation of the demise of the dinosaurs. It is usually claimed that the LIP of the Cretaceous was not the largest… When, actually, the two places on Earth with giant LIP in full evidence are the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps…

Siberian Traps mapped. In violet: lava, In red: tuff (ashes, more or less crystallized together). 2 million square kilometers, roughly Western Europe, in area, and up to 4 million cubic kilometers… That is 4,000 times more voluminous than the largest asteroid imaginable crossing Earth’s orbit. 4,000 times the volume is the problem with asteroid theories of extinctions… Moreover, those 4,000,000 cubic kilometers of lava of the Traps were accompanied of much larger volumes of hot gases…. Same reasoning holds for the “dinosaur” extinction, the KT boundary… 

The Permian extinction affected not only larger animals, decimating about 70 percent of their species, but also killed off 96 percent of the world’s marine life, as well as countless insects. It inflicted such a loss of biodiversity that it took another 10 million years for the ecosystem to bounce back. Interestingly, large species which could burrow survived… and soon their descendants became “mammalian reptiles”… appearing dozens of millions of years before dinosaurs…

The explanation in plain language? The geologists aver that the instigated volcanic eruption was not just massive, but the plume carried massive quantities of halogen gases which destroyed the Earth’s ozone layer at the time. They found this by analyzing the composition of the lithosphere — the hard outer part of the planet, which includes the crust and the upper mantle. Before the Siberian Flood Basalts happened, the Siberian lithosphere featured much chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all chemical elements from the halogen group. Notably, breathing gas containing these elements is highly toxic and will usually result in death. But after the volcanic eruption, these elements seemingly vanished.

“We concluded that the large reservoir of halogens that was stored in the Siberian lithosphere was sent into the earth’s atmosphere during the volcanic explosion, effectively destroying the ozone layer at the time and contributing to the mass extinction,” Broadley elaborated.

Something similar happened with the Cretaceous extinction. As the time before last, animals which could burrow tended to survive… So did those with high metabolism, and the capacity to keep warm, as mammals and birds, or to lay supine and hibernate (crocs, turtles, snakes, etc.) Indeed at the end of the Cretaceous, temperatures collapsed (how the polar dinosaurs, who could survive cold winters, disappeared is probably a tale of its own… not yet told…)

***

It’s fashionable to whine we humans are violent beasts. Sure. Yes, indeed. So what? We can leave our dent on this hyper violent universe, precisely because we, too, can be violent. Yes, covering the planet with agriculture is violent (many hate the new Brazilian president, just because he dares to want to do what North Americans and Europeans long did to their own continents; devastate the biosphere to cultivate their gardens).

Yes we kill and eat animals (and may not need to do this much longer). This is how we rose. So here we are, our growing minds having been well fed by enormous quantities of animal vitamins, fat and proteins. And we are starting to understand what more and more all means. To do better than Traps and their LIPs, we need to be more deliberate. That’s called wisdom. We can only brandish our own plumes if we are smart… And the aim of all this human activity, this human violence onto the universe? Not to flood continents with lava, but the universe, with mind.

Patrice Ayme

 

Is The United Nations The Greatest Enemy Of The Climate?

October 9, 2018

In its latest report on climate change, October 2018, UN now claims that climate warming caused by human activities is reversible. That absurd claim is much more damaging than Trump clownish positions on climate change and coal. And yet, contrarily to what UN scientists claim, overshooting the target, and then cooling off will probably not work, because of nonlinear effects. Once ice is gone, ice doesn’t come back easily.

Climate change, so far, has been linear: every year a bit warmer, a bit more CO2. That’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the planet could switch to a Jurassic regime.

The UN scientific report on climate change claims that, in the likelihood that governments fail to avert 1.5 degree Centigrade (2.7 degrees F for US primitives) of warming, another scenario is possible: The world could overshoot that target, heat up by more than 2 C (3.6 F) degrees, and then through a combination of lowering emissions and deploying carbon capture technology, bring the temperature back down below the 1.5C (2.7F) degree threshold.

In that utopical UN climate round trip scenario, some damage would be irreversible, the report claims. (yes, sure, *some*). All coral reefs would die. However, the sea ice that would disappear in the hotter scenario would return once temperatures had cooled off, bleats the UN… The ice will return? This is unproven and most certainly FALSE: once the albedo of the Arctic is changed, it won’t come back, and the Arctic ocean will heat up. The Arctic ocean already contains enough heat 50 meters below its surface, to melt said frozen surface completely.

See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/prediction-the-arctic-will-melt-suddenly/

The global temperature graph up to 2018. One seems to see an overall acceleration, a nonlinearity, an exponential drawing itself… Exponentiation is the typical nonlinearity.

For governments, the idea of overshooting the target but then coming back to it is attractive because then they don’t have to make such rapid changes,” Dr. Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University and an author of the report, said. “But it has a lot of disadvantages.” Yeah: like it won’t happen. Cheap enough CO2 capture, for example, doesn’t exist.  

Says NYT:

A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies. The Paris agreement set out to make a big wishful thinking about preventing warming of more than two degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as US primitives have it) above preindustrial levels — long considered a threshold for the most severe social and economic damage from climate change. Heads of small island nations, hounded by rising sea levels, also asked scientists to examine the effects of 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming.

Absent aggressive action, many effects once expected only several decades in the future will arrive by 2040, and at the lower temperature, the report shows. “It’s telling us we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy on a dime,” said Myles Allen, an Oxford University climate scientist and an author of the report.

To prevent 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 percent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 percent.

These requirements are not planned by most of the industrialized world. The report concluded that the greenhouse gas reduction pledges put forth under the Paris agreement will not be enough to avoid 2C (3.6 F) degrees of warming.

Despite the policy implications, which go against Trump’s climate skepticism stance, the United States delegation joined more than 180 countries on Saturday in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers. A State Department statement said that “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report… We reiterate that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement at the earliest opportunity absent the identification of terms that are better for the American people,” the statement said. The Trump position has been that a number of provisions of the Paris Accord, such as a 100 billion fund to help the Third World, are unacceptable.  However the fact remains that, after Obama’s giant fracking effort, major US states have the most ambitious sustainable energy programs (especially mighty California).

The UN scientific report emphasizes the necessity of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. “A price on carbon is central to prompt mitigation,” the report concludes. It estimates that to be effective, such a price would have to range from $135 to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030, and from $690 to $27,000 per ton by 2100. 

The cost of fossil-fuel emissions rose to its highest level in more than a decade in Europe, in August 2018, surpassing 20 euros a ton ($23) and adding to the cost of electricity across the continent.

Carbon emission permits have more than quadrupled from less than 5 euros since the middle of 2017 after European Union governments agreed to cut away a surplus that had depressed prices of the CO2 permit market since the financial crisis that started in 2008. Utilities and industrial polluters need the certificates to cover greenhouse gas emissions they produce.

By comparison, in fossil fuel happy USA, under the Obama administration, government economists estimated that an appropriate price on carbon would be in the range of $50 per ton (but they did nothing, as usual in Obama’s administration). Under the Trump administration, that figure was lowered to a ridiculous $7 per ton. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome will say: we told you so. However, in the area of climate change, Trump is mostly wind: he used to be a climate alarmist (not as bad as yours truly). Now Trump has skeptic, because it brings him votes (but in truth he does nothing, same as Obama).

Whereas what the UN is doing by claiming climate change can be reversed, (with sci-fi technology) is diabolical… and will hogtie leaders such as… Trump: how can one justify thorough changes in all of society, while being told, by the UN it’s all for nothing, it’s not necessary? 

What is going on? A form of ubiquitous corruption: scientists who authored the UN report are all, directly or indirectly, government employees. They want to please their employers, so that they can be paid, be influential, and honored. Those employers themselves are trying to please their plutocratic masters (and future employers). So they engineered a completely unrealistic wishful loophole, resting on non-existing technology (efficient, cheap, mass, planetary sized CO2 capture).

9 years ago, I pointed out the UN ignored the potential for a nonlinear climate change catastrophe:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/

Now the UN has done even worse: it claims that climate disasters are coming, but won’t cost that much (1% GDP for 1C of warming), & they are reversible. BS!

Patrice Ayme

Prediction: The Arctic Will Melt Suddenly

September 12, 2018

So far, the Arctic sea ice has melted at a pace which is best fitted with lines. 10.4% per decade, more exactly. It sounds reasonable, in first approximation, to suppose that will keep on that way. However, most changes start, in first approximation, linearly, before fitting higher power curves.

In the case of Arctic sea ice, a number of mechanisms seem possible to go from linear to nonlinear.  For example, the more sea ice melts, the warmer the sea gets, the harder it is to form sea ice. Such a self-feeding mechanism is an exponential.

However, we, humanity just found a huge new mechanism to potentially melt all ice, and it is operative. It is even of our own making! As with the Fall of Rome, one cause leads to others, which then can feed back on the first.

The discovery?

A blob of warm water, 50 meters below the surface of the Arctic ocean. Why does not come to the surface, if it is warmer than the water above it? Because it is abnormally salty, thus denser.

How was it created? The Chukchi Sea has become ice-free much too much of the year. It is just north of the Bering Strait, and lies on top of the flooded Beringia land bridge between Eurasia and North America. So it is shallow: average depth, 71 meters only, and warms up well. The Chukchi Sea warms up so much it becomes salty, and that salty water sneaks north below cold upper waters (it is blocked from going south by the Strait.

The redder, the more heat content in the Chukchi sea… When the Arctic Ocean starts to churn, the sea ice will all melt…Study lead author Professor Mary-Louise Timmermans, of Yale University (yes, a woman) said: We document a striking ocean warming in one of the main basins of the interior Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin… the upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years.

The researchers traced the source to waters hundreds of miles to the south, where reduced sea ice has left the surface ocean more exposed to summer solar warming.

Professor Timmermans added: This means the effects of sea-ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean that can have climate effects well beyond the summer season.

 

What next? A strong storm, an Arctic hurricane (they happen!)  could push cold waters out, and that would force the warm water up. I would venture to say that this is exactly what happened in August 2012 (generating thereafter the smallest Arctic sea ice ever recorded, by a long shot).

The same will happen again in the future, on a grander scale.

And all the Arctic sea ice could melt, thus warming the Arctic ocean enough to melt all ice, and that in turn, could warm up the ocean enough that summer to prevent the return of the ice thereafter…

It goes without saying that, after the Arctic ocean is ice-free, trillions of tons of methane hydrates laying inside the shallow sea floor will fiercely erupt, freeing trillions of tons of methane. It has happened in the past, and can be violent enough for tsunamis. It is actually already started, albeit on a small-scale, relative to what it could become. Methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 25 times the warming power of CO2 (the “forcing” effectiveness to be a bit more technical). Thus our effort to engineer a man-made Jurassic climate will make great strides. Maybe we will see class 5 hurricane strike Canada?

Fun springs eternal!

Let’s re-engineer a few dinosaurs and pterosaurs, once Canada’s Arctic archipelago is covered with forests, as we are at it…

Patrice Ayme