Saving Wildlife from Mass Extinction due to Global Warming

Arctic and Antarctic under Global Warming

Arctic and Antarctic

under

Global Warming

 

Arctic Sea Ice

 

Click on this link to read a wide assortment of articles and reports

       
       

 

 

Disappearing World - The Independent

 

The scariest graph on Earth.

 

Marine mammal are apparently hardly even threatened, when they are, IMHO, critically endangered.

 

 

 

 

Polar bears need sea ice for food, and harp seals need sea ice for birth.

 

 

 

 

If the Arctic sea ice goes, they go.

 

 

 

 

 

Until 2004, the sea ice had been diminishing year after year, but at a steady and predictable rate.

 

 

 

 

Came 2005, and everything changed.

 

 

 

 

First, the rate of ice melt steepened.

 

The sea ice broke up in its southern fringes

 

which withdrew northward by leaps and bounds.

 

The 2005 Canadian seal massacre in Newfoundland was both a humanistic as well as ecological disaster. 

 

 

 

 

 

An Inconvenient Truth

 

A very conservative graph - scenario H2 A1B - 1860-2100.

 

The quota was set at about 300,000 harp seals, but first, an estimate 250,000 baby seals were drowned off the Newfoundland coast due to sea ice break-up.  The sealers moved north from St. John to Cartwright, and still took the 300,000, totaling over half a million baby seals killed in the worst season ever.

 

Arctic ice - Dec. 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Hemisphere see ice anomaly 1979-2007

 

In 2006, the summer sea ice had melted to such an extent that polar bears were found drowned, having exhausted themselves in attempt to reach a distant ice floe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Ice Minimum 1979 vs Sea Ice Minimum 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Ice Minimum 2005 vs Sea Ice Minimum 2007

 

In the summer of 2007, polar bears were found starved to death due to total exhaustion of their winter-stored fat and of their summer food supply resulting from a precipitous melting of sea ice.

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in Sea Ice Extent 1979-2007

 

Sea ice extent - 1979-2005

 

2007 is a highly significant year for global warming, perhaps pivotal in the context of the tipping point of the Arctic tipping environment. 

 

Sea ice extent - 2005-2007

 

 

 

 

 

Sea ice extent - 1979-2007

 

2007 may be the tipping year for the entire Arctic ecosystem, beyond which is abrupt, perhaps irreversible, change.

 

2005 in 1950-2050

 

2005 - in 1900-2100

 

If the ice melt in 2005 was already off scale and worse than the worst case scenario advanced by IPCC, how far off scale would the red graph be by the year 2100?

 

2007 in 1950-2070

 

 

 

Of all the graphs presented in this website, most command serious attention, many cause concerns to some extent in some way, some are even scary, a few are downright stunning, and the odd ones even shocking.  But there is one that caused me to not only make major changes within my personal and scientific frame of reference, but to change the frame of reference itself.  The graph above is self-explanatory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Precipitation, Arctic Ice Extent and Ice Extent Anomaly - 1975-2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up to 2005, 2005 was the year when the Arctic summer sea ice extent reached its smallest since the ice age.

 

 

 

 

 

A patch of ice the size of Florida lost in one year.

 

The similarity between art and science:

 

The artist and the scientist both exclaim, "Oh my God!"

 

The difference between

 

Art and Science

 

The artist whispers in awe, "How Beautiful!"

 

 

The scientist is stunned into silence.

 

 

In 2004, scientists predicted that

 

 

 

 

 

 the Arctic summer would be 85% ice-free by 2100.

 

 

 

In 2008, scientists updated the prediction to that

 

the Artic summer will be 100% ice-free by 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

Land Ice and Glaciers

 

 

 

McCarty Glacier

Alaska

1909-2004

 

Upsala Glacier

Argentina

1928-2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a major difference between sea ice and land ice.  When sea ice melts, it does not raise the sea level, but not so land ice.

 

 

 

 

 

The ice on Greenland, Iceland and Antarctica are all land ice

 

as are the glaciers on the mountains on all latitudes.

 

 

 

 

Greenland is melting

 

 

 

 

 

and there is no stopping it

 

 

 

 

 

even if we stopped  burning fossil fuel yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

Bacterial mat takes over.

 

 

 

And the Arctic biome crashes.

 

 

 

 

 

Let this be a wreath for the glaciers bygone.

 

 

 

 

PERMAFROST MELTDOWN!

 

 

 

The title is colored red

 

and given a CAPITAL stature

 

 

 

 

 

 

and bears an exclamation!

 

because I consider it

 

the most dangerous phenomenon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on Earth today.

 

 

 

 

 

And the cause of this phenomenon

 

 

 

 

 

is none other than ourselves.

 

 

 

 

"Drunken trees", with the permafrost thawing beneath them

 

paying our species the ultimate compliment - imitation.

 

 

 

The permafrost melting is like a huge Pandora's box opening

 

 

 

releasing a demon more devastating than all the weapons on Earth combined

 

 

 

and certainly more relentless and unstoppable, and inevitable.

 

 

 

It's called methane clathrate, or methane hydrate, billions of tons of it locked up in solid form in the ice matrix of the permafrost. 

 

 

 

With the thawing of the permafrost, the methane clathrate is gasified, and free methane will be released into the atmosphere.

 

 

 

As a greenhouse gas methane is 25X as potent as carbon dioxide.

 

 

 

The more methane in the atmosphere, the warmer it gets, and the more permafrost thaws, and more methane is released...

 

 

 

 

 

This positive feedback loop can drive global warming into runaway global heating, to which raising the global temperature by 6 degrees Celsius would be child's play, and by more than 10-degrees with ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antarctica

 

 

 

 

 

Since it takes time for the northern and southern hemispherical atmospheres to intermix

 

 

 

 

and most GHGs are emitted from northern sources

 

 

 

 

Antarctica would taken longer to warm and to melt than the northern sea ice and the land ice of Greenland.

 

 

 

 

 

Nonetheless, the Antarctic temperature has been rising, and parts of Antarctica are melting, and entire ice-shelves are detaching.

 

The Antarctic holds enough land ice which if thawed

 

could raise the sea level by over 30 meters, or 165 feet.

 

And the Antarctic is melting.

 

 

 

 

 

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