Saving Wildlife from Mass Extinction due to Global Warming

Arctic and Antarctic under Global Warming

Arctic and Antarctic


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




Upsala Glacier











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.









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.















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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