What all candidates are shunning like the plague
RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING HAS BEGUN
confirmed by MIT findings
CNN, November 1, 2008 - Sarah Palin is inciting her crowd in Florida to
chant "DRILL BABY DRILL!", and the crowd did so as if there is no tomorrow.
This to me is more frightening than "Dracula", starring Peter Cushing and
Christopher Lee, which scared me silly while I was a choir boy back in Hong
Kong, even with the protective crucifix on a chain around my neck.
Eventually, I dropped out from the Church upon seeing the greater horrors of
the Inquisition, but that was another story.
Meanwhile, in 1999, I founded Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE -
and in April 2008, as leader of HOPE's Global Emergency Operation
(HOPE-GEO), I wrote that "RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING HAS BEGUN".
In July 2008, RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING HAS BEGUN became Chapter 4 of my new
book "Homo Sapiens! SAVE YOUR EARTH" (co-authored with Dr. Peter Carter and
Taina Ketola - see
www.myspace.com/AnthonyMarr ). What we did not know was - in which year
the runaway began.
Now we know - 2007. Witness the following Vancouver Sun article:
November 1, 2008
Methane levels on the rise
The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an
end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent
greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by MIT
researchers. Methane levels in the atmosphere have more than doubled since
pre-industrial times, accounting for around one-fifth of the human
contribution to greenhouse gas-driven global warming. Until recently, the
leveling off of methane levels had suggested that the rate if its emission
from Earth's surface was approximately balanced by the rate of its
destruction in the atmosphere. However, since early 2007 the balance has
been upset, according to a paper on the new findings being published this
week in Geophysical Review Letters. This imbalance has resulted in several
million metric tons of additional methane in the atmosphere. Methane is
produced by wetlands, rice paddies, cattle and the gas and coal industries,
and is destroyed by reaction with the hydroxyl free radical (OH), often
referred to as the atmosphere's "cleanser".
The meat industry deserves an extra mention as a source of gaseous
methane (CH4), a much more potent (by 20-70x) but shorter-lived (half-life
of CH4 in atmosphere about a decade) greenhouse gas than CO2. It emits more
CO2-equivalent in methane than the global transportation industry by some
20%. It is said that a meat-eater riding a bicycle emits more greenhouse
gasses than a vegan driving a Hummer. Thus, environmentalism condemns the
meat industry as a driver of global warming (other than the pollution,
Amazon rainforest destruction and protein production inefficiency), and
animal rights condemns the meat industry for the million of species global
warming could terminate (other than the cruelty and immorality), and
together, they condemn the meat industry, period.
The greatest source of methane by far, however, is not even mentioned in
the article - the methane currently locked up in the permafrost (over 1
trillion tons of CO2-equivalent-in-methane, compared to the 700 tons of
carbon in the atmosphere today) and submarine methane hydrate/clathrate
deposits (over 10 trillion tons of CO2-eq.-in-methane).
2007 is significant because it is the year in which the Arctic-sea-ice
tipping point tipped, when the melting rate tripled that of the worst-case
scenario predicted in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
report upon which national governments base their environmental and energy
policies, in which "hydrate" or "clathrate" was not even mentioned. Little
wonder the gross underestimations. The 2007 meltdown reduced the summer
Arctic sea ice extent by about half the size of the lower-48-states from
2005, leaving the Siberia coastline ice-free. While the old estimate had it
that the Arctic would be 50% ice-free by 2050, now the new estimate is that
the Arctic will be 100% ice-free by the summer of 2013. Less ice and more
water means more solar heat absorbed than reflected, i.e. the beginning of
the Albedo-feedback-loop. When a feedback loop starts, the tipping point is
And now, the methane feedback loop - the more methane in the atmosphere,
the more the atmosphere warms, the more permafrost and hydrates melt, the
more methane is released... - has started. And evidently, the methane
emission rate has overwhelmed the methane break-down rate, resulting in a
net increase of the methane concentration. So, I repeat, RUNAWAY GLOBAL
HEATING HAS BEGUN.
Siberia is important in this context, because, as mentioned, its
coastline is now ice-free in Arctic summers, and its water is warming faster
than before, which warms up its atmosphere in return. While the Siberian
offshore methane hydrate deposits were previously covered by ice, now it is
covered by the much warmer ocean water. The result is that the land-based
permafrost and the submarine hydrate deposits are both melting, and melting
faster than before.
In www.HOPE-CARE.org are
photos of "drunken trees" in the Siberian forests, whose underlying
permafrost is melting or has melted off, as well as toppled houses built on
the previous permafrost. Here are two videos, one showing the methane
blow-torches in the Siberian permafrost (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa3M4ou3kvw)
and the other showing the degassing of submarine methane hydrate deposits
In climate change, global-warming by CO2 is only the fuse, which releases
the methane. The bomb is RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING BY METHANE, a time-bomb
inestimably more devastating than all the nuclear bombs detonated
simultaneously. Once the methane feedback loop starts, the clock starts.
Runaway global heating does not have to be irreversible, but the window
of opportunity to act is measured in months (about 100, or 8 years, or 2
presidential terms). It can be controlled by controlling both CO2 and CH4
emissions, while developing non-combustion (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal,
wave and perhaps even magnetic, but definitely not ethanol) and
carbon-capture-&-sequestration (CCS) technologies. But in order for us to
start acting, we have to first understand the situation and start worrying.
I have deplored the "Don't worry, be happy" mentality since its heydays, now
I will quote the opposite. "Be afraid. Be very afraid." .
Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
216-386-7362 / 604-222-1169
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