U.S. Naval Research Lab measurements of Arctic sea ice over a 30-day period “shows that the multi-year sea ice has now virtually disappeared.” This means the Arctic has lost its infrastructure. It’s gone. That means no more 20’-25’ multi-year thick ice, leaving two-dimensional “ice extent” with little thickness and no substantial mass. Going forward, Arctic ice will consist of young, thin, new yearly ice that easily fractures, turns to slush, turns darker, much more prone to absorbing sunlight, which, unfortunately, could bring on a worldwide catastrophe. The loss of Arctic ice exposes the planet to risks of a crushing blow to the planetary ecosystem, without warning. Ever since the last Ice Age, the Arctic has performed a huge favor by serving as a deep freeze over gigatons of frozen methane (CH4). That locked-in-ice methane, especially in shallow waters where it can make it to the surface in bubbles (already studied by teams of scientists).
Natalia Shakhova, head of the Russia-U.S. Methane Study at International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska believes it is possible that a 50-gigaton (Gt) burp of methane erupts along the shallow waters (50-100 m) of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, thereby actuating a fierce self-reinforcing feedback process leading to runaway global warming (5Gt of CH4 is currently in the atmosphere). Although the “50-gigaton burp of methane” theory is controversial among climate scientists whereas the startling loss of Arctic ice mass is irrefutable via actual measurement, and it is glaring evidence of global warming, as heat melts ice.
The preponderance of published science on climate change leads to the conclusion that such an event is far off in time, decades or in some cases more than 100 years away, and in some cases nothing too much to worry about. Professor Peter Wadhams of the University of Cambridge has a new book, ‘A Farewell to Ice, A Report from the Arctic’. Is runaway global warming a possibility within current lifetimes? Yes, it is certainly possible if, as Dr. Wadhams suggest, an ice-free Arctic triggers rapid acceleration of climate change. This is not just an interesting change happening in a remote part of the world, he says, but a catastrophe for mankind.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! at COP21 in Paris this past December, interviewed one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Kevin Anderson (University of Manchester) of Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research/UK who said:
“So far we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do we are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly… many are ultimately choosing to censor their own research…What we are afraid of doing is putting forward analysis that questions the paradigm, the economic way that we run society today… We fine-tune our analysis so that it fits into the economic reality of our society, the current economic framing. Actually, our science now asks fundamental questions about this idea of economic growth in the short term, but we’re very reluctant to say that. In fact, the funding bodies are reluctant to fund research that raises those questions.” (our emphasis)
Note that last sentence “funding bodies are reluctant to fund research that raises those questions.” Money dictates science. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
The question now is whether climate change rapidly accelerates out of control or gradually evolves little by little, in which case the reformists will be correct, meaning future generations can hold back wholesale ecosystem collapse. The likely outcome of out of control intense climate change will beincreases in sea level flooding coastal cities, embedded droughts diminishing or destroying agricultural production, severe storm activity, and horrific heat-waves throughout the mid-latitudes.
The world turns as chaotic as the climate.