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HOTHOUSE EARTH

Posted on: November 2, 2020

David Wallace-Wells: Inaction on climate change will turn Earth into 'a  hell' | RNZ

David Wallace Wells: 2019

What we used to think was incredibly bad will be out best choice.

Eric Holthaus v. the climate crisis - Columbia Journalism Review

METEOROLOGIST ERIC HOLTHAUS 2018

The world has locked in dangerous climate change according to the IPCC. It is a stark. It comes after the IPCC announcement that global warming must not be allowed to exceed 1.5C since pre-industrial. We have used up 1C of that target. If we fail to limit warming to 1.5C several hundred million lives will be lost to the climate catastrophe. What has to happen is that the world must overhaul its energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. If we fail to do that we place the planet in an unprecedented climate future and the end of human civilization.

Diana Liverman Delivers 2018 Pardee Center Distinguished Lecture | The  Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future

DIANA LIVERMAN: CLIMATE SCIENTIST: 2018

I am overwhelmed by challenge we face. I had a good cry on the plane home (from the IPCC 2018) thinking about implications of report. What I have been saying and what I have written in Hothouse Earth is now validated by the the world’s top scientists (IPCC).

Are We Descending Into Hothouse Earth? | Common Dreams Views
Fig. 1.

HOTHOUSE EARTH RESEARCH PAPERS

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. Will Steffen, Johan Rockström, Katherine Richardson, Timothy M. Lenton, Carl Folke, Diana Liverman, Colin P. Summerhayes, Anthony D. Barnosky, Sarah E. Cornell, Michel Crucifix, Jonathan F. Donges, Ingo Fetzer, Steven J. Lade, Marten Scheffer, Ricarda Winkelmann, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Aug 2018, 115 (33) 8252-8259; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1810141115

ABSTRACT: We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

The Anthropocene is a proposed new geological epoch (1) based on the observation that human impacts on essential planetary processes have become so profound (2) that they have driven the Earth out of the Holocene epoch in which agriculture, sedentary communities, and eventually, socially and technologically complex human societies developed. The formalization of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch is being considered by the stratigraphic community (3), but regardless of the outcome of that process, it is becoming apparent that Anthropocene conditions transgress Holocene conditions in several respects (2). The knowledge that human activity now rivals geological forces in influencing the trajectory of the Earth System has important implications for both Earth System science and societal decision making. While recognizing that different societies around the world have contributed differently and unequally to pressures on the Earth System and will have varied capabilities to alter future trajectories (4), the sum total of human impacts on the system needs to be taken into account for analyzing future trajectories of the Earth System.

Here, we explore potential future trajectories of the Earth System by addressing the following questions.

  • Is there a planetary threshold in the trajectory of the Earth System that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization in a range of intermediate temperature rises?
  • Given our understanding of geophysical and biosphere feedbacks intrinsic to the Earth System, where might such a threshold be?
  • If a threshold is crossed, what are the implications, especially for the wellbeing of human societies?
  • What human actions could create a pathway that would steer the Earth System away from the potential threshold and toward the maintenance of interglacial-like conditions?

Liverman also authored the “hothouse Earth” paper that drew similar conclusions earlier this year — namely that a dead world is not our destiny.

This report is a rallying cry to save the basic functioning of human civilization, shouted into the din of a news cycle dominated by a media that pretends not to understand, in a world led by anti-democratic politicians that pretend to be doing enough, aimed at a populace that pretends not to care.

If nothing else, my hope is that this report will help to take the lid off of climate (read: civilization) advocates calling for radical changes to the status quo. They now have the full weight of the world’s top scientists behind them.

Are we racing towards Earth's 'Hothouse' tipping point? | The Leonardo  DiCaprio Foundation
  1. Wilcox, Howard A. Hothouse Earth. US Dept. of Defense, Navy’s Ocean Farm Project, 1975. If mankind chooses to meet energy demands with the remaining fossil fuel resources and with increased nuclear power production, a thermal pollution catastrophe may result. Global energy consumption at a level comparable to that of industrialized nations will produce increases in waste heat of serious proportions. As the atmosphere heats up, polar ice caps will melt, and the oceans will rise to inundate coastal cities and arable land. The disruptions from migrations inland and competition for food may not be manageable. Immediate development of solar energy technology to produce solar energy cells, windmills, and ocean turbines combined with open-ocean farming are steps that can be taken to avoid a thermal catastrophe. Ocean farms can be used to capture the sun’s energy for fuel and food without increasing global temperatures or changing the composition of the atmosphere. To accomplish such a major change in fuel and food production will require important changes in lifestyle, a stable population, and new levels of international cooperation. 
  2. Steffen, Will, et al. “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.33 (2018): 8252-8259. We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.
  3. Storm, Servaas, and Enno Schröder. “Economic growth and carbon emissions: the road to ‘hothouse earth’is paved with good intentions.” Institute for New Economic Thinking Working Paper Series 84 (2018). All IPCC (2018) pathways to restrict future global warming to 1.5°C (and well below an already dangerous 2°C) involve radical cuts in global carbon emissions. Such de-carbonization, while being technically feasible, may impose a ‘limit’ or ‘planetary boundary’ to growth, depending on whether or not human society can decouple economic growth from carbon emissions. Decoupling is regarded viable in global and national policy discourses on the Paris Agreement—and claimed to be already happening in real time: witness the recent declines in territorial CO2 emissions in a group of more than 20 economies. However, some scholars argue that radical de-carbonization will not be possible while increasing the size of the economy. This paper contributes to this debate as well as to the larger literature on climate change and sustainability. First, we develop a prognosis of climate-constrained global growth for 2014-2050 using the Kaya sum rule. Second, we use the Carbon-Kuznets-Curve (CKC) framework to empirically assess the effect of economic growth on CO2 emissions using measures of both territorial (production-based) emissions and consumption-based (trade- adjusted) emissions. We run panel data regressions using OECD ICIO CO2 emissions data for 61 countries during 1995-2011; to check the robustness of our findings we construct and use panel samples sourced from alternative databases (Eora; Exio; and WIOD). Even if we find evidence suggesting a decoupling of production-based CO2 emissions and growth, consumption-based CO2 emissions are monotonically increasing with per capita GDP (within our sample). We draw out the implications of these findings for climate policy and binding emission reduction obligations.
  4. Schröder, Enno, and Servaas Storm. “Economic Growth and Carbon Emissions: The Road to “Hothouse Earth” is Paved with Good Intentions.” International Journal of Political Economy 49.2 (2020): 153-173. De-carbonization to restrict future global warming to 1.5 °C is technically feasible but may impose a “limit” or “planetary boundary” to economic growth, depending on whether or not human society can decouple growth from emissions. In this paper, we assess the viability of decoupling. First, we develop a prognosis of climate-constrained global growth for 2014–2050 using the transparent Kaya identity. Second, we use the Carbon-Kuznets-Curve framework to assess the effect of economic growth on emissions using measures of territorial and consumption-based emissions. We run fixed-effects regressions using OECD data for 58 countries during 2007–2015 and source alternative emissions data starting in 1992 from two other databases. While there is weak evidence suggesting a decoupling of emissions and growth at high-income levels, the main estimation sample indicates that emissions are monotonically increasing with per-capita GDP. We draw out the implications for climate policy and binding emission reduction obligations.
  5. Kidder, David L., and Thomas R. Worsley. “A human-induced hothouse climate.” GSA Today 22.2 (2012): 4-11. Hothouse climate has been approached or achieved more than a dozen times in Phanerozoic history. Geologically rapid onset of hothouses in 104 –105 yr occurs as HEATT (haline euxinic acidic thermal transgression) episodes, which generally persist for less than 1 million years. Greenhouse climate preconditions conducive to hothouse development allowed large igneous provinces (LIPs), combined with positive feedback amplifiers, to force the Earth to the hothouse climate state. The two most significant Cenozoic LIPs (Columbia River Basalts and much larger Early Oligocene Ethiopian Highlands) failed to trigger a hothouse climate from icehouse preconditions, suggesting that such preconditions can limit the impact of CO2 emissions at the levels and rates of those LIPs. Human burning of fossil fuels can release as much CO2 in centuries as do LIPs over 104 –105 yr or longer. Although burning fossil fuels to exhaustion over the next several centuries may not suffice to trigger hothouse conditions, such combustion will probably stimulate enough polar ice melting to tip Earth into a greenhouse climate. Long atmospheric CO2 residence times will maintain that state for tens of thousands of years.

Hothouse Earth: Demise of the Planetary Life Support System? - Global  Research

THE HOTHOUSE EARTH IN PLAIN LANGUAGE

About - Josh Gabbatiss
Democracy@Work Melbourne | The Uninhabitable Earth – Life After Warming. An  interview with author David Wallace-Wells on Democracy Now.

THE HOTHOUSE EARTH AS EXPLAINED BY CLIMATE ACTIVISTS. THE TEXT BELOW WAS PROVIDED BY GREENPEACE. IT WAS WRITTEN BY REX WYLER.

Rex Weyler - Wikipedia
REX WYLER

THIS IS WHAT REX WYLER WROTE ABOUT HOTHOUSE EARTH

In July of this year, during record-smashing heat waves and forest fires, a group of scientists published “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene,” exploring the risk that climate feedbacks could lead to runaway heating and a “Hothouse Earth.” Will Steffen, Johan Rockström, and Katherine Richardson — from the Universities of Stockholm, Australia, and Copenhagen, with colleagues from Stanford, Cambridge, Potsdam, The Netherlands, and elsewhere — published the paper in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Eiffel Tower Climate Banner © Greenpeace / Pierre GleizesMessage on the Eiffel Tower as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assembles in Paris, 2007
Earth has not experienced such a hothouse state — characterized by the absence of continental glaciers and sea-level over 100-meters higher — since the Cretaceous period, 100-million years ago. At that time, atmospheric CO2 had reached 2000 parts-per-million (ppm) and average temperatures had reached 11°C warmer than the 20th century average. We’re now at about 410 ppm CO2, and 1°C warmer than the 20th century average. Meanwhile, in spite of good intentions, we have not slowed our carbon emissions.

The Hothouse Earth paper documents how “a psychology of denial” has biased IPCC climate reports, research summaries, policy decisions, and public discourse. As a result, the authors claim, we have failed to act responsibly, and have underestimated the extreme risks of that failure.

Breaking the wrong records

This is a La Niña year — normally the cool phase of the global temperature cycle — but 2018 has broken heat records around the world, the hottest La Niña year in history, on track to be the fourth hottest year ever recorded, following the last three: 2015, 2016, and 2017.

This July, meteorologists recorded 51.3°C (124.3°F) in Ouargla, Algeria, the highest temperature ever reliably recorded in Africa. Quriyat, Oman, recorded an overnight “low” of 42.6°C, the highest “low” temperature ever recorded in the world. Denver, Colorado, tied its all-time high-temperature 40.5°C, and in Quebec, Canada, a prolonged heat wave left 54 people dead. Heat records were set in Tbilisi, Georgia (40.5°C), Shannon, Ireland (32°C), and Motherwell, Scotland (33.2 °C).

“It’s not just the magnitude in any one location,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “What’s unusual is the hemispheric scale of the heatwave.”

All-time record highs in Britain melted roofs and buckled train rails. During the World Cup in June and July, the heat grew so intense in Russia that the Football Federation granted hydration breaks to keep players from fainting. This summer, wildfires burned a record 1.3 million acres of British Columbia, Canada. In the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia, daily temperature anomalies reached 7°C above average. In Siberia wildfires accelerated the permafrost melt, causing record methane releases, which adds to global heating, an example of the climate feedbacks that concern the Hothouse Earth authors.

We’ll always have Paris

In 2015, many politicians and environmentalists praised the Paris Climate Accord, intended to hold Earth’s warming under 2°C with national “pledges” to reduce carbon emissions. However, the Hothouse Earth report notes that the Paris Accord “is almost devoid of substantive language,” is not binding, and that “national interests and lowest-common-denominator politics,” have undermined the promises.

“Few are willing to contemplate that we have set in motion an irreversible process that poses an existential threat to so-called civilization,” wrote William Rees, professor emeritus of human ecology at the University of British Columbia, to fellow researchers. “Even if implemented, the Paris Accord has us on course for a catastrophic 3°C warming — and — it is not being implemented!”

Since the Paris pledges are not being kept, we appear on course for 4°C or more. Kevin Anderson, professor at the University of Manchester and deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research writes that “avoiding even a 4°C rise demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society.”

In 1979, the World Meteorological Organization, with full knowledge of the carbon dioxide risk, convened the first international climate conference in Geneva. At that time, annual carbon emissions of about 5 gigatonnes per year (GtC/yr) were increasing atmospheric CO2 content by about 0.5 ppm per year. Now 30 years later, after 29 international climate meetings, and with over 800 international climate laws on the books, carbon emissions have grown to over 10 GtC/yr, and — since carbon sinks have become saturated — we are now increasing atmospheric CO2 content by about 3.5 ppm per year, seven times faster.

Wild Fires in Amur Region, Russia © Maria Vasilieva / GreenpeaceWild fires in Amur region, Russia. This year the area affected by fire, including all categories of land in the region, is 1.69 million hectares.
In August, so disgusted with the pace of climate action by his own government, French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned. “I don’t want to lie any longer,” Hulot said. “I don’t want to maintain the illusion that my presence in government means that we are meeting these environmental challenges. France is doing more than a lot of other countries [but] it is not doing enough. Europe is not doing enough. The world is not doing enough.”

What is enough?

The Hothouse Earth study warns that with a heating of 3 or 4°C, Earth’s “self-reinforcing feedbacks” — wildfires, methane release, forest dieback, and so forth — can drive the temperature even higher, toward runaway heating, a “nonlinear process” that no amount of human intervention can control.

Kevin Anderson describes “an endemic bias” among those building emission scenarios, and warns that “the modelling community is actually self-censoring its research focus to conform to the dominant political and economic paradigm.”

Steffen and colleagues document a “scholarly reticence” at the research level, that avoids articulating the full risk of climate change. This reticence is magnified by politically-biased climate conference delegations, who understate climate risk in IPCC reports. This downplayed risk is then translated through “executive myopia” within government and business to produce “a policy failure of epic proportions.”

“We’re moving so slowly,” says financial analyst and former Royal Dutch Shell economist Jeremy Grantham, “that by the time we’ve fully decarbonized our economy, the world will have heated up by 2.5ºC to 3ºC, and a great deal of damage will have been done … capitalism and mainstream economics simply cannot deal with these problems.”

In spite of all our efforts — decades of environmental action, legislation, investment in renewable energy, electric cars, and those 29 climate conferences — total global carbon emissions continue to rise. Since the year 2000, solar and wind have added the equivalent of about 300 million tons of oil (MTOE) to annual energy consumption, a hopeful sign. However, during that same period, fossil fuel consumption increased ten times faster, by over 3000 MTOE, which explains why carbon emissions continue to rise.

In a series of papers from 2011 to 2015, T. J. Garrett, from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, explains why: The growth of human economy “cannot be decoupled” from energy consumption. The data shows that for every 1US$ of economic growth, worldwide, human enterprise requires about 9.7 milliwatts (mW) of energy (± 0.3 mW). Contrary to visions about “decoupling” growth from energy, there is no evidence that this decoupling is occurring or could occur. Garrett and others point out that windmills and solar panels also require fossil fuels to build, that more energy stimulates the economy to grow, and that this growth is fed by even more fossil energy.

In the 1950s, anthropologist/ecologist Gregory Bateson and colleagues coined the term “Double Bind” to describe just such a dilemma: Contradictory demands that are inherently impossible to fulfill. According to Garrett, “seeking global prosperity alongside mitigated climate change” puts human enterprise in just such a “double-bind.”

To slow climate change we must actually reduce carbon emissions, and to achieve this, the Hothouse Earth authors claim, we have to address global “consumption patterns,” and make “rapid progress toward slowing or reversing population growth.” To escape the double bind, human enterprise has to contract, not grow. “The Business-as-Usual approach of industry and their hand-puppet governments,” says Dr. William Rees, “is a prime illustration of one of the few things on Earth that is unlimited: The human capacity for self-delusion.”

Young activists respond

“My generation, the millennials, will never know a time when climate change wasn’t a grave threat,” writes young meteorologist Eric Holthaus in Grist. In response, Holthaus believe the youth are “radically remaking climate activism.” In 2016 at the Canada-US border, for example, Emily Johnston closed the emergency shut-off valve on the Enbridge tar-sands pipeline. At her trial she claimed that her action was a “necessity” in response to a climate emergency.

Twenty-one US students have filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government, the president, and federal agencies for violating their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. By failing to act on climate change, the youth plaintiffs argued that the government had discriminated against youth as a class.

Demonstration against Industrial Exploitation of the Great Northern Forest in Finland © Jonne Sippola / GreenpeaceThe Indigenous Sámi youth organisation Suoma Sámi Nuorat, Suohpanterror artivist collective and Greenpeace activists join in a demonstration against industrial exploitation of the Great Northern Forest in the Sámi territory in northern Finland early September 2018.
This fall, fifteen-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg refused to go to school and instead staged a climate protest at the Swedish parliament. “Facts don’t matter any more,” Thunberg said. “Politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?” Her protest has attracted support throughout Sweden after a summer of record heat and wildfires.

In Spain this summer, a young activist wrote on a wall: “Ese incómodo momento en que hay que explicar a Galileo que el mundo no gira alrededor del Sol, sino del dinero.” (“That uncomfortable moment, in which one must explain to Galileo that the world does not rotate around the sun, but around the money.”)

“Gradual or incremental change, with a focus on economic efficiency is not adequate” write the Hothouse Earth authors. The necessary changes require a “fundamental reorientation of human values.”

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene | PNAS

AS A SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION OF THE HOTHOUSE EARTH HYPOTHESIS, WE OFFER BELOW AN EDITED VERSION OF THE REX WYLER ARTICLE IN TERMS OF A CLIMATE ACTION DESPERATION HYPOTHESIS. THE DESPERATION DERIVES FROM THE ABSENCE OF AN EFFECTIVE GLOBAL EMISSION REDUCTION AGREEMENT THAT CLIMATE SCIENCE AND CLIMATE ACTIVISTS HAD THOUGHT THE UNITED NATIONS COULD DELIVER JUST AS IT HAD DONE WITH THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL IN THE OZONE DEPLETION CRISIS.

Rex Weyler - Wikipedia

Will Steffen’s paper “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene,” explores the risk that without global climate action laid out in the Paris Agreement, climate feedbacks could lead to runaway heating and a “Hothouse Earth.” Earth has experienced such a hothouse state characterized by the absence of continental glaciers and sea-level over 100-meters higher, in the Cretaceous period, 100-million years ago when atmospheric CO2 had reached 2000 ppm and average temperatures had reached 11°C warmer than today. We’re now at about 410 ppm CO2, and 1°C warmer than pre-industrial.

Professor Will Steffen, Chairman - Volvo Environment Prize
WILL STEFFEN

EXTREME WEATHER: Rex Wyler cites extreme weather events as a harbinger of the horror of Hothouse Earth. These include (1) An extreme La Nina year, a heat waves in Algeria and Quebec, high overnight temperatures in Colorado, and record temperatures in Tbilisi, Georgia, Shannon, Ireland, and Motherwell, Scotland.  It says that in Britain, record temperatures melted roofs and buckled train rails. In Russia, with temperature 7C higher than normal, they had to give soccer players extra time outs to drink water and prevent fainting. There were extreme wildfires in British Columbia and Siberia with permafrost melt and methane release with accelerated global heating. This is the kind of feedback that can cause hothouse earth.

CLIMATE ACTION: MEANWHILE, WE HAVE NOT SLOWED GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS. THERE ARE THREE REASONS FOR THE FAILURE OF THE CLIMATE ACTION IMPERATIVE: (1) A psychology of CLIMATE DENIAL, (2) BIASED IPCC REPORTS THAT TONE DOWN THE CLIMATE IMPACTS, and (3) AN ENDEMIC BIAS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE AND IN THE CLIMATE MODELLING COMMUNITY THAT SELF CENSORS ITS RESEARCH FINDINGS TO CONFORM TO DOMINANT POLITICAL PARADIGMS.

Climate change is absolute priority, says UN chief Antonio Guterres - The  Financial Express

THE FAILURE OF THE PARIS ACCORD: The only global climate action initiative we have right now is the Paris Accord. In 2015, we praised the Paris Climate Accord as the Godsend we needed to hold Earth’s warming under 2°C with national “pledges” to reduce carbon emissions but this bureaucratic caricature from the UN is devoid of substance because it is not binding. By pretending to have a global climate action agreement that we don’t have we have set in motion an irreversible process that poses an existential threat to civilization. Even if the Paris Accord could be implemented today, we would be on course for a catastrophic 3°C warming. But it will NOT be implemented. Therefore, we are on course for 4°C or higher with the high end unconstrained by data. After 30 years of failed UN climate action games and 29 COPs with more than 800 climate action proposals in the books, global carbon emissions have not declined. They have gone up.

Our future: Hothouse earth

CONCLUSION: THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL CONTEXT IN WHICH WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE HOTHOUSE EARTH SCENARIO. WE GAVE THE UNITED NATIONS 30 YEARS TO COME UP WITH A “MONTREAL PROTOCOL” FOR CLIMATE ACTION BUT THEY FAILED TO DELIVER. AS THINGS ARE RIGHT NOW WE HAVE NO GLOBAL EMISSION REDUCTION PLAN IN PLACE EVEN THOUGH SOME COUNTRIES HAVE REDUCED THEIR EMISSIONS.

Humans Are About to Unleash an Irreversible "Hothouse Earth", Scientists  Warn

THE HOTHOUSE EARTH: THE HOTHOUSE EARTH HYPOTHESIS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN THIS CONTEXT. IN THE ABSENCE OF A REAL GLOBAL EMISSION REDUCTION AGREEMENT, THE ONLY CHANCE WE HAVE IS TO MOTIVATE EMISSION REDUCTION BY RATCHETING UP THE FEAR LEVEL. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A HOTHOUSE EARTH WHERE WE MAKE THE FEARFUL PLANETARY DESTRUCTION OF THE CRETACEOUS OUR FUTURE WITHOUT CLIMATE ACTION. THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THE PLANET BECAUSE WE CAN NO LONGER RELY ON THE UN OR ON NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR EVEN ON CLIMATE SCIENTISTS OR THE IPCC TO DO THE RIGHT THINGWE HAVE TO SCARE THEM INTO CLIMATE ACTION. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

Supercontinent breakup initiated by superplume rising from the... |  Download Scientific Diagram

FOOTNOTE: THE MID-CRETACEOUS SUPERPLUME MANTLE EVENT

THE HORROR OF THE MID-CRETACEOUS CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD AS A GREENHOUSE EFFECT CAUSED BY THE HIGH LEVEL OF CO2 CITED AS 2000 PPM. THIS CO2 LEVEL WAS A CONSEQUENCE AND NOT THE CAUSE OF THE CRETACEOUS “HOTHOUSE EARTH”.

WHAT CAUSED THE CRETACEOUS HOTHOUSE EARTH WAS A HORRENDOUS GEOLOGICAL EVENT DESCRIBED AS A MANTLE SUPERPLUME. THEREFORE A CO2 DRIVEN HOTHOUSE EARTH IN OUR CURRENT CLIMATE SYSTEM CANNOT BE INFERRED FROM THE MID CRETACEOUS EVENTS.

SOME REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED BELOW FOR THE SUPERPLUME MANTLE EVENT.

  1. Cox, Randel Tom, and Roy B. Van Arsdale. “The Mississippi Embayment, North America: a first order continental structure generated by the Cretaceous superplume mantle event.” Journal of Geodynamics 34.2 (2002): 163-176. The Mississippi Embayment of North America, a northward extension of the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain, is a southwestward-plunging trough containing ∼1.5 km of Cretaceous and Cenozoic sediments. The Embayment is underlain by the early Paleozoic Mississippi Valley graben basement fault complex. Previous authors have attributed Embayment subsidence to the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. However, the Embayment subsided 60 million years after cessation of the sea-floor spreading in the Gulf. We have previously argued that the Mississippi Embayment formed as a result of the westward passage of faulted crust (Mississippi Valley graben) over the Bermuda hotspot in mid-Cretaceous. More recently published age data clarify age progressive (northwest-to-southeast) mid-Cretaceous volcanism that crosses the Mississippi Embayment, beginning ∼115 Ma in eastern Kansas and ending ∼65 Ma in central Mississippi. This line of volcanism coincides with the predicted Bermuda hotspot path and has isotopic signatures consistent with a mantle hotspot source. We propose that during mid-Cretaceous, the weak crust of the Mississippi Valley graben complex was uplifted 1–3 km as it passed over the Bermuda plume, and this upland was eroded. As the Mississippi Valley graben complex moved west of the hotspot, it subsided, and the eroded region became a topographic low that filled with fluvio-marine sediments, the Mississippi Embayment. Supporting evidence for mid-Cretaceous uplift and erosion of the Embayment region includes: (1) an angular unconformity on pre-Late Cretaceous rocks with ∼2 km eroded at mid-Cretaceous along the hotspot path; (2) a broad anticline in the Embayment at mid-Cretaceous (revealed by unfolding the down-warped basal Late Cretaceous unconformity); (3) exhumation and weathering of mid-Cretaceous plutons before burial by Late Cretaceous sediments; and (4) a mid-Cretaceous change in the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico sedimentation from a continuous carbonate platform to a large influx of deltaic clastics. We now suggest that magmatic activity and pronounced uplift in the Mississippi Valley graben region may have been a result of increased hotspot flux of the typically weak Bermuda hotspot during the Cretaceous superplume mantle event (∼120–80 Ma).
  2. Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki, et al. “Geochemical evidence for a mid-Cretaceous superplume.” Geology 26.2 (1998): 151-154. Basalt lavas with a high Nb/Y ratio for a given Nb/Zr ratio occur in the Polynesian “superswell” region of the South Pacific, which probably formed by upwelling of a deep-mantle superplume. The distinctive geochemical characteristics of the Polynesian basalts may be attributed to melting of a mantle source that is more enriched in a basaltic (ancient mid-oceanic-ridge basalt) component. Basalts displaying such chemical signatures have been found on Shatsky Rise, the Ontong Java Plateau, and greenstones from subduction-zone complexes of Sakhalin Island. The occurrence of Polynesian-type basalts, together with an estimate of their ages, suggests that the South Pacific superplume was active as long ago as 90–150 Ma. The superplume activity preceded the onset of the superchron, supporting an idea that the superplume acted as a trigger for such a global event.
  3. Larson, Roger L. “Latest pulse of Earth: Evidence for a mid-Cretaceous superplume.” Geology 19.6 (1991): 547-550. A calculation of Earth’s ocean crustal budget for the past 150 m.y. reveals a 50% to 75% increase in ocean crust formation rate between 120 and 80 Ma. This “pulse” in ocean crust production is seen both in spreading-rate increases from ocean ridges and in the age distribution of oceanic plateaus. It is primarily a Pacific Ocean phenomenon with an abrupt onset, and peak production rates occurred between 120 and 100 Ma. The pulse decreased in intensity from 100 to 80 Ma, and at 80 Ma rates dropped significantly. There was a continued decrease from 80 to 30 Ma with a secondary peak near the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary at 65 Ma. For the past 30 m.y., ocean crust has formed at a nearly steady rate. Because the pulse is seen primarily in Pacific oceanic plateau and ridge production, and coincides with the long Cretaceous interval of normal magnetic polarity, I interpret it as a “superplume” that originated at about 125 Ma near the core/mantle boundary, rose by convection through the entire mantle, and erupted beneath the mid-Cretaceous Pacific basin. The present-day South Pacific “superswell” under Tahiti is probably the nearly exhausted remnant of the original upwelling. How this superplume stopped magnetic field reversals for 41 m.y. is a matter of speculation, but it probably involved significant alteration of the temperature structure at the core/mantle boundary and the convective behavior of the outer core.
  4. Jahren, A. Hope. “The biogeochemical consequences of the mid-Cretaceous superplume.” Journal of Geodynamics 34.2 (2002): 177-191. Superplumes have been put forward as a driving mechanism for a variety of global phenomena, ranging from geomagnetic reversal anomalies to global climate warming via massive additions of volcanic CO2. Here I propose that rates of uplift caused by modern superplumes would result in the liberation of hundreds of Gt of carbon from methane clathrates on a timescale from tens to hundreds of millions of years. The associated eruption of the Ontong-Java flood basalts would additionally destabilize hundreds of Gt of carbon from methane hydrates during the Aptian-Albian. Evidence of this methane release is recorded in the early Aptian (ca. 117 Ma) carbon isotope records of marine carbonate, marine organic carbon, and terrestrially photosynthesized carbon as a 3–5‰ negative excursion. As this methane release was oxidized within the biosphere, it would have resulted in massive chemical cycling disruption within the ocean and on land, including widespread oceanic anoxia, and the out-competition of conifers by angiosperms at mid- and high-latitudes.
  5. Larson, Roger L. “Geological consequences of superplumes.” Geology 19.10 (1991): 963-966. Superplumes are suggested to have caused the period of constant normal magnetic polarity in mid-Cretaceous time (124-83 Ma) and, possibly, the period of constant reversed polarity in Pennsylvanian-Permian time (323-248 Ma). These times coincide with increases in world temperature, deposition of black shales, oil generation, and eustatic sea level in the mid-Cretaceous, and increased coal generation and gas accumulation in the Pennsylvanian-Permian, accompanied by an intracratonic Pennsylvanian transgression of epicontinental seas. These geologic anomalies are associated with episodes of increased world-wide ocean-crust production and mantle outgassing, especially of carbon and nutrients. These superplumes originated just above the core-mantle boundary, significantly increased convection in the outer core, and stopped the magnetic field reversal process for 41 m.y. in the Cretaceous and 75 m.y. in Pennsylvanian-Permian time.

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