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PDF] Pumping liquid metal at high temperatures up to 1,673 kelvin ...

The traditional solution to intermittency of renewable energy from wind and solar in the form of fossil fueled backup contains the contradiction of a need for fossil fuels in the climate action effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Therefore, from the anti fossil fuel position of climate science, it is necessary to find alternative solutions to the intermittency issue in wind and solar renewable energy. Although pumped hydro has been traditionally used for this purpose, this solution is location specific and is not a global solution. In the papers reviewed above and those listed in the bibliography below, are described new technologies currently under development that may offer a purely renewable energy storage solution to address intermittency in wind and solar without the contradiction of the need for fossil fuels to move the global energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels in a climate action effort to limit the temperature rise in anthropogenic global warming to 2C since pre-industrial.
Foremost among these energy storage technologies proposed in the the last decade, 2010-2020, are Thermal Energy Storage (TES), Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES), and thermal energy storage with Phase Change Material (PCM). These alternatives to pumped hydro are currently under development with pumped hydro being currently the only storage technology available to address the intermittency issue in renewable energy. The Henry (2017) paper presented above addresses two TES technologies citing the Caleb (2017) and Laughlin (2017) where energy storage is envisioned in molten metals and in molten salt. Advances in TES technology and engineering as well ongoing developments in PCM and PHES are described in the bibliography below over the period from 2011 to 2020. Advances in the science, technology, and engineering of such energy storage systems are encouraging and may one day lead to a solution to intermittency of wind and solar power in the absence of pumped hydro.

PHES. PCM, AND TES BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Thess, André. “Thermodynamic efficiency of pumped heat electricity storage.” Physical review letters 111.11 (2013): 110602.  Pumped heat electricity storage (PHES) has been recently suggested as a potential solution to the large-scale energy storage problem. PHES requires neither underground caverns as compressed air energy storage (CAES) nor kilometer-sized water reservoirs like pumped hydrostorage and can therefore be constructed anywhere in the world. However, since no large PHES system exists yet, and theoretical predictions are scarce, the efficiency of such systems is unknown. Here we formulate a simple thermodynamic model that predicts the efficiency of PHES as a function of the temperature of the thermal energy storage at maximum output power. The resulting equation is free of adjustable parameters and nearly as simple as the well-known Carnot formula. Our theory predicts that for storage temperatures above 400 °C PHES has a higher efficiency than existing CAES and that PHES can even compete with the efficiencies predicted for advanced-adiabatic CAES.
  2. Howes, Jonathan. “Concept and development of a pumped heat electricity storage device.” Proceedings of the IEEE 100.2 (2011): 493-503.  This paper addresses the early conceptualization of a system for reversible heat/work conversion based upon the heat engine cycle, developed in 1833 by John Ericsson, in combination with utility scale thermal energy storage in particulate mineral (e.g., gravel) and the development and test of the first prototype. Using these test results, mathematical modeling of the engine/heat pump has yielded improved second and third prototypes. Design of the second prototype and its behavior under test is discussed. Extant test results are used to extrapolate to the predicted performance of utility scale equipment.
  3. Ni, Fan, and Hugo S. Caram. “Analysis of pumped heat electricity storage process using exponential matrix solutions.” Applied Thermal Engineering 84 (2015): 34-44.  Pumped heat electricity storage (PHES) is a recently proposed competitive energy storage solution for large scale electrical energy storage (EES). It is especially valuable for regions where specific geological structures are not available. The performance of PHES depends on two factors: the operations of turbomachines and the thermal storage system. The former is characterized by pressure ratio, polytropic efficiency and gas heat capacity ratio. The latter contains the parameters of heat regenerators that can be summarized into two dimensionless numbers: length Λ and step time π. The overall process operation can be described by temperature difference representing the energy stored per unit heat capacity, the storage bed utilization ratio and the turn-around efficiency. Exponential matrix solutions are obtained for a discretized heat transfer model of a typical pumped heat electricity storage process. Using the cyclic steady state and transient state solutions, we are able to analyze how dimensionless length and step time affect the storage bed utilization ratio as well as the turn-around efficiency. This model provides basic guidance for further development of such processes.
  4. Roskosch, Dennis, and Burak Atakan. “Pumped heat electricity storage: potential analysis and orc requirements.” Energy Procedia 129 (2017): 1026-1033.  The rising share of renewable energy sources in power generation leads to the need of energy storage capacities. In this context, also some interest in thermal energy storages, especially in a concept called pumped heat electricity storage (PHES), arises. One possible design of such a PHES system consists of a compression heat pump, a thermal storage and an organic Rankine cycle (ORC). The present work analyses the general thermodynamic potential and limits of such a system and deals with the unusual requirements for the ORC. The potential analysis starts with the optimal case of combining two Carnot cycles with irreversible heat transfer. It is found that the efficiency of the entire process increases with increasing storage temperature and in general roundtrip efficiencies up to 70 % are predicted. Afterwards the cycles are transferred to cycles that are more realistic by considering technical aspects and a hypothetical working fluid which is optimized by an inverse engineering approach. This leads to lowered roundtrip efficiencies, which now, decrease with increasing storage temperatures. In a second step the specific ORC requirements as part of a PHES are considered, emphasizing the working fluid parameters. Especially, the use of a latent thermal energy storage leads to an ORC design differing from common (e.g. geothermal) applications. It is shown that the efficiency of the ORC and of the entire process strongly depends on the superheating at the expander inlet; here, the superheating must be held as small as possible, contrary to ORCs using common heat sources. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  5. Dietrich, Axel, Frank Dammel, and Peter Stephan. “Exergoeconomic Analysis of a Pumped Heat Electricity Storage System with Concrete Thermal Energy Storage.” International Journal of Thermodynamics 19.1 (2016).  Within the last 25 years the share of renewable energy sources in electrical energy production in Germany has been rising considerably. The volatility of renewable energy sources results in an increasing mismatch between supply and demand of electrical energy creating the need for storage capacities. The storage of electrical energy via the detour of thermal energy can be realized by a relatively new technology known as Pumped Heat Electricity Storage systems. This paper examines the exergoeconomic performance of such a storage system. A sample system comprising a concrete thermal energy storage is introduced; unsteady operations are simulated and analyzed. Although the achieved efficiencies are reasonable economical operations of the analyzed Pumped Heat Electricity Storage System are currently not possible. For the analyzed operation scenario the exergetic system efficiency, electrical energy output to electrical energy input, amounts to 27:3%. Considering the storage capacity and the lack of geological requirements the Pumped Heat Electricity Storage system can compete with pumped hydro and compressed air energy storage. However, prices of the order of 60 ct/(kWh) are not competitive considering current energy prices. Based on improved system designs as well as rising energy prices we assess Pumped Heat Electricity Storage Systems as a potential alternative to established storage technologies.
  6. Levelised Cost of Storage for Pumped Heat Energy Storage in comparison with other energy storage technologies, AndrewSmallbonea, VerenaJülchb, RobinWardlea, Anthony PaulRoskillyaa.  Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon UK, Fraunhofer Insitute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany. 2017.  ABSTRACT:  Future electricity systems which plan to use large proportions of intermittent (e.g. wind, solar or tidal generation) or inflexible (e.g. nuclear, coal, etc.) electricity generation sources require an increasing scale-up of energy storage to match the supply with hourly, daily and seasonal electricity demand profiles. Evaluation of how to meet this scale of energy storage has predominantly been based on the deployment of a handful of technologies including batteries, Pumped Hydro, Compressed Air Energy Storage and Power-to-Gas. However, for technical, confidentiality and data availability reasons the majority of such analyses have been unable to properly consider and have therefore neglected the potential of Pumped Heat Energy Storage, which has thus not been benchmarked or considered in a much detail relative to competitive solutions. This paper presents an economic analysis of a Pumped Heat Energy Storage system using data obtained during the development of the world’s first grid-scale demonstrator project. A Pumped Heat Energy Storage system stores electricity in the form of thermal energy using a proprietary reversible heat pump (engine) by compressing and expanding gas. Two thermal storage tanks are used to store heat at the temperature of the hot and cold gas. Using the Levelised Cost of Storage method, the cost of stored electricity of a demonstration plant proved to be between 2.7 and 5.0 €ct/kW h, depending on the assumptions considered. The Levelised Cost of Storage of Pumped Heat Energy Storage was then compared to other energy storage technologies at 100 MW and 400 MW h scales. The results show that Pumped Heat Energy Storage is cost-competitive with Compressed Air Energy Storage systems and may be even cost-competitive with Pumped Hydroelectricity Storage with the additional advantage of full flexibility for location. As with all other technologies, the Levelised Cost of Storage proved strongly dependent on the number of storage cycles per year. The low specific cost per storage capacity of Pumped Heat Energy Storage indicated that the technology could also be a valid option for long-term storage, even though it was designed for short-term operation. Based on the resulting Levelised Cost of Storage, Pumped Heat Energy Storage should be considered a cost-effective solution for electricity storage. However, the analysis did highlight that the Levelised Cost of Storage of a Pumped Heat Energy Storage system is sensitive to assumptions on capital expenditure and round trip efficiencies, emphasising a need for further empirical evidence at grid-scale and detailed cost analysis. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  7. Arce, Pablo, et al. “Overview of thermal energy storage (TES) potential energy savings and climate change mitigation in Spain and Europe.” Applied energy 88.8 (2011): 2764-2774.  Thermal energy storage (TES) is nowadays presented as one of the most feasible solutions in achieving energy savings and environmentally correct behaviors. Its potential applications have led to R&D activities and to the development of various technologies. However, so far there is no available data on a national scale in Spain and on a continental level in Europe, to corroborate the associated energetic and environmental benefits derived from TES. This is why, based on a previous potential calculation initiative model performed in Germany, this work intends to provide a first overview of the Spanish TES potential as well as an European overview. Load reductions, energy savings, and CO2 emissions reductions are tackled for the buildings and industrial sector. Results depend on the amount of implementation and show that, in the case of Europe for instance, yearly CO2 emissions may get to be cut down up to around 6% in reference to 1990 emission levels.
  8. Zhou, Zhihua, et al. “Phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage in residential buildings in cold climate.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 48 (2015): 692-703.  Heating accounts for a large proportion of energy consumption in residential buildings located in cold climate. Solar energy plays an important role in responding to the growing demand of energy as well as dealing with pressing climate change and air pollution issues. Solar energy is featured with low-density and intermittency, therefore an appropriate storage method is required. This paper reports a critical review of existing studies on thermal storage systems that employ various methods. Latent heat storage using phase change materials (PCMs) is one of the most effective methods to store thermal energy, and it can significantly reduce area for solar collector. During the application of PCM, the solid–liquid phase change can be used to store a large quantity of energy where the selection of the PCM is most critical. A numerical study is presented in this study to explore the effectiveness of NH4Al(SO4)2·12H2O as a new inorganic phase change material (PCM). Its characteristics and heat transfer patterns were studied by means of both experiment and simulation. The results show that heat absorption and storage are more efficient when temperature of heat source is 26.5 °C greater than the phase transition temperature. According to heat transfer characteristics at both radial and axial directions, it is suggested to set up some small exchangers so that solar energy can be stored unit by unit in practice. Such system is more effective in low density residential buildings.
  9. Zhou, Dan, Chang-Ying Zhao, and Yuan Tian. “Review on thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) in building applications.” Applied energy 92 (2012): 593-605. Thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) offers a high thermal storage density with a moderate temperature variation, and has attracted growing attention due to its important role in achieving energy conservation in buildings with thermal comfort. Various methods have been investigated by previous researchers to incorporate PCMs into the building structures, and it has been found that with the help of PCMs the indoor temperature fluctuations can be reduced significantly whilst maintaining desirable thermal comfort. This paper summarises previous works on latent thermal energy storage in building applications, covering PCMs, the impregnation methods, current building applications and their thermal performance analyses, as well as numerical simulation of buildings with PCMs. Over 100 references are included in this paper.
  10. Soares, Nelson, et al. “Review of passive PCM latent heat thermal energy storage systems towards buildings’ energy efficiency.” Energy and buildings 59 (2013): 82-103.  This paper aims to explore how and where phase change materials (PCMs) are used in passive latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems, and to present an overview of how these construction solutions are related to building’s energy performance. A survey on research trends are firstly presented followed by the discussion of some physical and theoretical considerations about the building and the potential of integrating PCMs in construction elements. The different types of PCMs and main criteria that govern their selection are reviewed, as well as the main methods to measure PCMs’ thermal properties, and the techniques to incorporate PCMs into building elements. The numerical modeling of heat transfer with phase-change and heat transfer enhanced techniques are discussed, followed by a review of several passive LHTES systems with PCMs. Studies on dynamic simulation of energy in buildings (DSEB) incorporating PCMs are reviewed, mainly those supported by EnergyPlus, ESP-r and TRNSYS software tools. Lifecycle assessments, both environmental and economic are discussed. This review shows that passive construction solutions with PCMs provide the potential for reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling due to the load reduction/shifting, and for increasing indoor thermal comfort due to the reduced indoor temperature fluctuations.
  11. H Abedin, Ali, and Marc A Rosen. “A critical review of thermochemical energy storage systems.” The open renewable energy journal 4.1 (2011).  Thermal energy storage (TES) is an advanced technology for storing thermal energy that can mitigate environmental impacts and facilitate more efficient and clean energy systems. Thermochemical TES is an emerging method with the potential for high energy density storage. Where space is limited, therefore, thermochemical TES has the highest potential to achieve the required compact thermal energy storage. Thermochemical TES is presently undergoing research and experimentation. In order to develop an understanding of thermochemical TES systems and to improve their implementation, comprehensive analyses and investigations are required. Here, principles of thermochemical TES are presented and thermochemical TES is critically assessed and compared with other TES types. Recent advances are discussed.
bandicam 2020-08-18 11-12-18-475

Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions | Union of Concerned Scientists

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ONLINE ARTICLE ABOUT CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE POSTED BY ARCGIS.COM LINK: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/e04f68978cc5425288fe9777e5b7844c

Climate change: Emissions edge up despite drop in coal - BBC News

PART-1: WHAT THE ARCGIS ARTICLE SAYS

Carbon Dioxide emissions can also come from natural resources such as the ocean. About 750 gigatons of CO2 is produced every year from natural resources but about 32 gigations of CO2 is created by manmade things, such as cars, and this makes the CO2 unbalance, according to the EPA. This is an important issue because what happens today, affects our future and us. I know our future will be rough because of how high the carbon emissions are. Greta Thunberg said “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say – we will never forgive you.”

Layer 1 – CO2 Emissions from Stationary Carbon Cources: This layer shows stationary carbon sources. Stationary carbon sources include power plants, gas stations, houses, and more. The circles show areas where stationary carbon sources are making CO2 emissions. If the circles are larger, then a great amount of CO2 is being emitted but if the circle is small, a small amount of CO2 is being emitted. As I analyze this layer, the stationary carbon sources are mostly found on the east side of the United States. This make sense because it is densely populated on the east side of the United States.

Layer 2 – Carbon Emissions by State. This layer shows carbon emissions by state. This takes place in the United States. Lighter states show less carbon emissions and darker states show greater amounts of carbon emissions. The color goes the light blue to dark blue. The highest carbon emission is 130 tons or more while the smallest is 30 tons or less. While analyzing this layer, the higher carbon emissions are mostly on states that have a bigger populations. This layer also shows that higher carbon emissions are mostly on the east side of the United States.

Layer 3 – Fossil Plants. This layer shows operating, on standby, or short- or long-term out of service fossil plants. I chose this layer because it gives us a general view of how many fossil plants emitted carbon dioxide. The circles show the capacity of the fossil plant. The smallest capacity is 0 while the largest is 3,695. While analyzing this, I saw many fossil plants near the coast, especially Rhode Island. The Industrial Revolution started on Rhode Island. Also, the east side of the United States has a mass amount of fossil plants because of the population density.

Global, National, or Local Connection: I think my issue is important to China because they are the number one producer of CO2. They produce about 30% of CO2. China has 2,801,143 factories. That is 10x more than the number of factories in the United States. This impacts my community because we are the future generations and we have to deal with what the previous generations left for us. We have to solve this issue in such a short amount of time. We exhale CO2, we use products that produces CO2, society has been dealing with CO2 for a century, and we still haven’t found a way to solve the issue. High school students from Minnesota decide to skip school to protest about global warming.

Solutions: Simple solutions you could do everyday are turn off lights when you aren’t using it, bike to school during warmer seasons, eat less red meat, and eat fresh produce. But major national solutions are plant more trees (team trees), donate to organizations that deal with climate change, and express a positive attitude to people about this issue so they can be influenced. Communities can have schools make a policy on students and staff must do a certain amount of volunteering hours before they retire/quit or graduate. Volunteering would be on picking up trash or growing crops over the summer. We as individuals can try to bike or walk to school, be cleaner, influence on the younger generations, and be a good example. Some solutions that are already being taken are team trees which is a fundraiser that is run by a famous youtuber Mr.Beast. Scientist are also trying to find solutions to CO2 emissions. Greta Thunberg, confronted a bunch of world leaders about global warming to give out a good example to the younger generations. A fundraiser to raise money to plant 20,000,000 trees. A major controversy topic is that fossil plants deny the fact that CO2 emissions play a major role in global warming and tried to convince the media that climate change is not from humans. They believe scientist are giving out false information to the public.Little simple things we do everyday can play a major role. I hope that all of you think deeply about how you can improve yourself and also think about your future. And teach your children how to help the earth and be a little more clean. If you feel like this issue is not going to affect you or you just don’t care, then at least know that you’re going to be living on this planet for you’re whole life and that it is better to inhale oxygen than carbon dioxide.

Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change | PNAS

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY:

This assessment of the role of fossil fuel emissions in climate change serves as an example of the belief among environmentalists that climate change is an environmental issue that in turn creates climate action propositions that are in fact their environmental activism cloaked in the language of climate change and fossil fuel emissions.

hippie | History, Lifestyle, & Beliefs | Britannica

This interpretation of climate change and climate action is widespread and it provides further support for the proposition in two related posts: RELATED POST#1 LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/30/the-humans-must-save-the-planet/ , RELATED POST#2: LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/23/anti-fossil-fuel-activism-disguised-as-climate-science/ that the historical roots of the climate change movement of our time is the anti fossil fuel environmentalism of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Latest: 16 arrested at NYC student climate protest - InfoNews

Localised direct use of geothermal in the Arctic with significant potential  | ThinkGeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News

THIS POST IS A SET OF LINKS TO RELATED POSTS ON THE GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF THE ARCTIC THAT MUST BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN THE STUDY OF ICE MELT EVENTS IN THE REGION.

RELATED POST#1: A NEW CLIMATE STATE FOR THE ARCTIC: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/16/ncar-a-new-climate-state-for-the-arctic/

  1. The essence of this research paper is that the failed “Ice-Free-Arctic” fear has been resurrected and re-christened as a “New Climate State“.
  2. The paper is based on the assumption that observed year to year declines in September minimum Arctic sea ice extent are driven by anthropogenic global warming and that therefore these trends can be moderated and controlled with climate action to moderate the rate of warming. However no empirical evidence is provided to establish that critical causation relationship.
  3. In related posts we find that correlation analysis does not show that September minimum sea ice extent or volume is responsive to anthropogenic global warming temperatures over the Arctic at an annual time scale. LINK#1 https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/07/precipitous-decline-in-arctic-sea-ice-volume/ LINK#2 https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/09/28/sea-ice-extent-area-1979-2018/
  4. In the context of the results of correlation analysis presented in the linked documents in item 3 above, it is noted that the ocean floor of the Arctic is geologically very active with significant mantle plume and volcanic activity as described in a related post LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/01/arctic/ .
  5. As a result, it is not possible to understand the sea ice melt phenomenon in this region purely in terms of atmospheric science. The continued and intensified effort by climate science to do so is a reflection of a debilitating atmosphere bias in that discipline.
  6. In Part 3 and Part 4 below we present a history in climate science of a failed obsession with an ice free Arctic and its positive feedback implications. This history implies that the attempt to establish a fear based activism against fossil fuel emissions with a scary spectacle of an ice free Arctic has failed and that the phrase “Ice free Arctic” has lost its potency as a tool for fear based activism against fossil fuels.
  7. The ice free Arctic fears presented in the paper under review must be understood in this context. The failed effort over decades to create the fear of an ice free Arctic has diminished the credibility and potency of the phrase “ice free Arctic” and a new language was necessary to present that case. The new language stated as “THE ARCTIC IS TRANSITIONING TO A NEW CLIMATE STATE” is best understood in the context of the history of a failed effort to create fear of an ice free Arctic .
  8. The failure of the ICE FREE ARCTIC fearology must be addressed in terms of the data and not with new language and new climate model projections. More importantly, as a science and a scientific endeavor, climate science must resist the need to present climate data to create fear of fossil fuel emissions that requires an excessive reliance on climate models and scary projections based on extreme assumptions. The statistical and logical flaw in the use of extreme values of uncertainty bands in climate science is discussed in a related post on this site LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/22/climate-science-uncertainty/
  9. ADVOCACY BY CLIMATE SCIENTISTS CREATES A BIAS IN THEIR WORK SUCH THAT THEIR FINDINGS LOSE CREDIBILITY. THIS PATTERN IS SEEN IN THE SORDID HISTORY OF THE “ICE FREE ARCTIC” PRESENTED BELOW.
arctic

RELATED POST#2: DEATH SPIRAL OF THE ARCTIC: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/15/desperation-language-of-fearology-death-spiral/

  1. CLAIMLast year, the ice sheet lost a record amount of ice, equivalent to 1 million metric tons every minuteRESPONSEIf the ice sheet is losing 1 million tonnes a minute every minute during the summer melt season June to September, it will lose 176 gigatons per year and at that rate, the whole of the Greenland Ice Sheet will be gone in the next 150,000 years while contributing about 0.5mm/year or 5cm per century to sea level riseIs this a death spiral?
  2. CLAIMThe Arctic is unravelling. And it’s happening faster than anyone could have imagined just a few decades agoRESPONSEA few decades ago climate scientists were saying that global warming is devastating the Arctic and that the Arctic is screaming, as described in a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/22/old-climate-fears-revisited/ There we find that (1) 1999, Sea ice in the Arctic Basin is shrinking by 14000 square miles per year because of global warming caused by human activity according to a new international study that used 46 years of data and climate models to tackle the specific question of whether the loss of Arctic ice is a natural variation or caused by global warming. The computer model says that the probability that these changes were caused by natural variation is 1% but when global warming was added to the model the ice melt was a perfect fit. Therefore the ice melt is caused by human activities that emit greenhouse gases. (2) 2004 Global warming has unleashed massive ecological changes that are already under way. These changes are ushering in a grim future including massive species extinctions, an elevation of sea levels by 3 feet, wholesale changes to the Arctic. (3) 2004: RAPID ARCTIC WARMING BRINGS SEA LEVEL RISE. Increasing greenhouse gases from human activities is causing the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet; in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia winter temperatures have risen by 2C to 4C in the last 50 years; the Arctic will warm by 4C to 7C by 2100. A portion of Greenland’s ice sheet will melt; global sea levels will rise; global warming will intensify. Greenland contains enough melting ice to raise sea levels by 7 meters; Bangkok, Manila, Dhaka, Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey are at risk of inundation; thawing permafrost and rising seas threaten Arctic coastal regions; climate change will accelerate and bring about profound ecological and social changes; the Arctic is experiencing the most rapid and severe climate change on earth and it’s going to get a lot worse; Arctic summer sea ice will decline by 50% to 100%; polar bears will be driven towards extinction; this report is an urgent SOS for the Arctic; forest fires and insect infestations will increase in frequency and intensity; changing vegetation and rising sea levels will shrink the tundra to its lowest level in 21000 years; vanishing breeding areas for birds and grazing areas for animals will cause extinctions of many species. (4) 2004 GLOBAL WARMING WILL LEAVE ARCTIC ICE FREE. The Arctic ice cap is shrinking at an unprecedented rate and will be gone by 2070. It has shrunk by 15%to 20% in the last 30 years. This process will accelerate with the Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of the world due to a buildup of heat trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (5) 2007: THE ARCTIC IS SCREAMING. Climate science declares that the low sea ice extent in the Arctic is the leading indicator of climate change. We are told that the Arctic “is screaming”, that Arctic sea ice extent is the “canary in the coal mine”, and that Polar Bears and other creatures in the Arctic are dying off and facing imminent extinction. Scientists say that the melting sea ice has set up a positive feedback system that would cause the summer melts in subsequent years to be greater and greater until the Arctic becomes ice free in the summer of 2012. (6) 2007. Climate scientists say that the Arctic is on its way to becoming ice free in summer and that therefore the polar bear should be declared an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and we must act quickly and decisively to cut emissions and turn the climate temperature knob down to where the Polar Bear can survive. (7) 2008: ARCTIC SEA ICE IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL because of positive feedback. Fossil fuels are devastating the Arctic where the volume of sea ice fell to its lowest recorded level to date this year and that reduced ice coverage is causing a non-linear acceleration in the loss of polar ice because there is less ice to reflect sunlight. (8) 2008: THE ARCTIC WILL BE ICE FREE IN SUMMER IN 2008. The unusually low summer sea ice extent in the Arctic in 2007 caused the IPCC to take note and has revise its projection of an ice free Arctic. (9) 2009: Ban Ki-Moon says that he went to the Arctic Ocean and was horrified to see the remains of a glacier that just a few years ago was a majestic mass of ice and that had just collapsed – not slowly melted – just collapsed. He thereby became convinced that the only resolution for the “climate crisis” is a binding emission reduction agreement at the Copenhagen meeting in December 2009. (10) 2009: THE ARCTIC WILL BE ICE FREE IN SUMMER BY THE YEAR 2012. Climate scientists have studied the extreme summer melt of Arctic sea ice in 2007 and found that the summer melt of 2007 was a climate change event and that it implies that the Arctic will be ice free in the summer from 2012 onwards. This is a devastating effect on the planet and our use of fossil fuels is to blame.
  3. CLAIMNorthern Siberia and the Canadian Arctic are now warming three times faster than the rest of the world. In the past decade, Arctic temperatures have increased by nearly 1C. If greenhouse gas emissions stay on the same trajectory, we can expect the north to have warmed by 4C year-round by the middle of the centuryRESPONSEIt is true that the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world because of certain atmospheric circulation patterns that transfers heat from the Tropics to the Arctic but the rate of warming is not uniform “year-round”. The warming rate is highest in spring (3.9C per century) and lowest in summer (1.4C per century). The winter months are in the middle at about (2.4C per century). These rates imply a mean annualized rate of (2.57C per century) – about twice the rate of the global mean warming rate of (1.3C per century). Details in a related post: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/22/global-warming-1979-2019/ . The middle of the century is 2050 – about 30 years away. At the warming rate of 2.6C per century the Arctic will have warmed by 0.8C at most by mid-century. The 4C forecast requires some clarification in this context.
  4. CLAIMIn the Arctic, the warm summer months melt away ice and the winter snowfall freezes it back. But as the climate warms, the Arctic loses more ice than it gains backRESPONSE: Yes, sir! Agreed! This is the mechanism of gradual year by year ice loss in a warming climate.
  5. CLAIMArctic ice in August 1980: The Greenland Ice Sheet is no longer growing. Instead of gaining new ice every year, it begins to lose roughly 51 billion metric tons annually, discharged into the ocean as meltwater and icebergsRESPONSEYes of course, in a warming climate Greenland will lose some ice on an annual basis and at 51 gigatons per year, that melt will contribute 0.142mm/year to sea level rise and if this loss persists for a few thousand years, the whole of the Greenland Ice Sheet will be gone in about 500,000 years unless the next glaciation cycle of the Quaternary Ice Age intervenes.
  6. CLAIM: August 2010: A chunk of ice four times the size of Manhattan breaks off the Petermann Glacier, causing the ice sheet to retreat 18 kilometers. With little snow falling during winter, Greenland’s ice cap is subjected to record melting which lasts 50 days longer than average. RESPONSETaking the height of the World Trade Center as the height, the volume of “the size of Manhattan” is 32.0463 cubic km and a chunk of ice that size weighs 32.0463 gigatons and one that is four times the size of Manhattan weighs 128 gigatons. If this exceptional Manhattan event happens every August, the melting of Greenland will contribute 0.357mm/year to sea level rise and the Greenland Ice sheet will be gone in about 200,000 years. The use of geographical references to denote ice volume is not a good way to communicate the amount of ice that is at issue.
  7. CLAIMEven if we stop all greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, Arctic sea ice will continue melting for decadesRESPONSEThe time span implied by decades is not a very long period in in the context of a century of ice melt dynamics and without an AGW climate change implication because of the internal climate variability issueLINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/
  8. CLAIMThere is no facet of Arctic life that remains untouched by the immensity of change here, except perhaps the eternal dance between light and darkness. The Arctic as we know it – a vast icy landscape where reindeer roam, polar bears feast, and waters teem with cod and seals – will soon be frozen only in memory. RESPONSEThere is in fact no facet of human life anywhere on earth that remains untouched by the immensity of the climate in shaping our lives. For example the Holocene – and specifically the Holocene Climate Optimum period – created human civilization and our social structure out of animal-like humans who lived isolated in caves: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/20/the-holocene-optimum-period-a-bibliography/ and it was the climate change of the Medieval Warm Period that took the Norsemen settle in Greenland: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/04/02/mwp/ and the Little Ice Age that killed those settlers and ended the Viking settlement of Greenland LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/07/19/liaclimatologybibliography/ Climate has an enormous impact on our lives and this impact is what drives the climate superstitions that have been with us all though human history and still is, as evidenced in this Guardian assessment of climate change: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/
  9. CLAIMA new Nature Climate Change study predicts that summer sea ice floating on the surface of the Arctic Ocean could disappear entirely by 2035. Until relatively recently, scientists didn’t think we would reach this point until 2050 at the earliest. Reinforcing this finding, last month Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest extent in the , the 41-year satellite record. RESPONSE: As seen in ITEM#5 above, the “ICE-FREE-ARCTIC” being forecast here has a long and sordid history in climate science. This kind of obsession with fear mongering does not speak well of what is often advertised as “THE SCIENCE” that in and of itself should validate everything climate scientists say. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/18/the-ice-free-arctic-obsession-of-agw/ .
  10. CLAIMThe latest models are basically showing that no matter what emissions scenario we follow, we’re going to lose summer sea ice cover before the middle of the century. says Julienne Stroeve, a senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. “Even if we keep warming to less than 2C, it’s still enough to lose that summer sea ice in some years. RESPONSEThe strange and failed obsession of climate science with the ice free Arctic prediction continues unabated. It is odd to the point of bizarre. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/18/the-ice-free-arctic-obsession-of-agw/
  11. CLAIMAt outposts in the Canadian Arctic, permafrost is thawing 70 years sooner than predicted. Roads are buckling. Houses are sinking. In Siberia, giant craters pockmark the tundra as temperatures soar, hitting 100F (38C) in the town of Verkhoyansk in JulyRESPONSE: An odd falsehood that seems to have become institutionalized in climate science is that failed forecasts are celebrated as being even more right than previously thought if the data are scarier than the forecast. That the permafrost forecast was off by 70 years does not mean that it was even more right than previously thought. It means that the forecast was wrong. The biased interpretation of the error is evidence of a significant level of confirmation bias in climate science: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/29/diffenbaugh-2017-extreme-weather-of-climate-change/ .
  12. CLAIMThe soaring heat leads to raging wildfires, now common in hotter and drier parts of the Arctic. In recent summers, infernos have torn across the tundra of Sweden, Alaska, and Russia, destroying native vegetation. RESPONSEThese are time and geography constrained climate events that have no interpretation in terms of anthropogenic global warmingLINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/19/agw-heat-wave-in-siberia/ LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/13/siberian-heat-larming-climate-scientists/ LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/
  13. CLAIMThis hurts the millions of reindeer and caribou who eat mosses, lichens, and stubbly grasses. Disastrous rain-on-snow events have also increased in frequency, locking the ungulates’ preferred forage foods in ice; between 2013 and 2014, an estimated 61,000 animals died on Russia’s Yamal peninsula due to mass starvation during a rainy winter. Overall, the global population of reindeer and caribou has declined by 56% in the last 20 years. RESPONSEClimate science has determined that that global warming is killing off the caribou because warming causes freezing rain in the calving season and that makes it hard for calving caribou to feed. The data presented show a population decline for the caribou. However, as shown in a related post, the decline in caribou population is not sustained leading to a very different interpretation of the same dataLINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/03/09/caribou/ .
  14. CLAIMSuch losses have devastated the indigenous people whose culture and livelihoods are interwoven with the plight of the reindeer and caribou. Inuit use all parts of the caribou: sinew for thread, hide for clothing, antlers for tools, and flesh for food. In Europe and Russia, the Sami people herd thousands of reindeer across the tundra. Warmer winters have forced many of them to change how they conduct their livelihoods, for example by providing supplemental feed for their reindeer. Yet some find opportunities in the crisis. Melting ice has made the region’s abundant mineral deposits and oil and gas reserves more accessible by ship. China is heavily investing in the increasingly ice-free Northern Sea Route over the top of Russia, which promises to cut shipping times between the Far East and Europe by 10 to 15 days. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago could soon yield another shortcut. And in Greenland, vanishing ice is unearthing a wealth of uranium, zinc, gold, iron and rare earth elements. In 2019, Donald Trump claimed he was considering buying Greenland from Denmark. Never before has the Arctic enjoyed such political relevance. Tourism has boomed, at least until the Covid shutdown, with throngs of wealthy visitors drawn to this exotic frontier in hopes of capturing the perfect selfie under the aurora borealis. Between 2006 and 2016, the impact from winter tourism increased by over 600%. The city of Tromsø, Norway, dubbed the “Paris of the north”, welcomed just 36,000 tourists in the winter of 2008-09. By 2016, that number had soared to 194,000. Underlying such interest, however, is an unspoken sentiment: that this might be the last chance people have to experience the Arctic as it once was. RESPONSEThe Arctic is the home of the indigenous Inuit, a proud, tough, and highly talented race of survivors that have lived, survived, and prospered in the Arctic since the icy cold of the last glaciation, through the Younger Dryas cooling, through 8200, 6300, 4700, 2700, 1550 and 550YBP cold periods and the the extreme warming, ice melt, and sea level rise of the Holocene Climate Optimum, the Minoan warm period that destroyed the Late Bronze Age civilization, the Medieval warm period that brought the Norsemen to Greenland, and the Little Ice Age that killed off the Norsemen in Greenland. Through it all the Inuit have survived, thrived, grown, and prospered. And they are still here today surviving wonderfully as only they know how. It is an extreme form of racism for the European races to play the role of caretakers of these incredible Arctic people. They don’t need the Europeans to feel sorry for them or to take care of them and to help them to survive global warming. They certainly don’t need Europeans to meddle in Arctic affairs and to keep them from the economic bonanza off the Northwest Passage.
End of the planet' or Aladdin's cave? Climate change turns Arctic into  strategic, economic hotspot - pennlive.com

RELATED POST#3: RECORD ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/30/record-arctic-sea-ice-melt/

We conclude from this analysis as follows:  The data do show declining Arctic sea ice  volume during a period of rising temperature but without evidence for the assumed causation of sea ice decline by AGW and therefore without support for the claim that these changes are driven by AGW and that therefore they can be attenuated with climate action in the form of reducing or eliminating fossil fuel emissions.

10. A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS PROVIDED IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE [LINK] . SIMILAR ANALYSIS FOR SEA ICE EXTENT AND AREA ARE PROVIDED IN YET ANOTHER RELATED POST ON THIS SITE [LINK] . No evidence is found that the observed decline in Arctic sea ice extent or volume is driven by the rising temperature  of anthropogenic global warming above the Arctic Ocean.

IT IS THEREFORE PROPOSED THAT SEA ICE DYNAMICS IN THIS REGION CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD PURELY IN ATMOSPHERIC TERMS BECAUSE OF THE KNOWN GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF THE REGION THAT MUST BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN THE STUDY OF SEA ICE MELT.  : [LINK] 

2017 Arctic sea ice minimum comes in at eighth smallest on record ...

RELATED POST#4: ARCTIC GEOLOGY LECTURE BY JAMES KAMIS: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/01/arctic/

The image below shows the 6,000 km long Mid Arctic Rift and its associated active volcanoes. The rift is seen along the right side of the left frame of the image as a long and curvy red hashed area. The red triangles mark the positions of known active volcanoes along the rift. Also shown on this slide is the Greenland/Iceland mantle plume. On the left of Greenland is the Baffin Bay Labrador rift system marked as BBLR. In the left upper corner on the slide is a red hashed area where active volcano locations are marked with red triangles. It is the Aleutian Island convergent plate boundary where two giant plates collide and one dives under the other and creates a tremendous amount of geological energy that becomes evident on the surface.

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  1. Arctic Sea Ice: The image below depicts extent of Arctic sea ice in October 2017. This sea ice distribution is representative of sea ice extent in the month of October for the decade ending in 2017. In the color grey are shown the adjacent land areas as Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The red hashed areas mark the sea ice extent prior to the recent decade. The graphic shows that loss of sea extent in agreement with climate science claims that AGW is causing a decrease in Arctic sea ice extent. The loss of sea ice is found to have occurred in two specific areas as shown by the red hashed lines. In the lower left is the western edge of sea ice melt and in the upper right is the eastern edge of sea ice melt. Localization of the melting in these areas has been consistent and persistent over a long period of time of at least 50 years. Note that the sea ice extends out to Russia with no melt zone. The geographical pattern in sea ice melt does not suggest a uniform cause of sea ice melt but rather a geographically defined sources of heat that match the melt pattern.
  2. Geological Drivers of Arctic Sea Ice Melt: The image below shows the pattern of localized geological sources heat and further that this pattern of geological heat matches the pattern of sea ice melt. In the  image below we see the sea ice extent in white and some red hashed areas. The red hatched areas of the Arctic Sea mark the locations of significant atmospheric methane concentrations above the Arctic Sea in April of 2014 detected by NASA satellites. The black lines in the image mark the center-line of the Mid-Arctic and Baffin Bay rift and associated cross faults. The center line is where lava comes up and spreads out. The observed localized geographical pattern of atmospheric methane concentration began in April 2014 when a moderate earthquake along the Mid-Arctic Rift caused a shifting of deep magma chambers. The shifted magma chambers released heat and hydrothermal methane into deep portions of the rift. The heat and methane moved upwards along he fault plane that had been opened by the earthquake. In the process, the heat encountered methane hydrates in ice beds. The heat released methane from the hydrates. The methane along with hydrothermal methane migrated up through the fault and into the overlying ocean. The heat warmed the ocean and the methane entered the atmosphere and created the sudden localized methane concentration. It was a geographically extensive heat flow event, not atmospheric phenomena  that caused Arctic sea ice melt.
arctic-sea-ice2

The Jan Mayen Trend: The Jan Mayen Trend (JMT) is a 1500-km portion of the mid-Arctic rift that is volcanically active. The right frame of the image below shows the location of the JMT. It runs from just north of Iceland up to the Svalbard Islands. Research by Dr. Rolf Pederson of the University of Bergen reported an amazing discovery about the JMT. He writes, “1,200C magma pouring into the sea from hundreds of submarine volcanoes and we wonder why the seas are warming?”  He went on to say “We have found volcanoes at such a shallow level that they could break through to the surface at any moment and form new island groups. I have been writing about underwater volcanoes for years. In fact there is an entire chapter in my new book “Not by fire but by Ice” that discusses the importance of underwater volcanoes and how they are heating the seas”. The JMP ends at the Svalbard Islands. Research for this region shows an extreme amount of underwater heat flow and methane emissions in an around the Svalbard Islands. Also some of the glaciers on the islands are melting and retreating while others are growing.

arctic-sea-ice3

Greenland Heat Flows: The left frame in the image below is from a NASA 2018 research paper. It documents the geological time frame for the movement of Greenland across the Greenland-Iceland mantle plume. The black dashed line shows the path of the movement of Greenland across the mantle plume. The color shadings are NASA’s interpretation of the present day heat flow of the rocks in Greenland. It shows that the heat flow map matches the course of the mantle plume. This heat flow is relic heat flow in the sense that it is heat that is captured but occasionally pulses out of the bedrock beneath the glaciers in Greenland. The right frame of the image below shows a specific example of how this relic heat flow has affected the bedrock and associated overlying individual glaciers. Research at Aarhus University in Denmark found in the Young’s Sound glacier (seen in the right frame) as it is pouring into the Greenland Sea, that its upward catchment basin on the bedrock was extremely hot. They decided that this heat was the reason that this glacier was moving so quickly and receding so quickly. They rejected atmospheric warming as a cause of these events.

greenland01

Bering Sea Volcanoes and Ocean Currents: The sea ice decline on the Western edge of the Arctic is controlled by the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea is a closed basin. The image below shows the Aleutian Islands and their 90 or so active volcanoes. On the upper left portion of the image below is the Kamchatka Peninsula and its 70 or so very active volcanoes. The ocean currents move from the Kamchatka Peninsula south and then north through the center portion of the Bering Sea and empty into the Western portion of the Arctic Ocean. Another current on the South-side of the Aleutian Islands takes a turn, goes through a gap along the Eastern side of the Bering Sea and empties into the Western side of the Arctic Ocean. The Bering Sea is very warm & it empties into the Arctic Ocean and melts the ice on the western side.

bering sea

THE WARM BLOB OF 2010:  In the image below, the left frame shows the ocean current flows of Gulf Stream on May 26, 2010. It shows that the Gulf Stream current, (in red) as it moves along the Eastern seaboard of the USA is suddenly blocked in 2010 by a large Warm Blob. A warm blob is a large section of ocean water with a higher temperature than the surrounding ocean). The warm blob had formed rapidly. It extended from the surface of the ocean down to the ocean floor. This was a very large and powerful warm blob. In the right frame, the lower slide shows the warm blob in red in its early stages of development. The graphic makes clear that the warm blob is associated with heat flow. The warm blob itself is shown in red. Iceland, a net source of heat in the blob’s heat flow dynamic, is located just to the right of the southernmost portion of Greenland. In black lines are marked the Mid Arctic Rift and the Labrador Rift and their spreading center lines converge in the warm blob area. This arrangement suggests that the warm blob is the creation of a pulse of heat flow from these rifts. The upper slide of the right frame in an image of the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. It should be noted that the Gulf Stream shutdown is coincident with the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, both occurring in April 2010. Although it cannot be said that this eruption itself created the warm blob, it is noted that the eruption is the evidence of accumulated heat flows along the rift that was active in the area over a long period of time. The eruption was simply the orgasmic end of the pulse of heat flow. In the same way these heat flows also resulted in the sudden creation of the warm blob coincident with the eruption. In other words the 2010 eruption and the 2010 warm blob are related not as cause and effect but as effects of a common cause.

 In summary, the Arctic Ocean, specifically the sea floor of the Arctic Ocean is not a static bedrock platform. A 3D image of the Arctic sea floor in the image below shows the elevated sea floor of one of the rifts. The circular cone shaped features are deep ocean volcanoes. The uplifted mountains are very active faults. The dynamics of sea ice melt and the temperature and chemical changes in sea water in the Arctic as well as animal migration patterns are best understood in terms of the geological phenomena in this geologically active zone and not exclusively in terms of atmospheric forcings as assumed in climate science. A statistical test of sea ice melt data presented in a related post [LINK]  supports these conclusions. 

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WHAT THE OCEAN FLOOR LOOKS LIKE UP THERE

RELATED POST#5: THE GREENLAND ICELAND MANTLE PLUME: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/30/the-greenland-iceland-mantle-plume/

iceland mantle plume | Science of Cycles

HERE WE PRESENT THE CASE THAT THE REGION IN QUESTION IS GEOLOGICALLY ACTIVE WITH MAGMATIC AND VOLCANIC ACTIVITY ALONG THE JAN MAYEN TREND AND THE GREENLAND-ICELAND MANTLE PLUME AND THAT THEREFORE A PURELY ATMOSPHERIC INTERPRETATION OF ICE MELT EVENTS IN THIS REGION IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT AND UNBIASED EVIDENCE OF SUCH CAUSATION.  It is noted that there is significant geological activity in the form of volcanism and mantle flows around and under Iceland and Greenland that derive from the Mid Arctic Rift, the Greenland-Iceland mantle plume and the Baffin Bay-Labrador rift system. Geothermal heat flux from these seafloor activities play an important role in Greenland ice sheet and sea ice dynamics in the Arctic and therefore these phenomena cannot be understood purely in terms of atmospheric forcing implied by anthropogenic global warming. This is why sea ice melt dynamics do not correspond with global warming temperature as shown in related posts on this site. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/25/list-of-arctic-sea-ice-posts/ . The role of anthropogenic global warming in these events can only be understood in the context of these geothermal heat fluxes. More importantly, the role of anthropogenic global warming in these ice melt dynamics derived exclusively from an atmosphere bias is not credible.

As the North American continental plate carried Greenland north, it glided over a relatively stationary hot spot – the same spot that later formed Iceland after Greenland had moved on, leaving the hot spot to punch out a new land mass from the crust beneath the sea. Tracing Greenland’s movement over 100 million years, carrying it over a hot spot that later formed Iceland. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio; Blue Marble data courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA Goddard) The scar’s track through Greenland still shows a measurable heat signature, according to a study published in August 2018. Led by Yasmina M. Martos, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Skaftafellsjökull Glacier :: Iceland :: Dave Derbis :: Photography

RELATED POST#6: ICELAND’S VANISHING GLACIERS: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/02/02/vanishing-glaciers/

CLAIM: Iceland’s Skaftafellsjokull is a spur from the nation’s Vatnajokull ice cap, which is Europe’s largest glacier. In 1989, photographer Colin Baxter visited the glacier during a family holiday and took a picture of the frozen landscape (THE SECOND PICTURE ABOVE). Colin’s son, Dr Kieran Baxter, returned to the exact location 30 years later: (THE FIRST PICTURE ABOVE). The comparison shows that the glacier had dramatically retreated. Scientists estimate it had shrunk by about 400 square kilometres as a result of climate change. Dr Kieran Baxter, University of Dundee: “It is personally devastating to see them change so drastically in the past few decades. On surface appearances, the extent of the climate crisis often remains largely invisible but here we can see clearly the gravity of the situation that is affecting the entire globeThe rate of decline of the glacier over a 30-year period is personally devastatingGlobally, the world’s glaciers are considered to be among the most visual indicators of how the world’s climate is warming“. RESPONSE: The Arctic region, specifically the area around and under Iceland and Greenland are geologically active. The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano serves as an example of the kind of geothermal energy that Iceland can be subjected to. The relevant geological features include the Mid Arctic Rift system (MARS), the Baffin Bay Labrador rift system(BBLR), the Jan Mayen Trend (JMT), and the Greenland-Iceland Mantle Plume (GIMP). The sea floor in this region, and particularly along the JMT, is not a static bedrock but a very active region of submarine volcanism. The geological features of this region facilitate significant heat flow from the mantle to the surface. For these reasons, it is not possible to understand ice melt events and glacial decline in Iceland exclusively as atmospheric phenomena. Attribution of such events in Iceland and Greenland can only be made in the context of the greater effect of geological activity.

RELATED POST#7: SUB SURFACE GEOLOGY OF THE YAMAL PENINSULA: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/01/siberia-sub-surface-geology/

Massive molten river found running beneath Canada, Russia — RT Viral

Thawing Siberia: The permafrost of the Siberian tundra is definitely thawing. Permafrost is soil that stays frozen year-round; it locks up organic materials like dead plants (or the corpses of mammoths) and keeps them from rotting. When the permafrost thaws, all that organic material starts to decompose, like food left too long in a broken refrigerator. The decomposition releases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, all potent greenhouse gases. Climate scientists agree that the permafrost melt will amplify the effects of greenhouse gases released by human activities, which could worsen the amount of warming the planet experiences. The most pervasive route for permafrost thaw in Siberia is what’s called active-layer deepening. Every summer, the top layer of permafrost that thaws gets deeper and deeper. That’s happening across the Arctic and boreal forests. More dramatic are collapse features, known as thermokarsts. When frozen-solid soil melts, it can collapse in many waysGiant craters observed in Siberia over the past few years could be thermokarsts created when decomposition gases, such as methane, put pressure on the overlying earth, causing dirt-covered ice hills called pingos to explode. Researchers found thousands of small underground gas pockets with high levels of methane and carbon dioxide dotting the landscape and more than 200 Arctic lakes are “bubbling with methane gas although these images reveal little about what’s actually bubbling up. The seeps could be methane, or other gases, or just groundwater. Though permafrost melting could be a scary contributor to climate change, the tundra has not yet hit the “point of no return” at which runaway melt is inevitable. The key is really limiting human emissions as quickly as possible, because in 30 or 40 or 50 years from now, if we have gone past that point, there will be nothing we can do about it. RESPONSE: the Yamal Peninsula along with other adjacent Arctic regions of Siberia are geologically active with natural gas reserves. This area has a long history of sub-surface gas and methane formations that can explode particularly when they are in or under a pingo. A long history of this phenomenon in the paleo record goes back to the formation and the Yamal Crater. The geological explanation of these subsurface explosions is proposed in terms of cryo-volcanism that is a unique feature of the cold icy regions with natural gas deposits. The anthropogenic global warming interpretation of these events as harbingers of climate change gone out of control is probably best understood in terms of climate change activism’s need to push for climate action in the form of a binding global agreement to move the global energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewables. The weakness in this argument is acknowledged but then ignored in the interpretation of these subsurface gas explosions in terms of a heightened need for urgent climate action.

RELATED POST#8: Climate change is pushing warmer Atlantic currents into the Arctic and breaking up the usual stratification between warm deep waters and the cool surface. This also makes it difficult for ice to form: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/28/arctic-warming-alarm-of-october-2020/

Climate change is pushing warmer Atlantic currents into the Arctic and breaking up the usual stratification between warm deep waters and the cool surface. This also makes it difficult for ice to form. For the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October. The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region. Ocean temperatures in the area recently climbed to more than 5C above average, following a record breaking heatwave and the unusually early decline of last winter’s sea ice. The trapped heat takes a long time to dissipate into the atmosphere, even at this time of the year when the sun creeps above the horizon for little more than an hour or two each day. Graphs of sea-ice extent in the Laptev Sea, which usually show a healthy seasonal pulse, appear to have flat-lined. As a result, there is a record amount of open sea in the Arctic. “The lack of freeze-up so far this fall is unprecedented in the Siberian Arctic region,” said Zachary Labe, a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University. He says this is in line with the expected impact of human-driven climate change2020 is another year that is consistent with a rapidly changing Arctic. Without a systematic reduction in greenhouse gases, the likelihood of our first ‘ice-free’ summer will continue to increase by the mid-21st century,” (Zack Labe). This year’s Siberian heatwave was made at least 600 times more likely by industrial and agricultural emissions, according to an earlier study. The warmer air temperature is not the only factor slowing the formation of ice. Climate change is also pushing more balmy Atlantic currents into the Arctic and breaking up the usual stratification between warm deep waters and the cool surface. This also makes it difficult for ice to form. This continues a streak of very low extents. The last 14 years, 2007 to 2020, are the lowest 14 years in the satellite record starting in 1979,. The Arctic is now disappearing, leaving thinner seasonal ice. Overall the average thickness is half what it was in the 1980s.The downward trend is likely to continue until the Arctic has its first ice-free summer. The data and models suggest this will occur between 2030 and 2050. “It’s a matter of when, not if. Scientists are concerned the delayed freeze could amplify feedbacks that accelerate the decline of the sea ice. It is already well known that a smaller area of ice means less of a white area to reflect the sun’s heat back into space. But this is not the only reason the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the global averageThe Laptev Sea is known as the birthplace of ice, which forms along the coast there in early winter, then drifts westward carrying nutrients across the Arctic, before breaking up in the spring in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard. If ice forms late in the Laptev, it will be thinner and thus more likely to melt before it reaches the Fram Strait. This could mean fewer nutrients for Arctic plankton, which will then have a reduced capacity to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. More open sea also means more turbulence in the upper layer of the Arctic ocean, which draws up more warm water from the depthsThe sea ice trends are grim but not surprising. “It is more frustrating than shocking. This has been forecast for a long time, but there has been little substantial response by decision-makers.

RESPONSE: ABOUT THE LAPTEV SEA: The Laptev Sea is the southern termination of the Gakkel spreading ridge. The Laptev Rift System consists of several deep subsided rifts and high standing blocks of the basement. Details of this geological feature are described by Sergey Drachev in his paper on the geology of the continental shelf of the Laptev Sea. The full text of the paper is available on request. The Arctic is geologically active and its temperature and sea ice dynamics cannot be understood exclusively in terms of the atmosphere above the sea ice without consideration of the geology of the region below the sea ice described in a related post on this site : LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/01/arctic/ . Further evidence of geological activity and hydrothermal venting in this regions is described in the bibliography below and in a summary of the relevant information on geological activity in the Laptev Sea area of the Arctic. Based on these data we propose that sea ice dynamics in this region cannot be understood exclusively in terms of atmospheric phenomena. Statistical analysis of Arctic sea ice dynamics does not show a correlation with atmospheric temperature phenomena. Details of this issue are presented in related posts on this site listed below.

GEOLOGY OF THE GAKKEL RIDGE AND LAPTEV SEA RIFT SYSTEM

The Laptev Sea is south of the Gakkel slow spreading ridge. This region is geologically active with seafloor geological features consisting of episodic but intense events of hydrothermal plumes, explosive volcanism, and magmatic flows. Sea ice dynamics and extreme ocean temperature anomalies in this region cannot be understood strictly in terms of atmospheric phenomena such as anthropogenic global warming particularly so when the sea ice dynamics at issue are episodic, localized, and extreme. In light of the influence of the Gakkel Ridge, the study of sea ice and sea surface temperature events in the region must be inclusive of these geological features. The Arctic in general is a very geologically active area and the study of ice melt and ocean temperature events in there must pay attention to these significant sources of heat. 

The Gakkel Ridge: Bathymetry, gravity anomalies, and crustal accretion at  extremely slow spreading rates - Cochran - 2003 - Journal of Geophysical  Research: Solid Earth - Wiley Online Library

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Baker, Edward T., et al. “Hydrothermal venting in magma deserts: The ultraslow‐spreading Gakkel and Southwest Indian Ridges.” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 5.8 (2004). Detailed hydrothermal surveys over ridges with spreading rates of 50–150 mm/yr have found a linear relation between spreading rate and the spatial frequency of hydrothermal venting, but the validity of this relation at slow and ultraslow ridges is unproved. Here we compare hydrothermal plume surveys along three sections of the Gakkel Ridge (Arctic Ocean) and the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) to determine if hydrothermal activity is similarly distributed among these ultraslow ridge sections and if these distributions follow the hypothesized linear trend derived from surveys along fast ridges. Along the Gakkel Ridge, most apparent vent sites occur on volcanic highs, and the extraordinarily weak vertical density gradient of the deep Arctic permits plumes to rise above the axial bathymetry. Individual plumes can thus be extensively dispersed along axis, to distances >200 km, and ∼75% of the total axial length surveyed is overlain by plumes. Detailed mapping of these plumes points to only 9–10 active sites in 850 km, however, yielding a site frequency Fs, sites/100 km of ridge length, of 1.1–1.2. Plumes detected along the SWIR are considerably less extensive for two reasons: an apparent paucity of active vent fields on volcanic highs and a normal deep‐ocean density gradient that prevents extended plume rise. Along a western SWIR section (10°–23°E) we identify 3–8 sites, so Fs = 0.3–0.8; along a previously surveyed 440 km section of the eastern SWIR (58°–66°E), 6 sites yield Fs = 1.3. Plotting spreading rate (us) versus Fs, the ultraslow ridges and eight other ridge sections, spanning the global range of spreading rate, establish a robust linear trend (Fs = 0.98 + 0.015us), implying that the long‐term heat supply is the first‐order control on the global distribution of hydrothermal activity. Normalizing Fs to the delivery rate of basaltic magma suggests that ultraslow ridges are several times more efficient than faster‐spreading ridges in supporting active vent fields. This increased efficiency could derive from some combination of three‐dimensional magma focusing at volcanic centers, deep mining of heat from gabbroic intrusions and direct cooling of the upper mantle, and nonmagmatic heat supplied by exothermic serpentinization.
  2. Edwards, M. H., et al. “Evidence of recent volcanic activity on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge.” Nature 409.6822 (2001): 808-812. Seafloor spreading is accommodated by volcanic and tectonic processes along the global mid-ocean ridge system. As spreading rate decreases the influence of volcanism also decreases1,2,3,4, and it is unknown whether significant volcanism occurs at all at ultraslow spreading rates (<1.5 cm yr-1). Here we present three-dimensional sonar maps of the Gakkel ridge, Earth’s slowest-spreading mid-ocean ridge, located in the Arctic basin under the Arctic Ocean ice canopy. We acquired this data using hull-mounted sonars attached to a nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Hawkbill. Sidescan data for the ultraslow-spreading (∼1.0 cm yr-1) eastern Gakkel ridge depict two young volcanoes covering approximately 720 km2 of an otherwise heavily sedimented axial valley. The western volcano coincides with the average location of epicentres for more than 250 teleseismic events detected5,26 in 1999, suggesting that an axial eruption was imaged shortly after its occurrence. These findings demonstrate that eruptions along the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge are focused at discrete locations and appear to be more voluminous and occur more frequently than was previously thought.
  3. Sohn, Robert A., et al. “Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean.” Nature 453.7199 (2008): 1236-1238. Roughly 60% of the Earth’s outer surface is composed of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges. Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on mid-ocean ridges, particularly at depths below the critical point for seawater (3,000 m)1. A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the sea floor below 3,000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean-ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required for fragmenting a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85° E, to acquire photographic and video images of ‘zero-age’ volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered ridge. Here we present images revealing that the axial valley at 4,000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele)2, covering a large (>10 km2) area. At least 13.5 wt% CO2 is necessary to fragment magma at these depths3, which is about tenfold the highest values previously measured in a mid-ocean-ridge basalt4. These observations raise important questions about the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultraslow spreading rates on the Gakkel ridge5 and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global mid-ocean ridge volcanic system.
  4. Michael, P. J., et al. “Magmatic and amagmatic seafloor generation at the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean.” Nature 423.6943 (2003): 956-961. A high-resolution mapping and sampling study of the Gakkel ridge was accomplished during an international ice-breaker expedition to the high Arctic and North Pole in summer 2001. For this slowest-spreading endmember of the global mid-ocean-ridge system, predictions were that magmatism should progressively diminish as the spreading rate decreases along the ridge, and that hydrothermal activity should be rare. Instead, it was found that magmatic variations are irregular, and that hydrothermal activity is abundant. A 300-kilometre-long central amagmatic zone, where mantle peridotites are emplaced directly in the ridge axis, lies between abundant, continuous volcanism in the west, and large, widely spaced volcanic centres in the east. These observations demonstrate that the extent of mantle melting is not a simple function of spreading rate: mantle temperatures at depth or mantle chemistry (or both) must vary significantly along-axis. Highly punctuated volcanism in the absence of ridge offsets suggests that first-order ridge segmentation is controlled by mantle processes of melting and melt segregation. The strong focusing of magmatic activity coupled with faulting may account for the unexpectedly high levels of hydrothermal activity observed.
  5. Edmonds, H. N., et al. “Discovery of abundant hydrothermal venting on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge in the Arctic Ocean.” Nature 421.6920 (2003): 252-256Submarine hydrothermal venting along mid-ocean ridges is an important contributor to ridge thermal structure1, and the global distribution of such vents has implications for heat and mass fluxes from the Earth’s crust and mantle and for the biogeography of vent-endemic organisms. Previous studies have predicted that the incidence of hydrothermal venting would be extremely low on ultraslow-spreading ridges (ridges with full spreading rates <2 cm yr-1—which make up 25 per cent of the global ridge length), and that such vent systems would be hosted in ultramafic in addition to volcanic rocks4,5. Here we present evidence for active hydrothermal venting on the Gakkel ridge, which is the slowest spreading (0.6–1.3 cm yr-1) and least explored mid-ocean ridge. On the basis of water column profiles of light scattering, temperature and manganese concentration along 1,100 km of the rift valley, we identify hydrothermal plumes dispersing from at least nine to twelve discrete vent sites. Our discovery of such abundant venting, and its apparent localization near volcanic centres, requires a reassessment of the geologic conditions that control hydrothermal circulation on ultraslow-spreading ridges.
  6. Hellebrand, Eric, Jonathan E. Snow, and Richard Mühe. “Mantle melting beneath Gakkel Ridge (Arctic Ocean): abyssal peridotite spinel compositions.” Chemical Geology 182.2-4 (2002): 227-235. The ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge represents one of the most extreme spreading environments on the Earth. Full spreading rates there of 0.6–1.3 cm/year and Na8.0 in basalts of 3.3 imply an extremely low degree of mantle partial melting. For this reason, the complementary degree of melting registered by abyssal peridotite melting residues is highly interesting. In a single sample of serpentinized peridotite from Gakkel Ridge, we found spinels which, though locally altered, have otherwise unzoned and thus primary compositions in the cores of the grains. These reflect a somewhat higher degree of melting of the uppermost oceanic mantle than indicated by basalt compositions. Cr/(Cr+Al) ratios of these grains lie between 0.23 and 0.24, which is significantly higher than spinels from peridotites collected along the faster spreading Mid-Atlantic and Southwest Indian Ridges. Crustal thickness at Gakkel Ridge can be calculated from the peridotite spinel compositions, and is thicker than the crustal thickness of less than 4 km estimated from gravity data, or predicted from global correlations between spreading rate and seismically determined crustal thickness. The reason for this unexpected result may be local heterogeneity due to enhanced melt focussing at an ultraslow spreading ridge.
  7. Tolstoy, M., et al. “Seismic character of volcanic activity at the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge.” Geology 29.12 (2001): 1139-1142Never before has a volcanic eruption on a slow- or ultraslow- spreading mid-ocean ridge been both observed seismically and confirmed on the seafloor. During the first half of 1999, a long-lived volcanic-spreading event occurred on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean. The seismicity associated with this event was unprecedented in duration and magnitude for a seafloor eruption. Sonar images from the U.S.S. Hawkbill, which passed over the area within four months of the start of activity, are consistent with the presence of a large, recently erupted flow and a volcanic peak directly in the area of seismic activity. Seismic activity began in mid-January and continued vigorously for three months; a reduced rate of activity persisted for an additional four months or more. In total, 252 events were large enough to be recorded on global seismic networks. Although a limited number of volcanic-spreading events have been observed globally, the duration and magnitude of the Gakkel Ridge swarm, when compared with volcanic seismicity at ridges spreading at intermediate and fast spreading rates, suggest that a negative power-law relationship may exist between these parameters and spreading rate. Fault activation, in response to magmatic emplacement, appears to have occurred over a broad region, suggesting that magma may have been tapped from mantle depths. The slow migration of the largest magnitude events along the axis of the rift valley suggests multiple magmatic pulses at depth. In combination with bathymetric setting and sidescan sonar confirmation, the seismic data for this event have provided a unique look at the scale and character of eruption processes at ultraslow-spreading rates.

Bio - Yasmina M Martos Martin

RELATED POST#9: BIBIOGRAPHY ON ARCTIC GEOLOGICAL FEATURES: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/07/climate-change-threatens-polar-ice/

THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY

NASA en español on Twitter: "Yasmina Martos de @NASAGoddard usa datos de  magnetismo para estudiar qué hay bajo el hielo polar. Yasmina prevé que en  el futuro, drones y vehículos submarinos no

  1. Fahnestock, Mark, et al. “High geothermal heat flow, basal melt, and the origin of rapid ice flow in central Greenland.” Science 294.5550 (2001): 2338-2342. Age-depth relations from internal layering reveal a large region of rapid basal melting in Greenland. Melt is localized at the onset of rapid ice flow in the large ice stream that drains north off the summit dome and other areas in the northeast quadrant of the ice sheet. Locally, high melt rates indicate geothermal fluxes 15 to 30 times continental background. The southern limit of melt coincides with magnetic anomalies and topography that suggest a volcanic origin.
  2. Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush, et al. “Predicting the geothermal heat flux in Greenland: A machine learning approach.” Geophysical Research Letters 44.24 (2017): 12-271. Geothermal heat flux (GHF) is a crucial boundary condition for making accurate predictions of ice sheet mass loss, yet it is poorly known in Greenland due to inaccessibility of the bedrock. Here we use a machine learning algorithm on a large collection of relevant geologic features and global GHF measurements and produce a GHF map of Greenland that we argue is within ∼15% accuracy. The main features of our predicted GHF map include a large region with high GHF in central‐north Greenland surrounding the NorthGRIP ice core site, and hot spots in the Jakobshavn Isbræ catchment, upstream of Petermann Gletscher, and near the terminus of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier. Our model also captures the trajectory of Greenland movement over the Icelandic plume by predicting a stripe of elevated GHF in central‐east Greenland. Finally, we show that our model can produce substantially more accurate predictions if additional measurements of GHF in Greenland are provided. FULL TEXT: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2017GL075661
  3. van der Veen, Cornelis J., et al. “Subglacial topography and geothermal heat flux: Potential interactions with drainage of the Greenland ice sheet.” Geophysical research letters 34.12 (2007). Many of the outlet glaciers in Greenland overlie deep and narrow trenches cut into the bedrock. It is well known that pronounced topography intensifies the geothermal heat flux in deep valleys and attenuates this flux on mountains. Here we investigate the magnitude of this effect for two subglacial trenches in Greenland. Heat flux variations are estimated for idealized geometries using solutions for plane slopes derived by Lachenbruch (1968). It is found that for channels such as the one under Jakobshavn Isbræ, topographic effects may increase the local geothermal heat flux by as much as 100%.
  4. Greve, Ralf. “Relation of measured basal temperatures and the spatial distribution of the geothermal heat flux for the Greenland ice sheet.” Annals of Glaciology 42 (2005): 424-432The thermomechanical, three-dimensional ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Simulations over two glacial–interglacial cycles are carried out, driven by a climatic forcing interpolated between present conditions and Last Glacial Maximum anomalies. Based on the global heat-flow representation by Pollack and others (1993), we attempt to constrain the spatial pattern of the geothermal heat flux by comparing simulation results to direct measurements of basal temperatures at the GRIP, NorthGRIP, Camp Century and Dye 3 ice-core locations. The heat-flux map shows an increasing trend from west to east, a high-heat-flux anomaly around NorthGRIP with values up to 135 mWm–2 and a low-heat-flux anomaly around Dye 3 with values down to 20 mW m–2. Validation is provided by the generally good fit between observed and measured ice thicknesses. Residual discrepancies are most likely due to deficiencies of the input precipitation rate and further variability of the geothermal heat flux not captured here.
  5. Smith‐Johnsen, Silje, et al. “Sensitivity of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream to geothermal heat.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 125.1 (2020): e2019JF005252. Recent observations of ice flow surface velocities have helped improve our understanding of basal processes on Greenland and Antarctica, though these processes still constitute some of the largest uncertainties driving ice flow change today. The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is driven largely by basal sliding, believed to be related to subglacial hydrology and the availability of heat. Characterization of the uncertainties associated with Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is crucial for constraining Greenland’s potential contribution to sea level rise in the upcoming centuries. Here, we expand upon past work using the Ice Sheet System Model to quantify the uncertainties in models of the ice flow in the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream by perturbing the geothermal heat flux. Utilizing a subglacial hydrology model simulating sliding beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, we investigate the sensitivity of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream ice flow to various estimates of geothermal heat flux, and implications of basal heat flux uncertainties on modeling the hydrological processes beneath Greenland’s major ice stream. We find that the uncertainty due to sliding at the bed is 10 times greater than the uncertainty associated with internal ice viscosity. Geothermal heat flux dictates the size of the area of the subglacial drainage system and its efficiency. The uncertainty of ice discharge from the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream to the ocean due to uncertainties in the geothermal heat flux is estimated at 2.10 Gt/yr. This highlights the urgency in obtaining better constraints on the highly uncertain subglacial hydrology parameters.
  6. Martos, Yasmina M., et al. “Geothermal heat flux reveals the Iceland hotspot track underneath Greenland.” Geophysical research letters 45.16 (2018): 8214-8222. Curie depths beneath Greenland are revealed by spectral analysis of data from the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map 2. A thermal model of the lithosphere then provides a corresponding geothermal heat flux map. This new map exhibits significantly higher frequency but lower amplitude variation than earlier heat flux maps and provides an important boundary condition for numerical ice‐sheet models and interpretation of borehole temperature profiles. In addition, it reveals new geologically significant features. Notably, we identify a prominent quasi‐linear elevated geothermal heat flux anomaly running northwest–southeast across Greenland. We interpret this feature to be the relic of the passage of the Iceland hotspot from 80 to 50 Ma. The expected partial melting of the lithosphere and magmatic underplating or intrusion into the lower crust is compatible with models of observed satellite gravity data and recent seismic observations. Our geological interpretation has implications for the geodynamic evolution of Greenland https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018GL078289
  7. Artemieva, Irina M. “Lithosphere thermal thickness and geothermal heat flux in Greenland from a new thermal isostasy method.” Earth-Science Reviews 188 (2019): 469-481. Lithosphere thermal structure in Greenland is poorly known and models based on seismic and magnetic data are inconsistent, while growing awareness in the fate of the ice sheet in Greenland requires reliable constraints on geothermal heat flux (GHF) from the Earth’s interior in the region where conventional heat flux measurements are nearly absent. The lithosphere structure of Greenland remains controversial, while its geological evolution is constrained by direct observations in the narrow ice-free zone along the coasts. The effect of the Iceland hotspot on the lithosphere structure is also debated. Here I describe a new thermal isostasy method which I use to calculate upper mantle temperature anomalies, lithosphere thickness, and GHF in Greenland from seismic data on the Moho depth, topography and ice thickness. To verify the model results, the predicted GHF values are compared to available measurements and show a good agreement. Thick (200–270 km) cratonic lithosphere of SW Greenland with GHF of ca. 40 mW/m2 thins to 180–190 km towards central Greenland without a clear boundary between the Archean and Proterozoic blocks, and the deepest lithosphere keel is observed beneath the largest kimberlite province in West Greenland. The NW-SE belt with an anomalously thin (100–120 km) lithosphere and GHF of 60–70 mW/m2 crosses north-central Greenland from coast to coast and it may mark the Iceland hotspot track. In East Greenland this anomalous belt merges with a strong GHF anomaly of >100 mW/m2 in the Fjordland region. The anomaly is associated with a strong lithosphere thinning, possibly to the Moho, that requires advective heat transfer such as above active magma chambers, which would accelerate ice basal melting. The anomaly may extend 500 km inland with possibly a significant contribution of ice melt to the ice-drainage system of Greenland.
  8. Greve, Ralf, and Kolumban Hutter. “Polythermal three-dimensional modelling of the Greenland ice sheet with varied geothermal heat flux.” Annals of Glaciology 21 (1995): 8-12. Computations over 50 000 years into steady state with Greve’s polythermal ice-sheet model and its numerical code are performed for the Greenland ice sheet with today’s climatological input (surface temperature and accumulation function) and three values of the geothermal heat flux: (42, 54.6, 29.4) mW m−2. It is shown that through the thermomechanical coupling the geometry as well as the thermal regime, in particular that close to the bed, respond surprisingly strongly to the basal thermal heat input. The most sensitive variable is the basal temperature field, but the maximum height of the summit also varies by more than ±100m. Furthermore, some intercomparison of the model outputs with the real ice sheet is carried out, showing that the model provides reasonable results for the ice-sheet geometry as well as for the englacial temperatures.

CONCLUSIONThe attribution of observed polar ice melt events to anthropogenic global warming along with the proposal that such melt events can be attenuated by taking climate action and moving the global energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels to renewables, is not possible in light of the complex episodic and localized nature of these ice melt events and their locations restricted to known geologically active areas. The attribution to anthropogenic global warming requires an explanation of these anomalies. If polar ice melt were driven by global warming it would be more uniform and more of a trend and not isolated, episodic, and not restricted to known geologically active locations. Glacial and ice shelf melt events that are episodic and restricted to geologically active locations cannot be understood as the impacts of fossil fuel emissions that can be moderated or prevented by taking climate action. For that, significant additional evidence must be provided that relates the melt events to atmospheric temperature data. No such evidence has been provided in this study where, as in all such studies, an atmosphere bias in the research methodology assumes that ice melt can only be explained in terms of anthropogenic global warming. Such findings are more likely to be the product of confirmation bias than unbiased and objective scientific inquiry. 

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

Active Volcano Found Under Antarctic Ice: Eruption Could Raise Sea Levels

Temperature fluctuation of the Iceland mantle plume through time - Spice -  2016 - Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems - Wiley Online Library

CHART COURTESY OF JOHN WALKER.

2020 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26)

ALL THEY NEED IS A CARBON BUDGET

The Carbon Budget — Living Beyond Our Means – Egede-Nissen.com

THE GLOBAL CARBON BUDGET: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/11/climate-action-101-the-carbon-budget/

The Carbon Budgets of Climate Science | Thongchai Thailand

THE REMAINING CARBON BUDGET PUZZLE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/09/climate-statistics/

esm_diagram
Why Deep Confusion is Actually a Tool For Victory

THE IPCC 1.5C CARBON BUDGET: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/16/ipcc-1-5c-carbon-budget/

Tip of the Week: What's with all the inconsistency? | Change ...

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A CLIMATE CHANGE VIDEO POSTED BY DAVID ATTENBOROUGH THE NATURE GUY WHO HAS TURNED INTO A CLIMATE SCIENCE GUY.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE VIDEO: https://news.sky.com/video/climate-change-david-attenboroughs-appeal-to-world-leaders-12226772

2020 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26)

WHAT HE SAYS IN THE VIDEO (THE BEST THAT I COULD UNDERSTAND HIS PRONOUNCIATION AS FOR EXAMPLE SAAFFAA IS SUFFER). {THINGS HE DIDN’T SAY BUT I INFERRED ARE INSERTED IN BRACKETS}

Please make no mistake! Climate change is the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced {greater than the two world wars, greater than the black plague or the spanish flu, greater than the nuclear war standoff between the USA and the USSR and greater than the population bomb which I used to hype before I got this climate job}.

I don’t envy you. There are consequences of this crisis for all of you and your government {but not for me because I am 94 and ready to punch out anyway}.

We have left the stable and secure climate period that gave birth to our civilization. {The secure climate period that gave birth to our civilization was the Holocene Climate Optimum also called the Mid Holocene Warm Period and Climate Science has determined that there was more global warming then than there is now LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/02/16/mid-holocene-warm-period/ } {We also note that “the secure climate period we left” includes the Little Ice Age: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/07/19/liaclimatologybibliography/ when humanity was saved from climate devastation with the climate action of burning witches}.

There is no going back. No matter what we do now, it’s too late to avoid climate change and the poorest are most vulnerable with the least security and are certain to suffer. {Wait. Are you supposed to say stuff like that? Better check with your handlers. You are supposed to push for climate action, not preach its failure.}

Collapse of civilization is on the horizon", David Attenborough tells UN  climate summit

CONCLUSION: THAT THEY ARE FORCED TO KEEP RATCHETING UP THE FEAR LEVEL TO GET US TO STOP USING FOSSIL FUELS IS ITSELF THE EVIDENCE THAT THE CLIMATE GAME IS NOT GOING WELL FOR THE ACTIVISTS. HAPPY CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DENIER COMMUNITY OF WHICH I KNOW THREE VERY WELL: 1. https://wattsupwiththat.com/, 2. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/ 3. https://www.quora.com/q/newrealclimatescience

Fox Climate Reporting Rates “Pants on Fire” – “Retired Accountant” as  Climate Expert | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

David Attenborough issues passionate plea to tackle climate change –  warning we have a 'moral responsibility' to step up

THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION FEAROLOGY : https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/16/collapse/

COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION DIDN’T WORK. PEOPLE ARE NOT AFRAID ENOUGH TO TAKE CLIMATE ACTION. WE NEED MORE FEAR

attenboro

OK SO HOW ABOUT COLLAPSE OF EVERYTHING??

The collapse of civilisation and the natural world is on the horizon, Sir David  Attenborough has told the UN climate … | Climate change, Un climate change,  Climates

World risks ‘collapse of everything’ without strong climate action, Attenborough warns Security Council on 23 February 2021.

More collective action is needed to address the risks climate change poses to global peace and security, the UN Secretary-General told a high-level Security Council debate on Tuesday, as renowned natural historian David Attenborough warned countries that the planet faces total collapse. Climate shocks such as record high temperatures and a “new normal” of wildfires, floods and droughts, are not only damaging the natural environment, said UN chief António Guterres, but also threatening political, economic and social stability. The science is clear: we need to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, the Secretary-General said. And our duty is even clearer: we need to protect the people and communities that are being hit by climate disruption. We must step up preparations for the escalating implications of the climate crisis for international peace and security. A matter of when, not if. Heads of State and Government, as well as other senior political leaders, participated in the Security Council meeting, which was convened by the United Kingdom, co-host of the latest global climate change conference, known as COP26, taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Cop26: UN chief demands greater global effort as 'climate crisis closes in'  | The National

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired the online meeting, calling for action now. Whether you like it or not, it is a matter of when, not if, your country and your people will have to deal with the security impacts of climate change, he said, urging them to show the global leadership necessary to keep the world safe. Sir David Attenborough’s warning. The UK holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member Council this month, and renowned British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough issued a sobering warning to leaders. {If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature, and ocean food chains,” he said, adding “and if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down. While there is no going back, Sir David stressed that if countries act fast enough, we can reach a new stable state. He pointed to the immense public support worldwide for climate action. People today all over the world now realize this is no longer an issue which will affect future generations,he said. It is people alive today, and, in particular, young people, who will live with the consequences of our actions.

Young people are the solution. Nisreen Elsaim, a young activist from Sudan, spoke of how climate vulnerability is forcing young Africans and their counterparts elsewhere to leave their homelands, which can contribute to conflict. As a young person I am sure that young people are the solution”, said Ms. Elsaim, chair of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. Give us more space, listen to us and engage youth. She also welcomed the Council’s resolution establishing the new UN political mission in her country, UNITAMS, which specifically mentions climate change and youth participation as priority issues. The multilateral challenge of our age. The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly referred to climate change as “the defining issue of our time”.

In his briefing to the Council, Mr. Guterres outlined the need for action in four priority areas: prevention, protection, security and partnerships. Under prevention, he emphasized the need for countries to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The climate crisis is the multilateral challenge of our age, he said, underlining the need for unparalleled global coordination and cooperation. “I urge Council members to use their influence during this pivotal year to ensure the success of COP26, and to mobilize others, including international financial institutions and the private sector, to do their part.”

2020 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26)

AT THE BIG CLIMATE SHOW IN GLASGOW WE WILL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU.

5 Incidence and Consequences | Fostering Integrity in Research | The  National Academies Press

THIS POST IS A PRESENTATON OF RENEWABLE ENERGY STATISTICS PROVIDED BY IRENA: LINK: https://irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2020/Mar/IRENA_RE_Capacity_Statistics_2020.pdf

RENEWABLE ENERGY IS DEFINED BY IRENA AS PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING OTHER THAN FOSSIL FUELS. THE SOURCES LISTED ARE: SOLAR, WIND, HYDROPOWER, GEOTHERMAL, BIOENERGY, AND TIDAL. THE DATA PROVIDED ARE THE “CAPACITY”, THAT IS TO SAY NOT WHAT WAS DELIVERED, NOT EVEN WHAT WAS GENERATED, BUT WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN GENERATED FROM THE EQUIPMENT THAT HAD BEEN INSTALLED.

ABSTRACTNATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS, NET ZERO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS, AND NATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS WITH A NET ZERO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGET ARE FATALLY FLAWED AND THEY DO NOT CONTAIN USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT CLIMATE ACTION. OVER THE LAST DECADE INTENSIVE NATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION BY THE ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY NATIONS SUCH AS GREAT BRITAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND AUSTRALIA, AT GREAT COST AND SUFFERING BY THEIR CITIZENS, HELPED ALONG BY THE COVID PANDEMIC IMPLIES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THE CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION BY CLIMATE SCIENCE, THAT THE RATE OF INCREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND THE RATE OF GLOBAL WARMING SHOULD HAVE BEEN REDUCED. BUT NO SUCH IMPACT ON EITHER OF THESE KEY AGW VARIABLES IS FOUND IN THE DATA. A SPECIFIC IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC WAS THE REDUCTION IN GLOBAL AIRLINE TRAFFIC FROM 39 MILLION FLIGHTS PER YEAR TO 16 MILLION FLIGHTS PER YEAR. THROUGH ALL THIS CLIMATE ACTION AND THE PANDEMIC’S IMPACT ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WORLDWIDE, ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURE CONTINUED TO RISE AT THE SAME RATE AS THEY HAD WITHOUT ANY INDICATION OF AN EFFECT EITHER BY CLIMATE ACTION OR BY THE PANDEMIC. THESE DATA IMPLY THAT THERE IS NO CLIMATE ACTION INTERPRETATION FOR NATIONAL LEVEL EMISSION REDUCTION PLANS AND THERE IS NO CLIMATE ACTION INTERPRETATION FOR NET ZERO CLIMATE ACTION PLANS.

Renewable energy made up three quarters of new capacity in 2019 - Canadian  Biomass Magazine

THE DATA FOR GLOBAL CAPACITY 2010 TO 2019 ARE AS FOLLOWS:

World Total Renewable Energy Capacity: 2010 to 2019 are: 2010=1,226,853, 2011=1,332,236, 2012= 1,445,233, 2013= 1,563,196, 2014= 1,692,680, 2015= 1,846,060, 2016=2,008,547, 2017=2,182,449, 2018=2,361,061, 2019=2,536,853.

World Total Fossil Fuel Emissions are Provided as Gigatonnes per year of CO2: 2009=32.0905, 2010=33.971.15, 2011=35034.77, 2012=35487.48, 2013=35905.82, 2014=36244.49, 2015=36247.49, 2016=36299.70, 2017=36794.62, 2018=37668.11, 2019=38016.57

GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE DATA

TOTAL INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THIS PERIOD EXCEEDED $2.5 TRILLION:

LINK TO SOURCE: https://sdg.iisd.org/news/renewable-energy-investment-to-surpass-usd-2-5-trillion-for-2010-2019-unep-report-finds

FINDING: OVER THE DECADE 2009 TO 2019 MORE THAN $2.5 TRILLION WAS INVESTED IN RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLDWIDE. THIS IMPLEMENTATION WAS REQUIRED BY THE CLIMATE SCIENCE CLAIM THAT INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY IS REQUIRED TO REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AS A WAY OF ATTENUATING GLOBAL WARMING. YET WHAT WE SEE IN THE DATA IS THAT IS THAT THE INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY DID NOT REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. IN FACT THERE WAS A GRADUAL INCREASE IN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS.

ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS: IN A RELATED POST WE PRESENT THE ECONOMICS ARGUMENT THAT CLIMATE ACTION INITIATIVES THAT ARE NOT A GLOBALLY COORDINATED EFFORT AS IN THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL BUT CARRIED OUT AT THE NATION STATE LEVEL WILL NOT REDUCE GLOBAL FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE BORNE BY THE CLIMATE ACTION TAKING NATION WILL CEDE AN ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE TO NON-CLIMATE ACTION TAKING NATIONS. WE SHOW IN THAT RELATED POST THAT THIS ANOMALY ENSURES THAT CLIMATE ACTION INITIATIVES AT THE NATION STATE LEVEL WILL NOT LOWER FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. LINK TO RELATED POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/22/climate-catch22/

THE DATA AND DATA ANALYSIS PRESENTED HERE PROVIDE EMPIRICAL SUPPORT FOR THE ECONOMICS ARGUMENT PRESENTED IN THE RELATED POST LINKED ABOVE. CLIMATE ACTION CAN ONLY WORK IF IT IS A GLOBALLY COORDINATED EFFORT. THERE IS NO OPPORTUNITY HERE FOR CLIMATE HEROISM OR BRAVADO AT THE NATION STATE LEVEL. IT’S GLOBAL OR NOTHING.

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WE ARE IN THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS BECAUSE THE UNITED NATIONS, THAT WAS EXPECTED TO REPEAT THEIR MONTREAL PROTOCOL SUCCESS IN THE CLIMATE ISSUE WITH A GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION COMPACT, HAS FAILED TO PUT TOGETHER SUCH A CONTRACT AND HAS CALLED FOR CLIMATE HEROISM AT THE NATION STATE LEVEL. THIS STRATEGY CANNOT AND WILL NOT REDUCE GLOBAL FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

AS EXPLAINED IN THIS RELATED POST: LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/22/climate-catch22/ .

YET ANOTHER FLAW IN NATIONAL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS IS THE RELIANCE ON A TARGETS OF NET ZERO BECAUSE NET ZERO TARGETS ARE A CORRUPTION OF THE GOAL FOR ZERO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS DEMANDED BY CLIMATE SCIENCE. THE NET ZERO TARGET IS FLAWED IN MANY WAYS

AS EXPLAINED IN THIS RELATED POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/25/net-zero/

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CONCLUSION: NATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS, NET ZERO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS, AND NATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS WITH A NET ZERO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGET ARE FATALLY FLAWED AND THEY DO NOT CONTAIN USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT CLIMATE ACTION.

OVER THE LAST DECADE INTENSIVE NATIONAL LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION BY THE ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY NATIONS SUCH AS GREAT BRITAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND AUSTRALIA, AT GREAT COST AND SUFFERING BY THEIR CITIZENS, HELPED ALONG BY THE COVID PANDEMIC IMPLIES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THE CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION BY CLIMATE SCIENCE, THAT THE RATE OF INCREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND THE RATE OF GLOBAL WARMING SHOULD HAVE BEEN REDUCED. BUT NO SUCH IMPACT ON EITHER OF THESE KEY AGW VARIABLES IS FOUND IN THE DATA.

A SPECIFIC IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC WAS THE REDUCTION IN GLOBAL AIRLINE TRAFFIC FROM 39 MILLION FLIGHTS PER YEAR TO 16 MILLION FLIGHTS PER YEAR.

THROUGH ALL THIS CLIMATE ACTION AND THE PANDEMIC’S IMPACT ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WORLDWIDE, ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURE CONTINUED TO RISE AT THE SAME RATE AS THEY HAD WITHOUT ANY INDICATION OF AN EFFECT EITHER BY CLIMATE ACTION OR BY THE PANDEMIC.

THESE DATA IMPLY THAT THERE IS NO CLIMATE ACTION INTERPRETATION FOR NATIONAL LEVEL EMISSION REDUCTION PLANS AND THERE IS NO CLIMATE ACTION INTERPRETATION FOR NET ZERO CLIMATE ACTION PLANS.

YET WHAT WE FIND IN THE DATA IS THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY CLIMATE ACTION MODES EMPLOYED.

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POSTSCRIPT: LIST OF NATIONS WITH LEGISLATED AND ACTIVE NET ZERO PROGRAMS AND TARGET DATES FOR NET ZERO.

Sweden START YEAR=2017 : TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2045

United Kingdom START YEAR=2019: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2050

France – 2050 START YEAR=2019: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2050


Denmark START YEAR=2019: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2050


New Zealand START YEAR=2019: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR= 2050

Hungary START YEAR=2020, TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2050

Japan START YEAR=2020: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR= 2050

South Korea START YEAR 2020: TARGET NET ZERO YEAR=2050
Two days after Japan’s net-zero commitment, South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged that his country will also reach carbon-neutrality by 2050 during a speech to the national assembly in October 2020.

RESULT OF THESE ACTIONS: MARCH 2021: CONTINUED RISE IN GLOBAL FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AND UNABATED RISE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION AND GLOBAL MEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE

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Global fossil fuel demand data from 1900 to 2020 are provided by IEA DOT ORG are displayed above. LINK TO SOURCE: https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-2020/global-energy-and-co2-emissions-in-2020 The data show a 7% drop in fossil fuel consumption in 2020. In a related post we show the generally accepted view in climate science that the 7% drop in fossil fuel emission did not have a measurable impact on the steady rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration or on the rate of global warming. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/18/12479/

This real world forced experiment in climate action contains useful information that should be taken into consideration in the construction of climate action policies by national governments where climate action has now devolved after the failure of the UN to re-create its Montreal Protocol “success” in the climate change issue.

The recently announced Biden climate action policy in January 2021 of the electrification of the Federal automobile fleet is expected to have less than 0.1% of the impact of the pandemic on global fossil fuel emissions. It means that we will need 1000 such climate action programs to equal the impotence of the pandemic in curtailing climate change. Climate action heroism is probably more politics than climate action.

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER THEORY OF AN AN ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION EVENT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY AS DESCRIBED IN AN ONLINE ARTICLE BY MARK WILLIAMS: LINK: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/73ab69fedac54685ae837562e3389d13

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PART-1: WORLD SCIENTISTS’ WARNING TO HUMANITY

The Anthropocene Extinction: 10,000 BC to Present Day: In 1992 the majority of Nobel laureates in science and over 1700 other scientists drafted The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity. They insisted that overpopulation, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, industrial agriculture, and over-fishing were setting humanity on the path to another mass extinction. Perhaps they looked at the common drivers of the previous “Big Five” and saw correlations between the environmental changes we see today. In 2017, twenty-five years later, their concern was revisited with World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice. This time, over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries were signatories on what is believed to be the journal article with the most co-signers ever written. The article claims not enough has been done in the past twenty-five years to slow the effects of climate change as a result of human activity. In fact, many of the indicators show that things are getting worse. The rate of species extinction is a naturally occurring phenomena over a given period of time, also known as the background extinction rate. While not an exact calculation, the background rate suggests that a single species would face extinction every few hundred years from natural causes. Right now we are losing approximately 4.5 species every year. The Anthropocene stands apart from all previous mass extinction events. The current extinction rate is 10 to 100 times higher than previous mass extinctions. Never before has a species dominated the globe to such an extent. Humans are considered the apex of apex predators. We are responsible for introducing invasive species to fragile ecosystems around the world, hunting fauna to extinction, and pumping tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. We have to recognise that our impact is game-changing on this planet, that we are all responsible, and that we have to become stewards of nature – as a part of it, rather than behaving like children rampaging through a sweetshop. –Mark Williams, University of Leicester. Ocean hypoxia and acidification, high levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide introduced into the atmosphere, warming of the oceans and an increase in toxic metal content are all previous harbingers of mass extinctions. We are responsible for contributing towards all of these factors today. Talk of drastic measures to “save the planet” are sometimes met with eye rolls. Perhaps smaller steps are needed to begin the conversation. Looking back on earth’s 4.5 billion year history and the five previous mass extinctions, and being aware of the effect that humans have on the environment can lead people to make more responsible decisions. There may not be a need for radical lifestyle changes in every aspect of our lives. While we are responsible for anthropogenic climate change, we can also be cognizant of our actions and simply be responsible.

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PART-2: HUMANITY‘S WARNING TO WORLD SCIENTISTS

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In a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/02/18/sixth-mass-extinction-2/ we note that although humans have been around for seven million years, the Anthropocene does not have that kind of time scale. Some claim that the Anthropocene started in the 1950s post war economic boom (70 years ago) and the explosion in car ownership, air travel, manufacturing, factory farming, and in consumption by humans. Others have traced it back to the Industrial Revolution about 200 years ago. The longest possible time scale for the proposed anthropocene role of humans is the rise of human civilization in the Neolithic Revolution about 8,000 years ago.

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Yet, a review of the details in the five great extinction events (End Permean, End Triassic, Late Devonian, End Ordovician, and End Cretacious show that all of these mass extinction events to which the Anthropocene is being compared, have occurred at time scales of many millions of years. The much shorter time scale of the Anthropocene, somewhere from 70 years to 8,000 years does not compare with the time scale of the extinction events to which the Anthropocene is being compared. Therefore the comparison of the Anthropocene to the five mass extinction events of the past is not credible.

Another inconsisenty is that all the five extinction events of the past to whch the Anthropocene is being compared have a significant common feature in terms of extreme and sustained geological upheaval in terms large transfer of heat and material from the mantle to the crust. Yet, as noted in a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/31/planetary-environmentalism-in-the-anthropocene/ , “, human ability to influence or control the mantle and core of the planet has no basis although they constitute most of the planet. A failure of extreme environmentalism such as the Anthropocene is that it overlooks the relative insignificance of humans on a planetary scale. Consider for example humans, like all life on earth, are carbon life forms created from the carbon that came from the mantle of the planet, but a rather insignificant portion of it. In terms of total weight, humans constitute 0.05212% of the total mass of life on earth. All the life on earth taken together is 0.000002875065% of the crust of the planet by weight. The crust of the planet where we live and where we have things like land, ocean, atmosphere, climate, and carbon life forms that include humans, is 0.3203% of the planet by weight. The other 99.6797% of the planet, the mantle and core, is a place where we have never been and will never be and on which we have no impact whatsoever. In terms of the much feared element carbon that is said to cause planetary devastation by way of climate change and ocean acidification, a mass balance shows that the crust of the planet where we live contains 0.201% of the planet’s carbon some of which appear as carbon lifeforms such as humans. The other 99.8% of the carbon inventory of the planet is in the mantle and core. The crust of the planet where we live is an insignificant portion of the planet. Life on earth is an insignificant portion of the crust of the planet. Humans are an insignificant portion of life on earth. Although it is true that humans must take care of their environment to enhance human welfare, we propose that the environment should have a more rational definition because the planet is not our environment. And that implies that it is not possible that there is such a thing as an Anthropocene in which humans are the dominant geological force of the planet.

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Like ants and bees, humans are social creatures that live in communities of humans so that when they look around they see humans everywhere. This is the likely source of our human oriented view of the world that creates the Anthropocene state of mind. Paul Ehrlich’s failed overpopulation theory is derived from his first visit to India which he described as “people people people people people!” It is this biased view of the planet that makes it possible for us to extrapolate Calcutta to the planet and come up with the fearful image described by Jeff Gibbs as “Have you every wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet?”

The inversion of environmentalism from the idea that we must take care of our environ to enhance human welfare to the notion that humans are the guardians and caretakers of nature likely derives from the so called Bambi Principle described in a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/15/the-bambi-principle/ .

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This kind of environmentalism originated in the West where we also find a strong BIBLICAL TRADITION in which God had given humans DOMINION OVER NATURE: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/02/15/divine-environmentalism/ . This exalted self image as caretakers of nature is often extended to the planet itself so that humans see themselves as the caretakers of the planet as God’s agent on earth. These exalted self images are far removed from the reality. The mundane reality is that we are not caretakers of nature but part of nature and just another species of mammals here for a while until our natural extinction in the dynamics of the evolution of species.

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Humanity’s warming to world scientists is that to be scientists they must adhere to unbiased and objective scientific inquiry without an emotional activism agenda. Activism and science do not mix. They must pick one or the other because they can’t have both. More on activism in science: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/03/hidden-hand/

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THIS POST IS A SUMMARY OF THE LITERATURE ON THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION WITH CRITICAL COMMENTARY

REFERENCE#1: Vertebrates on the brink as indicators of biological annihilation and the sixth mass extinction
Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, and Peter H. Raven, PNAS June 16, 2020 117 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1922686117

Significance: The ongoing sixth mass extinction may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization, because it is irreversible. Thousands of populations of critically endangered vertebrate animal species have been lost in a century, indicating that the sixth mass extinction is human caused and accelerating. The acceleration of the extinction crisis is certain because of the still fast growth in human numbers and consumption rates. In addition, species are links in ecosystems, and, as they fall out, the species they interact with are likely to go also. In the regions where disappearing species are concentrated, regional biodiversity collapses are likely occurring. Our results reemphasize the extreme urgency of taking massive global actions to save humanity’s crucial life-support systems. Abstract: The ongoing sixth mass species extinction is the result of the destruction of component populations leading to eventual extirpation of entire species. Populations and species extinctions have severe implications for society through the degradation of ecosystem services. Here we assess the extinction crisis from a different perspective. We examine 29,400 species of terrestrial vertebrates, and determine which are on the brink of extinction because they have fewer than 1,000 individuals. There are 515 species on the brink (1.7% of the evaluated vertebrates). Around 94% of the populations of 77 mammal and bird species on the brink have been lost in the last century. Assuming all species on the brink have similar trends, more than 237,000 populations of those species have vanished since 1900. We conclude the human-caused sixth mass extinction is likely accelerating for several reasons. First, many of the species that have been driven to the brink will likely become extinct soon. Second, the distribution of those species highly coincides with hundreds of other endangered species, surviving in regions with high human impacts, suggesting ongoing regional biodiversity collapses. Third, close ecological interactions of species on the brink tend to move other species toward annihilation when they disappear—extinction breeds extinctions. Finally, human pressures on the biosphere are growing rapidly, and a recent example is the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, linked to wildlife trade. Our results reemphasize the extreme urgency of taking much-expanded worldwide actions to save wild species and humanity’s crucial life-support systems from this existential threat.

REFERENCE#2: The misunderstood sixth mass extinction, Gerardo Ceballos1,*, Paul R. Ehrlich, Science 08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6393, pp. 1080-1081, DOI: 10.1126/science.aau0191

SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION BIBLIOGRAPHY

(WAKE2008) Wake, David B., and Vance T. Vredenburg. “Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105.Supplement 1 (2008): 11466-11473. Many scientists argue that we are either entering or in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction. Intense human pressure, both direct and indirect, is having profound effects on natural environments. The amphibians—frogs, salamanders, and caecilians—may be the only major group currently at risk globally. A detailed worldwide assessment and subsequent updates show that one-third or more of the 6,300 species are threatened with extinction. This trend is likely to accelerate because most amphibians occur in the tropics and have small geographic ranges that make them susceptible to extinction. The increasing pressure from habitat destruction and climate change is likely to have major impacts on narrowly adapted and distributed species. We show that salamanders on tropical mountains are particularly at risk. A new and significant threat to amphibians is a virulent, emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, which appears to be globally distributed, and its effects may be exacerbated by global warming. This disease, which is caused by a fungal pathogen and implicated in serious declines and extinctions of >200 species of amphibians, poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. Our data for frogs in the Sierra Nevada of California show that the fungus is having a devastating impact on native species, already weakened by the effects of pollution and introduced predators. A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction.

(CEBALLOS 2015): Ceballos, Gerardo, et al. “Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.” Science advances 1.5 (2015): e1400253. The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

(CAFARO 2015): Cafaro, Philip. “Three ways to think about the sixth mass extinction.” Biological Conservation 192 (2015): 387-393. A preponderance of evidence suggests humanity is causing a mass extinction event: the sixth mass extinction since the rise of complex life on Earth. This paper takes this empirical conclusion as given and asks a philosophical question: what is the meaning of the sixth mass extinction? How should we think about it, what should we do about it, and what does it tell us about humanity and our place in the world? Conservationists typically see mass extinction as an immense loss, as does most of the general public. But how best to characterize this loss is not immediately clear, and how we do so has important practical implications. This paper focuses on three common and plausible ways to think about the sixth mass extinction: as a loss of important resources (a mistake); as interspecies genocide (a crime); and as evidence that humanity is a cancer on the biosphere (as an inevitability). Considered together, these three approaches clarify the meaning of the sixth mass extinction and suggest how humanity ought to respond to it.

(CEBALLOS 2017): Ceballos, Gerardo, Paul R. Ehrlich, and Rodolfo Dirzo. “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines.” Proceedings of the national academy of sciences 114.30 (2017): E6089-E6096. The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species. We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high—even in “species of low concern.” In our sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851/27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species have experienced severe population declines (>80% range shrinkage). Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a “biological annihilation” to highlight the current magnitude of Earth’s ongoing sixth major extinction event.

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THE ATLANTIC: THERE IS NO SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION: SCIENTISTS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE ACCURATE COMPARISONS: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/the-ends-of-the-world/529545/
“As scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.” PETER BRANNEN, JUNE 13, 2017 At the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin took the podium to address a ballroom full of geologists on the dynamics of mass extinctions and power grid failures—which, he claimed, unfold in the same way. These are images from the NOAA website of the US blackout in 2003,” he said, pulling up a nighttime satellite picture of the glowing northeastern megalopolis, megawatts afire under the cold dark of space. This is 20 hours before the blackout. You can see Long Island and New York City. And this is seven hours into the blackout, he said, pulling up a new map, cloaked in darkness. New York City is almost dark. The blackout extended all the way up into Toronto, all the way out to Michigan and Ohio. It covered a huge section of both Canada and the United States. And it was largely due to a software bug in a control room in Ohio. Erwin is one of the world’s experts on the End-Permian mass extinction, an unthinkable volcanic nightmare that nearly ended life on earth 252 million years ago. He proposed that earth’s great mass extinctions might unfold like these power grid failures: most of the losses may come, not from the initial shock—software glitches in the case of power grid failures, and asteroids and volcanoes in the case of ancient mass extinctions—but from the secondary cascade of failures that follow. These are devastating chain reactions that no one understands. Erwin thinks that most mass extinctions in earth’s history—global die-offs that killed the majority of animal life on earth—ultimately resulted, not from external shocks, but from the internal dynamics of food webs that faltered and failed catastrophically in unexpected ways, just as the darkening eastern seaboard did in 2003.

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Because it was not clear how to manage that collapse—although after the fact it was clear that it should have been easily contained—it cascaded into failure of grids across the northeastern United States … It turns out that, from a mathematical point of view, the problem of understanding these food webs is exactly the same as understanding the nature of the power grid. There’s a very rapid collapse of the ecosystem during these mass extinctions. I had written to Erwin to get his take on the contemporary idea that there is currently a sixth mass extinction under way on our planet on par with the so-called Big Five mass extinctions in the history of animal life. Many popular science articles take this as a given, and indeed, there’s something emotionally satisfying about the idea that humans’ hubris and shortsightedness are so profound that we’re bringing down the whole planet with us. Given how severely humans have damaged the natural world over the millennia, it was an idea I found attractive, and it’s one even shared by many geologists and paleontologists. Our destruction is so familiar—so synonymous with civilization—in fact, that we tend to overlook how strange the world that we’ve made has become. For instance, it stands to reason that, until very recently, all vertebrate life on the planet was wildlife. But astoundingly, today wildlife accounts for only 3 percent of earth’s land animals; human beings, our livestock, and our pets take up the remaining 97 percent of the biomass. This Frankenstein biosphere is due both to the explosion of industrial agriculture and to a hollowing out of wildlife itself, which has decreased in abundance by as much as 50 percent since 1970. This cull is from both direct hunting and global-scale habitat destruction: almost half of the earth’s land has been converted to farmland. The oceans have endured a similar transformation in only the past few decades as the industrial might developed during World War II has been trained on the seas. Each year fishing trawlers plow an area of seafloor twice the size of the continental United States, obliterating the benthos. Gardens of corals and sponges hosting colorful sea life are reduced to furrowed, lifeless plains. What these trawlers have to show for all this destruction is the removal of up to 90 percent of all large ocean predators since 1950, including familiar staples of the dinner plate like cod, halibut, grouper, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and sharks. As just one slice of that devastation, 270,000 sharks are killed every single day, mostly for their tasteless fins, which end up as status symbol garnishes in the bowls of Chinese corporate power lunches. And today, even as fishing pressure is escalating, even as the number of fishing boats increases, even as industrial trawlers abandon their exhausted traditional fishing grounds to chase down ever more remote fish stocks with ever more sophisticated fish-finding technology, global fish catch is flatlining. Closer to shore, coral reefs, the wellspring of the ocean’s biodiversity, have declined in extent by as much as a third since only the 1980s. These paradises are plagued by overfishing, pollution, and invaders, but 500 million people, many of them poor and living in the developing world, rely on them for food, storm protection, and jobs. As in the handful of reef collapses of the geological past, modern reefs are expected to collapse from warming and ocean acidification by the end of the century, and possibly much sooner. During record-breaking temperatures in 1997–1998, 15 percent of the world’s reefs died. In the past few months a similar wave of death struck the Great Barrier Reef. It won’t be the last. So things don’t look so good, no matter where we look. Yes, the victims in the animal world include scary apex predators that pose obvious threats to humans, like lions, whose numbers have dropped from 1 million at the time of Jesus to 450,000 in the 1940s to 20,000 today—a decline of 98 percent. But also included have been unexpected victims, like butterflies and moths, which have declined in abundance by 35 percent since the 1970s. Like all extinction events, so far this one has been phased and complex, spanning tens of thousands of years and starting when our kind left Africa. Other mass extinctions buried deep in earth’s history have similarly played out over tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years. To future geologists, then, the huge wave of extinctions a few thousand years ago as First Peoples spread out into new continents and remote archipelagoes will be all but indistinguishable from the current wave of destruction loosed by modernity and its growing appetites. Surely we’ve earned our place in the pantheon next to the greatest ecological catastrophes of all time: the so-called Big Five mass extinctions of earth history. Surely our Anthropocene extinction can confidently take its place next to the juggernauts of deep time—the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous extinctions. Erwin says no. He thinks it’s junk science. “Many of those making facile comparisons between the current situation and past mass extinctions don’t have a clue about the difference in the nature of the data, much less how truly awful the mass extinctions recorded in the marine fossil record actually were,” he wrote me in an email. “It is absolutely critical to recognize that I am NOT claiming that humans haven’t done great damage to marine and terrestrial [ecosystems], nor that many extinctions have not occurred and more will certainly occur in the near future. But I do think that as scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.” I had a chance to sit down with Erwin after his talk at the annual geology conference. My first question—about a rumor I had heard from one of his colleagues that Erwin had served as a sort of mass extinction consultant to Cormac McCarthy while the notoriously secretive author was constructing the post-apocalyptic world of The Road—Erwin coyly evaded. But on the speculative sixth mass extinction, he was more forthcoming. “If we’re really in a mass extinction—if we’re in the [End- Permian mass extinction 252 million years ago]—go get a case of scotch,” he said. If his power-grid analogy is correct, then trying to stop a mass extinction after it’s started would be a little like calling for a building’s preservation while it’s imploding. “People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.” This is because by the time a mass extinction starts, the world would already be over. “So if we really are in the middle of a mass extinction,” I started, “it wouldn’t be a matter of saving tigers and elephants—” “Right, you probably have to worry about saving coyotes and rats. “It’s a network collapse problem,” he said. “Just like power grids. Network dynamics research has been getting a ton of money from DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]. They’re all physicists studying it, who don’t care about power grids or ecosystems, they care about math. So the secret about power grids is that nobody actually knows how they work. And it’s exactly the same problem you have in ecosystems. “I think that if we keep things up long enough, we’ll get to a mass extinction, but we’re not in a mass extinction yet, and I think that’s an optimistic discovery because that means we actually have time to avoid Armageddon,” he said. Erwin’s other point, that the magnitude of the Big Five mass extinctions in earth’s past dwarfs humanity’s destruction thus far, is a subtle one. He’s not trying to downplay the tremendous destruction wrought by humans, but reminding us that claims about mass extinctions are inevitably claims about paleontology and the fossil record. “So there are estimates of what the standing crop of passenger pigeons was in the 19th century,” said Erwin. “It’s like 5 billion. They would black out the sky.” Passenger pigeons all but serve as the mascot of the “sixth mass extinction,” their extirpation an ecological tragedy on a massive scale, and proof that humans are a geologically destructive force to be reckoned with. “So then you ask: in a non-archaeological context, how many fossil passenger pigeons are there? How many records are there of fossil passenger pigeons?” “Not many?” I offered. “Two,” he said.“So here’s an incredibly abundant bird that we wiped out. But if you look in the fossil record, you wouldn’t even know that they were there.” Erwin likes to recall a talk he once went to by an ecologist who had documented the troubling losses he had seen over his career in high-altitude rainforests. “He was using this as an example of the destruction of plants in these cloud forests in Venezuela, all of which could be completely true,” Erwin said. “The problem is, the probability of finding one of those cloud forests in the fossil record is zero.” The fossil record is incredibly incomplete. One rough estimate holds that we’ve only ever found a tantalizing 0.01 percent of all the species that have ever existed. Most of the animals in the fossil record are marine invertebrates, like brachiopods and bivalves, of the sort that are both geologically widespread and durably skeletonized. In fact, though this book (for narrative purposes) has mostly focused on the charismatic animals taken out by mass extinctions, the only reason we know about mass extinctions in the first place is from the record of this incredibly abundant, durable, and diverse world of marine invertebrates, not the big, charismatic, and rare stuff like dinosaurs. “So you can ask, ‘Okay, well, how many geographically widespread, abundant, durably skeletonized marine taxa have gone extinct thus far?’ And the answer is, pretty close to zero,” Erwin pointed out. In fact, of the best-assessed groups of modern animals—like stony corals, amphibians, birds and mammals—somewhere between 0 and 1 percent of species have gone extinct in recent human history. By comparison, the hellscape of End-Permian mass extinction claimed upwards of 90 percent of all species on earth. When mass extinctions hit, they don’t just take out big charismatic megafauna, like elephants, or niche ecosystems, like cloud forests. They take out hardy and ubiquitous organisms as well—things like clams and plants and insects. This is incredibly hard to do. But once you go over the edge and flip into mass extinction mode, nothing is safe. Mass extinctions kill almost everything on the planet. While Erwin’s argument that a mass extinction is not yet under way might seem to get humanity off the hook—an invitation to plunder the earth further, since it can seemingly take the beating (the planet has certainly seen worse)—it’s actually a subtler and possibly far scarier argument. This is where the ecosystem’s nonlinear responses, or tipping points, come in. Inching up to mass extinction might be a little like inching up to the event horizon of a black hole—once you go over a certain line, a line that perhaps doesn’t even appear all that remarkable, all is lost. “So,” I said, “it might be that we sort of bump along where everything seems okay and then . . .” “Yeah, everything’s fine until it’s not,” said Erwin. “And then everything goes to hell.” Or put another way, mass extinctions may unfold the same way that a dissolute character in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises explains that bankruptcies do: “Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly.” “The only hope we have in the future,” Erwin said, “is if we’re not in a mass extinction event.” This article has been adapted from Peter Brannen’s new book, The Ends of the World. PETER BRANNEN is a science writer based in Boulder, Colorado. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wired. He is the author of The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions.

MASS EXTINCTIONS OF THE PAST

(WHITESIDE 2016) Whiteside, Jessica H., and Kliti Grice. “Biomarker records associated with mass extinction events.” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 44 (2016): 581-612. The history of life on Earth is punctuated by a series of mass extinction episodes that vary widely in their magnitude, duration, and cause. Biomarkers are a powerful tool for the reconstruction of historical environmental conditions and can therefore provide insights into the cause and responses to ancient extinction events. In examining the five largest mass extinctions in the geological record, investigators have used biomarkers to elucidate key processes such as eutrophy, euxinia, ocean acidification, changes in hydrological balance, and changes in atmospheric CO2. By using these molecular fossils to understand how Earth and its ecosystems have responded to unusual environmental activity during these extinctions, models can be made to predict how Earth will respond to future changes in its climate.

(MCELWAIN 2007): McElwain, Jennifer C., and Surangi W. Punyasena. “Mass extinction events and the plant fossil record.” Trends in ecology & evolution 22.10 (2007): 548-557. Five mass extinction events have punctuated the geological record of marine invertebrate life. They are characterized by faunal extinction rates and magnitudes that far exceed those observed elsewhere in the geological record. Despite compelling evidence that these extinction events were probably driven by dramatic global environmental change, they were originally thought to have little macroecological or evolutionary consequence for terrestrial plants. New high-resolution regional palaeoecological studies are beginning to challenge this orthodoxy, providing evidence for extensive ecological upheaval, high species-level turnover and recovery intervals lasting millions of years. The challenge ahead is to establish the geographical extent of the ecological upheaval, because reconstructing the vegetation dynamics associated with these events will elucidate the role of floral change in faunal mass extinction and provide a better understanding of how plants have historically responded to global environmental change similar to that anticipated for our future.

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SUMMARY OF THE FIVE GREAT EXTINCTION EVENTS PROVIDED BY SAMNOBLE MUSEUM: LINK: https://samnoblemuseum.ou.edu/understanding-extinction/mass-extinctions/end-permian-extinction/

(#1: END PERMIAN) When did it happen?: There were two significant extinction events in the Permian Period. The smaller, at the end of a time interval called the Capitanian, occurred about 260 million years ago. The event at the end of the Permian Period (at the end of a time interval called the Changshanian) was much larger and may have eliminated more than three-quarters of species of marine animals. It happened about 252 million years ago and geological evidence shows that it may have taken no more than 200,000 years. In terms of geological time the extinction occurred quickly. Who became extinct? Important groups of marine animals disappeared at the end-Permian extinctions. Trilobites, which had lived in the oceans for more than 250 million years, were lost, along with tabulate and rugose corals. Reef building in shallow seas stopped for about 14 million years until the middle of the following Triassic Period. At that time, an entirely new group of corals, the stony or scleractinian corals, appeared in the oceans. Although they did not become entirely extinct, rhynchonelliform brachiopods, crinoids, shelled cephalopods and snails also suffered significant losses. On land, primitive synapsids (relatives of mammals) disappeared. Some estimates suggest that up to 70 percent of vertebrate genera were lost. Below are some groups of marine animals that became extinct at the end-Permian event. trilobites, Tabulate corals, Rugose corals, goniatitic cephalopods, Productid brachiopods, cladid crinoids. What caused the extinction? Warming of the Earth’s climate and associated changes to oceans were the most likely causes of the extinctions. At the end of the Permian Period volcanic activity on a massive scale in what is now Siberia led to a huge outpouring of lava. The eruptions also produced carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that helps warm the planet. The lava flows erupted onto carbon rich rocks like coal and as they were heated by the hot lava, greenhouse gases, including methane, were also produced. The global warming that followed may have increased average ocean water temperatures by as much as 14.5°F (8°C). Much of the carbon dioxide released by the eruptions would have been absorbed by the oceans. High levels of dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater are toxic to many marine invertebrates. Also, the dissolved carbon dioxide would have produced changes in seawater chemistry that may have made it difficult for some marine invertebrates, such as corals, to grow shells or skeletons. If that wasn’t bad enough, there is also geological evidence that the amount of oxygen dissolved in sea water (which invertebrates and fishes breath with their gills) was reduced, probably as a result of changes in ocean circulation.

(#2: END TRIASSIC): When did it happen?: The extinction occurred near the end of the Triassic Period, about 201 million years ago. Who became extinct?: All major groups of marine invertebrates survived the extinction, although most suffered losses. Brachiopods, shelled cephalopods, sponges and corals were particularly hard hit. On land, casualties included the phytosaurs, a group of crocodile-like animals. What caused the extinction?: At the end of the Triassic, the supercontinent of Pangea, which combined all of the modern continents into a single landmass, began to break (rift) apart. As North America separated from Africa and the Atlantic Ocean began to form, volcanic activity on a massive scale introduced carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This led to global warming and changes to the oceans that were similar to (although not as large) those that occurred at the end-Permian extinction. Reconstruction of Late Triassic global geography: All of today’s continents were combined into the supercontinent of Pangea. Pangea was beginning to break apart. As North America and Africa began to separate there was a vast outpouring of lava. The area of volcanic rocks that formed at this time is shown in yellow. Gases, including carbon dioxide, produced during the eruptions led to global climate change.

(#3: LATE DEVONIAN): When did they happen?: The end-Frasnian extinction happened about 375 million years ago. The oldest of the three extinctions, towards the end of a time interval called the Givetian, occurred about 10 million years before the Frasnian event. The youngest extinction happened near the end of the Devonian period, about 365 million years ago, during a time interval called the Famennian. Who became extinct?: The end-Frasnian extinction was most pronounced in tropical environments, particularly in the reefs of the shallow seas. Reef building sponges called stromatoporoids and corals suffered losses and stromatoporoids finally disappeared in the third extinction near the end of the Devonian. Brachiopods associated with reefs also became extinct. Groups of trilobites disappeared at each of the three extinctions and very few survived into the following Carboniferous Period. Examples of groups of brachiopods and trilobites that became extinct are: Odontopleurid trilobites, Dalmanitid trilobites, Phacopid trilobites, Atrypid brachiopods, Pentamerid brachiopods. How did they happen?: As extinctions were mostly of tropical groups climate change may have been involved, and there is geological evidence for cooling of the global climate at the end-Frasnian event and near the end of the Devonian Period. Cooling may have been caused by a drop in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that helps warm the planet, so if levels fall, cooling will follow. In the Late Devonian, large trees evolved and formed the first forests. As plant life expanded, they used up more carbon dioxide in photosynthesis. When dead plant material decays, carbon dioxide is returned to the atmosphere, but some plant material (e.g., leaves) will be buried in swamps, lakes and rivers. This buried plant material removes carbon permanently from the atmosphere and often forms coal. When we mine coal and burn it we return carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and warm the planet.

(#4: END-ORDOVICIAN): When did it happen?: There were two distinct extinctions roughly a million years apart. The first of these began about 443 million years ago. Together, these extinctions may have removed about 85 percent of species of marine animals. Who became extinct?: All of the major animal groups of the Ordovician oceans survived, including trilobites, brachiopods, corals, crinoids and graptolites, but each lost important members. Widespread families of trilobites disappeared and graptolites came close to total extinction. Examples of fossil groups that became extinct at the end-Ordovician extinction: Trilobite family Trinucleidae, Trilobite family Bathyuridae, Brachiopod genus Thaerodonta, Brachiopod genus Plaesiomys, Graptolite family Climacograptidae, Graptolite family Diplograptidae. What caused the extinction? The evidence indicates that climate change caused the extinctions. A major ice age is known to have occurred in the southern hemisphere and climates cooled world-wide. The first wave of extinctions happened as the climate became colder and a second pulse occurred as climates warmed at the end of the ice age. Reconstruction of Late Ordovician global geography (southern hemisphere), showing the south polar icecap (white). The Ordovician continent of Laurentia corresponds to most of present day North America; Baltica included part of modern western Europe. Gondwana was a super-continent composed of most of the major modern continents.

(#5: END CRETACEOUS): When did it happen?: The extinction occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period, about 65.5 million years ago. Who became extinct?: In addition to the non-avian dinosaurs, vertebrates that were lost at the end of the Cretaceous include the flying pterosaurs, and the mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs of the oceans. Important marine invertebrates also disappeared, including ammonites, groups of cephalopods and some bivalves, such as the reef-building rudists and some relatives of modern oysters. Examples of invertebrate groups that became extinct at the end_Cretaceous event. tes that disappeared at the end-Cretaceous extinction. Ammonite (Cephalopod), gryphaeid oyster (Bivalv), Inoceramid (Bivalve). What caused the extinction?: Several lines of geological evidence indicate that an asteroid that was as much as 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter hit the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous Period. This evidence includes an ancient impact crater in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico (now filled in by younger rocks) that dates to the time of the extinction. The impact would have produced an enormous dust cloud that would have risen up into the atmosphere and encircled the planet. The dust cloud greatly reduced the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface and prevented photosynthesis by plants on land and plankton in the oceans. As plants and plankton died, extinctions expanded up the food chain, eliminating herbivores and carnivores. If that was not bad enough, dust and debris falling back to Earth was hot and may have triggered widespread wildfires. There is some debate over whether the asteroid was the sole cause of the extinction or whether other factors were also involved. Towards the end of the Cretaceous, volcanic activity in India produced lava flows over a vast area. Some paleontologists and geologists have suggested that gases (e.g., sulfur dioxide; carbon dioxide) released by the volcanoes might have altered the climate. Others point to geological evidence for a fall in sea level that would have reduced the area of shallow seas and, possibly, coastal plains.

Image result for end cretaceous extinction

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS:

The characteristics of the five mass extinctions described above show that the two essential things that they all have in common are signficant global geological upheaval involving enormous amounts of energy and time scales of millions of years. Humans appeared on earth 66 million years ago and we could have been a creation of the End Cretaceous Extinction event but we surely could not have caused it. Human civilization did not appear until this Holocene interglacial about 8,000 years ago and the industrialization of human civilization did not occur until 100 years ago. The time scale needed for mass extinction events excludes any role for humans and the geological nature of these events also excludes any significant role for humans. That humans are causing a sixth mass extinction in the sequence of the five described above is a fanciful idea of extreme environmentalism but not credible.

It should also be noted that published research papers have two things in common – that they are published by the same journal (PNAS) and include a common co-author (Paul Ehrlich). In terms of Ehrlich’s failed population bomb hypothesis and his obsession with human population and climate change, his interest in the theory of a human caused sixth mass extinction can be understood in that context. It is possible that the sixth mass extinction idea derives from a need in climate science to inject additional fear into the fear based activism against fossil fuels that is not going well for them. The need for climate change science to include a sixth mass extinction in its fear porfolio is also seen in the way the 5 great mass extinctions are now described. These descriptions include the idea that the planetary scale geological holocaust had increased or decreased atmospheric CO2 and had thereby caused global warming or global cooling – in other words a role for AGW-like climate change is inserted.

We therefore agree with the presentation at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America by Professor Douglas Erwin that the sixth mass extinction is a fanciful extension of the climate change discussion with imagination but without substance.

Image result for Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin



  • Anders Rasmusson: Chaamjamal, thank you, it’s my pleasure trying to present the circumstances in a way I would have done if still in operation as an chemical process
  • chaamjamal: Thank you for your detailed respinse.We see things differently I guess.
  • Anders Rasmusson: Chaamjamal : ”What about the climate science position that the airborne fraction is 50%? .... please see .....” Comments : Detrending, Monte