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CLIMATE CHANGE DESTROYING HOMES IN THE ARCTIC

Posted on: January 12, 2022

Permafrost thaw in Kivalina, Alaska is threatening villages and homes

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ONLINE MEDIA REPORT ON THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING ON THE ARCTIC THAT SUGGESTS AN URGENT NEED FOR CLIMATE ACTION.

LINK TO THE MEDIA PUBLICATION: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-59915697

Permafrost thaw near the Bering Sea village of Unalakleet, Alaska in 2021

WHAT THE MEDIA ARTICLE SAYS

Climate change destroying homes across the Arctic. BBC News. JANUARY 2022.


Permafrost thaw in Kivalina, Alaska, is threatening villages and homes. Cracked homes, buckled roads and ruptured pipelines are likely to become common in and near the Arctic as warming temperatures cause frozen ground to thaw, new findings say. Five million people live on Arctic permafrost including in Russia, North America and Scandinavia. Climate change is causing the Arctic to warm two-to-four times faster than the rest of the planet. The land changes right before us,” one Alaska resident told BBC News. Scientists studying the Arctic say that 70% of infrastructure and 30-50% of critical infrastructure is at high risk of damage by 2050, with projected cost of tens of billions of dollars. The study published on Tuesday highlights again how climate change is expected to threaten life as we know it as well as the natural world. Arctic communities are all different but everyone living on permafrost is really struggling,” Kaare Sikuaq Erickson told BBC News. He works in Alaska as a cultural mediator between residents and institutions. Permafrost or tundra is defined as land that has been frozen continuously for more than two years. It covers around one quarter of the northern hemisphere’s land surface, including half of Canada’s land and 80% of Alaska’s. But warming temperatures are causing parts of it to thaw with often unpredictable effects, including sinkhole formation, land slips and flooding.”Both the construction itself and the warming of the climate cause permafrost to thaw, which threatens existing infrastructure and future construction projects. A sinkhole forms after permafrost thawing near the Bering Sea village of Unalakleet, Alaska, in 2021. Imagine living on a block of ice and constantly trying to keep it frozen, These are the challenges facing Alaskan communities. It affects everything from trying to dig foundations for a house, or building a level road, to installing sewer and water systems. Historically the ice did stay cooler, but now it’s warming fast. You see the foundations of buildings and highways are up and down – you’re driving over big bumps in the roads. Arctic warming is actually linked to colder winters. Arctic Circle teens call for help to save their homes. Because of the unequal way that the US government divided up land after colonisation in the 19th and 20th centuries, indigenous villages now have limited land and few options to move as it becomes unstable. Meanwhile in Russia, up to 80% of buildings are damaged in some cities built on permafrost. Most of the cities in the Arctic are located in Russia and the degrading landscape is affecting food security, traditional lifestyles and accessibility. And as the heating of the planet is projected to accelerate in coming years, more permafrost is expected to thaw, threatening infrastructure and communities. At least 120,000 buildings, 40,000 km of roads and 9,500 km of pipelines, as well as airstrips, are located in permafrost areas of the northern hemisphere, according to the study. If you think about the Arctic, the whole landscape stability is dependent on the threshold of zero degrees Celsius. And as surface temperature approaches zero, we are seeing huge waves of problems. In some communities water mains are rupturing and houses are becoming unstable when the ground subsides. It’s become dangerous to play outside in areas due to ponds forming from meltwater. It’s important to emphasise that people have lived in these landscapes for thousands of years – it’s not as simple as saying communities can pick up and move. Large mounds called thermokarsts in Siberia are a result of permafrost thawing. In 2020, evidence of the catastrophic impact of warming permafrost was clear when a huge oil spill caused one of Russia’s worst environmental disasters. Around 21,000 tonnes of diesel poured from Norilsk Nickel’s storage tanks into rivers and lakes in Russia’s Arctic north. Investigators believe the tanks sank into the ground after it became unstable as permafrost thawed. It is possible to tackle the problem using different building design or trying to keep the permafrost cool, but it is expensive and risky. Some highways in Alaska are already built with what are known as air convection embankments. This method places porous stones inside the surface of roads to encourage heat to rise away from the frozen ground.

Most scientists agree that the sensible solution is to reduce our dependency on greenhouse gases and thereby lower the degrees to which our planet will warm,” suggests Dr Poul Christoffersen, glaciologist at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, UK. Scientists are also closely analysing permafrost to assess how much carbon dioxide locked inside the frozen land is being released as it warms.

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

THE LONG SOBBING STORY ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE ALASKAN PEOPLE AND THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES THERE IS OF COURSE CLIMATE ACTION ACTIVISM THAT SEEKS SYMPATHY FOR THESE FORSAKEN PEOPLE TO FEED INTO REASONS TO TAKE CLIMATE ACTION, TO SHUT DOWN THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY AND BUILD A GLOBAL ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE WITH WIND AND SOLAR AND GREEN HYDROGEN THAT HAS NO FOSSIL FUELS AND THAT PRODUCES NO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS.

THE WEAKNESS IN THIS ARGUMENT IN THE HISTORICAL RECORD. PRIOR TO THE HOLOCENE INTERGLACIAL WHERE WE ARE NOW, AND PRIOR TO THE PREVIOUS GLACIATION CYCLE, ABOUT 150,000 YEARS TO 115,000 YEARS AGO THERE WAS ANOTHER INTERGLACIAL CALLED THE EEMAIN. IN THAT INTERFLACIAL TOO, AS IN THE HOLOCENE, THERE WERE ALTERNATING WARMING AND COOLING CYCLSE AND ONE OF THOSE WARMING CYCLES WAS 5C WARMER THAN THE CURRENT WARMING CYCLE OF THE HOLOCENE THAT SCIENTISTS SAY WAS CAUSED BY FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS OF THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY.

AND THERE, THE POLAR ICE CAP DEVASTATION THAT FEAR APPEAL SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN EAGERLY ANTICIPATING IN THE CURRENT WARM PERIOD WITH NO LUCK, HAD ACTUALLY HAPPPENED WAY BACK IN THE EEMIAN WAY BACK BEFORE FOSSIL FUELS AND BEFORE THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY OF THE HUMANS. IN FACT WAY BACK THEN THE HUMANS KIND OF LOOKED AND BEHAVED LIKE ANIMALS. HERE THEY ARE.

humans-eemian

SCIENTISTS WHO CLAIM THAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION CREATED GLOBAL WARMING AND THAT THE INTENSITY OF THE CURRENT WARM PERIOD IMPLIES HUMAN CAUSE AND SCIENTISTS WHO OVERLOOK OR IGNORE THE NATURAL WARMING CYCLES OF INTERGLACIALS HAVE A BIAS THAT OVERLOOKS THINGS LIKE THE STRONGER GLOBAL WARMING CYCLE OF THE EEMAIN THAT HAD CAUSED THE POLAR ICE CAP AND POLAR MELT HORRORS THAT SCIENTISTS HAD USED IN THEIR FAILED AND COMICAL ANTICIPATION OF EEMIAN HORRORS IN THEIR FOSSIL FUEL DREAMS. IT IS FOR THESE REASONS THAT THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT OF OUR TIME IS BEST UNDERSTOOD AS ANTI FOSSIL FUEL ACTIVISM.

THE WIDELY ANTICIPATED COLLAPSE OF THE WEST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET IS DERIVED FROM WHAT HAD HAPPENED IN THE EEMIAN MORE THAN 100,000 YEARS AGO BUT IT FAILED TO MAKE A SHOW IN THE HOLOCENE AND EVEN THE FOSSIL FUELS OF THE HUMANS AND THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY COULD NOT RECREATE THAT HORROR THAT NATURE HAD DONE ALL BY ITSELF.

THESE ODDITIES OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THIS SCIENCE IS SOME KIND OF SCIENCE THAT HAS BEEN CORRUPTED BY ACTIVISM THAT IN THIS CASE APPEARS TO BE A REVIVAL OF THE 1960S HIPPIE MOVEMENT AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS.

THE DETAILS OF THIS ISSUE ARE PRESENTED IN A RELATED POST ON A HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/23/anti-fossil-fuel-activism-disguised-as-climate-science/

Understanding Sea Level Rise, p4: ice sheet dynamics and (13) melting  feedbacks – a background to 21st century SLR acceleration | Bits of Science

Sea Level Rise Archives - Climate Change T-shirts

RELATED POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/11/09/the-issue-is-human-cause/

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