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Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:50 PM

Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release

Source: Inside Climate News

I realize many of us are still intellectually and emotionally dealing with the masses of fecal material the orange one flung around last night but I suspect that in the very near future we will have far larger issues to occupy our minds and bodies. Here's what I'm talking about.

"Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama."

Large sections of the Siberian permafrost are thawing and slumping (from the Cambridge University Press): "A megaslump at Batagaika, in northern Yakutia, exposes a remarkable stratigraphic sequence of permafrost deposits ~50–80 m thick."

Arctic ice coverage is at a historical low http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ and huge chunks of Antarctic glaciers are calving https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/07/science/earth/antarctic-crack.html .

What we are dealing with is exponential climate change. The concept of exponential change on a global scale is about as hard for the average person to conceptualize as what a billion dollars would look like in $100 bills (visualize 10 pallets each holding a ton of $100 dollar bills).

When I was a TA at university this is the image I used to help students understand exponential change:

"Imagine a tree full of leaves by a pond. On the first day the tree drops one leaf on the pond surface. The next day 2 leaves fall, the following day 4, and so on. Each day twice as many leaves fall on the pond as the day before. If on the 29th day half the leaves have fallen and the pond is half covered how many more days will it take until all the leaves have fallen and the pond is completely covered"

Some of you will immediately know but I suspect others will be surprised by the answer. Here's hint, I suspect that as far as the world goes we are very near day 29.

Houston we have a problem.


Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27022017/global-warming-permafrost-study-melt-canada-siberia

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Reply Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release (Original post)
Rural_Progressive Mar 2017 OP
Achilleaze Mar 2017 #1
NCjack Mar 2017 #2
Rural_Progressive Mar 2017 #6
NCjack Mar 2017 #10
NickB79 Mar 2017 #13
femmedem Mar 2017 #3
theophilus Mar 2017 #4
Duppers Mar 2017 #18
dembotoz Mar 2017 #5
progree Mar 2017 #7
Rural_Progressive Mar 2017 #9
progree Mar 2017 #11
progree Mar 2017 #15
Orrex Mar 2017 #8
Kimchijeon Mar 2017 #12
Sunlei Mar 2017 #14
pressbox69 Mar 2017 #16
roamer65 Mar 2017 #17

Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:53 PM

1. republicans are way too busy destroying the EPA, etc. to give a shit about the planet

republicans can now gleefully shift EPA moneybucks to their FATCAT Plutocrat republican-russian oil & gas PigBuddies so they can SHAFT planet earth for personal profit even more mindlessly.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:23 PM

2. Looks like the next step toward climate instability

and the onset of an ice age.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:38 PM

6. This is a HUGE step toward climate instability

because as that "peat" which is what permafrost is composed of, partially decomposed organic matter, thaws it may very well experience spontaneously combustion the same way wet hay or straw stacks burst into flame. Should that happen on a large scale so much particulate matter could end up in the atmosphere that it will create a scenario much like the nuclear "winter" that has been talked about in the past. Should that happen, well we won't have to worry about the ice on the poles melting.

So many ways things can go sideways, nothing that will "destroy" the planet but certainly many things that can make much of it far less pleasant for humans to occupy.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:58 PM

10. I would like to toughen the tone of my statement. This news is the worst

in my life. The gas release event is likely the irreversible tip in climate. No going back now. We will be lucky if the gases catch fire and burn. That might give us a little time for global weather modification attempts. If burning does not occur, methane, hydrogen sulfide, and methyl sulfide will be transported into the stratosphere, where they will be converted to ice crystals and sulfuric acid aerosols. Incoming solar radiation will be reflected away, and global cooling will immediately follow, and an ice age will be triggered.





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Response to NCjack (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:15 PM

13. There's no evidence of what you suggest happening

All paleoclimate records suggest we're facing another Permian or Eocene Maximum event: massive warming with no subsequent ice age, just a slow cooldown back to a more normal state as carbon is resequestered over millions of years.

There are few mechanisms to transport methane and hydrogen sulfide in quantity to stratospheric heights either; the energy required to do so is typically associated with volcanic eruptions and nuclear bombs.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:27 PM

3. Short of nuclear war, this is the worst news imaginable.

Not only does the permafrost store twice the amount of carbon as is in our atmosphere, as the article states, but it also stores vast amounts of methane. The methane won't stay in the atmosphere for centuries the way CO2 will, but, unchecked, it will lead to more powerful abrupt climate change in the shorter term.
.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:32 PM

4. Time to shade the poles with upper atmosphere particulates, etc.

Time is running out to be able to do anything. A huge methane release is going to make it "game over" for most of the earth's life. I'm sure some of the mega rich will survive. They will probably then put up some shade to make things livable again. The meek are supposed to inherit the earth, though.

Another thing that might save the current ecosystem is a limited nuclear exchange. That is not my preferred solution.

Anyway. Mr. Trump came along at the absolutely worst time for preservation of life on a global scale.

What to do?

Vladimir would probably go to war with anyone that threatened to block the arctic with year round ice again. I really can't imagine what these plutocrats envision their future to be on a burned out scrap of a planet. Oh, well. Fiddle dee dee. Tomorrow is another day, until there isn't one.

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Response to theophilus (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 10:42 PM

18. "shade the poles with upper atmosphere particulates"

Or with large umbrella-like sheets of thin reflective material which could be retractable and controllable. Expensive but very doable - by NASA. This solution was suggested by a NASA physicists last year. The uppity-ups laughed at him!!!

The ignorance and inertia is pervasive in so many places and levels. It's heartbreaking.




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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:33 PM

5. and the deniers will all claim this event is all natural and man is not involved

yesterday i bought flood insurance

do not live in an area that floods, but my condo is next to the water on a man made lake connected to a river....it was reasonable considering the coverage and the assumed risk....

things are getting whacky

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:41 PM

7. On day 24, only 1/64 (1.6%) of the pond is covered. But in just 6 more days.... (eom)

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Response to progree (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:52 PM

9. Seems to be something the human brain is just not capable of dealing with

on any significant scale.

I have an acquaintance I used to hang out with at school who was involved with climate change modeling being done back in the late 80s, early 90s. The group he was working with were getting my "leaves on a pond" type results but were forced to change the model to create a more linear type outcome because no one would take their original results seriously.

We really are very close to running out of time to mitigate this situation if we aren't there already.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:07 PM

11. Yeah, when I first heard the pond example a few years ago, it blew me away

and I'm an M.S.E.E. in engineering, and was about 55 at the time, after 3 decades of engineering practice. In a very numbers-oriented profession. And on the side,frequently did compound returns financial calculations, but still...

It was some program on PBS and the pond example was, in that case lily pads covering the pond. And they showed the pond. And like even on day 27, 1/8 of the pond covered, no big deal. A pretty pond. But 3 days later...

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:47 PM

15. Oh, here is what I saw - "Plan B: Has Our Planet Already Reached the 29th Day?"



although I have to say, the pond doesn't look anyway near half-covered on the 29th day (at 1:23 in the video).

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:42 PM

8. Good thing climate change is just a hoax, then

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:07 PM

12. They don't care, they figure they'll be dead by the time it gets "really bad"

as long as quarterly profits are UP then who gives a shit? Certainly not them, nosiree!
Climate change, oh no such thing!

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:34 PM

14. This has happened for many, many years its why permafrost areas look like swiss cheese.

Should have collected all that free methane gas for energy and not let miners & land 'developers' shove around the silt and sludge into our rivers & oceans.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:59 PM

16. So now we know

the real reason for tourist trips around the Moon next year.

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Response to Rural_Progressive (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 08:35 PM

17. Just wait until we reach 500 ppm CO2.

Earth will not be a very forgiving place.

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