Starting 2016 With a Real Bang

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Above image from, ‘9 Maps That Show How Completely Bizarre Your Christmas Eve Weather‘ Was.

Of course the stuck jet stream is heading North North East and separates the cold dry air from the Arctic extending far southward in the wave trough on the West from the warm humid air in the wave crest from the tropics extending far northward on the East. The jet stream has slowed, and become much wavier in the N-S direction and is stuck, leading to persistent conditions. It is wavier and slower because the Arctic has warmed like a bat-out-of-hell compared to the more lethargic Equatorial warming.

The Arctic blast furnace is caused by the exponential decline in sea-ice cover, and even more-so by the exponential reduction in spring snow cover.  The loss of these highly reflective surfaces means that the darker ocean water and underlying permafrost, respectively is exposed and thus absorbs more sunlight thereby amplifying the warming even more. The surface organic matter in the permafrost undergoes bacterial decomposition after it thaws, and releases methane gas and carbon dioxide, in the respective cases of anaerobic (no oxygen present) and aerobic bacterial decomposition (rotting).

The warmer ocean temperatures extends to the seafloor, especially over the vast Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) and the Kara Sea shells, the former of which is one of the largest continental shelves on the entire planet.  This methane release, with a potential for enormous burps of gas can entirely change our climate within a year or two by propelling us into a much warmer world, one without any sea ice or snow cover year round in the Arctic. Buckle your seatbelts. The only way we can prevent this is to go into planetary-three-legged-stool-emergency-mode and:

Leg 1: Zero all fossil-fuel emissions ASAP

Leg 2: immediately deploy CDR (carbon dioxide removal) as proposed by my company GaiaEngineering, and

Leg 3: immediately deploy SRM (solar radiation management) to cool the Arctic to buy us time for Legs 1 and 2.

QED (quo errat demonstratum; aka quite easily done)…

Paul Beckwith – Rapid Climate System Changes // Published on Jan 6, 2016

This is a presentation that I did in Kragerø, Norway in the middle of December 2015. This was held just days after I arrived in Norway from COP21 in Paris. The presentation is 90+ minutes long.
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Paul Beckwith at the UNFCC
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Here I am, positively leading off the ‘Best of the previous 39 Episodes’, at ‘Extinction Radio.  This is shared on Episode 40, Dec 24, 2015, The Best of Show’.  Impatient or over demanded listeners can hasten to my segment, starting at 3:37 mark, here.  4:34 long.  Goes to 8:11 mark.

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A really excellent quality video.  My segment starts at 6:17 for those in for the quick dive, click here.  3:34 long, goes to 9:51 mark.  Also 1:59 to 2:14 and from 44:29 to 44:44 (links, direct to segments, each 0:15 secs).

Youth Climate Report 6 COP21 // Published on Nov 29, 2015
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[Wish to go on record, that I am not sure I am comfortable with this or him, but so be it, Paul noted it, and worth a quick listen.  Bet Bill lives a MUCH better life than me–on the material level–but asking for money, leaves me very uncomfortable, feels creepy, a term I have not used ONCE in my life. Fact.  As for the mud and poignency, I am OK with that.  dk]

Bill McKibben’s muddy backyard // Uploaded on Dec 24, 2015

A somewhat gloomy fundraising video shot in record-hot Vermont weather, December 2015.
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This is really quite good. Just 1:04 long

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The Farce of Democratic Party Climate Change Policy

As the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak continues to spew into the air, Rhode Island’s small hamlet of Burrillville is now facing the chance to be the future site of such a catastrophe. With the help of a key Democratic Party endorsement and accession from labor union bosses who should know better, Rhode Island may soon host a fracked natural gas plant rather than the saner move of a sustainable electric plant.’
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15 Predictions for the next 10 years: Climate change is a reality

1. 2015 The world will fail to take the rapid action required to prevent the acceleration of climate change and its pervasive negative impacts. Thus, temperatures will rise above the 2C mark (that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “IPCC” had set as a target) above pre-industrial levels within two decades.  

2. 2015 The IPCC predictions of 3.6C to 4.8C by the year 2100 significantly underestimates both the rate of change and its absolute temperature increase by at least a factor of two. This is because the models operate linearly and do not allow for the effects of non-linear hockey stick change and because, politically they have been toned down for general consumption‘.  Continues at link above.
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[This one seems to belong, but from dk not Paul:]  The Dark Mountain Project, The Manifesto

This was the starting point of the whole project. A little self-published pamphlet, born out of two years of conversations, crowdfunded over the internet, launched at a small riverside gathering outside Oxford in summer 2009.

Written by Paul and Dougald, it marked our first attempt to put into words the ideas and feelings which led us to Dark Mountain. Think of it as a flag raised so that we can find one another. A point of departure, rather than a party line. An invitation to a larger conversation that continues to take us down unexpected paths.’
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An outstanding piece from fellow contributor, at Extinction Radio, Gail Zawacki’s Wits End, one reader said was ‘best of year’.  I agree (dk).  Called ‘No Mercy

“I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing.”  ~ John Fowles, The Collector

‘Following is the transcript to my 19th Dispatch from the Endocene which aired on the Extinction Radio episode of Friday, January 1, 2016. Happy New Year!’

Few people realize that the air has become toxic. You can’t see ozone, anymore than you can see oxygen, or nitrogen, invisible gases. So most people don’t know that the concentration of ozone from burning coal, oil, gas, and forests is becoming poisonous to humans and even more damaging to plants that absorb it.’
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This is quite bone chillingly important.   Worth a good listen. By the esteemed Nick Breeze.

Interview: Polar ice expert, Professor Peter Wadhams: The Arctic, Paris & Politicians // Published on Sep 22, 2015

Interview: Polar ice expert, Professor Peter Wadhams, discusses the increased dangers of climate change in the Arctic, the potential for runaway impacts and what politicians should decide when they meet in Paris.  

‘With the recent Arctic sea ice minimum extent for 2015 announced on the 11th September showing the 4th lowest sea ice extent on record. Little comfort can be drawn from US Navy data that shows the sea ice thickness (not visible from satellites) is still declining, especially around the Beaufort Sea and the North Pole, where increased storm activity is further breaking up the ice.’
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Bomb cyclone’ to spike Arctic temperatures, add to UK’s flooding woes

The ferocious storm cell that spawned deadly tornadoes in the US over the weekend is expected to develop into what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone”, steering exceptionally warm air over the Arctic and more flooding rains into the UK.

One widely used computer model, the Global Forecast System, is predicting the storm to drop pressure levels sharply by Tuesday night, easily exceeding the “bomb cyclone” criteria of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, according to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.

We’ve probably never seen weather like what’s being predicted for a vast region stretching from the North Atlantic to the North Pole and on into the broader Arctic this coming week,” said Robert Scribbler, an environmental blogger.’
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Power Plants Threatened as Global Warming Affects Water Supplies

More than two-thirds of the world’s power plants may have trouble running at full capacity as the warming climate affects water supplies, according to a new study.
Reduced stream flows and rising water temperatures may reduce monthly generating capacity at nuclear, fossil-fuel and biofuel-powered plants by as much as 30 percent by the 2050s, according to research published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Global hydropower capacity is expected to drop by as much as 3.6 percent in the 2050s and almost double that amount by the 2080s.’
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Here is a good personal and expert article here, commenting on “Wake Up! Our World Is Dying and We’re All in Denial– its a personal truth quite moving  post from Peter Carter MD.  With his permission:


Had we been in a trance? I wanted to shout, “Wake up! Please wake up! Our old future is gone. Matters are urgent. We have to do something now.”  We continue to face an odd fixed deep denial from climate experts on the very worst impacts of global warming, which as has been known for decades is Arctic meltdown feedback global runaway.  As the real time evidence has mounted this denial has become more entrenched.  Only a couple of experts pointed out that the historic Paris Agreement in fact condemned us to a a catastrophic 3C temperature increase climate disruption by 2100.

The science academies had nothing on the Paris agreement and no Paris statement.  This worst case denial coming from our top minds, is the main reason I think for the general denial of the global climate planetary emergency.  This is so tragic because a declaration of an individual medical emergency and a social disaster emergency is a message of hope.  Global warming is burning our neighbour’ s African house and we are smelling the smoke in our house- Sound the fire alarm and declare the emergency.  The conventional wisdom(-not) from climate change leaders that has developed over the past two decades (at least) has been to gently coax the public by benign non alarming messaging into considering climate change seriously.

I think John Nissen is right that we are facing climate catastrophe expert denial. This would be due to understandable but unacceptable classic psychological projection. Climate experts did not enter the science expecting or equipped to deal with planet destroying impending planetary climate cataclysms, so the public is made to be the reason to deny dealing with the worst of global warming publicly.  It has been encouraged by the highly effective ‘alarmist’ strategy of the dangerous climate change denial campaign. I have even found avoiding ‘alarmism’ in published climate change papers.

This the public can’t cope with scary climate change, has no psychological basis and defies political sense on responding to catastrophic climate change risks, but in general climate leaders and climate experts consider themselves psychological experts when it comes to dangerous climate change communication.  Bill McKibben is an excellent exception on climate NGO leaders and James Hansen on climate experts.  The record of past successful environmental campaigns shows when people see their families under direct pollution threat of horrible diseases and potential death they act powerfully to force govt action (e.g. Love Canal).

The first minute makes the point of the power of a person aroused.  For public communication cold facts alone do not make the message- the emotion is the deeper message.  To realize a democratic sea change in government climate change response (=still more delay) we need a massive active well informed public majority. Nowhere is this clearer than in the USA.  This strategy is not working. There is little difference in public beliefs and public action about climate change since the early 1990s.

Big Gap between What Scientists Say and Americans Think about Climate Change.  “Only 33 percent of the general public said it was a very serious problem in a 2013 poll”.
That said, disastrous to catastrophic events will likely soon be so bad as to go beyond a public psychological threshold of being able to face the Hell on Earth future. Another reason we are right out of time.  Right now we can keep hope alive by communicating the full terrible truth of continued govt inaction and the remedial immediate emergence actions that must be taken. It’s simple common sense precaution.

Stop fossil fuel subsidies.  Charge the full cost of GHG pollution to the large central polluters.  Look for the worst cases and prepare for the worst.  In my case, my generation brought on catastrophic atmospheric GHG pollution with global warming climate change and ocean acidification, making it my responsibility to sound the planetary alarm and call for the global emergency response.  Cheers, Peter Carter – AMEG member”

Peter is a retired doctor, after nearly 40 years in practice as a family physician, first in England and then in Newfoundland and British Columbia, Canada.

When his sons were born, he became actively involved in environmental, peace, and sustainable development issues, especially as they relate to children’s health‘.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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