What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic–Not Like Vegas

Demise of Arctic Sea-Ice: Part 1 of 2 // Published on Aug 16, 2016

There is very little Arctic sea-ice left this year. The trend is a rapid decline to essentially nothing (- 1 million square km); the “blue-ocean event” as I call it (should have trademarked this).

If the ongoing massive cyclones continue to shred the ice over the next 4 or 5 weeks of this summers melt season, then “nothing left” could be this year; otherwise before 2020 is an excellent wager.

The devil is in the details; I teach you how to find the details that you need to do your own assessment (Google here, for recent images of arctic sea ice graphs.  Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog).  Below graph, compliments, Robert Scribbler’s ‘July was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded; 2016 Set to Make 1998 Look Cold by Comparison‘.  Links to both Climate Reanalyzer and Earth Null School.

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Demise of Arctic Sea-Ice: Part 2 of 2 // Published on Aug 16, 2016

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The Interview with Paul Beckwith, from The NATO Association of Canada, August 19th, 2016, by Lira Loloci, who is currently the Editor of the Global Horizons Program at the NATO Association of Canada.


On behalf of NATO Association of Canada, I had the privilege to interview Paul Beckwith, climate system scientist and part-time professor in Climatology at University of Ottawa, working on his PhD in abrupt climate change. Mr. Beckwith discusses the main challenges that we are facing when it comes to climate policy, biggest environmental concerns to Canada, and geoengineering as an alternative to tackling climate change.

Please tell us a bit about your educational background and any current undertakings that you are working on.

I’m a part-time professor at the university of Ottawa, where I teach Climatology and Meteorology. I have a B.Eng. Engineering Physics degree and M.Sc. Physics degree in laser optics, a field in which I worked for many years. I’ve always been concerned with climate change and decided to formalize my knowledge by coming back to university to study and teach climate change. My research topic is abrupt climate change, which deals with how quickly the climate system is changing now, how quickly it has changed over the past, and from that information we can hopefully determine how fast it will be changing in the future.


National Snow and Ice Data Center, 18 hours ago (about 7:50 am Friday)

In the context of abrupt climate change, what would you say is the biggest security threat that Canadians are facing?

I think Canadians and just about anybody else in the world is facing similar threats. I like to call it “death by a thousand cuts”. We have a fairly resilient society, cities and what we are seeing is that extreme weather events are rapidly rising and affecting our society negatively. Toronto had a big flooding in the summer of 2013, a few weeks after Calgary had one. Around the same time, Colorado had a flooding two months after. Currently, we are seeing vast portions of Louisiana under water. We also have had droughts, which threaten food security. So I see food security as being one of the main problematic issues as a result of abrupt climate change events.

It can all be related to the Arctic warming, which is quickly losing sea ice in the summer and snow cover in the spring. As a result, the Arctic is getting a lot darker, absorbing a lot more solar radiation, meaning that it’s heating up much faster that the equator. All of these things are causing more extreme weather events, and as a result because it is warmer, there is about 7% more water vapour in the atmosphere than there was in the pre-industrial levels. This is causing our resources to be used up, major damages in infrastructure and damages to people’s health.

You attended the COP 21 conference in Paris, which for the first time reached an agreement requiring all nations to pledge action on climate change. However, given that there is no actual binding mechanism in international agreements, how would you rate the success of the COP 21 conference?

Paris was important and it did achieve more than previous conferences had done, but I didn’t get a sense of urgency from policy-makers …. Full interview, continues here.
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Its nice to have Extinction Radio back.  My interview with Michael Ferrigan here:  ‘Conversation with Paul Beckwith: Jet Stream and POTUS Election‘, starts at 1:24:09 mark (84:09), by clicking here.  About 24:26 long.  Thank you Mike.  A lot of hard work was done previously by Gene, Peter, and Ivy.  And now Mike, Susan, and Oliva similarly continue this labor of love.  Thank you for the inclusion.  I am always glad to return, and support their getting the message out.  Speaking of message:
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Easy to use Please Donate feature, simply click here.  More to come… Where will we be in a year?  This site started eleven months ago, and went live in November.  Every bit helps.  Thank you!  Each of you who help, make this all be able to continue as it is.  Thank you twice.

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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3 Responses to What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic–Not Like Vegas

  1. Nemesis says:

    Capitalism and the crisis of climate change resp. the general pollution and destruction of the earth system are deeply connected without any doubt. As soon, as one criticizes the real existing form of capitalism, falsely optimistic folks yell “You are a communist, you are a socialist!” But I don’t care about communism nor socialism nor any -ism at all. I give a shit about politics, I am an anarchist. I don’t believe in the apparatus of corrupted politics anymore at all. I only voted ONCE in my whole life and when I saw the real politics of the party I voted for (when they came to power), I never voted again. That’s a fact 🙂 But I vote desperately for rough, grim reality, the struggle for survival, because that is the main lecture I learned in my life.

    Almost nobody wants to see the truth, there is huge denial about the failure of the economic system and that is extremely dangerous, because it blocks the whole process of reasonable climate mitigation. If we don’t change the economic system lightning fast, we are doomed. Let’s look at it from a serious scientific point of view:

    Capitalism and Climate Change: Can the Invisible Hand Adjust the Natural Thermostat?


    Can climate change be stopped while fossil fuel capitalism remains the dominant system? What has to be done and what has to change to avoid the worst-case consequences of global warming? These questions are debated in the six contributions which follow. This introduction to the debate sets the stage and puts the often widely diverging views in context, distinguishing two axes of debate. The first axis (`market vs. regulation’) measures faith in the invisible hand to adjust the natural thermostat. The second axis expresses differences in views on the efficiency and equity implications of climate action. While the contributions do differ along these axes, most authors agree that capitalism’s institutions need to be drastically reformed and made fundamentally more equitable. This means a much broader agenda for the climate movement(going beyondcarbontrading and technocratic discussion of mitigation options). What is needed for climate stability is a systemic transformation based on growth scepticism, a planned transition to a nonfossil fuel economy, democratic reform, climate justice, and changed global knowledge and corporate and financial power structures.


    What has to be done and what has to change to avoid the worst-case consequences of global warming and the associated broader environmental crisis? Our starting point is that global warming, which is the collateral damage of rapid and unequal capitalist development, in ways described by Karl Polanyi long ago, must be seen as a key manifestation of system failure. Capitalism does not work when it comes to protecting our climate, because it is flying blind’: it lacks the sensory organs that would allow it to understand and adjust to the climate system (Speth, 2008). Economists mean the same when arguing, as the Stern Review does, that climate change is the greatest externality the world has ever seen’, but they typically forget to add that capitalism is, in essence, anexternalizing machine’, committed to keeping the real (environmental) costs of economicactivities andtheir environmental liabilities off the accounting books (Martinez-Alier, this issue; Speth, 2008).”
    ( With insight and foresight, Polanyi (1944: 73) wrote: `To allow the market mechanism to be sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment… would result in the demolition of society… Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed… The commodity fiction disregarded the fact that leaving the fate of soil and people to the market would be tantamount to annihilating them’.)…”

    Full Paper:




    That sums my political and economical view up perfectly. And I talked about it here at fractalplanet quite often, it is my main conclusion regarded (not only) to climate change, it’s causes and propable mitigation. I am shure, the claims of the paper are 100% valid, but let me tell you one thing:

    I don’t think that turbo capitalism will change, I just don’t believe it. It will go on faster, higher, farther, like the tower of Babel (no, I am no funny christian), until it crashes down forever. I gave up any illusions a long time ago.


    • Nemesis says:

      IMAGINE, Polanyi said that in 1944:

      ” To allow the market mechanism to be sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment… would result in the demolition of society… Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed… The commodity fiction disregarded the fact that leaving the fate of soil and people to the market would be tantamount to annihilating them’.)…”

      In 1944 !!!, long before the Club of Rome !!! Long before we were in the UGLY ecological situation we are in NOW, 72 years later. And now add climate change (Polanyi couldn’t foresee that), the biggest, most dangerous and GLOBAL externality. Co2 is a global externality, polluting the atmosphere. That’s the last, the final stage of externalising suffering, ignorance, injustice, exploitation. First, the Empire went from region to region, from land to land, from continent to continent, from habitat to habitat, all around the globe, destroying nature, exploiting nature, exploiting people as slaves or killing them. “Globalization” is the very LAST stage and the bullet they fired will hit them right in the back:

      There is no way, to expand externalization of suffering any further, because we simply can not leave the planet, to go on with exploitation and externalization. (American) Empire throughout the universe, like in “Star Wars”? Maybe just Mars? Muhahaha, forget it. Next station maybe Venus.


  2. Nemesis says:

    Btw; Germany is planning ahead for martial law now and recommends the population to store food and water for ten days ahead:


    THIS is unprecedented. In english:

    ” The strategy noted that “an attack on German territory requiring conventional defence is unlikely,” but said the country should be “sufficiently prepared in case of an existence-threatening development in the future that cannot be ruled out…



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