Are Black Swan events in the Climate Crisis Imminent?

Tragically for the biosphere and the continuation of complex life on this planet the “Precautionary Principle’ has been cast to the winds as we plunge headlong, full speed ahead into the climate / extinction crisis, not only by failing to meet the pathetically weak aspirations of the non binding Cop21 Climate Agreement in Paris, we fail to allow for the unknown or so called “Black Swan” events that will almost certainly continue to manifest as we navigate blindly through these unchartered, peril filled waters.

This blue water, ocean sailor can’t believe the risks that are being taken by failing to follow the “Precautionary Principle” and not preparing for possible worst case scenarios that could literally unfold any day now. The failure of the scientific community to convey the urgency of the crisis is a dereliction of duty.

Black Swan courtesy of William Bibb.jpg
Image courtesy of William Bibb a former guest on Nature Bats Last

We have increased the atmospheric loading of H2O relative to the CO2 forced warming we have dumped into the atmosphere and more significantly, into the oceans, every second of every minute of every hour of every day, week, month and year for the last 300yrs and there is no respite insight. This feedback loop and it’s consequences are largely ignored.
As well as losing heat and water vapour into the atmosphere, as we wipe out the marine food web with acidification and the lunacy of vacuming up the Krill, we lose the carbon sequestering species and the oceans become carbon emitters rather than sinks. That feedback is non-linear just like the sea ice albedo feedback loop.

In this brief clip some of the luminaries of the climate world speak of known and unknown “Black Swan” possibilities with close to no sense of urgency;

With regards to the Arctic Sea Ice and it’s resultant feedback loop, normally sober commentators describe us as having “Fallen off a Cliff”. 
““We’ve fallen off a cliff,” said Rick Thoman, a climatologist at the National Weather Service in Alaska, in a tweet.
When I asked former guest on my radio show, Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network Professor Andrew Glickson, “How long before we see “Canfield Oceans” he replied  “We’re seeing them now”.

Professor Glickson emailed me a copy of his recent article; The Methane Time Bomb and the Future of the Biosphere:

The Arctic Sea Ice situation is extremely dire and the concern many of us have is the potential release of the 50 gigatonne burst of methane predicted by Dr Natalia Shakova mentioned in the above hyperlinked article “The Methane Time Bomb”.
“President Niinisto in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’

When, not if, we get a large, anomalous discharge of methane during this summer melt season or another substantial surprise, like the stalling or worse still the collapse of the AMOC we will sooner or later reach a tipping point when the public at large will realise that we have crossed the rubicon and are heading into the abyss. Very, very quickly we could and imho will see a collapse of confidence in our civilisation.

Another former guest on Nature Bats Last Professor Paul Ehrlich recently predicted in a Guardian article: “A shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth.

We are one “Black Swan” event away from seeing the collapse of industrial civilisation and the end to complex life on this planet. Don’t for a nano-second believe we have a decade or two, the tipping point could arrive tomorrow or could have unfolded by the time the reader finds this humble contribution to the debate.
Talking about the worst case scenarios we are facing is considered alarmist yet ignoring them is mal-practice.

As I chronicle the unraveling of the biosphere, I am finding more and more credible experts coming to the same conclusions: From a lecture titled “Stop Fascism: Chris Hedges in Portland Oregon”.
“But even as we stand on the cusp of extinction we lack the ability to free ourselves from the myth of human progress” ( at the 38 minute mark).” “There is a familiar check list for extinction, we are ticking every one of them .”
Normally  Chris Hedges skirts around our imminent extinction but not today. In this great presentation he calls out the cowboy capitalism that has ground the living planet into dust. Hedges also ridicules Donald J. Trump as the “Idiot in chief”.
I’ve added this presentation to the comments section of my blog post on Chris Hedges titled ;
The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies.

Additional reading on this subject below;
‘We’re doomed’: Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention”


For one of the best roundups of the situation we face check out this brief synopsis: “Overview Of Abrupt Anthropogenic Climate Change”


The Lunatics are in charge of our sinking ship

On the 25th of May 2018, I am editing this post to include a link from“The Collapse Chronicles” to include the following excellent interview: “John Casti: “I’m Not Optimistic that the World 30 years from now is one I want to wake up into”. His timelines I believe are very ‘optimistic’ but the pathways and analysis is spot on. I will email him and request an interview myself for my radio show Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM

May the force be with you, you sure are going to need it. Soon the living will envy the dead.




I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Collapse, Feedback loops, Methane, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE
29 comments on “Are Black Swan events in the Climate Crisis Imminent?
  1. Tina says:

    Kev,you writing is becoming more poetic and it becomes you,Mate.
    As always, thank you for your commitment. We are all witnesses. #Witness

    Liked by 1 person

  2. IMHO, the Clown Show is deliberately designed to keep people’s minds off of Near Term Human Extinction. THEY know!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. bill says:

    What can one say? It’s all too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Schick says:

      Totally disagree Bill. With such an attitude, it IS indeed too late. To me, such an attitude is another form of denial but far worse because otherwise good people have succumbed to doing nothing which guarantees nothing will be done. i sincerely wish the remainder of your Life on the most beautiful planet in the Universe is fulfilling. Don’t forget to gaze at the clouds while they remain–before the “it’s too late” mantra becomes a toxic haze. Best, r

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin Hester says:

        As long as imperialism and the military response to it rages any form of mitigation is just feel good greenwash. Do it as you see fit but respect those of us who accept how dire the situation is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Schick says:

        hi Kevin…i DO respect you and your readers, and realize how dire the situation is. However, apparently i’m not respected for simply refusing to give up yet and voicing that emotionally. You obviously don’t know me at all. Funny, i’m beginning to feel like Guy feels about how often his words are misconstrued, etc. Read my words carefully. i disagreed with Bill. In no way did i slander him or act with malice. Not to worry though. Won’t be bothering you again. i have a planet that could use a little assistance. Keep the passion flowing. r

        Liked by 1 person

  4. James Geary says:

    Thank you, Kevin. Writing along the same lines at the moment. We really are edging towards the cliff with little care. Really hope there’s a major turnaround in the collective consciousness soon or we’re screwed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin Hester says:

    This is the type of ‘Black Swan’ event that I refered to in my blog post yesterday.
    When, not if the AMOC stalls or worse still stops it will trigger the collapse of industrial civilisation with the subsequent loss of global dimming, an immediate 1.5 to 3C warming + of course the commencement of over 450 nuclear power plant meltdowns.


  6. Kevin Hester says:

    “Ministry officials are scrambling to update estimates of farms infected with a cow disease after property numbers under question exploded in the last week from 129 to 299 farms.”
    Let’s see how quickly this spirals out of control considering there is no known way to halt this.–mycoplasma-bovis-explode-to-exceed-mpi-estimates


    • Martin C says:

      Now that cow disease is definitely the black swan they didn’t see coming. I predict our agriculture is going to be shaken up by. In particular the bovine part of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Joe Martinez says:

    I follow the data pretty closely and, while many argue that it is theoretically possible to pull the nose up, the inertia alone seems enough to drag us over a cliff. I’m an American, so I am at the point of the spear, poking holes in the firmament. I’m kinda thinking Richard Branson or some such rich person goes “Moonraker” and tries to wipe out the proles worldwide. With AI and robots from DARPA, ain’t no need for the help yo. I seriously see this as a possibility, since anyone with any sense understands that billions of humans are the damn problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on The Brooklyn Culture Jam and commented:
    Kevin Hester evokes the ‘black swan’ syndrome as we Homo Callidus motor at full-bore into abrupt climate change on the road to extinction. He has put up a series of worthwhile articles recently, so check this out and then do some well-rewarded browsing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] know but there is so much we have yet to grasp and uncover. There can only be a host of so called “Black Swan Events” waiting to appear when we least expect. There is a veritable “Shit Storm” coming ready […]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Vince Pipard says:

    Extreme Circumstances call for extreme measures:

    We need a Left-Wing Martial Law Regime in USA to mandate 3 initial laws in the name of Species survival:

    Universal Plant Based Diet, (outlaw growing and eating meat),
    Total Ban on use of Fossil Fuel
    Limit of 2 children per family

    That is just for starters

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kevin Hester says:

    We’ve changed the chemistry of the atmosphere so radically it makes sense that we will see new events unfolding that we never expected.
    I suspect we have a flock of black swans approaching


  12. Kevin Hester says:

    These are the kind of “Black Swan” events I have writtem of in the past. What’s more than this daunting list is the name of the pathogens yet to manifest and be ‘named’.


  13. Jan says:

    Only one way can actually take care of all our ills. THERE IS NONE OTHER.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kevin Hester says:

    This is just one incidence of the type of black swan events that we will see manifesting in the Arctic as it transitions away from the cryosphere. Brace for more iminent impacts that siloed science specialists failed to see coming.


  15. Kevin Hester says:

    “Since N2O traps heat nearly 300 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide does, this revelation could mean that the Arctic — and the global climate — are in more danger than we thought.”
    “it was 10 million times larger than any previous study looking at permafrost N2O emissions,” said Wilkerson.
    I find an article like this most days, the situation is infinitely worse that we are being told.
    The IPCC official position bares no resemblance to reality on the ground and ignores the ‘Precautionary Principle”.


  16. Kevin Hester says:

    “The world’s leading authority on Arctic methane is Natalia Shakhova, head of the International Arctic Research Center/University of Alaska/Fairbanks. Her marine expeditions into the East Siberian Artic Sea region convinced her of a major risk of a large-scale methane “burp any time now, ” which could result in extraordinarily rapid global warming, potentially burning off agricultural areas, especially the mid-latitudes.”
    The methane risk is a fraught subject with some of us believing field researchers like Dr Natalia Shakova over flawed IPCC models.
    The only person to have spent more time studying methane than Shakova and her team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is Peter Wadhams who is certain of the risk.
    Robert Hunziker has agreed to be a guest on my and Professor McPherson’s radio show Nature Bats Last. I expect that to be in September or October.


  17. Kevin Hester says:

    ‘Asleep at the wheel’
    “Black Swans like the Sir Ivan firestorm are only going to become more frequent as our climate warms, according to Dr Karl Braganza, head of Climate Monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology.”


    • mark trewick says:

      Taken from Wiki.

      Chunyun (traditional Chinese: 春運; simplified Chinese: 春运; pinyin: Chūnyùn), also referred to as the Spring Festival travel season or the Chunyun period, is a period of travel in China with extremely high traffic load around the time of the Chinese New Year. The period usually begins 15 days before Lunar New Year’s Day and lasts for around 40 days. As of 2016, the number of passenger-journeys during the Chunyun period was almost three billion.[1] It has been called the largest annual human migration in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Kevin Hester says:

    Our former guest on Nature Bats Last Robert Hunziker chronicles the unravelling of the Arctic, you know, that planetary thermostat at the top of the world.
    Robert refers to the scale of these fires as being a “Black Swan” event.
    I’m not sure that what we are witnessing is indeed a ‘Black Swan’ event considering how predictable these fires are for those of us who refuse to wear ‘Rose tinted glasses’.
    In my vain attempt to move the dial on the public’s awareness of how serious our predicament has become I have previously written about the threat of “Black Swan Events” in the climate system. I’ll post that link below.
    There is a 10 to 30 year lag between when emissions are dumped into the atmosphere and when their full effects manifest. That means there is a huge amount of warming and consequences already baked in that have yet to be seen or felt, with emissions accelerating every year at a non-linear rate of increase, with the dreaded but much ignored “Feedback Loops” about to take centre stage.
    Just some of the feedbacks associated with these fires are the loss of the forests as carbon sinks, the release of their stored carbon from the trees and the peat back into the atmosphere. Exposing more of the what used to be called ‘Permafrost’ to warming releasing carbon and methane, which is 20 to 100 times worse a green house gas over various timeframes.
    The soot from these fires will land on the remaining ice lowering the albedo or reflectivity.
    Lets not forget that millions of animals have also been incinerated in these anthropogenic conflagrations.
    The single most crucial detail is non-linearity. To quote the late great Albert Bartlett; “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to truly understand the exponential function”.


  19. Marcin says:

    From Please ignore the obligatory “1.5°C milestone” nonsense.

    “A team of researchers at the University of Oxford, working with a colleague from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, has created radiative transfer models to help estimate global temperature changes in the coming years due to the Tonga eruption last year.

    In January 2022, the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano erupted with such force it sent massive amounts of ash, gas and water into the atmosphere. Unlike other large eruptions, the blast sent massive amounts of water (146 million metric tons) into the atmosphere, which has a warming effect. Because the blast was so powerful, much of that water made its way all the way up to the stratosphere, which means it will take many years for it to fall back to Earth.

    In this new effort, the researchers used radiative transfer models to estimate the global temperature impact of blasting all that water into the stratosphere. They found a warming effect of 0.12 Watts per square meter, shortly after the blast. They then used the data from the model as input to a standard climate model to make estimations regarding likely average global temperature increases over the 10 years following the eruption.

    The researchers plotted their estimates under two scenarios: low emission and moderate emission. Under both scenarios, the plots showed increased chances of average global temperatures exceeding the 1.5°C milestone in a given year. The first showed the possibility rising from 50% to 57%, while the second showed it rising from 60% to 67%.”

    So, the likely increase of the average global temparture will reach at least 0.5°C.

    Worth keeping in mind while reading Sam Carana’s recent calculations…

    Liked by 1 person

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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

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