Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice

“Losing the remaining Arctic sea ice and its ability to reflect incoming solar energy back to space would be equivalent to adding one trillion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, on top of the 2.4 trillion tons emitted since the Industrial Age, according to current and former researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.”

“At current rates, this roughly equates to 25 years of global CO2 emissions.”

Research Highlight: Loss of Arctic’s Reflective Sea Ice Will Advance Global Warming by 25 Years  

“Algae that live in and under the sea ice play a much greater role for the Arctic food web than previously assumed. In a new study, biologists of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research showed that not only animals that live directly under the ice thrive on carbon produced by so-called ice algae. Even species that mostly live at greater depth depend to a large extent on carbon from these algae. This also means that the decline of the Arctic sea ice may have far-reaching consequences for the entire food web of the Arctic Ocean. Their results have been published online now in the journal Limnology & Oceanography.”
“We now know that ice algae play a much more important role for the pelagic food web than previously assumed. This finding also means, however, that the decline of the ice could have a more profound impact on Arctic marine animals, including fish, seals and ultimately also polar bears, than hitherto suspected,” says Doreen Kohlbach.”
Ice algae: The engine of life in the central Arctic Ocean

“Experts estimate the washed-up whales represent just 10% of the total number of the dead, with the rest sinking into the sea unnoticed by humans.”
“At least 81 gray whale corpses have washed ashore in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska since Jan. 1. If tallies from Mexico and Canada are added, the number of stranded gray whales reaches about 160 and counting, said Michael Milstein, spokesman for NOAA Fisheries.”
Thousands of whales are dying. Scientists have run out of public beaches for the carcasses to rot

In the August episode of Nature Bats Last our guest Dr Andrew Glikson discussed his recent work titled: Beyond Climate Tipping Points: Greenhouse Gas Levels Exceed the Stability Limit of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.
The pace of global warming has been grossly underestimated. As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton COper year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level has now exceeded 560 ppm (parts per million) CO2equivalent, namely when methane and nitric oxide are included. This level surpasses the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The term “climate change“ is thus no longer appropriate, since what is happening in the atmosphere-ocean system, accelerating over the last 70 years or so, is an abrupt calamity on a geological dimension threatening nature and civilization. Ignoring what the science says, the powers-that-be are presiding over the sixth mass extinction of species, including humanity.”  

“As conveyed by leading scientists “Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences”

“Black carbon particles from  Siberian forest fires, fall down to the arctic ice. As these particles are black, they absorb sunlight and can accelerate ice melt if found in high enough concentrations. Our graphic shows black carbon concentrations, where high values can be seen emerging from the Siberian forest fires, circulating into the polar circle.”
Forest fires in Siberia, sending ash into the Arctic.

For additional day to day, up to date evidence of our headlong rush towards a Blue Ocean Event, I recommend readers follow Zack Labe on Twitter
and Sam Carana at the Arctic News Blogspot

The marine food web isn’t going to collapse, it is collapsing, now, live and direct.
The dominant culture and the corporate media are pretending to cover the unraveling of the biosphere but what they aren’t telling you about  is the rapidity of the collapse and how the domino effect of crossing these tipping points triggers cascading consequences.
I’ll be surprised if industrial civilisation survives an ice free Arctic summer and we might be only a year or two away from that eventuality.
One final comment I would make about the impending ice free Arctic sea is that we don’t need to have crossed the official definition of an Ice Free Arctic  to see the 50 gigatonne methane discharge from the clathrates as hypothesised by Dr Natalia Shakova et al. That could burst forth at any moment.
John Doyle thinks we will see a 10C temperature rise in the coming decades;

Next months guest on Nature Bats Last is Arthur Keller. We will be discussing his presentation titled “Collapse: The Only Realistic Scenario”. That episode can be found after broadcast at the Nature Bats Last archive at PRN.FM
Feel free to leave a comment below and to subscribe to the blog

Good luck everyone, we are sure going to need it.

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, Arctic Sea Ice, Collapse, Dr Andrew Glikson, Feedback loops, Methane, Nature Bats Last, Zack Labe
200 comments on “Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    Kris’s latest on the collapse of the Sea Ice, it’s never good news


    • sealintheselkirks says:

      This is getting freaky, ya know? The speed of the disintegration is astounding. I’m looking at the April 9th sat picture right now. Just how fast is this going to disappear?


      Liked by 1 person

  2. sealintheselkirks says:

    Just catching up on some reading and this fits here:

    Complex Models Now Gauge the Impact of Climate Change on Global Food Production. The Results Are ‘Alarming’

    Climate change is a “threat multiplier,” making hunger emergencies worse. Advanced modeling shows that crop yields could plummet, faster than expected.

    This researcher warned Hansen before he went in front of the US Congress… and their latest says MORE crops are predicted to react negatively. Oh my, that certainly isn’t good news is it?

    But it’s okay, as long as McDonald’s is open and you can get pizza & beer nobody in this country will give a damn.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin Hester says:

    NPS is projecting 3.172 m/sq Km’s on 11 Sept, sounds a little ‘hopeful’ to me but I’ll take it


  4. Kevin Hester says:

    John Kenneth Galbraith “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material portion of their privilege.”
    Grt news on the sea ice feedback loop
    Science Snippets: PO AICC = Zero (Habitat)


  5. Kevin Hester says:

    The Atlanticification of the Barents Sea is well and truly underway.
    September 15/20th is when the Sea Ice minimum is usually reached. This year it could stretch into October for what I believe will be the first time.


  6. Kevin Hester says:

    “The Arctic is turning into a dream come true for doomsayers. It’s heating way too fast! Nostradamus is dancing in the street.”
    That’s a little snide from Robert considering those of us who cottoned on to non-linearity are proving to be right.
    I don’t want to be right.


    • sealintheselkirks says:

      Neither do I, Kevin, but my longest friend unfortunately tagged me with the nickname ‘the Surfing Cassandra’ way back when because my awful predictions and guesses at what was coming were far too often completely correct. I’ve always devoured information in large gulps with my reading speed and levels, and reading a lot of non-fluff history sure does set one up for being rather gloomy about possible outcomes…

      Honestly, accurate human history from all the ages we know about say absolutely nothing good about our species for at least as long as writing has been around. Get past the glowing accounts and other propaganda it all comes down to greed and the willingness to use brute force if those you are intimidating don’t immediately bow down.

      Hence Ronald Fucking Reagan in 1980 that really got the neoliberal corporate RWNJ, Talibangelical Fascist ball rolling off the cliff in this country. It’s definitely only gone downhill since then, at least as far as I can tell.

      Let me know if you heard about any bright spots I might have missed!

      And here we are at not only a complete destabilization and breakdown of the climate and the ocean that gave us life, but very damned close to a nuclear war. At least a ‘limited partial’ exchange of throbbing pointy arguments full of burning hell.

      Then we come to this new personal prtoection item that is named ‘DISSENT’ here in the freedom-loving de-mock-racy stronghold of the USA:

      These things are going to sell millions…my prediction. But maybe this should go somewhere else to be posted?

      Rain again expected tomorrow. Looks like I’ll be transplanting inside instead of in the garden area…



  7. Ricardo2000 says:

    Hakai Magazine published a story, ‘The Ocean’s Mysterious Vitamin Deficiency’, Jan 2021 about a worrying lack of Vitamin B1, thiamine = { }.

    Fish hatcheries in the Great Lakes, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, noticed odd development and behavioural problems in their fish fry. they discovered that the water pumped through their tanks was lacking thiamine. Once thiamine was added the fry began developing and acting normally.

    For millions of years the world’s oceans and lakes have provided essential nutrients. Now humanity has poked so many holes in the web of life that critical vitamins are lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin Hester says:

    “Arctic sea ice extent has fallen strongly in June 2022. On June 22, 2022, Arctic sea ice extent was among the lowest on record for the time of year, as illustrated by the above image, adapted from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC Chartic). ”

    “The image below, from an animation by Zachary Labe, shows Arctic sea ice extent up to June 20, 2022, based on Vishop data. The yellow line is the year 2022. The white line shows extent for the year 2012, when it reached a record minimum in September. The blue line shows extent the year 2020, when the minimum in September was second lowest.”


  9. Kevin Hester says:

    “18 billion tons of the country’s ice sheet to melt over three days.”
    Nothing spells out abrupt climate change better than losing 6 billion tons of ice a day.


  10. New Mexico’s Megafires Mark Turning Point

    Above 38C the last two days. Prediction is to top 40C by Friday. I’m guessing hotter as the models aren’t geared for hotter. No smoke smell yet. So far…lucky. The sky is that light hazy blue color with zero clouds. It’s hot. The only thing that likes this is the yellow jackets and my garden girls…as long as I keep them watered!


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oops. Forgot this one. Just for the little hopium at the end ya know!

    Climate and the collapse of world order

    from: Alfred McCoy’s “To Govern the Globe” new book


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kevin Hester says:

    “Then, the melting intensified even further. Between 8 and 10 billion tons of water per day melted and ran-off from the ice sheet from July 20 to July 23, said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado, in an email to Gizmodo. The Copernicus satellite image was captured at the height of that melt event on July 22.”


  13. Holy shit. They got a sea water temp reading UNDERNEATH Thwaites. 8.5 minutes:

    Scientists measure how quickly crucial Antarctica glacier is melting


    We are seeing it “in its death throes.”



  14. Kevin Hester says:

    “This new understanding of the sea ice–tide connection, which came about from a year’s worth of ocean monitoring and state-of-the-art tidal modeling, suggests that as climate change lengthens the ice-free season in this region of the Arctic, the strong-tide season will lengthen, too, and could trigger a feedback loop of sea ice melt.”
    It never fails to disappoint me when words like ‘could’ are used out of context, it gives the deniers a straw to cling to and calls into question the value of the paper if it’s not certain as it clearly is.
    Scientific reticence helped seal our fate.


    • Too little, decades too late. Maybe if they would have done this in the 1970s we might possibly mitigated some of what is hitting us.

      Did I already paste this? It sure is relevant!!!

      Dr Hilary & Laura Tobin React To Shocking 40°C Weather And Give Their Heatwave Advice To The UK| GMB

      About 8:30 is when she puts up her old news prediction (from 2016) about what to expect by 2050. Which happened this summer…. They are shocked and I think scared…

      Well shit, they should be. But I guess she doesn’t remember when this was supposed to happen in 2100AD…. I do. 80 years early, dude, 80 years early.

      Selkirk weather:

      Still over 95’F/35C every damned day. About 50 days straight now… Yeah, fifty days but I lost track and would have to count back on the calendar.

      Had one freak storm come in the morning of 12August. Rain, hail, wind, lightning bolts flashing and fireworks all across the sky above the clouds. 65% humidity, that Wet Bulb dripping sweat but I stood outside with the dog and we both loved the rain. She was on her back begging belly rubs. Was empty blue sky and 100.4F by 5pm but the humidity went down to 16% by then…
      108.6F/43C Wednesday was the highest last week. 80’F/26-27C nights (AT 3am!). 105..8F the next day. Mostly too hot to even have this computer running upstairs as the house is no longer shedding heat at night. 90’F in this office in the afternoon so I’m staying downstairs with the swamp cooler running full blast and it’s still to hot to function. Fuck Kevin, I can’t even go outside at this point.



  15. Is it somehow connected with the heat waves blasting Europe like an incredibly vicious algae bloom or something?

    Is it a reaction to Poland being a staging ground for the US proxy war on Russia? Is it a US false flag attack to continue controlling the MSM narrative that billions more weapons need to flood into Ukraine?

    Is it ‘just’ a chemical accident that dumped some highly toxic substance, or is this a deliberate poisoning?

    Not a lot of info yet. Speculation is rampant and just how hard are they trying to find a scapegoat to blame this on means not to jump to conclusions.

    Gravitas: 100 tonnes of dead fish pulled out of Europe’s Oder river


    Seeing the meter of water flooding in Nelson NZ, a few vids have popped up on youtube the last couple of days, and wondering if you are affected by the radical rain hitting your country. I get blasting heat at the same time you are getting…what? A meter of rain in four days?? This isn’t good.

    Okay, mid-afternoon and time to turn this off and get out of this upstairs office room. Roughly 35C and rising so the fans aren’t going to work up here much longer…


    Liked by 1 person

  16. This happened in Texas today. Looks like Nelson NZ vids, doesn’t it?

    Dallas area hit with once-in-a-thousand-year flood l WNT

    What you wanna bet this is going to turn out to NOT be a once in one thousand event but a continuing repeating event? My money’s on the latter.

    Things are winding up all across the world, Kevin. Big sigh.


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Kevin Hester says:

    Sam Carana
    Favourites · 7 hrs ·
    The first image shows a NASA Worldview satellite image of a blue Beaufort Sea (with Barrow, Alaska, at the top left, on September 7, 2022).
    The image shows that there is a lot of open water between the coast of Alaska and the sea ice. To determine where there is open water and where the sea ice starts can be hard; the sea ice is often covered by clouds; furthermore, even when there are no clouds, the question remains what is to be regarded as sea ice.
    According to many, a Blue Ocean Event starts once Arctic sea ice extent falls below 1 million km².
    Arctic sea ice extent was 4.912 million km² on September 6, 2022, which is larger than the extent in many previous years around this time of year (second image). However, the sea ice has become very thin, resulting in many areas where only small pieces of ice are present.
    NSIDC regard a cell to have sea ice if it has at least 15% sea ice, but when regarding a cell to have sea ice if it has at least 50% ice and if that’s the case for ⅕ of the cells where there is (some) ice, then we’re already in a Blue Ocean Event right now.
    So let’s have another look at how much of the above 4.912 million km² can be regarded as sea ice, by using the NSIDC map with sea ice concentration as a guide.
    The roughly-sketched outline drawn over the NASA map below indicates that there may only have been some 991 thousand km² of concentrated sea ice left on September 6, 2022 (third image with inset showing NSIDC sea ice concentration for the day).
    As said, it’s a rough sketch, so some cells with a higher concentration of sea ice may have been left out. Having said that, we’re currently in the depth of a persistent La Niña and the associated lower air temperatures contribute to a relatively larger sea ice extent than would otherwise be the case.
    In conclusion, depending on what is counted as sea ice, we could already be experiencing a Blue Ocean Event right now. A Blue Ocean Event implies the crossing of a huge tipping point that looks set to cause further tipping points to be crossed.
    Blue Ocean Event
    From the post ‘Blue Ocean Event 2022?’, at:…/blue-ocean-event…


  18. Kevin Hester says:

    Greenland is losing 10,000 Cubic Meters of ice per second.
    Digest that


  19. Kevin Hester says:

    Late Season Melting in Greenland, the new abnormal.
    I’ve been saying that I think the Sea Ice minimum may not happen until October for the first time on record. If so the implications for 2023 are horrendous.


  20. Kevin Hester says:

    Faster than previously thought, who would have thought:


  21. Kevin Hester says:

    “On December 6, 2022, the Arctic was 6.42°C or 11.56°F warmer compared to 1979-2000”
    Sam and I hate to be the bearers of bad news but there you have it.


  22. Kevin Hester says:

    We’re all just about to be ‘schooled’ in the exponential function.
    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to truly understand the exponential function” Albert Bartlett.
    Guy mentioned the coming El Nino. Myself and the Great Barrier Reef wait with baited breath because the last strong El Nino in 2016 decimated the GBR, it takes 15 yrs for a reef to recover from a serious bleaching event. It will never again be given 15 yrs to recover!


  23. More bad news:

    New Study Reveals Arctic Ice, Tracked Both Above and Below, Is Freezing Later
    Climate change is affecting the timing of both the freezing of the ice and its melting in the spring.

    Very cold again this week, near or below 0 F’ at night but sunny and bright blue sky in the day with extremely warm sun rays coming through the window. Daytime temp was 19’F at noon today while a friend reports -8’F at their place across the valley at a higher elevation that this ridgeline. But at least I have firewood!


    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kevin Hester says:

    Via Justin Leso on Facadebook
    “Arctic Sea Ice extent has declined 50,000km2 (According to JAXA ) in the last two days even though it’s winter. 2023 is presently the 2nd lowest Arctic extent year on record for this date at approximately 13.1 million km2. The only year lower is 2018, next three days of extent respectively for that year are (13.08 / 13.16 / 13.25 ) Arctic ice extent has not increased more than 30,000km2 a day since January 17th of this year. At present trends it will be lowest on record for either February 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
    4-6 weeks until melt season starts, 1st or 2nd lowest on record isn’t the most optimal starting point !”


  25. Kevin Hester says:

    “On the docket, there’s a trigger mechanism for much more rapid loss of Arctic sea ice looming in the wings, ready for attack. It is El Niño, which sounds innocent enough until it’s examined in more detail. Indeed, it’s a wolf in sheepskin.”
    Robert Hunziker reiterating my contention that the El Niño will be an accelerator of the great unravelling!


  26. Well why is that not a surprise?



    Liked by 1 person

  27. Kevin Hester says:

    For me the primary issue I see with the accelerating loss of this aspect of the cryosphere, is the loss of latent heat. It’s far more immediate and urgent than sea level rise imho.


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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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