Climate tipping points: The Arctic is a Bellwether for Irreversible Change


“The Arctic is iconic for maintaining year-round ice and snow, but in the last decade, it has begun to transition to wetlands and open ocean. Emblematic of this change, in July 2020, the last intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic fell into the sea. Since first analyzed in 1902, the Milne ice sheet already lost 43 percent of its previous mass. Canada’s Ellesmere Island ice caps were also lost in the summer of 2020, as the ice deposited during the Little Ice Age (1600 to 1850) melted completely. Glacier melt, thawing permafrost and wetland expansion create a new landscape, changing ecosystems as well as altering the global atmosphere and ocean circulation.”   

“The term “tipping point” is often applied to a moment of critical change in human history. In ecology, tipping points describe small changes that, over time, force an irreversible change. Yearly lows of sea ice and a startling increase in permafrost thaw in a warming climate signal that the tipping point has already been crossed. We have already lost the frozen Arctic.”
Small tipping points expand through ecosystems

“As ice and snow are lost, the warming climate makes it difficult to recover. Sea ice that is only a few months old covers gaps in the Arctic Ocean, with yearly loss of old ice greater than the annual gain. In 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that just 1 percent of the Arctic Ocean ice older than four years old remained. A warming atmosphere and sea prevent ice growth, leading to an ice-free Arctic Ocean.”
Climate tipping points: The Arctic is a bellwether for irreversible change
As previously covered on this blog;
“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.”

Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice

President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’ 2017
“According to Niinistö, a further concern is the recent report made by Russian scientists that in Siberia there are some 7,000 methane-filled pockets waiting to release their content. “This will create danger and disruption to infrastructure and humans in the area. What is worse, once released, methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide,” Niinistö said and continued. “Eventually a warming climate will cause major challenges to everyone on this planet. In the Arctic, residents are facing immediate consequences that will fundamentally impact their communities and traditional livelihoods. Food security is threatened and new health concerns are emerging.”
President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’

Much of the above data was sourced here; Science Update: The Arctic is a Bellwether for Irreversible Change


Professor McPherson mentioned Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University. We have previously interviewed this courageous scientist on Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM , that interview and links to his previous work is embedded below;
Tipping Points in the Earth Climate System. Dr Andrew Glikson returns to Nature Bats Last

Professor Glikson emailed me PDF’s to his more recent work. I’ve embedded links to the published works below;
The Fatal Species: From Warlike Primates to Planetary Mass Extinction

The Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe

“The Path of Increase is slow but the road to ruin is swift”. Lucius Seneca

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.

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4 comments on “Climate tipping points: The Arctic is a Bellwether for Irreversible Change
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    “Tipping points can trigger climate-breaking domino effect
    Tipping points happen when global warming pushes temperatures beyond a critical, no-return threshold.”
    https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/tipping-points-can-trigger-climate-breaking-domino-effect/

    Like

  2. Kevin Hester says:

    “Earth is already in the midst of abrupt climate change, and the pace of global-average temperature rise is expected to accelerate in the near future. There is little question that human animals face
    an existential threat. Will proposed ideas allow for retention of habitat for our species before we pass even more “tipping points”?
    Not only are humans classified as animals, but we depend upon other species for our own continued survival. As stated by Strona and Bradshaw (2018), humans will join the annihilation of “all life on earth.” As they write, “in a simplified view, the idea of co-extinction reduces to the obvious conclusion that a consumer cannot survive without its resources.”

    https://guymcpherson.com/2021-world-meeting-guardians-of-humanity/?fbclid=IwAR3C_R_lis5qyWHrhqQJMVi6Uw8cXR9oxefC0y30UsPVsu4d7BTN_vaGS9M

    Like

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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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