Mass Extinction: Let’s Not

Notice: The original video is no longer available. Published on Sep 28, 2013: “Last Hours” is the first in a series of short films that explore the perils of climate change and the solutions to avert climate disaster. Each subsequent film will highlight fact-based challenges facing the human race, and offer solutions to ameliorate these…

NRC: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change (2013)

Published 3rd December 2013: National Research Council Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises | Release URL Both abrupt changes in the physical climate system and steady changes in climate that can trigger abrupt changes in other physical, biological, and human systems present possible threats to nature and society. Abrupt change is already underway in some…

Abrupt Climate Change In The Arctic (And Beyond) An Update

AGU Fall Meeting 2013: Our understanding of future Arctic change is informed by the history of past changes, which often have been both large and abrupt. The well-known ice-age events such as the Younger Dryas show how sea-ice changes can amplify forcing to produce very large responses, with wintertime sea ice especially important. These changes…

Sea level rise: New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration

Video published on YouTube Nov 21, 2012 | Article published on July 22, 2013 by Nicole Casal Moore / University of Michigan ANN ARBOR—In events that could exacerbate sea level rise over the coming decades, stretches of ice on the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland are at risk of rapidly cracking apart and falling into…

Methane hydrate destabilization a potential scenario

Excerpts from an episode of History Channel’s “Mega Disasters” series. This explores the paper published by Northwestern University’s Gregory Ryskin. His thesis: the oceans can produce massive eruptions of explosive methane gas. Methane distribution in the water column: Once released into the water column, methane is distributed by currents and aerobic methane oxidation by bacteria…

Estimating northern polar CH4 flux

A compilation of related science with some commentary. Microbes in thawing permafrost: the unknown variable in the climate change equation David E Graham, Matthew D Wallenstein, Tatiana A Vishnivetskaya, Mark P Waldrop,Tommy J Phelps, Susan M Pfiffner, Tullis C Onstott, Lyle G Whyte, Elizaveta M Rivkina,David A Gilichinsky, Dwayne A Elias, Rachel Mackelprang, Nathan C…

Arctic methane outgassing on the East Siberian Shelf

SkepticalScience.com by John Mason on January 19 2012: In December 2011, following a fresh flurry of sometimes conflicting media reports about methane outgassing on the East Siberia Arctic Shelf (ESAS), we decided to go and talk to the people doing the work on the ground. We are pleased to report that Dr Natalia Shakhova (NS…

Methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the Potential for Abrupt Climate Change

Natalia Shakhova, Igor Semiletov | Source University of Alaska, Fairbanks, International Arctic Research Centre, USA Russian Academy of Sciences, Far Eastern Branch, Pacific Oceanological Institute, Vladivostok, Russia “Opening the Arctic”, Washington, Nov.30th-Dec.2nd, 2010. Outline What do we know about methane potential of the ESAS? Is there a mechanism responsible for transformation of methane potential to…

A Mechanism for Shallow Methane Hydrate Dissociation

I previously looked at the science and commercial usage of Methane Hydrate, at freshwater influx in the Arctic Circle and asked  Does Freshwater Runoff in the Arctic change Ocean Circulation to Unlock Methane Hydrate in the Deep Ocean? This post covers: Identification of possible mechanism which could eventually release vast quantities of shallow Methane Hydrate…

Does Sea Ice loss create the condition for an emerging permanent El Nino state?

Recently Doug asked: “…my question is, how far could this phenomenon go? What is the “end” state? Is it possible for example that we could find the jet stream staying in place for months at a time, years, decades? How wavy could this waviness become?” A main theme of Sea ice loss seems to be…

Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts revisited

The understanding of the puzzle about what is going on with our climate system and possible implications improved recently. Let’s begin with going back to 2006, here i quote an excerpt from the blog post “Revealed: Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts” via RealClimate, describing more robust understanding of the bipolar / see-saw mechanism of the…

Catastrophic sea levels ‘distinct possibility’ this century

A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets. The findings suggest that such an scenario — which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery — is…

Sea-ice switches and abrupt climate change

We propose that past abrupt climate changes were probably a result of rapid and extensive variations in sea-ice cover. We explain why this seems a perhaps more likely explanation than a purely thermohaline circulation mechanism. We emphasize that because of the significant influence of sea ice on the climate system, it seems that high priority…

Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb

“If we can limit our emissions, then the permafrost region will release less carbon to the atmosphere, there is a curve – it’s not a all or nothing question.” Ben Abbott One of the most feared of climate change “feedbacks” is the potential release of greenhouse gases by melting arctic permafrost soils. New research indicates…