In mid-November of 2015 Earth exceeded a critical climate threshold. CO2 levels passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold for the final time in countless millennia to come. Never again, after this month, for the next 10,000 years and more, will these levels ever fall below 400ppm. The consequences of this will be unimaginably dire.
Robertscribbler, a blog favored by many climate scientists, notes that:
In total, Greenland holds enough ice to raise seas by 23 feet. And, in the geological past, just 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius worth of temperature increase above Holocene averages was enough to melt much or all of it. Currently, human warming by Greenhouse gasses has pushed global average surface temperatures into a range about 1 degree Celsius hotter than the 1880s. It's a temperature running into ranges that are now comparable with the Eemian -- the interglacial period that occurred between 115,000 to 130,000 years ago. A period when oceans were about 13 to 20 feet higher than they are today. But perhaps even more concerning is the fact that global greenhouse gas concentrations in the range of 400 ppm CO2 and 485 ppm CO2e are enough now to warm the Earth by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius long-term. It's a heat forcing that would likely spell the end for Greenland's ice if it remained in place for any significant period. A heat forcing more comparable with Pliocene and Miocene ranges when the world's glaciers were even more greatly reduced and seas were 30 to 130+ feet higher than they are presently. (1)
We ALREADY have sufficient future warming "locked in" as a consequence of past and present emissions to ensure a 4 to 7 degree Fahrenheit (F) temperature rise in the coming decades! These estimates are based upon unrealistically conservative assumptions, originating with the politically influenced UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For example, IPCC forecasts willfully omit the effects of atmospheric methane. The reason given for this, is that methane release is not well understood, so its corresponding contribution to overall warming are not yet quantifiable.
The above graph is courtesy of Sam Carana at Arctic News.
Using NASA supplied data, the above graph depicts the remorseless rise of methane levels in our atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse (heat trapping) gas, up to 100 times more powerful than CO2 over a period of months to several years. Frozen methane is now sublimating (transitioning from ice directly to gas) at an accelerating rate from shallow areas of the Arctic ocean--particularly the Lapatev Sea. This sublimation process is driven by rapidly warming air, and especially, sea temperatures.
What the actual data actually show is terrifying. Consider the corresponding rise in methane levels in the atmosphere:
Additionally carbon trapped in Arctic permafrost is also rapidly melting. This carbon is released as both CO2 and methane. A recent study by Researchers at Cambridge University and the University of Colorado states that:
As carbon dioxide and methane are
released from melting Arctic permafrost in coming decades, University of
Cambridge and University of Colorado say that the resulting economic damage
from increased greenhouse gas emissions could add up to at least $43 trillion
by the end of the next (22nd) century--on top of previous estimates. These
scientists modeled that economic impact in a recent letter in the journal Nature Climate Change. (2)
Note that this permafrost release is on top of, additive to, the methane releases originating in the Arctic seabed! All of this is excluded from the IPCC forecasts! Actual temperature rises in the next few decades, if not sooner, will exceed 10 degrees F, and could approach 20 degrees F!
Consequentially, "weather weirding" is now occurring. Robertscribbler observes: