Sunday, September 23, 2012


David Bowie in 1972 performing a song about learning that the planet had only 5 years left. He explained that the song was based on a dream he had. Fast forward to 2012. This is not a dream.
I sincerely believe that we have but 10 years left before the consequences of global warming create irreversible conditions that will forever change the course of the human race and life on earth. Do I believe that this is inevitable? No, I don't. I know that we can begin to break this cycle. But do I believe that humans can act together together for their own common good? No....I really don't think so.
But we are now in a planetary emergency and if you have been paying attention to the graphic evidence of the virtual disappearance of the Arctic Ice Cap this year at a an accelerated rate beyond what any scientist cautiously had predicted, perhaps you'd agree. Here's a video made earlier this year from NASA illustrating the evidence: 
The NASA video shows that the most visible change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline of the perennial ice cover. The perennial ice is the portion of the sea ice floating on the surface of the ocean that survives the summer. This ice that spans multiple years represents the thickest component of the sea ice cover. This visualization shows the perennial Arctic sea ice from 1980 to 2012. The grey disk at the North Pole indicates the region where no satellite data is collected. A graph overlay shows the area's size measured in million square kilometers for each year. The '1980','2008', and '2012' data points are highlighted on the graph.
The incremental accelerative pace of global can be traced graphically back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, mans contribution to CO2 emissions, but now another factor has kicked in. As in most interactions of man against reality and trying to predict the consequences, surprise! The unforeseen reality accelerates global warming.  As the icecaps melt, methane is released into the atmosphere.
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

The scale of the phenomenon — as usual — is the big surprise:
"Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov, the spokes person for the Russian Research team stated.
"I was most impressed by the sheer scale and the high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them," he said.

One thousand meters is a kilometer, folks — more than half a mile. These are high-density methane columns, compressed tight by the high pressure of the ocean itself, many wider than a kilometer. And they think there are thousands of them.

Add methane from the ocean depths, methane from the Greenland permafrost, and methane from the Siberian permafrost to the air, and we have unleashed a monster.
How big a monster? This big:
Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tons of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.
And this big:
The total amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated to be greater than the overall quantity of carbon locked up in global coal reserves.
Here is a pretty data heavy article in The Independent that documents and explains the phenomena for you. The article includes a pretty good discussion about why methane is so dangerous, and why those estimates of its effect relative to CO2 move around — from 20 to 25 times more damaging — depending on who provides them.
As I said, it\s not too late for us if we can work together in our own interests to deal with this. One thing is apparent, we know what the root cause is and how to stop it, but the corporate powers that control our destiny live in an economic fantasy land. When the reality hits, they will try to sell us solutions that will only increase their unreal profit potential. Every artificial solution starts its own series of unintended, unforeseen surprises. The real solution starts from the bottom starts with you.

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