Image for How Far Off Is Abrupt Climate Change?

*Pic: Flickr, David Blackwell: ‘Walking home one evening in 2074 Paul wondered about the scientific breakthrough reversing the effects of climate change and its impact on his beach condo investment’ …

The debate about coal verses renewables can go on for a long period; but, nature makes the decisions in the end.

Previously, I have written about volume of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean; providing figures only for the break down of volume, the graph and comments by Dr Joe Romm ( Physicist) put more of a perspective on it through comments and graph.  1.

The headline from the article is:

“A collapse in Arctic sea ice volume spells disaster for the rest of the planet. Global warming drives a stunning collapse in sea ice volume.” 2.


“The sharp decline in Arctic sea ice area in recent decades has been matched by a harder-to-see, but equally sharp, drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a warming-driven collapse in total sea ice volume — to about one quarter of its 1980 level.” 3.


“Unfortunately, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. The accelerated loss of Arctic sea ice drives more extreme weather in North America, while speeding up both Greenland ice sheet melt (which causes faster sea level rise) and the defrosting of carbon-rich permafrost.” 4.

Europe also is impacted by what happens in the Arctic; and ultimately the rest of the globe is affected.

PIOMAS is supported by data created by satellite ....CryoSat-2 . 5.

Supporting incidental information comes from the thawing of permafrost; it occurs when temperature has been high for a considerable time.  Islands off the Siberian coast are disappearing as permafrost is thawing and wave action is eroding them.  6.

A British yacht sailed both routes of the North West Passage in 2016> In a press release it was stated :

“The Polar Ocean Challenge successfully completed their quest to sail the North East Passage and North West Passage in one season.  The North West Passage was completed in an astonishing 14 days due to the fact that it was almost totally ice free.  They encountered ice only twice in their 1800 mile NW Passage part of the voyage.  This highlights an extraordinary loss of sea ice in the Arctic in the 30 years that David Hempleman-Adams has been coming to the area….” 7.

Methane explosions have been reported by the Siberian Times and Western sources.  8.

What is the significance of the Arctic sea ice breaking down?

Remember, Dr Romm’s article uses observed data to provide a fearsome headline indicative of the future.

The cryosphere (snow and ice) has a moderating impact on temperature and is a determinant of climate. We do not know what tipping points will be reached as the Arctic sea ice disappears. The trend line is not appearing healthy and is suggestive that the Arctic Ocean could be ice free in a decade plus/minus. Meaning worse extreme weather; damage to crops, fresh water being contaminated, war, and creation of climate change refugees.

Deniers have delayed a sequential approach to tackling climate change for about two decades; action is becoming increasingly more urgent.

Refs ...

2. ibid
3. ibid
4. ibid
5. ibid

*Keith Antonysen is retired. He is a keen gardener, photographer, and recreational fisher. The Vietnam War and later the flooding of Lake Pedder created an interest in politics which led to a passion for social justice issues.  Currently very concerned about lack of action on climate change. Not a paid up member of any Political Party.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

A Timeline of Earth’s average temperature

• Mike Bolan in Comments: It really looks too late to reverse the warming trend Keith. Given our penchant for believing that politics and perceptions to be more important than the external ‘real world’, it’s hard to see any of our government systems working to protect us. Arctic ice is apparently the main driver of undersea ocean currents that travel thousands of miles and carry nutrients and a range of species. These currents then create feeding grounds for fish and other species. The implications include - no ice/no currents/disrupted ocean ecologies. It would be great if we had some means to control climate change however our fantasy that the pseudo-science of ‘economics’ is our highest priority it seems that we’re screwed until we can change our thinking.

PeakProsperity: What Triggers Collapse EXTRACT: Though central states and banks appear to be in control of the political, social and economic order, history shows that the forces that disrupt or make obsolete the existing mode of production cannot be stopped or even slowed by governmental edict or financial controls. For example, the advent of the printing press enabled mass distribution of the Bible and other books, which boosted literacy and distributed heretical ideas that soon upended the social order and the medieval mode of production. Heavy-handed efforts to suppress this technology’s spread of new ideas (such as killing those caught distributing Bibles in vernacular languages) all failed. A variety of forces can disrupt or obsolete existing modes of production and the social order they support …

• Chris Harries in Comments: Amidst all the huffing and puffing on blog sites, there are hundreds of serious professionals who are working day n and day out on climate change information and education. Here is the CSIRO / BOM combined portal: HERE. They’ve just issued the 2016 Climate Update, summarising shifting weather trends around Australia: HERE.

Cassy O’Connor: Government of Climate Denial and Damage Left Behind by Paris