Current CO2 concentration in the atmosphere

Arctic Ice Summary

Pete Sinclair does his usual fantastic job with a video.

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I’ve made my feelings about this known in more detail and with more repetition than most of you care to experience, I suspect, but for the benefit of those entering through the side door of an Internet search, let me briefly say:

  • Yes, this is a stunning development, and yes, it’s far worse than computer models have predicted. That latter point itself should not be a surprise, as it’s been widely known that models struggle with ice dynamics. Still, this year’s sea ice extent minimum, roughly 18% below the prior record from 2007, should be way outside anyone’s comfort zone.
  • Dr. Francis says, at roughly the 5:40 mark in the video, that she hopes this ice melt serves as a wake up call. With all due and considerable respect, I think that’s a horribly naive reading of the situation. Over the last decade, the environment has been beating us over the head with reasons to wake up, pay attention, and take action to keep things from getting much worse than they will under a business as usual path, but the urgency of the situation is only surpassed by our ability to stick our fingers in our ears and sing a happy song to drown out that terrifying message.
  • Somewhere, something (or, more likely, a combination of things) will wake us up and spur us into action. I have zero doubt about that. The only question is how much more of our future will we consign to food shortages and climate refugees and resource conflicts and failed states before we have that global epiphany. Based on the actions to date of our horribly myopic and inept and just plain broken political systems, I fear that the answer to that “how much” question is “a lot”.
  • By our actions, our daily choices to cling to the business as usual path, we are committing global, multi-generational child abuse and locking millions of children already born and yet to be born into a nightmarish future.
  • Who is to blame? All of us. Ineffective climate campaigners, deniers, fossil fuel companies, bought and paid for politicians, the disconnected voters and consumers that line up the the latest grotesquely overpriced iToy but couldn’t care less about the impact their precious lifestyles have on the only world we’ve ever called home both now and in the future, etc.

2 comments to Arctic Ice Summary

  • Dan

    This section of the vid showing change in age is vomit-inducingly scary. And of course I’m looking out the window after a soaked summer in the UK at the current deluge (a month’s rain in a day… again…) and suddenly feeling like the arctic is an awfully close neighbour that’s slipping into madness.

    Question: could any carbon action we could have taken in the past ten years have made any difference to the way the arctic’s going now? Or are we just seeing what’s been in the pipeline for some time?

  • Lewis Cleverdon

    Dan -
    The timelag on GHGs heating effect being realized – somewhere around 30 years ? – looks like a bloody great hole in the information that science has delivered to the public.
    - That we’re now seeing the climate results of cumulative global pollution up to 1982, shortly after the coup against Carter.

    If he’d won his second term maybe we’d be a lot better off, but that’s water under the bridge.

    As we stand it seems to me there’s a series of indispensable needs to resolving the current predicament –

    - The application of effective Geo-E in both its Carbon Recovery and Albedo Restoration forms, with the latter focussed on the arctic, ASAP -

    which requires:
    the mandating of a supervisory scientific body to oversee Geo-E’s objectives, research, trials & deployment, with that supervisory body answerable to all nations at the UN, quarterly –

    which requires:
    inclusion of that mandate in the agreement of an equitable and efficient global climate treaty to phase out anthro-GHG emissions as swiftly as technically possible:

    which requires:
    the development of international and US public pressure on Washington to try to defend or step back from its patently reckless bipartisan policy (let alone genocidally immoral conduct) of an obdurate ‘brinkmanship of inaction’ with China -

    which requires:
    a lot of people, including activists, scientists, journalists, businessmen, celebrities and others to start thinking outside the comfortable box of the diversionary circus of denial-and-rebuttal, and to start looking at just what is going on. And then get seriously loud about it.

    Which is quite a list of requirements – I guess it’s lucky we’ve nothing better to do.

    The best results my prolonged pushing of this perspective has been the recent acceptance by Lou and other bloggers and posters of the bipartisan policy’s operation, which is a start on this critical unaddressed level of requisite change. Roll on more company in the task.



    PS – if any of the requirements or the links between them aren’t clear to you, do say – OTOH if you find any holes in the rationale I’d be just as glad to discuss them.