I've been posting about far from equilibrium conditions and tipping points in Climate Destabilization in another group, Hang With Friends. As folks concerned about ecology, I thought you'd like a link to that discussion. Climate Destabilization and Weather Variability

Tags: tipping points

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Perhaps another tipping point has been crossed. We learn that the alleged pause in temperature acceleration is due to increasing trade winds pushing heat into the deep ocean.

Unprecedented trade wind strength is shifting global warming to the...

A consistent picture is emerging in the climate research; increases in the strength of trade winds force more heat to be mixed down into the ocean, leading to a temporary slowing of rising surface temperatures. The next piece of the puzzle will involve explaining the cause of the dramatic, unprecedented trade wind acceleration. The IPO cycle can explain about half of the wind changes, but climate scientists are still investigating other possible contributing factors. [emphasis mine]

And we learn that trade winds are speeding up due to the decline of thermohaline circulation in the Southern Ocean, which comes from Anthropogenic forcing.

The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation is Collap...

The failure of the huge convection cell in the Weddell sea has reduced the transport of heat, salt and ocean water towards Antarctica. Heat has built up in the tropical and subtropical oceans. The strong thermal gradient between cold Antarctica and the warming waters in the southern hemisphere's temperate zone and subtropics has intensified the winds around Antarctica as the jet stream was pushed closer to Antarctica by the expanding subtropical belt. Moreover, the heating of the tropical oceans has increased tropical convection. These processes have combined to intensify the water cycle, strengthen the subtropical high pressure areas, and increase the strength of the trade winds. [emphasis mine]

When you put these together: at least half of the cause of the "pause" in accelerating land temperatures, faster trade winds driving more heat into the deep ocean, results from Anthropogenic forcing. To me that looks as if another tipping point has been crossed, a new feedback that pushes proportionally more heat into the deep ocean has appeared.

Guy McPherson, Climate Destabilization Cassandra, predicts near term extinction. While he's not widely respected at the Climate Reddit, because he uses anecdote as well as scientific findings and pays attention to the most gloomy forecasts, his message is serious enough to deserve consideration. One can always refute those claims. Dahr Jamail gives us an overview.

Are Humans Going Extinct?

Coal will likely overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017, and without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change.

And there is nothing to indicate, in the political or corporate world, that there will be anything like a major shift in policy aimed at dramatically mitigating runaway anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).

McPherson ... believes that near-term human extinction could eventually result from losing the Arctic sea ice, which is one of the 40 self-reinforcing feedback loops of ACD. "A world without Arctic ice will be completely new to humans," he said.

A report in the August 2013 issue of Science revealed that in the near term, earth's climate will change 10 times faster than during any other moment in the last 65 million years.

... the Permian mass extinction... was triggered by a massive lava flow in an area of Siberia that led to an increase in global temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius. That, in turn, caused the melting of frozen methane deposits under the seas.

Today's current scientific and observable evidence strongly suggests we are in the midst of the same process - only this time it is anthropogenic, and happening exponentially faster than the Permian mass extinction did.

We are likely to begin seeing periods of an ice-free Arctic by as soon as this coming summer, or the summer of 2016 at the latest.

Once the summer ice begins melting, methane releases will worsen dramatically.

Our current extinction event is already greatly exceeding the speed, and might eventually even exceed the intensity, of the Permian mass extinction event. The difference is that ours is human caused, isn't going to take 80,000 years, has so far lasted just a few centuries and is now gaining speed in a nonlinear fashion.

We triggered another self-reinforcing feedback loop, number 40, just about two weeks ago; then just a week ago there was a [scientific] paper that came out indicating that for every 1-degree temperature rise, there is 7 percent more lightning strikes. So that contributes to a previously existing self-reinforcing feedback loop, that of fires, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and especially in the boreal forests.

Methane has gone exponential in the atmosphere. Paul Beckwith, climate scientist at University of Ottawa, indicates we could experience a 6-degree Celsius temperature rise in the span of a decade.

The interior of continents heats at least twice as fast as the global average. So a 6-degree Celsius rise in the global average means at least 12 degrees Celsius in the interior of continents.

... it's hard to get this culture focused in any meaningful way on the topics that matter for any period of time. ... I think it all comes down to the corporations exerting such profoundly strong control over the messages we are receiving everyday.

... a little less than a year ago I participated in a grief recovery workshop, and I realized that what I was experiencing was grief, and specifically anticipatory grief. So the next step is to try to scale up the notion of anticipatory grief, and have it reach more people as well as pointing out that this is what is. [emphasis mine]

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Bruce Melton explains that scientists thought climate change would be gradual until two decades ago, since gradual change appeared in sediment cores. Only recently was it discovered that climate changes usually happen rapidly. Marine worm activity had erased signs of rapid change, making change seem gradual.

... what we know now is that Earth's climate normally changes through abrupt shifts. Climate change is mostly not a slow, glacially paced thing. The changes are fast and violent and leave ecosystems shredded in their wake. They start out slowly, but then a threshold is crossed, and the temperature jumps up or down far more radically than the slow and modest warming projected by almost all climate change models today.

Current policy simply does not take abrupt climate change into consideration. The consensus reports all mention it sooner or later, but then they caveat their way out of doing anything about it because too little is known about how these things actually happen.

... Climate change policy today has become severely dated, and we need to catch up. [emphasis mine]

Abrupt Climate Change: No Bioperturbation


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