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Arctic is thawing ever faster: permafrost collapse is further accelerating the release of carbon

Arctic Is Thawing So Fast Scientists Are Losing Their Measuring Tools  BY Dahr Jamail, Truthout, June 3, 2019  

We’ve never experienced anything like this: We are living with the full knowledge of our collapsing biosphere and watching huge portions of it vanishing before our very eyes. Meanwhile, the industrial growth society (as eco-philosopher, author and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy calls it) continues to grind on, and this veneer of normalcy persists one more day.

Yet simultaneously, a great awakening is occurring. Millions of people around the world are rising to protect what remains, working to mitigate the damage and to adapt to the drastically changing world. They are working to hold space for that which, despite seemingly overwhelming odds, may continue in the wake of this great collapse……….

dear reader, I urge you to find your own work that reconnects — or to find another way to ground yourself, as you read on, and as we each travel through another crises-ridden day into an increasingly bleak future.

That future is perhaps most visible at the poles. Greenland is melting much faster than previously understood, as melting has increased six-fold in recent decades, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We wanted to get a long precise record of mass balance in Greenland that included the transition when the climate of the planet started to drift off natural variability, which occurred in the 1980s,” study co-author Eric Rignot told CNN. “The study places the recent (20 years) evolution in a broader context to illustrate how dramatically the mass loss has been increasing in Greenland in response to climate warming.” Rignot added, “As glaciers will continue to speed up and ice/snow melt from the top, we can foresee a continuous increase in the rate of mass loss, and a contribution to sea level rise that will continue to increase more rapidly every year.”

The study also shows how sea level rise is accelerating, and will continue to do so with each passing year, as the effects compound upon themselves.

On that note, Indonesia recently announced it will be moving its capital city of Jakarta, partly due to the sinking of the land and sea level rise. This is a city of 10 million people.

Permafrost in the Arctic is now thawing so fast that scientists are literally losing their measuring equipment. This is due to the fact that instead of there being just a few centimeters of thawing each year, now several meters of soil can become destabilized in a matter of days.

Adding insult to injury, another study revealed that this permafrost collapse is further accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere, possibly even doubling the amount of warming coming from greenhouse gases released from the tundra.

Already in Greenland, the ice sheet’s melt season began about a month early while in Alaska, several rivers saw winter ice break up on their earliest dates on record.

The recent U.N. report showing that one million species are now in danger of going extinct has grave implications for the future of humanity…..

Earth

Disconcertingly, since 2001 forests in Canada have released more carbon than they have sequestered. This is due largely to climate disruption-fueled drought, higher temperatures and wildfires. ………

Meanwhile, the refugee crisis from rising seas and extreme weather events continues apace in Bangladesh. Already one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to sea level rise, it is now estimated that more than 10 million people there are estimated to lose their livelihoods in the next decade. The larger cities are already overwhelmed with the number of people streaming into them from the submerging coastal areas.

Water

Climate disruption-amplified, flood-inducing extreme weather events continue to make their mark around the planet………….

Fire

Just four months into 2019, the U.K. had already had more large wildfires than it had during the entirety of 2018……….

Air

recent report shows how much warmer cities across the U.S. will be within one generation (by 2050).

“Every season in every city and town in America will shift, subtly or drastically, as average temperatures creep up, along with highs and lows,” reported Vox, which released the report. “Some of those changes — like summers in the Southwest warming by 4°F on average — will mean stretches of days where it’s so hot, it’ll be dangerous to go outside. Heat waves around the country could last up to a month.”

Denial and Reality

The U.S. is now one of the world’s leaders when it comes to climate change denial……….  With the ongoing acceleration of the climate crisis, it is clear that even if we believe the best-case scenarios, governments are not reacting according to the gravity of the situation at hand. Each one of us, knowing what we now know, must take full responsibility for preparing ourselves for the adaptation required to live on this increasingly warming, melting world as civilizations and societies continue to disintegrate.  https://truthout.org/articles/arctic-is-thawing-so-fast-scientists-are-losing-their-measuring-tools/

June 4, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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